Are you wondering what is the legislation concerning crypto in different EU countries? For someone from outside of Europe, the continent might seem like a legislative monolith, but this view is far from the truth. Tax laws, penal codes, and all kinds of laws differ from country to country, and crypto legislation is no different.
If you want to set up a crypto friendly company you have to research general attitudes towards cryptocurrencies in a given region, and how interested people are in buying your product. So what EU country is the most friendly? here are our 5 candidates:
Liechtenstein is a small European country with a population of just 40 thousand people and an area of 160 km2.
The country has a developed economy with a GDP per capita of $ 143,000, making it one of the richest countries in the world. The main industries in Liechtenstein are financial services and tourism.
It is not surprising that crypto-friendly Liechtenstein is one of the most popular places for cryptocurrency companies to register.
The country has become famous for its “blockchain companies” such as the Crypto Valley Association, the Swiss VQF (Venture Capital Fund), and the Crypto Finance Group (CFIN).
In January 2017, the government of Liechtenstein decided to test blockchain technology by implementing it in the nation’s banks.
In addition, the government created a working group to study how blockchain could be integrated into the country’s legal system.
The country is also home to some of the largest crypto-companies in the world: Bitfinex, Monetas, Metal Pay, and Lisk. Thus, if you want to be part of this new and exciting industry — Liechtenstein is where you need to be.
Germany is one of the largest economies in Europe and ranks fourth in the world in terms of nominal GDP.
Many German ICOs have turned out to be quite successful, such as IOTA ($ 2,6 billion), TenX ($ 72 million), or Zilliqa ($ 22 million).
The cryptocurrency market in Germany has grown rapidly since 2016, and about 14% of German citizens have invested in cryptocurrencies.
In April 2017, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) released a clear position regarding ICOs and tokens.
According to their statement, ICOs should be treated as securities or assets, which implies that BaFin has full jurisdiction over them.
At the same time, BaFin said that not all tokens are considered securities, but they should still be regulated as investment products.
Lithuania is another small European country with a population of 2 million people and an area of 65 000 km2. The country is often associated with its high-tech sector and mobile communications.
Lithuania has the highest density of devices per capita in Europe. It’s no surprise that cryptocurrencies are more popular than ever.
In 2017, the Lithuanian Ministry of Finance was almost ready to announce that it would cease regulating cryptocurrencies after many consultations with experts and investors.
However, a few months later, their plans changed when the Bank of Lithuania published a new version of the EU guideline for anti-money laundering (AML).
The document included rules applicable to cryptocurrencies as well as guidelines for ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges.
The main objective of this legislation is to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing through cryptocurrencies.
The new legislation also requires cryptocurrency companies to comply with AML laws and report suspicious activity to prevent fraud and other illegal activities.
As a result, Lithuania can be characterized as a “friendly jurisdiction” for cryptocurrency companies.
Estonia is a member of the EU with a population of 1.3 million people and an area of 45 000 km2. The country is located on the Baltic Sea coast and is known for its beautiful nature and digital innovation.
Estonia is also home to some of the largest cryptocurrency companies, such as TokenMarket, Playkey, and XBT provider.
Estonia was among the first countries in Europe to propose a comprehensive legislative framework for blockchain technology and digital currencies in 2016.
Most recently, in 2018, Estonia became one of the first countries in Europe to regulate ICOs by issuing a regulatory framework for token sales.
According to this legislation, tokens are considered securities if they meet certain criteria (e.g., they give their holders voting rights or profit sharing). If this is not the case, they will be considered utility tokens, which means that they don’t fall under securities regulations.
Estonian residents who invest or participate in an ICO must comply with AML/KYC laws and must report suspicious transactions to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing. If you want to start a cryptocurrency company in Europe this summer — Estonia is your best choice!
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located on the southern tip of Spain with an area of 6 km2 and a population of 36 thousand people.
Gibraltar is one of the best places in Europe to set up your own cryptocurrency business because it has been able to attract some major players such as Binance or BitBay. Gibraltar authorities have taken several initiatives regarding blockchain technology.
In early 2018, Gibraltar introduced a draft law for DLT regulation and tax exemption for companies using blockchain technology for gaming purposes.
This initiative will allow Gibraltar’s gambling operators to implement blockchain technology into their operations without paying any taxes for using blockchain technology for gaming purposes for 10 years from the date on which it was implemented by the operator.
This allowed many online casinos to set up free Bitcoin slots to attract new members. In addition, if you are looking for advanced technologies — Gibraltar has them:
Gibraltar takes pride in being at the forefront of financial technology innovation in Europe — with FinTech startups flourishing here like nowhere else in Europe.
Gibraltar provides businesses with high levels of security and stability whilst maintaining very low corporate tax rates (10%) and flexible regulation — it is ideally positioned as a springboard into Europe for international businesses seeking to serve EU Markets.
Related CTN News: