Newly elected President Ivan Duque is encouraging blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation in Colombia. Duque has issued a welcoming call for blockchain and crypto start ups as part of his broader effort to use blockchain technology to fight corruption and support economic growth within the country. Duque plans on offering crypto entrepreneurs based in Colombia exemption from federal income tax for the companies’ first five years.
Making Colombia a Leader in Blockchain Technology
Colombian President Ivan Duque announced that his “obsession” during his tenure will be to make Colombia a technology leader in the region, offering business opportunities in fields like robotics, artificial intelligence, telemedicine, blockchain and cryptocurrency. Duque’s interest in blockchain and cryptocurrency has been reported to be gaining support from government officials and business executives.
“If we want to overcome corruption, technology can be instrumental,” said Duque in his opening address at ANDICOM, an international congress on information and communications technology (ICT) held annually in Caragena de Indias, Colombia. Duque added that the government should start by setting an example if it is serious about modernizing Colombia. As part of this effort, Duque’s administration plans on submitting a legislative proposal in the coming weeks to further deregulate various economic sectors.
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Duque added that he believes blockchain technology could play a critical role in fixing corruption, while improving national governance, healthcare and security. He specifically stated that blockchain could be used to track public funds and detect anomalies in the management of resources.
President Duque is aiming at making Colombia a regional hotbed for cryptocurrency and blockchain entrepreneurship. He plans on offering income tax exemption status to any cryptocurrency firm based in Colombia for the company’s first five years, provided they provide sufficient jobs to Colombian citizens.
Colombia’s efforts to attract entrepreneurs in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries is being compared to a successful campaign by the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta to become one of the world’s major cryptocurrency hubs. Commonly referred to as ‘Blockchain Island‘, the otherwise innocuous nation of Malta now hosts the activity of many of the biggest cryptocurrency firms in the world, including the European arm of leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance.
Duque concluded his speech by emphasizing the need for a “marriage” between the public and private sectors, with each helping support the growth and innovation of the other. This call was met with uproarious applause by the ANDICOM conference’s 500 attendees. CEO of Telefonica Colombia Fabian Hernandez felt quite positively about Duque’s technological vision for the future of Colombia, adding that his company was committed to Duque’s agenda.
The president of Tigo-Une, Marcelo Cataldo, said that President Duque’s message gave “clarity and hope.”