Miquel Noguer, the Director of the Innovation and Technology Department of the IEF, explained that this technology dates back to 2008 and provides a smart way to carry out transactions without intermediaries. “This paves the way for new business models”. While he highlighted that one of the challenges of blockchain is its slow speed, at the same time, he emphasized that there is a reason for this. A second challenge is the complete lack of regulation and the fact that institutions, such as central banks, are yet to state their position on this phenomenon.
Meanwhile, Montserrat Guardia, the Digital Challenge Director at BancSabadell-Sabis, believes that, by 2020, we will already be immersed in a state of constant change in terms of the way we work and coexist, emphasizing that cryptocurrencies will have a large role to play. In this respect, Montserrat Guardia defined blockchain as a distributed digital ledger that unequivocally ensures the authenticity of digital assets and transactions with integrity and recognition of ownership. Discussing its benefits, she explained that “it is a better, superior technology that does not allow data to be falsified”. She also gave us an overview of Alastria, the first multi-sector consortium run by companies and institutions, which now has 167 members, to establish a semi-public regulated blockchain infrastructure, which supports services with legal effect at a Spanish level and in accordance with European regulation.
Carlos B. Steinblock, the co-founder and CEO of BTC-Guardian, posed a number of questions regarding whether we are prepared to live within a decentralized structure in which all individuals have the same level of information. “Because this is what blockchain represents. It has no place for ethics or morals. There are no judges and no room for fraud”. He also emphasized that, with this technology, everybody is responsible for their own money and must manage their own resources.
During the discussion, in which each of the professionals explained a little more about blockchain, Josep Maria Boixeda, the Director of Strategy, Technology, Innovation and Information Systems at Grup Natural Fenosa, S.A., highlight that blockchain is the technology, the token is anything that can be digitized in relation to currencies, and bitcoin is the coin itself. “There are more than 1,600 different currencies within this technology”, he added.
Where do you get a bitcoin from? Josep Maria Boixeda explained the blockchain process, in which there are no intermediaries, loans or interest. “You can buy bitcoins. You can be paid in bitcoins and you can sell them. You can even create them”. He added that it is a limited system: the limit is set at 21 million bitcoins.
Xavier Foz, a partner at the law firm Roca Junyent, explained that one of the key features of Blockchain is that it is a distributed and decentralized system with auditable transparency, as well as being permanent, unchanging, open and offering maximum security. He also discussed smartcontracts, agreements that regulate all Blockchain technology, as well as emphasizing some of the fiscal aspects of cryptocurrencies. “The Tax Authority has held binding consultations on the qualification and applicability of VAT to sales and purchases in cryptocurrencies, taxation of private individuals, trading in cryptocurrencies and mining cryptocoins, which is considered an economic activity subject to the standard rate of Income Tax”.