Category Archives: CNMV

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Spain Wants Crypto Holders to Declare Assets Under New Law

The new administration in Spain under Pedro Sánchez is beginning to show its stance on cryptocurrency as new measures are introduced to cut down on tax evasion in the country.

The new law will require holders of cryptocurrency to declare their all their holdings. Finance Minister Maria Jesus Montero has stated that the new legislation will require “the identification of the holders and the balances contributed by these virtual currencies”.

This makes a notable shift in direction since the ousting of former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy who was on the point of pushing forward legislation for possible tax breaks in order to create a more favorable environment for potential blockchain investment. Under Rajoy, cryptocurrencies were still being considered for legislation, with some of the digital currencies viewed as being “located in a grey area of regulation”, by the political party Podemos.

Alberto Montero, the deputy of the political alliance under Rajoy, presented favorable legislation to Spain’s lower house with a view that blockchain could significantly boost security levels for social and economic transactions, suggesting that blockchain had “enormous potential”.

Under the new tax laws, Spain clearly sees cryptocurrency as a potential source of revenue and is even proposing measures to track down crypto assets held offshore by Spanish nationals. To this end, the government has further plans to extend the range of its tax havens so that holdings, when tracked, can be taxed in the same way as fiat.

The government has indicated that a potential EUR 850 million in tax receipts could be the outcome of the proposed changes to its tax legislation.

The previous position was that Spanish Congress supported a draft regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in theory. The Partido Popular’s original suggestion was that the state cooperated with the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) and the Bank of Spain to coordinate its position on cryptocurrency in line with EU guidelines.

It now remains to be seen exactly which direction the Sanchez government takes regarding cryptocurrency legislation. The tax law regarding crypto is the first legislation to date to be made by the new administration. It is as yet unclear if the Unidos Podemos proposal for a body to oversee the implementation of blockchain technology and crypto regulation in the country is to go ahead.

The coalition formed from left-wing parties Podemos, United Left, Equo and smaller parties suggested the move in order to study the benefits of blockchain and implement its use in public administration in the country as well as to explore its industrial potential.

 

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Bank of Spain’s Governor Calls Crypto “Spurious Novelties” but Govt Sees Potential

Luis Maria Linde, Banco de Espana governor, said in a recent speech that cryptocurrencies presented more risk than they did benefits, although blockchain technology could improve efficiency and costs, according to Coindesk.

The comments made during a recent speech organized by multinational professional services firm Deloitte referred to cryptocurrency tokens as “those spurious novelties that do not provide significant improvements and that should be tackled as soon as possible”.

Spain’s stance on cryptocurrency is heavily nuanced towards regulation. A recent investigation implemented by the National Office of Fraud Investigation (ONIF) has passed data on the Spanish Treasury which will attempt to enforce new requirements regarding cryptocurrency payments, writes the Daily Express.

Under the plan, 16 financial institutions based in Spain will be required to pass on their information to the ONIF in relation to overseas accounts.

In his speech, Linde did concede that digitalization could offer interesting possibilities as could blockchain technology, providing that underlying technology is “well used and managed”. However, he signaled that:

“….the move to a more digital economy is accompanied by greater cyber threats and it is necessary to develop new measures to protect processes, assets and customer data.”

Like countless other countries at present, the Spanish government is continually referring back to the misuse of cryptocurrency such as organized crime and fraud and regulating in order to address the issues, often ignoring the underlying advantages. In Spain, this is very much the case and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are not recognized as legal tender.

However, of late, despite the comments of Governor Linde regarding cryptocurrency, there have been attempts to create more flexibility in the space, including Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s consideration of possible tax breaks to attract blockchain investments. Registered funds can now theoretically invest in cryptocurrency under law 22/2014 passed by Spain’s National Securities Market Commission (CNMV – Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores).

According to lawmaker Teodoro Garcia Egea, it is in Spain’s national interest to attract blockchain companies to the country, as they can inject new life into areas such as health, finance, and education, writes UTB.

Rajoy’s Peoples Party is now considering government regulations which will enable businesses to use blockchain technology and carry out coin offerings in the light of its benefits to these areas.

 

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