Initial coin offering (ICO) refers to a new way of raising capital for cryptocurrency businesses. The rules and procedures for ICO can differ from one country to another, as there isn’t a clear, comprehensive law applicable at an international level.
There are some regulations that can apply at an EU level, such as the Anti-Money Laundering law. For the purpose of ICO in Greece, any party interested has to first observe the rules applicable in this country.
Our consultants in company registration in Greececan offer advice regarding this matter and can help foreign and local investors in completing all the steps for ICO.
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What is the situation of crypto sector in Greece?
Individuals and companies interested in developing crypto-related activities in Greece must know that this sector is mostly unregulated, although some rules of law do apply to crypto users.
According to the views of the Hellenic Capital Market Commission, cryptocurrencies are not currency, but rather portfolio assets. At the moment, the Greek authorities have transposed in the national legislation the EU’s AMLD5 (Anti-Money Laundering Directive).
Under this law, those who are providers or digital wallets, exchange services, etc., are required to be registered, in an effort to keep evidence on the industry.
All digital services providers are required to register with the above mentioned institution starting with 31st January 2021.
If you need assistance on how to register with the Hellenic Capital Market Commission, please mind that our consultants in company formation in Greece can represent you.
Also, consider that Greece has created an Innovation Hub for fintech companies, with the assistance of the Bank of Greece (in 2019).
What is the law on ICO in Greece and cryptocurrency activity?
Greece applies specific rules of law when it comes to the activity of cryptocurrency entities. First of all, it is necessary to know that cryptocurrencies are not considered a legal tender, in the sense that there are not backed up by governmental institutions.
However, the use of cryptocurrency is common in Greece and it is not illegal. At the moment, there are few legislations which regulate such activities, but Greece does not have a comprehensive rule of law that fully regulates this field.
Considering these, those who want to open a company in Greece in the field of crypto/ICO, should be aware of the following:
- • blockchain operations can fall under the regulations of the Greek Law 4514/2018;
- • there is a tax regime that is also applied to cryptocurrencies – for natural persons the tax is charged at a rate of 15%;
- • an additional tax of 2,2% to 10% is charged for any income above EUR 12,000 (for natural persons);
- • although the euro is the sole currency accepted in Greece as per the rules of the Article 10 of the Regulation 98/974/EC, some commercial units accept payments in cryptocurrencies;
- • the income of businesses dealing with crypto activities is charged at a rate of 29%.
Are there any ICO companies in Greece?
Yes, Greece has companies that raise capital for different projects through the usage of the ICO system. The 1st official ICO in Greece appeared in 2018. It raised a capital of EUR 25 million through this method.
The novelty element of the 1st ICO in Greece is that the capital raised was not for other fintech or technology projects, but it aimed at implementing projects in the primary industry, more exactly, agriculture.
With regards to ICO in Greece, it is important to know that, at the moment, there aren’t any particular rules of law that are enforced in this country.
The only regulatory requirements that can apply in this country are the ones issued by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)of which Greece is a member.
If you need further information and legal representation, please do not hesitate to contact our specialists in company formation in Greece.