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Bitcoin Regulation and Bitcoin Tax in Bulgaria

In a Civil Case (No. 984/2015), the Bulgarian court gave a clear opinion that the virtual currency “Bitcoin” is not a legal tender. Buying, selling and paying with Bitcoins are not regulated by any applicable national (Bulgarian) and European law and are not subject to licensing requirements. These are not electronic money transactions within the purview of the Bulgarian National Bank and Article 3 of the Act on Markets and Financial Instruments explicitly states what the financial instruments to be regulated by the Bulgarian Financial Regulator are.

Despite the government not particularly regulating Bitcoin the Central Bank has instituted a heavy hand by closing all the cryptocurrency exchanges bank accounts in Bulgaria.

While at the same time, Bulgarian law enforcement seized more than 200,000 bitcoins (worth over $2 billion at today’s prices) last May and has been sitting on them ever since.

According to a press release of May 19 from the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC), ‘a total of 213,519 bitcoins were seized that month. Twenty-three Bulgarian nationals were arrested during the operation, and officials said at the time that the arrests and subsequent asset seizures followed an investigation into an alleged customs fraud scam. As of January 2018 the amount seized is worth approximately $2 billion, at a price of roughly $10,000.’ No one seems to know what has happened to the 200,000 Bitcoins and it is presumed the government is still holding them.

None of this has stopped the trade in Bitcoin of course since it is international and global and anyone can go on the internet and transfer their currency from one exchange to another and also transfer fiat currency overseas and then buy and sell Bitcoin overseas.

As in many other countries, it is likely the bank will eventually relent and accept Bitcoin as a necessary evil (in their eyes) and understand that unless they come to the party they will stand to make big losses. On top of the economic turmoil in Bulgaria of late it will behove them to move quickly.

This article will be updated as news unfolds. This article is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as financial information for any purposes such as investment or speculation and it is the responsibility of the reader to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any of the information provided. We recommend that you consult with a licensed, qualified investment advisor before making any investment decisions.