From Commodities to Assets: Scandinavia Bitcoin
To reject, or not to reject. That seems to be the question on everyone’s mind as of late. About what? Bitcoin of course! Its demand and popularity is only on the rise since it was first introduced in 2009. As such, Scandinavian governments are beginning to decide on what to do with the digital currency and others like it. Scandinavia Bitcoin for the win? Let’s see…
Norway’s stance on Bitcoin is pretty clear so far: it is not a currency. One would wonder if this is the case, then what exactly is Bitcoin? Don’t worry; the legislators have instead called it an asset that can be used to gain taxes. How lovely.
Denmark on the other hand is playing it pretty smart. It hasn’t decided anything at the moment, and regulators are forming recommendations for lawmakers to decide on what to do with digital currencies. We shall have to wait and see what Denmark decides at the end.
On the other side of the boat, Finland has strictly called Bitcoin a commodity. Paeivi Heikkinen, overhead of Bank of Finland has said,
“At this stage it’s more comparable to a commodity.”
Heikkinen also says that Bitcoin is not a currency because it does not have the same definition as one.
“Considering the definition of an official currency as set out in law, it’s not that. It’s also not a payment instrument, because the law stipulates that a payment instrument must have an issuer responsible for its operation”
When Nothing Makes Sense…Tax it!
Interestingly enough, even though Bitcoin is seen as a commodity in Finland, people can still use bitcoins to buy and sell products in the country. However, all risks are accounted for by the user, and blame cannot be placed on the government for any losses. Losses will not, however, be deductible and capital gains will be taxed.
Sweden, having the largest economy out of all the others, has decided to reject Bitcoin and other digital currencies. They say that the digital currency will be in the same likelihood as any antique, art piece or jewelry. Spokesperson of the Swedish Tax Agency, Olof Wallin, said that they will, “view Bitcoins as what we call another asset — just like art or antiques.”
This is a rather interesting take on the cryptocurrency, and you guessed it, capital gains taxes will be charged on any bitcoin transaction. This move might have been done to deter people from using bitcoins, but who knows; it might actually cause more people to use it. Only time will tell.
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