Goobit AB, the Swedish Bitcoin brokerage firm is setting standards for other Bitcoin companies by fighting for the privacy of its customers. The brokerage firm has gone to court with the country’s tax authority to prevent an audit of its customer information. The news regarding this came first when Swedish language newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported it.
The newspaper reported that Goobit AB which operates the Stockholm-based BTCX, is fighting a third-party audit request from the Skatteverket, the Swedish tax agency. The government agency says that it would require it to disclose information about its customer base. However, the Bitcoin company is not willing to surrender to the government agency.
The Swedish language newspaper says that BTCX has gone to court in order to prevent this information from being handed over. Referring to the Chief Marketing Officer of Goobit the newspaper reports that Joakim Herlin-Ljunglöf voiced concern that Swedish authorities might use such information to track Bitcoin transactions on the Blockchain.
It quotes Joakim Herlin-Ljunglöf who said that with the information the tax authorities have requested the tax agency will see each Bitcoin’s history e.g. all the previous owners and transactions. Such information is quite sensitive; however, the major concern is the information may pass to the people who are not really into the tax authorities.
For instance, he says that it gives the tax agency the opportunity to monitor transactions that will be implemented in the future, by people who may have nothing at all to do with Sweden or Swedish taxes. He though clarified that his company is contesting the order partly on grounds that the Skatterverket lacks an understanding of Bitcoin.
Third Party Audit of the Collected Data is Unwarranted Says the Broker
Nonetheless, so that it does not sound opposing to cooperation, it is trying to educate the tax authorities as well about Bitcoin. However, Herlin-Ljunglöf suggested that, given the nature of the case, the battle could move to an EU-level court, with broad implications for Europe’s Bitcoin users.
He further clarifies that his company wants to cooperate with Swedish tax authorities; however, it does not want to compromise with the sensitive customer information as it promises them and it could be breach of trust. The third party audit according to him is unwarranted and the company won’t agree for it at any condition.
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