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Debtfree Magazine January 2018

SA's Free Debt Counselling & Debt Review Industry Magazine. We discuss Bitcoin, Steinhoff, amending the National Credit Act and more in this issue.


BITCOIN & CRYPTOCURRENCIES IS BITCOIN MONEY? Now, you might think that the answer is simple, but smart Judges in Courts around the world have disagreed. Even many countries disagree. In some pretty pivotal cases in the US, it has been ruled that Bitcoin did not meet the standard of money and thus the accused in those cases walked away scot-free though accused of all sorts of financial misconduct. Subsequently, several states have had to make new laws to take cryptocurrencies into account.

Companies like Microsoft and Dell accept payment in Bitcoin and even universities (like Nicosia University on Cyprus – who were the first) accept student fee payments in Bitcoin and some other currencies. Countries like Japan (since April 2017) and the micro state of Liberland are leading the way in making Bitcoin legal tender (ie. You can’t refuse payment in it). On the other hand countries like Belgium, Switzerland and Finland see Bitcoin as a ‘commodity’ and not a currency and don’t even make you pay VAT on it. Some countries see Bitcoin as a threat to their sovereign currency and have banned its use like: Saudi Arabia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Bangladesh and Kyrgyzstan (Russia is not that fond of it either). In some countries you can use it but never exchange it for the state currency. It is how the oil producing countries must feel about electric cars. They have been in charge for hundreds of years and want things to stay how they are. This new technology threatens that and defies regulation.

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