Since 2008 Spain has endured a prolonged economic recession, and at the moment the country is running without a government. However throughout this turbulence Spaniards are getting along just fine — Bitcoin is growing popular there and the economic downturn has spurred several fintech startups.
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Spains Lack of Governance Is Exciting Spanish Citizens
According to reports, Spain’s government is doing nothing. It’s not passing any new legislation and has suspended its services.
Many in the region, though, welcome the situation as quite a few Spaniards consider their government thieves. The Mises Wire reported a local language teacher named Felix Pastor said “no government, no thieves.” Pastor added that without government intervention Spain could last “until hell freezes over.”
With the current economic downturn, many Spaniards are turning to Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency has been so popular, the government in August said it wanted to tax Bitcoin miners by 47%.
The Spanish Ministry of Finance and Public Administrations said it would not include residents using digital currency for trading and payments. The announcement caused quite a stir within the crypto-community, and may explain why Spaniards call politicians thieves.
Interestingly, while the economic crisis has been bad for Spanish residents, high-tech entrepreneurs are flocking to Spain in great number. Fintech startups are choosing Spain because office space is cheaper, and there’s a plentiful supply of skilled developers and IT engineers. For instance, Cabify is doing well in Spain and recently won backing from Bitcoin-friendly Japanese company Rakuten.
Government Officials In Spain Crack Down On Money Laundering But Seem To Be Dirty Themselves
Over the past few years, the Spanish government has been friendly towards Bitcoin. However, in recent months the authorities have started cracking down on Bitcoiners. Back in May, Spanish police arrested 30 people for laundering funds through Bitcoin mining facilities. The group allegedly sold pay-per-view television content and hid profits within Bitcoin operations.
Even though authorities in Spain have tried to crack down on residents committing crimes, they haven’t held themselves accountable. Spanish officials have been so corrupt and involved in scandals it’s hard to understand what good they do at all. For instance, planning consultant Juan Antonio Roca became famous for bribing local officials and politicians for years during the nineties. Eventually, in 2013 police arrested him on money laundering charges.
This year Princess Cristina and her husband were accused of embezzling €6m from public funds into royal family accounts. This year also saw nearly 40 people caught in a scandal within the conservative Popular Party. This crime involved party treasurers, politicians, and local officials embezzling €449 million of taxpayers’ funds.
Therefore, lots of Spaniards are welcoming the government shutdown, to say the least. Ana Cancela, a Spanish civil servant, says government corruption has run rampant for many years. The shutdown is no surprise to he, she explained to the Mises Wire:
We already knew that politicians were corrupt, but now we also see that they can’t even make politics work.
Financial Technology, Bitcoin, and No Government Could Bring Positive Times In Spain, But It’s Unlikely Officials Will Stand Down Forever
Average Spaniards are continuing to make infrastructure work without authorities. Most likely fintech entrepreneurs will offer better financial services than Spain’s incumbent banks. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are sure to thrive as many will try to avoid the clutches of corrupt Spanish governance and its austerity measures. LocalBitcoin’s services in Spain record significant volumes, and exchanges such as Kraken and Bitcoin.de are also helping Spaniards regularly.
Resorting to an uncontrollable decentralized cryptocurrency should benefit Spain quite a bit. Lack of governance should also show signs of prosperity from citizens within Spanish borders. If locals keep this pace going, they will be just fine without corrupt officials pillaging their wealth.
In fact, Spain’s progress most likely will continue to evolve “until hell freezes over,” unless their government decides to come back. Of course the latter will happen, because thieves have a hard time living without stolen money.
What do you think about the situation in Spain? Do you think Bitcoin and lack of governance can help the country prosper? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: Mises Wire, Financial Times
Images via Shutterstock, and Pixabay.
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