Jersey, a British Crown island right off the coast of France, should become “Bitcoin Isle” according to a Bit.Coin.Je’s Robbie Andrews. Bit.Coin.Je is a campaign group trying to make Jersey the next Bitcoin paradise, in a sense competing with the “Bitislands” initiative in Indonesia seeking to do the same for Bali.
Also known as Bailiwick of Jersey, the island has much in common with its bitcoin-friendly, British Crown counterpart, Isle of Man. It has close to 98,000 inhabitants and is recognized as a leading offshore financial center. It is lenient when it comes to taxes such as VAT, although it does levy a flat rate of 20% for income tax.
One can also view St. Kitts as Bali’s tropical island counterpart when it comes to Bitcoin-friendliness. St. Kitts recently started selling citizenship via Bitcoin, facilitated by Roger Ver.
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Jersey Treasury and Resources Minister, Senator Philip Ozouf, says that Bitcoin businesses are “a sector that could hold significant opportunities for Jersey. We are keen to support local businesses by helping to create a well-regulated and responsive environment for investment in the sector”.
The campaign group is aiming to launch a Lamassu Bitcoin ATM within the next weeks. They have also held several meetups. Andrews believes that the high rate of smartphone ownership and the coming arrival of 4G connectivity make the island ideal as a Bitcoin hotspot.
The island has relationships with both the U.K. and the EU, and while not formally a member of the latter, it is treated as being within the European Community for the purposes of free trade.