Bitcoin exchange and the law – failure to have a compromise
Bitcoin is a shining example of how the law fails to keep up with technological progress. Greater part of bitcoin world would just yawn at rebut of the European Court of Justice.
Who's going to win - the technology ( represented by bitcoin ) or law ( represented by the Tax Agency) – time will show. But it is clear that the case of EU Court is a shining example of how poor they work together. VAT rules are not written to work with a digital, decentralized cryptocurrency. The technology has been running at over 180 kilometers per hour and crashed straight into the old structures of politics and economy. Blaming the legislators would be unfair - the technology is developing too fast for that law.
For Swedish bitcoin exchange scene this situation creates a severe problem. Forced to pay VAT for the exchange of Bitcoin this sort of business is loosing profitability. Taking into account these conditions digital money would be useless as currency. Only open, legitimate bitcoin exchanges would not be threatened by such rules.
However, that does not mean that bitcoin can not exist. The currency was invented outside the established financial system. A large part of it is managed in a gray private economic zone.
An essential part of bitcoin world will just yawn in case of negative decision from the European Court of Justice. Official agencies are not able to have a full control over digital currency. Therefore, courts won't be able to stop bitcoin usage, however it is up to them to decide who should manage Bitcoin processes – legal companies or just shady groups.