Bitcoins can be bought and sold (ie. exchanged for real currency) to and from individuals or companies. Most known platforms like Bitstamp, Mt.Gox, Btc-e and BtcChina use a bid / ask system.
Today’s value is $461 US for 1 BTC, but this is subject to high fluctuation.
We have seen this exchange rate going from $5 in May 2012 to $1150 in December 2013.
The only country where Bitcoin is illegal is Iceland. However, many other states decided to restrict its use. For instance in China, since December 5, 2013, financial institutions are forbidden to handle Bitcoin transactions. They cannot give pricing in Bitcoin or buy and sell the currency. This statement was the cause of a crash of the bitcoin exchange rate.
In Germany, bitcoin has become an official currency, a way for the German government to perceive tax on it. Profits from this money are subject to an income tax granted at a 25% level and businesses that would use this money will be required to pay a VAT amount for each transaction.
In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service announced in March 2014 that bitcoin would be a form of property rather than a currency, meaning that every transaction where Bitcoin is used as payment would be subjected to capital gains tax and that bitcoin mining would be taxed as well. (suite…)