Blockchain Laws and Regulations in Serbia

One of the significant moments of modern Serbian legislation is certainly the date 30.06.2021, when the implementation of the Law on Digital Property began. This is the first law in the Republic of Serbia that regulates and gives legality to the sphere of digital business and trade of digital property.

The main novelty is the introduction of virtual currency and digital tokens as a valid means of exchange between individuals and/or legal entities, as well as the legalization of digital property mining.

From a legal point of view, the most important thing is that transactions with digital property are now guaranteed legal protection, both regulatory and judicial.

Mining

Mining of digital property is allowed. Digital assets acquired through mining can be freely disposed of by acquirers using the services of digital property-related service providers as well as conducting transactions in the OTC market.

In addition to the above methods of disposal, which represent a regular procedure, the holder, or, according to the legal term – the issuer of digital property, may advertise the initial offer of digital property for which the White paper is not approved in the following case:

  • the initial bid was sent to less than 20 natural and / or legal persons;
  • the total number of digital tokens issued does not exceed 20;
  • the initial offer is sent to buyers / investors who buy / invest in digital assets in the amount of at least EUR 50,000 in dinar equivalent at the official middle exchange rate of the dinar against the euro determined by the National Bank of Serbia on the day of purchase / investment, per buyer / investor;
  • The total value of digital assets issued by one issuer during a period of 12 months is less than EUR 100,000 in dinar equivalent at the official middle exchange rate of the dinar against the euro determined by the supervisory body.

The publication of White paper that is not approved in accordance with this law is allowed provided that during its publication and during the initial offer of digital property to which the white paper refers, it is clearly stated that the white paper is not approved.

Legal entities and entrepreneurs

Virtual currencies cannot be entered as a share to a company, but they can be converted (exchanged) to money and paid into a company as a money share. On the other hand, non-monetary shares of a company may be in digital tokens which are not related to the provision of services or performance of work while non-monetary contributions to a partnership and limited partnership may also be in digital tokens related to the provision of services or performance.

The digital assets of a legal entity or entrepreneur are fully suitable for enforcing the collection of claims of executive creditors by settling from the value of digital property. The same goes for individuals.

A company operating in Serbia and which has the status of an executive debtor in terms of the law governing enforcement, is obliged to cooperate with the competent authorities in enforcement proceedings in accordance with that law, as well as to provide information and submit all necessary information. for the purpose of enforcing settlements on digital property, including means by which digital assets are accessed (e.g. cryptographic keys).

It is important to mention that the owners of digital property have the status of known creditors in the event of termination of a company that has obligations based on that digital property.

Secondary trade

Secondary trading of digital property involves the sale, purchase of digital property, as well as exchange for other digital property.

In the Republic of Serbia, secondary trading in digital property is allowed, regardless of whether it was issued in Serbia or abroad, as well as regardless of whether white paper was approved for its issuance or not.

Secondary trading of digital assets takes place through a platform for trading digital assets organized by a company licensed by the supervisory authority issued for that purpose.

Companies that are licensed by the supervisory authority to provide services related to digital property, as well as all other legal entities, individuals and entrepreneurs, can trade through the platform itself.

It is important to note that when issuing digital assets, in addition to the method described in the subtitle Mining, a document called a White paper is published, which contains information on the issuer of digital property, digital assets and risks associated with digital property, in order to enable investors to make a decision on investment and risk assessment related to investing in digital property and which is ultimately approved by the supervisory authority.

Pledge and Fiduciary

Digital property may be encumbered by a pledge, which is based on a Pledge Agreement, and which may be a separate agreement or an integral part of a framework or other agreement between the creditor and the debtor.

A pledge can secure a monetary claim in domestic or foreign currency, as well as a non-monetary claim expressed in digital assets.

The curiosity of the contract on the pledge of digital property is the possibility of concluding a smart contract. As well as that, in addition to the traditional written form, the contract can be concluded in electronic form, on a permanent data carrier that allows storing and reproducing original data in unaltered form.

The supervisory authority may prescribe additional elements that must be contained in the digital property pledge agreement, as well as special rules governing the execution of the digital property pledge agreement using a smart contract.

For the final establishment of a pledge on digital property, it is necessary to fulfill the constitutive element – entry in the register of pledges kept by the provider of services related to digital property, licensed by the supervisory authority to keep a pledge register on digital property, as well as storage and administration of digital property.

The condition for entry of the pledge right on digital property in the register of pledge right is that the digital property which is the subject of the pledge right is previously entrusted for storage and administration to the provider of services related to digital property who has a license to keep the register of pledge right on digital property.

On the other hand, the Fiduciary is a mean of security by which the right of ownership of digital property is transferred from the fiduciary debtor to the fiduciary creditor for the purpose of securing the collection of receivables, with the obligation to return received or equivalent funds.

The fiduciary creditor, unless otherwise agreed, has the right to use and dispose of the digital property that is the subject of the fiduciary agreement, including the right to alienate it.

The contract on fiduciary digital assets may, in addition to the purpose of securing receivables, be concluded for another purpose, which in that case must be defined by the contract on fiduciary digital assets.

Protection

The National Bank of Serbia and the Securities Commission are established as supervisory bodies.

The line of division of their competencies is the type of digital assets, whether they are virtual currencies or digital tokens.

They oversee the operations of digital property-related service providers, digital property issuers, and persons who are or have been holders of digital property.

The subject of supervision is the verification of compliance of the business of the subjects of supervision with this Law as well as by-laws adopted on the basis of it.

With regard to the legal regulation of the matter of digital property, appropriate judicial protection can be achieved as is the case of any other legally guaranteed right, without restrictions.

Exclusion of liability

The Republic of Serbia, the National Bank of Serbia, the Commission and other competent authorities and public authorities do not guarantee the value of digital property and are not responsible for any possible damages and losses incurred by users and other holders of digital property and / or service providers / or third parties suffer in connection with the conduct of transactions with digital property.

Providers of services related to digital property are obliged to inform the user of digital property about the risks of performing transactions with digital property, including the risk of partial or complete loss of funds or other assets, before establishing a business relationship with a digital asset user or performing a transaction with digital property and that transactions with digital property are not subject to regulations governing deposit insurance or investor protection, as well as regulations governing the protection of users of financial services.

Digital property tax

  • taxation of capital gains from the sale of digital assets;
  • taxation of inherited and gifted digital property;

Capital gain is considered to be the difference between the sale price of rights, shares and securities and their purchase price, realized by the transfer of digital property.

The tax base is the capital gain determined in the manner prescribed by the said. The tax rate is 15% on obtained basis.

A taxpayer who invests funds generated by the sale of digital property within 90 days from the date of sale in the share capital of a company resident in the Republic of Serbia, or in the capital of an investment fund, whose center of business and investment activities is located in the Republic of Serbia, is released 50% capital gains tax.

In the case of tax on inherited and gifted digital property on rates, they are proportional, but differentiated depending on the degree of kinship between the testator, or the donor and the taxpayer, as follows:

  • taxpayers who, in relation to the testator or donor, are in the second line of inheritance according to the legal order of inheritance, pay inheritance and gift tax at the rate of 1.5%;
  • taxpayers who are in the third and further hereditary order in relation to the testator or donor, taxpayers who are not related to the testator or donor pay inheritance and gift tax at the rate of 2.5%.
  • taxpayers who, in relation to the testator or donor, are in the first line of inheritance according to the legal order of inheritance, are free of tax;

The tax base is:

  • in the case of inheritance tax, the market value of the inherited property on the day the tax liability arises, reduced by the amount of debts, expenses and other encumbrances that the taxpayer was obliged to settle from it.
  • in the case of a gift tax, the market value of the property received as a gift on the day of the tax liability determined by the Tax Administration.