The coastal city of Torrevieja in southeastern Spain has embarked on an ambitious initiative to become Europe’s first “cryptocurrency-friendly” city, according to a February 6 news release.
The three-phase plan has been developed by the Association of Small and Medium-sized Merchants in Torrevieja (APYMECO), in cooperation with the Torrevieja City Council’s Department of Commerce , with the goal of transforming the city into a leading “cryptocurrency-friendly” center based on blockchain technology across the continent.
The first goal of APYMECO ‘s plan is to promote trade using cryptocurrencies and other related assets for payments. Buyers will be able to purchase goods and services offered by the city through digital assets.
“Making a positive impact on the environment” and “focusing on sustainability” are the two main goals for the second phase of development.
In the third and final phase, the APYMECO project aims to increase economic and employment opportunities in Torrevieja by creating new jobs and providing financing in the technology industry.
Jorge Almarcha, president of APYMECO, pointed out that Spain legalized cryptocurrency payments in 2015. However, as a result of this recent project, digital assets will become a common payment option across the region for the first time. Almarch is confident that the “unprecedented” plan will “attract wealth” and strengthen the ICT industry.
According to blockchain analyst Chainalytic, Central, Northern and Western Europe(CNWE) is the world’s second largest cryptocurrency economy. The region accounted for 17.6% of global transaction volume from July 2022 to June 2023.
As the Cryptocurrency Market Act (MiCA) will be ready for implementation in July 2026, European cryptocurrency policy will undergo significant changes.
Shortly after Spanish Vice President Nadia Calviño met with Verena Ross, president of the European Securities and Markets Authority, the country announced plans to implement the MiCA in early December 2025.
The latest cryptocurrency strategy comes after recent events in Barcelona. Spanish authorities arrested an individual on charges of collecting and distributing cryptocurrencies to fund Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL) operations on January 31, 2024.
Spain’s Interior Ministry said in a press release: “The Civil Guard Information Service has implemented investigative actions regarding this new method of transferring value to prevent and detect its use to finance terrorist activities.”