According to Coin.dance with LocalBitcoins data, Sweden ranked in 12th place on world’s volume of Bitcoin trading in 2018.
But is this good news for Sweden? US$ 68 million doesn’t seem bad for a country with only 10 million people. Being already a cashless society, bitcoin (or crypto in general) falls a bit short on Swede’s pockets.
I asked Totte Löfström, CEO of the Swedish cryptocurrency exchange Trijo, what was his take on the LocalBitcoins data, here is what he said:
“It is of course really positive that Swedes are investing in crypto, but I think that the numbers might be a bit off. The biggest problem with them is that Local Bitcoins is the only data source. We haven’t had a real crypto exchange here in Sweden (Trijo will be the first), which means that we might be over represented in using Local Bitcoins. The over representation could also be linked to the fact that Local Bitcoins is a Finnish company and that Swedes are more likely to become customers.
Another problem is that Local Bitcoins has a fairly low trading volume compared to the big real-time exchanges that are operating around the world. Since the start 2012, Local Bitcoins have had a total trading volume of about $6.32 billion, which could be compared to Bitfinex which has had a trading volume of $1.45 billion the last 30 days. As much as I would love Sweden to rank high on such lists, I have to admit that we are probably not one of the biggest bitcoin nations today”.
Totte Löfström, CEO of the Swedish cryptocurrency exchange Trijo
Totte also told me that Trijo made a quite advanced analysis of the Swedish market (in order to get to know their potential customers better), and found that Sweden stands out when it comes to what percentage of the population has owned a cryptocurrency at some point in time. For Sweden, it’s around 1% of the population, but for Norway – they are co-operating with a Norwegian company that makes crypto surveys on a regular basis – the number is about 4%.
If pay taxes in Sweden and traded (bought/sold) any cryptocurrency in 2018 (and previous years), now it’s time to declare your transactions.
The deadline for the income tax declaration (2018) is approaching and should be handled to Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) no later than 2nd May.
So what happens if you bought and sold cryptocurrency in Sweden? Here is a quick guide on how to declare it.
If you bought / sold crypto privately in Sweden
The first step is to compile a list of all transactions before filling out the tax declaration form.
These are the types of transaction Skatteverket advises to declare if you:
sold crypto currency
exchanged a cryptocurrency for one or more other types of cryptocurrencies
paid with crypto when buying an item. Even small value transactions eg. paying for a pair of shoes or a service, such as a taxi ride, should be declared too.
lent any cryptocurrency
used crypto for a gambling bet
Then you should use the form K4, complete section D and submit it together with your year’s income statement. Any profit will be taxed in the income category at 30%. If you have made a loss, it is deductible to 70%.
This applies only for individuals. If you traded crypto using a company (juridisk person), there are different rules – I will be talking about it on my next post.
According to a press release on 12/02/19, Skatteverket will be more strict in checking the purchase and sale of crypto in Sweden. This is a response of the increased number of people investing in crypto in the country.
For years, Sweden has dominated the global innovation landscape and it is no different with the ongoing technological revolution where companies like Klarna and iZettle were put on the map. Although, Sweden has attracted two-thirds of the Nordic fintech investments, there hasn’t been a comprehensive national ecosystem.
This January, FinDec came to life as a physical and digital gathering place for Sweden’s fintech community, aiming to build a stronger ecosystem. The name FinDec is a reference to “Fintech” and “Decentralized” and will support fintech in general, including verticals for Regtech, Insurtech and Blockchain. Even before the launch, about 50 affiliated startups and established players have signed up, and strategic partnerships have been established with Helsinki Fintech Farm, Oslo Fintech Hub and Copenhagen Fintech.
Behind FinDec are industry veterans with extensive experience from the financial sector and tech industry. Among these are Mats Holmfeldt (Paynova, Resurs, Intrum, Swedbank, SEB), Anette Nordvall (business angel), Lars Arvidson (Ericsson), Stig Johansson (Finansinspektionen), and blockchain experts Daniel Zachrisson and Jens Frid to name a few.
In addition to coming investments in co-working, offices and physical gatherings, Findec will also launch a digital platform during the first quarter in order to be able to service all companies in the country with the same information and accessibility to networks, events, reports, mentors, advisors and investors.
Blockchain PR is a starting a content collab with FinDec
I was proud to take part of the Malta Blockchain Summit with Blockchain PR – The summit was a huge success, here is a quick summary of the event.
The inaugural edition of the Malta Blockchain Summit has been a resounding triumph. Held on the 1st to 2nd November, at the Intercontinental Hotel, St. Julian’s – the Summit saw intense interest, from both local and global quarters, with 8,500 attendees turning up for the event.
The success of the show means the Summit will likely move to a larger venue better equipped to handle the scale of a growing Summit.
The Summit marked its entry as a key player on the island’s blockchain calendar, with the official launch of Malta’s DLT regulation acts announced during the Regulatory Conference. The three pieces of legislation moved swiftly through parliament, with approval conferred in July and August, before officially coming into effect on the first day of the Summit.
The new DLT regulation bills to mark Malta’s induction to a global hall of fame as the Blockchain Island are: the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill, Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Bill, and the Virtual Financial Asset Bill.
The launch of the bills comes in tandem with relocation from major players in the crypto sphere, such as Binance, OKEx and ZBX, and government promise to make the aptly dubbed Blockchain Island a hub for blockchain excellence.
With notable denizens of the industry, such as cryptocurrency evangelist and business guru, John McAfee, blockchain father and co-founder, W. Scott Stornetta, Hanson Robotics creation, Sophia the humanoid robot, and the Honourable Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta, addressing riveted audiences, the summit carried an aura of prestige and quality.
“I came to talk about the early work that we did, laying the foundations pre-Bitcoin for the blockchain. It is a little frenzied and very crowded. I think they succeeded a little too well in attracting people here.” said W. Scott Stornetta.
“I think it is an excellent summit. The quality of the attendees and the people presenting is excellent, it is well organised. Eman Pulis, the Founder of the Malta Blockchain Summit, is tremendous. But basically I came, so that I could talk, which I did. I want to tell the world, as I see it.” said John McAfee.
A competitive Hackathon for developers was overseen by a panel of some of the most influential movers and shakers in the industry. The judging table made place for esteemed individuals such as Scott Stornetta, Charles Hoskinson, Ilya Smagin, and Lucas Park.
Blockchain Charity Lottery took first place and a coveted prize of €25, 000, with TPass and Tensegrity coming in at second and third place and winning €15,000 and €10,000 respectively.
A heated ICO Pitch lit up the stage on both days of the Summit, as 35 ICO’s battled it out for invaluable mentorship from a line-up of savvy investors, industry exposure and a share of the $100,000 prize. Startups Rise and AEToken took first and second place on Day 1 and Tatau and GoMama grabbing the crown on the second day of the Pitch.
A new government AI strategy was announced during a press conference held at the Malta Blockchain Summit. The Junior Minister for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, Hon. Silvio Schembri launched a task force which will design a national strategy on AI and explore a citizenship test for robots – placing Malta amongst the top 10 nations in the world to do so. Malta.ai will work in collaboration with SingularityNet, the company behind Sophia, the humanoid robot’s AI.
The Summit ended with a number of lavish dinners, a spectacular closing night event and a grand evening tour of Malta’s fortified harbour during the Crypto Cruise.
“I wish to thank everyone who attended the Malta Blockchain Summit for the overwhelming feedback! This week the Blockchain community accepted me and my team as part of the family. I look forward to contribute and help drive this technology forward by doing what I love the most – events!” said Eman Pulis commenting on the monumental success of the Malta Blockchain Summit.
Main photo: Malta’s Prime minister Joseph Muscat opening the conference.
Malta has earned a well-deserved title of “Blockchain island” – it is the first jurisdiction in the world to introduce blockchain regulations. The Maltese government views the blockchain technology as a whole, while other countries are typically looking at crypto and blockchain for short-term gains. It’s fair to say that Malta legislators understand what the blockchain technology can offer in the long run.
In July 2018 when the Maltese parliament passed the regulatory bills, Silvio Schembri, Junior Minister for Financial Services, tweeted:
The 3 Bills that will regulate DLT have been approved by Parliament and enacted into law. Malta , the first world jurisdiction to provide legal certainty to this space. #blockchainisland@JosephMuscat_JM
These 3 bills provide comprehensive legal framework that addresses a number of problems faced by the industry. But what are they and what makes them such special piece of legislation? Here is a quick summary of each bill:
The first one is the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act(MDIA Act), and it establishes the Malta Digital Innovation Authority and certifies DLT platforms. This law will focus on internal governance arrangements and will outline the duties and responsibilities of the Authority to certify DLT platforms to ensure credibility and provide legal certainty to users wishing to make use of a DLT platform.
The second is the Innovative Technology Arrangement and Services Act (ITAS Act), deals with DLT arrangements and certifications of DLT platforms. This bill is primarily concerned with the setting up of exchanges and other companies operating in the cryptocurrency market.
And the third law, known as the Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFA Act), establishes the regulatory regime governing ICOs, cryptocurrency exchanges, wallet providers, etc.
Additionally, these bills reflect the European Union (EU) laws onto Maltese laws. There are 3 basic core principles that the bills abide to – market integrity, consumer protection and industry protection. The main difference here is that the bills have a principles-based approach, rather than a rules-based approach. Hopefully, they will flourish amidst a highly-unregulated environment.
That is why Malta is so attractive to the biggest players in the industry, hence Binance and OKEx already set up shop there.
It’s been less than one month since I launched Blockchain PR and there are some exciting news on the horizon – I’m proud to team up with startup and ICO advisory firm VOX.
To me it seemed like a natural progression, and here is why. I started Blockchain PR because companies that use the blockchain technology need a specialized marketing strategy. Companies need someone that understands their needs and the dynamic of the sector.
New ICO projects are created everyday and fundraising is a big challenge. That’s why my partnership with VOX makes sense – they will come in with their advisory expertise. By outsourcing your fundraising to us you will jump the hurdles of finding relevant investors.
“At VOX we believe that startups are the cornerstone of innovation. ICO is simply one way to attract investments, so we are agnostic: both equities or tokens are valid and valuable approaches”, adds Stefano Virgilli, CEO at VOX.
VOX has a dedicated team to contact and engage investors, crypto funds, venture capitals and funds all over the world. With over 2000 outgoing messages per months, they are able to pitch your project (both startup and ICO) to at least 30 interested parties every 4 weeks. This is not a sales team, but an investor relations group.