The 18 square kilometer paradise island of Bequia (pronounced “Bekway”) is offline for most visitors to the Caribbean, except for celebrities and one or two members of the British royal family.

However, attention will be firmly focused on the second largest island in the Grenadines Archipelago, as it is home to the world’s first fully Bitcoin-enabled community.

The One Bequia development, in which 39 luxury villas are to be built, will be the first of its kind in the Caribbean to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment for the properties.

Bitcoin is also accepted as payment for the essentials of everyday life in the development grocery store as well as in the restaurant, café and cinema.

“Answer to very real challenges”

According to developers, accepting cryptocurrency as a means of payment is increasingly a necessity rather than a ploy to get people’s attention.

“The assumption of Cryptocurrency is anything but a gimmick, “said Storm Gonsalves, the real estate mogul behind the One Bequia project.

“It is a response to the very real challenges facing island communities that are increasingly cut off from mainstream banking facilities.

“Residents of small island states are finding it increasingly difficult to send and receive money internationally as large international banks” de-ice “,” added St. Vincent-born Gonsalves.

“Derisking is when these large institutions remove their intermediary banking services from smaller island-based community banks.

“This will prevent the island-based banks from conducting international transactions. If this trend continues, it will mean that small island states are essentially cut off from international trade. It will be devastating to tourism-based economies.”

Partly for this reason, the Caribbean has been one of the biggest proponents of finding digital currencies to solve the growing problem, for example.

“This has led many Caribbean island nations to adopt blockchain and other cryptocurrencies much faster than other more developed countries. Bermuda, Bahamas, Barbados and now St. Vincent are leading the way in this regard,” added Gonsalves.

In March, the Eastern Caribbean became the world’s first digital currency union with the start of “DCash” over four island states, St. Lucia, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda as well as St. Kitts and Nevis.

“People are still skeptical”

In contrast to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which are decentralized and not regulated, the DCash is supported by a central bank.

The ultimate hope is that people, especially on remote islands and even without bank accounts, can make safe payments.

While the rest of the Grenadines, including larger neighbor St. Vincent, remain more traditional, Bequia – known as the “island in the clouds” – is gaining a reputation for forward-thinking, laid-back luxury.

With this in mind, the developers of the villas, which will be equipped with the latest intelligent technology, believe that they are an attractive investment for people who are already investing and speculating in cryptocurrencies.

“Not everyone understands the benefit of cryptocurrencies. People are still skeptical,” said Gonsalves.

“Early crypto investors are not typical speculators and strongly believe in the philosophy of decentralization behind Bitcoin / Blockchain. They are not typical speculators.”