Bitcoin is a digital currency that is completely decentralized, meaning no central bank or organization controls it, therefore Bitcoin trading is an attractive area of investment with high yield potential due to the currency’s high levels of volatility. The legal status of cryptocurrencies is subject to change in a substantial part of jurisdictions. We also provide services for ICO projects. Our services will include legal consulting services, the creation of a reliable project structure, and the management of all marketing processes.
Possibility to open a company in Seychelles with activities connected to cryptocurrency. However, License from the Local financial Authority will be required. The license may include:
– providing services of exchanging a virtual currency against a fiat currency;
– providing a virtual currency wallet service;
The Danish Financial Supervision Authority does not consider bitcoin and crypto currencies as “regular” currencies, which means that it does not fall under the regulation of the authority. Transactions with cryptocurrencies are not limited.
Permitted activities: creation or trade using cryptocurrency. It is also possible to launch an ICO project, but in this case, it will be another procedure, and the fees are calculated individually.
In early 2017, the Israel Tax Authority issued a statement that equated cryptocurrencies to assets, but not to currencies, securities, etc. Accordingly, cryptocurrency is regarded as an asset for accounting purposes and is subject to taxes on capital gains and VAT. As of January 2017, state bodies are preparing a bill that would resolve the issues of using cryptocurrency in the country.
In accordance with the Estonian legislation, authorization is required for a company to provide services of the exchange of virtual currency or custodial wallet services. Application for a cryptocurrency exchange license must be submitted to the Register of Economic Activities.
As early as 2016, Canada began to actively explore the features of innovative blockchain technology.
At present, cryptocurrencies can be taxed at once with several taxes (depending on the type of transaction), namely:
- a) if there is a payment for goods or services – then such a transaction will be taxed as barter;
- b) when selling cryptocurrency (in case of occurrence of a tax base), it is subject to income tax/profit tax (for business entities) or a capital gains tax.
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man has been recognized internationally as a jurisdiction with an effective regulatory environment. Transactions with cryptocurrencies are limited only for the purpose of fulfilling AML / CFT requirements. ICO projects are also required to comply with AML / CFT requirements, register with the Financial Supervisory Commission (no license is required), and comply with the requirements for the protection of the personal data of customers.
If particular digital tokens fall within the scope of “securities” as defined in SFA, issuers, and intermediaries of such tokens will be subjected to licensing under SFA and the Financial Advisers Act.
As for holding an ICO, they must undergo registration of tokens in the MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore), obtain permission from the MAS, and fulfil a number of additional requirements in a number of cases. Existing cryptocurrency exchanges must receive a license from the MAS.
Switzerland showed itself as a progressive jurisdiction and published guidelines regarding the ICO regulation that was developed by The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). FINMA will analyse every case and apply appropriate and corresponding financial legislation for each case. The current edition of the guidelines is mostly aimed at anti-money laundering politics.
Gibraltar has become the first jurisdiction where ICO is officially in compliance with the law. An initial coin offering is a funding process based on the Blockchain. The regulator of Gibraltar (Financial Services Commission or GFSC) adopted an unprecedented decision at the end of 2017 that all companies registered in Gibraltar and using blockchain technology in their work must pass a mandatory procedure for obtaining a license. Also, new requirements for conducting business by blockchain companies entered into force on January 1, 2018. Now, these companies must comply with the requirements of the law on consumer protection. Cryptocurrency transactions for individuals are not limited.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority published an official statement back in 2013, according to which Bitcoin was equated to a virtual commodity and, accordingly, other cryptocurrencies have the same status. It follows that transactions with cryptocurrencies are unrestricted and have no special regulation.
As for holding an ICO in Hong Kong, conditions for carrying out this procedure in Hong Kong are less loyal. The regulator equates tokens to securities, and, accordingly, requires strict compliance with all regulatory requirements of securities legislation.
In April 2014, the Commission for the Supervision of the Financial Sector issued a statement in which it equated cryptocurrencies to ordinary currencies. Accordingly, the authorities provide an opportunity for both individuals and legal entities to use cryptocurrencies for mutual settlements or other transactions. As for the work of cryptocurrency exchangers or stock exchanges, the latter should receive special permits from government agencies to provide financial services.
The status of cryptocurrencies was initially equated to the status of virtual goods in New Zealand. However, in October 2017, the regulator of New Zealand (the Financial Markets Authority or the FMA) issued an official press release on the legal regulation of cryptocurrencies.
Now, the legal status of cryptocurrency transactions is identical to the status of securities transactions. Moreover, unlike the regulator of other countries, for example, the USA, cryptocurrencies are subject to the regulation of securities legislation in any case in New Zealand.
As of 1st January 2018, revolutionary changes in the US tax legislation come into force, according to which the rule of “exchange of similar assets” now applies only to real estate, thus all transactions with cryptocurrencies became subject to personal income tax or capital gains tax (depending on variables).
In turn, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) considers cryptocurrency “as a digital embodiment of value that is distributed digitally and can be used as a means of accounting, exchange, or accumulation.”
Entities must adhere to AML / CFT and KYC rules in some activities, for example, on sale/exchange of cryptocurrencies. Holding an ICO in the country may be subject to the regulation of securities legislation under certain conditions.
As early as 2015, the National Bank of Slovakia stated that bitcoin does not have the necessary attributes of a currency, and therefore will not be regulated by the state. Cryptocurrency transactions in the country are not prohibited or restricted in any way. Accordingly, there is limited legislative regulation in the country.
Legal regulation of cryptocurrency in Japan began with the fact that a number of legislative acts were adopted in January 2017 that was aimed at protecting participants of the cryptocurrency market from possible bankruptcies of cryptocurrency exchanges. At the same time, requirements regarding AML/CFT and KYC, which are applied to organizations carrying out transactions with cryptocurrencies, were legalized at the legislative level.
In April 2017, some cryptocurrencies (namely: bitcoin and Ethereum) were recognized as possible means of payment. Cryptocurrency is generally recognized not as a monetary asset, but as a transferable value or property. It is important to remember that the concept of cryptocurrency is delineated with the concept of electronic money.
We offer registrations in over 150 countries all over the world, in addition to the harmonized single application for all EU Member States (EUIPO). This has been the result of our Firm’s excellent networking with local agents in each country. We are glad to have a truly global network of the finest agents on IP law who work on the same values as we do. We will assist you in deciding the classes necessary in order to best protect your trademark and recommend the countries or Communities where such registration should be done (via OHIM or WIPO or otherwise), and the stages for cost optimization purposes. We shall recommend the best strategy for registration and we will provide you with the specific requirements in each country.
What can be registered as a trademark:
word marks, including letters, numbers or a combination of letters, numbers and words;
figurative marks (logo), whether or not they include words;
colours or combinations of colours;
What cannot be registered as a trademark:
Descriptive marks (however, certain exceptions may apply, in case such marks have become distinctive due
to their extensive use – mostly acceptable in the EU);
Shapes that result from the nature of goods;
Marks that are words or devices used to indicate specific goods/services;
Marks that may mislead the public on the nature, the quality of the geographical origin of the goods
Marks that are contrary to public policy;
Marks that are protected by the Paris Convention (national flags, emblems etc.);
Marks that could be considered offensive in any other country.