Is Puerto Rico ready to be the next blockchain utopia?

Puerto Rico’s government is trying to attract blockchain businesses, but will this ultimately help or harm the island?

Puerto Rico has had a difficult couple of years. Its economy has been in dire straits and last year Hurricane Maria devastated the island. The government faces a tough task in rebuilding its economy, but it is amid this backdrop that entrepreneurs are trying to craft a tech scene on the US commonwealth island with mixed results.

Blockchain in particular is on the radar of the island’s economic officials. The technology is very much a buzzword right now and regulators across the world are grappling with the best way to embrace it while also regulating it. It’s a delicate balance that a few countries and regions are leading the way in, but no one has perfected yet.

Puerto Rico has now established an advisory council, made up of public and private entities, with the stated aim of making Puerto Rico a go-to destination for blockchain startups and developers.

What is blockchain all about? What’s the current state of the vendor market? And is its biggest potential in securing the Internet of Things? Find out in: A c-suite guide to blockchain 2018

Generally, Puerto Rico has been looking for ways to attract new investors to buoy the disaster-struck island, whether this is traditional investors or new crypto ones. In February, the island hosted its annual investment summit, which saw among the usual hedge fund managers, the arrival of new faces touting all things cryptocurrency.

Among them was Michael Terpin who runs the PR firm Transform Group, representing many cryptocurrency and blockchain startups. He told crowds at the conference that crypto enthusiasts like him were keen to take advantage of the island’s tax codes and set up shop in Puerto Rico.

For years the island has suffered from a brain drain and one of Terpin’s big promises is that these companies would bring jobs to the island, specifically highly-skilled tech jobs.

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