Property developer Storm Gonsalves and his team have created a new luxury smart home development on a tiny island in the Grenadines. The remarkable thing about this development is that it is aiming to become the world’s first fully Bitcoin-enabled community.
One Bequia, situated nine miles from St. Vincent on the island of Bequia (pronounced ‘Bekway’), is a development of luxury bars, restaurants and smart villas, Each smart villa is furnished with the latest smart home technology. Residents will enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. All the Luxury Smart Villas are available to buy in Bitcoin.
One Bequia is a ” Crypto World”. Bitcoin is not only used for the sale of properties. Everything you purchase on One Bequia, from a bottle of beer to a deep tissue massage, is payable in Bitcoin too.
“The adoption of cryptocurrency is far from a gimmick”, explains property developer Storm Gonsalves. “It’s a response to the very real challenges faced by island communities increasingly cut-off from mainstream banking facilities.
“Residents of small island nations are finding it increasingly difficult to send and receive money internationally because of “derisking” by large international banks,” explains St. Vincent born Gonsalves, the man behind the luxury One Bequia development.
What is Derisking?
“Derisking is when these large institutions remove their intermediary banking services from smaller island-based community banks.
“This prevents the island-based banks from transacting internationally. If this trend continues it means small island nations will be essentially cut off from international trade and commerce. For tourism-based economies this will be devastating. This has pushed many Caribbean island nations to adopt blockchain and other cryptocurrencies a lot faster than other more developed nations. Bermuda, Bahamas, Barbados and now St. Vincent are leading the way in this regard.”
The Luxury Smart Villas
Prices for One Bequia’s 2-bedroom luxury smart villas start at US $950,000 (£700,000).
Each home has a designated property manager who looks after the property when the owner is away. Homeowners can check in on their home from anywhere in the world, at any time.
Known as the ‘island of the clouds’, Bequia’s ethos is ‘laid-back luxury’, making it distinct from its more traditional and formal neighbour of St. Vincent.
Their Target Audience
The developers behind One Bequia wish to attract a community of progressive, tech savvy investors in their late thirties and early forties.
Storm believes the smart villas would be an ideal investment for people who have already made money investing in crypto and blockchain technologies.
“Not everyone understands the advantage of cryptocurrencies. People are still sceptical. Early crypto investors are not your typical speculators and they believe strongly in the philosophy of decentralisation behind Bitcoin/blockchain. They are not your typical speculator.”
Bequia – fast facts
Ø Population: 5000
Ø Size: 7 Square Miles
Ø Bequia” pronounced “Bekway” means Island of the clouds in the indigenous garifuna language
Ø 30 minutes flight from Barbados, St. Lucia or Grenada or 5 minute flight from the mainland of St. Vincent
Ø St. Vincent has direct flights from Toronto, New York, Miami and from London with Virgin Atlantic Airlines from Summer 2021
Ø Several scheduled ferries cross daily from the mainland including a fast ferry which makes the journey in 20 minutes
Ø Former British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden called Bequia home for many years.
Ø Celebrities such as Tommy Hillfiger, Mick Jagger can be spotted here on day trips from Mustique.
Ø One of the best beaches on Bequia was named after Princess Margaret. It was well known that it was her favourite beach.
Ø Bequia was a favoured port of British Pirate Capt. Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard. He is know to have abandoned captured French sailors on Bequia.
Ø Pirates of the Caribbean. starring Johnny Depp, was filmed in and around Bequia.