Last updated on September 12th, 2013 at 07:58 pm
After Germany’s support to cryptocurrency, another country might be showing signs of tolerance and acceptance towards Bitcoin. Belgium’s finance minister admitted recently he has no problem with virtual coin, but he recognizes that there are still just a few Belgian users.
Koen Geens’ opinion was revealed when the minister answered to a parliamentary question about Bitcoin. Within this response, he said he wouldn’t see the Belgian National bank having any objection to cryptocurrency. However, for now, the nation’s anti-money laundering organization, called Cellule de Traitement des Informations Financières, hasn’t received any guidance on the matter.
The finance minister knows that privacy and anonymity are of Bitcoin’s main features, but he also said there’s no indication that the cryptocurrency is used on a large scale for money laundering. Why? Because any exchange of large amounts of Bitcoin would be detected by the financial control systems, he assured.
The chair of the Bitcoin Foundation’s Belgium chapter, Chris D’Costa, also admitted recently that the Belgian Bitcoin economy has yet to develop. But the regular meetups and innovative projects in the country are good promises. “Unfortunately, the minister is correct. There really aren’t many startups using Bitcoin here just yet, and that was my main motivation in starting the Foundation Chapter: to bring about some education into the start-up scene”, said D’Costa.
Being accepted in the non-official home of the European Union – Brussels, Belgium’s capital – would mean a lot to the digital currency ecosystem. “I feel positive that existing regulation will class Bitcoin as a foreign currency and treat it as such for tax purposes. This would be very good for Belgium, because foreign exchange gains do not attract capital gains tax”, Chris D’Costa added.
According to the well-knows publisher of the investment newsletter MacroTrends.be, the Belgian Tuur Demeester, there are several local investors considering investments in the world of digital currency. Demeester says that “in the medium term, Bitcoin’s safe haven attribute will prove to be its major point of attraction for Belgians. Quiet as things may seem on the surface, I sense a strong undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the way the authorities are handling the problem of bureaucratization and overspending”.