Crypto investors have already set upon the path of financial freedom by adopting cryptocurrency and are now looking for solutions to enhance that sphere of liberty. It is no wonder, then, that many of them are drawn to the Caribbean nation of St. Kitts & Nevis. While the pristine beaches, world-class cuisine, and uniquely relaxed lifestyle are significant attractions of the twin-island nation, it is the unparalleled financial freedom the country affords its nationals that plays the most prominent part in attracting the global elite. In this article, we will discuss some of the lesser-known financial gems that await crypto investors in St. Kitts & Nevis.
In this article, we will also cover the basics about St. Kitts & Nevis, the laws and regulations that make the country such a popular destination for investors, why it is one of the world’s leading crypto-friendly nations, an overview of the banking system in the nation, and how you can set up shop in the Caribbean country.
All investors need to know about St. Kitts & Nevis
While a small nation by size and population, the reputation of St. Kitts & Nevis is growing among the world’s elite. The nation’s twin islands of Kitts and Nevis form the landmass of the federation, each having its distinct characteristics, connected by ferries and water taxis, and more importantly, the natural beauty of the Caribbean. So let’s get to know each of these isles a bit more before we dive deeper into the financial technicalities.
St. Kitts, also dubbed St. Christopher, is the larger, more densely populated island. A flurry of Bitcoin investors relocated to St. Kitts approximately five years ago, enticed by the highly illustrious St. Kitts & Nevis citizenship by investment program (CIP). An informal passports for Bitcoin community began to emerge as Bitcoin ATMs began appearing around the island.
The island remains a popular tourist destination and is home to a plethora of five-star luxury resorts and spas. It also houses several offshore medical and veterinary schools, making it a great place for crypto investors to lay back and enjoy the sun while ensuring the island has a great setup for their future generations.
Nevis, St. Kitts’s little sister, is the smaller of the islands, and its population is about 20% of its older sibling’s. It is a faultless island hideaway where people can unwind and soak in some of the most remarkable natural sceneries the world has to offer. A multitude of celebrities, including British nobility, tend to spend their free time on the island due to its seclusion and serenity.
Nevis’ reclusiveness isn’t just about getting away from the paparazzi, however, as it is a discreet and prosperous offshore asset protection jurisdiction. Nevis has been part of the offshore finance scene since 1984, the same year the nation’s CIP was launched, and global financial advisors and asset protection lawyers agree that there are only two nations in the world that boast the most resilient asset protection regulations and respect for personal wealth: Nevis and the Cook Islands.
Nevis, although small in size, exhibits a robust international financial services sector, independent of the laws the government has implemented in St. Kitts, akin to state local banking or trust regulations in the USA differing from federal ones.
While both St. Kitts and Nevis have differing separate regulations, they are bound by federal law when it comes to issuing passports and citizenship certificates. The St. Kitts & Nevis passport, a robust travel document coveted by many around the globe, is available to the wealthy who invest in the country and pass the government’s due diligence process. The citizenship by investment unit (CBIU) naturalize investors and arrange passports within a few months if they meet the CIP requirements, a program that is under the direct control of the Office of the Prime Minister.
A crypto-paradise in the Caribbean Sea
Crypto investors understand convenience, the entire setup of crypto blockchain technology is based upon quicker, easier, and safer transactions throughout the world. So if you do value a convenient lifestyle, as well as total financial freedom; St. Kitts & Nevis is the place for you.
The Caribbean nation noticed the importance of cryptocurrency and the potential it holds, hence, the government launched a new Virtual Asset Bill in 2020, and amended it further in 2021, to ensure that trading in virtual assets – such as cryptocurrency – was legal and simple within the country.
The bill allows citizens and residents of the nation to legally:
- Exchange between a virtual asset and fiat currency;
- Exchange between one or more forms of virtual assets;
- Transfer a virtual asset whether or not for value;
- Safekeep or administrate a virtual asset or instruments enabling control over a virtual asset; and
- Participate in and provision of financial services related to an issue or sale of a virtual asset
This bill, along with the nation’s pro-crypto banking system, has made St. Kitts & Nevis a top destination for crypto investors. The country’s fondness of virtual currency is well documented and continues to grow, as the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in St. Kitts & Nevis launched a digital currency pilot program dubbed DCash, highlighting the innovation and technological appreciation of the country.
The steps the country is taking to welcome cryptocurrency along with its CIP are transforming it into a crypto-hub, attracting major crypto investors such as Roger Ver, who is one of the world’s most famous Bitcoin investors/advocators. Ver himself became a citizen of St. Kitts & Nevis through investment, even renouncing his American one to obtain complete financial freedom, and is now residing on the Island of St. Kitts with his mind at ease.
Overview of onshore and offshore bank accounts in St Kitts & Nevis
Banking in St. Kitts & Nevis is one of the major attractions of the country, but how does it work? In short, very well! The banking system in the Caribbean nation is robust and comprehensive, and what is most impressive is how crypto-friendly it is. The ECCB is based in St. Kitts, and it is the entity that issues and runs the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD), the region’s leading currency.
The XCD is the official currency of a multitude of Caribbean nations, including St. Kitts & Nevis, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and the Grenadines, as well as the two British Offshore Territories of Anguilla and Montserrat. The XCD is pegged to the USD, relieving you of the fear of any currency fluctuation that may affect your wealth.
The ECCB regulates local banking throughout all of the aforementioned Caribbean countries. Local banking is mostly dominated by Canadian financial institutions, which are known to be quite conservative and evasive to crypto-currency. The change, however, is increasing as more of these Canadian institutes are now pulling out of the Caribbean, leaving local banks with a higher share of the market.
When it comes to international banking, however, it becomes more interesting, as there are a separate set of rules for banks working the international market. The numerous offshore banks in Nevis, for example, do not have any relations with St. Kitts or the ECCB but are subject to Nevis’ local regulations in addition to international standards.
Offshore and international banks are prohibited from dealing in local ECCB regulated retail banking, something which they are not interested in, as they operate on an entirely different level of complexity and elite clients. They prefer to maintain discretion and higher minimum balances (six figures or more) than their retail counterparts. They don’t want anyone to jaunt in and open an account but reserve their seats for the best the world has to offer. There are exceptions, of course, especially when you are introduced by a reliable partner with strong connections on the islands such as NTL.
While there are no international banks on St. Kitts, the island of Nevis is home to three high-class, licensed offshore banks. What is more interesting is that you need not be a resident or citizen of St. Kitts & Nevis to enjoy the services they offer, which are fairly similar to those of international banks, but they do focus on wealthy individuals and their families who are in the midst of obtaining, or who have obtained, St. Kitts & Nevis citizenship through the prominent CIP.
This is especially good news to crypto investors, as the crypto-friendly stance of these banks makes it simple to receive dollars from notable crypto exchange sources or other similarly pro-crypto banks. They also provide escrow services to make the lives of their clients easier and safer when dealing with real estate and CIP issues.
How we help the savvy investor set up shop in St. Kitts & Nevis
- ASSET PROTECTION TRUST AND LLC: The strongest asset protection framework in the world, the Nevis Exempt Trust and LLC combo allows you to own multiple LLCs and ring-fence different projects within them for heightened asset protection. Your LLC is the poster of your business, and its name will appear on all bank and brokerage accounts, but keep in mind that Nevis doesn’t keep a public register of shareholders or beneficial owners to maintain optimal privacy. Your Trust, meanwhile, stays behind the scenes covering inheritance, succession requirements, and protecting your crypto, property, and fiat assets from external elements.
- OFFSHORE CRYPTO-FRIENDLY BANK ACCOUNT: A great thing about your Nevis offshore Trust and LLC combo is that it can open bank accounts all over the globe. Financial hotspots such as Switzerland, Singapore, the US, and many others become instantly available to you. Just don’t spread your personal and financial data wider than is necessary. And therein lies the elegance of crypto bank accounts in Nevis, a financially safe, discreet, and beneficial option which is quick to set up and easy to use. Through our connections at NTL, we help you open accounts in less than a day.
- PASSPORT BY INVESTMENT: Financial freedom is all about robust insurance policies, and none is as effective as citizenship by investment (CBI), a venture you and your future generations will benefit from indefinitely. Becoming a St. Kittian through CBI gives you the choice of becoming a tax resident of the nation by residing there for more than six months a year or continuing to benefit from your status as a citizen of the country while residing anywhere else around the globe. For those wishing to become tax residents, the twin-island nation comes with an abundance of welcome surprises, as the country does not impose any personal, inheritance, wealth, or capital gains taxes. This lax tax regime attracts many investors to the St. Kitts & Nevis CIP each year. The program, which is simple and straightforward, offers two routes of investment, a donation to the government’s sustainable growth fund, or, the more popular option, investing in real estate. The latter option is the optimal route to establish instant, long-term links and substance in the country. Choosing St. Kitts & Nevis as your new base of operations means you can avoid the tedious task of reporting your finances to your country of origin and being able to choose a tax regime that is more beneficial to you. The only exception to this, however, is US citizens; as the USA tracks finances worldwide, renunciation of US citizenship is the only route to obtaining full financial freedom and taxation benefits.
While the ludicrous natural beauty of St. Kitts & Nevis, along with the hospitable population, make it a great place to wind down and relax, gaining its citizenship and the advantages of asset protection as well as opening a bank account can be done remotely without ever having to book a flight. Asset protection and banking benefits can even be unlocked prior to having the citizenship application approved.
Your new business, financial setup, and life plan are fully aligned and compliant -if structured and executed properly. That last part is vital, as getting the entire process, application, and framework correct at the start ensures you benefit endlessly; mistakes, however, require course correction and can be extremely harmful. This is why it is worth a fee to consult with RCBI firms that have the expertise, knowledge, and transparency that can transform your life for the better.
The EU and OECD recently awarded St. Kitts & Nevis with a clean bill of financial health, confirming the nation’s compliance with international standards. Neighboring countries, such as Dominica, for example, were actually blacklisted, highlighting the wide divide between St. Kitts & Nevis and its Caribbean counterparts.
St. Kitts & Nevis veteran consultants at NTL Trust are ready and able to help you begin the transformative journey and take advantage of a robust Trust Banking & Citizenship package. So no need to postpone the venture that could elevate your entire lifestyle anymore; contact us to book a free consultation with our experts.
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