Germans know well what benefits the latest FinTech innovations can bring. The country always had a leading role in EU in most of the industries and technologies are no exception. Today, we are going to travel to the land of Oktoberfest and hard-working people to see the attitude of people and government towards cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
Europe’s largest economy joined the hype over cryptocurrencies a while ago as it deployed blockchain in many industries. Currently, the government is launching a process that will make up a comprehensive blockchain strategy in the near future.
Germany is looking for help and asks their own innovative youth for it. Many companies, among them FinTech startups, have been invited to offer recommendations for consolidating blockchain to reinforce the German economy.
In addition to FinTech, there is a huge interest to blockchain and crypto from a wide range of industries, including the energy sector, the pharmaceutical companies, and the auto industry (even Porsche).
When it comes the flagman of cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin, the German Ministry of Finance announced that it has no plans to tax its users.
The German government will regard bitcoin as the equivalent to legal tender for tax purposes when used as a means of payment, according to an official document.
The document justifies the tax decisions and regards crypto as a legal payment method, stating:
“Virtual currencies become the equivalent to legal means of payment, insofar as these so-called virtual currencies of those involved in the transaction as an alternative contractual and immediate means of payment have been accepted.”
This ruling created a precedent for other EU countries on how to tax cryptocurrencies while providing exemptions for some types of transactions.
There are no specific regulations on crypto in Germany whatsoever but the interest in it is staggering, especially among the young citizens. According to the German consumer centers of Hesse and Saxony survey from November 2018, 28% of Germans (age range 18–29) indicated interest in purchasing digital assets.
It surely is not surprising that a demographic whose lives have been characterized by the internet, smartphones and social media, see the attractive functionality crypto provides as an instant and decentralized means of transferring value.
But curiosity does not stop with the simple interest from the young Germans towards crypto. For example, Berlin, the capital of Germany, is a tech hub that’s home to 170 startups that is researching blockchain technology.
Many countries in Europe and not only are looking up to Germany and often duplicate their ways towards new technologies. People and governments regard Germany as an example of success when it comes to the finance industry and economics in general. Many events also happen throughout the country and participation is always high, and other cities are following the suit of Berlin — many FinTech and crypto startups appear in Hamburg, Munich, Hannover, Cologne, etc.
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