Blockchain advisory council established by Puerto Rico government
SAN JUAN – The Puerto Rico government has created an advisory council to foster the development of blockchain businesses on the island.
The move was announced by Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Manuel Laboy Thursday during the Blockchain Unbound conference, held at the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel in San Juan.
Blockchain Unbound is an international conference connecting the island with more than 50 blockchain, cryptocurrency and initial-coin-offering (ICO) stakeholders.
Rivera explained that the council is composed of a mix of public and private sector representatives, including himself, the government’s chief innovation officer, and the Treasury secretary, as well as a mix of entrepreneurs and investors who have moved to Puerto Rico.
Blockchain “is accelerating economic and social changes worldwide and Puerto Rico wants to be a part of it,” Coindesk.com quoted him as saying.
The creation of the council comes after a number of high-profile blockchain and cryptocurrency entrepreneurs followed investor Brock Pierce to Puerto Rico with plans to set up a “city” that would conduct transactions using blockchain and have its own cryptocurrency.
Puerto Rico already uses two local laws, such as Act 22, to attract individual investors to the island with a host of tax incentives.
Rivera said the government was seeking to implement a legal framework to support blockchain businesses.
Meanwhile, George Joyner, the Financial Institutions commissioner, stressed at the conference that local banks must abide by federal law. Currently, local banks are not allowed to deal with virtual currencies.
“We should look for the correct method to address the concerns and meet requirements of regulation. But we have to find a way; this technology will be ubiquitous,” he said.