> PRBTA

Building an Inclusive CryptoCommunity

The Puerto Rico Blockchain Trade Association (PRBTA or the Association) was established to build an inclusive crypto community and propel Puerto Rico to the forefront of blockchain innovation. Whether you are a day trader or just cryptocurious, this Association benefits everyone on our island.

James Haft, Chairman DLTx and Commissioner Hester Pierce at PRBTA Conference

“We started the PRBTA because we wanted to build a community, facilitate knowledge- sharing about Web 3, and engage with the government on public policy,” said – Keiko Yoshino, the PRBTA Executive Director.

The PRBTA is passionate about creating an inclusive and accessible blockchain community in Puerto Rico. Learning about Web 3, especially crypto, can be overwhelming and finding credible resources for free, especially in Spanish, can be difficult. Which is why PRBTA launched CryptoCurious in the fall of 2021.

Keiko Yoshino, Executive Director & Shirley McPhaul-Castro, Director of CryptoCurious

“The island has the opportunity to be the next Singapore, but it is critical that we must activate a local talent pipeline, to ensure Puerto Ricans have both the skills and opportunity to compete for future blockchain jobs,” said Yoshino.

Crypto Curious’ mission is to make the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate blockchain technology, crypto-assets, and Web 3 0 accessible to everyone on the island. Shirely McPhaul-Castro, Director of CryptoCurious, runs weekly workshops on topics including Bitcoin, NFTs, and the Metaverse.

CryptoCurious has partnered with the University of Puerto Rico to bring panels to campus and frequent speakers at Association and local meet ups. CryptoCurious is made possible by our sponsors DEVxDAO and DLTx.

Giovanni Mendez, GEO Tax and Shirley McPhaul-Castro, Director of CryptoCurious

The PRBTA is also focused on advancing public policy, including government’s adoption of blockchain solutions and laws that provide clarity and guidance on cryptocurrency and fintech. While federal and state government agencies have attempted to issue guidance, they have been unable to keep up with the crypto frontier, and legislators are even further behind in defining regulatory parameters. The PRBTA engages with local government officials and agencies to advise and weigh in on blockchain public policy. From digital identity to defining staking and mining and everything in between, the Association aims to educate lawmakers and proactively participate in regulatory discussions.

Irelsa Golderos, Director of Events and Keiko Yoshino, Executive Director at the PRBTA Conference

Puerto Rico has become internationally known as a destination for tech entrepreneurs and crypto enthusiasts due in part to favorable tax incentives under Act 60. This Act compiles 73 tax incentives, in twelve industry chapters, ranging from manufacturing and sustainability, creative and hospitality, export services, and individual investors that provide benefits such as 4% tax corporate tax and 0% capital gains.

Keiko Yoshino, Executive Director

As a result, Puerto Rico has become home to companies such as DLTx, DARMA, Graviton, Inc., Chainwave, and Pantera. The Puerto Rican scene is just as fascinating and full of entrepreneurs, builders and creatives who have seized the opportunity to participate in Web 3. These include Neftify, a local startup focused on gaming DAOs, Puerto Rican Tattoo artist Juan Salgado’s membership project: “TattooSkullzSociety,” and “The AlluringPeacock”, an NFT fashion designer.

Puerto Rico Blockchain Week will take place December 5th-10th, 2022, following Art Basel Miami. Details can be found at www.prblockchainweek.io

Shirley McPhaul-Castro, Director of CryptoCurious

The Association was founded last summer (2021) by Keiko Yoshino and Giovanni Mendez. Ms. Yoshino, PRBTA Executive Director, is a public policy attorney with a background in economic development and local government. Mr. Mendez, an advisor to the Association, is the founder of GEO Tax and a leading authority on Act 60 and cryptocurrency in Puerto Rico.

I believe this “crypto movement”, which is just getting started, represents an opportunity for Puerto Ricans to feel empowered and gain some sense of control, something that we desperately need due to our socio-political circumstances, especially after the last five years since hurricane Maria in 2017. The drive, desire and “hunger” that I see from local entrepreneurs, tech startups and digital artists who now are “crypto curious” is not just noticeable, it’s exactly what we need.” — Shirley McPhaul-Castro

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