Photographer: Christinne Muschi/Bloomberg

Spain Readies Dragnet for Crypto Tax Evasion

Updated on
  • Sixty companies were sent request for trading information
  • Move comes as countries’ regulators grapple with crypto rules

Spain’s Tax Agency has asked financial firms to turn over names and trading data on cryptocurrency buyers, launching the country’s biggest dragnet yet for potential tax evasion and money laundering using digital coins.

Sixty companies were sent requests for trading information, according to an official at the department, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. They include banks and securities firms as well as currency platforms.

The drive originated in part from a probe by the National Fraud Investigation Office on bank accounts opened abroad by foreign-exchange shops, according to the official. Spain is trying to crack down on online tax evasion with authorities reportedly increasing demands on Internet-based companies, including Airbnb Inc., to reveal client identities.

For a QuickTake on government scrutiny of cryptocurrencies, click here

The move by Spain’s Tax Agency was earlier reported by El Confidencial website.

The global regulatory environment has become more challenging for cryptocurrency speculators, who once thrived in a climate of anonymity and legal ambiguity. Australia this week announced imposed new regulations on digital-currency exchanges.

While prices were stable on Thursday, Bitcoin has dropped more than 50 percent this year to $6,741.

— With assistance by Eddie van der Walt

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