Startups and Bitcoins in Andorra.

In 988AD Charles the Great had granted Andorra the independence in recognition of its role in the war with Moors. In 1278 the Principality of Andorra was established. In 1934 Boris Skossyreff — a translator, who worked in Japanese mission — had proclaimed himself Boris I, the King of Andorra. He was apprehended by the French police 8 days later. In 1953 Andorra signed a peace treaty with Germany.

In 1993, under the pressure of the European Union, Andorra changed its Code, which had been active there since the Middle Ages, to the democratic constitution. Still today, two princes nominally rule in Andorra. The first prince is the Bishop of Urgell — the Roman Catholic Church administrative district in Catalonia — and the second is the President of France.

Real executive power in Andorra belongs to the Cap de Govern (or the prime minister). He presides at the meeting of the Executive Council (or the cabinet) which consists of seven ministers. 28-members General Council selects Cap de Govern from its deputes. Right-wing Democrates per Andorra, DAholds the majority of seats (15) in the Council. Centrist Partit Liberal d’Andorra, PLA has 8 seats and left-wing Partit Socialdemocrata, PS has only 3 deputies.

10 million tourists visiting Andorra each year are responsible for 80% of its GDP. Low taxes and first-class ski resorts serve as major attractions. At the same time, Andorra’s tiny consumer base, relatively high costs of running SME and shortage of qualified personnel have severely limited growth perspectives of local startup ecosystem. On the other hand, there still exists an opportunity for local founders to create a niche e-business aimed at larger markets of neighboring European states.

Andorran legislation doesn’t specifically address Bitcoin or ICOs. However, because of this small country’s economical and political dependencies of Spain and France, local lawmakers are more likely to accept its neighbors’ laws on cryptocurrencies rather than to issue their own.

Business Notes for Startups Founders:

  • political climate: indifferent;
  • economic climate: indifferent;
  • regions to focus: France, Spain;
  • industries to focus: e-services (travel), FinTech;
  • major limitations: tiny population of 80 thousands, deficit of qualified workforce;
  • stimulus: high-income consumers (per-capita around $45000), low taxes (personal income tax 10%), fixed Internet penetration rate at almost 100%, proximity to large markets of France and Spain;
  • opportunities: to create an e-business aimed at larger markets of neighboring European states;
  • Cryptocurrencies and ICOs: legal.