Torrevieja, a thriving tourist destination in Spain’s Alicante province, is set to enable local businesses to accept cryptocurrency payments. This initiative is part of the city’s progressive “digital transformation project,” a joint venture between the Torrevieja City Council’s Department of Commerce and the Association of Small and Medium Merchants of Torrevieja (APYMECO).
Aiming to establish itself as Europe’s premier “crypto-friendly” city, Torrevieja will leverage blockchain technology to digitize local commerce. The project’s initial phase will endorse the usage of cryptocurrencies as a medium for transactions, allowing customers to purchase products and services using various crypto assets.
In successive stages, Torrevieja plans to rejuvenate local “natural spaces” and encourage the establishment of new jobs and enterprises within the tech industry. Rosario Martínez Chazarra, Torrevieja’s Councilor for Commerce, expressed optimism that the project would motivate crypto-asset owners. Furthermore, he revealed that the University of Alicante is set to offer specialized courses on digital payments for local firms.
Jorge Almarcha, the president of APYMECO, noted that while cryptocurrency payments have been legal in Spain since 2015, little has been done to democratize digital transactions. Despite the fact that cryptocurrencies are not recognized as legal tender in Spain, the nation has remained largely welcoming of the crypto industry and has seen rapid growth in registered crypto companies, now fourth globally in terms of Bitcoin ATMs.
The Spanish government has increased its efforts to tax crypto asset holders. New laws now require that even those holding assets on international platforms must declare them by the end of March.