German National Tourist Board Plans to use Cryptocurrencies for International Payments

The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) has announced it would like to test blockchain technology in its financial system and may use it for international payment transactions. This shows a move towards cryptocurrencies being accepted as legal tender. 

Petra Hedorfer, Chair of the Board of the GNTB, explains: "As a global player, we want to set an example as a driver of innovation and a catalyst for the tourism industry. Blockchain technology offers interesting perspectives in terms of speed, transparency and security. Experts see enormous potential for improvement and savings, i.e. in international transactions."

The GNTB, headquartered in Frankfurt, develops and communicates strategies to expand the positive image of Germany as a tourist destination. It operates in 32 countries which means it has to orchestrate international transactions on a regular basis between currencies. 

This follows positive sentiment from Germany's Federal Ministry of Finance who issued a statement earlier this month recognizing that as Bitcoin is a form of payment, it should not be subject to VAT(value added tax), which is applied to goods and services.

It said: "The use of Bitcoin is equated with the use of conventional means of payment, provided they serve no purpose other than pure payment. The dedication of Bitcoin to the mere payment of fees is therefore not taxable."

It also considers Bitcoin mining to be a non-taxable event both in terms of transactions fees and rewards for creating new blocks. This is good news for miners, as transactions fees could be considered to be the equivalent of credit card fees which are subject to VAT.