December 1, 2023

Local investors can now bet on the price actions of two leading cryptocurrencies globally, Bitcoin and Ethereum, using the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE) platform. 

According to the Minister of Finance, Assen Vassilev, the country is working out ways to roll out a cryptocurrency payment method for its citizens.

Bulgarian Traders Can Now Bet On BTC And ETH 

As stated by local news outlets, local traders can now place bets on the price changes of two famous digital assets, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). 

Although traders can place bets on the coins, they cannot buy the digital currencies directly from the exchange. Instead, local traders can invest in exchange-traded notes (ETNs) and exchange-traded commodities (ETCs), which is still a good option.

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Before adding cryptos to BSE, other shares are tradable on the platform, even those global giants like Moderna, Pfizer, Porsche, Samsung, Apple, Volkswagen, etc. Also, the stock exchange had plans to add four more funds centered on digital currencies – VanEck ETP, Wisdom Tree, ETC Issuance, and 21Shares.

With the recent events, it seems the country is embracing the use of digital assets. In January, the Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, Assen Vassilev, declared the intention of the government to try out cryptocurrency payment methods in the short term. Nevertheless, the Deputy Prime Minister doubted the possibility of the country turning into a mining center for digital assets.

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$9 Million Worth Of BTC Allegedly Seized In 2017

Bulgaria, a member of the European Union, is not part of the countries that make the news when it comes to matters of digital currencies. Although local traders are free to invest in digital assets, taxes are imposed on Bitcoin and altcoins transactions the same way financial assets are taxed.

From Research, Bulgaria and cryptocurrency have a delicate history together. In 2017, the government seized over 213,519 BTC from companies mining cryptocurrency illegally in the country. As at then, Ivan Geshev (Chief Public Prosecutor) denied the news while the “Balkian Interpol” agreed it happened. 

In 2021, Bulgarians came out en mass protesting on the streets and calling for the resignation of Geshev. The public accused him of engaging in fraudulent and corrupt practices.

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Unfortunately, the fate of the confiscated BTC remains unknown. While some news reports claim they were sold, others suggest the government still possesses the digital asset. If the latter is the case, it means the country is among the largest BTC whales in the world. The equivalent of the BTC in USD is over $9 billion.

Surprisingly, the matter of the seized cryptocurrency has risen again. The new government under Ivaylo Marchev asked the Minister of Internal Affairs, Boiko Rashkov, to report on the whereabouts of the funds. Rashkov is yet to respond to the matter.

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