The Central African Republic government’s plans to sell citizenship in exchange for a US$60,000 investment in the country’s new national cryptocurrency, Sango Coin, were dealt a setback yesterday as the country’s Constitutional Court (CAR’s highest court) ruled the plans unconstitutional, according to Bloomberg.
The government, ordered the court, must cease offering land, e-residency, and citizenship in exchange for investments in Sango Coin as doing so was unconstitutional “considering that nationality has no market value.” The court also said residency could only be conferred on those who physically spent time in the country.
The government, which has been a vocal and directly involved backer of the Sango project, said through a spokesman that it would “respect the court’s decision” and that they were already “looking at another way to offer land and citizenship to investors.”
What the court has struck down is the granting of citizenship in exchange for Sango coin investments; not citizenship by investment per se.
The court’s claim that nationality has no market value is plainly incorrect: The tens of thousands of CBI transactions that have taken place over the last four decades demonstrate that citizenships do, in fact, have specific market values, fetching anywhere from a $40,000 (Belize CIP in the 1980s) to upwards of EUR 2.5 million (Cyprus CIP as recently as 2020).