While Switzerland is the most crypto-friendly jurisdiction in Europe, Portugal it precedes itself. Actually the republic offers more than just quality of life improvements for Bitcoin (BTC) owners, including an attractive tax environment and a growing Bitcoiner community.
Cointelegraph recently interviewed the bitcoin family who recently moved to Portugaland learned that there is more to “300 days of sunshine” and “cheap coffee”.
Didi Taihuttu, father and husband of the Bitcoin family, first spoke to Cointelegraph six years ago. In 2016, he rose to fame after selling all of his family’s holdings and betting on BTC..
Although Taihuttu’s extravagant nature grabs headlines, plans for Portugal’s takeover of Bitcoin Beach, as well as burgeoning communities of bitcoiners, are leading to one Pro-Bitcoin Portugal, backed by crypto-friendly tax laws and low cost of living.Â
Portugal’s beginnings as a Bitcoin-friendly country began in earnest six years ago. A 2016 law by the Portuguese Tax Authority ruled that since cryptocurrencies are not considered currencies, they do not have legal tender in Portugal and are therefore not taxable.
For Taihuttu, the bitcoin community has since exploded and there are “many” in Cristiano Ronaldo’s land. This is what Cointelegraph was told:
“I know that the big ones (Bitcoiners) already live in Portugal. You are anonymous. They haven’t gone public like I have, but they’re already here. They spend their money in houses, they spend their bitcoins on everything.”
Merchant acceptance is ongoing: Some Portuguese can pay their energy bills in BTC, while Spanish startup BitBase is bringing more ATMs and Bitcoin shops to big cities. According to Coinmap, there are already 57 merchants and retailers that accept Bitcoin in the Lisbon area alone.
Companies that only accept BTC are also emerging in the Iberian country. John Carvalho, CEO of Synonym, transferrecently to Portugal, and Aceita Bitcoin or “Accept Bitcoin”, a non-profit group of BTC enthusiasts, is gaining momentum.
Tiago Vasconcelos, the Bitcoiner behind Aceita Bitcoin, was inspired by El Salvador’s Bitcoin Beach experiment. He aims to make Bitcoin Lightning payments widely accepted in his country.
He told Cointelegraph that he “hoping that merchants will take up the challenge I sent to experiment with bitcoin as a payment option for the summer‘ adding that Portugal is ‘very friendly’ towards bitcoin. Vasconcelos explains:
Portugal does not tax cryptocurrencies and this may be the best time, especially for people, to educate themselves about and interact with technology and expose themselves to the best savings account they will ever have.”
Taihuttu jokes in his interview with Cointelegraph that there is a possibility that Bitcoin will become legal tender in Portugal.. “There’s already money in El Salvador, probably soon in Honduras – and you know – hopefully very soon in Portugal because I think Portugal has all the ingredients.”
Although it might be far from being legal tender, The Portuguese Blockchain Association recently stated that regulation of crypto assets is important, but it should not “neuter” evolution.. Matt Koller, co-founder of Swiss company Pocket Bitcoin, shed light on the evolving regulatory landscape.
Koller told Cointelegraph that Portugal’s positive stance on bitcoin gains “is unlikely to change anytime soon.”. In his opinion, the “result of the parliamentary elections in January 2022 indicates that this will most likely not change for the time being”.
He explained to Cointelegraph why many Bitcoiners have chosen a new place to call home:
“In addition to the advantageous legal framework for those interested in the magic money of the Internet, the 300 days of sunshine, the charming Portuguese people and culture and the extraordinary cuisine certainly also play a role.”
Additionally, Cointelegraph reported on Portugal’s “free zones” for technology development Portugal has effectively doubled its crypto-friendly position in 2021. The country is actively facilitating investigative activities for blockchain and cryptocurrency companies.
For Taihuttu, moving to Portugal is a breeze. “Portugal should become the new port for Bitcoiners”revealed in the interview to be published soon.