Monthly Archives: augusti 2014

Blogg Nyheter

Update on Bitcoin VAT case (thanks everyone!)

I have great news! One donor (who wants to remain anonymous for now) has agreed to cover all costs for the written submission that is due in a few weeks. This made it possible for me to hire Mannheimer Swartling, a very reputable Swedish law firm with the necessary experience of the EU court as well as VAT questions related to financial institutions. This means that I am not looking for more funds at this point. We will assess the financial situation again if and when there is an oral hearing coming up. At that point it might be necessary to raise more funds.

Big thanks to everyone who has contributed so far! (money, legal assistance, contacts etc. – I have received a lot of friendly e-mails and phone calls this past week).

I now have a lot of contacts that can offer insight into the situation in other EU countries. I will pass this information on to my lawyer and we will of course try to learn as much as possible about the legal status in other countries but there won’t be time to talk to everyone. There is one thing that everyone in other EU countries can do to help and that is to lobby your own government! All EU countries have the oppurtunity to intervene in the case and the more countries we have on our side the better.

That’s it for now, I will keep you posted.

 

Blogg Nyheter

I need your help funding legal costs in a case at the EU Court of Justice related to Bitcoin and VAT exemption!

Idag blir det ett undantag med ett inlägg på engelska.

As some of you may already know there is an ongoing case regarding Bitcoin and VAT exemption in Sweden and the EU. The Supreme Administrative Court (“Högsta förvaltningsdomstolen”) has now requested a preliminary ruling from the EU Court of Justice. The case, C-264/14, can be found here and has been covered quite a lot in media (Bloomberg, Law360, CoinDesk).

I got involved in this simply by asking for an advance ruling in Sweden because I wanted to start selling bitcoin on my site bitcoin.se. It has now escalated and I find myself in a situation where my case will likely decide if and how VAT should be applied to Bitcoin throughout the EU.

It took me a while to realize the significance of this case and I have to appoint a top law firm team here in Sweden that can prepare a written submission (and we’re short on time here – this has to be done in 3 weeks) as well as a potential oral hearing later on. The Swedish counsel will also cooperate with interested parties throughout Europe to get input and support from other European countries if deemed necessary. I am currently discussing with teams at three of Swedens top firms in VAT and EU-law. After asking about the costs I have received fee estimates that range from 22 000 to 38 000 EUR (approximately 56 to 96 bitcoin at the time of writing).

So here is my problem. There is no way that I can finance this personally. I don’t have enough commercial interest in the case to throw all of my savings on it, the business that we wanted to start on bitcoin.se has not been launched so there is no money there. This is why I am now reaching out to the Bitcoin community.

Disclaimer: Donating is in no way a guarantee that we will win the case but if I can’t raise the money the risks are dramatically increased that I will lose since I will have to deal with the court proceedings on my own (which one of the parties I have discussed the case with has described as “catastrophical” for Bitcoin in Europe).

If the donated money is in excess of the costs I will donate the excess funds to Bitcoin organizations in Europe. If, for some reason, none of the funds raised are used I will return all bitcoins to the sender address (so make sure that you donate from an address that you control!)

Please send your donations to this Bitcoin address
1EyosiaYh9gVEP7VKPTyrFGSSoS8QDSsbb

About me
My name is David Hedqvist and have been running bitcoin.se since early 2012. I am a moderator of the Scandinavian forum section at bitcointalk.org and I have also been a moderator at bitcoin.stackexchange.com since its launch.

I will post this message on bitcoin.se, on bitcointalk.org where my name is D.H. and on Reddit where my name is D_H_. If you read about the case on curia.europa.eu or in media you can confirm that the case is about David Hedqvist and bitcoin.se. Feel free to send me a PM or an e-mail to david@bitcoin.se if you have any questions.

You may also contact Dr. Thaer Sabri (thaer@flawlessmoney.com), Chief Executive of Electronic Money Association, to confirm the legitimacy of this fund raiser.

Nyheter

Semesternyheter

Det händer massor i Bitcoinvärlden såhär i semestertider! För den som legat i hängmattan (som jag) så kommer här lite nyheter från de senaste veckorna.

  • Dell accepterar nu bitcoin! Kanske det mest välkända företaget hittills, i alla fall för oss i Sverige. Tyvärr funkar det inte på den svenska sajten men vi hoppas att det är bara är en tidsfråga.
  • Wikipedia tar äntligen emot donationer i bitcoin. Bitcoinentusiaster har tjatat och tjatat i flera år och nu är det möjligt. Klicka här för att donera.
  • Det finns redan en del resesajter som tar emot bitcoin men AirBaltic är det första flygbolaget som gör det direkt. Flyger från bl.a. Stockholm och Göteborg.
  • BitPay erbjuder nu företag att ta emot betalning i bitcoin och få dem växlade och insatta direkt på bankkontot helt gratis. För oss i Sverige är det dock så att insättningen sker med en SEPA-överföring i EUR så en liten växlingsavgift får man nog räkna med där.
  • BitPay har också släppt en ny webbplånbok, Copay, som utnyttjar Bitcoins ”multi-signature”-teknik. Det innebär att du kan kräva att flera personer (eller du själv på olika enheter) signerar en transaktion för att pengarna ska skickas. Enkelt och snyggt och allt är öppen källkod. Allt sker också i din webbläsare så ingen känslig information skickas till någon server.
  • Populära blockchain.info har släppt en ny app till Android och har dessutom fått sin app för iOS godkänd efter att Apple släppt på sina tidigare hårda restriktioner mot Bitcoinappar.