A wave of crypto millionaires and other investors is arriving in Puerto Rico in recent years. They seek not only the warmth or tranquility of the Caribbean, but also its famous tax exemptions.
Throughout the archipelago, they buy residences, establish businesses and move with their families from the United States or other countries.
At the same time, some Puerto Ricans denounce that these investors are responsible for the skyrocketing of housing prices in some cities and towns, which has led to protests against the displacement of the population in recent months. local.
“I moved to Puerto Rico on March 8, 2021, and what attracted me was that I saw my friends, like David Namdar, from New York, moving here,” he explains. David Johnston in an interview with BBC World.
Johnston has benefited from the so-called Law 60 of Puerto Rico, which allows some investors do not pay capital gains tax after becoming residents of the island.
He is the head of operations of the DLTx company, focused on the use of blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies in the traditional economy.
He assures that when he arrived in San Juan he found a community so active on the subject of blockchain that he decided to return to California, talk to his wife and move with his family to Puerto Rico.
“It’s been pretty amazing how it (the blockchain community) grows almost every week. I have a friend who called me to say, ‘Hey, I’m going to be your neighbor.’ We decided to move to the suburbs, in Guaynabo, south of San Juan and It’s been great: we live in a beautiful American-style neighborhood,” he says.
Due to the tax benefits, Puerto Rico became an attractive destination for entrepreneurs from various sectors, but the arrival of those who work in the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies has had more impact.
It was in 2018, after the passage of a year before the devastating hurricane María, when international media reported for the first time a boom of crypto-millionaires moving to the archipelago. At the time, the newcomers said they would turn Puerto Rico, devastated by the cyclone, into “Puertopia,” a technological utopia.
This caught the attention of entrepreneurs like Johnston, who was working in California at the time. In 2020, moving to Puerto Rico became a real option.
“Especially because of the pandemic, a lot of the friends that I have who are young entrepreneurs, people who do blockchain protocols, they started moving (to Puerto Rico) and that was a signal for me to say ‘Well, I have to look at this’ “, Explain.
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