Portuguese electric utility firm to start accepting Bitcoin bill payments

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Some Portuguese residents are reported to be able to pay for electricity in Bitcoin starting in February.

Luzboa, a small energy trading company in Portugal, will soon begin accepting Bitcoin (BTC) as a payment for electricity.

The president of the company, Pedro Morais Leitão, announced the news to the Portuguese publication, Expresso, on Wednesday, stating that the new payment option should be available this month.

According to the executive, Luzboa will create a Bitcoin wallet in the coming days, allowing residents to pay for electricity under a new payment system known as “Bit Spot.” According to Leitão, the company plans to instantly convert Bitcoin received into euros to protect its business from unstable prices. “We are aware of currency volatility, but we are prepared to take some risk,” said the exec.

Leitão explained that the main idea of the initiative is to “capture a niche market” rather than make its customers move to bitcoin payments. “There is a new generation interested in cryptocurrencies. We’re looking to give the opportunity to use new means of payment,” he said.

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Headquartered in Viseu, a town and municipality in the Central Region of Portugal, Luzboa is reported to have approximately 5,000 residential customers. Nexus Energía Group, the fifth largest independent energy company in Spain, is the majority shareholder of Luzboa after acquiring a 51% stake in the company in 2017.

Portugal has slowly emerged as a crypto-friendly country, despite the relatively low level of industry awareness among local regulators in recent years. The country is specifically known for charging zero taxes on retail cryptocurrency trading after the Portuguese Finance Minister announced that Bitcoin retail trades were not taxable at the end of 2017.

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