Building a blockchain island in Puerto Rico

In brief

  • The fourth-annual CoinAgenda Caribbean conference was held in San Juan last week.
  • Crypto investors and entrepreneurs such as Michael Terpin and Brock Pierce provided their insight as inhabitants of the island.
  • While Puerto Rico faces various unique challenges, blockchain industry remain optimistic in the island’s potential.

SAN JUAN—Is Puerto Rico any closer to becoming the “crypto haven” that blockchain entrepreneurs and investors once promised? The attendees of Thursday’s fourth-annual CoinAgenda Caribbean conference in San Juan certainly think so.

A mix of local crypto enthusiasts and tourists gathered on the island late last week to discuss Puerto Rico’s potential as a hub of blockchain investing and industry. Its speaker list featured heavyweight crypto luminaries who have spent considerable time and money in Puerto Rico already, such as Michael Terpin—founder and CEO of Transform Group, which runs the CoinAgenda conference—and Brock Pierce, co-founder of EOS software development firm Block.one.

Between the local crypto tax incentives, efforts for blockchain focused programming education, cryptocurrency banking developments, and philanthropic efforts, the Puerto Rico crypto community is convinced that the island can be a beacon of innovation for the industry.

Here’s why:

According to Puerto Rican tax attorney Giovanni Mendez, the island provides unique tax incentives for local entrepreneurs as a result of Puerto Rico’s Act 60.

During his talk at the event, Mendez said that this initiative provides the enticing benefit of 0% capital gains tax on crypto assets. US citizens who migrate to the island for over half of the days of the year do not need to give up their citizenship to qualify, since Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States.

“I believe that the tax incentives are helping economic development. There needs to be added regulation for growth of the industry,” said Mendez.

Michael Terpin, who was one of the first…

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