Norway says bitcoin an asset, not a currency

Norway says bitcoin an asset, not a currency

Norway has become the latest country to have its say on bitcoin, declaring that it is not a proper currency but an asset subject to capital gains tax.

The country's director general of taxation, Hans Christian Holte, told Bloomberg that profits from bitcoin will fall under the wealth tax, while losses can be deducted. Businesses also face a 25% sales tax.

The move is in line with the German government's declaration earlier this year that bitcoin is a kind of "private money" that is subject to capital gains tax.

Earlier this month China's central bank had its say on bitcoin, also ruling that it is not a proper currency and banning financial institutions from handling it.

Since then the European Banking Authority has also waded in, warning that no regulatory protections exist in the EU to help people get their money back from exchanges which fail.

Meanwhile, vendor Lamassu claims to have installed Europe's first bitcoin ATM in Norway's neighbour Finland, joining rival firm Robocoin which introduced the world's first in Vancouver in October.

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 16 December, 2013, 17:52Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Bitcoin is real, and governments want their piece of it through taxes. The discussion about it being a currency vs. an asset is a good one.  Right now, it is acting more like a speculative asset rather than a currency. 

Russell Bell
Russell Bell - Fastbase Ltd - Wellington 17 December, 2013, 04:35Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Saying Bitcoin is an "asset" isn't saying much - cash is an asset, money in the bank is an asset, foreign currency holdings are an asset.  The article doesn't make it clear: do businesses in Norway face a 25% sales tax on the goods or services they sell in exchange for Bitcoin (reasonable) or on sales of Bitcoin itself in exchange for Kroner (not reasonable) ?  Whatever Bitcoin may be it ain't goods or services.