Spain considers Bitcoin an electronic payment system

Original author: Diana Ngo
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The Spanish government has issued new rules that define Bitcoin as an electronic payment system.


The determination of the status of Bitcoin at the state level began at the request of the Spanish Bitcoin startup Coinffeine .
In April of this year, Abanlex, a law firm representing Coinffeine, approached the Spanish Ministry of Finance and Public Administration, as well as Congress, to determine the status of Bitcoin in terms of law.

The Directorate-General for Gambling Regulation, which is part of the Ministry of Finance, and the Spanish Congress sent two separate Abanlex responses, in which Bitcoin was considered as an electronic payment system, and noted that Spanish gambling establishments working with Bitcoin should also receive a gambling license, and corresponding individual license.

Since Congress defined Bitcoin as an electronic payment system, Bitcoin businesses are subject to the relevant rules, including the current law prohibiting cash payments above € 2,500, said Abanlex.

However, this definition of Bitcoin as an electronic payment system is considered within the framework of gambling laws. It is not yet clear whether it can be used in other legal areas.

Coinffeine co-founder and CTO, Ximo Guanter, says these new rules are a good sign for further regulation of Bitcoin in Spain:
The “big news” here is that Spain is starting to see Bitcoin more as a currency than as valuable property, which is the exact opposite of US decisions.

- Ximo Guanter

In May, the Spanish State Tax Administration Agency (Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria or AEAT) took the first step toward Bitcoin regulation when it stated that it “monitors” digital currencies to make sure that they are not used for criminal purposes.

According to the Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, the online gambling industry using Bitcoin has become very popular as the digital currency was used to circumvent Spanish gambling laws. Therefore, the new rules requiring gambling Bitcoin businesses to comply with gambling laws should significantly affect this sector.

While Spain is gradually starting to regulate the use of Bitcoin, digital currency is already penetrating the streets of Madrid, thanks to the project#callebitcoin (literally - “Bitcoin street”). Its goal is to turn Serrano Street shopping boulevard into the “Spanish Bitcoin Boulevard”.

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