Bitcoins are not appreciated by everyone on the island of Tenerife, Spain. At least that’s what their president Pedro Martin implied when he ordered the sale of the local government’s investment in the cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin is an opaque currency, says Martin.
Martin, of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), ordered the dismantling of investments made by the Institute of Technologies for Renewable Energy (ITER) under the previous government, citing ethical reasons.
According to El Economista, the Presidential Council of the island of Tenerife considers it an opaque means of payment that cannot be declared in tax returns.
Although the president did not disclose the exact number of bitcoins (BTC) acquired, it was reported that the liquidation could fetch nearly one million euros ($1.17 million), equivalent to about 20 BTC.
In an interview with Canary Local Radio, Mr Martin said the council had vetted 70 public companies with links to local government. With such findings, the president found it unethical for government organizations to engage in cryptocurrencies.
Martin told El Economista:
I was surprised by the possibility of a bitcoin bank in ITER, a repository of sorts. These are very strange situations. That’s not the biggest problem: Bitcoins. This is part of a series of problems we have encountered. (…) I think it is a currency that is not accountable to the treasury. I don’t think it’s appropriate for the Icelandic Cabildo to manage it.
Tenerife Island Council Vice President Enrique Arriaga also hopes that the investigation into the alleged irregularities at ITER will be resolved soon, as well as the role of BTC’s investment in these alleged irregularities.
Residents criticize bitcoin sales by local government
Social media was quick to react to Martin’s statements. In particular, Isidro Quintana, a local entrepreneur in the gambling industry with degrees from Oxford and Stanford, criticized the Tenerife government’s actions via Twitter.
He suggested using bitcoins smartly to improve, for example, 70% of youth unemployment. added Quintana :
Pedro Martin, a state investment of 20 thousand euros that turns into over a million euros is a blessing, bitcoin can be reported to the Treasury like any other asset. He only attacked our citizens out of ignorance.
What do you think of the steps taken by the Tenerife government to sell bitcoin investments? Let us know your comments in the section below.
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