I need your help funding legal costs in a case at the EU Court of Justice related to Bitcoin and VAT exemption!
August 21, 2014
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
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 email@example.com if you have any questions.
You may also contact Dr. Thaer Sabri (firstname.lastname@example.org), Chief Executive of Electronic Money Association, to confirm the legitimacy of this fund raiser.