Catalonia’s Would-Be Independent Government Considers Cryptocurrency

Catalonia’s push for independence has divided governments, speculators and thought leaders from around the world. Now, the small but economically lucrative region is looking at implementing a national cryptocurrency post-independence, along with a digital residency system inspired by Estonia.

Digital Residency Program and National Cryptocurrency

The Government of Catalonia has also sent representatives to Estonia to learn about its digital residency, or ‘e-residency,’ program. Under e-residency, individuals can operate a location-independent business online via government-issued digital identity card. The Estonian model grants e-Residency in as little as one month for a small fee of €50.

The Catalan government has sent Dani Marco, the director of SmartCatalonia, to Estonia to explore the digital residency model. According to CCN, Mario is heading Catalonia’s e-residency initiative.

Catalans also appear to be in favor of a national cryptocurrency, much like the one under development in Russia and Kazakhstan. A national cryptocurrency would replace the need for a central bank in the newly formed independent state. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has already advised the Catalans about how to implement the system.

Spain Ready to Take Control

The Spanish government is preparing to take control over Catalonia after the insurgent region’s parliament declared independence. In Madrid, the Spanish Senate has passed new measures giving Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy the power to oust Catalonia’s leadership. Lawmakers said the measures are consistent with Article 155 of the 1978 constitution.

“The Catalan Parliament has approved something that in the opinion of the great majority of people doesn’t just go against the law, but is a criminal act because it supposes declaring something that is not possible,” Rajoy said, according to Bloomberg Politics.

As one might expect, Germany and the European Union (EU) are backing the Spanish government. Semi-autonomous Scotland called for dialogue, but said Catalans should have the right to self-determination.

Catalonia is one of Spain’s wealthiest regions, accounting for roughly 20% of gross domestic product (GDP), 25% of exports and about a quarter of all industry. All this, and the region accounts for only about 16% of Spain’s population.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi