The little, sunny country just welcomed the Bitcoin Family to its borders; a closer look finds a burgeoning Bitcoiner community living in the glory of 0% taxes.
While Switzerland remains the most crypto-friendly country in Europe, Portugal is catching up. Indeed, the republic provides benefits to Bitcoin (BTC) owners beyond improved quality of life, including an attractive fiscal climate and a developing Bitcoiner community.
The Bitcoin Family, who went to Portugal in search of “300 days of sunshine” and “cheap coffee.”
Didi Taihuttu, the Bitcoin Family’s father and husband, first spoke six years ago. He shot to prominence in 2016 after selling all of his family’s goods and going all-in on Bitcoin.
While Taihuttu’s larger-than-life character garners the most attention, plans for Portugal’s version of Bitcoin Beach and the emergence of Bitcoiner communities contribute to the emergence of a pro-Bitcoin Portugal, bolstered by crypto-friendly tax legislation and a cheap cost of living.
Portugal’s Bitcoin-friendly beginnings began six years ago in earnest. According to a 2016 statute passed by the Portuguese tax administration, because cryptocurrencies are not recognised currencies, they are not regarded legal currency in Portugal and are thus tax exempt.
According to Taihuttu, the Bitcoin community has grown exponentially in the intervening years, and there are “a lot of them” on Cristiano Ronaldo’s home turf.
“I know the big ones (Bitcoiners) live in Portugal already. They are anonymous. They are not like me out there, but they already are here. They are spending their money on houses; they are spending their Bitcoins on everything.”
Merchant acceptance is accelerating: certain Portuguese people can already pay their energy bills in Bitcoin, and Spanish firm BitBase is expanding the availability of Bitcoin ATMs and storefronts in major cities. According to Coinmap, there are now 57 businesses and retailers taking Bitcoin in the Lisbon area.
Additionally, BTC-only firms are sprouting up in the Iberian nation. Synonym’s CEO, John Carvalho, just relocated to Portugal, and Aceita Bitcoin, or “Accept Bitcoin,” a non-profit organisation of Bitcoin fans, is gaining momentum.
Aceita Bitcoin’s founder, Tiago Vasconcelos, was inspired by El Salvador’s Bitcoin Beach initiative. He’s set his eyes on establishing widespread acceptance of Bitcoin Lightning payments in his native country.
He told that he is “hoping merchants accept the challenge I issued to experiment with bitcoin as a payment option for the summer,” noting that Portugal is “very receptive” to Bitcoin. Vasconcelos elaborates:
Portugal is not taxing crypto and this may be the best time, especially for the people, to start knowing and interacting with the technology and get exposed to the best savings account they’ll ever have.”
Taihuttu teases in interview that Bitcoin may become legal tender in Portugal. “It’s already money in El Salvador, and it’s likely to be soon in Honduras–and, as you know, hopefully very soon in Portugal, as I believe Portugal possesses all of the necessary ingredients.”
While legal tender may be some time in the future, the Portuguese Blockchain Association recently warned that while regulation of crypto-assets is critical, it should not “castrate” evolution. Matt Koller, co-founder of Swiss firm Pocket Bitcoin, shed light on the regulatory landscape’s evolution.
Koller told that Portugal’s attitude on Bitcoin capital gains is “unlikely to change in the near future.” In his view, the “outcome of the legislative election in January 2022 suggests that it is most likely not going to change for the time being.”
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.