The cryptocurrency industry is looking at Puerto Rico next

  • Cryptocurrency experts and entrepreneurs are betting on Puerto Rico as the next hot place to do business.
  • The government is making efforts to support the industry, and said it was forming an advisory council to help blockchain businesses grow.
  • Bitcoin bull Brian Kelly calls Puerto Rico a ‘viable’ place to set up shop for cryptocurrency businesses.

Puerto Rico could well be the next hot place to do business for the cryptocurrency industry, said experts and entreprenenurs at a blockchain conference this week, while government officials unveiled efforts to support the industry there.

Manuel Laboy, secretary of Puerto Rico’s Department of Economic Development and Commerce, announced on Thursday that it was forming an advisory council to help blockchain businesses grow.

The U.S. territory also offers tax benefits to businesses that relocate there.

At the three-day Blockchain Unbound conference this week at San Juan, Puerto Rico, Laboy told CNBC that it’s a win-win situation for investors and Puerto Rico is eager to be part of the expanding cryptocurrency market.

He said that for every 14 available blockchain developer jobs, there is only one qualified person to fill the position.

“The government is looking for new ways to attract business,” bitcoin bull Brian Kelly told CNBC. “Cryptocurrency is a new business.”

He called Puerto Rico a “viable” place to set up shop. “As viable a place as Switzerland, as Singapore, as Hong Kong,” Kelly, founder and chief executive officer of the investment firm BKCM, said on “Fast Money.”

“And that what we’re all here to find out, is how to do it in this environment,” he added.

The cryptocurrency market has fallen on hard times recently, sparked by regulatory fears and Google’s recent announcement that it is banning advertising related to cryptocurrency. Ripple, ethereum, bitcoin and litecoin were all down in the last week as a result of selloffs.

“It’s probably a concern for the industry,” Blockchain Industries Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Moynihan told CNBC in Puerto Rico.

Bitcoin, the popular digital currency that reached highs around $19,500 last December, fell below $8,000 this week.

CNBC’s Seema Mody contributed to this article.

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