Recently a government official said he felt Bulgaria was unlikely to become a major hub for cryptocurrencies, as many of them were considering leaving Kazakhstan.
Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Assen Vassilev said the EU member state was exploring options for introducing a crypto payment system.
Vassilev said the government was in talks with industry players, including the Bulgarian National Bank, to explore “short term and medium term” crypto payments, according to a Bloomberg report on Friday. However, he acknowledged that Bulgaria was unlikely to become a major centre for cryptocurrencies – amid reports of political unrest and Internet disruptions, many were reportedly considering leaving Kazakhstan.
After seizing 213,519 bitcoins (BTC) from the underground crime network before the 2017 bull run, the Bulgarian government may still be one of the largest holders of cryptocurrency in the world – holding worth $3.5 billion at the time, with more than $8.2 billion at the time of publication. Whereas until now it is unclear whether officials at the time sold or auctioned these cryptocurrencies or kept hold of the digital assets.
Bulgaria is one of eight countries that have not ratified the euro while continuing as a member of the European Union. In June 2021, the Bulgarian National Bank announced that the government and officials intend to adopt the euro from 2024. Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank, has said she will not introduce digital currency until March 2025.
A federal jury in the United States in 2021, found that Rossen Iossifov, the owner of RG Coins, a Bulgarian cryptocurrency exchange, was involved in a conspiracy to racket and launder money. The Bulgarian citizen, among others, defrauded more than 900 Americans of more than $7 million. He was later sentenced to ten years in prison.