The biggest Bitcoin event in the world took place in Miami last month, gathering 30,000 Bitcoiners from across the globe to discuss technical innovations and adoption worldwide.
At the same event last year Najib Bukele, the innovative young President of the Central American republic of El Salvador, announced that his country would be adopting Bitcoin as legal tender. His new law came into effect on 7 September 2021 and ever since, the eyes of the world have been on the country, where the first green shoots of economic growth are starting to flourish, partly thanks to Bitcoin and the influx of tourism coupled with the new saving technology it brings.
Madeira centre stage
This year, Madeira took centre stage as one of three new zones that are following the path of Bitcoin adoption that El Salvador had championed in 2021.
The announcement was introduced by Samson Mow, a prominent figure in the Bitcoin community, who has played a key role in the implementation of the Bitcoin laws in El Salvador and is rumored to be preparing legal tender laws in collaboration with several other countries, mostly in Central and South America. His involvement along with the evident enthusiasm for Bitcoin from the president of Madeira gives their joint announcement both weight and credibility.
During his announcement at Bitcoin 2022, Mow unveiled his new company, JAN3 along with the three new zones. Although not yet in the same phase as El Salvador with its legal tender lead, these three areas are paving the way for widespread use of Bitcoin, the only fully decentralised crypto currency in the world. JAN3 was founded with the purpose of developing digital infrastructure in order to facilitate nation state Bitcoin adoption, with the ultimate goal of hypberbitcoinisatoin— when Bitcoin replaces traditional fiat currency.
The current sitting President of Madeira, Miguel Albuquerque was later invited on stage to declare that Bitcoin would not be subject to personal capital gains tax. Many other nations treat Bitcoin as ‘property’ rather than ‘currency’, therefore sellers must pay capital gains tax upon selling any crypto assets. While this does not differ from the rules for the rest of Portugal, an explicit statement of support for Bitcoin, Bitcoin businesses and Bitcoin transactions is a clear message from Madeira that Bitcoin and Bitcoiners are welcome there.
President Albuquerque concluded his speech with this final note: “Me, and Samson, and Jan3, [are] going to continue to work to the future… and to create, in Madeira, a fantastic environment for Bitcoin”.
No capital gains
Portugal as a whole is already a very popular emigration destination for international Bitcoiners. There is no capital gains tax on Bitcoin throughout Portugal - a welcome difference from many European jurisdictions which, instead of welcoming wealthy Bitcoin communities, taxes them heavily, sending them in search of better places to settle and invest.
Madeira’s announcement of adoption has Bitcoin Twitter ablaze with plans from both individuals and companies to visit and/or relocate to the island. Bringing investment and innovation with them, it seems that the benefits to Madeira and to the Bitcoin community seeking to establish there are set to be mutual.