Central African Republic court says new $60,000 citizenship-by-crypto-investment program is unconstitutional

The move comes one month after the CAR rolled out the new incentive to boost crypto innovation in the country.

According to Reuters, the Constitutional Court of the Central African Republic (CAR) said on Monday that the purchase of citizenship, e-residency and land using its government-backed Sango digital currency is unconstitutional because a nationality has no market value. Earlier in July, the CAR unveiled its Sango crypto hub to attract global crypto talent and enthusiasts, boost Bitcoin (BTC) adoption and implement new crypto regulatory frameworks. The Sango blockchain is built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain, similar to a layer-2 solution. 

Part of the program includes a citizenship-by-investment program, where foreign nationals can effectively purchase citizenship in the CAR for $60,000 in crypto, with an equivalent amount of Sango tokens held as collateral and returned after five years. Similarly, e-residency can be purchased for $6,000 with Sango tokens locked for three years. It is also possible to buy a 250-square meter plot of land in the CAR for $10,000 with Sango tokens returned a decade later.

The CAR says that each Sango token will be fractionally backed by Bitcoin, which it adopted as legal tender in April. Each Sango token can be purchased for $0.10 during the first stages of its initial coin offering, with a listing price target of $0.45 by the final round. The total supply of the token is 210 million. So far, less than 20 million Sango tokens have been claimed, and officials have extended the first cycle of the sale by approximately five weeks.

Affluent investors typically enroll in investment-based second citizenship programs for business activities, tax mitigation and ease of travel. The Central African Republic’s gross domestic product has declined steadily since peaking in the mid-1960s. Its current passport allows for visa-free travel in 17 countries.

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