Portugal, like its neighbors, has opened its doors to thousands of fleeing Ukrainians, particularly attracting crypto workers. This is due to the fact that the nation has been able to position itself as a tech hub. One of the primary advantages is its zero-percent taxes on digital-currency gains. This combined with the affordable living costs and temperate climate makes it one of the most preferred destinations for crypto-adherents.
Besides that, the country is already home to an established community of Ukrainians. In the past three weeks, the nation received more than 13,000 Ukrainian refugees after the government undertook measures to speed up and simplify the entry process of those fleeing the war. As per sources, Ukrainian nationals in Portugal have climbed to about 40,000 from about 27,200.
Valentin Sotov, a software developer who is working on a crypto-based metaverse game called Amber has fled from his native Ukraine’s city of Mukachevo to Lisbon. Despite the grim situation back at home, he sees the move to the south European nation as “a big opportunity for our product because we can work with a lot of IT people in one place.”
Portugal – land of crypto unicorns
Portugal has a thriving business community as many foreign entrepreneurs have succeeded in establishing a handful of unicorn startups, worth more than $1 billion. One such example is Anchorage Digital, a U.S.-based digital asset bank with offices in northern Portugal, is the latest of these unicorns and was co-founded by Diogo Monica, a Portuguese national. There has been a steady flow of people across nations not just limited to Ukrainians.
The one who is bearing the brunt of the brain drain is neighboring Spain, which shares a similar climate. Crypto enthusiasts from Spain began crossing the border into Portugal after their government made it mandatory for its citizens to declare their crypto holdings in an effort to combat tax fraud.
Maria Extremadouro, a lawyer in the Spanish city of Vigo, who specializes in blockchain and crypto legislation lamented, “Two out of every three people who come to consult me leave. There’s lots of talent leaving for Portugal.”