Crypto Enthusiasts Flock to Puerto Rico for Its First-Ever Major Blockchain Conference

Puerto Rican officials see being a part of the expanding crypto market as being a win-win situation for investors and the U.S. territory.

Bitcoin enthusiasts may be ending the week feeling a bit lousy about the crypto’s price performance, but for those attending a conference in Puerto Rico, the mood is likely a bit more lively.

Called the Blockchain Unbound conference, the three-day event was held in San Juan from March 14 through March 16. Participants were afforded more details about how the U.S. territory is positioning itself to be a major player in the crypto space when it comes to Blockchain.

Let’s discuss.

Puerto Rico’s efforts in Blockchain

At the conference, Manuel Laboy, the secretary of Puerto Rico's Department of Economic Development and Commerce, made an important announcement about the U.S. territory’s latest Blockchain efforts.

He said that an advisory council is being launched to help Blockchain businesses grow in the U.S. territory.

Also noted was that for every 14 available Blockchain developer jobs, there was only one qualified person to fill the position, reported Brian Kelly, who attended the three-day event. He regularly appears on CNBC’s Fast Money show to discuss Bitcoin.

Calling Puerto Rico a viable place to set up shop, Kelly said from the conference:

"The government is looking for new ways to attract business. And that what we're all here to find out, is how to do it in this environment.”

Gov. Ricardo Rossello has made it clear that his administration would like to “take advantage of the Blockchain component of it because it has transformative and disruptive components for business and for government.”

Perceived hurdles

We told you last month about Puerto Rico’s interest in the crypto space coming as it faces a number of hurdles that have depressed its economy. This includes last year’s Hurricane Maria, which has been described as the worst natural disaster to ever hit Puerto Rico. Some areas are still without power or running water, now six months after the storm.

We also reported to you how that hasn’t deterred many crypto entrepreneurs from gearing up to move their businesses to Puerto Rico to capitalize on massive tax incentives.

Tax incentives win for many

As the left-over devastation from the storm aren’t deterring crypto enthusiasts from moving to Puerto Rico, there’s something that is not phasing government officials. That is the influx of U.S. citizens trying to avoid taxes.

As noted above, those massive tax incentives, outweigh the territory’s devastation. Although, it is unclear how many are actually living in Puerto Rico.

No matter, Puerto Rico is attractive for crypto enthusiasts thanks to an exemption within the Internal Revenue Code, called Act 22, which allows non-residents of Puerto Rico to pay no taxes on their long-term capital gains, according to CNBC.