It says while it does embrace innovation, replacing the US dollar – which it adopted as its currency in 1959 – is not an option.
A blockchain startup, LIFELabs, recently announced a collaboration with the government on the development of BVI-LIFE, a digital currency which would be pegged to the US dollar. In reporting on it, some international media suggested that the cryptocurrency would replace the US dollar.
However, the government issued a statement, insisting that “contrary to those media reports, the Government of the Virgin Islands is not in the process of developing or launching its own national cryptocurrency, neither by itself nor in partnership with any other entity, to replace the US dollar with a digital currency”.
“The British Virgin Islands…have made no commitments to replace it as the official currency in any form,” he added.
The government said it is positioning the BVI as a hub for digital technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, and in this regard, it has sought to create a welcoming and enabling environment for doing business. It added that it has been receiving proposals and expressions of interest from numerous international firms that would like to make the territory their base of operations, or simply to trade and offer their services in the territory. One such company, it said, is LifeLabs.io.
“The Government of the British Virgin Islands is committed to creating an economic space that embraces modern technology and where residents and businesses retain the freedom to choose how they do business based on their own preferences. Adoption of this technology by persons in our economic space can occur without any change in the territory’s official currency,” it added.
The government said it is keen to explore proposals that will improve the quality of life of all citizens, provide economic stability and resilience, and enable the territory to maintain and improve its competitive position at the forefront of digital innovation, particularly in financial services.
“The BVI is open to dialogue with technology companies, especially those involved in green energy, smart technology and digital services – including cryptocurrencies and blockchain – that are interested in doing business in the BVI or operating from the BVI,” it added.