Portugal, a suspended tax haven for cryptocurrencies

From a legal vacuum that has largely found its echo abroad, Portugal has been full of cryptophiles in recent years. “The untaxed earnings, the favorable regulations and the attractive regime for foreigners have attracted many investors”noted at the beginning of the month Espressoin the course of a podcast called to determine if the country was a “paradise for cryptocurrencies”. It undoubtedly was and still is, but its sky has just darkened seriously.

This Thursday, May 19, Fernando Medina, the Socialist Minister of Finance, confirmed during a press briefing the government’s intention to legislate on this subject. “We are not going to maintain this vacuum”he assured, stressing that a new legal framework would be presented “as quickly as possible”. To the great displeasure of the Dutchman Didi Taihuttu, patriarch of the famous “Bitcoin family”who built his fortune on the queen of cryptocurrencies and who presented at the beginning of the year Portugal, where he had just settled, as “Bitcoin heaven”.

A first apartment bought in bitcoins

New tax legislation called for by Mariana Mortágua. On May 13 in Parliament, the member of the Left Bloc, by drawing a parallel with the taxes on electricity or work, had split for her part to qualify Portugal as“authentic offshore cryptocurrencies”, the country being one of the few in Europe not to tax virtual assets. In a grandstand at the site eco-friendlyHenrique Corrêa da Silva, president of the Instituto New Economy in Lisbon, calls however not to pour into the “political demagoguery” :

“Crypto-assets must be taxed, but in a strategic way, contributing to the development of this emerging industry which has transformed Portugal into one of the world centers of the digital economy.”

The PS executive has already made it known that it will ensure the balance between “equity” tax and “competitiveness” international of the country. Meanwhile, cryptocurrency investments are gaining momentum. At the beginning of May, an apartment worth 110,000 euros was bought for 3 bitcoins in Braga. A first, reports CNN Portugal.

From “the gold rush” to a “titanic crash”

“Cryptocurrencies and Portugal: the new gold rush? ”wonders Ramon O’Callaghan in the Journal de Negócios. In the game of comparisons, the dean of the Porto Business School recalls that gold is a 6,000-year-old safe haven dating back to ancient Egypt, while many cryptocurrencies have recently been created, in competition with each other. others, thus diminishing the notion of rarity. And to conclude:

“The future of cryptocurrencies is therefore still speculative and uncertain. But there is no denying the power of blockchain technology, which is here to stay.”

Blockchain or not, it’s the whole ecosystem that the economist Maria João Marques calls into question in a vitriolic column for Publicoespecially since the collapse of the cryptocurrency market that we have been witnessing for several weeks:

“Cryptocurrencies (which are not currencies) are otherwise unattractive financial instruments except for evading taxes and fueling organized crime. Such is the unreal existence of cryptocurrencies that not even a titanic crash has pinched economic activity.”

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