Torrevieja, a bustling tourist destination in Spain's Alicante province, is poised to become Europe's first crypto-friendly city. With a population of 82,000, the city is embarking on an ambitious digital transformation project to embrace cryptocurrencies as a means of payment.
A Collaboration for Digital Transformation
The initiative, spearheaded by the Torrevieja City Council's Department of Commerce and the Association of Small and Medium Merchants of Torrevieja (APYMECO), aims to leverage blockchain technology to revolutionize local commerce.
Phases of Transformation
The project will unfold in three phases. Initially, the focus will be on promoting commerce by enabling businesses to accept cryptocurrencies as payment. Subsequent phases will prioritize the revitalization of natural spaces and the creation of new jobs and funding opportunities in the technology sector.
Incentives for Crypto Adoption
Torrevieja's Councilor for Commerce, Rosario Martínez Chazarra, expressed optimism about the initiative's potential to incentivize crypto ownership. Special courses on digital payments, offered by the University of Alicante, will equip local businesses with the necessary skills to embrace crypto transactions.
Legal Landscape and Crypto Industry in Spain
While cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin do not hold legal tender status in Spain, the country remains relatively open to the crypto industry. The number of registered crypto companies in Spain surged by 56% in 2023, and the country ranks fourth globally in Bitcoin ATM installations.
Taxation and Regulation
Despite the country's openness to crypto, the Spanish government is vigilant about taxing crypto holdings. Residents holding crypto assets, even on non-Spanish platforms, are required to declare them by March 31 under new taxation laws governing virtual assets.
Torrevieja's bold initiative to embrace cryptocurrencies reflects a growing trend toward mainstream adoption of digital assets. By paving the way for crypto-friendly policies and infrastructure, the city aims to position itself at the forefront of the digital revolution sweeping across Europe.