Retail Giant Carrefour Launches Blockchain Food Tracking Platform for Poultry in Spain

Retail giant Carrefour, headquartered in France and operating in more than 30 countries, is deploying a blockchain food tracking platform based on Hyperledger in its Spanish network, a press release states Tuesday, Nov. 20.

The food tracking solution, initially developed by U.S. tech corporation IBM, will be used to track free-range chickens branded as “Calidad y Origen” (“Quality and Origin”) that were raised in the northern region of Galicia without antibiotic treatment. Each package in the Spanish network will be marked by a QR code providing detailed info on the chicken’s date of birth, type of nutrition, packing date, and more.

In the press release, Carrefour writes that blockchain is a key technology for supply chains, as it provides greater transparency and allows customers to review the entire distribution process. In the nearest future, the company is planning to extend the use of decentralized technologies, implementing them to all food from the “Calidad y Origen” line.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier, Carrefour already tested blockchain tracking for French poultry in early 2018, expressing its commitment to decentralized solutions.

In October, the retail giant announced it was joining IBM’s blockchain-based Food Trust that had been created back in 2016. Since the launch of the trials in August, the program has been joined by major retailers and companies, such as Nestle SA, Unilever NV, and Walmart.

Other firms with large supply chains have often applied blockchain in order to increase transparency, cut costs, and reduce time spent on food delivery. For instance, Walmart uses a farm-to-store blockchain tracking system for its leafy greens, while U.S. fast-casual salad chain Sweetgreen is planning to trace its salads in the same way.

As well, the world’s four largest agriculture companies, mostly known as ABCD, use blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) to automate grain and oilseed post-trade execution processes, considered to be a highly manual and costly part of the supply chain.



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Spain Remains a Primary Example of Blockchain Optimism on All Levels

On Sept. 17, Europa Press reported on the contract the autonomous community of Aragon, one of the 17 Spanish autonomous communities, signed with Alastria — a blockchain ecosystem of more than 274 entities, including companies and institutions which create blockchain-based tools in line with Spanish and European Union legal frameworks.

This blockchain is aimed to improve the transparency and efficiency of the administration, which in turn will attract business and investments. A week later, federal officials decided to keep up with their regional colleagues with the national Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food sharing plans to apply blockchain technology in the forestry industry.

With all this in sight, Spain remains a uniquely optimistic example of welcoming declarations toward crypto and adoption cases of blockchain. The country’s top bankers, politicians and civil servants rush unanimously into the possibilities DLT can provide.

Northern regions lead the progress

What would the Alastra constellation provide under the contract to the autonomous community of Aragon? The blockchainization of civil services. As Fernando Gimeno, the counsellor of Finance and Public Administration in the Aragonese government, stated that the technology will bring transparency and efficiency of the administration, which is important to attract business and investments.

He further added that employees of the regional administration are already being trained to work with the technology in order to get acquainted with its “enormous potential.” The signing of the contract is only the start of a series of activities scheduled by the Aragonese government to take place through the end of the year, such as training and consultancy sessions to identify more use cases for blockchain within the government.

Neighboring Catalonia — also the autonomous community of northwestern Spain, but with a notable economic power and separatist tendencies — revealed a plan for blockchain tech implementation in its public administrative activity in July. The aim also lays in “improving digital services to the public and promoting the potential of this technology between the administration, companies and the [citizens].”

According to the press release, Catalonia’s Department of Digital Policies must develop a plan for incorporating blockchain tech in all areas of the public administration’s activities by the end of December 2018. The success of this project is especially important for the newly elected Catalan government, as it wouldn’t want to miss a chance of ‘out-governing’ the rivaling Madrid.

Alex Sicart Ramos, a Spanish tech wunderkind and member of Forbes ‘30 under 30’ list, imagined the vast area of blockchain implementation that could help Catalonia with its business DNA and cold conflict with the federal authority: For example, all citizen information could be encrypted and stored on the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) to avoid censorship and access control. The perfect way of accessing this information could be a digital ID card that will provide digital access to all of Catalan e-services (this kind of system is already implemented in Estonia).

Spanish banks step in the adoption race

In April 2018, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), the second largest bank in Spain by assets and capitalization, became the first global bank to use blockchain technology throughout the entire process of issuing a 75 million euro ($87 million) loan.

BBVA CEO Carlos Torres then said that blockchain technology was “not mature” and added that it could face major challenges in the future. However, in July, BBVA signed off on a new blockchain-based loan of 100 million euro ($117 million) for a civil engineering firm ACS Group. Prior to that, in June, the bank signed another blockchain-based agreement with Repsol, one of the world’s leading oil and gas industry companies, to renew a credit line worth 325 million euro ($377 million).

In the latter case, the choice was hardly accidental — Repsol and BBVA have signed an agreement to develop blockchain-based solutions for corporate banking, using multiple different blockchain technologies, namely Hyperledger and the Ethereum test network. Nuria Ávalos, the head of Blockchain and Digital Experimentation at Repsol, welcomed the collaboration:

“Repsol wants to actively take part in collaborative environments. Blockchain is a disruptive technology that is here to stay and the agreement with BBVA advances our strategy of driving digitization in all areas of our activity.”

One of BBVA’s fiercest national competitors, Banco Santander, also isn’t a stranger to blockchain. Santander has become the first company to use the technology for investor voting. The bank partnered with United States electronic data processing services company Broadridge Financial Solutions to facilitate an investor ballot at its annual general meeting on March 23.

Earlier in April, Santander confirmed the launch of its Ripple-powered blockchain payment network. One Pay FX, currently available on iTunes, is the first mobile application for international payments powered by blockchain technology. The app, now limited to transferring euros to eurozone countries and dollars to the U.S., shows remittance customers the total cost of their payment, including bank fees and foreign exchange rates, and a delivery time quote.

But apparently this is only the beginning: In July, the company announced the creation of a blockchain research team to look into the technology’s potential to change securities trading. The Digital Investment Banking team, headed by current leader of Santander’s blockchain lab, John Whelan, will “[explore] the use of tokenized securities in debt capital markets, derivatives and other products.”

Neither Banco Santander nor BBVA are collaborating with the banking consortium Niuron, but that in no way that makes the latter less influential. Formed in 2017, Niuron, as its official site states, is “the first blockchain consortium in Spanish financial sector.” The consortium includes Abanca, Bankia, Caixabank, Caixa Ontinyent, Ibercaja, Kutxabank, Liberbank, Unicaja Banco and Cecabank. According to a report based on assets and capitalization, Caixabank was Spain’s third largest bank in 2017. Ibercaja, Kutxabank and Abanca were also included in country’s top 10.

The group of banks reportedly plans to create the blockchain platform by the end of 2018, with the goal of developing a blockchain technology-based system to identify and record clients when they open an account for the first time. Once the platform is completed, clients’ data will be shared between different banks and financial institutions. While ostensibly simplifying digital identification, it will also comply with recent EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules and modern security standards.

Niuron believes that the new blockchain platform will improve the speed of operations, reduce fraud and prevent money laundering. The platform will reportedly benefit clients in that it will decrease the time required for the registration process and provide clients with more control over their personal data.

Left-wingers and conservatives unite to welcome blockchain

On May 30, the Spanish Congress unanimously supported draft legislation that would favorably regulate blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in the country. Due to the absence of a supervisory framework, the draft called for a review of regulations pertaining to Bitcoin and altcoins, as well as to blockchain, proposing to introduce the technology to the Spanish market through “controlled testing environments,” commonly referred to as regulatory sandboxes.

As a result of the hearing, the Congress has also agreed to promote blockchain as a cost-efficient and disintermediated system for payments and transfers, which is no surprise given the recent pro-blockchain leanings in the country. The draft proposed the government cooperation with the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) and the Bank of Spain to coordinate a common regulatory position regarding crypto in the broader European context.

A month later, another bill — this time by the ruling Partido Popular — proposed to use blockchain in the public administration of Spain. It wasn’t the first crypto-friendly move by the center-right Partido Popular — a party that considered giving tax breaks to companies that use blockchain technology back in February 2018. Surprisingly, this interest in the adoption of distributed ledger technology (DLT) has been shared by the main opposition force as well: Left-wing political coalition Unidos Podemos called on the state to explore and implement the benefits of blockchain technology in August.

Unidos Podemos has suggested that the Spanish government establish a subcommittee responsible for studying the potential of blockchain technology as well cryptocurrency regulation. Alberto Montero, the deputy of the political alliance, has reportedly registered the request in the lower house, along with a project plan.

The blockchain-focused body would bring together public administrations, state authorities and public officials, as well as industry experts. The initiative aims to explore the “enormous potential” of blockchain tech in terms of reducing costs of government operations and boosting the level of security for social and economic transactions.

The alliance has suggested addressing regulatory approaches for cryptocurrency use in Spain. According to the report, digital currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC) are currently “located in a gray area of ​​regulation.” The coalition also proposes to base policy on the outcomes of the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, launched by the European Commission in February 2018.

This aligned multi-partisan hospitality toward blockchain may seem ironic given that the technology could play a vital role in the future eradication of the political corruption, still a whip of Spanish society, as recent scandals have shown. The EU Blockchain Observatory has already invested more than 80 million euro in various related projects. As a member of the European Blockchain Partnership, Spain is committed to building EU-wide blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) applications that can be used in the fight against corruption across the Digital Single Market for the benefit of the public and private sectors.   

The more promising blockchain applications relate to the registration and tracking of transferred crypto-asset transactions. With the support of the European Regional Development Fund, a Spanish blockchain company is developing an Ethereum-based blockchain solution that will allow parties to legally/contractually transfer ownership of crypto assets by reducing the possibilities of manipulation and fraud, by adding verifiability and auditability to digital transactions and by tracking information and digitized assets without the need for intermediaries. The system will incorporate a public-key infrastructure — such as electronic time stamps and certified electronic delivery services — for such contracts.

Government bodies aren’t waiting for the legislation to be implemented

While the kind words in the blockchain’s address and the promises to keep up with the technical progress frequently occur in the political declarations still remain only words, various Spanish government bodies have decided not to wait for the final legislation and are already diving into the adoption.

On July 26, the Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE) and the Madrid School of Telecommunications Engineering (ETSIT-UPM) announced a research partnership into implementing blockchain for copyright management. The two institutions have reportedly signed a one-year agreement to carry out collaborative research into building a digital processing platform for copyright management that would use blockchain alongside big data, machine learning and AI. As SGAE President José Miguel Fernández Sastrón stated:

“The main lines of research will focus on disruptive technologies that address the challenges posed by the volume, diversity and dynamics of change in the use of content in the contemporary digital environment.”

The latest move came from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, which shared its plans to apply blockchain technology in the forestry industry. The aim of the operating group, entitled ChainWood, is to improve the traceability and efficiency of the wood supply in Spain by implementing blockchain technology in industry logistics.

At the moment, the group consists of eight partners from different Spanish regions, including Galicia, the Community of Madrid, Andalusia, Castilla y León and Asturias. The first task is to develop a cloud-based software “that will improve the transparency” of forestry processes — like the creation of solid wood, disintegration, cellulose paste and biomass — by applying blockchain, big data and machine learning.



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Spain to Develop Blockchain Tech Application for Transparency in Forestry Industry

The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food plans to apply blockchain technology to develop the forestry industry, local news outlet EuropaPress reported September 21.

The operating group, entitled ChainWood, aims to improve the traceability and efficiency of the wood supply in Spain by implementing blockchain technology in industry logistics.

ChainWood is a group of eight partners from different Spanish regions, including Galicia, the Community of Madrid, Andalusia, Castilla y León, and Asturias. The operating group was created with funding by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food, the Directorate General for Development Rural and Forest Policy, and the General State Administration, with a total subsidy of 93,350 euros.

The working meetings of ChainWood have already been held in Santiago de Compostela and Madrid, with the group set to develop a cloud-based software “that will improve the transparency” to forestry processes — like the creation of solid wood, disintegration, cellulose paste, and biomass — by applying blockchain, big data, and machine learning.

Once the platform has been developed, ChainWood will carry out pilot experiments in Castilla y León with the poplar, Asturias with the chestnut, and Galicia with the oak tree.

Back in August, China’s northern Sichuan province government signed a strategic cooperation contract establishing a new company, Hangzhou Yi Shu Blockchain Technology Co., Ltd, for “forestry economic development and industrial poverty alleviation.”

Previously this summer, the Catalonian Government had revealed a plan to promote blockchain technology “with the aim of improving digital services to the public,” Cointelegraph reported July 25.



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Spain Tackles Corruption With Blockchain AI and Amendments to Its Anti-Corruption Laws: Expert Take

In our Expert Takes, opinion leaders from inside and outside the crypto industry express their views, share their experience and give professional advice. Expert Takes cover everything from Blockchain technology and ICO funding to taxation, regulation, and cryptocurrency adoption by different sectors of the economy.

If you would like to contribute an Expert Take, please email your ideas and CV to george@cointelegraph.com.

According to TI’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2017, Spain slid eight points to be one of the EU’s lowest ranked countries due to a spate of high-profile corruption scandals over the last decade — with public procurement being particularly vulnerable. Albeit, Spain has been actively combating corruption by amending its anti-corruption laws and by developing blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions.

Spain amends its Anti-Corruption laws in accordance with OECD standards

“Integrity, transparency and the fight against corruption have to be part of the culture. They have to be taught as fundamental values” declared Angel Gurría, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) secretary general.  

After adopting new OECD-approved legislative measures to fight corruption and to promote transparency in political activities and institutions in 2015, Spanish law enforcement officials have been struggling to keep up with the overwhelming caseload. Between July 2015 and September 2016, 1378 officials were prosecuted for corruption, with another 29 convicted by Spain’s high court on May 24, involving the Gürtel corruption scandal, which is one of the country’s biggest corruption scandals in modern history. The court, in its 1687-page opinion, said Popular Party (PP) politicians participated in “an authentic and efficient system of institutional corruption via mechanisms to manipulate public tenders at the national, regional and local level,” most of it while Mariano Rajoy himself held key positions in both the government and the party. The convicted were collectively sentenced to a total of 351 years in prison for money laundering, bribery, tax evasion, fraud and other related offences.

In the aftermath of the high court’s ruling on June 1, Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of PP stepped down from office following a no-confidence vote in parliament, brought on by the Gürtel corruption scandal. The unprecedented vote to remove Rajoy from power was 180 to 169, with one abstention. It needed 176 votes to pass.  

But the Gürtel corruption scandal is not the only high-level corruption case that has been deliberated by Spain’s high court. Since March 21, five justices from the Supreme Court have been debating whether to ratify the six-year, three-month prison sentence against Iñaki Urdangarin, the brother-in-law of King Felipe VI of Spain, on corruption, fraud, embezzlement and charges related to tax evasion. On June 12, the high court ruled that Mr. Urdangarin must serve five years and 10 months, five months less than the sentence imposed last year, sending a member of the country’s royal family to prison for the first time in modern history.

OECD’s Anti-Bribery Convention & cryptocurrency taxation

The first transnational anti-bribery legislation for the criminalization of bribery was established in the U.S. with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) of 1977.

The FCPA was amended by the International Anti-Bribery and Fair Competition Act of 1998 to achieve symmetry with the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Officials in International Business Transactions. This expanded the FCPA’s worldwide reach to within the OECD-Convention’s network of 43 countries — including Spain. Parties to the Anti-Bribery Convention, agreed to put in place measures that will reinforce efforts to prevent, detect and investigate foreign bribery, impose civil and criminal penalties on violators and ban tax deductibility of bribes.

Spain does not allow deductions for bribes paid to foreign public officials. Bribes paid in cryptocurrencies are treated as an electronic payment — in the same fashion as forex or binary options — under the Spanish Tax Law and are not declared on Form 720 ‘Declaration of Foreign Asset’ reporting requirements, because the categories of assets that should be included on this form do not specifically name cryptocurrencies. Taxpayers who hold their cryptocurrencies in an offline wallet do not need to declare them on this form either, as they are not be deemed to be located outside of Spain. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has recently proposed that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) adopt a similar reporting requirement for disclosing wallets holding cryptocurrencies for tax purposes in the U.S.

Accordingly, the non-disclosure of foreign- or wallet-held cryptocurrencies for Spanish tax purposes could facilitate FCPA tax evasion, as well as money laundering violations, which are major public policy concerns addressed in the EU’s TAX3 Investigation.

Spain develops blockchain & artificial intelligence technologies used in combating corruption

The OECD estimates procurement corruption to be $2 trillion of world public/taxpayer funds.    According to an OECD paper, blockchain technology — by bringing transparency to the public procurement funding process — can be used as a preventative measure against corruption that may distort the fairness of awarding public procurement contracts, reduce the quality of basic public services, limit opportunities to develop a competitive private sector and undermine trust in public institutions.  

The EU, in February, launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum and has already invested more than 80 million euro in various related projects.  As a member of the European Blockchain Partnership, Spain is committed to building EU-wide blockchain and AI applications that can be used in the fight against corruption across the Digital Single Market for the benefit of the public and private sectors.   

The more promising blockchain applications relate to the registration and tracking of transferred crypto-asset transactions. With the support of the European Regional Development Fund, a Spanish blockchain company is developing an Ethereum-based blockchain solution that will allow parties to legally/contractually transfer ownership of crypto assets by reducing the possibilities of manipulation and fraud, by adding verifiability and auditability to digital transactions, and by tracking information and digitized assets without the need for intermediaries. The system will incorporate a public-key infrastructure, such as electronic time stamps and certified electronic delivery services, for such contracts.

But what if a crypto asset is being legally transferred to another in a corrupt, cross-border transaction?

Example: A public company bribes a foreign official with a ZTE phone that serves as a cryptocurrency miner as well as a cryptocurrency wallet. This allows the foreign official to mine Ethereum (ETH) on a need-be basis, to sell the mined ETH on a crypto exchange, and to submit to the company a very large electricity bill for reimbursement for mining activities, in exchange for pursuing business in the foreign country. This so-called “new bribe” eliminates the need for bankers, accountants, lawyers, consultants and other middlemen — thereby making the tracking and identification of the “new bribe” very difficult, especially given that Spanish tax laws do not require foreign- or wallet-held cryptocurrencies to be reported for tax purposes.  The “new bribe” (something of value) nevertheless creates the apparent basis for an FCPA violation. And if it is deducted for tax purposes, it could subject the bribe-payer company to numerous fines and penalties.

For effective corruption and tax evasion detection, researchers from the University of Valladolid have developed an AI application. Because the first step in combating foreign bribery and related offences, is the detection of it. Their computer model is based on neural networks and  calculates the probability of corruption in Spanish provinces, as well as conditions that favor it. This early warning system analyzes data from a variety of sources: Spanish provinces in which actual cases of corruption were reported by the media or went to court between 2000 and 2012; real estate price increases; taxes; economic growth; the growing number of deposit institutions and non-financial firms; and the same political party remaining in power for long periods — to predict public corruption based on economic and political factors. The point is to detect it as soon as possible, so that corrective and preventive measures may be promptly taken.

 

Selva Ozelli, Esq., CPA is an international tax attorney and CPA who frequently writes about tax, legal and accounting issues for Tax Notes, Bloomberg BNA, other publications and the OECD.



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Spain Introduces Innovation-Aimed Crypto Regulation, But Political Unrest Might Cause a Setback

On May 30, the Spanish Congress unanimously supported draft legislation that would favorably regulate blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in the country. While the move marks pro-crypto tendencies among local politicians, there are complications that the reform might stumble upon, namely EU compliance laws and the very recent overthrow of prime minister Mariano Rajoy.

The “sandbox” concept

Currently, there is no regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in Spain. Bitcoin is thus not considered legal currency in the country. According to the Library of Congress, however, it may be viewed as a “digital good” and can therefore comply with the rules of barter in Spain’s civil code.

Due to the absence of a supervisory framework, the draft calls for a review of regulations pertaining to Bitcoin and altcoins, as well as to blockchain, proposing to introduce the technology to the Spanish market through “controlled testing environments,” commonly referred to as “regulatory sandboxes.”

The sandboxes will allegedly help to foster fintech startups, which was one of the main areas discussed by Congress last Wednesday. “A company cannot wait years for the law to regulate its new activity, but at the same time it has to be sure that it will not be sanctioned for innovating even if its developments are unknown at the moment”, explains Marta Plana, the president of Foro Fintech, a local organisation that defends the needs of innovative companies in the financial sector.

Spain seems to be drawing its inspiration from the UK’s success with fintech-oriented testing grounds. In March, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced the launch of a global fintech regulatory sandbox, after the successful 2016 release of a UK sandbox. Over three years, the UK has approved around 80 new licenses, while more than 250 companies have tested their businesses in the fintech-boosting zone. Recently, Belarus has shown similar tendencies by creating the so-called High-Tech Park (HTP), which offers a number of benefits to attract fintech professionals from around the world.

Rodrigo García de la Cruz, president of the Spanish Fintech and Insurtech Association, confirmed that they were inspired by international practices in a comment for La Vanguardia:

“It is an experience that is giving very positive results and that has led many countries to study its implementation. If we hurry up here in Spain, we could become a pole of attraction for financial innovation.”

As a result of the hearing, Congress has also agreed to promote blockchain as a cost-efficient and disintermediated system for payments and transfers, which is no surprise given recent pro-blockchain leanings in the country. A week ago, Barcelona revealed it would launch a specialized blockchain space in the city’s tech hub to foster growth and innovation in the local digital ecosystem, while in April, Spanish Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) became the first global bank to issue a loan using blockchain. Moreover, in March, even the governor of the Bank of Spain came out in favor of the possibilities of blockchain, albeit noting that “the technology is not yet mature”.

EU supervision

Further, the draft legislation raises the need for ‘proportionate mechanisms’ to ensure that all parties involved in crypto will comply with information disclosure obligations to the Spanish Treasury and duly file their tax returns. It also highlights potential pitfalls associated with “high-risk” financial assets, arguing that “adequate dissemination of information” is important to protect investors from bad actors.

To this end, the draft thus proposes that the government cooperate with the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) and the Bank of Spain to coordinate a common regulatory position regarding crypto in the broader European context.

However, while uniting around blockchain as well, the EU regulatory mood towards cryptocurrencies has so far been more guarded. On May 14, the European Union approved new anti-money laundering (AML) legislation in part targeting anonymity in cryptocurrency market.

Once it comes into effect, players such as crypto exchanges will have to comply with AML guidelines, which will likely include full customer verification, according to the content of the package passed in April. The new rules will reportedly be published in the Official Journal of the EU and the member states will have 18 months to transfer them into their national legislation. It is worth noting that European authorities are specifically targeting anonymity in the use of cryptocurrencies.

Political unrest

News about innovation-aimed crypto regulations in Spain have been outshadowed by the ousting of the current PM Mariano Rajoy. On June 1, Rajoy was set to be voted out of office and replaced by Socialist chief Pedro Sanchez, in a no-confidence motion triggered by an extensive corruption case involving members of his party, the center-right People’s Party.

As CNBC points out, Rajoy’s departure could trigger another political crisis in southern Europe, “further unnerving financial markets already wrongfooted by failed attempts to form a government in Italy three months after a national election”.

Moreover, La Vanguardia mentions that the no-confidence vote initiated by Pedro Sanchez can delay the pro-crypto reform. According to the local media, the draft was open to public consultation until June 7, while the final text would be reviewed around July 7. However, now that Rajoy has been voted out, there might be a call for new elections if Sanchez fails to form a government.

A call for elections, in turn, can potentially delay the project “for more than half a year”, causing interested European countries to move for other options, such as the UK version. La Vanguardia argues that the “sandbox” project “has already suffered a major hit” with the departure of one of its main innovators Luis de Guindos, who left on March 8.

Meanwhile, Malta may intercept Spain’s ambitions, as on March 28, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) published a consultation document which “provided guidance on the use of Distributed Ledger Technology and on the acceptance of Virtual Currencies through the implementation of a Sandbox Environment”. Although the proposal refers to the gaming industry, if proven effective, the initiative can spread further to the fintech area, as Jaime Bofill, partner at Hogan Lovells, a firm that advises Fintech companies around the world, explained:

“[Reportedly, in Malta] the approval of laws is not delayed as much as in Spain. [Therefore], they could take advantage and get the businesses that are pending to come to Spain”.



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