Denmark's Authorities: Bitcoin is Not Regulated Here

Denmark’s Financial Supervisory Authority issued a statement on virtual currency – and surprisingly, it’s not all bad news.

AccessTimeIconDec 17, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 11, 2022 at 7:50 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Denmark’s Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) today issued an official statement on the use of virtual currency in the country – and surprisingly, it’s not all bad news.

Although the FSA's statement echoed warnings issued by the European Banking Authority (EBA) and red flags from regulators worldwide, it emphasised that cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, will not be policed by Denmark’s financial regulators.

The statement highlights that virtual currency isn't covered by Denmark’s existing regulatory framework. Thus, cryptocurrencies cannot be subjected to the country's standard financial regulation.

According to the FSA, doing business with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies does not qualify as issuance of electronic money, currency exchanges, brokerages or deposit services. The regulator stated:

“Virtual currencies are a form of unregulated electronic money, as opposed to real money they are not issued or guaranteed by a central bank, which in some cases can be used to make payments.”

It added that: “Virtual currencies have emerged in many different forms, first in the context of online gaming and social networks. Later, virtual currencies evolved to be used as an alternative to real currency.”

As a result, bitcoin entrepreneurs who want to build businesses and establish exchanges in the country will not need government approval. A translation from the FSA’s website reads:

“Companies do not need permission to be able to establish their operation in Denmark if they want to run bitcoin exchanges that also include exchanging real money.”

Risky investments

However, like the EBA, the FSA pointed out that investors who choose to buy, trade and hold virtual currencies risk losing their investments, having their virtual currency stolen, or simply watching the value of their currency drop to zero.

The EBA has also warned that there is no assurance that virtual currencies can be exchanged for national currencies, adding that trading virtual currencies carries implications for both tax and crime.

Interestingly, the FSA is the first national regulator to implicitly name altcoins in its warning. The somewhat unflattering reference includes litecoin, zerocoin and linden dollars.

The FSA also added that bitcoin is accepted as payment by an increasing number of businesses both online and offline.

Denmark's 'hands-off' approach to bitcoin regulation is interesting, but will other nations follow?

This article was co-authored by Grace Caffyn and Nermin Hajdarbegovic

Denmark Flag image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.