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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