Catalonians hike blockchain public services ambition

July 26, 2018
Chris Wheal

One of Spain’s richest but most troubled regions, Catalonia, is pushing ahead with blockchain tech in an attempt to improve public services. The Catalonian government says it wants to improve “digital services to the public and promoting the potential of this technology between the Administration, companies and the citizen[s]”.

The government of Catalonia, the Generalitat de Catalunya, put more flesh on the bones in a press release. 

This Catalan move towards blockchain is mirrored by large Spanish heavyweights such as Santander which has implemented blockchain investor voting. But it’s also a move by Catalonia to differentiate itself – and push against – central government control by Madrid. 

Placa de Sant Jaume, the central area of Barcelona, the building of the Government of Catalonia

Independence still wanted

In June Coindesk reported that the Catalan government was planning to airdrop a new energy trading token in the region. “The plan is to incentivize solar power generation by circumventing rules inhibiting its adoption made by Madrid”. 

Barcelona crytographers are thought to have already taken advice from ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. Catalonia has a stand-alone Department of Digital Policies which is spearheading its crypto policy. The region’s economy is huge – worth almost £200bn a year. More than the total GDP of Portugal. 

The Barcelona fight for independence will not go away quietly

Still in exile

Several Catalan officials remain ousted or in exile: ex-president Carles Puigdemont remains in self-imposed exile in Belgium. Puigdemont could still be subject to Spanish arrest on charges of misuse of public funds and rebellion. 

Catalonia would likely lose the option to use the euro if it became independent as well as likely be denied other freedoms of EU membership.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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