Puerto Rico Set To Launch Blockchain Council
Puerto Rico is set to launch a Blockchain Advisory Council with the help of the Department of Economic Development and Trade. According to a report by Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dia, the department aims to use the council to work “unofficially as a kind of filter” to identify projects which can actually benefit the local population.
Representatives from both public and private sector make up the council. Notably, its members include the Secretary of Treasury Raul Maldonado, Puerto Rican government CIO Luis Orocho, and a number of Blockchain entrepreneurs and investors.
Council member, Manuel Laboy Rivera, the Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce, thinks that blockchain technology “is accelerating economic and social changes worldwide” and says Puerto Ricans want to be a part of it. Some of the Caribbean Island officials have also suggested that “industry leaders from the United States” might be present, but their identities are yet to be disclosed.
Tether’s Involvement with the Caribbean Island
The establishment of Puerto Rico’s Blockchain council has come at a time when Tether has been reported to be using the island’s Noble Bank as its main reserve bank. Notably, BitMEX, or the Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange, has released a report that investigates the possible connection of Tether with the U.S. territory. Based on the exchange’s findings, the International Financial Entities category has experienced a sizable growth.
Although this information couldn’t be used to prove the link, careful comparison of the inflow of funds from the International Financial Entities, which were $3.3 billion of deposits in late 2017, and the “bump” in Tether’s prices, which shot up by 215% near the end of 2017, BitMEX came to the conclusion that Tether had to be a Noble Bank customer.
Finally, the report warned Tether that its operations would be suspended if it did not start complying with KYL/AMC regulations.
Puerto Rico May Be A Cryptocurrency Haven
Puerto Rico might have been the perfect place for Tether, due to the absence of crypto regulations on the island. In fact, crypto enthusiasts do look to Puerto Rico as a haven for cryptocurrency-related business. This is according to a number of reports circulating on the internet that tell stories of crypto-entrepreneurs who were setting up camp on the island, in an effort to dodge federal and state taxes on their businesses.
The reports also indicate that these entrepreneurs are working on building:
“a new city where the money is virtual and the contracts are all public, to show the rest of the world what a crypto future could look like”
Given these developments, the US government is looking to develop and enforce proper regulations on cryptocurrencies.