Bitcoin Adoption in Spain

Spain is known for Flamenco music, dance, Spanish guitars as well as bullfighting, mouthwatering tapas and a tasty little fish called Bakalao.  Spain is synonymous with culture, art and architecture… and Real Madrid Club de Fútbol!

Ending 10 months of political deadlock in Spain, Mariano Rajoy was sworn in as Spain’s prime minister for another term, after winning a confidence vote in parliament at the weekend.  Before this vote, Spain’s lack of governance excited Spanish Citizens.

Although the Spanish economy will still expand at a respectable pace, all engines of growth are set to decelerate in 2017. For more info on the economy, click here.  Spain has entered the global War On Cash and according to El Mundo, the government plans to enforce a cash limit of 1,000 Euros.  In a move to demonetize Spain, from 1 January 2017 a new procedure regarding the restriction of cash turnover came into effect constraining all cash payments exceeding 1000 Euros. This act is to target money laundering and fraudulence.  Another country moving to digital.

Smart phone penetration in Spain during 2017 is estimated to reach 30.3 million out of a population of 46,068,218 

Way back in 2014 Spain started to consider Bitcoin as a payment system – “A report released by Elconfidencial discloses that the Spanish national treasury has chosen to define Bitcoin as a convertible virtual currency that can be exchanged between users, and also can be converted into Euros, Dollars or other currency, fiat or crypto. The report gives Bitcoin a status of money with VAT exemption. The Spanish treasury doesn’t explicitly endorse Bitcoin as money for all products and services in the wider economy, but treats it as money when the currency is exchanged.” Read the full article here

Fintech in Spain is booming!  Spain quadruples it’s Fintech sector in three years and Retail banking is under threat from Spanish Fintech startups, with more of the 80% of the Fintech startups focused on B2C solutions.  Breakdown on FinTech start ups in Spain – Payments & Remittances (24%), Lending (19%), Enterprise Financial Management (11%), Crowdfunding (10%), Personal Finance Management (10%) and Insurance (8%) – reported by Finnovista

Spain has been cryptocurrency and FinTech friendly for a number of years however, towards the end of 2016, the Spanish government was said to making plans to tax Bitcoin mining profits up to 47% as mining will become a taxable activity.

There is some regulation in Spain – towards the end of 2014, Bitcoin Gambling sites required licenses in Spain.

In terms of law enforcement, 6 Bitcoin mines were destroyed which were used to launder money from an illegal distribution of paid TV content – 30 arrested.

Spain is certainly making it easy for Spaniards to embrace Bitcoin and the digital economy – New Spanish Exchange Converts Bitcoin and Fiat Currencies at 7,000 ATMs.  Bitcoin ATM’s are available in various cities in Spain – find one close to you here 

As expected, LocalBitcoins are connecting buyers with sellers in Spain daily driving Bitcoin adoption and peer-to-peer transactions.  Bitcoin and Ethereum can also be bought on various international exchanges like Coinbase 

Step aside Uber… in October 2015 Rakuten, Japanese e-commerce giant, backs Spanish and Latin American Taxi App Cabify – Enjoy the Ride!

Spain’s Bitcoin Boulevard aims to be World’s biggest and best – in 2014, a group of 20 merchants in Madrid started accepting Bitcoin.  These days, shopping using Bitcoin has become so easy – Bitcoin Debit Cards rock!  Click here to order yours and check out where you can EAT the best TAPAS!

Connect with the local believers – Regular meetup’s are held in the cities of Spain – join the Barcelona Bitcoin Community and take part in discussions about the Blockchain, Digital Identity, Smart Contracts and many more. Meetup in Madrid was initiated in 2014 and “open to all kinds of ideas and decentralized, cryptographic startups, related to Bitcoin, Ethereum or Blockchain”.

In the mood to chill? Listen to this Spanish guitar music instrumental acoustic set in Barcelona and Madrid.


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