Javier Malave, Programmes Director at Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust has stated that Tax Incentive, Equity Free Grants, Infrastructure and Talent Base is driving the “Crypto Migration” to the Island state of Puerto Rico. The phenomenon, he thinks, is influenced by Act 273 known as the International Financial Centre Regulatory Act which was enacted to promote Economic growth by expanding Puerto Rico as an international financial center.
Malave made the statement when he was speaking on the topic, the State of Blockchain In Puerto Rico at a Webinar session at the Mauritius Blockchain Meet-Up. The Mauritius Blockchain Meet Up Group organised the event in collaboration with the Blockchain (Mauritius) Foundation and Mauritius Africa Fintech Hub in Port Louis, Mauritius over the weekend; he explained Act 273 had strengthened the presence of international financial Institutions facilitating the export of financial services to clients outside the Island.
He outlined tax incentives like the 4% fixed income tax on all corporate profits; 100% tax-free dividends to non-Puerto Rican residents; 6% Income tax rate in distribution to Puerto Rican residents; 100% exemption from municipal taxes and real and property taxes.
“Moreover, new legislation like Act 20/22 guarantees
4% taxation of ICO’s (Utility Tokens), 100% Tax freedom on Passive Income
and Crypto Trading,” he hinted. It is the view of Malave that his country will become the tax haven for Blockchain and other financial technologies in the world and that Puerto Rico has a lot in common with the Indian Ocean Archilapago of Mauritius.
Grants, Infrastructure And Talent Base
The policies by the Puerto Rican government to attract investments in the fintech sector seems diverse. There are grants for startups, research, and development.
“Under the Startup Accelerator Grant and Research and Development Programme, the SBIR/STTR support entities with equity free grants between $40,000 to $100,000,” the Programmes Manager revealed.
Further, there are several Initiatives targeting infrastructure and talent development. Some of them, Malave indicated include the Consensys Academy for Blockchain Developers, Hackathons (Call for Code), Edublock, Hyperledger Puerto Rico and Trust in Blockchain Programme.
The Blockchain Advisory Council of Puerto Rico which is under the auspices of the Department of Economic Development and commerce is tasked with the role of ensuring a conducive business environment for the industry. The efforts have yielded in companies and projects like PR Blockchain Non-Profit Contribution Tracking Application, Pixura, ETHERISC, Elixium, Watt Watt, New Horizon among others that have become a panacea to problems like energy supply, natural disaster, lack of capital acquisition and provision of decentralised applications.