Honduras special zone officially recognizes Bitcoin as a unit of account


Less than two years after adopting Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender, Próspera, a special economic zone in Roatan, Honduras, has officially recognized Bitcoin as a unit of account — meaning it can now be used to measure the market value of goods and services.

The development was sprearheaded by Jorge Colindres, the acting manager and tax commissioner of Próspera ZEDE (Zone for Employment and Economic Development) on Jan. 5.

In a Jan. 7 post on X (formerly Twitter), Colindres said the motive was to offer more financial freedom to individuals and businesses operating in the area.

“At @ProsperaZEDE we believe in the right to financial freedom and monetary freedom. People should be free to carry out transactions, do their accounting and report taxes in the currency of their free choice.”

X post from Jorge Colindres on Jan. 7. Source: X

The development means BTC can be used as a monetary unit to measure the market value of various goods and services in the Próspera zone.

Colindres however said that it cannot implement the “Final BTC Tax Payment Procedure” at the moment, citing technological limitations with its eGovernance system in addition to some external regulatory issues.

For the time being, tax liabilities of Bitcoin-electing entities will be determined in reference to BTC for internal accounting purposes but reported to Próspera ZEDE in United States dollars or the Honduras lempira.

Once the issues are resolved, entities will report tax liabilities (and pay the corresponding amounts) to Próspera ZEDE in BTC, Colindres noted.

Those interested in making BTC its unit of account must file a notice with the Próspera’s tax commission within 30 days of the relevant tax period.

Related: From beer to Bitcoin as legal tender: A BTC education in Roatán

Colindres said the notice should reference an approved cryptocurrency exchange, such as Coinbase or Kraken.

The form that prospective businesses requesting to use Bitcoin as a unit of account must fill out. Source: Próspera ZEDE

Próspera ZEDE was launched in May 2020 on the northern island of Roatan. The region made BTC legal tender in April 2022 — about seven months after Honduras’ neighbor El Salvador made the cryptocurrency legal tender across the whole country in September 2021.

Colindres recently described Próspera ZEDE as one of the “most competitive special regime[s]” in Latin America, which he says has received more than $100 million in its three-year tenure and created more than 3,000 jobs across the country.

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