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Crypto currencies are under criticism. Financial institutions demand stronger regulation and banks warn of total losses. Another vision is driving young men from the USA, because they want to establish the first crypto city on Puerto Rico, according to the New York Times.

Puertopia is the vision of some young entrepreneurs. But the name isn’t that simple, because translated it means Eternal Boy Playground and therefore the name could be changed to Sol, according to the New York Times.

Why is it possible?

In recent years, many entrepreneurs have become wealthy through blockchain technology and crypto currencies. The New York Times writes that the young men are now selling their homes in the sunny state of California and heading to Puerto Rico. It’s about avoiding taxes and building a crypto utopia: a city with virtual money and transparent contracts. They want to prove that blockchain technology can redefine a society.

Basis of the idea

After Hurricane Maria last autumn, many parts of Puerto Rico’s infrastructure were destroyed. At that time, the crypto entrepreneurs had already been searching for a suitable location for a year. Today, crypto entrepreneurs spend their days looking for real estate where they could build their own airports and docks. They already have a hotel and a museum in the historic part of the capital, the Old San Juan. They are also said to be close to getting the local government to allow them the first crypto-currency bank.

Tax paradise Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico offers an unprecedented tax incentive: no personal income tax, no capital gains tax, and low corporate taxes – all without sacrificing American citizenship.

Local politics is open to crypto entrepreneurs

For now, the local government seems to be receptive to the crypto utopians. The governor will speak at their blockchain summit conference, called Puerto Crypto, in March. The new arrivals are still debating the exact form that Puertopia is to take. Some think they have to build a city, others think it’s okay to move to old San Juan. Hedge fund manager Robb Rill reports, “They call me and say they want to buy 250,000 acres so they can build their own city, literally a city in Puerto Rico, to have their own crypto world.”

First at the Hotel Monastery

Until the Puertopians have found land, they have stayed at the Hotel Monastery. The object was largely spared from Hurricane Maria. They rented the 20,000 square metre hotel as a base. “We are benevolent capitalists building a benevolent economy,” Matt Clemenson (34) told NYT, a co-founder of that uses blockchain technology in lotteries.

The leader of the new movement

The leader of the new movement is Brock Pierce (37). He came to the island at the beginning of December. Mr. Pierce, the director of the Bitcoin Foundation, is an important figure in the crypto boom. He co-founded the Blockchain-for-Business start-up company Block.One, which sold around $200 million of a virtual currency (EOS) in an ICO. The value of all outstanding EOS tokens is around 6.5 billion dollars. At the same time, Pierce is a controversial figure, as he was sued for fraud, among other things, according to the NYT. “I’m worried that people will misinterpret our actions,’ Pierce said. And he goes on: “That we are just coming to Puerto Rico to avoid taxes.”

Follower of Pierce

Pierce told the NYT that his efforts are aimed at sending a charitable message called ONE, with a billion dollars of his own money. But money doesn’t seem to matter anymore. “He’s prepared for a higher calling,” said Kai Nygard, a scion of the Canadian apparel company Nygard and crypto investor. “He is beyond money,” said Nygard. Pierce regularly performs rituals, according to the NYT. He also sleeps a few nights on a solid grounding mat to stay in contact with the earth’s electrical energy.

“We will create this crypto land,” Bryan Larkin told the NYT. He’s made about $2 billion mining Bitcoin and is chief technology officer of Blockchain Industries, a publicly traded company based in Puerto Rico.

Another crypto heavyweight is Reeve Collins. He was co-founder of the controversial crypto currency Tether. “Well, no. No, I don’t want to pay taxes,” Collins said. “This is the first time in human history that anyone other than kings, governments or gods can create their own money,” Collins said. He came to Puerto Rico from Santa Monica and is now starting a local crypto-currency incubator called Vatom Factory.

There is also criticism

Andria Satz, 33, who grew up in Old San Juan and works for the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico: “We are the tax haven for the rich”. And further sentence means: “Outsiders get tax exemptions and locals don’t get permits.” Others fear that the island will be used for an experiment and speak of “crypto-colonialism,” according to the NYT.