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Crypto Exchanges& Regulation in Romania

Top exchanges in Romania by Coincub criteria
Article review author
Jonathan Lea
Romania head image

Crypto Country Rating: 6.3/10

6/10
Institutional acceptance
Cagey outlook and waiting for lead - but high regard for blockchain technology
6/10
Exchanges & Wallets availability
Leading global names but limited home based options
7/10
Government regulation
No clear crypto strategy
5/10
Defi acceptance
No real position taken as yet to DeFi
7/10
Financial services
Growing interest in crypto services and blockchain technology
8.5/10
Transparency
Personal data collection and identity needed
6/10
Spending crypto
Some retail and a high number of ATMs
5/10
Banks activity in crypto
All forms of crypto viewed negatively and high risk

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading in Romania

Romanian citizens have a very positive outlook toward cryptocurrency and the country has high scores for Google crypto searching. The country has forged an envious reputation as an information technology hub – at least in its cities and the crypto community is continuing to grow. As yet, and not uniquely, there is, as yet, no clear legal regime governing cryptocurrencies, but their growing popularity is now prompting increased regulatory scrutiny. The country offers unrestricted access to global exchange platforms and crypto service providers. A number of homegrown crypto exchanges even provide crypto trading linked to the Romanian leu with ATMs for crypto exchanges across Romania. The government outlook isn’t, however, as strong as that of its financial institutions and a coherent strategy has yet to emerge. Despite this, Romania has a high number of all-important Bitcoin nodes, ATMs, and ICOs, many of which are centered on environmental projects.  Romania moves up from 37 to 24 in the new Q1 2022 rankings.

Romania comes in at number 5 in Top Crypto Risers thanks to its fast-developing blockchain community and high scores for numbers of ICOs, Blockchain-related organizations, and Bitcoin nodes. Romanian citizens have a very positive outlook toward cryptocurrency, and the country also has high scores for online crypto searches. A number of homegrown crypto exchanges even provide crypto trading linked to the Romanian leu. Romania moves up from 11 places and could go further later in the year.

Law and crypto trading in Romania

Legal - existing crypto legislation

As bitcoins are not issued by authorized issuers, the Romanian government does not consider them to be a currency – as issued by banks.  That said, there is a growing level of acceptance generally. Romania considers crypto as a moveable asset that can be bartered and exchanged. Romania even had some of the first bitcoin ATMs in Europe, but the regulatory framework is still less developed than other countries and the government is following the lead of others rather than setting the pace on these matters.

Legal - forthcoming crypto legislation

All aspects of crypto and blockchain are under constant review but no forthcoming legislation at present.

Taxing cryptocurrencies in Romania

Income Tax

How to tax bitcoin is always a big issue with every country – or more correctly, how much to tax it.  The profits you make from cryptocurrencies are subject to income or capital gains tax, both at a flat rate of 10% on crypto earnings exceeding a cumulative 600RON per year. Income from cryptocurrency trade is considered income from other sources and the gains are subject to income tax and the health insurance contribution (CASS), but not to the social security contribution (CAS). Incidentally, a recent study found that Romania has one of the highest percentages of the population that own cryptocurrency, due in no small part to the publicity of its usage by celebrities and media figures creating an atmosphere of optimism about its future. For individuals the profits are included in the personal income tax return, however, there are no clear implications for the regulation of crypto for personal use. This, of course, may change as the market grows. And yes, the country has an inordinately large number of ATMs for its size.

Tax relief

Crypto trading is both recognized and tax allowable, so your expenses as a professional incurred in buying or mining them – and your losses – can be offset. For non-professional crypto dabblers, the relevant fact to consider – and declare – is whether your activity is a casual activity or a trading activity for income. The way you invest in bitcoin will largely affect its qualification for income tax purposes. The special status of Bitcoin as a non-currency makes it at present not eligible for VAT.

Tax when moving residency

If you’re a resident of Romania, you have an obligation to declare your income from cryptocurrency trading – and this applies whether your gains come from within Romania sources or from foreign sources. If you take up residency abroad, however, you’ll come under that country’s tax code.

Tax on mining

Mining is beyond the scope of most individuals and calls for significant investment in time, money, and equipment. However, if you are declaring yourself as a miner you are required to pay income on your profits, but you may also deduct your expenses, such as electricity cost (very much in the news at the moment), maintenance fees, and the cost of your hardware. Bear in mind that the cost of the electricity you use to mine your Romanian bitcoin is likely to be more than the value of your bitcoin, so you need to do the math on this one.

Crypto financial services in Romania

Fin services - retirement planning

Most retirement and pension funds worldwide deem cryptocurrency too volatile to become part of long-term retirement schemes. There is little certainty on this at present.

Fin services - banking

Low interest rates given by commercial banks in the European Union and Romania are a major reason why investors look to buy crypto. However, Romanian banks view cryptocurrency as too risky and likely to cause reputational damage, so the outlook for financial acceptance at an institutional level is not high, although as we have seen, it is widely accepted by the population. The banking system is looking for a lead, perhaps from the EU’s perspective. The Romanian National Bank (BNR) classified digital currencies such as bitcoin as speculative assets, issuing a warning that they are too risky for involvement and this outlook has been adopted by local banks not facilitating crypto transactions.

Fin Services - DeFi

As yet Romanian financial institutions are lagging in their consolidation of this new technology. However, a Romanian blockchain start-up, Elrond, is preparing to have its new global payments app support Bitcoin this year to tap what it sees as surging interest in cryptocurrencies.

Using crypto in Romania

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Spend

Romania has a generous number of retailers across most of its cities that accept bitcoin as a payment, but you’ll have to look for them and most tend to be in the capital, Bucharest. The bitcoin-accepting outlets range from large stores to small online outlets, including beauty salons, car rentals and travel. Many world brands operating in Romania accept bitcoin, including Starbucks and Microsoft.

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Gifting crypto

You won’t be able to reduce your tax by gifting your cryptocurrency. Whatever gain you have made on it will be taxable up to the point at which you gift it.

Crypto regulation in Romania

Security

It’s always a good idea to check the levels of security, protection, and insurance any exchange can offer you. Romania-based exchanges may offer more recourse to action if things go wrong, and a more immediate level of customer support, while overseas exchanges can provide a wider choice of services and perhaps greater transaction speeds. In all cases, you’ll have to report your identity credentials and trading details.

Transparency

Romania has had a very light-touch regulation on the growth of crypto but now falls in the line with the EU’s fifth directive on aspects of crypto regulation and the authorisation of exchange services to comply with anti money laundering laws. In a nutshell, bodies that provide exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies, as well as digital wallet providers, must register to gain authorization of foreign exchange activity. As with many government bodies, the Romanian tax authorities can request information from crypto exchanges and expect compliance with their laws. You’ll need to provide your personal details and proof of ID – so you can forget about the myth of anonymity that surrounds cryptocurrency. 

Helpful?
FAQ

New to crypto? Here’s our guide!

FAQ Image #1 01 Why Bitcoin? It seems like the buzz around Bitcoin just keeps growing. Bitcoin is a constantly evolving technology with a passionate community. What is it about the digital asset that makes it such a controversial topic and attractive investment?
FAQ Image #2 02 How to Get Started with Bitcoin It can be difficult to get past the technical jargon surrounding bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies in order to figure out how you can buy and store them. Beginners can purchase Bitcoin, for example, on many exchanges using fiat currency like U.S. Dollar, Euro or British Pound.
FAQ Image #3 03 Blockchains 101 Blockchains are a type of database where data is stored in blocks that are chained together. As new data comes in, it is entered into a block, which is then chained to the previous block. The Bitcoin blockchain serves as a ledger that records every Bitcoin transaction in history.
FAQ Image #4 04 Bitcoin in the Real World Ok - you’ve found an exchange, bought your Bitcoin, and stored it safely. What’s next? By now you can buy just about anything with Bitcoin if you try hard enough, from Amazon gift cards to an old master painting. You can also convert your BTC to fiat with ATMs, an exchange, and more.

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