The Central African Republic announced ‘crypto island’ Sango

The Central African Republic announced ‘Sango’, a project to create a ‘crypto island’. It should become a special economic zone for bitcoin and crypto companies, with clear legal frameworks and favorable tax rates. Raw materials and land are also made available and there are plans for digital identities, digital ownership and a bitcoin wallet with support for Lightning.

Last month, the Central African Republic unanimously voted in favor of a law to recognize bitcoin as legal tender. This makes the Central African Republic the second country in the world after El Salvador to recognize bitcoin as an official currency.

Sango

President Touad??ra then announced the ambitious ‘Sango’ project. The plans are described in a document on Sango’s website.

According to the document, there will be a ‘crypto island’ called Sango, with modern flats and paradisiacal furnishings with swimming pools and beach places. The location of the island has not been disclosed, but it seems that it may be an island in the Ubangi River next to the capital Bangui.

Economic zone

Sango should become something of a utopia for bitcoin and crypto companies. A special ‘crypto economic zone’ will be set up and land will be made available to companies in the sector. There will also be an e-residency program, investors will be offered citizenship and companies will be able to register online.

The income tax and the tax for companies in the economic zone is 0%. In addition, companies in the zone will have voting rights and co-determination on further developments.

Moreover, on the basis of the previously adopted ‘bitcoin law’, clear legal frameworks will be created that should provide the business community with certainty. The document highlights that exchanges are tax-exempt by law.

A regulator (Agence Nationale de Regulation de Transaction Electronique) is also appointed and a ‘digital national bank’ (Banque Nationale Digitale de la Republique Centrafricaine) is established.

Bitcoin wallet

The plans also mention a bitcoin wallet with support for the Lightning Network Lightning Network The Lightning Network is a new technology that makes bitcoin transactions almost instant and virtually free. . The wallet should work in combination with existing POS systems and offer integrated options for accounting.

According to the document, the wallet will be multi-platform and work with mobile phones, via a web interface or a client for Windows, MacOS and Linux.

Uncertainties

There are also ambiguities. For example, the document states that the World Bank has made $35 million available for the digitization of the public sector. However, the World Bank expressed concern about the plans and stated emphatically that the funds are not intended to finance Sango.

The plans also state that the many raw materials in which the country is rich will be made available. However, it is not clarified how that plays a role in digital currencies.

In addition, there should be a digital version of Sango in ‘the metaverse’. Although several projects proclaimed themselves a metaverse, there is still no real metaverse. In the metaverse version of Sango, NFTs would also be issued, including for digital identities. The latter should contribute to digital ownership and the ‘tokenisation’ of investments.

Advantages

They are ambitious plans. Sometimes President Touad??ra seems to understand the potential of bitcoin well and he makes statements on Twitter that are well received by bitcoiners, but it is not entirely clear what his approach is.

In theory, the Central African Republic could benefit greatly from bitcoin. The country is burdened by the yoke of the colonial CFA franc and many residents do not have (access to) a bank account. With bitcoin, residents without a bank account can participate in the online economy and the country could be less dependent on French influence.

Confusion

Yet there is confusion. The Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in the world and many inhabitants do not have access to the internet. The government seems to harbor the expectation that the construction of the Central African Backbone (CAB) fiber optic connection will change this, but it is unlikely that the average citizen will notice anything in the short term.?? ??

Moreover, the plans do not seem very clear-cut. Bitcoin and ‘crypto’ are used interchangeably and now NFTs and a metaverse are being added. It makes one wonder whether people are sufficiently familiar with the technology or whether the terms have been collected for marketing purposes.

Economy

Perhaps it is less about what technological innovations can mean for residents and more about attracting investment from the sector. From this point of view, the initiatives are more understandable.

Since El Salvador embraced bitcoin, the El Salvadoran economy grew by 10.3% and tourism increased by 30%. Perhaps the Central African Republic also sees bitcoin as a great opportunity to put itself on the map and give the economy a boost. With a Gross National Product (GNP) of only ???????2 billion, very little is needed.??

They wouldn’t be alone. In addition to El Salvador, cities such as Miami, New York, Rio de Janeiro and Lugano in Switzerland, as well as Texas and Madeira, are also focusing on attracting the wealthy sector. And while the Central African Republic was off the radar of many until recently, the country is now probably at the top of many bitcoin companies’ list of potential business locations in Africa.

The popularity of bitcoin in Africa is growing. Also read our other articles.

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