The “Sango coin” went on sale on July 25, despite bitcoin’s price plummeting in recent months and doubts about the project’s viability in the war-torn, poorly connected country.
Under this initiative, foreign investors could purchase citizenship for $60,000 in cryptocurrencies — with equivalent Sango coins held as collateral for five years — and “e-Residency” for $6,000 held for three years. according to the Sango website. A 250 square meter lot was also offered for $10,000, with Sango Coins held for ten years.
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But the country’s highest court ruled the purchases were “unconstitutional”, arguing, among other things, that citizenship has no market value and that residency requires a physical presence in the Central African Republic (CAR), as per the decree.
The impact on the Sango Coin initiative was not immediately clear. Government spokesman Serge Jory said he had nothing to do with the decision. The CAR, one of the world’s poorest countries, became the first country in Africa to make bitcoin legal tender in April, drawing surprise from cryptocurrency experts and prompting the International Monetary Fund to warn that it is not a “panacea” for the continent’s problems.
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President Faustin-Archange Touadéra championed the Sango coin as a solution to financial isolation that would facilitate investment in the CAR’s vast mineral resources. But sales of the $21 million initially offered lenses were slow, with just over 7% of the lenses purchased to date.