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HomeNewsCosta RicaIs Costa Rica Becoming a Growing Hub for Cryptocurrency?

Is Costa Rica Becoming a Growing Hub for Cryptocurrency?

Costa Rica ranks 92nd in Chainalysis’ Global Cryptocurrency Adoption Index 2023. The report highlights widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies, with many companies accepting them as valid payment methods. “It is not surprising that Costa Rica has 6 Bitcoin ATMs for a population of only 5 million, as this is a country where workers can receive a portion of their salaries in crypto,” the report mentioned.

Moreover, the adoption of cryptocurrencies in Costa Rica has been rapid, and the country has adapted favorably to blockchain technology. The document highlights that the country “has become a hub for cryptocurrencies,” showcasing a vibrant crypto ecosystem, with companies such as Asos Blockchain, which “brings together the country’s leading web3 builders,” organizing events such as The Tico Blockchain Conference and the community-led Crypto Cantina.

Regarding crypto regulation, the report notes that Costa Rica seeks to be a friendly nation, with significantly low taxes. It highlights that Congresswoman Johana Obando has presented a Crypto assets Market Law (MECA) whose clear objective is to “regulate the cryptocurrency market,” offering “clarity and protection to individuals and companies investing in crypto assets, while fostering an ecosystem to attract investment.”

According to lawmakers, the Costa Rican government should recognize cryptocurrencies and allow individuals to own and spend them freely. The goal is to attract foreign investors, financial technology companies, and tourists, as well as create jobs for Costa Ricans in the technology and tourism sectors.

For the moment, cryptocurrencies are not regulated by the Central Bank of Costa Rica. However, they are legal and recognized as a legitimate means of payment.

U.S. Government experts, Anne Neuberger and Nathaniel Fick, referred to the issue and pointed out that the country should pay attention to this matter. There have been reports of kidnapping ransoms, extortion payments, and illegal transactions executed with cryptocurrencies, a way of handling money on digital platforms that lack the traceability of the ordinary financial market, which is of concern to U.S. government officials.

“We are concerned that money moves narcotics trafficking, human trafficking, cybercrime, and governments that want to get away without sanctions to enforce standards of behavior,” expounded Deputy Homeland Security Advisor Anne Neuberger. Both indicated that crypto has many advantages, but that the country cannot lose sight of the fact that it can also be used for illicit activities and must work to mitigate the risks.

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