On 7 September, El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, which means that companies and businesses in the country are obliged to accept it as a form of payment in day-to-day transactions. However, in this country there are only four Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency ATMs (machines where users can buy or sell cryptocurrencies). The US is the country with the most cryptocurrency ATMs, with 23,259 machines available, according to data from Coin ATM Radar. In Europe, Spain is the country with the third most cryptocurrency ATMs, with 150, behind the UK (159) and Austria (156). Spain is fifth in the world.
The Bank of Spain has recently warned that investments in all types of cryptocurrencies, not just Bitcoin, are potentially high-risk. However, a significant number of Spaniards have taken advantage of the profits that have so far been made from buying and selling virtual currencies, which are relatively tax-free.
This is likely to change soon, as the government and the central bank want to protect the country from the two problems that cryptocurrencies present: terrorist financing and money laundering, as well as ensuring that no tax evasion takes place.