No, Madeira Does Not Make Bitcoin Legal Tender

Last week, after people watching the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami were introduced to the Madeira Islands, an autonomous region of Portugal in northwest Africa, some of them seem to have misunderstood that the region, like El Salvador, is planning to make Bitcoin.” legal tender.”

It has been reported that the islands legally recognize cryptocurrency as an acceptable form of payment to pay off debts and pay taxes. But according to a spokesman for the president’s office, Madeira has no plans to do so for bitcoin.

To be honest, the announcement itself was confusing, at least in the way it was made.

Just before Madeira government president Miguel Albuquerque took the main stage, former Blockstream strategy director Samson Moe hinted that the region could “adopt bitcoin.” Albuquerque’s speech followed a separate announcement that a special economic zone in Honduras called Prospera would recognize crypto as legal currency.

Albuquerque said nothing about making bitcoin legal tender during his speech. And yet, after the conversation, several media outlets published a story about Madeira doing something similar to what El Salvador did with bitcoin. Forbes reported that Madeira “will accept bitcoin as de facto legal tender” and Cointelegraph wrote that “the next jurisdiction to make bitcoin legal tender is Madeira.”

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This is not the case, a spokesman for the president’s office confirmed, who reiterated that “it was never said that the region would accept bitcoin as legal tender.”

Speaking on stage, Albuquerque said that companies arriving in Madeira can pay taxes at a rate of just 5%. This is due to the Portuguese Free Trade Zone of Madeira, which was created in the 1980s as a way to attract outside investment. He also said that there are no income taxes on investments in bitcoin, which is true for all cryptocurrencies in Portugal.

Meanwhile, the president told local newspaper Diário de Notícias da Madeira that he intends to use the conference speech to promote Madeira as an attractive technology hub.

“It was an opportunity and I had to take it,” Albuquerque told the publication.

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