New regulations in crypto

From 1 July 2023, a new regulation was introduced in Georgia, which defines “Virtual Asset Service Provider” (hereinafter “VASP”) and requires registration with the National Bank of Georgia. Besides, VASPs must follow instructions and have continued obligations after the initial registration.


In this article we will not be discussing the technical details of mandatory registration, instead, we will focus on the practical and substantive aspects of the new regulation and will be answering to frequently asked questions.


What changes?

Before the new regulation, any company could carry out crypto-related transactions such as crypto exchange operations, crypto transfers, storage, administration, portfolio management, etc. Starting from 1 July 2023, companies that carry out such transactions are required to register with the National Bank of Georgia.


Will the changes affect me?

If you are an individual, who is personally trading in cryptocurrencies, rest assured, the new regulation does not affect you. Similarly, if you are an individual, who is involved in the mining of cryptocurrencies, you are not affected.

Put simply, the new regulation affects companies, that provide crypto services to other companies or persons. For example, cryptocurrency exchange, providing crypto-trading platforms, managing third parties’ crypto portfolios, storing and safekeeping cryptos for third parties, administering cryptos for third parties etc. The key here is that they conduct operations for the benefit of third parties.

To sum up, if you are involved in cryptocurrency trading or mining for your own benefit, you are not affected by the new regulation. On the other hand, if you provide services to third parties, then it is mandatory that you register with the National Bank of Georgia.


My company accepts payments in cryptocurrencies, does anything change for me?

If you own or manage a company, which is not a crypto service provider, but accepts payments in cryptocurrencies and sometimes makes payments to suppliers in cryptocurrencies, it would be interesting for you to learn about any impact you may have from the new regulation.

For example, let’s discuss a company that sells cakes and juice and accepts payments in Laris as well as cryptocurrencies. First of all, it should be noted that your company does not fall under the definition of VASP and therefore should not register with the National Bank of Georgia.

The only thing that you should be aware of is that you are prohibited from accepting payments directly in cryptocurrencies without intermediary (VASP). This is because in Georgia, the only legal payment currency is Georgian Lari. Noone prevents you from offering payment to customers in cryptocurrencies, however the payment must go through intermediary, which takes the amount paid by your clients and converts them to Laris. Eventually when the payment made by client reaches your account, it has already been converted by the intermediary in Laris. From client perspective, nothing changes, customers can make payments in cryptocurrency, however, your company received Laris converted by the intermediary (intermediaries are subject to registration in the National Bank of Georgia). Besides, companies are prohibited from making salary or other payments directly in cryptocurrencies (of course the exception to this rule is the purchases from abroad or salary payments to foreigners/non-residents). For example, if your company owns Bitcoin and transfers it to employees’ wallets as compensation, this transaction represents a violation of Georgian law. Company can only make salary and other payments in Bitcoin (or other cryptocurrencies) through intermediary, which converts the cryptocurrencies to Laris and transfers the converted amounts.

To sum up, in Georgia, the only legal way of payment is Georgian Lari, which means that entity receiving the payment, whether employee or supplier, must receive the transferred cryptocurrencies in equivalent Laris, which is only possible through intermediary, which converts transferred cryptocurrencies to Laris and then directs to the receiver.


What do I need to do if my company falls under the definition of Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP)?

As discussed above, any company, which provides crypto services to third parties, whether it is conversion, storage, portfolio management or any other service, must register with the National Bank of Georgia as a Virtual Asset Service Provider. For this, the entity submits an application to the National Bank. Registration criteria and other details are discussed in Georgian on the following webpage:

Registration fee equals 5 thousand Georgian Laris. It should be noted that NFTs are out of scope of the new regulation, while cryptocurrencies are included in the scope.

Since the purpose of the new regulation is to prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism, registered companies have continued obligations, that include conducting procedures to identify information about clients, their beneficial owners, and origins of their money. Exactly what these mandatory procedures must address, is discussed on the above indicated link.

We represent the leading accounting firm in Georgia, that serves hundreds of clients on a daily basis. We can offer you all the necessary services related to VASP registration and related accounting.

Why outsource your accounting?

This may sound counterintuitive, but outsourcing accounting services for your company is cheaper and is of superior quality compared to hiring and an internal accountant.


Less costs

Outsourcing is often cheaper than hiring an accountant. This is caused by the fact that it is inefficient for small and medium sized entities to hire a full-time accountant, because such entities do not usually need 100% of the accountant’s time and often one third or even one fourth of qualified accountant’s time is needed to achieve the same result. As for the large companies, setting up accounting department and purchasing appropriate accounting software is significantly more costly for them. Our automated systems and modern methodologies allow us to offer accounting service to large companies at lower fees.


Access to experts

Upon signing a contract with us, companies get access to different specialists, including tax experts, financial reporting specialists, experienced accountants and financial consultants. Each of them is master of their field with complex and thorough experience.


Insured risks

We have three-level control of accounting and tax filing process. Accounting transactions posted by an accountant is checked and verified by chief accountant, portfolio manager and finally by internal audit department. As a result, tax filings are monitored by three separate specialists.

In case of any errors, we are responsible for any tax penalties caused by our mistake.

Popular indicator of business profitability – EBITDA

EBITDA represents earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. EBITDA is widely recognized as one of the most popular indicator of company profitability. In this article we will be discussing the reasons for its popularity.


How is EBITDA derived?

EBITDA is calculated by subtracting all the expenses from revenues apart from interest, profit tax, depreciation, and amortization. By deducting direct expenses from revenues, you arrive at gross profit, after which you additionally deduct operating expenses (administrative and other operating costs), which results in   EBITDA. To derive net profit from EBITDA, you additionally need to subtract interest expense, add interest income, subtract depreciation and amortization costs, and subtract profit tax expense.


What is the reason for popularity of EBITDA?

Compared to other measures of profitability, EBITDA’s popularity is caused by several factors. For example, at first glance, it may seem that net profit, which is derived by deducting all expenses from revenues, is simple and more logical profitability measure, however, is most cases, business owners, managers, and external users (including banks) prefer to use EBITDA as the key profitability indicator. Our company provides accounting services to hundreds of companies on a daily basis. From our experience, we have gathered key reasons for the preference and have outlined them below.

First of all, EBITDA measures profitability from company’s key business activities and removes the secondary factors such as loan interest and profit tax. For example, consider two companies – company A and company B. Managers of company A are more efficient at management of production costs, which is evident from the fact that company A generates higher gross profit margin per each Dollar of revenue (i.e. it manufactures products more efficiently and at lower cost). However, overall, company A’s net profit is less than company B’s net profit because company A’s initial investment was financed through shareholder’s equity, which does not have accounting interest expense accrual, while company B’s initial investment was financed through a bank loan. In this scenario, it would be misleading to base your opinion about management’s efficiency on net profit rather than EBITDA, since the two companies have different capital financing structure.

It should also be noted that EBITDA represents attempt at rough approximation of operating cash flows. Considering that EBITDA does not include depreciation and amortization, which represent non-cash expenses, it is closer to actual cash flow than other indicators of profitability (e.g. EBIT). EBITDA does not capture all cash flows movements (e.g. changes in working capital), however is often used as an approximate measure in industries, which have heavy depreciation and amortization costs.

ასევე დაგაინტერესებს