The United Kingdom Will Not Accept Cryptocurrency

UK Tax Authority Rejects Cryptocurrency for Tax Bills

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A minister of state, Lord Michael Bates, while addressing the question of digital currency payment replied to a question from a member of Parliament, Lord Jonathan Harris by saying that the United Kingdom will not accept cryptocurrency. Lord Bates wrote:

“HM Revenue and Customs does not offer digital currencies as a payment method and has no current plans to do so.”

Profits made on speculation in cryptocurrency “are currently chargeable at the normal Capital Gains Tax rates, depending on the facts of the case,” Bates wrote in response to a separate question from Lord Harris.

Those gains could be considerable. Bitcoin alone has made a 10X return since the end of last year, including briefly crossing the psychological threshold of $10,000 this week. As at the time of writing, bitcoin is trading at £6,992.34.

Regulating Exchanges

Lord Harris asked several other questions relating to cryptocurrency regulation. In reply to one of these question. The minister declared that the UK government plans to bring wallet providers and exchanges under anti-money-laundering rules, pending amendments to a European Union directive. Negotiations over those amendments should wrap up by early next year, he told Lord Harris.

“This will require such firms to conduct due diligence upon their customers, with their activities being overseen by national competent authorities for these areas,” Bates wrote.

And in answering Lord Harris’ question about U.K. banks’ reluctance to provide accounts to digital currency firms and their employees – a problem faced by start-ups in the space for years – Bates offered little encouragement.

“The stance of individual firms towards providers of digital currencies is a commercial decision for those firms, and it would not be appropriate for the Government to intervene,” he wrote.

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