No, the Virgin Islands is not moving to an all-bitcoin-based-economy or doing away with the United States dollar, despite what more than a few fake news sites suggested or implied in the past days based on a press release they apparently misread. Then this week, local news outlets, in turn, started reporting on what the international sites were reporting. Stop the madness. Yes, a company called LIFElabs.io is planning to offer a VI cryptocurrency, an idea explained at last week’s Digital Symposium. It will be pegged to the US dollar and work alongside it, tied in to an “ecosystem” through which customers can use the currency via an app or a debit card. At no time, however, was it ever suggested or hinted that BVI~LIFE would “replace” the US dollar. Relying on the US dollar, in fact, allows the VI many advantages and few disadvantages, and the Beaconite believes there is absolutely no reason to try to “break the reliance” on it, as some sites implied.
Who’s the DPP?
In October, when a Beaconite reported on the sudden resignation of Director of Public Prosecutions Kim Hollis, he reached out to Ms. Hollis and to Deputy Governor David Archer Jr. for a comment on the matter. This request came up empty, as the Beaconite was never contacted by Ms. Hollis, Mr. Archer, nor anyone from their offices. Mr. Archer wrote, in a statement announcing Ms. Hollis’ resignation, that she would be leaving the territory in December. As the second week of the month comes to a close, government has yet to inform the public when Ms. Hollis will officially depart, when the new DPP will assume their responsibilities, or even if a new DPP has been selected. The Beaconite understands that it is his job as a reporter to update the community on government affairs, but he still thinks that it would be in the government’s best interest to regularly communicate with the public about important administrative matters. The Beaconite finally spoke Tuesday morning with someone from the Deputy Governor’s Office about Ms. Hollis’ resignation, but only after making numerous requests for interviews, some as early as the previous Thursday, with officials from multiple branches of government. While he appreciates every government official who takes the time to speak with reporters, the Beaconite doesn’t think that any resident, reporter or otherwise, should have to go to such lengths to know the status of one of the territory’s most important legal posts.
Spending two weeks overseas with family has been a whirlwind of emotions for one Beaconite. She was reminded frequently of her background and the expectations placed on her. Many times, she’s been told to settle down and get married sooner rather than later. She’s been told that she’s at the perfect age to do so, and to let her parents find a suitable life partner. This is customary in Bangladesh and Pakistan, but Western ideals and culture have shaped her worldview more. That’s why she has come to the Virgin Islands in pursuit of her career, in a journey of fulfillment. She wonders what kinds of pressures women in the Caribbean face — whether they are similar — and if she will ever strike a balance between Western ideal and Bangladeshi custom. Diaspora and the re-inventing of an identity is not new to the VI. Perhaps this reporter can learn from history.
A Reporter’s Notebook item two weeks ago noted that the Beacon had printed “tenants” instead of “tenets” in a quote from a legislator. But the item attributed the quote to the wrong person. It was Opposition Leader Marlon Penn who correctly used the word.