Andorra green lights Bitcoin and Blockchain with Digital Assets Act

An analysis of Andorra’s Digital Assets Act and the potential confusion surrounding Bitcoin, blockchain and crypto according to crypto business owners.

By: Joseph Hall

https://cointelegraph.com/news/andorra-green-lights-bitcoin-and-blockchain-with-digital-assets-act

A small light of progress shines from Andorra, a tiny European country nestled between France and Spain. The country’s government, the General Council of Andorra, recently approved the Digital Assets Act, a regulatory framework for digital currencies and blockchain technology. 

The act is split into two parts. The first regards the creation of digital money, or “programmable digital sovereign money,” which can be exchanged in a closed system. In effect, this would allow the Andorran state to create its own token.

The second half of the act refers to digital assets as financial instruments and intends to create an environment in which blockchain and distributed ledger technologies can be regulated. For Paul (who withheld his surname), CEO of local Bitcoin business 21Million, the new law could attract new business. He told Cointelegraph:

“The outcome they’re trying to achieve is to actually attract new businesses to locate in the country by offering some legal clarification making it easier and more transparent. They see this as a way to attract talents and entrepreneurs to the new economy.”

Note that cryptocurrencies and digital currencies are not legal tender in Andorra, and the Digital Assets Act makes no proposals surrounding means of exchange. That privilege is exclusively reserved for the preferred currency of the European Central Bank, the euro. It hasn’t stopped Paul, an avid Bitcoiner, from making the case for Bitcoin (BTC) adoption in Andorra: 

I’ve been working on this one for a while but I’ve finally decided to share it ! Here’s the case I make for a bitcoin adoption in Andorra ! https://t.co/xHxl78YChO— Paul ADW (@PaulADW) July 14, 2022

In a blog post, Paul highlighted that Andorra could adopt a Bitcoin standard, mining Bitcoin with renewable energy, taking on Bitcoin as a reserve asset, and welcoming Bitcoin-centric companies from all around the world. 

National newspaper Diari d’Andorra reported that the Digital Assets Act is a step toward “making cryptocurrencies a day-to-day reality.” From a business perspective, Paul said that the level of “crypto-friendliness” depends on the activity.

“I have a friend who runs a mining operation here — no problem —and electricity is cheap. If you do financial consulting, then the same: pretty friendly with a low tax rate. If you wanted to run an exchange, it could be a bit hard to find a bank that works with you; the government itself wouldn’t mind.”

In an interview in May, Andorran Minister of Economy and Enterprise Jordi Gallardo mentioned that blockchain was one of the top areas of investment for the tiny country. However, it is not clear if the minister referred to Bitcoin (the world’s foremost blockchain) or research into distributed ledger technologies that underpin blockchains.

There is some confusion regarding Bitcoin, blockchain and crypto in Andorra. Source: Shutterstock

Josselin Tonnellier, co-founder of StackinSat, told Cointelegraph that there is confusion regarding crypto, blockchain, nonfungible tokens and Bitcoin. StackinSat hosts a major European Bitcoin conference, Surfin’ Bitcoin, in Biarritz, France just outside Andorra where the group’s headquarters are also located.

Paul, who is a regular attendee of Surfin’ Bitcoin, confirms that in Andorra, the sentiment and confusion remain similar: “The regulator doesn’t make a differentiation between ‘crypto’ and Bitcoin. They haven’t been ‘orange-pilled’ yet.” To take the orange pill is Bitcoin parlance for when a novice to Bitcoin begins to understand the principles of the seminal cryptocurrency.

If you like surfing and Bitcoin, we have the perfect event for you : @SurfinBitcoin pic.twitter.com/zGHrhZIie6— Joss Tonn (@Joss_do_it_BTC) June 18, 2022

Tonnellier emphasized that awareness of digital currencies and technologies is on the rise, but there’s a risk of scams and losses without the right educational tools or frameworks in place:

“According to a recent report by KPMG, there are more French people exposed to ‘crypto’ than to the stock market […] France is known to be a hotbed of ‘shitcoinery.’”

Although there is no “shitcoin” classification chart, such coins are tokens other than Bitcoin, which, according to the latter’s proponents, are at risk of plummeting to zero. Squid Game Token was one of the most newsworthy shitcoins of 2021

Back in Andorra, Tonnellier explained that the country is best placed to run with technologies such as Bitcoin. “Andorra is one of the few European countries outside the jurisdiction of the European Parliament.” Indeed, in many ways, it could be comparable to Switzerland on a smaller scale:

“Andorra is very attractive for entrepreneurs thanks to its low tax, but Switzerland has a great head start in promoting the development of activities around Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. This could change in the coming years thanks to this text of laws which frames Bitcoin and blockchain activities.”

At under 500 square kilometers of land, Andorra is among Europe’s smallest countries. Contrary to popular belief, Andorra is not a tax haven; the micro-state renounced banking secrecy in 2018. Nonetheless, taxes are considerably lower than in neighboring France or Spain, while financial services comprise up to 20% of the economy.

Andorra or Switzerland? Source: Kokono.com

While it’s unclear which digital assets the government intends to regulate with the Digital Assets Act, the economically motivated movement may help to diversify the Andorran economy and welcome blockchain- and crypto-based companies. For Paul, it’s a step closer to Andorra adopting Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Legal Tender in Central African Republic

EURONEWS Report

https://www.euronews.com/next/2022/04/27/central-african-republic-follows-el-salvador-in-making-bitcoin-legal-tender

The Central African Republic has adopted Bitcoin as a legal currency, becoming only the second country to do so after El Salvador.

Lawmakers from the central African country unanimously adopted a bill to make Bitcoin legal tender alongside its CFA franc and legalised the use of cryptocurrencies.

President Faustin Archange Touadera signed the measure into law, his chief of staff Obed Namsio said in a statement.

The CAR “is the first country in Africa to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender,” Namsio said.

“This move places the Central African Republic on the map of the world’s boldest and most visionary countries,” he added.

The new legislation covers the use of cryptocurrencies and those who use them, in online trade, “smart contracts… by blockchain technology” and “all electronic transactions”.

It also said cryptocurrency exchanges are not liable to tax.

However, due to the high volatility of the digital currency, some are wary of the move.

Martin Ziguele, a former CAR prime minister who is now an opposition MP, complained the bill was approved “by proclamation” while some legislators intend to file suit against it at the Constitutional Court. “This law is a way of getting out of the CFA franc through a means that guts the common currency,” said Ziguele. “It [the law] isn’t a priority for the country,” he said. “This move raises the question: who benefits from it?”

Regulators around the world share the same concerns. Some also say that transfers using crypto are a perfect tool for traffickers and money laundering as they can be anonymised.

While countries such as India have in the past banned crypto transactions, El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender last September.

But the move by El Salvador was heavily criticised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The IMF warns El Salvador to drop Bitcoin as a legal currency “The adoption of a cryptocurrency as legal tender, however, entails large risks for financial and market integrity, financial stability and consumer protection,” it warned.

The CAR is one of the world’s poorest countries and has been in the grips of a nine-year civil war that developed largely along sectarian lines.

In 2020, a coalition of rebels advanced on the capital Bangui, threatening to overturn Touadera as new elections loomed.

Russia dispatched paramilitaries to help repel the threat and then recover much of the rebel-held territory.

The operatives are described by Bangui as military advisers but by France, the UN, and others as mercenaries from the Kremlin-backed Wagner group, which has been accused of abuses.

Enacting Bitcoin Legal Tender Status

BITCOIN BLOCKCHAIN BEIRUT LABS
Today in Jan 4th, 2022, where currently our Government and Banking system backing it have lost credibility, having continually been discrediting Bitcoin all these years but now the tables have turned, unfortunately nothing is changing due to the forces of weaponry and financial graft. To adopt today financial alternatives that release limitations from any capital controls on USD or other currencies, a challenge that we have all been collectively facing since 2019, so with Bitcoin legal tender we also all have the capability of avoiding what is being rolled out for us now, the underhanded CBDC schemes attempting to take over all control of our funds. Bitcoin is digital property of which 21,000,000 coins exist, each dividable by 0.00000001, totally independently run, and is globally considered the ideal form of stored energy. The national transition to financial freedom starts through a request for funds, which must instead now come from the private sector, to distribute support from the general community, in order to:

1) Present a 2 hour educational workshop at the Parliament, to introduce and optionally sell a maximum of ₿0.01 to each of the 128 Member of Parliament's recommended wallets chosen from the official bitcoin wallets selector at bitcoin.org/en/choose-your-wallet for introducing them to bitcoin.

2) Ensure guaranteed open market for freely and fairly trading Bitcoin anytime.

3) Lawyers from the community in tandem with BBB Labs will submit this legislation to MPs at parliament to pass eternally Legal Tender status for Bitcoin in Lebanon. We may adopt a ₿3 deposit option for foreigners who want to work or retire in the country, with permanent residency paperwork, to the multi-signature Bitcoin wallet belonging to our mining trust fund, making sure that any donations must not come from any government, political party or corporate party, and any such support received from such entities must be 100% duly returned. The multi-signatures will be held by 1) our founder, 2) our co-founder, and 3) the BBB Labs secretary, among possibly an additional recommended, tightly controlled external ombudsman.

4) A plan for revamping the production of purely renewable resources for the capability of a USD32.5m budget to have sustained Bitcoin mining by the government in order to independently cover all its budgetary expenses. All Bitcoin mining must be produced through renewable energy resources, whose investment requirement must look similar to the Bitcoin mining requirements. We have contacts with individuals at the most renown local and global environmental agencies that can be consulted to provide the latest technologically advanced conversions of renewable resources into energy, such as those still mostly unknown to the mass market, and have it provided at the best value as well. Lebanon has plenty of sunshine and strong sustained wind is found in Lebanon's extreme northern border strip with Syria. Also, enterprising Lebanese are currently devising Magnet Phase Generators which are increasingly being the favored energy production option, as well as also thorium power plants. The dream of “free energy” is the ultimate answer to our pertinent issues.

5) To ultimately have the unit of account in our government denominated in Bitcoin.

For progress to happen on reversing capital controls and other financial challenges that remain unresolved, the solution is now a responsibility of BBB Labs in Beirut, tasking itself to correct the unjustified financial challenges facing our families today. The necessary resources in order to realize this dream: around $65,000,000 in renewable energy investment, complete Bitcoin mining equipment, introductory workshops, and for attorneys among our community to begin writing legislation for submission to our parliament. This legislation brings freedom to us and our entire Nation by enacting it into law by hand signature at our legislature.

BITCOIN BLOCKCHAIN Beirut Labs.

Collaborative hub

Arabic translation needed please

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Bitcoin Sees the Light of Day in a National World’s First

Bitcoin Eruption

El Salvador has been a country suffering from civil war, economic ruin and high organized crime & murder rates for much of its modern life. Yet the 39 yr old El Salvadorian President, Nayib Bukele, who enjoys a super-majority of his party in parliament, in a world’s first, enacted law making Bitcoin legal tender in his nation.

Since 2001 El Salvador has done away with its local currency, the Colon, and instead decided to use The US Dollar as legal tender. With Bitcoin also now as legal tender, El Salvador made the best choice for securing the nation’s wealth going forward during these uncertain geopolitical times.

Stating the ease of payments and remittances which much of the country depends on, as well as the fact that many El Salvadorians aren’t banked, Bukele sees Bitcoin as the ideal solution.

It doesn’t stop with making Bitcoin legal tender. Bukele asked the state owned geothermal energy firm, LaGeo, to devise plans for offering Bitcoin mining facilities to Bitcoin miners who want to use the nation’s geothermal energy resources to run their mining farms. According to journalist Max Keiser, to be able to attract these miners, El Salvador is also offering permanent residence for Bitcoiners who are willing to dedicate BTC 3.

This, first-time, comprehensive all-round adoption of Bitcoin by a whole nation is the light Bitcoiners have been waiting to see in a long time, and just as the first domino falls, we also envision many other nations eventually following in El Salvador’s path.