NBU: Bitcoin today has no concrete legal status in Ukraine

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The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has said that the so-called cypro currency Bitcoin does not have the concrete legal status in Ukraine.

“Bitcoin today does not have concrete legal status in Ukraine. The determination of the status is complicated by the absence of a common approach to the classification of Bitcoin and regulation of deals with it in the world,” Deputy NBU Governor Oleh Churiy told Interfax-Ukraine.

He said that some countries permit transactions with Bitcoins. Usually Bitcoin is considered as a commodity or investment asset and relevant legislation is used for taxation purposes. In some countries Bitcoin is announced monetary unit of account.

“For example, EU legislation at present classifies Bitcoin as “digital presentation of the value not confirmed by the central bank or a public authority and it is not pegged to legally set currency exchange rates. It could be used as the means of exchange to buy goods and services, transfer and store them. It could be bought in the electronic form. The exchange of conventional currencies to Bitcoin unit is exempted from paying VAT,” Churiy said.

However, in Israel, Bitcoin is not considered as currency both as financial guarantee and taxable asset. Each time when Bitcoin is sold, the seller is to pay capital gains tax.

The People’s Bank of China believes that Bitcoin is a virtual commodity, not currency and its sale could be taxed with VAT. Japan has the similar approach, where Bitcoin is recognized as asset-like values. VAT is imposed on its sale.

In Australia, Bitcoin is considered as ownership and transactions with it as barter transactions.

In Canada, Bitcoin is considered as invisible asset and the transactions with it as barter transactions as well.

“Thus, in different countries Bitcoin is classified in different ways – as virtual currency, money substitute, intangible value, virtual commodity and other things. The NBU has not yet officially supported any of the presented notions,” Churiy said.

He said that the NBU has commenced a dialog with the Finance Ministry, the State Fiscal Service, the State Financial Monitoring Service, the National Commission for Securities and the Stock Market and the national commission for financial service markets regulation to come to a common position on the legal status of Bitcoin and its regulation.

The issue will be discussed at the nearest meeting of the Financial Stability Council scheduled for late August, Churiy said.

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