Madeira seeks to boost economy with startups, innovative payment system

The Madeira Blockchain 2023 conference showcased the region's efforts to become an emerging technology hub in the Atlantic.

An archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic is seeking startups and tech talents to boost its economic growth.

Portugal's Madeira archipelago has been praised for its natural beauty, but an aging population and pressing need for a more diversified economy prompted its local government to explore emerging technologies, such as blockchain.

According to Rogerio Gouveia, finance secretary of the regional government of Madeira, emerging-technology companies make up nearly 30% of businesses in Madeira's free trade zone, a special economic area that offers tax benefits to companies, including one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the European Union and capital gains tax exemption for eligible firms.

"For companies aiming to establish a presence in the region, the foremost tax incentive is found in the Madeira free zone or the International Business Center.

Portugal's Madeira Island. Source: David Pogue/Pixabay

One of the companies behind Madeira's Web3 ecosystem is Yacooba Labs, a software development company using blockchain technology for ticketing solutions, addressing issues like overpriced secondary markets and fraud on tickets.

In addition, Madeira's tax incentives are associated with other initiatives aimed at shifting the region's focus from tourism to a technology-based economy, including an emphasis on information technology education in local schools.

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