Newly-elected president of Colombia Ivan Duque has outlined his desire to turn the country into a leader in technology on the global stage, with an emphasis on harnessing blockchain to fight corruption.
President Duque has said the official focus of the government will now be directed towards issues relating to digital society, with blockchain linked to the plan by being utilized in helping increase the transparency of public expenditure.
One specific policy he plans to implement is a tax exemption for the information and communications technologies sector for their first five years should they employ enough staff, something that could encourage new blockchain-related startups. The government has also organized the INNOVA blockchain research group to find ways to protect citizens utilizing the technology.
The new Colombian leader comes from a background in technology and business rather than politics, which some consider a beneficial change while others have criticized his lack of experience. His work history includes time at the Inter-American Development Bank, the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Following a regional trend
In June, Senator Antonio Navarro Wolff of the Green Alliance said that blockchain technology had the potential to change the lives of Colombians. He highlighted its use cases in administration, protection of rights, electoral legitimacy and transparency, and management of public services, to name just a few.
Senator Wolff went on to explain the basics of cryptocurrency transactions to the Senate committee, and how blockchain enables the transactions to alternative wallets. He applauded that ease and nearly costless nature at which this can be achieved compared to the difficulties in making international bank transactions.
A lack of regulation in Colombia was cited by the senator as problematic; without comprehensive laws, there are no ways to prohibit illicit activities such as tax evasion or sale of illegal goods.
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