What is blockchain technology? Following the patterns of our blogs we will try to give an answer as simple as possible; Blockchain technology is a set of technologies that allow the transfer of a value or asset from one place to another, without the intervention of third parties.
Within the framework of what has been stated, blockchain technology raises a new pattern in which authenticity or certainty is not verified or collated by a third party but by the network of nodes (computers connected to the network) that participate in the blockchain. Hence, no transfer of value is executed through an intermediary, but through consensus, promoting the storage of information at all times in a transparent way.
How does the blockchain or chain of blocks work? The blocks of the chain contain encoded information of a transaction on the network and, being intertwined, allow the transfer of data with a sufficiently secure encoding through the use of cryptography.
Where is the novelty of this technology? The novelty is that the transfer does not require a third party to certify the information. In fact, the information is distributed in multiple independent and equal nodes that examine and validate it without the need for them to know each other. Once hosted, the information cannot be eliminated, only new information can be added, since the blocks are connected to each other through cryptographic encryption, so altering or modifying data from a block prior to the chain is impossible, since that the information in the previous blocks would have to be modified.
Is this technology regulated in Spain? Law 10/2010, of April 28, on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing, in its last update of April 28, 2021 alludes to virtual currencies defining them as:
«Virtual currency will be understood as that digital representation of value not issued or guaranteed by a central bank or public authority, not necessarily associated with a legally established currency and that does not have the legal status of currency or money, but that is accepted as a means of exchange and can be transferred, stored or traded electronically».
Likewise, in accordance with this Law, the exchange of virtual currency for fiduciary currency is understood to be the purchase and sale of virtual currencies through the delivery or receipt of euros or any other foreign currency of legal tender or electronic money accepted as a means of payment in the country. in which it was issued.
Similarly, according to the aforementioned Law, providers of electronic wallet custody services will be understood as those individuals or entities that provide safeguarding or custody services of private cryptographic keys on behalf of their clients for the possession, storage and transfer of virtual currencies.
Does Spain have a specific tax regulation for cryptocurrencies? In our country there is currently no specific tax regulation for cryptocurrencies . However, the Tax Agency can sanction in certain cases taxpayers who decide not to declare this type of investment products.
In line with what has been stated, the query made to the Tax Agency the binding query V0999-18 , in which virtual currencies are defined as: « intangible assets, computable by units or fractions of units, which are not legal tender, which can be exchanged for other assets, including other virtual currencies , rights or services, if they are accepted by the person or entity that transmits the good or right or provides the service, and that can be acquired or transmitted generally in exchange for legal tender ».
The Tax Agency continues to state that art. 2 LIRPF establishes that: « The taxpayer’s income is the object of this Tax, understood as the totality of their income, earnings and p é capital losses and imputations rent established by law, regardless of the place where they occurred and whatever the residence of the payer is ».
For its part, section 1 of art. 1 LIRPF establishes that: « Capital gains and losses are é capital losses are the variations in the value of the taxpayer’s assets that become apparent on the occasion of any alteration in the composition here é l, unless by this Law they are classified as yields ».
The exchange of a virtual currency for another different virtual currency constitutes an exchange, according to the definition contained in article 1,538 of the Civil Code, which provides: « The exchange is a contract by which each of the contracting parties is bound to give one thing to receive another ». Said exchange gives rise to an alteration in the composition of the patrimony, since an amount of a virtual currency is replaced by an amount of another different virtual currency, and on the occasion of this alteration, a materialized variation in the value of the patrimony is revealed. in the value of the virtual currency that is acquired in relation to the value at which the virtual currency that is delivered in exchange was obtained.
Consequently, according to the response of the Tax Agency, the exchange between different virtual currencies made by the taxpayer outside of an economic activity gives rise to obtaining income that is classified as capital gain or loss.
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