On Monday, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) ordered four state-owned banks and the country’s leading mobile payment app Alipay to cut off all transactions linked to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The statement urged banks and payment firms to thoroughly check client accounts, identify those involved in cryptocurrency transactions and promptly cut their payment channels.
Beijing’s hard line on crypto, paired with the rollout of the digital yuan, which allows the PBOC to keep near real-time transaction data of all individuals and entities using the digital currency, has long been a concern for many investors, entrepreneurs and businesspeople. The World Wealth Report noted China as the largest exporter of wealthy migrants, with around 16,000 Chinese millionaires leaving the country in 2019 alone. According to UK-based investment migration firm CS Global Partners, the trend is forecasted to continue increasing.
Wealthy Chinese individuals understand the importance of safeguarding their financial privacy and assets, says Micha Emmett, the CEO of CS Global Partners. “Investing in second citizenship remains a highly sought-after commodity to provide safety and a valid exit strategy and also allow wealth preservation and financial privacy. In a country like China, that’s embroiled in a long trade war with the US — where economic stability is being threatened, and the government is pushing for even more monetary access — second citizenship feels like a necessity.”
According to Emmett, a popular option for Chinese HNWIs looking to diversify their wealth and secure financial privacy is an investment in an economic citizenship programme like that of St Kitts and Nevis. St Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme is recognised internationally as a ‘Platinum Standard’ brand and has been hailed by the annual CBI Index as offering the world’s fastest citizenship timeline. Applicants who pass vetting procedures can obtain citizenship and thus apply for a passport within three months.
Until the end of 2021, a family of up to four can receive St Kitts and Nevis citizenship with a contribution of $150,000 to a government fund instead of the previous $195,000. In exchange, investors are awarded citizenship which grants them rights to live, work and study on the dual island. Economic citizens also become eligible to travel to nearly 160 countries and territories.