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Poland: Cryptocurrencies Are Totally Legal (But Not ICOs)


Financial regulators in Poland want to clear the air on the alleged cryptocurrency crackdown in the country. According to the Komisja Nadzoru Finansowego (KNF), the country’s financial regulator, virtual currency traders have no reason to panic.

No Cryptocurrency Trading Ban in Poland

The KNF wants to assure investors in Poland that there isn’t any ban on virtual currency trading. The financial regulator’s website even states that digital currency trading is legal in the country. However, Poland is serious about regulating the market to prevent money laundering, tax evasion, and terrorist financing.

Consequently, the KNF plans to introduce new regulatory laws for Bitcoin and altcoins. The laws — which take effect from the middle of July 2018 — classify cryptocurrencies and exchange platforms as “obligated institutions.” Thus, the Polish cryptocurrency market, by this new act, will be under money laundering and terrorist funding (ML/TF) legislation.

ICO Ban Remains Amidst Cryptocurrency Investment Warnings

The KNF, however, maintains that the ban on cryptocurrency Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) remains.

ICOs are a fundraising mechanism used by virtual currency and blockchain startups to raise capital for their projects in exchange for digital currency tokens. ICOs are controversial due to their mostly unregulated nature and the prevalence of fraud.

Poland is also stepping up its efforts to inform its citizens of the dangers in the cryptocurrency market. Its campaign focuses on the lack of robust regulations in the industry, advising people to take great care when investing in cryptocurrency assets.

Poland’s Anti-Cryptocurrency History

In a related development, the country’s finance ministry announced an update to the controversial cryptocurrency tax laws. An earlier ruling has stipulated two tax brackets of 18 and 30 percent for cryptocurrency transactions. However, after a barrage of condemnations and online protests, the finance ministry has backtracked, stating that there will be no taxes on cryptocurrency transactions.

As far as anti-cryptocurrency rhetoric goes, the Polish government has a history of negative cryptocurrency sentiments. In February 2018, the country’s central bank sponsored a smear campaign against cryptocurrencies. The apex bank paid a pair of YouTube vloggers to create videos that portrayed cryptocurrencies in a negative light.

Recently, BitBay, the largest cryptocurrency exchange platform in the country announced its decision to terminate all activities in the country and move to Malta. The platform accused banks in the country of being unwilling to support its business, hence the move to much friendlier climes.

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