Croatia Launches Self-Regulating Blockchain Organization Amidst Growing Worldwide Trend
Croatia’s Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Association (UBIK), is a self-regulatory organization registered Feb. 13 with the goal of creating a crypto community, educating the public, and developing regulation in Croatia. It has officially begun working yesterday, Feb. 17, according to the UBIK blog.
The governing board of UBIK already met with the Central Office of Tax Administration in Croatia on Feb. 9 to discuss the issues covering the taxation of crypto as a capital gain, the regulations of Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), and the business of crypto mining companies. The Croatian Bitcoin Portal writes that the members of the Tax Administration showed a willingness to openly engage with finding solutions to issues that fall under tax law.
The idea behind UBIK was prompted by the rising use of Blockchain in both Croatia and across the globe. Its founding members are made up of a variety of Croatian Blockchain enthusiasts, including Blockchain developers, attorneys specializing in Blockchain, and authors of Blockchain-related books, the Croatian Bitcoin Portal writes.
The Feb. 17 announcement reports that over 70 members have joined UBIK so far. Nikola Škorić, one of the organizers of UBIK, host of the Bitcoin Group Zagreb meetup, and founder of cryptocurrency brokerage service Electrocoin, said that he hopes to foster an environment for more Blockchain startups to base themselves out of Croatia, reports the Croatian newspaper Poslovni Dnevnik.
The newspaper states that over 25,000 Croatians, out of a country of 4 mln, have invested in cryptocurrency. Škorić wants the next 20 Croatian ICOs to be based in Croatia, citing the example that Blockchain-based companies that the Zagreb Stock Exchange has a stake in need to use legal entities in Estonia, as opposed to Croatia, due to a lack of clear crypto legislature in the country.
Škorić told Poslovni Dnevnik:
“We want your startups to be registered as Croatian companies and that the capital collected comes directly to Croatia, to expand the database of experts who can work on this technology, to create a pool of knowledge and competence, [...] reinforcing the industries that work on the Blockchain."
Earlier this week, seven large cryptocurrency companies came together to form CryptoUK, a self-regulatory body within the United Kingdom crypto industry. CryptoUK will work with the UK on issues like preventing Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies from being used in money laundering and other illegal activities, but will not deal with ICO regulation.
In Japan, the formation of a similar self-regulatory has been rumored, with the Japan Blockchain Association (JBA) and the Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association (JCBA) reportedly joining together this spring to act as a single body regarding regulations of crypto.