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Norway embraces the metaverse with tax office in Decentraland

27 Oct, 20222 min readEthereum
Norway embraces the metaverse with tax office in Decentraland

Norway has forayed into the metaverse with the announcement of a tax office in Ethereum-based Decentraland.

The country’s tax agency, Skatteetaten, along with its central register the Brønnøysund, revealed their metaverse ambitions at the Nokios Seminar 2022. Both government agencies are set to partner with the big four accounting firm Ernst and Young (EY) to establish the virtual office.

In addition to the tax office, the Brønnøysund, which manages Norway’s public registers, is looking into other web3 products including smart contracts, wallets, and DAOs among others.

Norway targeting the next generation

The Norwegian government is hoping to target the next generation of taxpayers- the tech-savvy youngsters of the country who spend hours online.

“The metaverse offers a new type of innovation that will be important for the future, and this innovation challenges the public sector and demands a renewal of knowledge, both in terms of thinking and service offerings,” Brønnøysund stated.

EY’s take on the virtual tax office

Magnus Jones, EY’s Nordic Blockchain chief, published a LinkedIn post sharing his thoughts on Norway’s metaverse ambitions. He commended the Norwegian authorities for undertaking such a bold initiative.

“Kudos once again to Norwegian authorities who dare to make moves to bring clarity in a complex landscape. Building further on issuing world first guidance on how to tax DeFi and also NFTs, and being a front runner in the crypto space in general” Jones wrote.

Norway’s crypto ventures

The Nordic nation’s blockchain ambitions are not limited to the metaverse. Earlier this year in June, the country’s government revealed that they were using Arbitrum, an Ethereum scaling solution, to release capitalization tables for unlisted companies.

More recently, Norway’s central bank was involved in Project Icebreaker, a joint venture by the Bank for International Settlements which sought to explore the role of CBDCs in international retail and remittance payments. This project saw participation from Israel and Sweden as well.

Earlier this year, EY carried out a survey in association with on-chain analytics firm Arcane Research, to determine crypto adoption in Norway. The survey found that 10% of the adults in Norway owned cryptocurrency.

According to a report published by Global Legal Insights, the Norwegian tax authorities tax crypto following the general tax rules for assets, with gains and income calculated as capital income, which is currently taxed at 22%.

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