EB5 Investors Magazine Volume 5, Issue 2 - Page 104

such as the EB-5 immigrant investor visa market, have been reluctant to make use of digital currencies in any significant way, in large part, because of the lack of information about the process and the concerns about the legitimacy and acceptance of the cryptocurrency industry and the volatility of its value. As the exchange and transfer of local currencies becomes more difficult amidst the backdrop of an increasingly global economy, the use of digital currencies will continue to grow. And while countries can attempt to regulate and restrict these digital currencies, market forces have demonstrated that such restrictions - unlike the restrictions placed by a government on its local currency - are far from effective. In light of this, digital currencies may become more and more relevant and useful to EB-5 investors from countries with such strict government controls over their local currency. RANA JAZAYERLI Rana Jazayerli is a partner at Phillips Lytle LLP’s Washington, D.C. office. As an immigration attorney, she has more than ten years of experience in representing individuals who seek U.S. permanent residency under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program, as well as U.S. companies that applies for EB-5 regional center designation to finance job creating projects. Jazayerli’s legal services also include handling employment-based visas, managing temporary employment visa such as H-1Bs and L-1As, and advising employers on proper I-9 form compliance. Sources: 1 Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin: a Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, (November 2008), https:/bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf. 2 Currently, bitcoin is trading at an all-time high value of over U.S. $8,000. So, an EB-5 investor seeking to exchange the equivalent of U.S. $550,000 for an EB-5 investment (and an administration fee), would currently need to purchase approximately 69 bitcoin. 3 It may even be possible for an investor to transfer the bitcoin directly to an EB-5 project with the bitcoin serving as the capital contribution. USCIS stated at an EB-5 Stakeholders meeting in March 2017 that it is “considering issues involving virtual currency such as bitcoin” related to the “use of bitcoin to transfer investment funds to the new commercial enterprise.” EB-5 National Stakeholder Engagement, Washington D.C., Remarks by Immigrant Investor Program Office (IPO) Division Chief Lori MacKenzie, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 3 (March 3, 2017), https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Outreach/ IPO_Division_Chief_Lori_MacKenzies_Remarks.pdf. 4 See Joseph Young, China Will Likely Resume Cryptocurrency Trading by Licensing Bitcoin Exchanges, CryptoCoinsNews (Oct. 6, 2017) https://www. cryptocoinsnews.com/china-will-likely-resume-cryptocurrency-tr Y[XKBX[[X][Y^[\ŒL PHSTԔHQVS