A short statement from the Government said the Citizenship office has no legal confirmation on the use of bitcoins to secure citizenship.
“The Office of citizenship is giving assurance to all the citizenship designated agents that all payments of fees concerning citizenship is in US dollars. Any other arrangement by any sub-agent will not be considered by the Citizenship Office.
Last week, the Vanuatu Information Office announced that it was the first country to accept bitcoins for citizenship.
The Vanuatu Information Centre (VIC) announced that its Development Support Programme (DSP) will allow foreigners to qualify for Vanuatu citizenship through a one-time payment of $200,000 – or its cryptocurrency equivalent.
At current market prices, this puts the price of citizenship for the so-called Paradise Islands at slightly more than 43 bitcoins.
While attempts have been made in the past to effect payments for citizenship by investment programmes via bitcoin, these efforts never had the political stamp of approval, and were shut down as a consequence,” said Geoffrey Bond, Chairman of the VIC.
He continued: “In this case, the government of Vanuatu has explicitly expressed a desire to be at the forefront of adopting new technologies, officially encouraging the VIC to receive payments in bitcoin.”
All bitcoin transactions for Vanuatu citizenship will be run through an Australian cryptocurrency exchange, which complies with requirements imposed by the Australian financial regulations.
Vanuatu is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and citizenship allows visa-free travel to 113 countries, including EU states, Russia and the United Kingdom.
The country also advertises tax and investment incentives as part of the appeal for citizenship to its country.