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Norway: Bitcoin isn’t money, it’s a taxable asset

Bad news for the Norwegian man famous for remembering he’d bought thousands of bitcoins in ’09.


Patrick Howell O'Neill


The world’s governments are taking a serious look at Bitcoin.

After regulators in the United States, European Union and China have put spotlights on the digital currency in the last month, Norway’s director general of taxation, Hans Christian Holte, has joined the fray.

Holte says that Bitcoin “doesn’t fall under the usual definition of money” and, for tax purposes in Norway, it won’t be considered a currency. Instead, it is an asset that the owner must pay capital gains taxes on. Currently, that’s a 28 percent tax.

Norway is home to one of the most famous Bitcoin owners in the world. Kristoffer Koch, who bought Bitcoins on a whim in 2009, forgot about them for four years and then rediscovered his stash in October 2013 to find he had $800,000 in Bitcoins to his name. He’ll be subject to the capital gains tax according to the new ruling.

After buying a new apartment, Koch kept 4,000 Bitcoins. That’s worth $2.9 million today. If Koch cashed that out now, he’d be on the hook for $812,000 in taxes due.

H/T | Photo by Antana/Flickr

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