The Balkans are emerging as a hotbed of crypto scams, due to the region’s rambling financial regulations.
Cryptocurrency trading on the peninsula has grown significantly, but the varying degrees of legal implementation in the Balkan countries is attracting a criminal element.
In Croatia, for example, cryptocurrencies are not considered as money but as an investment, which means that they are not taxable.
In Serbia, they are considered a medium of exchange and a person has to pay 15% tax on the profit when selling.
The financial office of Slovenia (Furs) recently suggested a 10% tax on any sum of a crypto sale.
The benevolence of contrasting rules creates, in the eyes of experts, fertile ground for scams and counterfeits.
Ankur Banerjee – co-founder and CTO of the well-known data network Check – says he thinks the aspect of how governments are trying to regulate cryptocurrencies and blockchain is as interesting as it is confusing.
“Let’s face it, when you have blockchain projects around the world, it’s very difficult to find jurisdiction,” he said.
In the Serbian town of Ivanjica, a group of people were recently arrested after discovering that they had stolen electricity in order to mine Bitcoin.
In the former home of infamous Serbian war criminal Draza Mihailovic, the group installed $ 6,000 in mining equipment and controlled it remotely.
However, the scam was discovered when workers attempted to gain access to the basement in order to connect lighting for a local music festival.
Scam discovered in Croatia
Meanwhile, Croatia is also investigating a case in the town of Ludbreg where a 26-year-old man allegedly created a fake banking website attached to the bank he worked for.
He is accused of having taken the PIN codes of hundreds of customers and of having transferred more than 200,000 euros to his account. With this money, he bought 22,000 Bitcoins with a current value of over 900 million euros.
It is understood that the suspect has since escaped police custody and fled to neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be taken as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.