Best Bitcoin Exchange for Finnland
For Finland, Bitcoin does not meet the definition of a currency or electronic payment form. The country’s central bank has instead decided to classify it as a commodity.
“If we look at the definition of an official currency as defined by law, it is not. Nor is it a payment instrument, because by law a payment instrument must have an issuer responsible for its operation,” explained Päivi Heikkinen, head of supervision at the Finnish central bank in Helsinki, in a telephone interview on 16 January. “At this stage, it is more like a commodity.
Finland, like other countries before it, is trying to respond to the proliferation of virtual currencies that are not controlled by any central bank or state. While regulators in Europe are warning about the risks of using digital currency as a substitute for real money, they are not warning about the risks that the use of digital currency can pose. But they find it difficult to draft a framework that protects consumers and businesses from potential losses for which they have no legal means to recover them.
Of the Scandinavian countries, the Norwegian government has also decided not to classify Bitcoins as a currency, while the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority has stated that it will make recommendations to legislators on how to treat Bitcoins and its competitors.
Bitcoins have met with different reactions around the world. The Chinese central bank has banned its credit institutions from using the virtual currency. The US Internal Revenue Service has not published any guidelines on Bitcoins and has stated that it is working on such a concept and has been monitoring digital currencies and transactions since 2007. Meanwhile, Senate candidate Steve Stockman of Texas accepts Bitcoins as a campaign contribution.
In Finland – which has a top rating of “AAA” and tends to adopt a similar stance to Germany on most economic policy issues – the public reaction of Bitcoins has been mixed, according to a survey commissioned by stock broker Nordnet AB. The interest was strongest among Finnish men with 17.2 percent.
ATM for Bitcoins
The first European ATM for Bitcoins was installed last month at a record store in Helsinki station. Although the central bank rejects Bitcoins as a legal medium of exchange, the Finns can legally use the online money for payments. Capital gains on Bitcoin investments are taxable, but losses are not deductible according to the tax guidelines of the tax authorities. Finns must pay income tax on mined Bitcoins.
“Finns can make agreements about the means of exchange they want to use,” Heikkinen explained. “Nobody supervises or regulates it, nobody guarantees it and its value fluctuates greatly. It’s exclusively their own risk.”
Bitcoin’s price jumped in November and climbed over 1000 dollars for the first time as speculators bet on a wider use of digital money. The price on Bitstamp, one of the most active online exchanges where Bitcoins are traded against dollars and other currencies, has since fallen to around 820 dollars. A Bitcoin cost about 15 dollars a year ago.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) warned in December that consumers using virtual currencies should be aware that they are not protected from losses. The Finnish financial regulator said it could not currently regulate Bitcoins or similar software.
“If it is obviously necessary to regulate the virtual currency and related activities, the legislator should define it,” said Katri Jokinen, legal advisor to the authority on institutional oversight on 16 January. “The acquisition of Bitcoins is not a payment transaction that is currently regulated by law. It’s like buying any product.”
Bitcoins was launched in 2008 by a programmer or group of programmers under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. There are 21 million possible Bitcoins that can be scooped by a peer-to-peer network that can perform complex computing tasks. According to Bitcoincharts.com, about 12.2 million units are currently in circulation.
“The changes in value are completely unregulated and highly susceptible to news, speculation and rumours,” Heikkinen explained. “As the phenomenon increases and begins to trigger side effects, official agencies will need to consider whether to regulate it and how.
Finland is located in Northern Europe. It is a flat country with huge forests and 187,888 lakes. Finland is one of the least populated countries in Europe. The population is concentrated mainly in the south of the country. The country is a leader in the manufacture of microelectronics and mobile phones. Finland’s largest company is the electronics group Nokia. The Linux operating system was invented by the Finn Linus Torvalds. Finland is a member of the European Union and the Eurozone.
The Finnish climate is cold temperate. Finland lies on the border between the maritime and continental climate zones. The low pressure areas of the west wind zone can bring humid and changing weather conditions. On the other hand, the Scandinavian Mountains shield Finland from the Atlantic Ocean, so that stable continental high pressure zones provide cold winters and comparatively hot summers. The Baltic Sea, the inland lakes and in particular the Gulf Stream, through their moderating influence, make the climate in Finland significantly milder than in other places on the same latitudes. The total precipitation in southern Finland is 600-700 mm. In the north it is much lower, but this is compensated by the low evaporation due to the cool temperatures. The lowest rainfall in the whole country occurs in March, most in July or August.
Origin of the name
The Finnish name of this state goes back to suo (“swamp”) and maa (“land”). The name Finland probably originated from the Germanic word finn or finne as a collective name for seeds (lobes) and finns.