Blockchain industry is still quite young. Bitcoin was developed right after the 2008 economic crisis. Its goal is to have a currency that is not dependent on a country’s economy.
And since it is still young, regulators are still confused on how to approach the market. China has decided to ban crypto-related activities including crypto exchanges and initial coin offerings. Why ban crypto-related activities when China expressed its support to the underlying blockchain technology? One of the possible reasons behind this decision by Chinese regulators is to stop capital outflow considering the highly volatile nature of the market.
On the other hand, you have a country such as Malta that has welcomed crypto companies. And because of this, it has become a hub for different crypto exchanges as well as ICOs. In fact, Kraken decided to leave Japan and transfer to a crypto-friendlier location after Japanese regulators decided to change the regulatory requirements for cryptocurrency exchanges.
Colombia Welcomes the Crypto Industry?
The new president of Colombia, Ivan Duque announced that he is obsessed in making the country a tech leader in the region. He was speaking at the ANDICOM conference when he expressed his interest in cutting-edge technologies including blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
He finds blockchain technology appealing since it has the potential to prevent corrupt practices within the government considering that everything is made public. It shows permanent records of transactions, not to mention the blockchain is hard to tamper. Duque worked for Inter-American Development Bank before he entered politics.
He is also inviting IT companies by lifting taxes for the first five years if the companies can generate a specific number of jobs for Colombians. This could potentially include crypto-related companies.
Though this approach seems like a breath of fresh air for the country, many are quite concerned about Duque’s lack of experience politically. Many are looking at Duque’s lack of political experience as a hindrance between the efforts to have a peace deal with FARC.
However, Duque isn’t alone in his vision to make Colombia as a tech hub in Latin America. In June, Senator Antonio Navarro Wolff mentioned that blockchain could potentially help change the lives of Colombian citizens. He thinks that it can help the voting system and help public resource management in the country.
Colombia isn’t the only country in the region that has a positive stance regarding cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. You also have the likes of Venezuela. In fact, Venezuela, in February, announced having their very own state-backed cryptocurrency that is called the Petro. The Petro is allegedly backed by oil. However, there are recent reports saying that there really is no oil to back the cryptocurrency.
It becomes tricky from there because Venezuela decided to have a new currency. This time around, the Sovereign Bolivar is backed by the Petro. Venezuela is dealing with hyperinflation and it hopes that Petro could help alleviate the country’s economic problems.
Blockchain within Latin America is becoming quite popular. Is Duque going to attract crypto-related businesses to transfer to this part of the world? Could his vision of seeing Colombia as a tech leader in Latin America come true under his regime?