AZUR: Empowering Crypto Startups Through a Special Economic Zone - An Exclusive Interview with David Cullinan, Head of Marketing Strategy

By Crypto Guys | Navid Ladani | 2 Aug 2023

Glasgow native David Cullinan has been involved in the crypto industry for a long time. 

"I started in traditional finance, then, like many people in the crypto space today, I just kind of fell into it. It was something of a natural progression, I think."

Over the years, David has worked across a wide range of crypto-related projects, from the first existing licensed and regulated Digital Bank protocol in EQIFi, where he was part of the marketing team that raised just under $13 million in 10 days, and spearheaded the successful advertising campaign with London Underground, where EQIFi was featured on 1100 advertising billboards across the entire London Transport Network, to a stint as Director of Public Relations and Editorial at Illuvium, a Sydney-based triple-A independent game development studio that raised over $72 million through a Dutch auction during a 72-hour launch event, making it one of the most successful NFT sales of all time.

It's safe to say David sees the vast potential in crypto, but he has also experienced the roadblocks that most crypto startups face.

David highlighted what he believes are two of the main issues companies operating in the crypto space are facing;

"Regulatory uncertainty and a distinct lack of traditional banking support."

This leads us to AZUR, a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) nestled in the breathtaking Caribbean island of Anguilla, which has caught the attention of digital nomads and startups in the crypto space. And for good reason.

Heading up the marketing team at AZUR, David is excited about the opportunities AZUR SEZ offers crypto companies. But what really sets AZUR apart? 

"Unlike many in our industry, we have a clear understanding of the pain points and challenges faced by those in the crypto space. Not only that, but AZUR, in conjunction with the government of Anguilla, has tailored their special economic zone to address these specific issues and provide comprehensive solutions."

Case in point, AZUR Virtual City

"Here at AZUR, we firmly believe that your business idea should not be confined to a specific location. AZUR Virtual City offers you the incredible opportunity to register and operate your business entirely online, eliminating the requirement of being a resident in Anguilla. No matter where you work or live, you can easily access and manage your business from any corner of the globe."

One question often asked is how does an entity such as AZUR ensure low costs and minimal administrative burdens for crypto startups compared to traditional business environments?

"Good question. We recognize the challenges entrepreneurs face in traditional brick-and-mortar setups, where hefty costs and time-consuming administrative tasks can be significant barriers to success. Here at AZUR, we have embarked on a journey to empower businesses and entrepreneurs by offering an innovative virtual environment with unparalleled advantages."

David continues, "One of the key benefits of our virtual offering is the ability to slash costs drastically. Traditional businesses often have to bear the burden of expensive physical infrastructure, including office spaces, utilities, maintenance, and more. With AZUR Virtual City, entrepreneurs can liberate themselves from these costly overheads, as our virtual setup requires minimal physical resources. By adopting our platform, business owners can significantly reduce operating expenses and redirect those funds towards growth and development."

Speaking of operating expenses and funds, access to global banking and financial services has long been a contentious issue for crypto startups. We were keen to learn how AZUR approaches this problem.

"We all know the problems that crypto startups can face when it comes to the simplest of financial tasks, such as opening a bank account.” continues David. “One of the many things that really excites me about what we're doing here at AZUR is helping solve that particular issue."

"Our partnership with EQIBank, which sees clients offered a guaranteed corporate bank account, subject to proper due diligence, is a real game-changer. EQIBank is renowned as a top-tier digital bank, offering an array of compelling advantages, which include competitive rates, round-the-clock service, a trustworthy security framework, and an innovative, user-friendly online global banking experience. Throw in the fact that EQIBank currently banks clients located in over 180 countries and is renowned for its jurisdictional advantages, investment, OTC trading, and wealth planning solutions. I don't think you could ask for a better option."

Special economic zones are known to offer tax incentives and financial advantages. How can these benefits positively impact the growth and profitability of crypto startups operating within AZUR?

"AZUR is all about fostering innovation,” David commented. “And a big part of that is our clients benefitting from an exceptional 25-year tax exemption, allowing them to maximize their profits and drive substantial growth. We understand the burden of high tax rates and unclear regulations in the crypto industry. By offering a 25-year tax exemption, AZUR aims to create an environment where businesses in the crypto industry can flourish without the burden of high tax rates and regulatory uncertainties. We're looking to attract and retain innovative companies to Anguilla, encouraging them to establish and expand their operations, ultimately driving economic growth, job creation, and technological advancements."

"Combining 100% foreign ownership, an efficient onboarding process, exclusive tax exemptions, and comprehensive employee benefits sets AZUR SEZ up as one of the world's most dynamic Special Economic Zones."

How can crypto startups leverage the unique advantages provided by special economic zones like AZUR to enhance their global market reach and access new customer bases?

David replied, "Without diving too deep, crypto startups can utilize special economic zones like AZUR to expand their global market reach and access new customers in several ways. First, AZUR eliminates residency requirements, enabling startups to manage their businesses online from anywhere in the world. The 25-year tax exemption allows them to optimize profits for growth, while the state-of-the-art infrastructure caters to their tech-focused needs.”

“Establishing a business within AZUR is streamlined, reducing bureaucratic hurdles and fostering a favorable environment for innovation. The zone's regulatory clarity and support provide confidence in navigating legal landscapes, and startups can benefit from access to a diverse pool of talent attracted by the business-friendly environment.”

“Being part of AZUR's community offers fantastic networking opportunities and potential collaborations with like-minded tech and crypto companies, leading to new market access through shared insights and experiences. In a nutshell, AZUR empowers crypto startups to overcome obstacles and seize global opportunities, driving economic growth and success in the industry."

Looking ahead, what are AZUR's future plans and strategies to further attract and support crypto startups, considering the rapidly evolving landscape of the crypto industry?

"Quite simply, AZUR aims to continue attracting and supporting crypto startups amidst the rapidly evolving crypto industry landscape, prioritizing innovation and adaptability to meet clients' changing needs within that space,” David commented. “Proactive regulatory clarity will be a core focus, ensuring a stable operating environment despite regulatory shifts."

"Strategic partnerships with key players in the crypto and blockchain space will be forged to create a robust ecosystem that fosters collaboration and innovation, while educational resources and awareness campaigns will help startups navigate the complexities of the crypto industry. Cybersecurity and data protection will be a priority, ensuring a secure environment for operations. Global outreach efforts will showcase AZUR's benefits worldwide, attracting startups from diverse locations."

"Continuous support and open communication channels will be maintained, ensuring startups thrive within the zone. By implementing these forward-looking strategies, AZUR aspires to be a leading destination for crypto startups, fostering a flourishing ecosystem of growth and innovation."

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