In an interview this week with Bloomberg, Olof Wallin from the Swedish taxation agency said he believes his country will classify Bitcoin as an asset, not a currency.
“Currencies are traditionally tied to a central bank or geographic area,” he said.
That means Sweden will treat the digital currency the way it would “art or antiques,” which are subject to capital gains taxes. Wallin further said the agency was investigating how to treat Bitcoin miners in Sweden, though no decisions have been made.
This comes just two days after the Bank of Finland made a similar statement, classifying Bitcoin as a commodity.
Norway is also on board with not classifying Bitcoin as a currency, though Finland went further in saying that Bitcoin is also not even an instrument of payment as far as Finnish laws are concerned.
Whether these pronouncements will affect big markets like the US and the UK, neither of which has taken a position on Bitcoin taxation, remains to be seen.
Bitcoin has managed to dominate headlines worldwide this month with announcements from Overstock.com and Coastal.com that those two online retailers would begin accepting the currency (Overstock already has). Furthermore, renowned venture capitalist Marc Andreessen addressed New York Times readers this week in an op-ed titled “Why Bitcoin Matters.”
These seismic shifts are outpacing the decision-making processes at the governmental level in many countries, and before long many tax agencies might have to scramble to announce decisions on taxation.