The Virtual Currency Regulation Review: Norway

Introduction to the legal and regulatory framework

Virtual currencies are generally not considered to be legal currencies in Norway, as they fall outside the usual definition of money or currency. Moreover, there is no specific virtual currency legislation in Norway with respect to securities and investment laws, banking and money transmission or the regulation of exchanges, miners, issuers or sponsors. Hence, businesses or persons operating or conducting virtual currency activities are not required to be licensed under the applicable financial services legislation.

On 15 October 2018, Norway implemented a new Anti-Money Laundering Act and a related regulation that expanded the scope of the legislation to apply for providers engaged in exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies as well as custodian wallet providers (CWPs).

On 1 July 2021, an amendment of the Anti-Money Laundering Regulation of 2018 entered into force in Norway relating to customer due diligence measures when a customer is established in a high-risk country, discontinuation and blocking of customer relationships, and minimum requirements relating to electronic monitoring systems (see Section IV.i).

For tax purposes, virtual currencies are considered to be assets and are therefore subject to capital gains tax and net wealth tax.

There has been political and legal debate in Norway regarding the desirability of continuing with a reduced tax rate for data centres mining virtual currencies, and whether it would be possible to implement a normal tax rate for these businesses. The Norwegian parliament resolved to continue with a reduced tax rate for these businesses in the fiscal budget for 2021 (see Section IX.v).

Securities and investment laws

i Overview

There are no specific securities and investment laws in Norway with respect to virtual currencies or the offering of such currencies.

The Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway has warned investors and firms several times about initial coin offerings (ICOs) and investing in virtual currencies because of the high risks of investment losses, fraud and money laundering.2 Depending on its structure, an ICO may fall outside the scope of applicable laws and regulations, in which case investors cannot benefit from the protection that these laws and regulations provide. Firms involved in ICOs should, according to the Financial Supervisory Authority, give careful consideration as to whether their activities constitute regulated activities. Moreover, the Financial Supervisory Authority referred to two statements made by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) on 13 November 2017 relating to the risk of ICOs for investors3 and rules applicable to firms involved in ICOs,4 and declared that its supervisory activities will be based on ESMA's assessments.

In the statement on the rules applicable to firms involved in ICOs, ESMA alerts firms involved in ICOs to the need to meet the relevant regulatory requirements, including considering whether their activities constitute regulated activities. It is the duty of firms themselves to consider the regulatory framework and to seek the necessary permissions and meet applicable requirements. Based on the Financial Supervisory Authority's statement, similar requirements will be applicable for such activities in Norway. In March 2021, the Financial Supervisory Authority joined with the European Supervisory Authorities (ESMA, the European Banking Authority and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority) to remind consumers of the continued relevance of their previous warnings.5

On this basis, the structure of ICOs will determine whether they fall outside the scope of the applicable rules. Where coins or tokens qualify as financial instruments, according to ESMA it is likely that firms involved in ICOs are conducting regulated investment activities, such as placing, dealing in or advising on financial instruments, or managing or marketing collective investment schemes. They may also be involved in offering transferable securities to the public.

In accordance with the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA), Norway has similar requirements to those under the applicable EU legislation. Norway's lack of full EU membership implies, however, that from time to time Norwegian legislation may differ from EU legislation, typically where EU legislation has yet to be implemented into Norwegian law.

Below is a high-level summary of the relevant EU legislation that also applies in Norway.

ii Prospectus Regulation

The Prospectus Regulation is a key piece of EU legislation that also may be relevant for ICOs in Norway. It aims to ensure that adequate information is provided to investors from issuers raising money in the Norwegian market. Issuers may thus be required to publish a prospectus, subject to approval by a competent authority, before an offer of transferable securities to the public or the admission to trading of such securities on a regulated marked situated or operating within an EU or EEA Member State occurs, unless certain exclusions or exemptions apply.

The current applicable rules with respect to prospectus regulations are contained in the Norwegian Securities Trading Act, which as of 21 July 2019 implemented the Prospectus Regulation, as amended.6

Virtual currencies generally do not qualify as transferable securities and the prospectus requirements are generally not applicable for ICOs and similar offerings of virtual currencies.

iii Markets in Financial Instruments Directive

Rules similar to those under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID, as later amended through MiFID II) are implemented into Norwegian laws and regulations.7 These rules aim to create a single market for investment services and activities, and to ensure a high degree of harmonised protection for investors in financial instruments. As described by ESMA in the statement regarding rules applicable to firms involved in ICOs, an investment firm that provides investment services in relation to financial instruments must comply with the applicable requirements. Where a coin or token qualifies as a financial instrument in the case of an ICO, the process by which the coin or token is created, distributed or traded is assumed to be likely to involve activities subject to the MiFID II rules, such as placing, dealing in or advising on financial instruments. Depending on the services provided, organisational requirements, conduct of business rules and transparency requirements may apply. Similar requirements will apply in Norway in such cases.

iv Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive

Rules similar to those under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive are implemented into Norwegian law and regulations,8 and these set out rules for authorisation, ongoing operation, and the transparency of managers that manage or market alternative investment funds. Virtual currencies normally fall shy of the alternative investment fund managers legislation, but alternative investment funds that invest in virtual currencies can fall within the scope of this legislation, depending on, inter alia, their structure.

Banking and money transmission

Virtual currencies fall outside the scope of the usual definitions of money or currency in Norway and will thus not be considered legal currency.

Virtual currency activities furthermore fall outside the scope of the Financial Undertakings Act. Thus, activities related to virtual currencies are in general not considered to require a banking licence or a licence as a payment services provider.9

Anti-money laundering

i Implementation of a new Anti-Money Laundering Act and a related regulation

On 15 October 2018, a new Anti-Money Laundering Act and a related regulation entered into force in Norway.10 The new legislation implemented the EU's Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive and advanced the implementation of certain provisions set out in Directive (EU) 2018/843 (amending the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive),11 and replaced the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2009 (which implemented the EU's Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive).12

Compared with the previous Anti-Money Laundering Act, the scope of the new anti-money laundering legislation has been expanded to include providers engaged in exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies, and wallet CWPs, as such providers are now considered to be obliged entities. Previously, activities relating to virtual currencies, including activities relating to exchanges, mining and storage services for virtual currencies, fell outside the scope of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2009. Thus, the new legislation requires providers engaged in exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies, and CWPs, to comply with mandatory anti-money laundering obligations, including conducting customer due diligence measures.

The Financial Supervisory Authority will supervise providers engaged in exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies, and ensure that CWPs comply with the applicable anti-money laundering legislation. Providers conducting activity of this kind in Norway are obliged to register with the Financial Supervisory Authority, including information about their name, organisational structure, registration number and offered service, as well as information about the general manager or person in a similar position, members of the board of directors and any contact persons. The Financial Supervisory Authority emphasises that providers must be registered in the Register of Business Enterprises, and it assumes that operations takes place through a separate company account.13

On 11 October 2019, the Ministry of Finance implemented 'fit and proper' requirements for providers engaged in exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies, and wallet CWPs, by amending the Anti-Money Laundering Regulation of 2018. These requirements are said to be in accordance with the requirements set out in Directive (EU) 2018/843 (amending the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive).

On 1 July 2021, an amendment of the Anti-Money Laundering Regulation of 2018 entered into force following implementation of Directive (EU) 2018/843 into Norwegian legislation, as well as implementation of standards set out by the Financial Action Task Force and the European Union. Following the amendment, obliged entities are required to conduct stricter customer due diligence measures when a customer is established in a high-risk country, rules are made clearer relating to discontinuation and blocking of customer relationships, and obliged entities must comply with minimum requirements relating to electronic monitoring systems. In addition, foreign entities that market their services to the Norwegian market are subject to Norwegian anti-money laundering legislation.

ii Effects on financial services providers

The expanded scope of the anti-money laundering legislation (to include providers engaged in exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies, and wallet CWPs) has had an impact on financial services providers. The legislation (similar to regulations and standards from the Financial Action Task Force and the European Union) does not permit financial services providers to refuse to offer financial services to certain groups or sectors solely based on the inherent risk of money laundering (de-risking). According to the Financial Supervisory Authority, financial services providers must assess the risk of money laundering or terrorist financing on a case-by-case basis and there must be justifiable grounds for refusing to offer financial services. As financial services providers at the outset have a duty to contract, the Financial Supervisory Authority expects the former to permit market participants engaged in exchange services and wallet CWPs to establish bank accounts, unless they have justifiable grounds to refuse to perform payment services.

iii Case law

A bank has a general duty to contract, unless it has justifiable grounds to refuse by terminating a customer relationship or to refuse the establishment of a customer relationship. Pursuant to a judgment by the Oslo District Court of 30 April 2018 in a matter between a Nordic bank and a Norwegian investor14 (with a business idea to incorporate a Norwegian virtual currency exchange firm15), a bank may refuse to perform payment services (by opening bank accounts) because of virtual currencies' high risk of being used for money laundering.

In this case, the Court ruled, after an overall assessment, that the risk of money laundering and transactions related to criminal offences was clearly elevated by Bitcoin trade, although Bitcoin trading may also be done under legitimate conditions. The Court found it clear that this risk constituted justifiable grounds for the bank to refuse its customer relationship pursuant to the Financial Contracts Act. The Court also referred to a bank's duty to terminate customer relationships if they entail risks for transactions in connection with criminal offences pursuant to the Anti-Money Laundering Act. Although this decision was appealed, it became less relevant as the investor opened a bank account with another bank to establish the virtual currency exchange firm.

Following the ruling above, there have been several other judgments by Norwegian courts and the Financial Services Complaints Board relating to virtual currencies, which essentially follow the main rules set out in Norwegian legislation.

Regulation of exchanges

There is currently no specific regulation on virtual currency exchanges. Thus, operating these exchanges is not subject to financial services regulation and does not require a licence. The aforementioned apply both to decentralised exchanges with peer-to-peer solutions and to centralised exchanges. Unless they also are engaged in exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies, or wallet CWPs, they are not required to register with the Financial Supervisory Authority to comply with any anti-money laundering obligations.

On 12 February 2018, the Financial Supervisory Authority16 joined the European Supervisory Authorities17 in warning consumers of the high risk related to investing in virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, Ether and Ripple. As virtual currencies are not regulated, are traded on unregulated marketplaces and lack transparency in pricing, the Financial Supervisory Authority considers virtual currencies unsuitable for short and long-term savings for most consumers.

Exchanges for buying and selling virtual currencies exist in Norway and, going by publicly available information, it is also expected that new virtual currency exchanges may be launched in Norway in the near future.

Regulation of miners

There is no specific regulation of miners of virtual currencies, nor are there any specific licence requirements. General rules for conducting business activities will apply to miners of virtual currencies as well.

Regulation of issuers and sponsors

There are no specific laws or regulations that apply to issuers or sponsors of virtual currencies in Norway. Issuing or sponsoring a virtual currency is generally considered to be a legal activity, but they do not require any licence pursuant to financial regulation legislation.

Criminal and civil fraud and enforcement

There are no specific criminal and civil fraud and enforcement rules with respect to virtual currencies in Norway.

A 'pump-and-dump' scheme (i.e., talking up the price of an asset before dumping it for a profit at the expense of investors) is an old type of market fraud. Compared to stock exchanges, virtual currency exchanges are unregulated markets, which means that pump-and-dump schemes may be carried out with impunity. However, there have not been many examples of these schemes in Norway, which may be due to the relatively low numbers of completed ICOs.

General criminal and civil fraud and enforcement legislation may be applicable to fraudulent ICOs, although no specific rules exist with respect to virtual currency. The same applies for fake wallets, and pyramid or Ponzi schemes.

Tax

i Overview

Norwegian tax authorities consider virtual currencies to be assets subject to the general tax rules for wealth and sales taxes, but virtual currency transactions are not subject to value added tax (VAT).18

ii Wealth and sales taxes

For private individuals, capital gains from virtual currencies are taxable income and losses are deductible.19 This applies to both mining and transactions. The current tax rate, which is determined annually, is 22 per cent in 2021.20

Virtual currencies are considered to be assets of economic value and are thus included in the base amounts used to determine personal taxpayers' net wealth – calculated as the total value as at 1 January of the tax assessment year.21 This applies for all virtual currencies held by Norwegian tax residents, regardless of the location of the assets (i.e., inside or outside Norway).

For corporate taxpayers, taxable income shall include any benefit gained from work, assets or business activities.22 Relevant conditions to determine whether an activity constitutes a business activity are its duration, extent, profitability, expense and risk.23 Trading of virtual currencies may be considered a business activity if it is conducted regularly and a significant number of transactions are carried out.24 Mining may be considered a business activity if it is carried out regularly and has a certain extent.25

iii VAT

The Norwegian tax authorities altered their VAT guidelines in 2017 and virtual currency transactions are not subject to VAT as exempt financial services.26 Previously, the tax authorities assumed that the exchange of virtual currencies was not covered by the VAT exemption for financial services and therefore constituted taxable services.27 Following a decision of the European Court of Justice on 22 October 2015,28 which ruled that the corresponding service was exempt from VAT in the European Union, the Norwegian tax authorities reassessed the treatment of VAT and in 2017 concluded that the services of exchanging Bitcoin were covered by the exemption for financial services.29

The tax authorities assessed in a guideline in 2018 that mining of virtual currencies falls under the VAT exemption for financial services.30 However, businesses that only convert data power for others mining virtual currency are subject to VAT.

The sale of remotely deliverable services to foreign registered businesses is zero-rated, which means that the services are still VAT-taxable but that the rate of VAT is zero per cent. It is the nature of the service (i.e., whether it can be delivered remotely) that determines whether it falls under the provision. Whether the service actually is associated with a location is not essential. According to an advance ruling from the Tax Administration, data centre services are deliverable remotely, even though they may appear to be attached to a specific location in Norway (the data centre).

iv Tax for ICOs

Regarding the handling of tax and VAT for ICOs, the tax authorities have expressed in guidelines that these matters must be assessed on a case-by-case basis, including whether the VAT exemption for financial services applies.31

v Electrical power tax

An electrical power tax is levied on all electric power suppliers, including for power supplied free of charge, and on power distribution companies or generators used for internal purposes. Enterprises that transmit electrical power to consumers or generate electrical power must register as being liable for this tax. The liability to pay the tax arises upon the supply of electrical power to consumers and upon consumption for internal use.

There are two relevant tax rates that are determined annually by Parliament: a normal tax rate and a reduced tax rate. The normal tax rate for 2021 is 0.1669 Norwegian kroner per kWh, while the reduced tax rate is 0.00546 kroner per kWh.32

A normal tax rate applies, inter alia, to power supplied to households, non-industrial commercial activities and administrative buildings in the industrial manufacturing sector. A reduced tax rate applies, inter alia, to electrical power that is supplied to data centres with an output in excess of 0.5 MW.33 For a data centre to receive the reduced rate, it must have the storage and processing of data, or both, as its main business activity. The Tax Administration assessed in a guideline published on 9 August 2018 that data centres mining virtual currencies may benefit from the reduced tax rate.34

There has been political and legal debate in Norway regarding the desirability of continuing with a reduced tax rate for data centres mining virtual currencies, and whether it would be possible to implement a normal tax rate for these businesses. On 31 October 2018, the Tax Administration proposed that the mining of virtual currency should have a normal tax rate instead of a reduced tax rate.35 On this basis, Parliament resolved in the fiscal budget for 2019 that electrical power used for mining virtual currency in a data centre should have a normal rate instead of a reduced rate, and it provided the Ministry of Finance with authorisation to implement the resolution.36 However, the industry questioned the legality of the amendment because, as mentioned in Section I, a reduced tax rate for data centres constitutes governmental assistance pursuant to Article 61(1) of the EEA Act. Thus, the Tax Administration proposed in a consultation paper on 16 May 2019 to change the scope of recipients of governmental assistance (which is assumed to be in accordance with relevant EU regulation).37 According to this proposal, a normal tax rate would apply if (1) the purpose of power consumption is related to the mining of virtual currency (subjective element), (2) an attempt at mining virtual currency is initiated through an activity or process (objective element), and (3) the activity or process has the collection of a reward as a purpose (financial element). This change raised legal issues regarding governmental assistance and the Ministry of Finance therefore sought clarification from the European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority before implementing the change. However, on 12 May 2020, the government proposed in the revised fiscal budget for 2020 to revoke the resolution from 2019 to continue with the reduced tax rate.38 Parliament approved the proposal on 19 June 202039 and the reduced tax rate was continued in the fiscal budget for 2021.40

Data centres that provide a support function for an enterprise's main business (e.g., financial services) are excluded from the provision of a reduced tax rate.41 The reduced rate is limited to power used for servers, cooling systems, pumps, lighting, safety devices, aggregate devices and devices that directly support a server's function.

Looking ahead

i Overview

There are currently no specific licence requirements for virtual currency exchanges, nor are there any specific securities and investment laws or any specific regulation of miners, issuers and sponsors. The Norwegian financial regulation legislation must therefore be amended for virtual currency activities to fall within its scope. Such amendments are generally not expected in the near future, but it is expected that Norwegian authorities will cooperate with countries participating in the European blockchain partnership (see below) if this regulation is implemented into Norwegian law at some point.

ii European blockchain partnership

All EU Member States and members of the European Economic Area (Norway and Liechtenstein) have signed a declaration on the establishment of a European blockchain partnership to share experiences of and expertise in technical and regulatory fields, and to prepare for the launch of EU-wide blockchain applications across the digital single market.42 Based on this partnership and the existing partnership under the EEA Agreement, it is expected that the Norwegian authorities will cooperate with the other participating countries in regulating virtual currencies going forward.

iii Central bank digital currency

On 18 May 2018, the Central Bank published its first working group paper on issues that it regards as relevant in an assessment of whether to introduce a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in Norway.43

Introducing a CBDC would entail offering a digital liability on the Central Bank for use as a means of payment and a store of value, and would entail the creation of dedicated payment solutions the Central Bank would have full or partial responsibility for, but that it would not necessarily operate and maintain. Any decision of the Central Bank to take the initiative in introducing a CBDC must, according to the working group, be based on a socioeconomic cost–benefit analysis. Important elements in such an analysis will be the impacts on the payment system, financial stability and monetary policy.

In the working group's assessment, there are primarily two relevant models for organising a CBDC system. The first is an account-based model in which both value storage and transaction processing are centralised. In this model, money is held in accounts and moves from one account to another in the system. The working group sees this model as an advantageous back-up solution. The second model is a value-based model in which value storage and processing are decentralised. In this model, money will be stored locally in payment instruments, typically a card or another instrument being issued by a central third party. The working group sees this model as an advantageous, real, risk-free alternative to depositing money to store values. Also, hybrid variants that combine elements of both models, such as a model based on distributed ledger technology, may be a potential third alternative.

Introducing a CBDC may require certain changes in the Central Bank Act. An account-based solution may require amending provisions in the Act, under which entities may hold an account with the Central Bank. A value-based solution probably will not require any amendments as long as the solution is within the normal remit of the Central Bank.

The working group expressed in the first phase that the project's second phase was to examine the purposes of a CBDC and the most relevant solutions in greater detail, which would make it possible to elaborate on the impacts of a CBDC and the cost–benefit analysis.

On 27 June 2019, the working group published a second working paper on whether a CBDC is necessary and desirable to ensure that Norway maintains a secure and efficient payment system, and confidence in the monetary system, going forward.44

In the working group's view, a CBDC could function as a contingency solution in the event of failures in the bank payment system and could help maintain competition between different means and instruments of payment. At the same time, the introduction of a CBDC does not appear necessary to ensure that the public has access to a secure means of payment and the need to adopt a legal tender equivalent to cash does not, on its own, justify the introduction of a CBDC.

Based on an overall assessment as to which solutions best safeguard necessary and desirable characteristics, the working group recommended that further work may be done on a CBDC in the form of register-based token money (the main solution) and a CBDC as a closed account-based solution offering the possibility of storage on a physical device (an alternative solution). In the working group's view, these two solutions may offer necessary and desirable characteristics and have the potential to be sufficiently attractive to secure a satisfactory degree of use. They offer flexibility with respect to future developments and changing needs. However, their development will take time and entail costs. They are not candidates for introduction in the short or medium term. A simplified solution could probably be developed more quickly if deemed necessary. Moreover, the working group does not recommend further examination of a solution featuring the storage of money solely on physical devices or of an ordinary open account solution.

The working group expressed the need for more information to be able to conclude whether introducing a CBDC is an appropriate means of fostering a secure and efficient payment system and continued confidence in the monetary system.

On 19 May 2021, the working group published the third working paper on CBDC, building on the reports on the first and second phases.45 In the previous working papers, the working group set out a provisional assessment of the characteristics that a CBDC must or should have to fulfil the objectives. In phase three, these characteristics were specified and assessed in detail. While the list of characteristics remains largely unchanged, the third working paper discusses aspects of the characteristics that require further investigation and specification through technical testing. The working group has also considered how technical solutions can deliver the characteristics and how they can be tested. A guiding principle of this work is that the existence and scope of money of this kind should not undermine the scope for credit provision in the private sector, and in the third phase the working group analysed any potential effects on Norwegian banks of introducing a CBDC.

The Central Bank has decided to continue this research for a fourth phase of up to two years, in line with the working group's recommendation in the above-mentioned report. This phase is to comprise experimental testing of technical solutions and further analyses of purposes and consequences of introducing a CBDC. Further, any decision to introduce a CBDC will require political support and the requisite statutory changes will have to be considered and implemented.

Footnotes

1 Klaus Henrik Wiese-Hansen is a partner and Vegard André Fiskerstrand is a senior associate at Schjødt.

2 Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway (2018), Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) – warning to investors and companies (source: https://www.finanstilsynet.no/markedsadvarsler/2017/initial-coin-offerings-icoer---advarsel-til-investorer-og-foretak/).

4 ESMA (2017) statement on rules applicable to firms involved in ICOs (source: https://www.esma.europa.eu/sites/default/files/library/esma50-157-828_ico_statement_firms.pdf).

5 Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway (2021), The European financial supervisory authorities remind consumers of the risks of virtual currencies (source: https://www.finanstilsynet.no/nyhetsarkiv/nyheter/2021/de-europeiske-finanstilsynsmyndighetene-minner-om-risikoen-ved-virtuell-valuta/). EBA (2021), Crypto-assets: ESAs remind consumers about risks (source: https://www.eba.europa.eu/financial-innovation-and-fintech/publications-on-financial-innovation/crypto-assets-esas-remind-consumers-about-risks).

6 The Securities Trading Act of 29 June 2007 No. 75 implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1129 and replacing the rules implemented from the Prospectus Directive.

7 The Securities Trading Act of 29 June 2007 No. 75 and regulation of 4 December 2017 No. 1913.

8 The Alternative Investment Fund Managers Act of 20 June 2014 No. 28 and the alternative investment fund managers regulation of 26 June 2016 No. 877.

9 The Norwegian Financial Undertakings Act of 10 April 2015 No. 17.

10 The Anti-Money Laundering Act of 23 June 2018 No. 23 (as amended), the Anti-Money Laundering Regulation of 14 September 2018 No. 1324 (amended).

11 Directive 2015/849/EC, Directive (EU) 2018/843.

12 The Anti-Money Laundering Act of 11 June 2009 No. 11, Directive 2005/60/EC.

13 The Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway – Virtual currencies (Source: https://www.finanstilsynet.no/konsesjon/virtuelle-valutatjenester/).

14 Nordea Bank AB (publ), filial i Norge v. Sunde Bitmynthandel.

15 Bitmynt AS.

16 Financial Supervisory Authority (2018) warns consumers about virtual currencies (source: https://www.finanstilsynet.no/nyhetsarkiv/nyheter/2018/finanstilsynet-advarer-forbrukere-om-kryptovaluta/).

17 European Banking Authority (2017) warns consumers about virtual currencies (source: https://eba.europa.eu/-/esas-warn-consumers-of-risks-in-buying-virtual-currencies).

19 See Norwegian Tax Act of 26 March 1999 No. 14 §§ 5-1 (2) and 6-2 (1).

20 Norwegian Parliament Tax Resolution of 15 December 2020 No. 2878.

21 Norwegian Tax Administration, tax and VAT treatment of virtual currencies.

22 See Norwegian Tax Act of 26 March 1999 No. 14 §§ 5-1 (1) and 6-2 (1).

24 Norwegian Tax Administration, tax and VAT treatment of virtual currencies.

25 ibid.

26 Norwegian Ministry of Finance (2017), Bitcoin exempted from VAT (source: https://www.regjeringen.no/no/aktuelt/bitcoin-er-unntatt-fra-merverdiavgift/id2538128/).

28 Case C-264/14.

29 Norwegian Ministry of Finance (2017), VAT exemption for financial services (source: https://www.regjeringen.no/no/dokumenter/merverdiavgift---unntaket-for-finansielle-tjenester/id2538129/).

30 Norwegian Tax Administration (2017), VAT mining of virtual currency (source: https://www.skatteetaten.no/contentassets/ed1de52af7cc45989a5338780159ad6f/kryptovaluta.pdf).

32 Regulation of 15 December 2020 No. 2884 (Chapter 5541 item 70) § 1; cf. Act of 19 May 1933 No. 11 concerning sales tax.

33 Regulation of 11 December 2001 No. 1451 § 3-12-6.

34 Norwegian Tax Administration (2018), Opinion on electrical power tax for data centres and mining of virtual currency (source: https://www.skatteetaten.no/rettskilder/type/uttalelser/prinsipputtalelser/tolkningsuttalelse-elektrisk-kraft-datasentre-kryptovaluta/).

35 Norwegian Tax Administration (2018), Reduced tax rate for data centres – mining of cryptocurrency (source: https://www.regjeringen.no/contentassets/bf295ae5c5984da59a4db62cc7168a84/brev_fra_skatteetaten_kryptovaluta.pdf).

36 Recommendation No. 391 S (2018-2019) Chapter 4.4 pursuant to Parliament Resolution of 5 December 2018 and Recommendation to the Parliament No. 3 S (2018-2019) Chapter 13.6 (source: https://www.stortinget.no/no/Saker-og-publikasjoner/Publikasjoner/Innstillinger/Stortinget/2018-2019/inns-201819-391s/?m=3).

37 Norwegian Tax Administration (2019), Consultation paper on electrical power tax by mining of virtual currency (source: https://www.skatteetaten.no/contentassets/0deaa9754e4846b984bc4caa493f8fb0/horingsnotat.pdf); Article 44 of Commission Regulation (EU) No. 651/2014 and Articles 5 and 17(a) of Directive 2003/96/EC.

40 Regulation of 15 December 2020 No. 2884 (Chapter 5541 item 70) § 1; cf. Act of 19 May 1933 No. 11 concerning sales tax.

41 Norwegian Tax Inspectorate (2018), Tax on electric power tax (source: https://www.skatteetaten.no/globalassets/rettskilder/avgiftsrundskriv/2018-elektrisk-kraft.pdf).

42 European Commission (2018), European countries join blockchain partnerships (source: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/european-countries-join-blockchain-partnership).

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