Italy recently declared that it would not tax digital currencies like Bitcoin. This is a great step in the right direction for the entire Bitcoin community because it opens up the market for Bitcoin usage. Small, medium and big businesses can accept Bitcoin without the fear of the Italian tax office coming after them for accepting the digital currency as payment for their services and/or products.
This ruling also means that crypto exchanges will not be subject to extra VATs or other regulations for now. This makes Italy the first country in the world to allow crypto exchanges “free reign” to do their businesses in peace and without persecution of VAT officials.
This is also great news for the Bitcoin and crypto enthusiasts, because they will not be subjected to VAT or other tax regulations. It allows financial institutions that are regulated by the Bank of Italy to do business with any virtual currency companies. However the banks will still need to respect existing AML/KYC requirements for account holders and warn them about the risks involved.
This unprecedented move by the Italian government and financial institutions makes Italy quite favorable for setting up digital currency operations. It also allows established businesses to start accepting Bitcoin as a viable alternative payment method.
An Italian female crypto enthusiast told us:
“This is excellent news for me! I can see this will be a great benefit for local people and businesses alike. Italy was hard hit by the last financial crisis. A lot of people lost their jobs and even their houses. This might be a good way to get back on our feet.”
There seems to be a lot of confusion concerning the EU and their stance on Bitcoin and regulation. Some news sites report that the EU will heavily tax and regulate Bitcoin, but have not provided any proof for those claims thus far.
Now turning back to the matter of Italy and their acceptance of Bitcoin, will generate extra work and possibly more digital currency and transacions for Italy. The fact that Bitcoin can be used freely in Italy can convince more Bitcoin enthusiasts to visit Italy, provided sleeping accommodations like hotels and bed and breakfasts accept Bitcoin.
The future may be pretty good for Italy. By accepting Bitcoin as a viable payment alternative, Italy proved to the world that they are one of the most innovative top ten countries to accept Bitcoin. Bitcoin might be the stimulus for an entire new Italian “renaissance” and economic prosperity; however only time will tell us if this will be successful or not.
However, there still seems to be a lot of confusion concerning the European Union’s stance on Bitcoin regulation and taxation. Some media outlets report that the EU will heavily regulate and tax the digital currency, but have not provided any proof for those claims thus far. Therefore, until there is concrete evidence regarding how the EU will approach Bitcoin, it is uncertain whether the digital currency will be heavily regulated or left alone.
What do you think this development could mean for the Bitcoin community in Europe? Do you think other countries might follow the example of Italy?
Featured image courtesy of Outside the Beltway.