The Bulletin

Germany accepts Bitcoin as currency

Posting in Finance

The German ministry of finance now recognizes Bitcoin, allowing the country to tax users and creators of the virtual currency.

The digital coin is used online in trade for goods and services, and can be sent, bought and invested in the same manner as traditional stocks after being "mined" through computers working to find solutions for mathematical problems.

The currency's rates have fluctuated and while some have invested large sums in the hope that the coin will increase in value within ten years, others believe it will be worthless in the future.

Either way, Germany wants a slice of the pie.

Now considered a "unit of account" in Germany, the online token is now taxable when used in private transactions. Companies that want to use Bitcoin for commercial transactions will need permission from the Federal Financial Supervision Authority.

The digital coin is not on par with traditional money, but the decision means that owners may be subject to capital gains taxes if sold less than a year after acquisition. However, the German authorities may have a tough time identifying users -- as the currency's storage, known as "wallets," are largely anonymous.

While a judge in the U.S. recently ruled that Bitcoin amounts to "a currency or form of money" and may be used for money laundering, Thailand has declared it is illegal to trade the currency, use it to purchase goods, or take them "in and out of the country."

Via: The Guardian

— By on August 20, 2013, 1:31 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure