Central African Republic (CAR) court rules against benefits for Sango Coin buyers

Eberechukwu Etike
Benefits include buying the Sango Coin for foreign nationals and a one-way ticket to CAR citizenship for $60,000…
Top court in Central African Republic (CAR) rules against crypto purchase of 'e-residency' and 'land'- PhotoCredit: BenjaminDada
Top court in Central African Republic (CAR) rules against crypto purchase of ‘e-residency’ and ‘land’- PhotoCredit: BenjaminDada

A court in the Central African Republic (CAR) has ruled against non-citizen crypto enthusiasts purchasing citizenship and land in the country using cryptocurrency, as well as the government’s plan to offer citizenship to foreigners through its cryptocurrency purchases.

The court declared this concept “unconstitutional,” stating that the country’s nationality has no market value and should not be sold or purchased.

The court also ruled that the concept of “e-residency” violates the country’s constitution because all foreign residents are required by law to stay physically in the country, rendering the concept of e-residency null and void.

Sango Coin presently allows for purchasing an e-residency for $6,000 and a 250-square plot of land for $10,000 with the equivalent Sango Coins held as collateral for ten years. Other benefits include buying the Sango Coin for foreign nationals and a one-way ticket to CAR citizenship for $60,000, in cryptocurrency with the Sango equivalents held as collateral for five years.

Many of these were the benefits that the government hoped would attract foreign investors and other interested parties. With the court ruling against these benefits, the Sango Coin project may face slow acceptance from foreign investors.

According to Reuters, the Central African Republic’s (CAR) Sango Coin’s initial sales were flat, with slightly more than 5% of the target purchased in the hours following its July 25 launch. Within the first 17 hours, only about $1.09 million of the initial $21 million on offer was sold.

Read Also: Central African Republic launches official crypto, Sango Coin

CAR and its Sango Coin

Recall that we reported that the Central African Republic recently became the first country in Africa and the second country in the world to fully adopt bitcoin as an official payment tender second to the CFA franc.

In July 2022, the country launched its own national coin, Sango Coin, which surprised many crypto experts, including financial institutions like the IMF, given that CAR is one of the poorest countries in Africa, with poor internet penetration and unstable electricity supply.

Top court in Central African Republic (CAR) rules against crypto purchase of 'e-residency' and 'land'
A top court in the Central African Republic (CAR) rules against the crypto purchase of ‘e-residency’ and ‘land’

Faustin-Archange Touadéra, the President of the Central African Republic (CAR) indicated hope that the introduction of its digital currency project will help pave way for a massive financial improvement as the country is seeking new economic strategies. The government indicated during its launch that the Sango Coin project will facilitate the tokenization of CAR natural resources for global investors and digitise its land registry system.

The main reason for the adoption of the digital payment system, according to the president, was that the traditional financial system was riddled by bureaucratic bottlenecks and a lack of infrastructure.

Read Also: Central African Republic plans to launch Africa’s 1st crypto investment hub, project Sango

Going forward

Despite the fact that these were appealing deals for foreign crypto investors and enthusiasts, the country’s court has ruled that the use of these various strategies to encourage the adoption of Sango Coin project is unconstitutional.

As it stands, there is no law in the country’s constitution policy that allows citizenship to be granted in exchange for the acquisition of the Sango Coin. However, there is a law that grants citizenship to individuals who provide exceptional services to the CAR, which might be the route being considered by the government for these Sango Coin investors.

According to the Sango website, updating the legal framework: citizenship, e-residence, land, and cryptocurrency industry is scheduled for Q3 of this year. However, there is no legislative or administrative framework in place to support the implementation of these benefit strategies.

Serge Djorie, a government spokesman, declined to comment on the matter when asked by Reuters.


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