The number of cryptocurrency supporters is steadily increasing. But at the same time, many users believe that electronic money has no legal force from a legal point of view. What is this opinion based on?
The EU Central Bank has prepared a whole report on the topic of cryptocurrency, which was released in 2012. The experts of the European regulator came to the conclusion that certain communities create their own virtual money. In the future, they actively use cryptocurrency in a certain ecosystem to purchase goods and services. The report places particular emphasis on the fact that cryptocurrencies are outside the sphere of government control. The developers are its only regulators. In addition, the participants of the ecosystem in which electronic money circulates also have a certain influence. The present time has only toughened this position, because the cryptocurrency is increasingly embracing the surrounding world.
Central Bank employees have prepared a list of criteria under which legal means of payment should fall:
The currency must have the status of an officially recognized legal tender.
She must participate in the circulation of money.
Used as a currency within the boundaries of a particular state.
Based on the foregoing, fiat currencies (paper notes and metal coins) can be considered legally valid means of payment. At the same time, the legal regime of virtual money raises doubts about their legality from the point of view of the Central Bank. After all, they do not meet the criteria set out above. First of all, because today the cryptocurrency is not officially recognized by any state. At best, the authorities see it as a certain substitute for real money. Moreover, banking secrecy does not apply to financial transactions with virtual money.
Cryptocurrency owners believe that its value is by no means less than traditional means of payment. Virtual money is quite suitable for paying for purchased goods or services consumed. In addition, even legally electronic money has many advantages over conventional banknotes:
Efficiency in the implementation of financial transactions. Thanks to cryptocurrency, the interested person can make the desired payment almost instantly. For this purpose, the possibilities of numerous payment systems are used, the performance of transactions in which costs a small amount.
The owner of the cryptocurrency constantly has access to it. All payment resources work around the clock, without holidays and weekends. Accordingly, the user can make financial transactions at any time convenient for him. Currently, electronic money can be used both day and night, no restrictions (time, territorial) have been established.
Operations around the world. Modern payment systems cooperate with almost all states. Therefore, the user does not cost anything to send money overseas or even further, if necessary.
Security guarantee. Virtual money exists in an encrypted digital format that is nearly impossible to hack. User accounts are also well protected. In addition, it should be noted that the legal regime of electronic money involves the use of additional protection in the form of a one-time code that is sent to the users phone to confirm the completion of a financial transaction.
Conversion capability. Today, there are a large number of exchange services on the network, where you can easily exchange one type of cryptocurrency for another, or convert it at the rate into fiat currency. At the same time, it is important to start cooperation with a reliable resource, for example baksman.org. By the way, this service is also provided by payment systems, but they offer a less favorable rate than specialized services.
And although the legal regime of electronic money is still uncertain, but current trends indicate a strengthening of its position in the market.
Central banks of individual European countries warn against transactions with virtual money. Of course, at the official level, such a ban was not voiced, and the cryptocurrency was not outlawed. Only the governments of individual countries outside the European continent, including Ecuador and Bangladesh, have banned the use of electronic money. But on their territory, not only cryptocurrency, but also other foreign means of payment fell under the ban.
As for Thailand, here the restrictive measures were temporary. And at present, electronic money can be used, but only subject to certain formalities. In China, cryptocurrency has become quite widespread, but it is impossible to make a payment with it through a banking institution. If we take Europe, then in some countries at the official level the issue of using virtual currency has been positively resolved. For example, the Spanish government has classified Bitcoins as a payment system. And today many gambling establishments have started working with this cryptocurrency. As for the outlets where you can buy goods for virtual money, there is already a whole Bitcoin boulevard in Madrid.
The German Minister of Finance, during an interview with a reputable publication, equated Bitcoins with a means of mutual settlements between individuals. He noted that such a situation requires amendments to the tax legislation in order to pay a fee from the profit received. Legally, this will mean permission to conduct business using electronic money. Germany is generally distinguished by its loyal attitude towards cryptocurrency. It is in this country that Fidor bank is located, among whose clients are the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Europe. The Australian and US authorities consider virtual money to be a property asset.
So far, Russian officials have not recognized the right to exist for the cryptocurrency. And the question rests not only on the absence of relevant regulations. The main problem is the negative attitude from the authorities. Thus, employees of the Central Bank and the Prosecutor Generals Office have repeatedly spoken out about the illegality of Bitcoins as a means of payment. That is why most organizations that have already started working with cryptocurrency or were ready to start activities in this direction were forced to abandon this option.
Not only that, they had to lose money as a result of the corresponding position of the authorities. So they have become an object for all kinds of checks. The Russian authorities made clear their position on electronic money when an official from the prosecutors office called it a legal tender. But thats not all: sources close to the government claim that a regulation is being prepared, according to which virtual currency will be outlawed.