Polish deputy finance minister calls bitcoin a financial instrument

Poland has become the unlikeliest of all places to be one of the central hubs for bitcoin. This year, for instance, Poland was the first country in Europe to gain a bitcoin embassy. Meanwhile, officials are lukewarm to the rise of peer-to-peer decentralized virtual currencies, considering that bitcoin miners have been subjected to a 23 percent VAT.

Bitcoin may have gained an ally in Polish deputy finance minister Wojciech Kowalczyk, who noted in a document that under the nation’s current financial regulatory structure that bitcoins and digital currency can be categorized as a financial instrument. This latest confirmation is believed to help bitcoin expand across the Eastern European nation.

The document was issued as a response to liberal Twoj Ruch (Your Movement) party Member of Parliament Michal Pacholski, who had inquired about the legal status of bitcoin transactions and if “options and futures contracts can be considered as a financial instrument.”

Bitcoin virtual currencyPacholski has been pressuring the finance ministry in order to garner clarification as to whether or not issuing options and futures contracts in the form of derivatives based on Bitcoin market indexes is permitted. With the statement made by the deputy finance minister, these are available to Polish investors as long as they follow the nation’s banking services rules and regulations.

“Options or futures contracts which are based on [bitcoin] as a base instrument can be considered as derivative instruments, and as such, they can be considered as financial instruments, according to the bill on financial instruments,” said Kowalczyk in a statement.

These measures have been implemented to protect consumers from unscrupulous means.

Earlier this year, the Polish Finance Ministry made headlines when it announced that bitcoins were not illegal, but highlighted that it doesn’t recognize bitcoin as a legitimate currency and it will closely monitor the developments of the cryptocurrency industry.

“Everything which is not forbidden is allowed. However, in light of EU legislation, we can’t recognize bitcoin as legal tender or electronic money. Bitcoin capital gains are taxed as ordinary income. Individuals who don’t report and pay the tax may be penalized,” the finance ministry’s representative Szymon Woźniak averred in a statement. “We don’t stand in the way of bitcoin’s development, but we need a declaration from its users whether they expect any regulations to be introduced or rather prefer the government to stand aside.”