Spain has entered the war on cash. According to El Mundo, the government plans to enforce a cash limit of 1,000 euros.
The Spanish government says the ban comes amid a push to combat tax fraud and lower its deficit as per a directive put forth by the EU. The directive also outlines an immediate registration of tax information for about 80 percent of the population and a tightening of controls on deferred payments. The government claims this will limit the need to raise taxes.
Other EU countries already have similar cash limits in effect. Notably low countries being Portugal with a maximum of 1,000 euros, Greece with 1,500 euros, Italy with 999,99 euros and Belgium with 3000 euros. This war on cash has also been seen globally, with notable examples being India abolishing its two biggest notes overnight and movements in the U.S. pushing for a ban of $50 and $100 bills.
Of course, this issue raises privacy concerns. Who's to say that one government might decide that your compulsive habit of buying soda has been deemed unhealthy, barring you from purchasing anymore?
But it may benefit Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s arguably strongest use case, the inability for it to be controlled by governments, shines a way forward for some concerned citizens.
Regulators can control the off-ramps from legacy payment systems into Bitcoin.
But there are ways to circumvent that, for example using LocalBitcoins, Bitsquare or similar services.
If Bitcoin really takes off as a means of payment for day to day transactions, then controlling bodies will have a difficult, if not an impossible job in controlling it.
Spain has its fair share of Bitcoin history. There are whole streets full with Bitcoin-friendly stores, with local Bitcoin groups operating in cities such as Barcelona, and conferences being organized in Madrid. Some Bitcoin companies also call Spain their home with Coinffeine, a decentralized Bitcoin exchange, Territorio Bitcoin, a Bitcoin news site and Chip-Chap, a payment systems aggregator.
However, that’s not to say that all of Spain's Bitcoin history is perfect. Authorities have plans to implement a tax on miners and there has also been the arrest of a group of miners attempting to launder money from illicit sources.