The project is meant to encourage the adoption of cryptocurrencies
All 350 lawmakers of Spain’s lower house of Congress were treated to the equivalent of one euro, courtesy of a decentralized platform named Tutellus and the Blockchain Observatory — an initiative by the European Union (EU) to spearhead the development and integration of blockchain technologies across Europe.
According to the Spanish media outlet ABC, the aim of the project is to promote the use of cryptocurrencies in the country. The cryptocurrency payments were not given as donations, but were a part of the initiative between the two entities.
The founder of Tutellus, Miguel Caballero, explained that they hoped to raise awareness about how cryptocurrencies will affect society in the future:
“We have explained to your honorable members that we are in a time of profound change in the use of money, in addition to highlighting the important role that cryptocurrencies have today,” Caballero said.
He added that the cryptocurrencies were not donations and acknowledged that some members of the congress may be more familiar with crypto. However, Caballero highlighted that this initiative opens up the opportunity for those who have not yet had any experiences dealing with cryptocurrencies to finally learn about them.
“With a digital euro on the near horizon, we believe that our deputies, as citizens’ representatives, should be aware of the benefits and risks of cryptocurrencies,” he concluded.
Before Spain, the US also experienced a similar setup. In early October, the Political Action Committee (PAC) of the Chamber of Digital Commerce in the United States sent all 541 members of Congress $50 worth of Bitcoin.
Banks and financial institutions in Spain have expressed increased interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain in the past few years. Santander, a Spanish multinational bank announced its partnership with Ripple for the creation of a payments solution based on the blockchain. The Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) launched a study to look into zero-knowledge proofs and other cryptographic techniques.
The European Central Bank has also announced its plans to develop a digital euro by the year 2021, and released a report that investigated the effects of its presence on the retail market. The document remarked that the presence of cryptocurrencies “streamlines the way of making your daily payments, in addition to being an easier and safer system”.