April 19, 2024
Is Torrevieja Ready to Become Europe’s First Crypto-Friendly City?
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Is Torrevieja Ready to Become Europe’s First Crypto-Friendly City? 

Torrevieja, located in the beautiful Alicante province of Spain and with a population of 82,000, is ready to shake up the cryptocurrency world. The city is vying to become “Europe’s first crypto-friendly city” by adopting digital currencies for everyday transactions. This bold step has the potential to transform commerce in the region.

Announced on Feb. 6 via the official website of the Torrevieja administration, the initiative marks the launch of an expansive digital transformation project. Spearheaded by the Department of Commerce of Torrevieja City Council in tandem with the Association of Small and Medium Merchants of Torrevieja, the endeavor seeks to harness blockchain technology to digitize local commerce.

The project’s inaugural phase centers on catalyzing commerce by facilitating transactions with cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. This move is anticipated to open new avenues for customers to pay for goods and services seamlessly. As Rosario Martínez Chazarra, the Local Councilor for Commerce, expressed, the initiative aims to incentivize crypto owners while empowering local businesses.

Moreover, the partnership with the University of Alicante to offer specialized digital payment courses underscores the city’s commitment to equipping businesses with the requisite skills for this digital shift.

Jorge Almarcha, President of the Association of Small and Medium Merchants, emphasized the historic opportunity this initiative presents. He noted that although Spain legalized cryptocurrency payments in 2015, efforts to democratize digital payments have been scant. Torrevieja’s bold step could serve as a beacon for other cities contemplating similar ventures.

However, it’s important to note that neither Bitcoin nor any other cryptocurrency holds legal tender status in Spain. Nevertheless, the country has cultivated a relatively welcoming environment for the crypto industry. In 2023 alone, the number of officially registered crypto companies in Spain surged by approximately 56%, underscoring the sector’s growing importance.

Despite this enthusiasm, the Spanish government has set its sights on regulating the crypto landscape. New laws mandate that residents, regardless of where their crypto assets are held, must declare them by March 31 to ensure compliance with taxation regulations.

As Torrevieja pioneers this digital frontier, all eyes are on whether it can indeed achieve its ambitious goal of becoming Europe’s first crypto-friendly city, potentially setting a precedent for urban centers worldwide. With the convergence of technological innovation and progressive policy, Torrevieja stands poised to chart a new course in the global cryptocurrency landscape.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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