A bill presented by the leading opposition party in Spain, Partido Popular, would allow for the homeowners to pay off their mortgages using bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
According to the text of the “Digital Transformation Law,” homeowners would be able to pay their mortgages using crypto, while the property sector would be able to use crypto to invest in mortgage pools. On the other hand, banks would use blockchain as a system to manage mortgages and insurance, streamlining the payment of indemnities using digital currencies.
The bill seeks to ensure that transactions with cryptocurrencies “are carried out in a framework of trust, security and transparency.”
According to the CEO of crypto law firm ATH21 Cristina Carrascosa, this project is innovative as it is an implied recognition of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a means of payment due to their debt-releasing capacity.
She added that so far, banks do not accept crypto payments. Carrascosa went on to say that in order for the bill to be implemented, a change of legal category for cryptocurrencies would have to be made: from the current “means of exchange” status to “means of payment.”
The project was presented on July 26 and proposes the creation of a national crypto assets council (CNC) to serve on an advisory basis. It would be comprised of representatives from the Directorate General of the Treasury, the National Securities Market Commission and the Spanish Central Bank.
Per the proposal, the CNC would study and analyse the implications of using crypto assets and other services via blockchain, evaluating the introduction of blockchain in public administration and ensuring the establishment of mechanisms to detect fraud and tax evasion.
fulfilment of private obligations, to the extent that they are freely agreed upon by the parties to the transaction as alternative, contractual and immediate methods of payment and are used for no other purpose than to serve as such.
The bill clarifies that private obligations involving the exchange of goods or services with cryptocurrencies will be subject to the same tax regime as monetary transactions, without prejudice to the tax liability that corresponds to the entities issuing cryptocurrencies or exchanges.
Having this written in the bill and enforcing such a tax regime on decentralised cryptocurrencies is another question, however.
It remains to be seen how legal oversight would be implemented without breaching individual financial privacy.
According to Carrascosa, the crypto use as a means of exchange is permitted in Spain, following two rulings by the Court of Justice of the European Union in 2014.
The draft also establishes that crypto tokens issued through ICOs would be considered as negotiable securities, and that investments of less than €6,000 through ICOs wouldn’t need to be disclosed to the authorities.
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