The campaign seeks to allow the members of the Spanish Congress to experiment with Bitcoin. They only need to download an application and import a Bitcoin wallet.
In recent days, the 350 members of the Spanish Congress received an invitation to accept 1 euro worth of Bitcoin. This was part of an initiative seeking to raise awareness in the political class about the benefits of cryptocurrencies. Previously, the US Chamber of Digital Commerce organized a similar activity in which the members of the US Congress received USD 27,000 worth of freshly mined Bitcoin.
The Blockchain Observatory and Tutellus, an educational platform, are in charge of conducting this educational campaign. They argue that the initiative seeks to expose the “transcendental role that cryptocurrencies are playing in the transformation of the economy and society.”
It is worth mentioning that there was no coordination with the members of the Congress regarding the initiative. However, this could demonstrate the general disinterest of the Lower House in seeing first-hand a technology that they intend to regulate.
On the contrary, the Political Action Committee of the US Chamber of Commerce drove the activity in the US Congress. In other words, members of the Congress and companies like Microsoft, Deloitte, Binance, and Messari composed the organization of the campaign.
They aimed to make the 541 members of Congress involved aware of the role and scope of the amount of Bitcoin that they received. For that reason, they placed special emphasis on proving the source of the funds. The members of the Spanish Congress do not seem to have received information regarding the origin of this amount of Bitcoin. However, the initiative seeks that direct and practical experience allows questioning factors such as this.
How the Members of the Spanish Congress Could Access Their Bitcoin
No one should confuse this initiative with a donation, argues the Blockchain Observatory. They say that the main objective is that the members of Congress can experiment with Bitcoin and understand its role in the current economy.
In this regard, Miguel Caballero, founder and CEO, of Tutellus contacted each of the ten political groups that compose the Chamber and sent an e-mail to each of them. It was the right way to do it as not all the congress people’s e-mails are public, he explains.
This allowed each of the members of the Congress to follow instructions to download the wallet application and import the private key through a QR code attached to the message.
Bitcoin Should Be a Topic of Interest to Spanish Congress
According to Covadonga Fernández, director of the Blockchain Observatory, the transformational process of money has accelerated greatly in recent years as a result of Bitcoin’s birth. “Things are changing very quickly and the consequences of lagging can be very serious,” said Fernández.
The President of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, announced last July a plan for the digitization of Spain within the next five years. The government seeks to close the digital gap between the different sectors of society (more evident due to the COVID-19 crisis). They are focusing efforts on developing the technology industry and digital education.
In this respect, the Spanish Congress approved in mid-September a draft law for the digital transformation of the financial system of the country. It includes the creation of a regulatory sandbox for FinTech innovations, which would involve blockchain and cryptocurrency projects.
The declarations of assets that the members of the Congress have submitted to the Spanish Congress indicate that not everyone is unaware of the concept and use of cryptocurrencies. Congressman Pablo Echenique was the first Spanish politician to declare that he owns Bitcoin and Litecoin. Air Force Captain, Carlos Fernández-Roca, declared more than EUR 14,300 worth of cryptocurrencies in 2020.
A group of people has expressed misinformed opinions about Bitcoin. For example, in late 2019, Congresswoman Adriana Lastra said that “the role of this technology is that of being a fraud.”
By Alexander Salazar