Following a decision by the government to tax all cryptocurrency transactions in Poland, cryptocurrency traders have staged an online protest.
The protest, which comes in form of an online petition, was organized by traders who accused the government of trying to wipe out their community by taxing their capital hundreds or even thousand times over. They argued that the decision will not only affect traders as it will hinder the development of blockchain technology in the country. So far more than 2,900 people have signed the petition since it was started on 8th April.
Information on the Ministry’s website suggests that the tax instruction may be a provisional guideline as the ministry is working on a more convenient cryptocurrency tax system. The fact that the tax interpretation comes just in time for the annual tax report deadline further strengthens this point. Polish citizens have until April 30 to file their personal statement of income with the tax department.
The New cryptocurrency tax policy in Poland
Last week, Poland’s Finance Ministry announced that all cryptocurrency transactions in the country will be subject to an income tax whether or not there was a profit. In what was called an interpretation of the tax code, income from crypto transactions would be levied a tax of either 18 percent or 32 percent depending on. On the other hand, traders will also pay one percent levy each time they buy or sell cryptocurrencies. This is because the finance department interprets such transactions as a transfer of property right which normally attracts that tax.
Cryptocurrency likened to Ponzi Schemes
In a rather desperate effort to discourage citizens from investing in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the prime minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki declared that cryptocurrencies are simply Ponzi schemes. Morawiecki wouldn’t be the first to portray cryptos in such light. In February, World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim said: “In terms of using Bitcoin or some of the cryptocurrencies, we are also looking at it, but I’m told the vast majority of cryptocurrencies are basically Ponzi schemes.”
Poland Embraces Blockchain Technology like everybody else
Bitcoin may have been the buzz for years but it is blockchain that interests governments and institutions these days and Poland is part of this narrative. The PM noted that the government and state-owned financial institutions are united in their support for blockchain technology which they see as a source of innovation in the banking industry.
The protesters made sure it was not just about cryptocurrencies but blockchain as a whole. “We are demanding the release of the blockchain technology market and the abolition of all taxes related to this industry[…]We want to be active creators of this technology, not just its passive recipients in the coming years, from centralized Polish institutions or foreign entities.” the petition read.