According to Spanish newspaper of record, El Mundo, a lot of the media used to promote Catalonia’s October 1st (O-1) referendum to secede from Spain was paid for in bitcoin. O-1 passed, but not before the entire affair was deemed illegal. The country’s a lot more than a century and a half old, and hugely respected, law enforcement agency, Guardia Civil, is alleging O-1 leaders utilised the world’s most well-known cryptocurrency as a way to hide related costs from Madrid.
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No much less than Amazon and Google have been implicated in a political squabble exactly where passions run deep. Spain’s national law enforcement claims Catalonia’s illegal independence vote’s notorious advocate, Carles Puigdemont, utilised bitcoin to pay for solutions such as sites in an effort to get about federal dictums.
Jon Rogers and Maria Ortega report, “Google was allegedly paid for delivering the on-line tool Project Privacy Shield that protects internet sites from cyber attacks, whilst Amazon is stated to have been paid for providing the program for counting the votes.”
The Spanish government took extraordinary actions to shut down momentum toward the O-1 vote, which includes freezing funds and encouraging its legacy banking institutions to leave Catalonia in protest. Gruesome photos of Madrid-loyal police beating hands-up, unarmed O-1 supporters have been zapped all over the planet.
Google and Amazon have received subpoenas “to explain the nature of their connection with the regional [Catalonian] parliament,” Mr. Rogers and Ms. Ortega note. Of chief concern are actions linking to Mr. Puigdemont himself via cohorts and sympathizers such as Josue Sallent of the Telecommunications Centre of the Government (CTTI).
Just just before O-1 was to take location regional public telecommunications authority CTTI suffered a raid by police, who appeared to be looking for hyperlinks to businesses like Google.
According to El Mundo by way of Mr. Rogers and Ms. Ortega, “Josue Sallent contacted the firm Scytl (Secure Electronic Voting) and held many meetings since final April,” they detail. “It is alleged Mr Sallent proposed ‘the achievable improvement of a counting software for votes to use in elections to the Parliament of Catalonia and citizen consultations,’ according to an unnamed employee.”
Scytl boasts being “the internationally recognized leader in safe election management and electronic voting solutions for its experience,” according to its web site. “The final 10 years have seen Scytl manage over one hundred,000 electoral events electronically across a lot more than 20 countries, like the USA, Mexico, France, Norway, Switzerland, Austria, BiH and India.” Missing from this list, of course, is Catalonia.
“Scytl is stated to have quoted the cost of such a project as getting in between €1-two million,” Mr. Rogers and Ms. Ortega explain. The company then inquired with legal heavies at Garrigues, continental Europe’s second largest firm. The Madrid-primarily based legal business urged prudence, according to reports, and recommended though such moves have been not illegal at the moment they could be later.
“Unnamed sources told the paper, members of the Catalan Government and officials involved paid with bitcoins for some of the services,” they create, which tends to make it a lot tougher for officials to trace payment origins than, say, credit cards.
The lessons of bitcoin’s transformative power continue to mount, specifically as marginal political groups are denied access to standard finance. Be they in Zimbabwe, Venezuela, or even fairly wealthy Catalonia, cryptocurrencies are increasingly serving as a last refuge for hope.
What do you feel of bitcoin’s alleged use in Catalonia? Tell us in the comments below!
Photos courtesy of: Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Twitter.
Published at Sun, 26 Nov 2017 ten:55:37 +0000