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Cryptocurrencies

Spain to embrace Bitcoin as electronic payment system

Wednesday 24 September 2014 | 11:53 AM CET

The Spanish government agency that oversees matters of finance and taxation has issued a new Bitcoin-related ruling.

According to cointelegraph.com, the ruling, which was issued in response to questions from Spanish Bitcoin exchange platform Coinffeine, states that Bitcoin should be treated as an electronic payment system.

In April 2014, Abanlex, the law firm representing Coinffeine, reached out to the Ministry of Finance and Public Administration (El Ministerio de Hacienda y Administraciones Públicas) as well as Congress, to obtain a clear legal definition of Bitcoin. With its response, the Ministry found that Bitcoin-based online gambling companies in Spain must now apply for licenses. Further, the ruling, coupled with new statements from Congress, suggests that Bitcoin transactions involving a business may be subject to existing laws that impose a cap on cash transactions of EUR 2,500 or more. However, although the Ministry said it will treat Bitcoin as an electronic payment system for the purpose of gambling law, it is not yet clear if this interpretation is more broadly applicable.

The regulatory update marks the first update from Spain’s government on Bitcoin since May 2014, when its tax authority, the Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria (AEAT) indicated it was monitoring digital currencies for illicit activity.  In February 2014, the country got its first Bitcoin ATM when Bbank, a company that distributes the Bitcoin ATMs, and PayMaQ the company that manufactures them in Spain partnered to install the first ever BTC ATM in Spain.
 

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