The authorities of one of the Canary Islands, an autonomous offshore territory of Spain, have issued an order to all public offices to sell their Bitcoin investments on ethical grounds, according to local news outlet El Economista.
Pedro Martín, who is the president of the Island Council of Tenerife and hails from the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party (PSOE), issued the order to sell the crypto investments made through the Technological Institute of Renewable Energies (ITER).
Martín’s predecessor ordered the local bodies to invest in digital currency. Though the exact amount of the crypto investments are not known, the report highlighted that the liquidation could yield around 1 million euros.
Bitcoin Is Used for Unethical Activities
The divestment order came after an audit of 70 local public companies, which might have led to some irregularities using Bitcoins. Among many arguments, the President considers Bitcoins to be ‘opaque’ and not suitable for tax purposes.
“I was surprised by the possibility that we could have a bitcoin bank at ITER, a kind of possibility to have a warehouse. These are very strange situations. That’s not one of the biggest problems: Bitcoins. This is part of a series of problems that we have been encountering,” Martín said earlier.
“I believe that it is a currency that is not accountable to the treasury. I do not think it is appropriate for a Cabildo of the island to manage it.”
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However, the move was criticized by many on social media.
El @CabildoTenerife tiene #Bitcoin y su presidente @ConPedroMartin dice que los vendan por ser una moneda opaca al fisco🤦♂️, cuando se podía haber usado inteligentemente por ejemplo para mejorar el 70% de paro juvenil. Les puedo asesorar si lo necesita, sino #havefunstayingpoor pic.twitter.com/3zpML74Zh8
— Isidro Quintana (@isidro_quintana) March 22, 2021
While the island is off-loading its crypto investments, many corporations in the United States and Europe are heavily investing in Bitcoin. Institutional demand also soared, which is driving the BTC prices even higher.
A private agency in the Canary Islands even started selling properties in exchange for cryptocurrencies.