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Portugal Elections: Crypto-Friendly Status at Stake?

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Portugal Elections: Crypto-Friendly Status at Stake?

Voting has begun for the general elections in Portugal, taking place ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution, which marked the end of the Salazar dictatorship. The elections mark a significant shift in Portugal’s political landscape. In 2022, former Prime Minister Antonio Costa won a historic victory, gaining an outright majority in the parliament with 41.37% of the votes. The socialist administration has been plagued by corruption and scandals, leading to several resignations and the calling of new elections. The latest poll shows the race to be tight, with the center-right coalition Democratic Alliance leading by a narrow margin, followed closely by the Socialist Party and the right-wing party Chega.

The outcome of the elections may have implications for Portugal’s status as a crypto-friendly nation. Since 2016, Portugal has been known for its unique tax regime and regulations that have made it a global hub for crypto users and blockchain companies. All major political parties have included cryptocurrency positions in their electoral programs. The right-wing party Chega is the most crypto-friendly, intending to solidify Portugal’s status as a global crypto hub and promote the adoption of blockchain technology. The center-right Democratic Alliance has a similar stance but focuses on digitalization rather than blockchain. The Socialist Party has already enabled crypto-friendly policies and wants to resume its Web3 national strategy.

Some smaller parties, which may have to form a coalition with the winning party, have more hostile views towards digital assets. The New Economy Institute highlights how an alliance between the Socialist Party, the Left Block, and the Unitary Democratic Coalition may push the Socialist Party to abandon its crypto-friendly policies. The Left Block, in particular, wants to tax all crypto asset-related gains and implement mandatory reporting systems for cryptocurrency holdings and transactions. The outcome depends on whether these smaller parties have enough power to influence the Socialist Party’s policies.

The continuity of crypto legislation would benefit the Portuguese crypto community, but a more restrictive approach could have detrimental effects. Changes in policies could increase taxes for crypto influencers and potentially lead them to leave the country. The crypto industry is highly mobile and can easily relocate to countries with more favorable conditions. Portugal’s Web3 ecosystem has thrived in recent years, with over 650 companies in the country. Despite its attractive legislation, Portugal ranks low in terms of crypto adoption globally. There is an opportunity for Portugal to become a major international player in the crypto industry and create sustainable generational wealth. This will require the industry to mature and settle.

The elections have significant implications for Portugal’s political society and the future of its digital asset hub. The outcome will determine the direction of government policies and the country’s position in the global crypto landscape.

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