While Switzerland is in the spotlight as the most crypto-friendly jurisdiction in Europe, Portugal is gaining momentum. In fact, the Republic offers more than just a better quality of life for Bitcoin (BTC) owners, including an attractive financial environment and a growing Bitcoin community.
Cointelegraph recently interviewed a Bitcoin family who recently moved to Portugal and learned the transition from chasing “300 days of sunshine” and “cheap coffee.”
Didi Taihutu, father and husband of the Bitcoin family, first spoke to Cointelegraph six years ago. In 2016, he became famous in the cryptocurrency space after he sold all his family assets and went with everything to BTC.
While Taihuttu’s incredible personality grabs the headlines, Portugal’s plans to participate in Bitcoin Beach and the growing Bitcoin community are producing a pro-Bitcoin Portugal backed by crypto-friendly tax laws and a low cost of living.
The battle against Bitcoin began in Portugal six years ago. A 2016 law from the Portuguese tax authorities stated that since cryptocurrencies are not considered currencies, they are not legal tender in Portugal and are therefore not taxable.
For Taihuttu, the bitcoin community has been thriving ever since, and “a lot of them” are in Cristiano Ronaldo’s home. He told Cointelegraph:
“I know that the big (Bitcoiners) actually live in Portugal. They are anonymous. They are not like me there, but they are already here. They spend their money on houses, they spend their bitcoins on everything.”
Merchant acceptance is already on the way: some Portuguese residents can pay electricity bills with bitcoin, while Spanish startup BitBase is opening more ATMs and bitcoin stores in major cities. Coinmap quotes that there are already 57 merchants and merchants in the Lisbon area that accept bitcoins.
BTC companies are also emerging from the Iberian nation. Synonym CEO John Carvalho recently moved to Portugal and Aceita Bitcoin, or “Accept Bitcoin,” the perfect group of BTC enthusiasts, is gaining momentum.
Thiago Vasconcelos, the bitcoin maker behind Aceita Bitcoin, was inspired by the experience of Bitcoin Beach in El Salvador. He aims to make Bitcoin Lightning payments widely available in his home country.
He told Cointelegraph that he “hopes that merchants will take up the challenge I sent to try bitcoin as a payment method for the summer,” adding that Portugal is “very friendly” to bitcoin. Vasconcelos explained:
“Portugal does not tax cryptocurrencies and this could be the best time, especially for people, to learn about and interact with technology and access their best savings account ever.”
In an interview with Cointelegraph, Taihuttu joked that Bitcoin has the potential to become legal tender in Portugal. “There’s already money in El Salvador, and maybe soon in Honduras – you know – hopefully very soon in Portugal, because I think Portugal has all the ingredients.”
While legal tender may be a long way off, the Portuguese Blockchain Association recently stated that crypto regulation is important but developments should not be “castrated.” Matt Koehler, co-founder of the Swiss company Pocket Bitcoin, sheds light on the evolving regulatory framework.
Kohler explained to Cointelegraph that Portugal’s positive stance on bitcoin returns “is unlikely to change any time soon.” In his opinion, “the results of the parliamentary elections in January 2022 indicate that they are unlikely to change at the present time.”
Related Topics: Bitcoin operator Mercado buys Portuguese crypto exchange
Share with Cointelegraph why so many bitcoins have chosen their new place to call home:
“In addition to the appropriate legal framework for those interested in the magic of internet money, 300 days of sunshine, the culture of the beautiful Portuguese people and unique cuisine certainly play a role.”
Also, in light of Portugal’s “free zones” for technology development, Cointelegraph reports that Portugal has effectively doubled its position in cryptocurrency in 2021. The country is actively promoting research activities for blockchain and cryptocurrency companies.
For Taihuttu, moving to Portugal is easy. “Portugal should be the new bitcoin haven,” he said in an interview to be published soon.