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Andorra and Blockchain

Andorra and Blockchain

Andorra is experiencing a real revolution in terms of projects and platforms based on Blockchain technology and, in addition to the undoubted tax benefits for a company to be located in Andorra, the country’s government is making a firm commitment to this technology.

Blockchain is destined to become the standard for most technological developments and is already or may become key in digital identification processes, cryptocurrencies, electronic voting, smart contracts, security and privacy, NFT or in industries such as eSports.

Incidentally, Blockchain is strongly linked to the history and DNA of Andorra because, the Cupboard of the Six Keys (seven since 1978) was established in 1580, which kept a collection of the country’s basic, foundational documents  that could only be opened if a key-bearing representative from each of the seven parishes was present. I can’t think of a clearer precursor to Blockchain technology.

Andorra and Blockchain: Regulatory scenario

We are therefore faced with a technology called to revolutionise the technological and digital world as we understand it today, but we must understand that companies or business projects, from the largest to the smallest, need legal security that is obtained through rules and laws.

Therefore, with a very clear commitment from the government to the implementation of technological projects and a highly attractive tax system, Andorra needed a regulatory framework that would provide the legal basis for all these projects, which is what it implemented. 

Currently, the only country in the European environment with a law or legislation governing Blockchain is Liechtenstein (effective since 1st January 2020). But, what is happening in Andorra?

Regulating any technology and regulating it in a law is never an easy process, but Andorra is obviously taking steps in this direction with changes to existing rules and new proposals that are clearly in line with this:

  • Law 9/2021 of 29 April, amending Law 35/2014 of 27 November, on electronic trust services. The law of 2014 (a kind of transposition of the eIDAS Regulation applicable to the EU) introduces, in its amendment of 2021, a broad definition of concepts related to Blockchain, an essential step for its legal recognition, from the very definition of Blockchain (“Distributed record containing confirmed blocks organised in a sequential chain of attachments using cryptographic links”) to concepts such as sidechain, and block header, among others. Important amendments also include the one introduced through Article 21bis, which deals with the legal effects of the electronic submission of a verified attribute of a natural or legal person.
  • Law 8/2021 of 29 April, on electronic sports. In the commitment to consolidate Blockchain-based technologies or business models, it is necessary to frame the law of electronic sports (eSports) which regulates, among other aspects, the obligations of companies and the rights of workers involved in this sector.
  • Law 29/2021 of 28 October must be highlighted, which classifies personal data protection and equates Andorra with European standards of data protection “GDPR”, as previously discussed in the blog. Not surprisingly, this regulation guarantees the processing of personal data in Blockchain-based projects with due guarantees for citizens.
  • Finally, the key to everything: the Digital Asset Representation Bill through the use of cryptography and distributed free and Blockchain technology. This remains a bill, and is called to be the one that ultimately lays the legal foundations for the consolidation of technology in Andorra. Still in the process of parliamentary debate, the published text addresses concepts such as: the categories and subcategories of digital assets, their issues, their advertising, the digital representation of assets or tokenisation, and their actors or capital, and the system of licenses or insurance required to carry out each activity. It also regulates the creation of an official body that would integrate the operations of negotiation, settlement, clearing, infrastructure, custody of digital assets (the AndorraDex) or the inclusion of a system of infractions and sanctions.

In short, Andorra is taking a firm step towards consolidating itself as a European benchmark in Blockchain technology and is taking the necessary legislative direction so that current projects and those that are bound to be implemented see the country as a place of reference for their growth and consolidation.

If you have questions or do you need more information on this topic, please contact us!

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