The Cryptocurrency Landscape in Greece: Regulations and Taxation

2020 11 24T133928Z 788862449 RC2P9K9XL48K RTRMADP 3 CRYPTO CURRENCIES

The crypto industry in Greece is a captivating blend of innovation, economic shifts, and evolving regulatory approaches. Positioned in Southeast Europe, Greece's crypto market has grown into a significant player, reflecting the global trend toward digital currencies. While it traces its roots back to the early 2010s, the market gained substantial traction in recent years, driven by technological advancements and increasing public interest in digital finance.

The Greek cryptocurrency scene is witnessing a rise in users, broader acceptance of transactions, and the emergence of startups and businesses focused on blockchain technology. This growing market is attracting local investors and tech enthusiasts and garnering international attention, placing Greece within the global crypto economy. This guide explores the regulatory frameworks, taxation policies, and market dynamics shaping the cryptocurrency landscape in Greece, providing insights into its complexities and opportunities.

Regulatory Framework for Cryptocurrencies in Greece Current regulations primarily concentrate on anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT). The Bank of Greece and the Hellenic Capital Market Commission have warned about the risks associated with virtual currencies, emphasizing the lack of regulatory oversight and consumer protection. Despite these warnings, there is no outright ban on cryptocurrencies. Regulatory bodies actively monitor the market, indicating potential future legislative developments in alignment with EU directives and international standards.

Adopting the EU’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) into Greek law is a crucial step in regulating crypto exchanges and wallet providers. These entities must now register with Greek authorities and adhere to stringent AML and CFT guidelines, signalling a shift toward greater transparency and accountability in the Greek cryptocurrency market.

Greece's regulatory framework mirrors the cautious yet open stance observed in many countries globally. The focus on AML and CFT compliance and a keen interest in blockchain's potential align Greece with international trends that balance risk mitigation with technological adoption.

Taxation of Cryptocurrencies in Greece The Greek Income Tax Code does not explicitly mention cryptocurrencies, but guidelines from the Independent Authority for Public Revenue suggest that profits from cryptocurrency transactions are subject to income tax. Tax treatment depends on classifying crypto activities and distinguishing between casual and business activities.

For casual investors, profits from cryptocurrency sales are treated as other income and taxed at progressive rates based on total income. On the other hand, frequent and organized trading is considered a business activity, and profits are taxed accordingly.

While Greece currently lacks a separate capital gains tax regime for cryptocurrencies, gains from digital asset sales are subject to standard capital gains tax if deemed taxable under income tax provisions. This approach ties the taxation of crypto-related capital gains to the frequency and scale of trading activities, creating a clear distinction between occasional and professional trading."

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