Blockchain – Taxation of Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies: Technology and Economic Importance

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, or Ripple are often generated by users themselves through complex calculations using complex encryption algorithms. The currency units created are the reward for participating in a distributed database to confirm transactions with the “coins” and to maintain a tamper-proof register of owners (“distributed ledger”).


Blockchain technology is utilized in the creation and maintenance of cryptocurrencies. It involves a decentralized ledger system that securely records transaction data.

What is a Cryptocurrency Legally? Cryptocurrencies are neither a thing nor a right under civil law but are encrypted datasets with assigned values. Their legal classification remains uncertain, leading to questions about transaction rules and legal reversals.

Crowdfunding as a Tool for Selling Virtual Tokens Cryptocurrencies sold in crowdfunding projects represent advance payments for future services rather than e-money. The transferability of tokens does not change this, and legal clarity on this matter is still pending.

Cryptocurrencies: Prohibited Attack on the State’s Money Monopoly? Creating virtual currencies is not considered an attack on the state’s monetary monopoly. Owning, buying, selling, and mining cryptocurrencies are legal activities. However, regulatory frameworks concerning cryptocurrencies remain largely unresolved.

Taxation of Cryptocurrency Gains

News: Capital Gains from Cryptocurrencies are Taxable Recent rulings have clarified that capital gains from cryptocurrency transactions within one year are taxable as private sales transactions. The distinction between business assets and private assets impacts the taxation of cryptocurrency income, with various criteria influencing the classification.

Understanding Income Tax Classification

Einkünfte aus Proof of Work (Mining) und Proof of Stake (Forging) Mining and forging activities are also taxable depending on their nature and scope.

VAT Treatment of Cryptocurrencies

Remuneration and VAT The use of Bitcoin is equivalent to the use of conventional means of payment, as long as it serves no other purpose than that of a pure means of payment. The provision of Bitcoin for the sole payment of a fee is therefore not taxable for VAT purposes.

Trading Platforms If the operator of a trading platform makes its website available to market participants as a technical marketplace for purchasing or trading Bitcoin, this is a matter of enabling purely IT-based processing.

Conclusion and Summary

The rising significance of cryptocurrencies in business requires careful consideration of income and sales tax consequences. Despite recent clarifications by regulatory authorities, many aspects of cryptocurrency taxation remain contentious, necessitating individual examination of each situation.

Notice: The information provided here is intended as initial guidance and does not replace professional advice. Specific circumstances may warrant consultation with legal or tax experts for accurate guidance.

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