By Michael Kuchar
Every country in the world has their own opinion when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Some countries have wholeheartedly accepted blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, while others shun it. India for example, has banned the use of cryptocurrencies altogether! There are some countries which happily embrace Bitcoin, and recognize the many benefits it can bring, while others are not ready to adapt the cryptocurrency yet (or probably never!). Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency out there, and there is no question that its popularity will continue to grow with time.
Funnily enough, 10,000 Bitcoins were worth the equivalent of two Papa John’s pizza on the 22nd of May, 2010, and Bitcoin is worth $7,118 as of the 25h of November, 2019! If we look at Europe as a continent, several European countries have adopted Bitcoin, and Europe has a positive approach overall, when it comes to Bitcoin and the possible Bitcoin revolution that might come with it. In fact, several Governments have legalized Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Which are the most Bitcoin-friendly European countries though? Let’s find out!
Known as the ‘Mecca of Gambling’, no wonder Malta has emerged as the most Bitcoin-friendly European country! It makes perfect sense, as Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies are making an impact in the gambling sector. Malta has emerged as one of the most progressive cryptocurrency countries in Europe, and hosts several blockchain-related events, and summits. Malta has formed the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA), to welcome blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses to the fore – to setup projects and establishments in Malta.
The home of the popular app Skype, Estonia is a Northern European country that embraced Bitcoin much earlier than several other countries in Europe. The Government of Estonia is a keen supporter of Bitcoin, and its applications, as well as blockchain technology as a whole. As blockchain technology is expanding to several sectors, including health and tourism, the Government of Estonia wants to use Bitcoin to their advantage – in health care and banking.
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In fact, Estonia also plans on developing their own cryptocurrency in the future, as is the case with some other countries around the world. In a practical move to say the least, and profits obtained on Bitcoin in Estonia are taxable. This essentially means that these deductions are pumped back into the Government.
Switzerland too, has fully embraced blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and foremost, Bitcoin. As Switzerland is not a part of the European Union, it gives them an edge over other countries. The Government is pro-Bitcoin, and this has led to some dubbing the country ‘CryptoValley’. Several top blockchain and Bitcoin companies find their home in the beautiful country of Switzerland. The country is also a haven for traders, if they are willing to pay capital gains tax that is (another smart strategic move!). Do not forget to gorge on Swiss chocolate when you are in Switzerland!
Belarus as a country are big believers in cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, and most importantly, Bitcoin. They legalized Bitcoin and some other cryptocurrencies in 2017, when Bitcoin peaked in price and popularity. The step was taken by the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, and it has paid dividends. Proving to have been a right move, Belarus openly encourages cryptocurrency-based businesses to set up camp in Belarus, and start/expand their businesses.
What’s more, unlike some other countries mentioned on this list, mining, trading and capital gains are tax-free until 2023! Belarus presents the perfect opportunity to pitch up in the country, if you own a cryptocurrency-based business, or plan on starting one soon. This also sets it up nicely to be placed higher on the list, in years to come.
Slovenia is a Central European country, which is home to several respected Bitcoin exchanges. Its exchanges have put it on the radar of many cryptocurrency enthusiasts and experts. In fact, a town in Slovenia called Krani, is home to the world’s first Bitcoin monument, such is the Bitcoin frenzy in Slovenia. This goes on to show how appreciated the coin is in the country, and its acceptance. The Government has been pushing on the message that they are Bitcoin-friendly, since 2017. Slovenia is open to welcoming cryptocurrency start-ups and cryptocurrency-based businesses. Slovenia aims at being a blockchain leader, and they are certainly on the right track.
Conclusion on the most bitcoin-friendly European countries
Bitcoin is more likely than not to be accepted in a whole host of other European countries in years to come. Once touted as a bubble which will not survive the trial time presents, blockchain technology has stood tall, with Bitcoin standing as its proudest exponent. As of now, the above mentioned countries are the most Bitcoin-friendly European countries, but I wouldn’t bet on this remaining the same in the future! With the rise in blockchain powered movements and projects, like a Veganism-based ecosystem, expect more countries to jump aboard the cryptocurrency wagon.
About the Author:
Michael is an experienced financial trader using Forex, Commodities and Cryptocurrencies. In addition to trading, he runs businesses, trains traders and develops trading technology products. His other passions are boxing and traveling.