If you are into the crypto space or are a digital nomad, you probably have heard that Lisbon is Europe’s crypto capital.
In this post, we’re gonna talk a little bit about why and how Lisbon has been represented as the crypto capital of Europe.
Imagine a crypto city… What would it look like? Probably would look like a Terry Gilliam movie such as Zero Theorem or similar, with a lot of technologies going on, some nice LED banners, lots of green and nature aligned with high-end technology, easy payments in crypto or so, digital lockers, and that kind of stuff.
Well, Lisbon is more like the opposite of it. But it quite feels like San Junipero sometimes, the virtual 80’s city created in the series Black Mirror.
Why do people say Lisbon is Europe’s crypto capital?
The most possible truth is that earnings from crypto in Portugal are exempt from VAT, so you can earn cryptos and spend cryptos with no problems, but if you cash it out using an exchange and then allocate your assets in your bank, the dream is gone, you will – or at least you should – declare this money for social security and IRS, which could be up to 21,7% above 70% roughly.
However, Portugal is a great option for digital nomads from most countries in the world, especially from Europe or US. Most of the other countries in the Europe Union are more expensive than Portugal and most of them don’t contemplate you with sunny days for 2/3 of the year with temperatures around 16 degrees in the winter.
How aware is Lisbon’s population of cryptocurrencies and web3?
The rate is very low.
Yes, Portugal is a country with great weather, food, and beaches, but the population is not very keen on technology – at least not yet. If you take a walk in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal and the hugest city in the country, and the more international one, you will find several issues with paying with your card.
Many commercial venues will repeatedly tell you “Only multibanco”, which is a local payment service that doesn’t accept international cards.
The fact is that Lisbon looks and feels like a very old town, with a lot of old thoughts and remnants of dictatorship in the local population, sometimes it feels like traveling back in time, and sometimes it doesn’t.
Compared with cities like London, Paris, New York, Dubai, and others, Lisbon would be around 3 centuries behind, and probably that’s the reason that it is good for many digital nomads and crypto enthusiasts: it feels like you are ahead.
The crypto community in Lisbon is expressive?
Yes but no. Taking a deep look at Lisbon’s crypto community, most of it is composed of foreign passengers or temporary residents and there’s no crypto space to visit in Lisbon such as the Crypto club in London, Manhattan, and Dubai. However, the crypto community in the city has been growing due to several crypto events in Lisbon happening lately, such as Lisbon web3 month.
This kind of event has been attracting crypto-related people from all over the globe for a couple of obvious reasons:
- It’s affordable for almost every foreigner;
- It’s in the middle of the globe;
- Resident visas or temporary visas are one of the easiest in Europe;
- Portugal is the 4th safest country in the world;
- The weather is great and people will be happy with this;
- There’s a lot to build and transform in town;
- Until the second page, Weed is legal in Lisbon
Lisbon is not Europe’s crypto capital, but it can be
To be honest, we’re not there yet, but there’s a big chance that it will happen. Considering incentives like VAT free from crypto earnings, affordable cost of living for most remote employees, low taxes and low prices in Real State in Lisbon, and on top of it all Lisbon has 260 sunny days in a year, it really shouldn’t take much time to build a new city with a true crypto layer.
Looking from this perspective, it’s stupid to have a New Yorker salary working remotely and spend it all in an expensive country while you could make a better living in Lisbon spending roughly half of it, isn’t it?
What makes Lisbon a crypto capital then?
Lisbon received approximately 28 Million tourists in 2019 during the whole year, winter, spring, summer, and autumn, hence it’s a very trendy city that accepts people from all over, a lot of Erasmus students also live temporarily in Portugal because the costs are more affordable, therefore, all these people bring with them the fresh air of a new era: the crypto and freedom era.
The local population of Lisbon is not into Web3 or cryptos.
It would be inconsequent to say that the local Portuguese population is into web3 as if it was something normal. It’s not normal and it hasn’t reached even superficial levels of the local society (no news here).
However, it is a fact that Lisbon has been the house of many people in the crypto space, such as Gavin Wood, the founder of Polkadot and Ethereum blockchains.
Lisbon is really a great city for digital nomads and for anyone who can have active or passive income and would like to enjoy life at an affordable cost of living.
The city of Lisbon is mostly walk-sized and with good transportation, the access to Lisbon airport is really easy, the international schools are way cheaper than in US and UK, and the private educational system is great for immigrants and their children, roughly 1/3 of the price of an international school in New York.
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