British Virgin Islands denies digital currency report

The British Virgin Islands has denied reports claiming that it was developing a digital currency to replace the U.S dollar as the national currency. In a statement, the BVI confirmed that while it’s fully supporting cryptos, the government is not planning to develop a national digital currency.

Just weeks ago, a crypto startup known as LifeLabs issued a press release indicating that it had partnered with the BVI on a crypto initiative. The startup claimed that the new token would be called BVI-LIFE and would be pegged to the U.S. dollar in a 1:1 ratio. The press release even quoted BVI Prime Minister Andrew Fahie expressing his enthusiasm towards the project.

However, the government of the Islands has issued a new press release clarifying its position. The government stated, “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 adopted the US dollar as its currency in 1959 and have made no commitments to replace it as the official currency in any form.”

While the territory isn’t about to issue a digital currency any time soon, it intends on making it as easy as possible for crypto companies to operate there. The Islands is already home to a number of global crypto giants and is one of the largest crypto markets by dollar volume globally. The adoption of cryptos, and other new technologies, “can occur without any change in the Territory’s official currency.”

The Islands has been relying on the U.S. dollar for 60 years now, despite being a British overseas territory. According to the government, it has had no reason to change the currency and the previous digital currency announcement was a hoax.

As CoinGeek reported earlier this month, LifeLabs announced that it had partnered with the BVI government to develop a national digital currency. The startup even clarified with one media house that the new currency wouldn’t be backed by the BVI central bank. Instead, it would be developed by a third party, with the BVI government and LifeLabs being in charge of distribution of the currency.

And while the BVI government has denied the digital currency report, LifeLabs still seems optimistic. At press time, the startup’s website still indicates that the company is developing the BVI-LIFE digital currency in partnership with the Islands government.

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