The island’s legislature in Puerto Rico intends to use blockchain to ensure transparency of operations and accountability of the public sector.
The small island nation of Puerto Rico, with a population of 3.3 million, has been rocked by a string of corruption scandals. The latter erupted last Friday, when the mayor of the city of Catano pleaded guilty to accepting bribes worth more than $ 100,000 in exchange for preferential treatment of municipal contracts. According to the FBI’s Puerto Rican office, other indictments are pending against a number of government officials.
Rafael Hernandez, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico, announced that he has planned a series of consultations with representatives of the blockchain industry. The main agenda of the meetings is a discussion of the application of blockchain and smart contracts in the public sector, which will help to ensure control of operations in the public sector.
“We have a real trust issue. And blockchain can be part of the solution to this problem. In addition to fighting corruption, the industry meetings will be part of a broader plan to turn the island into a hub for blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation, ”Hernandez said.
Although the island is part of the United States, Puerto Rico does not levy capital gains taxes, including profits from cryptocurrency transactions. Puerto Rico is the only place in the United States where investment income, dividends and interest are tax-free. Tax breaks are attracting cryptocurrency companies and new residents to Puerto Rico. The Economic Development Department says the demand for tax breaks has tripled in 2021.