Norway has entered the metaverse by announcing a tax office in Decentraland based on Ethereum. The country’s tax authority, Skatteetaten, together with its central registry Brønnøysund, unveiled their metaverse ambitions at the Nokios 2022 seminar. Both government agencies will work with four major accounting firms, Ernst and Young (EY), to set up the office virtually. In addition to the Inland Revenue, Brønnøysund, which manages Norway’s public records, audits other web3 products, including smart contracts, wallets and DAOs.
Norway targeting the next generation
The Norwegian government is hoping to target the next generation of taxpayers: the country’s tech-savvy young people who spend hours on the internet. According to Brnnysund, “The Metaverse offers an innovation that will be crucial for the future. This innovation challenges the public sector and necessitates a renewal of knowledge in terms of thinking and service offerings.”
EY’s take on the virtual tax office
Magnus Jones, Head of Nordic Blockchain at EY, published a post on LinkedIn sharing his thoughts on Norway’s Metaverse ambitions. He congratulated the Norwegian authorities on this courageous initiative in a complex landscape. Keep making strides in publishing the world’s first guide to DeFi and NFT taxation, and lead the way in crypto in general,” Jones wrote.
Norway’s crypto ventures
The blockchain aspirations of the Nordic country go beyond the metaverse. Earlier this year, in June, the country’s government announced that it was using Arbitrum, an Ethereum scaling solution, to publish capitalization tables for unlisted companies. More recently, the Bank of Norway took part in Project Icebreaker, a joint venture by the Bank for International Settlements to investigate the role of CBDCs in international retail and remittance payments from Israel and Sweden also took part in this project.
Earlier this year, EY conducted a survey with on-chain analytics firm Arcane Research to identify cryptocurrency adoption in Norway. According to the report, 10% of Norwegian adults are cryptocurrency owners. According to a report published by Global Legal Insights, the Norwegian tax authorities tax cryptocurrencies under the general asset tax rules, with profits and income calculated as capital income, which is currently taxed at 22%.