Torrevieja, a coastal city in southeastern Spain, has launched an ambitious initiative to become Europe’s first “crypto-friendly” city, according to a February 6 statement.
The Association of Small and Medium-sized Merchants of Torrevieja (APYMECO), in partnership with the Torrevieja City Council’s Department of Commerce, has introduced a three-phase plan designed to transform Torrevieja into the continent’s premier blockchain-powered, “crypto-friendly” hub.
A Three-Phased Endeavor To Create Europe’s First Crypto-Friendly City
Phase one of APYMECO’s plan concentrates on promoting trade by using cryptocurrencies and other related assets for payment. Shoppers will be able to purchase the city’s goods and services with their digital holdings.
The second phase will entail “generating a positive impact on the environment,” with the primary objective of “focusing on sustainability.”
In the third and final phase, APYMECO’s project will establish programs to create new jobs and provide funding within the technology sector to greatly boost Torrevieja’s businesses and employment outlook.
Apymeco convertirá a Torrevieja en la primera ciudad “Crypto Friendly” de Europa
— Ayuntamiento de Torrevieja (@TorreviejaAyto) February 6, 2024
APYMECO President Jorge Almarcha highlighted that Spain legalized cryptocurrency payments in 2015. This recent project marks the first time digital assets will become standard payment options across the region, however. Almarcha believes the “unprecedented” plan will “attract wealth” and bolster the ICT sector.
Democratizing Digital Asset Payments
Data from blockchain analyst Chainalysis shows that Central, Northern, and Western Europe (CNWE) constitutes the second-largest global cryptocurrency economy. From July 2022 to June 2023, this region represented 17.6% of all transaction volume worldwide.
European cryptocurrency regulations are set for major changes as the Markets in Crypto-Assets Act (MiCA) nears its July 2026 implementation deadline.
Shortly after Spain’s vice president Nadia Calviño met with European Securities and Market Authority president Verena Ross, the country announced its plans to implement MiCA half a year early in December 2025.
Spain Address Crypto-Related Challenges
Torrevieja’s new crypto strategy follows recent news from Barcelona, where Spanish authorities arrested an individual on January 31st, 2024, on suspicion of collecting and distributing cryptocurrency to fund Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL) operations.
“The Civil Guard Information Service has implemented investigative activities on this new method of value transmission to prevent and detect that it could be destined for the financing of terrorist activities,” Spain’s Ministry of the Interior stated in a press release.
The timeline for Torrevieja’s crypto-friendly city transformation has not yet been announced.
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