November 2, 2018

Bitcoins wrongly seized, owner loses big

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 12:15 pm


Last week, Dutch news site wrote about a case from 2014 where the Public Prosecutor had confiscated 712 bitcoins as a result of a man having stolen electricity to mine said Bitcoins. The problem was that the judge could not determine whether the Bitcoins were mined using the stolen electricity or not.

The authorities first found 127 Bitcoins and later uncovered 585 more, for a total of 712 bitcoins. The 585 bitcoins were seized then sold, as it would have taken more effort to keep them then to sell them, a perfectly legal action according to Dutch lawyer and blogger Arnoud Engelfriet. Then again, this point is being discussed at length: why not keep the Bitcoin wallet containing the information and keys to be able to maintain the wallet?

The condition for selling seized things is that ‘their value can be determined easily’, which is not the case with Bitcoins. Selling the 127 was fine, but not the 585 found later because it could not be proven that they were mined using stolen electricity. The value of the 585 Bitcoins had to be paid to the owner, but today they would have been worth about 3.3 million euro, meaning the man is being ‘cheated’ out of a hell of a lot of money. The fact that he is a petty thief doesn’t seem to outweigh the feeling that a lot of money was lost by wrongly selling the Bitcoins.

According to jurisprudence, the value must be determined at the moment of confiscation, February 2014. The Bitcoins to be returned were then valued at the rate one week after their confiscation, €268,46 per Bitcoin, for an amount of €157.179,55.

Should we not care simply because the man was a thief in the first place? Should we be worried that in the future, courts will be slow to determine the value of Bitcoins in cases and have this sort of problem occur again? Shouldn’t we be even more worried about how dangerous it is to steal electricity?

Possibly the weirdest thing we have wrote about Bitcoins the last couple of years is the Dutchman who had a Bitcoin wallet injected into his hand, and a few other things as well.

(Links:,,, Photo by BTC Keychain, some rights reserved)

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June 4, 2018

Nijmegen business pays employees in bitcoin

Filed under: Dutch first by Orangemaster @ 11:41 am


As of July, Dutch financial company BTC Direct in Nijmegen, Gelderland will be paying its 33 employees in bitcoins, something no other Dutch company does at present.

The company trades in bitcoin and wants to set a bit of an example, hoping it will become “a full-fledged means of payment”. As well, many of their employees were already buying bitcoins with their salary and they all said yes to being paid in bitcoin, although not their entire salary. Some of the cryptocurrency-savvy personnel have even asked to have part of their salary in cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin.

According to BTC Direct, Nijmegen and nearby Arnhem have hundreds of places that now accept bitcoin.

(Link:, (Photo by BTC Keychain, some rights reserved)

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October 19, 2017

Family sells all and puts money into Bitcoin

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 11:02 pm


Didi Taihuttu, a Dutch man, his wife and their three daughters who live in a chalet in Limburg and who have decided to live simpler lives, have sold all their major possessions to buy up Bitcoin.

The 38-year-old, an IT business owner who used to employ 16 people, claims “It’s the currency of the future”, but says if it all goes south, he’ll be ready to start over. Last week, Bitcoin apparently broke through the 5,000 USD for the first time since its launch, an increase of more than 400 percent just in 2017. However, if you read the link, you’ll see that opinions are still very divided on the topic.

In 2015, a the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Bitcoin is exempt of VAT and there was also the Dutchman who had Bitcoin wallets injected into his hands.

(Link:, Photo by BTC Keychain, some rights reserved)

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October 31, 2015

Bitcoin is VAT free in Europe, top court confirms

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 10:20 pm

bitcoin-key-fob-btc_keychainThe Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that Bitcoin is a currency and that trading in it is exempt of VAT.

Dutch Bitcoin exchange had to pay 21% VAT over their margins, but can now ask for a tax refund, according to CEO Rogier Fischer in Business Insider UK.

The ruling (PDF to press release) follows a year in which banks worldwide have been contemplating the use of blockchain, the electronic public ledger used for all Bitcoin transactions.

In 2013 Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem ruled that Bitcoin was not electronic money. Arnoud Engelfriet wrote last week that the European ruling brings Bitcoin “a step closer to being money”.

Dutch people still need to pay capital tax over the Bitcoin they own, because capital tax is calculated over the value of all possessions, not just over that of money.

(Photo by BTC Keychain, some rights reserved)

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November 15, 2014

Dutchman has Bitcoin wallets injected in hands

Filed under: Gadgets,Health,Technology by Branko Collin @ 1:44 pm

bitcoin-key-fob-btc_keychainAmsterdam-based entrepreneur Martijn Wismeijer had two NFC chips injected into his hands earlier this month, The Telegraph writes.

The chips are to act as encrypted Bitcoin wallets. Wismeijer is the owner of Mr. Bitcoin, a company that distributes and operates ATMs for the currency.

Wismeijer told The Telegraph, “Most doctors will not want to install the implant so a body manipulation artist (preferably not just tattoo artist or piercer) will be your next best bet. Make sure they work according to strict hygiene codes and know what they are doing.”

Parool adds that Rockstart in Amsterdam (a start-up accelerator) hosted an implant session yesterday where one could have a sub-dermal NFC chip injected for about 130 euro. Wismeijer told the newspaper that currently about 2000 people have such implants.

It’s not clear from the articles whether Wismeijer uses the chips to store Bitcoins, keys to unlock Bitcoins or something else.

Check the Telegraph for a video in which the question “does it hurt” is answered. Too scared / don’t want to? Martijn Wismeijer told Parool: “They were the biggest needles I’ve ever seen.”

(Photo by BTC Keychain, some rights reserved)

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March 31, 2014

Bitcoin on the Dutch income tax form

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 1:49 pm


It was only last year that finance minister Dijsselbloem told Dutch parliament how he was going to treat Bitcoin and already the virtual currency has found its way into the income tax forms.

What you see here is a screenshot of the form I used last weekend to report my income. There is a box for “other possessions” which includes goods, trust funds, inheritances that have yet to be divided and so on. The last line of the yellow explanatory box (enlarged in the illustration) says “virtual mediums of payment (for instance bitcoins)”. Unfortunately the “more information” link doesn’t help you find out how to value your Bitcoins. I am sure that is something left for the likes of Kluwer and Elsevier with their tax guides and tax almanacs.

Since the income tax law of 2001, Dutch income tax is calculated over the money you make from work (box 1), from investments (box 2) and from property minus debt (box 3).

(Thanks to commenter Corné at Iusmentis for pointing this out)

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March 20, 2014

The Hague launches ‘Bitcoin boulevard’ just in time for spring

Filed under: Art,Food & Drink,Online by Orangemaster @ 9:29 am

Today, 20 March at exactly 17:57, when spring will officially start here, the city of The Hague will open ‘Bitcoin boulevard’ along a canal, framed by the Dunne Bierkade / Groenewegje / Wagenstraat / Uilebomen streets, also known to locals as Avenue Culinaire for its selection of international cuisine. An art gallery is also said to be joining in.

Software entrepreneurs Hendrik Jan Hilbolling and two bitcoin fans were able to convince restaurant owners, including a one Michelin star joint, of their project, which probably wasn’t easy considering some of them had no idea what a Bitcoin was. The boulevard project will run for two months with a possible extension. The initiators themselves won’t profit from it financially, Bitcoin or otherwise.

On a smaller scale, shops in other Dutch cities accept Bitcoins.


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June 25, 2013

Dutch brick and mortar stores that accept Bitcoins

Filed under: Dutch first by Branko Collin @ 10:46 pm

Z24 reports that the first ‘physical stores’, as they call it, have started to accept the virtual currency Bitcoin.

Expat supermarket Taste of Home in Haarlem and bar De Waag in Delft (not to be confused with the bar and high tech society of the same name in Amsterdam) both accept the currency. Currently about five people pay their bar tabs at De Waag using Bitcoins.

Irishman Pail Desgrippes, co-owner of Taste of Home, has an IT background. One of the reasons for considering Bitcoin even before he and his partner started their supermarket was the publicity it would generate. “But I also like the idea of being independent from banks. We also get to save on transaction costs and offer our customers an extra payment option.”

Currently the number of Dutch brick and mortar stores that accept Bitcoins seems to be outnumbered by the amount of websites that report on the number of Dutch organisations that accept Bitcoins. At the moment Wat Is Bitcoin? has the longest list.

See also: Bitcoin income shall be taxed, Dijsselbloem says.

(Photo of a detail of De Waag in Delft by M.M.Minderhoud, some rights reserved)

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June 17, 2013

Bitcoin income shall be taxed, Dijsselbloem says

Filed under: Dutch first,Technology by Branko Collin @ 12:19 pm

Dutch people who accept payments in the new Internet currency Bitcoin will have to pay income tax on the funds they receive. Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem confirmed this two weeks ago after parliament had asked questions about Bitcoin, reports.

According to the minister, the “alternative virtual currency” cannot be seen as “electronic money” because it fails the definition set by the Dutch law. Dijsselbloem also reported that approximately 2% of all Bitcoin users in the world are Dutch, and that these Dutch owners possess about 20 million euro worth of Bitcoin. At the time of writing 1 Bitcoin represents about 75 euro.

Internet lawyer Arnoud Engelfriet helpfully explains that the Wet financieel toezicht (the law on financial control) defines electronic money as a monetary value that

  • Is stored electronically.
  • Represents a claim on the person or organisation who issues it.
  • Is issued in exchange for money to make payments with.
  • Can be used to pay both the issuer and others.

Since Bitcoins do not represent a claim on the issuer and they aren’t necessarily issued in exchange for money, they aren’t electronic money. The reason you still have to pay income tax is simply because the law on income tax doesn’t mention money. Any form of income, whether that income consists of money, goods or Bitcoins, is susceptible to being taxed. The problems start when you have to pay these taxes though, because the Dutch tax office only accepts money. Your revenue will somehow have to be valued in euro before you can calculate how much you have to pay.

I can well imagine that the belastingdienst (tax office) isn’t going to chase down small time Bitcoin users just yet. I remember the first time I became self-employed and asked the belastingdienst for a VAT number. The man on the other end of the line laughed at me and said they could not be bothered to issue me my number for the couple of hundred guilders I expected to make that year.

Another complicating matter according to Engelfriet is that Bitcoins aren’t financial products either. That would mean you will have to pay VAT (‘btw’) over the Bitcoins you receive, which would make trading in Bitcoins less attractive for the Dutch.

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