Donald Trump claims Bitcoin ‘seems like a scam’
Since 2017, the UK Government has warned bitcoin is unregulated and that it should be treated as a ‘foreign currency’ for most purposes. Currently, when bitcoin is exchanged for sterling or for foreign currencies, such as euro or dollar, no VAT will be due on the value of the bitcoins themselves.
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Back in February, London was advised to embrace bitcoin in a post-Brexit Britain as the UK looked to find new ways to thrive outside of the EU.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the EU won’t be Brexit Britain’s main competition.
He said EU financial capitals may “nick a bit of business here and there from the City”, but that they will not challenge London’s status as Europe’s global financial capital.
Should UK accept cryptocurrency as official currency?
Mr Raab added: “The boss of Barclays has been saying recently how the long-term position of the UK is unparalleled, unrivalled.
“The crucial question for the EU, while it may be able if you like to nick a bit of business here or there from the City, but the problem is the measures they will take to achieve this will undermine their own competitiveness.
“The challenge to London as a global financial centre around the world will come from Tokyo, New York and other areas rather than those European hubs. Particularly if they start to erect barriers to trade and investment.”
This comes after El Salvador became the first country in the world to approve the cryptocurrency as legal tender.
El Salvador became the first country to accept bitcoin
Ministers in El Salvador’s Congress voted by a “supermajority” in favour of the Bitcoin Law, which received 62 out of 84 possible votes.
Prices in the Central American country can now be shown in Bitcoin, while tax contributions can be paid with digital currency.
Exchanges in the cryptocurrency will also not be subject to capital gains tax.
While it is not clear how exactly El Salvador will roll out Bitcoin as legal tender, the proposal still needs to go through the country’s legislative process before being passed as law.
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El Salvador becomes first country to accept bitcoin
The law passed in the country by ministers reads: “The purpose of this law is to regulate bitcoin as unrestricted legal tender with liberating power, unlimited in any transaction, and to any title that public or private natural or legal persons require carrying out.”
El Salvador’s current official currency is the US dollar, and the proposed law states the exchange rate with the currency “will be freely established by the market”.
The law adds the state will “promote the necessary training and mechanisms so that the population can access bitcoin transactions”.
Earlier this month, the price of the cryptocurrency plummeted after Donald Trump said he viewed it as a “scam” affecting the value of the US dollar.
Donald Trump spoke out against bitcoin
The former US President told Fox Business: “Bitcoin, it just seems like a scam.
“I don’t like it because it’s another currency competing against the dollar.”
Mr Trump added he wanted the dollar to be the “currency of the world”.
Justin Urquhart-Stewart, co-founder of Seven Investment Management and the Regionally investment platform, thinks Bitcoin does have a potential threat of destabilising currencies.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab
He said it is “because it has taken off in such a way that it’s created a popular appeal without any sound financial strength”.
Mr Urquhart-Stewart told the BBC: “Bitcoin is dangerous because it’s trying to create a level of credibility to unreliable and wholly unfounded value.
“Quite often, unsophisticated punters are drawn in at the wrong time to something they think they can make a quick buck on – to them, it doesn’t matter what it is, whether it’s Bitcoin or GameStop or AMC, it’s something you can bet on.”
Published at Mon, 21 Jun 2021 11:11:00 +0000