Cryptocurrency Regulation Landscape in Poland: 2024 Update

In 2024, Poland’s approach to cryptocurrency regulation is marked by a blend of caution, innovation, and a desire to foster the fintech sector while managing the risks associated with digital currencies. Polish law defines virtual currency as a digital representation of value, distinct from fiat money, electronic money, financial instruments, promissory notes, or checks. These virtual currencies are not supervised by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (PFSA), but the PFSA has issued guidelines to distinguish them from financial instruments. This includes the classification of various types of tokens like currency/exchange tokens, utility tokens, and investment/security tokens​​.

In terms of regulation, Poland adheres to anti-money laundering (AML) laws for virtual currency service providers (VCSPs). These entities must establish internal policies, appoint a qualified employee for AML compliance, and implement risk assessments and customer due diligence measures. Additionally, VCSPs must register with the Polish Register of Virtual Currency Activities, which is a requirement unique to the Polish jurisdiction, as per the EU’s 5th AML Directive​​.

Cryptocurrency transactions in Poland are subject to taxation, and cryptocurrencies are treated as taxable assets. This means individuals and businesses must report cryptocurrency-related income and gains for tax purposes, with the specific tax rates depending on the nature of the transaction and the tax status of the entity involved​​.

Poland has also taken steps to create a favorable environment for fintech and blockchain startups. Initiatives like the “Startup Poland” and a regulatory sandbox run by PFSA aim to promote innovation while maintaining consumer protection. However, these initiatives are more focused on the broader financial market rather than specifically on VCSPs. The government’s cautious stance is evident in its efforts to ensure transparency and mitigate risks associated with cryptocurrencies, such as money laundering or funding illegal activities​​.

Regarding cryptocurrency mining, there are no specific regulations prohibiting or restricting these activities in Poland. However, miners must comply with general regulations related to electricity consumption, land use, environmental protection, and taxation​​. Additionally, there are no specific border restrictions or obligations to declare cryptocurrency holdings when entering or leaving Poland​​.

In the realm of estate planning and testamentary succession, Poland is still developing regulations that directly address cryptocurrencies. Currently, the general principles of Polish inheritance law apply to cryptocurrencies, meaning they can be included in a person’s estate and distributed according to their will or the rules of intestate succession​​.

Overall, Poland’s cryptocurrency landscape in 2024 shows a careful balance between encouraging technological innovation and maintaining robust regulatory measures to manage the inherent risks of digital currencies.

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