WASHINGTON- Today, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released a report prepared by the Law Library of Congress that summarizes the legal status of virtual currencies, like Bitcoin, in 40 foreign nations and the European Union. The report, which was requested by Chairman Carper, surveyed the central banks or government offices of individual nations on how those entities handle and address Bitcoin and if there is any evidence of significant use of Bitcoin in business transactions. According to the report, of the nations reviewed, only a few had specific policies in place that affects Bitcoin use, most notably China and Brazil. The report concludes that the debate and regulation of Bitcoin is still in its infancy.
A copy of the report can be found, here.
“This report has some good news – namely that the United States may not be as far behind the curve on virtual currencies as some have argued,” said Chairman Carper. “In fact, the United States might be leading the way for a number of nations when it comes to addressing this growing technology. While there is no consistent or clear definition or treatment of digital currencies throughout the world, this report underscores that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are present and growing in major economies, supporting the call for increased global cooperation. Significantly, this report shows that other countries have addressed how virtual currencies are taxed, and I urge the Internal Revenue to glean the findings from this survey to help determine its own treatment of virtual currencies. Our Committee will also continue to work closely with the Internal Revenue Service to get greater clarity as to their timelines and thought processes on dealing with the potential tax vulnerabilities of digital currencies. A the end of the day, I think this report is an important reminder to those of us in Congress as well as federal agencies that this technology continues to play an increasing role in our economy here in the United States as well as around the world, and we need to ensure that our policy making in this area is thoughtful, effective and timely.”