For about a decade, Puerto Rico has offered huge tax breaks to individuals who become residents and corporations who export services in a bid to attract wealthy investors. In recent years, cryptocurrency investors have begun to take advantage of this by moving to Puerto Rico to enjoy zero tax on capital gains, dividends, and interest—benefits that aren't available to residents who already live there.
People like Bitcoin billionaire Brock Pierce, YouTuber Logan Paul, and Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen have already relocated to the island to take advantage of its tax breaks and join with others attempting to build a community there?even as the influx of wealthy mainlanders seems to be creating a real estate bubble that is pricing out locals. In the latest episode of CRYPTOLAND, Motherboard visited Puerto Rico to talk with Brandon Mansilla, a crypto investor specifically in the new and risky frontier of memecoins and DeFi (decentralized finance) who also relocated to the island territory in hopes of not only protecting his crypto holdings from taxes but also taking advantage of the breaks to grow them even faster.
Mansilla, who last year was working as a loan assistance officer in Florida, quit his job after making a series of increasingly profitable trades in Dogecoin, Ravencoin, and eventually SafeMoon. SafeMoon—a cryptocurrency that went megaviral after celebrities and influencers boosted the coin—proved to be his most lucrative investment, with his $110,000 investment growing to well over $7 million. The altcoin's price would eventually plummet close to 90 percent, but Mansilla exited his position with nearly $1 million. He had already relocated to Puerto Rico to become a resident when he cashed out, having made the decision once SafeMoon's price began to pick up months earlier.