Lisbon: Europe's Haven for Crypto Enthusiasts Amid U.S. Regulation

Campo Pequeno, a neo-Moorish bullring in Lisbon, has become a symbolic gathering point for Bitcoin maximalists, as MacKenzie Sigalos describes in a report for CNBC published yesterday.

These gatherings, which started in the spring of 2022 following the collapse of the Terra Luna stablecoin, serve as a microcosm of the city’s crypto culture. Here, Bitcoin enthusiasts discuss the future of decentralized ledger technology over Licor Beirão, finding camaraderie in their shared defiance against the financial establishment.

Lorenzo Primiterra, an Italian software engineer, has been a regular at these Campo Pequeno gatherings. In an interview with CNBC, he emphasized how the Terra Luna collapse was a pivotal moment for many in understanding the importance of self-custody of Bitcoin. The city’s crypto scene is diverse, hosting events like Web3 Wednesdays and Crypto Fridays at The Block, a popular co-working space.

According to a Greenfield report cited by CNBC, Lisbon has surpassed global cities like New York, Berlin, and Singapore to become the world’s most important crypto hub. This ranking is attributed to Lisbon’s active DeFi scene and favorable tax policies, which have been particularly appealing given the recent downturn in the crypto market.

Portugal’s tax regime reportedly offers unique benefits for crypto investors. The resident-non-habitual (NHR) status can exempt crypto income from taxes for up to 10 years. CNBC says that this coupled with the city’s lower cost of living compared to other Western European hubs, makes Lisbon an ideal locale for tech enthusiasts.

Jemson Chan, a software tester from Singapore, and Guy Young, the CEO of Ethena Labs, spoke to CNBC about the lifestyle benefits of living in Lisbon. The city apparently offers a harmonious blend of picturesque architecture, a rich history, top-notch restaurants, and a thriving tech scene, making it an attractive destination for expatriates.

CNBC highlights that the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) law provides a comprehensive regulatory framework for digital assets in the European Union. This clarity, it claims, makes it easier for crypto businesses and investors to operate in Lisbon, in stark contrast to the U.S., where regulation-by-enforcement tactics have been deployed.

Interestingly, CNBC points out that while Lisbon is crypto-friendly, CNBC notes that local businesses have been slow to adopt Bitcoin as a payment method.

According to CNBC, Seb True, a British full-stack engineer, and Wout Deley, a Belgian crypto investor, found establishing residency in Portugal to be straightforward. Portugal offers multiple paths to residency, including the golden visa and the D7 Visa, attracting a diverse range of expatriates.

Didi Taihuttu of the ‘Bitcoin Family’ plans to build a crypto village in Portugal. The community will be governed by a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) and aims to offer a decentralized lifestyle.

If CNBC’s report is accurate — and there is no reason to believe it is not, given Tech Reporter MacKenzie Sigalos‘ excellent track record — for any crypto enthusiasts living in crypto-hostile jurisdictions, moving to Lisbon could be a life-changing (and perhaps more importantly, fortune-changing) experience.

Featured Image via Pixabay

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