US government releases report on Bitcoin's legal status in EU and 40 other countries

By on February 4, 2014, 4:30 PM
legal, bitcoin, currency, cryptocurrency, mining

Are you under the impression that Bitcoins are legal all around the world? Well, think again. According to a report (PDF) from the Law Library of Congress, which surveyed the European Union and 40 other countries, most of the governments consider Bitcoin as a potential tool for money laundering and other illegal activities.

As per the report, aside from China and Brazil, no other government has made specific laws for the virtual currency. While China has declared it illegal to use Bitcoin as a currency, Brazil is all set to adopt it formally. Germany, however, has taken an interesting stand by recognizing the virtual currency as private money, and making it tax free for personal use.

The US government is also taking steps to regulate Bitcoin. According to The Verge, New York is considering adding a special license called a "BitLicense" for businesses dealing in Bitcoin and other virtual currencies.

"United States might be leading the way for a number of nations when it comes to addressing this growing technology", Sen. Tom Carper, the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said in a statement.

The popularity and adoption rate of Bitcoin has increased many folds since the virtual currency's inception. Many vendors and businesses have started accepting Bitcoin payments. The first Bitcoin ATM was inaugurated last year at a coffee shop in downtown Vancouver.




User Comments: 6

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1 person liked this | Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This should come as a surprise to no one, it was only a matter of time before the governments of the world realize that this volatile currency is just plain bad news and in turn put regulation to control it. One thing I've been noticing about the people I've spoken to about mining this currency, they usually do not pay their electricity bill, IE it's mom and dad footing the bill or they live in apartment buildings where electricity isn't strictly monitored and is included in their rent.

Guest said:

According to The Verge, New York is considering adding a special license called a "BitLicense" for businesses dealing in Bitcoin and other virtual currencies.

A.K.A. Tax

wastedkill said:

According to the US government you can License something you dont own hmm...

1 person liked this | smash1986hu smash1986hu said:

Interesting. The US says BitCoins are mostly used in illegal activities, and on the other hand they want to tax it. You can't have it both ways.

Btw it's not a coincidence, that ever since money was invented, goverments regulate it. They have to, otherwise it would be chaos. So there is no future in irregulated virtual currency, because sooner or later it will be regulated. Most contries are not in a hurry, because it's not that widespread yet. But as soon as it will be, they will ragulate and tax it, or ban it depending on their own economic needs.

Opolis said:

The US dollar is used for crime just like Bitcoin can be. There is a large, legitimate market that deals in BTC and other cryptocurrency. The government has no control over Bitcoin except through the regulation of businesses that accept it, unlike the USD which is controlled by their "friends" the Fed. That's the whole point, it's decentralized. As for the electricity bill, is that the fault of Bitcoin or the user? The person who foots the bill should be aware of usage statistics and manage it accordingly. The only way this article comes as no surprise is in hearing the government is trying to find out the best way to get their hands in the honey pot. If you want to worry at "useless" things that are traded and can hurt people and economies based on applied value, worry about the stock market.

mailpup mailpup said:

The US says BitCoins are mostly used in illegal activities, and on the other hand they want to tax it. You can't have it both ways.
Oh yes you can. Ever heard of Al Capone?

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