Spanish party weighs tax incentives to lure blockchain firms

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Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party is preparing legislation including possible tax breaks to attract companies using blockchain technology.

It’s in Spain’s interest to attract those firms because the technology is a driver for business in industries such as finance, health and education, said Teodoro Garcia Egea, the lawmaker preparing the bill. The PP is also considering specific regulations to make it attractive for entrepreneurs to use a blockchain to carry out initial coin offerings, or ICOs, as a financing tool.

“The level of the digitalization for companies will be key,” Garcia Egea said in an interview in his office in the parliament. “We hope to get the legislation ready this year.”

Distributed-ledger technologies, the backbone of cryptocurrencies, are being studied for potential use in industries from banking to commodities. Developers are trying to shorten settlement time and track transactions better than traditional registries that typically require signatures on paper, or several days for closing even electronic transactions.

The PP is promoting a motion to call in experts in blockchain to testify in parliament as well as analyze plans in other countries that are at a more advanced stage, such as Crypto Valley in Switzerland.

The bill may include tax rebates for small companies specializing in businesses such as 3D printing or big data, he said.

The bill may include a threshold below which a cryptocurrency investment wouldn’t need to be reported to the regulator, said Garcia Egea. In parallel to the blueprint to attract investments in blockchain, the country’s markets securities regulator is working on a set of rules to protect investors in cryptocurrencies.

“We want to set up Europe’s safest framework to invest in ICOs,” he said.

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