Ivan Duque, who recently took the office as the president, makes a major step towards blockchain and cryptocurrency development in Colombia.
Colombian President Ivan Duque has recently promised to cut taxes for cryptocurrency and blockchain startups, local newspaper El Tiempo reported Wednesday, August 29.
Duque delivered an opening message during ANDICOM, an international congress on information and communications technology (ICT) held annually in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. A recording of his speech is now available on YouTube.
President confessed that he was "obsessed" with technology, especially with robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). He further stressed that Colombia needs its own regulator for the ICT industry and promised to establish a high council for the transformation and digital society.
According to Duque, the use of advanced technologies might help the state tackle corruption along with improving such areas as security, justice and medicine. He proposed to leverage blockchain and AI to track public funds and detect abnormalities.
Moving on to the crypto industry, Duque promised to relieve cryptocurrency-related businesses of rent taxes for as long as five years, provided they generate a certain number of new jobs.
Ivan Duque is the current president of Colombia. He took office in August 2018 after winning the elections earlier in May. The politician has a strong financial background, previously holding significant positions in the country’s Ministry of Finance and Inter-American Development Bank.
As Cointelegraph reported earlier, Colombian senate is similarly optimistic about blockchain, stating that it "could change lives" after a debate in June. In addition to that, a national blockchain association was established in the country in May.
At the same time, the country’s financial industry has been quite sceptical about cryptocurrencies so far. For instance, at one point Colombian banks closed all accounts of a South American crypto exchange Buda.com, as Cointelegraph reported June 2018.