For all of the international stress that Bitcoin has seemed to cause, Denmark appears to have a smoother relationship with the digital currency than most. The U.S. is grappling with if and how to regulate an entity that is the root method for drug trafficking, money laundering, and other illegal activity; Europol has officially voiced concern for the spread of Bitcoin usage; China’s Bitcoin operators are struggling with third-party payment providers even as Bitcoin startups emerge in the country; a Japanese bank just recently blocked Bitcoin wire transfers, and the government just made its first drug/Bitcoin-related arrest. But Denmark has most recently embraced a new platform for Bitcoin that aims to ensure that user activity and transfers will be crime-free, and that safety be the primary focus for Bitcoin users.
VISUAL CONTEXT: THE PRICE OF BITCOIN
The CCEDK Crypto Coins Exchange Denmark ApS will open for trade soon and provide for users to exchange Bitcoins in for Danish and Norwegian kroner, British pounds, dollars and euros. The CEO of the company, Ronny Boesing, has a unique vision for the exchange: Bloomberg quotes him as saying that the company will operate as if it is under the watch of financial regulators because “there could be a decision to regulate this kind of business in the future. We are also ready for that.”
He goes on: “Our strongest selling point will be that clients will know where we are, that the jurisdiction is Danish and that there’s complete transparency. We link to our lawyer on our website in case anyone feels they need one.”
Transparency is not a word normally associated with Bitcoin — an entity shrouded in mystery from its beginning as its creator Satoshi Nakamoto was believed to have gone by that name as a guise. But the exchange hopes to dispel some of the fears around Bitcoin’s usage and encourage users to treat it as a legitimate forum with a legitimate currency.
Denmark has encouraged the use of Bitcoin as well, declaring in March that all Bitcoin-based trades and exchanges are tax-free. Although things have not always been so rosy for Bitcoin in the country. In that same month, the Danish national bank warned that Bitcoin is more akin to “glass beads” than it is to an actual currency, according to The Guardian.
Indeed, the Bitcoin world was more than a bit shaken as Charlie Shrem — the now ex-CEO of BitInstant — was arrested in the U.S. in January for planning to traffic $1 million worth of Bitcoins for the Silk Road, an online forum for illegal activity. But it appears as though — despite various governments working out Bitcoin’s existence and usage for themselves — the currency will be exchanged anyway. Perhaps Denmark is on the right track in looking for safer ways to guard its exchange.