Belgium, like many other countries, is working to regulate the crypto sector thriving within its premises. In a fresh announcement, the Belgium government has made it compulsory for all virtual asset players to identify themselves. The order comes from Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA), aiming to ensure that the government does not miss out on recognising any crypto firm, that could facilitate illegal transactions for illicit purposes. Additionally, Belgium also wishes to curb the risk of potential financial scams carried out by unregistered crypto service providers.
“As from May 1 2022, any legal person established in Belgium that wants to provide exchange services between virtual currencies and legal currencies, or custody wallet services, within Belgium will have to register with the FSMA in advance,” the FSMA said in its statement.
The rule also applies to existing virtual asset firms currently operational in the country of nearly 12 million in population.
“Providers already operating on May 1 2022, must notify the FSMA of the exercise of their activity before July 1 2022 and apply for registration before September 1 2022,” the FSMA added.
Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies remain largely unregulated in Belgium. While the authorities there have warned that virtual currencies are not legal tenders, the nation is still working on its regulatory laws around the digital assets sector.
For tax purposes, the Special Tax Inspectorate (STI) in Belgium generally treats income or gains coming from the sale of cryptocurrency as “miscellaneous income” subject to tax.
Belgium’s crypto circle continues to grow gradually.
Christophe De Beukelaer, from the Belgian capital of Brussels in January 2022 become the first politician from Europe to have converted his salary into Bitcoin.
The parliamentarian draws a monthly salary of EUR 5,500 (roughly Rs. 4.5 lakh), which amounts to BTC 0.17. At the time of writing, BTC is trading at $38,523 (roughly Rs. 29 lakh).
As per Triple-A data, Belgium had over 270,000 crypto holders in 2021.