Category Archives: Mariano Rajoy

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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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Spain Wants Blockchain Regulation but Political Unrest Could Turn Back Clock

The Spanish government’s 30 May draft legislation to implement blockchain within its borders may now have to allow for political change after PM Mariano Rajoy’s departure, writes Cointelegraph.

Before the ousting of Rajoy on 1 June, Spanish Congress rolled out its draft legislation for the regulation of blockchain and cryptocurrencies in the country, with a move directed at encouraging fintech start-ups in the country.

Rodrigo Garcia de la Cruz, president of the Spanish Fintech and Insurtech Association, credited the UK for the inspiration for the legislation after the successful launch of the fellow EU member’s own regulatory framework, writes the Econotimes. Garcia commented:

“It is an experience that is giving very positive results and that has led many countries to study its implementation. If we hurry up here in Spain, we could become a pole of attraction for financial innovation.”

Congress also see blockchain implementation creating a cost-efficient and decentralized means of payment and transaction, such as Barcelona’s planned specialized blockchain sector for that city.

Such progressive moves targeting the crypto space have now been overshadowed by the current political crisis in the country, after Rajoy’s replacement by Socialist chief Pedro Sanchez as a result of a no-confidence vote following corruption charges aimed at the ex PM’s center-right People’s Party.

Spanish news source La Vanguardia points out that the Sanchez-led no-confidence vote may delay the current pro-crypto legislation, which had been scheduled to go to a vote by 7 July after public consultation on 7 June. New elections could delay the project for more than six months, Vangardia suggests.

As CNBC notes, Rajoy’s departure and related events in Spain could extend beyond its borders and spark a political crisis in southern Europe, “further unnerving financial markets already wrongfooted by failed attempts to form a government in Italy three months after a national election”.

However, while collectively positive towards such blockchain legislation, the EU continues to be more guarded view towards cryptocurrencies. In May, it approved new anti-money laundering (AML) legislation, in part targeting anonymity in cryptocurrency market.

 

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