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How can I trade bitcoin and cryptocurrency in the Central African Republic?
The big news in APRIL 2022, was, at least for crypto advocates, that the Central African Republic CAR had designated Bitcoin as legal tender, putting the country on equal billing with good old El Salvador as a Bitcoin adopter. It’s also a move taken by, surprisingly, Lugano, a Canton of Switzerland, so it’s not just impoverished (sorry, developing) countries that see something in the decision to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. That said, as of April 2022 April, Bitcoin can be accepted as payment alongside the CFA franc, underlining the country’s credentials as a visionary country according to the government.
The decision to adopt this most technological of currencies could, and probably will, be severely hamstrung by the country’s undeveloped internet infrastructure, with reportedly only some 10% of the population having access to it. Plenty of other African nations have taken to digital payment systems to store and transfer local currency utilizing standard existing infrastructure, but crypto transactions among the wider population of CAR may take time to take off.
Bitcoin mining in the Central African Republic
Just as the CAR has followed El Salvador (and Lugano) in adopting Bitcoin as legal tender, seems to be a triumph of wishful thinking in a country with little widespread internet access. Moreover, the country is no electric energy powerhouse, unlike El Salvador or Iceland, for example, which have the natural resources to generate the electricity required for large-scale mining. In this regard mining in the CAR is unlikely to, er, generate much activity – at least legitimate mining activity.
Is the Central African Republic a good location for my Bitcoin or blockchain business?
Just like El Salvador, the CAR designated bitcoin a legal tender, alongside the U.S. dollar (despite serious misgivings by the IMF) in the hope of turning the country into a Bitcoin hotspot and leading crypto economy. As such foreign investors are welcome and able to purchase CAR citizenship for some $60,000 worth of crypto, with the equivalent Sango Coins held as collateral for five years. E-residency cost less ($6,000).
However, as for locating businesses there, it is early days. The much-publicised Sango Coin – the CAR’s digital currency that is being promoted by the government, is also a factor that needs to be considered for businesses as the Sango investment platform and its conditions are very much central to the country’s strategy.
Crypto regulation in Central African Republic
Bitcoin transparency and security in the Central African Republic
The CAR has plenty of troubles – to say the very least – including ongoing civil strife, poverty, crime, and a possible ambivalence towards the US Dollar (see below). Its CFA franc, the official currency before the addition of Bitcoin, is backed by France and pegged to the euro along with the likes of Cameroon, Chad, and the Republic of Congo. These other Euro-linked countries, however, have decidedly not adopted Bitcoin and the presiding body in matters of financial legitimacy, the Central African Financial Market Surveillance, was caught unawares by the CAR’s decision, meaning that adequate security, consumer protection, and AML laws have yet to be seriously discussed and enforced. With so many uncertainties, including the CAR’s long-standing involvement with Russia which opens the suspicion of sanctions-busting objectives, means that much remains to be seen as to the outcome – with transparency being a long way down the list.
Taxes in Central African Republic
How much tax do I pay on my crypto gains in the CAR?
There is insufficient reliable information on the question of taxation of Bitcoin in the CAR, but presumably, like El Salvador, citizens that pay tax in the CAR can do it with Bitcoin. At this point, we assume any individual or company crypto that generates gains from crypto trading and investment will be taxed in accordance with the Republic’s standard income tax reporting requirements.
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