Last summer, Portuguese developers in real estate noticed a new overseas consumer aggressively seeking housing. They were predominantly young men with partners or children but significant pockets and a keen interest in cryptocurrency.
Investors, dealers, and business executives were flocking to Portugal after hearing that it was the new cryptocurrency destination. According to CEO José Cardoso Botelho of the luxury real estate firm Vanguard Properties, at least ten residences have been sold to so-called “crypto families” since last summer.
Some of them are internationally well-known, with the bulk being from the United States. In 2022, there will be even more crypto investors and entrepreneurs: five residences for between €1 million and €1.5 million have been pre-sold by vanguard properties. In fact, there is a growing appetite for this type of offshore betting ventures.
The crypto families have been drawn to Portugal, which, along with Malta, is one of the few remaining crypto havens in Europe. Unlike many other European nations, Portugal does not tax capital gains from the personal sale of cryptocurrencies.
This drew the attention of worldwide crypto groups, with the support of crypto-influencers like the Taihuttus family, dubbed the “bitcoin family,” who recently declared Portugal as their new home.
Market players anticipate that the Portuguese government will close this tax loophole shortly, probably in 2023, to match cryptocurrencies with equities such as stocks.
An Expanding Ecosystem
The previous year was a watershed moment for the cryptocurrency sector. Retail and institutional investors got engaged — even traditional financial behemoths like Goldman Sachs and asset management BlackRock have lately begun to provide crypto services — and began betting on popular tokens like Bitcoin, Ether and Cardano.
Crypto’s appeal drew investors, who poured money into the field. According to the pitchbook, VCs spent $30 billion in crypto businesses in 2021, up nearly fivefold from $6.5 billion in 2020. Portuguese businesses rode the wave, with non-resident demand for retail services rising since last summer as per the claim made by the proprietors of Luso Digital Assets.
It is one of the three crypto market-making platforms authorized by the Banco de Portugal. Last year, Luso tripled its customer base as many people set up the company in the nation and needed assistance navigating the local system. VCs spent $30 billion on crypto companies in 2021, up from $6.5 billion in 2020.
Pedro Cerdeira of the VC group investors Portugal also told sifted that working from home is now the new norm rather than the exception. As a result, many people relocated to the countryside from more expensive cities like London to save money. Others followed suit, drawn by the tax exemption, pleasant environment, and burgeoning crypto culture.
Well-known cryptocurrency companies are also planning to create operations in the nation. For instance, the unicorn crypto bank anchorage for the US has an engineering office in Porto. This is the second city in Portugal for engineering services.
Crypto bank was co-founded by Diogo Mónic, a Portuguese entrepreneur who plans to open another bank in the Lisbon region. In January, Brazilian crypto unicorn 2TM purchased criptoloja, Portugal’s first registered cryptocurrency brokerage firm, to lead the company’s European development from Lisbon. Other corporations are expected to follow suit, according to the market.
There have also been crypto-related occurrences. Many important events, including the Solana conference and web summit, took place [in Lisbon] from October onwards, which helped bring more people to the region.
This year, hundreds of crypto luminaries meet in Lisbon in May for the global investor conference, organized by investing platform Linqto. Cerdeira is looking for exciting firms to invest in and has gone through 150 proposals from local entrepreneurs for crypto, blockchain, and web3 initiatives.
He’s up against it, with venture capitalists finally arriving on the scene. According to Lucas Pires, a member of Portugal fintech, an organization committed to the growth of the local fintech ecosystem, the country’s monetary policies have a significant impact on this move. In addition to the crypto tax break, non-residents in Portugal are subject to a 20 percent fixed income tax rate for ten years.
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