The headline "Canada rules bitcoin is not legal tender" is analogous to saying "Canada rules LeBroning is not funny"...an example of centralized agencies becoming out of touch in an increasingly decentralized world.
Fall of cryptocurrencies, rise of e-fiat currency?
Cryptocurrencies have been riding on some pretty rocky terrain lately and it remains to be seen what will happen should the first central bank-issued digital currency be launched. In fact, Sweden has voiced its desire to release a national digital currency in the next couple of years. Given the country’s gradual decline in cash usage, the Riksbank – Sweden’s central bank – is exploring this scenario. The e-krona, as they are expecting to call it, is being imagined as a tool that will play the same role as the tangible krona today: a currency that is independent of intermediaries, accessible to every citizen and usable for any type of payment regardless of its value. Sweden is not the only country that has been looking into the possibility of launching a digital version of the national currency. The Bank of England, the Bank of Canada and the Bank of Israel have all set up working groups to better understand the implications of such a project and to evaluate the utility and need. Although they are all still at an exploratory stage, this could eventually come as a blow to cryptocurrencies around the globe in an age where ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) seem to be the hottest product on the market. Bitcoin has certainly been facing some difficulties in the past week after South Korea announced the possibility of shutting down all cryptocurrency exchanges – news that caused Bitcoin’s value to plummet by 25%. A final decision is expected to be released today on their fate in the country that is to host this year’s winter Olympics. But regardless of the outcome, these drastic fluctuations are proving how volatile and unstable cryptocurrencies are, pushing many experts to wonder if they will ever become a substitute to regulated, legal tender currencies – fiat or digital. Even one of the world’s most admired investors, Warren Buffet, has made it clear that he and his investment firm have no intention of going in that direction as they [cryptocurrencies] “will come to a bad ending”. Software giant Microsoft and digital distribution platform Steam have also ceased to accept Bitcoin as a payment tool because of its “high fees and volatility”. So although there is now a lot of hype around the messaging app Telegram’s announcement of a soon-to-be-launched ICO – expected to be one of the biggest ever – it might be time to start wondering why a growing number of countries are counting on (or have already) imposing a number of restrictions and regulations on these anonymous and virtual “coins”. From China to Russia and now maybe even Korea, governments are cautious – and rightly so – about these “cryptos” who are looking less and less like a “currency” and more and more like a simple product of speculation.
Crypto Regulation in Countries which witnessed Spike in Crypto Interest
CoinMarketCap, one of the most preferred sources for crypto market capitulation has recently released the graph of countries that have registered a surge in crypto usage. The report named nine countries including Nigeria, Australia, Spain, Canada, Mexico, U.K., Colombia, India, and Pakistan which marked huge growth in Cryptocurrency Interest. However, it is pivotal to understand the type of crypto regulations, frameworks ad polices these countries are entertaining. Nigeria - With Nigeria being one of the biggest countries in the world population-wise, it also boasts of being one of the leading countries in Africa in terms of GDP boasting of about $500 billion nominal GDP returns. Taking a look at the crypto regulation in Nigeria, Bitcoin and all other forms of crypto are all legal although the Security Exchange Commission in the country has warned the population of the high risk involved. With the previous move by the government of Nigeria to ban crypto trading, the regulations are still unclear with the government issuing strong warnings of the volatility in the market. Spain - Spain mirrors Nigeria in the way that digital assets are approached in the country with the European nation not having a single regulation when it comes to crypto adoption. The Spanish government joined forces with the Spanish Security and Exchange Commission to teach investors on the dangers of trading in crypto assets. Even with the absence of regulations, the government has said that it does not see crypto as a means of tender, they may be referred to as securities. Australia - As far back as 2017, when Bitcoin was trying to make its mark in the financial market, Australia was one of the few countries that moved swiftly to encourage the budding investment. The government declared the digital assets a legal investment in the country and as such is treated as property while being subject to Capital Gains Tax. Previously, Australia subjected crypto assets to a double taxation scheme with the assets classed under the Goods and Services Tax but the recent change has encouraged a widespread adoption. Canada - Canada has swiftly moved to ask all businesses and investments to register their respective firms under the FinTRAC as their activities would be monitored by the body to check fraud and money laundering. The new crypto law according to FinTRAC is that all transactions that are more than $7,000 should be duly noted. The sending and receiving party should be identified and failure to do so would attract severe charges. The new law has given investors a huge relief in terms of eliminating fears of fraud. Mexico - Mexico enacted a new law to guide crypto in March 2018 but was met with resistance across the country. The new law states that cryptocurrencies were illegal but could be used as a means of payment across the country. The new law states specifically that Banxico, the country's central bank should monitor all crypto activities and would report all unauthorized transactions whilst handing out fines to businesses that fail to adhere to the instructions. The major boost is that crypto businesses have not been levied with a clear tax system as regards digital assets. United kingdom - Ever since the wide adoption of crypto around the world, the United kingdom has always measured the activities of crypto exchanges across the country. Even though the government has refused to see digital assets as a means of legal tender, they have moved swiftly to enforce a registration with the FCA amongst the exchanges in the country. With no ground laws in place to monitor the activities of the exchange, the country has levied the capital gains tax on individuals and investments dealing in cryptocurrencies. Colombia - Colombia has one of the worst rules and regulations when it comes to crypto adoption. Presently, the country lacks a legal framework when it comes to regulating crypto. With the country witnessing a 61% growth in terms of FinTech companies despite the seemingly unregulated activities of crypto exchanges in the country. With the Colombian law failing to recognize cryptocurrency trading as a legal investment, most of the exchanges in the country are always subject to losing their services for handling of illegal transactions. India - India recently passed a bill into law that said that banks can now work with crypto exchanges in the country. This development comes after the legality of crypto exchanges and the laws that govern them were called into questions after the Supreme Court permitted them to carry out their activities in the country. Presently, the trading of crypto in the Asian country is legal and has seen so many adoptions even before the court ruled in its favor. With a legal framework scheduled to be drafted in the coming weeks, only time will tell if it would favor more adoption. Pakistan - Pakistan issued a blanket ban on crypto investments across the country in 2019 but has soon suspended the ban and asked all crypto exchanges and service providers to register their business with the state bank of Pakistan. The country executives are presently going into a meeting to discuss how the legal frameworks for the adoption of crypto would be in the country. Despite the ban that was effective since last year, the majority of the Pakistan population has owned cryptos in other countries but can now comfortably trade in their own country.
Is bitcoin legal or not vary from country to country, However bitcoin is yet not accepted as legal tender in any country Legal tender is defined as a currency like dollor, euro etc which are widely accepted and properly regulated by the world banks and Governments around the world Bitcoin cryptocurrency is not accepted as a legal tender anywhere in the world yet in many countries bitcoin is legal to be used as a payment option if both parties agree to make their transaction in Bitcoin Countries where bitcoin is legal are · The United States ·Canada ·Australia ·The European Union ·Japan ·South Korea Countries that say no to bitcoin are ·China ·India ·Russia ·Vietnam ·Columbia ·Ecuador
-‘Project is ready’: Minister says govt going to build ‘Pakistan University of Media Sciences’ Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Monday announced the government plan to build a varsity titled ‘Pakistan University of Media Sciences’. He underlined that the project of the university was ready in first 100 days of the incumbent government. In a twitter message this morning, Mr. Chaudhry said: “Alhamdolillah Pak University of media sciences project is ready in first 100 days of PTI Govt, this ll be our biggest contribution to Pak media industry.” -GB govt approves weather allowance for employees The Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) government has approved the provision of weather allowance to the government employees from November-February. The GB Finance department in a letter to the AG Office directed payment of weather allowance to the employees in November salary, an official press release said here on Monday. The department has released Rs471 million budget under the head of the weather allowance to the employees. It is pertinent to mention here that the last government had abolished the said weather allowance. -Pakistan Railways comes up with a major project The government is embarking upon a major project of laying a new double rail track from Karachi to Peshawar. Sheikh Rashid said that two new freight trains and Rehman Baba Express train will be launched on the 25th of next month. -Pakistan and Malaysia agree to enhance cooperation in defence sector Pakistan and Malaysia have agreed to promote mutual cooperation and defense ties to further strengthen their relations. -Finding home in a foreign land: German photographer falls in love with the streets of Pakistan Your daily "please love us whites" article. This one is a good read. -Digital Currencies in Pakistan: State Bank of Pakistan issues important instructions The State Bank of Pakistan has declared the digital currencies, tokens and coins as illegal, advising all concerned and general public to report those making transactions in digital currencies or coins to the Financial Monitoring Unit of the bank. The central bank issued a circular declaring that all digital currencies and coins including Bitcoin, Litcoin, Pakcoin and other are not legal tender thus are illegal. HEALTH - Islamabad to get 200-bedded hospital with Saudi support: minister A delegation from Saudi Arabia led by Abdullah Al Shoebi called on Federal Minister for National Health Services Aamer Mehmood Kiani today to discuss construction of 200 bedded hospital in Islamabad with support of the Saudi Government. The minister informed that the premises has been secured and is ready for construction to start. Federal Minister National Health Services was briefed that the 200 bedded Islamabad General Hospital at Tarlai will be established at a total cost of Rs.2499.993 (million) on land measuring 13.07 Acres. -Federal Information Commission launched by PTI government Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain says the Right to Information act will help bring transparency in the country to curb corruption. He was addressing a ceremony in Islamabad on Monday in connection with launch of Federal Information Commission for implementation of Federal Right to Information Law. He said the law will help journalists to seek information on various issues from the government departments. Each government department will be obliged to give information in ten days. If it does not comply, the case will be sent to the relevant Commission. -Import of gold down by 12.8pc in four months The import of gold in the country during the first four months (July-October) of the current fiscal year witnessed a decrease of 12.86 per cent as compared to the same period of the previous year. During the period under review, 165kg gold, worth $6.443 million, was imported against the import of 186kg gold, worth $7.394 million, in July-October 2017-18, according to the latest data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). -PM Imran Khan announces huge development and welfare package for erstwhile FATA Prime Minister announced various welfare packages in the fields of health, education, employment and administration for the newly established districts of erstwhile FATA . PM announced 3 % of NFC share by all provinces for merged districts, early conduct of Local Bodies and Provincial Elections to ensure transfer of power to grass root level. He also announced Police Reforms and resolved to address all concerns of Levies and Khasadars by ensuring their jobs security. The Prime Minister announced system of Dispute Resolution Council (DRC) to ensure speedy justice and resolution of all issues through consultation. Imran Khan announced Medical College along with Hospital for North Waziristan District and South Waziristan District, University for North Waziristan District, Army Cadet College for North Waziristan District, health Insurance Cards to residents of merged districts, tele-medics system to fulfill deficiencies of specialist doctors. He also announced mega share from jobs for merged districts as offered by Qatar. -Pakistan provides free heart treatment to visiting Sikh pilgrim Pakistan on Monday provided free of cost heart treatment to a visiting Sikh pilgrim on humanitarian ground. 63-year-old Ratan Singh from India was rushed to Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology Hospital when he suffered a cardiac arrest at Gurdwara Panja Sahib, Hassan Abdal. The doctors successfully conducted angioplasty on the ailing pilgrim, who is now recovering. -President Dr. Arif Alvi has invited UAE businessmen to take benefit from vast opportunities of investment in Pakistan in various sectors, especially tourism. The President stressed that that efforts must be made to further enhance bilateral trade to commensurate with its actual potential. -For the first time in history Islamabad Police issued driving licence to transgender person Following in the footstep of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government, the Islamabad Police has issued a driving license to a transgender person. On Monday, Alia Layla became the first certified transwoman driver in the capital territory Islamabad after passing all practical driving tests. -IDEAS 2018: Largest ever Defence Expo in Pakistan with 262 delegations from 51 countries The four day 10th edition of International Defence Exhibition and seminar, IDEAS '18 have commenced. Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to inaugurate it. Five hundred twenty exhibitors from fifty countries including Pakistan will showcase their defence products in the exhibition. He said besides trade visitors, more than 262 high-level delegations from fifty-one countries including China, Russia, USA, France, Germany, Turkey, Poland, South Korea and host Pakistan are also all establishing their exclusive country pavilions at the EXPO center. -PM Imran says Pakistan has unlimited potential for developing eco-friendly tourism Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Pakistan has unlimited potential for developing eco-friendly tourism. Imran Khan took to Twitter sharing pictures of Karachi beach and snow covered mountains in the north saying, "From our beaches in the south to Fairy Meadows in the north, and the rich history of our Land, Pakistan has unlimited potential for developing eco-friendly tourism." The Prime Minister asserted that this is a commitment we are determined to fulfill God Willing. -‘Pakistan provides conducive business environment to foreigners’ President Dr Arif Alvi said on Monday that Pakistan provided foreigners with a conducive environment for investment and hoped that investors from different countries would avail from the abundant opportunities that the country offers. The president made these remarks while talking to envoys-designate of Thailand, Sri Lanka, Austria, Canada, Spain and Jordan, who presented their credentials to him in an impressive ceremony at the President House. The president said Pakistan wanted to further strengthen its relations with all friendly countries. He emphasised that regular exchange of bilateral delegations was essential in order to strengthen people-to-people contacts and to forge strong political and economic linkages. HUGE - ExxonMobil set for comeback in Pakistan after nearly three decades: Report After a gap of nearly three decades, ExxonMobil is gearing to re-enter the Pakistani market, as the world’s largest oil and gas company eyes it as an emerging economy with immense potential. According to a report in Business Recorder, well-informed sources in the Board of Investment (BoI) said the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Irtiza Sayyed considers the Pakistani market as very significant considering its existing and rising quench for energy as it continues its economic growth trajectory. Mr Sayyed in a letter sent to the BoI stated ExxonMobil has been assessing its re-entrance into Pakistan since quite a while and has been assiduously hunting energy-related opportunities for past few years. ExxonMobil has made major strides to re-enter the Pakistani market which included acquiring a 25% stake in offshore drilling in May this year. -Chinese delegation grants Rs3 million each to families of martyred policemen Chinese delegation held a meeting with the families of martyred policemen at Chinese Consulate Karachi and granted Rs3 million cheque each to the heirs. The meeting was arranged on the request of Consul General China. The Chinese delegation offered condolences and expressed deep grief with the families over the loss of their loved ones. They also thanked to both the families for saving Chinese. LOL - PTI government refuse to pay Rs 8 lakh bill for Senator Attaur Rehman cosmetic surgery The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination has refused to pay a medical bill for the weight loss surgery of Senator Attaur Rehman. The brother of Jamat-e-Islami Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman underwent a liposuction surgery to remove excess fat from his body around ten months ago at a private hospital in Islamabad, local media reported. When Senate Secretariat sent the medical bill amounting Rs800,000 to the ministry concerned for approval, federal Secretary Captain (retd) Zahid Saeed rejected the bill citing objections on it. The objections on the bill were raised by Deputy Director General Dr. Minhadul Siraj, stating that the liposuction is a cosmetic surgery. He further added why the surgery was held at a private hospital when the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) has the same facility. -Russian climbers to arrive in Pakistan for scaling K2, only 8000 metre peak in the World not been scaled in winters Russian climbers are set to arrive in Pakistan in order to scale Nanga Parbat and K2. Three expeditions are expected to attempt to conquer the two peaks. K2 is the only 8000 metre peak in the world that has not been scaled in winters. -India's vice-president lays foundation for Kartarpur corridor Indian Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu on Monday laid the foundation stone for the construction of the Kartarpur corridor which will link Dera Baba Nanak in India to Pakistan’s Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur. -Punjab holds potential to become South Asia’s Silicon Valley: Minister Provincial Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht said on Monday that Punjab has the potential to become the Silicon Valley of South Asia. He was addressing a ceremony held to celebrate the first Rs100 billion revenue collection through e-stamping by Punjab IT Board (PITB) and Board of Revenue (BOR). He said with the support of private sector and the formulation of systems like e-procurement and e-payment, the government is committed to placing Punjab at the heart of digital economy. “Despite enormous economic challenges that the government inherited, it is striving hard to achieve maximum economic growth with a low inflation environment. IT interventions are essential and much-needed in all sectors, especially to improve the overall efficiency of the government machinery,” he added. -Asad Umar to chair ECC meeting tomorrow A meeting of the Economic Corridor Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet would be held tomorrow (Tuesday) under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Asad Umar. According to a notification issued by the Cabinet Division on Monday, the finance division would be seeking directions from the government regarding an approval of a GoP guarantee to the National Power Parks Management Company Limited (NPPMCL). -Pak Suzuki mulling to set up second auto plant, manufacture additional 100,000 vehicles a year: report Pak Suzuki Motors is said to have procured 80 acres of land for establishing its second plant and manufacture an additional 100,000 vehicles a year. According to a report in Business Recorder, the total investment as per plan by Pak Suzuki Motors would amount to $460 million and the land has been procured right next to its existing site. The Auto Industry Development Committee (AIDC) is set to meet on Wednesday to deliberate upon the enactment status of the auto development policy. This meeting is focused on reports that Prime Minister’s Adviser on Industries and Production is contemplating to grant Greenfield status to Suzuki’s new plant, as per well-informed sources. Adviser to PM on Industries and Production, Razzaq Dawood is set to inaugurate Suzuki’s 2,000,000 car in Karachi on Monday. Pak Suzuki Motors is planning to introduce four new cars and Suzuki Alto 660CC is expected to replace Mehran 800CC in April 2019. -Pakistan EAC approved loan from World Bank Economic advisory council (EAC) on Sunday gave approval to seek a loan of $42 million from World Bank for the poverty eradication programme announced earlier by Prime Minister Imran Khan, sources said. -5 crore people across 36 districts in Punjab to get Health Cards Provincial Minister for Health Dr. Yasmeen Rashid said on Monday that 50 million people across the 36 districts of the province would be facilitated under Health Card Scheme. -First ever digital city in the history of Pakistan near Islamabad Khyber Pakhtunkhwa IT Board (KPITB) is inviting investors for Pakistan’s first Digital City , to be based out of Haripur, on the outskirts of capital’s Margalla Hills. The plans of Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa establishing Pakistan Digital City were announced in October by Special Assistant to Chief Minister KPK, Kamran Khan Bangash. The Haripur site has been selected for its close proximity to the capital city of Islamabad and its newly built airport. The scenic location will provide land with a rich infrastructure to a diverse range of businesses and technology firms on the leasing module. In order to build the Pakistan Digital City in accordance with industry requirements, KPITB has launched a preliminary demand form for investors to gain feedback and requirements from potential investors. -Foreign diplomats shows interest in escalating trade activities with Pakistan akistan can benefit in many ways due to its most exceptional geographical locations, which makes Pakistan a major entrance to the power & energy affluent Central Asian Republics while sharing borders with economic giants such as China, stated the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Almas Hyder. LCCI president, Hyder also emphasized on the fact while addressing a 27-member delegation, including foreign diplomats from West Africa, Azerbaijan, Iraq and many other countries, that Pakistan offers an express link to the Central Asian Republics and China. Also, Pakistan is expected to turn into the trade and energy corridor to these countries in near future. He also expressed that the Belt and Road proposal has already initiated the basis for a better trade, and CPEC is the leading stone towards the transformation of this dream into veracity. He also highlighted, that “Pakistan is a country with prosperous and miscellaneous economic base. Its economic actions range from agriculture-based raw material to aircraft manufacturing.” Part 26 Part 27 Part 28 Part 29 Part 30 Part 31 Part 32
Regulations Applied To Cryptocurrencies Around The World
Cryptocurrency Regulations Since the launch of Bitcoin in 2009, the economic revolution of cryptocurrencies has generated a stir in its demand, causing an increase in its popularity, therefore, increasing the transactions within the blockchain and the movements of crypto in the market. Consequently, many countries have had to implement laws and regulations to control crypto transactions within their jurisdiction, note that the blockchain are decentralized and do not respond to any public financial and legal entity, causing a lack of control over the transactions within the network. Telos Blockchain, having governance and a specific and defined arbitration system, is governed by laws and regulations that prevent many illicit actions from becoming effective, this collaborates with the cause of the countries that are implementing new regulations, becoming the ideal platform. As the demand for crypto increases, governments apply greater regulations at a global level, taking into account that cryptocurrencies are not backed by central banks, which is why many countries believe that there should be regulations that control this type of currency since it affects its local currency directly and indirectly; despite being an asset that can bring economic benefits to its users, it also lends itself to criminal actions through the network and the crypto. Any decision or economic announcement made in each country determines negatively or positively the behavior of the price of digital currencies. The regulators aim to prevent illicit actions in exchange houses, such as, for example, money laundering, terrorism financing, scams, payments to the dark web among others; According to the DEA, 10% of transactions with cryptocurrencies are used for illegal activities. During an interview with Lilita Infante of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), published in Bloomberg, five years ago the percentage of criminal activity in blockchain transactions was 90%, at present, this number represents 10%, which has become transactions for price speculation and not for other purposes. In countries of the first world, governments have established regulations and laws that control the use of crypto assets. The regulations applied in China are not the same applied in the United States or Japan. Herein will be specified some regulations of countries where crypto have marked a trend.
Regulations In Japan
Asia, is one of the continents where more transactions of cryptocurrencies are made, not all countries that constitute the continent have been receptive, but this is not the case in Japan; where there are regulations in the commercial exchange of cryptocurrencies. The amendment that approved the use of cryptocurrencies in the country took effect as of 2017; under the Payment Services Act, only exchanges with representatives that reside in Japan and have offices in the country registered as part of the Japanese financial services agency may legally operate in the exchange of digital currencies. The National Tax Agency (Dec 2017), established that all income in cryptocurrency are classified as “miscellaneous income” and are added to the total amount of other income that a citizen has; the taxes are calculated from the total amount of the incomes and then they are taxed. Investors must pay taxes at rates that range from 15% to 55%. Japan under the Act on Prevention of Transfer of Criminal Proceeds, exchanges are required to verify the identities of customers who open accounts, keep records of transactions and notify the authorities when a suspicious transaction is recognized. Following the loss of 400 million dollars in NEM tokens in one of the most used exchanges in Japan, Coincheck, the government of Japan, according to the Library of Congress,
“The local Finance Bureau ordered Coincheck to submit a report on the same day, examined it, and issued an order of business improvement on January 29, 2018. The following day the FSA requested all cryptocurrency exchange businesses to review their system-risk management plans and report the results to the FSA. On March 2, 2018, the FSA conducted an on-site inspection of Coincheck. On March 8, 2018, the local Finance Bureaus issued business-improvement orders to seven exchange businesses, again including Coincheck. A group of cryptocurrency exchange businesses publicized their decision to form a new self-regulating body on March 2, 2018, that all registered exchange businesses will join. The body aims to obtain authorization from the FSA under the Payment Services Act.”
Regulations In China
In this country, both cryptocurrencies and exchange houses have been banned by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), were completely eliminated in 2017, where 173 platforms were closed by 2018. Financial institutions cannot make any transactions with Bitcoin or another digital currency. In addition, they also banned ICOs and national currency exchanges. Additionally, as of January 2018, most of the crypto miners closed operations.
Unlike mainland China, there is a British ex-colony that in 1997 stopped being part of Britain and became part of the Chinese, but it was agreed that this region would be autonomous for half a century before Beijing takes full control over it. In other words, it is “one country, two systems”. This area called Hong Kong is governed by the same president of mainland China but does not comply with the same communist regulations. Unlike China, the cryptocurrencies are legal, currently, there is no legislation that regulates digital money, but they have an anti-crime organization which sanctions those who do not comply with requirements that stops cases of money laundering or fraud; Bitcoin is considered a virtual asset. Crypto Legal Status 2019
Regulations In The USA
Currently, cryptocurrencies are not considered as legal tender, although their exchange is; the regulations will depend on the state and the federal authorities since each one has different concepts of cryptocurrencies. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) considers that tokens are another value that replaces the local currency (Dollar), unlike the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which establishes that cryptocurrencies are taxed as a property and not like a coin. In 2015, 802 people declared and paid taxes on the cryptocurrencies profits, which means that users are evading these taxes; The IRS is apparently using a unique software that helps them locate those users who are evading taxes. This theory is promoted by Laura Walter, a certified public accountant and cryptocurrency tax specialist, who published on July 8, 2018, a document that apparently has been presented to IRS agents of the Criminal Investigation division. The document indicates that the IRS intends to serve the subpoenas to request from large technology companies (Apple, Google, Paypal among others) information on users’ download history and to confirm whether they have any application in their devices related to any cryptocurrency. The United States is considered one of the countries with most transactions in LocalBitcoin, therefore, they have placed more regulations and laws when making this type of transactions. In 2018, the US Supreme Court debated the future of Bitcoin for the first time, and this and other cryptocurrencies are regulated under United States law. The treasury of the United States classified in 2013, that Bitcoin is a “convertible decentralized virtual currency”. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, CFTC, classified bitcoin as a “good or asset” in September 2015. The US government has required all monetary service companies, such as, for example, exchanges, which carry out considerable transactions in the region, to meet several requirements: • Register in the FinCEN. • Design an anti-money laundering (AML) program. • Maintain record and make reports in case of suspicious activity (SAR). US FinCEN receives 1,500 SARs per month. • Make and deliver reports of digital currency transactions (CTR).
Regulations In Canada
Currently, cryptocurrencies are not considered as legal tender, although their exchange is, depending on the province. Since 2013, the Canada Revenue Agency has taxed the cryptocurrency transactions depending on the type of activity. Canada was one of the first countries to draw up cryptocurrency legislation, which designated exchanges as “money service businesses,” where they have to follow with anti-money laundering and know-your-client requirements among others.
Regulations In The European Union
Cryptocurrencies are legal, depending on the country the regulations will change. Exchange houses are currently not regulated at the regional level. In some cases, the exchanges have to register with the regulators of each country, where they grant these companies authorizations to operate legally within the jurisdiction of each country. In addition, each jurisdiction has different tax systems, which charge citizen’s taxes from the profits of the purchase and sale of cryptocurrency that ranges from 0% -50%.
Regulations In Australia
In Australia cryptocurrencies (treated as property) and exchanges are considered legal; In 2017 the Australian Senate declared the legality of cryptocurrencies and are subject of Capital Gains Tax. The same year, they began debating statutes for anti-money laundering to the country’s cryptocurrency exchanges; by the end of the year, cryptocurrency exchanges have to register with the country’s financial intelligence agency Austrac where they have to verify the user identity and other requirements. Currently, there are no regulations for the use of digital money as a payment method. Countries where cryptocurrency is banned or legal 2019
Consequently to the economic collapses that many developing countries have been through, there is a need for a stable economic structure that is not easily influenced by its environment. The blockchain has provided solutions to this need and many users from all over the world have had to resort to this economic model, as, for example, Third World countries, which suffer inflation, exchange controls, economic regulations by their governments, among other problems. Telos Blockchain has come to give an economical alternative to the user for the best management of their assets and their patrimony with a reliable and safe model, unlike other blockchains that have fallen into fraud, scams, money laundering among others, many countries have taken action on the matter and have placed regulations and laws that control possible security flaws in this model, such as unlawful acts.
Bitcoin Is Banned in the United States? Senator: It Won't Work.
If you are in the habit of reading financial news, you will find some influential people who have long been critical of bitcoin with a common view: "One day, bitcoin will be banned by the government and everything will go back to zero.” This view is not only held by financial neophytes, but also by traditional industry leaders, who regard bitcoin as a fraud. They believe the sooner it is banned, the better But can bitcoin really be banned? Even American lawmakers have realized they can't ban bitcoin now. At a congressional hearing on Tuesday, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo said, "if the United States decides to ban bitcoin, I'm pretty sure it won't work." The only way to ban bitcoin https://preview.redd.it/0lxh8c6j40e31.jpg?width=560&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=914f23f14b0782d9b4ceedb4839c39af0c7e6f75 Crapo, as one of the few who was rational about bitcoin at the hearing, added: "it's unwise to crack down on the industry because cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have multiple economic and social benefits." It has to be said that Crapo is telling the truth and there is no way to ban bitcoin completely. As long as there is electricity and Internet, bitcoin has the basis for operation, and these two conditions are necessary to maintain good order in today's world. So what if the whole world started banning bitcoin? This is also very unrealistic. First of all, Germany, Israel and Canada have all pushed towards the legalization of bitcoin and not all countries have time for this. Secondly, eliminating bitcoin is a technically impossible task. Instead of banning bitcoin trading and mining, there is only one way to erase bitcoin which is making legal tender and monetary policy more competitive. When the advantages of bitcoin completely disappear, it will naturally die out How to balance the relationship between countries and bitcoin? Whether you like bitcoin or not, there is no denying the fact that bitcoin has already gotten on the global political stage. Facebook, as a catalyst for bitcoin, made politicians around the world to talk about cryptocurrencies. The U.S. congress is specifically talking about bitcoin. Trump lashed out at bitcoin on twitter and the Treasury Department called it a national threat. India is even considering a total ban on bitcoin. Today's bitcoin has received enough attention and each country has taken a different approach to it. The weak countries see it as a monster while the strong ones ignore it completely. However, as bitcoin grows stronger, all countries will begin to confront this new age artifact. https://preview.redd.it/kagkm40k40e31.jpg?width=558&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=3cd5362be7fb82c6adefeb18f4c7c2aa0f63a4ca Eric Voskuil, one of the developers of bitcoin, divides the relationship between countries and bitcoin into three stages: honeymoon period, black market period and competition period. Phase one:Honeymoon period At this stage, the government will not completely ban bitcoin, but they will exert regulatory pressure on companies involved in the bitcoin ecosystem for the sake of monetary control. The United States is now in that phase. It does not propose a ban directly, but it does regulate in a variety of ways. The SEC and FINRA have more than doubled their number of incidents this month, and the Treasury secretary has said he will "maintain the highest standards" for cryptocurrencies. Phase two:Black market period When countries realize that the right to mint is threatened, they will enter the black market period and the government will ban bitcoin trading and mining completely. At this stage, Eric also predicted that various countries would issue legal digital currency, aiming to have a currency "safer" than bitcoin, while retaining the advantages of coinage and regulation at the level of digital currency. In fact, bitcoin has been banned in many countries around the world, such as Nepal, Bangladesh and Ecuador. And India, as the world's second most populous country, recently decided to ban bitcoin. However, while India is busy banning bitcoin, it is also considering launching its own digital currency - the digital rupee. So does Venezuela, while banning people from digging up bitcoins, the official digital currency - petrodollars, is being promoted. Phase three:Competition period In an effort to eliminate cryptocurrencies and protect their own, countries will compete as bitcoin miners in the future. This is the worst case scenario. Bitcoin has no way to keep these countries out of the game, and when it does enter a competitive phase, the state will permanently attack 51% of the time, ending up in a battle between individuals and the state. The battle will cost a lot of money until one side surrenders. We're at the intersection of the honeymoon period and the black market period, and the next few years will be critical to the development of bitcoin. If bitcoin gets stronger and countries realize they can't make it disappear forever, will they start a global cryptographic war at a time of weak regulation?
In case you missed it: Major Crypto and Blockchain News from the week ending 12/14/2018
Developments in Financial Services
A cryptocurrency exchange-traded product (ETP) that trades on Switzerland’s Six Exchange saw record trading volumes on Thursday and Friday last week, suggesting that institutional investors may be buying the dip in cryptocurrencies. Four major cryptocurrencies underlie the HODL ETP, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). While HODL ETP’s one-month average daily trading is 20,000 shares, on Thursday, December 6th, and Friday, December 7th, 53,233 shares and 62.986 shares were traded, respectively.
A report published last week by global anti-money laundering policymaker, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), indicates that cryptocurrency exchanges in the United Kingdom pose a, “low risk,” for money laundering and terrorist financing activities. The report, however, does highlight that such activities on UK cryptocurrency exchanges are an, “emerging risk,” although there is not yet enough evidence to suggest that these activities are occurring through cryptocurrency exchanges. In its report, the FATF urged UK regulators to, “Continue to develop an understanding of emerging risks (such as virtual currencies) and intelligence gaps, and take appropriate action.”
Andreas Utermann, CEO and CIO of Allianz Global Investors, called on global financial regulators to ban cryptocurrencies while speaking at a panel discussion in London. According to a report by Reuters, Utermann said, “You should outlaw it,” while participating in a panel alongside Andrew Bailey, the head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority. Bailey responded by saying that Utermann’s comments were, “quite strong,” before adding that cryptocurrencies have, “no intrinsic value.”
Basis, a major US-based stablecoin project, is shutting down its operations and returning most of its funds to investors, according to a report by crypto news outlet The Block. The report by The Block cited, “multiple people with direct knowledge of the situation,” in claiming that the algorithmic stablecoin project, which generated UDS$133mm of funding through private investments in April, will return funds to investors. According to the Co-Founder and CEO of competing stablecoin project Nevin Freeman, Basis’ shutdown is due to regulatory concerns around one of its token types. Freeman explained, highlighting that algorithmic stablecoins implement a “secondary token”, known as a “bond token”, to help maintain the primary token’s peg. In many cases, regulators like the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) consider these secondary tokens to be securities.
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, announced that it has added Circle’s US dollar-pegged stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC), to its combined Stablecoin Market. Circle, a company backed by Goldman Sachs, first released its stablecoin in September of this year. Binance’s combined Stablecoin Market features other notable stablecoins, like Tether (USDT), that trade against cryptocurrencies as interchangeable base pairs.
Coinone, a South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange, has officially launched Cross, a cross-border payments application that leverages Ripple’s xCurrent product to increase efficiencies. The application, released by Coinone’s payments subsidiary, Coinone Transfer, targets unbanked or underbanked South Koreans by enabling the transfer of funds to Thailand or the Philippines at a low cost.
Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange heralded by the Winklevoss twins, released an official company blog post this weekend announcing that the firm will support Bitcoin Cash (BCH) custody and trading. The exchange will support only the Bitcoin Cash ABC network at this time, adding that they, “are continuing to evaluate Bitcoin SV over the coming weeks or months, and we may or may not choose to support withdrawals and/or trading of Bitcoin SV in the future.” Additionally, the company detailed that its listing of BCH is pending regulatory approval by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Gemini, the cryptocurrency trading platform founded by the Winklevoss twins, announced the launch of a mobile crypto trading application in an official blog post today. Accompanying the launch of the crypto trading app is a new investment vehicle, dubbed, “The Cryptoverse,” that is comprised of a basket of cryptocurrencies weighted by market capitalization. While speaking to Bloomberg today, Cameron Winklevoss said that, “A lot of our decisions have perhaps given off a perception that we’re more institutional-based. The reality of the situation is that we have a diverse customer base. And the retail story is just beginning.” The Winklevoss twins went on to detail of a goal to expand reach to Asian markets by 2019’s end.
Good Money, a US neo-banking platform, has closed its Series A investment round that generated USD$30mm led by cryptocurrency-focused merchant bank Galaxy Digital and the founder of EOS (EOS) Block.one. Good Money aims to provide a variety of banking service and certain financial instruments to US account holders while exploring innovative changes to traditional banking practices. “Modern banking is a primary driver of so many issues we as a society face – from economic inequality, institutional racism, environmental destruction to political corruption,” said Good Money founder Gunnar Lovelace. Specifically, Good Money eliminates ATM fees while offering each bank user equity in the company.
Kraken, a notable cryptocurrency exchange, is seeking to raise funding with a USD$4bn valuation for the company and a USD$100,000 investment minimum, according to CoinDesk. In an email to investors, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell wrote, “There is presently a limited time opportunity available to a very small select number of clients to purchase shares.” The email goes on to detail that the exchange will close its offer on December 16th.
OKEx, the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, will begin listing Bitcoin Cash ABC under the original Bitcoin Cash ticker (BCH), as per an official announcement Tuesday. Additionally, OKEx will change the Bitcoin Cash SV ticker from BCHSV to BSV. The announcement by OKEx comes after other notable cryptocurrency exchanges have made the same switch, including Coinbase and Gemini.
PayPal, an online payments portal, has launched its own internal private blockchain platform that will allow staff to trade and exchange tokens while generating ideas and participating in programs to foster innovation, as per a report by news outlet Cheddar. The private blockchain network, which was built by 25 PayPal employees in just 6 months, will allow employees to earn more for enrolling in learning and development programs. The PayPal tokens are not tradeable, or worth anything for that matter, outside PayPal’s blockchain.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a big four consulting firm, is partnering with Bitfury Group, a large blockchain software and mining firm, to develop a blockchain accelerator specific to Russian businesses. As per an official press release by PwC, the partnership will leverage Exonum, Bitfury’s open source framework to build blockchain applications, for educational courses and seminars. The partnership aims to meet the, “current needs,” of PwC’s enterprise clients in Russia.
Revolut, a digital banking alternative with an in-application cryptocurrency exchange, announced that it has been awarded a European banking license. Seeking to become the, “Amazon of banking,” the license will allow Revolut to offer traditional banking services alongside its current cryptocurrency offerings to European customers. Nikolay Storonsky, Founder and CEO of Revolut, said in regards to the newly acquired license that, “With the banking license now secured, commission-free stock trading progressing well, and five new international markets at final stages of launch, we are living up to our reputation as the ‘Amazon of Banking’. Our vision is simple: one ap with tens of millions of users, where you can manage every aspect of your financial life with the best value and technology.”
Shinhan Bank, the second-largest commercial bank in South Korea, is launching a new project to implement blockchain technology in its internal processes with a goal of eliminating human error. According to a report by news outlet The Korea Times, Shinhan also recently completed a training program for its staff to increase their knowledge of blockchain technology across various applications. After Shinhan implemented blockchain technology for interest rate swap transactions on November 30th, South Korea’s second-largest bank is now aiming to apply the technology in its record-keeping process to enhance overall efficiencies.
SolarisBank, Germany’s second-largest and Europe’s ninth-largest stock exchange, is partnering with Stuttgart Exchange Group, a German fintech company, to jointly develop a cryptocurrency exchange. As per a report by Cointelegraph Germany, the joint cryptocurrency exchange venture, “is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2019.” This news comes after SolarisBank announced plans to launch a zero-fee cryptocurrency trading application this past May.
The Canadian city of Calgary is becoming the first city in Canada to launch a digital version of its local currency, according to a report by the Global News. Dubbed as the Calgary Digital Dollar, the digital currency will be exclusive to Calgary and operate alongside the country’s Canadian Dollar. Calgary-based businesses will now be required by law to accept at least 10% of a payment in digital currency, although they are allowed to accept up to 100%.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is launching a pilot of its Global Payment Initiative (GPI) to combat growing blockchain and fintech solutions, according to an official announcement last week. Currently, the SWIFT Network is used by global financial institutions to conduct global financial payments and cross-border transfers of fiat currency. Although the project is still in its early stages, the GPI pilot hopes to, “build the foundation of a new integrated and interactive service that will significantly improve efficiencies in the payments process and which will ultimately be made available to all 10,000 banks across the SWIFT network.”
The United Arab Emirates’(UAE) central bank is partnering with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to develop a cryptocurrency to facilitate cross border transactions between the two countries, according to a report by news outlet GulfNews. In a meeting pertaining to global banking standards and regulation in the Arab region, Mubarak Rashed Al Mansouri, the governor of the UAE’s central bank, said, “This is probably the first time ever that witnesses the cooperation of monetary authorities from different countries on this topic and we hope that this achievement will foster similar collaboration in our region.” The prospective digital currency will be used by both central banks and financial institutions in the countries.
TokenSoft, a security token offering (STO) startup, has acquired a 20% stake in regulated broker-dealer Marpine Securities LLC in order to launch its own regulated broker-dealer. After acquiring the 20% stake, TokenSoft will launch its new regulated broker-dealer entity, called TokenSoft Global Markets, that will be registered through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The new regulated broker-dealer entity will allow TokenSoft to advise token issuers through every step of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) process. Additionally, TokenSoft will now be able to legally operate in services related to insurance and management.
Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors and a notable cryptocurrency pundit, believes that the current fair value of Bitcoin (BTC) is between USD$13,800 and USD$14,800, according to a note published on Thursday. Lee arrived at this valuation by taking into account the number of active wallet addresses, usage per account, and other supply and demand metrics. Additionally, Lee forecasted that the fair value of BTC will reach USD$150,000/coin once BTC wallets account for 7% of Visa’s 4.5bn account holders.
UAE Exchange, an exchange based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is partnering with Ripple to launch a blockchain-based cross-border remittances platform by 1Q2019, as per a Reuters report on Thursday. The report details further that Finablr, a payments and foreign exchange company that owns UAE Exchange, observes a high level of remittance inflows from expatriate workers in the Middle East region. “We expect to go live with Rippel by Q1, 2019 with two other Asian banks,” said Finablr CEO Promoth Manghat, adding, “This is for remittances to start with, from across the globe into Asia.”
De Nederlandsche Bank, the Netherlands’ central bank, will soon require domestic cryptocurrency providers to obtain a license from the regulator to operate, as per a report by Dutch news outlet DeTelegraaf. The Netherlands' central bank is taking these measures in the hope that it will, “prevent such cryptocurrencies from being used to launder money obtained through crime or to fund terrorism.” In order to receive a license, cryptocurrency firms must maintain Know-Your-Customer procedures and report any suspicious activity to the Dutch central bank.
Eddie Hughes, a conservative member of the United Kingdom’s Parliament, suggested that Bitcoin (BTC) should be accepted as legal tender for tax and utility payments, according to news outlet Express.co.uk. The article discusses that Hughes, who is a self-described, “crypto enthusiast with amateur knowledge,” recently met with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which accepts cryptocurrency donations. This news comes after the US state of Ohio announced that it would begin accepting BTC as legal tender for tax payments.
Following a case in Canadian courts that resulted in a ruling ordering mistakenly sent crypto funds to be returned to their owner, a blog post from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law is noting that there could be repercussions with the case potentially setting a precedent for lost or stolen cryptocurrency claims. The Canadian court case’s ruling will require defendant Brian Wall to return USD$370,482 worth of Ethereum (ETH) tokens to the plaintiff, Copytrack. The blog post from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law reads, ‘This precedent may have major repercussions for the enforcement of claims regarding lost or stolen cryptocurrencies,” adding that the ruling allows the plaintiff to recover tokens, “in whatsoever hands those Ether Tokens may currently be held.”
Japan’s government is considering plans to ease cryptocurrency taxes in an effort to revitalize the domestic cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. This week, Japanese Congressman Takeshi Fujimaki proposed four significant changes to taxation requirements pertaining to digital assets, which include: a reduction on the cryptocurrency gains tax from 55% to 20%; elimination of taxes on crypto-to-crypto payments; elimination of taxes on miniscule cryptocurrency payments; and an adjustment that would allow cryptocurrency investors to carry forward losses across quarters and years, effectively until cryptocurrencies are ‘cashed’ out.
Jay Clayton, Chairman for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC), said during a speech that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), “can be effective,” for fundraising, but that, “securities laws must be followed.” Clayton went on in his speech to comment on the US SEC’s work regarding distributed ledger technology (DLT), digital assets, and ICOs, saying that it is an, “area where the Commission and staff have spent a significant amount of time,” and, “that this trend will continue in 2019.”
Jay Clayton, the Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), expressed his optimism for distributed ledger technology’s potential impact on traditional financial markets in a testimony before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs yesterday. According to a transcript published on the SEC’s website, Clayton said, “I am optimistic that developments in distributed ledger technology can help facilitate capital formation, providing promising investment opportunities for both institutional and Main Street Investors.” Additionally, Clayton highlighted that the SEC is, “Focusing a significant amount of attention and resources on digital assets and initial coin offerings (ICOs).”
Maxim Akimov, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, announced that no significant changes will be made to the draft of a bill concerning cryptocurrency regulation in the country, as per news outlet Finmarket. The bill was already approved by Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, in May 2018, although the bill has generated substantial discussion since. Since approval of the bill, all cryptocurrency and token-related terminology have been removed and replaced with the term “digital rights”. At the beginning of December, Pavel Krasheninnikov, Chairman of Russia’s State Duma, said that the bill needed to be, “significantly,” changed.
Pan Gongsheng, a deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, highlighted that Security Token Offerings (STOs) in China are illegal while speaking at a summit in Beijing. As per a report by news outlet the South China Morning Post, Gongsheng told the summit that, “illegal financing activities through STOs and ICOs were still rampant in the mainland despite a nationwide clean-up of the cryptocurrency market last year.” In citing reasoning for the continued ban on STOs, Gongsheng explained that, “Virtual money has become an accomplice to all kinds of illegal and criminal activities.”
Pantera Capital, a blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused investment firm and hedge fund, is warning investors that as much as a quarter of their ICO project could potentially be violating US securities laws, according to a Bloomberg report. In a newsletter to clients, Pantera Capital warned, “While we believe the vast majority of the projects in our portfolio should not be affected, approximately 25% of our fund’s capital is invested in other projects with liquid tokens that sold to US investors without using Regulation D or Regulation S”
Russia has no intention of implementing Venezuela’s state-backed digital currency, the Petro, into commercial operations, according to a report by news outlet RIA Novosti. While speaking to reporters this week, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said, “Representatives from our tax service and central bank... got acquainted with the cryptocurrency Venezuela is introducing,” adding, “But no more than that. As for payments, they’re not happening yet.”
South Korea’s representative body, the National Assembly, held its first official meeting with seven of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges on Monday. The purpose of the meeting was to debate cryptocurrency regulation between stakeholders of South Korea’s cryptocurrency industry. Cryptocurrency exchanges Bithumb, CobitCoin, Coinone, Upbit, Gopax, Coinplug, and Hanbitco were among the attendees of the debate, which reportedly focused on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) customer protections and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures.
The United Kingdom’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental financial security body, is calling on the country’s government to increase monitoring of cryptocurrency markets. According to an official report last week, the UK must overhaul its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and combat terrorist financing (CFT) efforts in order to prevent illicit activities with cryptocurrencies. “Virtual currency exchange providers are not yet covered by AML/CFT requirements,” the report details, adding, “this is an emerging risk and there is not yet evidence to suggest that broad scale ML/TF is occurring in the UK through this relatively small sector.”
The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is interested in learning more about the Ethereum (ETH) network, its technology, and the markets build around it. On Tuesday, the CFTC published a Request for Input (RFI) that requests the public’s feedback on different questions concerning Ethereum. The RFI explains that its goal is to inform the CFTC about Ethereum and similar emerging technology, saying, “The input from this request will advance the CFTC’s mission of ensuring the integrity of the derivatives market as well as monitoring and reducing the systematic risk by enhancing legal certainty in the markets. The RFI seeks to understand the similarities and distinctions between certain virtual currencies, including here ether and bitcoin, as well as ether-specific opportunities, challenges, and risks.”
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC) is ordering that cryptocurrency asset manager CoinAlpha Advisors LLC pay a USD$50,000 fine, alleging that the firm conducted an unregistered securities sale. After forming in October 2017, CoinAlpha raised more than USD$600,000 from investors to invest in digital assets. In an official release, the US SEC said that CoinAlpha did not file a Notice of Exempt Offering of Securities, meaning that the firm breached securities laws by soliciting securities investors. Additionally, the firm allegedly did not adhere to proper know-your-customer procedures to verify that investors were accredited.
Venezuela is reportedly beginning to convert its citizens’ monthly pension payments into Petros, Venezuela’s controversial state and oil-backed cryptocurrency, according to a report by local economics blog the Caracas Chronicles. The conversion of Venezuelan pensioners’ payments into Petros came after the country already sent pensioners their monthly payment in the form of a check for Venezuelan Bolivars -- normally, upon receiving their check, pensioners would deposit their funds into a bank account where they could then withdraw fiat from local branches. The Venezuelan government, however, converted pensioners’ fiat payments into the Petro upon their deposit into a bank. In the first few weeks of the Petro’s existence, its value has risen from 9,000 to more than 15,000.
Warren Davidson, an Ohio Congressman and notable advocate of blockchain and digital assets, is floating blockchain technology as a solution to fund US President Donald Trump’s prospective US-Mexico border wall. While interviewing with NPR, Congressman Davidson suggested, “the American people, or whomever should choose to donate,” could pay for the border wall, adding, “you could do it with sort of like a crowdfunding site or you could do a blockchain and you could have WallCoins.”
“The long-term value of Bitcoin (BTC) is more likely to be USD$100 than USD$100,000,” says Kenneth Rogoff, a former Chief Economist for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the current Harvard University Professor of Economics and Public Policy. While writing an article for major UK news outlet The Guardian, Rogoff highlighted that, because BTC’s use is limited to transactions, it makes the digital asset more vulnerable to a bubble-like collapse. Rogoff also cited that BTC’s energy-intensive verification processes is, “vastly less efficient,” than systems that leverage, “a trusted central authority like a central bank.”
A new report by PeckShield, a blockchain security company that monitors various cryptocurrency ecosystems, details that decentralized applications (DApps) on the EOS (EOS) blockchain have lost as much as USD$1mm in hacks since July 2018. The report details further that DApps on the EOS network have sustained 27 breaches since July, which are responsible for the up to 400,000 EOS that have been compromised from hacks. Guo Yonggang, a blockchain security expert cited in a report on the matter by crypto media firm Blockchain Truth, believes that the hacks can be attributed to security problems with the DApps themselves, rather than with the EOS network.
A new study published by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance on Wednesday finds that the number of unique ID-verified cryptocurrency users nearly doubled in in the first 3 quarters of 2018. The study details that total ID-verified users increased to 35mm in the first three quarters of 2018 from 18mm at the end of 2017, representing an increase of 94%. As per an analysis of the study by Bloomberg, the growth of crypto’s userbase despite the market decline, “could signal that an eventual recovery could be coming.”
Amid the continued cryptocurrency sell-off, only two cryptocurrency mining machines remain profitable, according to real-time data from ASICMinerValue.com. ASICMInerValue.com, which calculates the profitability of Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) miners, indicates that only indicates that only the Ebank Ebit E11++ and ASICminer 8 Nano 44Th mining models are profitable for mining cryptocurrencies based on the SHA-256 hash function -- notable cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) use this has function.
Bitmain, a large Chinese cryptocurrency mining firm, announced that it is closing its development center in Israel, citing current cryptocurrency market conditions. In closing Bitmaintech Israel, the crypto mining giant was forced to fire all 23 employees. Among the employees let go is Gadi Glikberg, head of Bitmain’s Israeli branch and Vice President of International Sales, who said on the recent market turmoil, “The crypto market has undergone a shake-up in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and to refocus its business in accordance with the current situation.”
Busan, a major South Korean city, will be the beneficiary of the South Korean government’s plan to spend 4bn Korean won (USD$3.5mm) to establish a blockchain-enabled virtual power plant (VPP). As per a report by South Korean news outlet Yonhap News Agency, the project will be angled as a national competition in 2019, hosted by South Korea’s largest electric utility, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). The VPP will integrate the idle capacities of multiple energy resources through a cloud-based distributed ledger in order to optimize power generation and decrease costs.
Church’s Chicken, a large international fast food franchise, is partnering with Dash Venezuela to accept cryptocurrencies in its Venezuelan locations. According to an official press release, 13 Church’s Chicken establishments will begin accepting Dash (DASH) as payment following, “extensive and rigorous days of training,” staff to understand cryptocurrencies. With the addition of Church’s Chicken, more than 2,200 establishments in Venezuela accept DASH as payment.
Crypto.com, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency payments platform, announced the appointment of former PayPal executive Tyson Hackwood to serve as the firm’s Vice President and Head of Global Merchant Acquisition in an official press release today. Crypto.com aims to increase cryptocurrency adoption by both merchants and consumers through their point-of-sale (PoS) transaction terminals. Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek believes that Hackwood will be integral in furthering this goal, saying, “As we develop the Crypto.com Chain to fulfill the current industry need to pay and be paid in crypto, Tyson will play an important role in expanding the number and quality of merchants that are part of our network.”
Hyperledger, a notable blockchain consortium, is continuing its robust expansion after announcing the addition of 16 new members at the Hyperledger Global Forum in Basel, Switzerland. Among the notables to join the consortium are, Alibaba Cloud, Citigroup’s Citi Ventures arm, and Deutsche Telekom. The latest addition of 16 members brings the total membership of Hyperledger to more than 260 different companies. In a public statement, Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf said that, “The growing Hyperledger community reflects the increasing importance of open source efforts to build enterprise blockchain technologies across industries and markets. The latest members showcase the widening interest in and impact of DLT and Hyperledger."
Jeremy Henrickson, the former Chief Product Officer at Coinbase, has departed the US-based cryptocurrency exchange after serving since July 2016. “Jeremy’s contributions to Coinbase over the past two years were invaluable,” said a Coinbase spokesperson, adding that, “he helped to build our scrappy startup team into a high-functioning product and engineering organization -- overseeing a 5x+ growth of the team.” Henrickson’s departure comes after long-term Coinbase executives Adam White and Hunter Merghart left the US-based cryptocurrency exchange in recent months.
LinkedIn’s, “2018 U.S. Emerging Jobs,” report released on Thursday ranks the role of blockchain developer as the fastest growing job in the United States. The report by LinkedIn indicates that blockchain developer jobs have increased 33-fold in the past 12 months alone. San Francisco, New York City, and Atlanta are among the cities with the highest demand for blockchain developer jobs.
Orbs, a unique hybrid blockchain platform, raised more than USD$15mm in cryptocurrencies to fund its development of a public blockchain, according to a company blog post. South Korean application provider Kakao lead the fundraising efforts with a representative telling CoinDesk that the company, “always seeks to invest and support innovative startups, and Orbs is a good example.” In total, Orbs raised 139,000 Ether (ETH) and 892 Bitcoin (BTC), amounting to roughly USD$15.4mm. Orbs aims to build a public blockchain with this funding that is, “universal,” and, “scalable,” for decentralized applications (DApps) with the, “liquidity of a base layer.”
Samsung has reportedly filed patent applications for three different blockchain-related trademark requests that all pertain directly to smartphones, according to news outlet Galaxy Club. Specifically, the patents named “Blockchain KeyStore”, “Blockchain Key Box”, and “Blockchain Core” all pertain to cryptocurrency custody capabilities on smartphones. This news comes amid the release of HTC’s Exodus 1 and Sirin Labs’ FINNEY, both of which are being marketed as blockchain smartphones with cryptocurrency custody capabilities.
Hello! My name is Daria Volkova and I am the Head of Platinum Legal Department. Our team believes that these are exciting times for the crypto market. We supported more than 100 clients, created and promoted their STO and ICO campaigns, got from an idea to funding in a matter of 2.5 months! See the full list of our services: Platinum.fund We are more than proud to present our education project. The UBAI can help you to learn specifics about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. Learn all about ICO avenues and opportunities, plug into the world of trading cryptocurrency markets, become an expert in scam projects, promoting ICOs and STOs, launching your own campaigns and many more! What are the different cryptocurrency regulations in major countries? Find the answer after reading this article. Cryptocurrency Regulations across Major Countries Cryptocurrency and the blockchain industry may seem sufficiently exciting and attractive to you now. After all, you are taking the time and effort to study this course. You may be planning to work in cryptocurrency and the blockchain industry. Of course, we want to encourage you and help you proceed toward your goal. But it is also important you understand the regulations guiding the blockchain industry to help keep yourself out of trouble. This year, in particular, seems to be the year in which a lot of countries are looking to finally coalesce the regulations relating to the blockchain industry into a workable legal framework. Some countries are more accommodating to cryptocurrency and blockchain technological innovations while others are still more cautious. We will examine how each major country is forming their own regulatory framework for the blockchain industry. Canada Cryptocurrencies are not considered legal tender in Canada. This was clearly expressed by the country’s Financial Consumer Agency (FCA). Canada, like the US, has yet to clearly define or legislate a framework surrounding cryptocurrencies. But Canada still appears to be among the most transparent of countries for the nation’s interpretation and enforcement of the law surrounding cryptocurrencies (aside from Switzerland). For the time being, Canada has clearly stated its reluctance to adopt cryptocurrency as a legal tender, due to its high volatility. “ “The United States of America (USA) There are certain laws regarding transactions in virtual currency in the US today but there is still no comprehensive legal framework. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission currently regulates virtual currencies as commodities. The CFTC is the first US regulator to allow for public cryptocurrency trading. The Securities and Exchange Commission requires registration of any virtual currency traded in the US if it is classified as a security (e.g. by the Howey test). The regulatory authorities have not yet formulated or offered a coherent framework for regulations regarding cryptocurrencies. Typical of most legislators and regulatory agencies in the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has intensified its focus on the pressing need for comprehensive regulation. And it seems everyone is waiting for the right catalyst to coalesce into a usable set of legal guidelines that can protect the investing public and also allow for blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation as well. If cryptocurrency becomes a form of legal tender in the US, there will likely be stringent laws on its use. However, if cryptocurrency is treated like a security, cryptocurrencies would be regulated under securities law as interpreted by the SEC. Present securities laws place a large number of limitations on who is able to buy securities, how they are traded, and how to ensure transparency in the flow of information relevant to investors. Also note that non-US investors may experience their own difficulties getting a license to trade cryptocurrencies in the country. “ “Japan Japan has always been one of the most positive and forward-thinking nations regarding cryptocurrencies and the blockchain. Of course, they were cautious at first, and they knew no more than anyone else in government, which means they literally knew nothing. But they took time to research, learn, and develop an approach to regulate the industry without killing it. The official policy is clear: Protect the public interest, but also encourage the growth of the industry with a legal framework that allows for innovation in blockchain and cryptocurrencies. China The situation in China is a sad one. The country has been taking increasingly strict actions to discourage and outlaw any activity related to the blockchain industry. China has banned ICOs, frozen all accounts associated with cryptocurrency, stopped bitcoin miners and even ordered a nationwide ban on all forms of cryptocurrency trading. China has the strictest laws against cryptocurrency. Yet, despite that fact, as of 2017, 50% of the world’s mining population was from China! If you are involved with the cryptocurrency industry it is strongly advised to stay away from China, and avoid transactions with Chinese business because of the unpredictable and negative legal framework. “ “The United Kingdom & European Union Brexit is scheduled to take place in March 2019, yet the UK and the EU still remain united in their regulatory attitude toward cryptocurrencies. There are also reports that the UK and EU are planning to end anonymity for cryptocurrency traders. The UK and EU are both trying to control all the scams and frauds. They are working with cryptocurrency platforms to stop or at least report all suspicious transactions. This adds a degree of regulatory burden on the exchanges as well as increasing the associated compliance costs. Cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile. They are a high-risk investment. Governments across Europe are greatly concerned about the possibility of both retail and sophisticated investors losing a lot of money. This has led to a situation similar to that in the US. The regulatory authorities have not yet formulated or offered a coherent framework for regulations regarding cryptocurrencies. There is an intense focus on the pressing need for comprehensive regulation. And everyone is waiting for the right catalyst to coalesce into a usable set of legal guidelines that can protect the investing public and allow for blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation as well. We certainly hope for intelligent and effective legislation from all the major countries. “ “Accommodating & Unaccommodating Countries Below is a list of countries we have not specifically covered, but they have each taken an active position on a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. The following countries are either supportive or at least neutral toward cryptocurrencies: -Switzerland. -Australia. -Nigeria. -Ghana. -South Africa. -Singapore. Countries with the most stringent and negative cryptocurrency regulation: -Venezuela. -South Korea. -India. -Russia. Did you know? It is not uncommon to see Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency ATMs throughout Japan. Exchange robberies and hacks like MtGox, and the recent loss of $530 million NEM coins have led to serious debate in the Japanese government. The industry needs to provide a secure and manageable solution to these problems. Voluntary self-regulation and close cooperation with regulatory authorities is the most favored solution. It seems the regulators are working hard behind the scenes right now leading the industry in the desired direction in typical Japanese fashion. “ “Blockchain Industry Regulations in the USA Based on the information received from the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review, there was a variety of responses from different government bodies about blockchain regulations. The regulators responses ranged from indifference to suspicion, and to positive expectation and excitement. The US government has tremendous constitutional power to regulate business and industry, including of course the blockchain industry if it so desires. But basically, the federal government has been relatively indifferent and has even refused to speak on blockchain regulations despite the interest of various federal agencies. As of 2017, eight states in the US were working on bills promoting the use of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. It is even reported that a few states have actually begun the final steps before voting and passing legislation into law. On April 3, 2018 Arizona introduced a law allowing corporations to hold and share data on the blockchain. The governor, Doug Ducey, put forward the legislation after the state began accepting signatures and smart contracts recorded on the blockchain as legally valid documentation. In 2017, Delaware was the first state to pass legislation allowing for shares of stocks to be legally traded on the blockchain. Other notable developments have occurred in the US at the state or local level. Vermont makes use of blockchain as evidence in trials. Chicago uses blockchain to maintain real estate records. New York is currently evaluating four bills for the application of data storage on the blockchain. “ ” Blockchain Regulations in Europe The entire European Union has approached blockchain with a positive and welcoming attitude. The EU has taken the position that they want to actively encourage innovation. This philosophy could support the development of cryptocurrencies in two ways: -Encouraging the exploration of uses testing the impact and effect of the laws in a way that allows for a more finely-tuned and sophisticated understanding for all parties involved. -Giving entrepreneurs the confidence that their target markets will be more trusting of their solution since they are operating with the explicit legal support of the state. This approach, along with the EU’s scope as the regulator of 28 different countries, will encourage growth across the entire crypto ecosystem, and may end up transforming Europe into one of the most desirable destinations for blockchain development. Entrepreneurs are likely to move to the EU bloc to access the rich vein of available talent, as well as the positive and supportive laws. The EU has actually disclosed through its executive arm that it is working on the use of blockchain for distributed ledger based projects. EU officials have constantly stated they are looking for ways to support more innovation with distributed ledger technology. The European Commission said it was “”actively monitoring Blockchain and DLT developments”” and has work in progress to explore “”DLT benefits and challenges as well as fields for application in financial services””. The official press release stated that the commission clearly wants to “”pilot projects to foster decentralized innovation ecosystems and help reshape interactions between consumers, producers, creators and among citizens, businesses and administrations to the end benefit of society””. “ “Blockchain Regulations in Europe §2 Switzerland has gradually become the favored hub for cryptocurrency and blockchain development in Europe. This position has been enhanced through a Swiss non-profit blockchain and cryptographic technology ecosystem known as the Crypto Valley Association. The Crypto Valley Association has begun working on the development of an ICO Code of Conduct to take advantage of the ban imposed by China on token crowd sales. They are hoping to capture the Chinese and Asian entrepreneurs searching for a new home. Other countries are not as accepting of this new DLT technology and have even gone as far as classifying it as illegal and immoral behavior. There have been hyperbolic concerns most notably from China that cryptocurrencies will destabilize world financial markets. There are various pilot projects and efforts to prove the benefits of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain industry currently being tested all across Europe. Yet even now they are barely scratching the surface of the full potential of the blockchain. Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption Citizens of countries all over the world have varying attitudes about cryptocurrency. These attitudes and sentiments can be very significant to the future adoption of cryptocurrencies because politicians and regulators tend to act in consideration of the collective opinion of the public. Some countries were more accommodating at first but then became stricter, despite positive public interest, basically saying they are still not sure about the possible consequences and benefits of the technology. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption Estonia Surprisingly enough this small Baltic nation has gained a reputation for being quick to accept technological innovation. Estonia has a tech-friendly government eager to accommodate the innovative use of cryptocurrency in fields ranging from blockchain technology for healthcare and banking services; and even granting citizens the right to become what is known as “e-Residents”. As e-Residents, Estonian citizens and businesses are provided with digital business authentication. It is also one of the first countries to employ the use of a blockchain-based e-voting service that enabled people to become shareholders of NASDAQ’s Tallinn Stock Exchange. This fascinating and highly innovative country is now host to a number of Bitcoin ATMs and startups, like Paxful. They are cryptocurrency friendly, and cryptocurrency user friendly as well. Estonia also has highest internet penetration rates in the world. Estonia may be a fine place to consider basing your ICO due to the friendly legal and regulatory environment. This and a lot more you can learn on our website: www.ubai.co! “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption The United States of America The USA is the world’s dominant superpower, and it should come as no surprise that it has the highest number of cryptocurrency users in the world. It also has the highest bitcoin trading volume and the highest number of bitcoin ATMs. Powered by Silicon Valley, which is home to a lot of cryptocurrency and blockchain startups, the US stands at the forefront of all things relating to cryptocurrency worldwide. Many other nations are planning to follow the US lead concerning cryptocurrency regulations. This means the USA will serve as the testing ground for cryptocurrency and crypto-regulation in the years to come. This is likely where the future regulatory framework will take shape. Bitcoin in particular has shown massive growth in the US. This can only be interpreted as a strong tailwind for a positive regulatory environment because the population at large supports blockchain technology. For the moment, due to regulatory paralysis and the resultant legal vacuum, ICOs are strongly advised against raising funds or basing operations in the US. The SEC has been particularly strict in its enforcement of securities and investment law which require an ICO to do an oppressive amount of compliance work. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption Denmark When it comes to technological advancements and the standard of living of its citizens, Denmark is among the world leaders. It is considered one of the most developed countries in the world. It is also at the forefront of countries looking to reduce the use of cash money and advance to the use of 100% digital currency. As such, sentiment among the general public and political sphere actively supports the adoption of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. The only question left is which particular cryptocurrency system to adopt. It is still unclear whether bitcoin is the one, or BTC will mainly just be accepted as a means of exchange. There are also discussions in Denmark about when to redesign its national financial system; this would be a “world first”, and a radical leap forward for cryptocurrencies. Another fascinating thing is that the Danish Central Bank has declared BTC as a non-currency; meaning its use is not subject to the country’s currency regulations. Some of the top bitcoin startups and exchanges such as CCDEK have their foundations in Denmark. With its open market and encouraging regulatory framework, Denmark might very well rival Switzerland in Western Europe for the position of the continent’s preeminent ICO and blockchain industry hub. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption Sweden Sweden is quite similar to Denmark, for its social and demographic climate, and also for the government’s desire to eliminate cash. The Swedish Riksbank recently introduced negative interest rates. This can cause a spike in the demand for coins in the near future as citizens look for the best way to preserve their wealth. Negative interest rates like we have seen in Europe and Japan also, actively corrode savers’ wealth because people are actually paying a percentage of their savings to the central bank to hold their cash, in addition to losing out to inflation at the same time. Sweden has taken the boldest step yet in all of continental Europe to legalize cryptocurrency. The country legalized the use of BTC and other cryptocurrencies as a means of payment by official public declaration. It is however expected that exchanges should file for a license in accordance with AML/CTF and KYC regulations. Sweden is also home to a number of cryptocurrency startups such as the Safello Bitcoin exchange, and Stockholm-based KnCMiner. The gradually increasing trading volume of cryptocurrency has been a good indicator of the country’s appreciating demand for cryptocurrencies. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption The Netherlands The Netherlands is quite fascinating in its own right. How can a country not be referred to as Bitcoin-friendly when it can boast about having its own “Bitcoin City”? There are over 100 merchants that sell goods that can be purchased with cryptocurrency in Bitcoin City. There are no regulations restricting the use of BTC in the Netherlands under the Act on Financial Supervision of the Netherlands. This explains why a lot of startups, BTC ATMs, and even a Bitcoin Embassy can be found in the heart of Amsterdam (the capital of Netherlands). The friendly climate for cryptocurrency has led to a lot of very active bitcoin communities across the nation hosting regular meetups and other events. The country’s banking sector has been looking to incorporate BTC and blockchain to reduce costs and improve banking technology. The Netherlands is also a popular location for many important bitcoin conferences and bitcoin companies such as BitPay. The Netherlands is increasingly becoming a prominent place for ICOs and blockchain related businesses to base their operations. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption Finland Well-known as the home of Nokia, Finland has constantly been at the forefront of technological innovation, just like its other Scandinavian neighbors. The Finnish Central Board of Taxes (CBT) has even gone as far as classifying bitcoin as a financial service, exempting it and cryptocurrency purchases from the VAT. What more could be better for Bitcoin? Finland also boasts a significant number of BTC ATMs despite its small population. The capital of Helsinki alone is reported to have 10 ATMs for BTC. The country is also home to top exchanges such as FinCCX and Bittiraha.fi. As of January 2016, the most expensive bitcoin sale took place in Finland. It involved the sale of a Tesla Model S worth over €140,000 at Auto-Outlet Helsinki Oy. Canada Canada is home to a variety of bitcoin startups and ATMs. It is considered to be more favorable toward cryptocurrencies than the USA. The country has two cities on its eastern and western coasts, Toronto and Vancouver, that are recognized as “Bitcoin hubs”. Canada has a vibrant cryptocurrency community and is home to startups such as Decentral, the Vanbex Group and a large number of merchants who accept cryptocurrencies as payment. Vancouver is known to have over 20 ATMs while Toronto is well-known for holding large cryptocurrency conferences. There has been constant growth in cryptocurrency trading volume in the country. Canada might be the best location in North America to base an ICO or operate a blockchain business due to its supportive regulatory environment and a rich ecosystem for cryptocurrency, with human talent, ATMs and other tools, etc. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption United Kingdom The UK is one of the absolute top financial hubs in the world. It is also a center of innovation. There are a large number of bitcoin and blockchain related startups, BTMs and active communities. All of the previously listed crypto-friendly features make the UK a very desirable environment for bitcoin. The UK has identified the inevitable need for a new payment solution and is gradually bracing itself for a widespread adoption of cryptocurrency in the future. There are even a few local pubs that accept BTC as a means of payment. It is also interesting to note that the Bank of England has been closely monitoring bitcoin technology and has requested ideas from citizens on the improvement of its monetary system. Bitcoin is presently seen as “private money” where VAT is imposed from suppliers of goods and services that accept cryptocurrency as payment. Profits and losses incurred from cryptocurrency trading are also subject to capital gains tax, just as in the US. In the UK, it has become increasingly clear that BTC can be part of a bigger story, and the trading volume indicates steady growth. There are not clear laws against cryptocurrencies at the present time. But the lack of regulatory momentum suggests we may see more positive developments soon. One thing to keep in mind, while the Brexit is still in progress, the British government may be more likely to legislate on non-core issues. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption Australia The major banks in Australia have been quite hostile toward bitcoin, but at least the country has removed the burden of “double taxation” on cryptocurrency. This was good news to the local business community because blockchain startups had begun to leave the country as a direct result of unfavorable taxation and closure of bank accounts. The use of BTC still remains unregulated, there is no law or regulation restricting the use of cryptocurrencies by Australian citizens. Cryptocurrencies are regarded as a form of property in Australia, and purchases with BTC, for example, are referred to as “barter”. The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), you will remember, is transitioning its CHESS verification system to a blockchain solution that should go live at the beginning of 2019. Cryptocurrencies in Australia are seen a lot like they are in the US. Topics like the imposition of capital gains tax, concern about securities law, the legal debate about using cryptocurrency as payment for goods and services, etc., are all problematic for regulators. While the general population is quite comfortable and supportive of cryptocurrencies and blockchain solutions, at the present it is not a high priority for the government to legislate or regulate. “ “Taxation and Cryptocurrency Tax is of course one of the most important factors in financial matters on both a personal and corporate level. Taxes greatly influence investment decisions and returns, regardless of industry or size. It is one of the first things every individual or group considers before investing. Notably, in Australia and the USA, cryptocurrency gains are treated as capital gains and taxed at up to 50% of the return. Some countries have low cryptocurrency taxes specifically to encourage the blockchain industry. By offering a more competitive tax rate, countries are implicitly supporting cryptocurrency and actively trying to offer a better return profile than other countries. We will discuss the different taxation regimes in a wide range of countries so you can ascertain the financial advantages and disadvantages of a variety of locations. Belarus Belarus charges 0% in taxation until 2023. That exemption is specifically for cryptocurrency exchanges and transactions. This has been done to help Belarus build a special economic zone, referred to as ‘HTP Belarus’. Their goal is to have an economic zone strong enough to compete with the likes of Silicon Valley. The government of Belarus has also declared smart contracts as legal documents. Anyone looking to set up a blockchain company or a cryptocurrency startup should seriously consider Belarus. It has a supportive regulatory and legal environment which actively encourages the blockchain industry and does not impose punitive taxes upon those inside the industry. “ “Taxation and Cryptocurrency Portugal Any and all personal income received from cryptocurrency transactions is tax-free in Portugal at the present moment. Income from cryptocurrency trading is categorized as something legally different from traditional income or capital gains. The Portuguese government stated clearly that any kind of sale of cryptocurrency does not fall under capital income or capital gain. If an individual is however found to be carrying out professional activity, or any business activity related to cryptocurrencies, that is a different matter and such income will be subject to taxation. From a personal perspective, Portugal is one of the leading countries where an individual can carry out their cryptocurrency transactions and enjoy a decent standard of living in the same country too. However, for ICO and Blockchain businesses it is not recommended to base your operations in Portugal. China China is famous the world over for being home to some of the largest cryptocurrency mines and many active cryptocurrency investors; yet at the same time China makes it illegal to conduct any cryptocurrency related business or investment. But China still has an especially attractive environment for investors. Hong Kong runs on a policy of zero VAT or capital gains tax so it is easy to recommend you base your business there. Hong Kong also stands out as a major financial hub in the heart of Asia. “ “Taxation and Cryptocurrency Netherlands Actually, Netherlands was the first country to make use of a non-zero tax rate policy for cryptocurrencies. So, it may seem reasonable to expect a discouraging tax situation. But the fact is, Netherland’s tax policy is rather advantageous for cryptocurrency. They have a very simple, low-tax regime. Cryptocurrency assets need to be declared with the total assets owned by an individual at the beginning of the year to assess their value. Cryptocurrency gains will be taxed at the highest tax bracket for capital income of just around 5%. The Netherlands is strongly recommended as a good country to work and live in, from both a personal and corporate perspective. Germany Germany is the economic center of the EU. This makes it a great place to start a cryptocurrency or blockchain company. Financial technology has been thriving there for more than ten years, and Germany has favorable cryptocurrency laws too. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency assets have a 0% tax when used in making payments due to no VAT levied for making payments with BTC, because there is no “value added” through cryptocurrency as a fiscal product. Germany offers a moderately compelling case for both blockchain business and individuals. While the tax rate on income at the company level is not competitive, the ability to pay for services in crypto as well as hold cryptocurrency assets and sell them at zero percent taxation rate is compelling. “ “Where to Base Your ICO Let’s talk about the countries that are most accommodating with regard ICOs. Start-up ICO companies, like any company, essentially require three key principles for operation. The first is a sound legal and regulatory framework wherein the rule of law is preserved and business encouraged. The second is the ability to hire or acquire talented individuals to work at the firm. The third and final is the tax system and access to associated financial systems in order to allow the enterprise to succeed. Estonia This country is, perhaps surprisingly, widely referred to as the most digital society in the world. Estonians are known to be pathfinders deeply involved in setting up an efficient, secure, and transparent internet ecosystem. The country ranks first when it comes to the number of ICOs per inhabitant. It has an incredibly supportive tax regime, actually among the most competitive in the world, as well as a deep pool of talent across all areas of the digital spectrum. Estonia offers possibly the most supportive and friendly regulatory and legal framework in the world for an ICO. This, in combination with a zero percent tax rate at both a personal and corporate level, combine to make Estonia one of the single most appealing locations from which you can launch and operate your ICO. “ “Where to Base Your ICO Singapore Singapore is another important regional hub in Asia for its strong rule of law as well as low taxation. The country offers one of the highest standards of living in the world. It is centrally located in the heart of Asia, so it easy to travel and recruit talent from surrounding countries. At the present there are not any specific regulations targeting the blockchain industry, but it is one of the world’s largest countries by funds raised for ICOs. It has a competitive tax regime in combination with strict AML and KYC. All of these factors make Singapore Asia’s leading location to launch and base an ICO. The regulatory situation around the world may seem rather complicated. That is because it is. Laws and regulations are changing rapidly all over the world. And the regulatory framework is the most significant point of concern for a startup ICO. You should carefully study not only the current regulations surrounding your particular venture and how its tokenomics affects its classification, but you also need a reasonable sense of where the country is likely to be six months or a year later. Ideally you would base your ICO in a country that is supportive now, and all timeframes into the future with a competitive and legally sound tax system. Where to Base Your ICO Slovenia Slovenia has recently transformed itself into the leading destination for blockchain technology in Europe. The government of Slovenia has placed a strong emphasis on the study of blockchain technology in public administration, and there has been an amazing success rate for ICOs in Slovenia. While the Slovenian government is a leader in terms of adopting cryptocurrencies, its rate of taxation is still considered quite high at 19%, even though that is still lower than other European countries. ICOs are considered to be normal business activities where you are taxed based on the funds received from an ICO less the expenses of doing business. Switzerland Switzerland is trying to remain relevant for the blockchain industry and for ICOs. The Swiss finance ministry is actively trying to attract investors to the country. Switzerland is considered a very important crypto location due to fact it was home to four of the largest ICOs in the world. The country is also very attractive to investors because of its friendly regulations and digital expertise. The taxation and regulatory environment is extremely secure and positive towards the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry in general. Are there successful ICOs that have originated from the specific countries considered? Read the full article to get the answer! UBAI.co Learn more about our STO and ICO marketing services right now! Contact me via LinkedIn: LinkedIn
All We Know About Cryptbontix (DIG) + Other Tokens
“If you want to go to the future, you have to go to the past. The future of money is gold.”
Arbitradehas acquired Cryptobontix, and although they both have different but complementary business models, they have formed a symbiotic relationship benefiting both parties to bring you this multidimensional asset class. Cryptobontix is the company responsible for creating a family of tokens backed by precious metals such as Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium. Currently, you will not be able to find a lot of information on their website, because:
“The website is awaiting legal approval from our council and council of our newly developed partners before we can release details of our operations and partnerships.”~Cryptobontix
The Cryptobontix Inc. development team has created four cryptocurrencies based on the Etherium smart contract technology (ERC20 Token), which are backed by valuable hard-backed assets. These include:
Dignity (DIG) – backed by ingot of gold bullion
Namaste (NAM) – backed by ingot of silver bullion
Orectic (ORE) – backed by ingot of palladium bullion
Honor (HNR) – backed by ingot of platinum bullion
Key Features Of The Asset-Backed Tokens:
Robust security & privacy protection, making it difficult for hackers, corporations and governments to unfairly seize assets.
Faster & cheaper transactions than traditional electronic systems.
Elimination of boundaries and fees associated with international transaction, some bank charges are as high as 10-15% – Baffles the mind to think what big industries and companies must spend on these fees!
How this changes the digital asset landscape and the future
To give you a better understanding of how powerful this family of tokens really is for the future economy, let’s take a closer look at another traditional store of value, money. Money has four functions; It is a:
Store of value
Medium of exchange
Unit of account
Standard of deferred payment
One of the many problems with our traditional monetarysystem is the declining value of our fiat currencies, they are dropping immensely due to the impact of inflation on the economy over time. For instance, the Great British Pound has lost 90\% of its value since 1973 and the price of a pint of milk has increased by 767\% in 40 years. What is commendable and unique about the Cryptobontix Inc. cryptocurrency tokens is that they provide a dependable means of exchange beyond the direct control of national banks, such as the U.S. Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, Bank of Canada, Monetary Authority of Singapore, etc. This is particularly attractive for those concerned about future long-term inflation as a result of:
Loose monetary policy such as quantitative easing(often central banks’ “printing money” by purchasing government bonds).
Near zero interbank lending rates.
Banks going into liquidation such as the recent crash of Deutschebank or India’s war on cash.In 2016 Indias Finance Minister says “honest people” have no need worry. They removed the two large denominations of the rupee (500 and 1000 rupee) from use, stating it will no longer be legal tender. Citizens were given only four hours notice of this change, thus removing 86\% of cash in circulation by value. And in a country where 95\% of all transactions happen in cash and this is where more than 40\% of the population of the country has no bank account. The immediate effect was expected to be a loss of 2-4\% of the GDP of the country, and the ripple effect has been devastating.
By combining bullion, the oldest store of value, with the newest, cryptocurrencies, we believe Arbitrade & Cryptobontix have created both a new hybrid asset class and investment vehicle that has the potential to become a global leader in this sector. We are witnessing the start of a new era in bullion backed digital assets. Trust-less is the key & decentralisation is the strength
“Arbitrade is acquiring $8.7 Billion worth of the four bullions (gold, silver, platinum, and palladium) that will back the company’s four major tokens.” - Arbitrade Management 25/05/18
History: UNY To DIG Swap
The history of events leading up to the rebranding of T.J.L. Holdings to Cryptobontix Inc. has been outlined below:
T.J.L. Holdings launched unity Ingot (UNY) on May 8th 2017. Tokens value proceeded on a gradual decline.
T.J.L Holdings, then rebranded to Cryptobontix Inc.
A 1:1 token swap from Unity Ingot (UNY) into Dignity (DIG) was initiated by Cryptobontix Inc. and took place from the 8th February through to 20th February 2018 on the Livecoin exchange.
During the take-over, a small number of members from T.J.L Holdings remained with the development team in the capacity of consultants until the transfer was completed and the company is successfully operating as Cryptobontix Inc.
Cryptobontix Inc. has a renewed vision of the original idea behind the Unity Ingot project and is now leading a family of tokens into its next stages of expansion.
Backing the Dignity token to Gold will give the token a floor value that matches the true value of the gold. It should be noted that assets usually trade at multiples of theirintrinsic value. Key facts about the Dignity (DIG) token:
The first token of it’s kind to be backed by both:
Mining hardware – 10,000+ high performace mining rigs
Gold bullion -$3 Billion in Gold Bullion ($1 worth of Gold Bullion for every token issued.)
Arbitrade Ltd. has made a definitive deal with Sion Trading FZE Dubai to acquire $10,000,000,000 in gold bullion. The bullion will be held at Brinks’ vault at the Dubai Gold Exchange. The company will have the bullion audited by a major accounting firm that operates in both Bermuda, Dubai and the United States before the end of September 2018 or as the accounting firm’s schedule permits. The audit is not an important factor and is only being done to satisfy U.S. Regulators. Source: Arbitrade news update
How To Get Hold Of Your Physical Assets
According to the existing white paper:
After two years, you will be able to swap your token 1 to 1 for a special utility coupon that grants you your amount of bullion.
These will be redeemable during specific periods each year.
In November of every year, 1/15th of the token float will become available for you to trade your tokens with, until the expiration date of the coupons.
You will then be able to redeem the physical bullion held against the token by using the coupon.
At any point throughout the year, you can place a bullion order at the Cryptobontix website and fill out and send an order form to the prescribed address.
The shipping department will then process the transaction when the November redemption window opens and will ship the physical bullion to the token holders.
Cryptobontix Inc. and Arbitrade have partnered with:
Coin Miner LLC – to provide mining hardware
Cryptotopic Inc. – to build and operate the mining facilities
Arbitrade Ltd. and Cryptotopic Industries have been working with Coin Miner LLC and the build team to create a 100,000 square foot industrial mining facility in Ontario, Canada. A facility that was previously used for metal manufacturing.
Has over five years experience in industrial sized mining infrastructure & development
Over the next 12 months, they aim to provide the facilitities with 65,000 mining units, ranging from high-performance ASIC and GPU mining units such as proprietary G Series mining units with Nvidia & AMD chips achieving 275MH at 1,200 watts each.
Hayden Gill, Arbitrade’s leading advisor & mining consultant, says:
“The D9 miners alone will be generating a minimum of 305 Decred (DCR) per day which is currently trading at $99.90 onCoinMarketCap.com***(June 2018)***
Arbitradeand Cryptobontix have also reported purchasing additional units from Bitmain, Canada Computers & Halong. The mining units will commence operations for:
Arbitrade’s decentralized exchange (DEX)
Cryptobontix’s bullion and cryptocurrency mining backed tokens
Once installed and operational, the facility will mine the most profitable cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Etherium, Dash & Monero. The daily cryptocurrency mining profits are to be used to:
50\% – purchase physical bullion
20\% – buy additional high standard mining rigs
15\% – support buy back tokens and trade exchange marketplaces
15\% – operational cost and upkeep of mining facility
Arbitrade reported it has commenced a 15-year lease agreement with Cryptotopic Inc., an Ontario company that will work with Coin Miner LLC, on behalf of Arbitrade, to build Canada’s largest mining facility in a 100,000 square foot industrial warehouselocated in Watford, Ontario, Canada, which will house the 65,000 mining units. This lease agreement marks the first of four facilities Arbitrade plans to open over the next 36 months with Cryptotopic Inc. and Coin Miner LLC.
Coin Miner LLC
Hayden owns Coin Miner LLC and has been overseeing the mining developments in Watford and Atlanta. Watford has 5MW of current power that can facilitate 4,000 mining rigs to start. Arbitrade, along with Coin Miner LLC, has been successfully negotiating with Hydro One and its partners to bring in up to an additional 150MW of power so that the Watford facility will be among the largest cryptocurrency mining facilities in the world. Currently, the property boasts a massive size of 100,000 square feet, but there are an additional 16 acres available that can accommodate an enormous expansion up to 1,000,000 square feet of mining space. The company, on behalf of Hayden, has been in negotiations to develop the company’s own ASIC mining rigs and GPU miners. The Atlanta facility has already been toured by top stock and crypto analyst Ronnie Moas. Photographs and videos are available on his Instagram account. You can also check the Timeline. IfArbitradeexecute properly, this will make them one of the largest cryptocurrency mining operations globally.
Response from Financial Consumer Agency of Canada regarding closing of bank accounts
PROTECTED A Dear Mr. XXX: Thank you for contacting the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) regarding the legality of cryptocurrency trading in Canada. FCAC protects consumers by: · Making sure that banks, federal loan and trust companies, and federal insurance companies obey certain laws that protect consumers called consumer provisions. · Monitoring agreed-upon codes of conduct and public commitments made by these same institutions and by network operators. · Informing Canadians about financial services and products and about their rights. · Telling consumers who they can contact if they have problems that FCAC does not deal with. Please note that in general, the day-to-day operations and decisions of banks are not regulated by FCAC. Banks determine their own internal policies and guidelines with respect to the servicing of customers, accounts and the products they offer. Banks also determine their own services and accompanying fees, as well as determine their own lending criteria. This includes determining their own standard of service. It is important to note that FCAC is a government agency that investigates possible breaches of the consumer provisions in the Bank Act. While we do provide Canadians with information about digital currency, our Agency does not oversee digital currency. For your reference you may wish to refer to the section of Canada.ca entitled Digital Currency available at www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/payment/digital-currency.html. As you may know, digital currencies, such as Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, are not legal tender in Canada. Only the Canadian dollar is considered official currency in Canada. Digital currencies are not supported by any government or central authority, such as the Bank of Canada. As such, you may wish to address your concerns to The Bank of Canada. The Bank of Canada has four main areas of responsibility: monetary policy, currency, financial system and funds management. You can contact the Bank of Canada by phone at 1-800-303-1282, by fax at 613-782-7713, by email at [email protected]. You can also visit its website at www.bankofcanada.ca. You may also be interested to know, all banks must have a process to help resolve disputes with their customers. This process includes an independent external complaints body. Keep in mind that you must follow all steps of the process in sequential order. FCAC has the complaint-handling process for federally regulated financial institutions on its website at itools-ioutils.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/CHP-PTP/Complain-Outilder-eng.aspx. To learn more about FCAC or the federal laws that protect financial consumers, or to use our tools and calculators online, you can visit our website at itpaystoknow.gc.ca. If you have any questions, please call us at 1-866-461-3222 (toll-free). Again, on behalf of FCAC, thank you for writing. I trust the information I have given you will be helpful. Sincerely, Mélanie Gratton Consumer Services Representative, Marketing and Communications
Dear friends. We report from the Bitcoin Conference In Moscow!! Turnout is great and atmosphere vibrant. Friends from Cointelegraph, The Bitcoin Foundation Russia, The Bitcoin Foundation Ukraine, Fruitwallet, Upbit, MemoryDealers, Pathfinder Capital, PassportsforBitcoin.com and other local and international BTC related businesses and enterprenours are here. At the moment we enjoy the content of the conference, however later we will post photos and a review of the conference to the community! IMPORTANT DISCLAMERS :: 1) Filter the FUD. There were fake reports going around saying that the conference was canceled!! THIS IS NOT TRUE!!! Someone made a fake site and spread this fake info to scare investors and to create fear in the local community. Im posting the official site below. 2) BITCOIN IS NOT BANNED IN RUSSIA! A lot of people here are working closely with the government to inform and to guide regulators. It will be a slow process but its important to note that crypto its NOT banned in Russia! Its status its not clear indeed but certainly it has not been criminalized. If not this conference would not be happening! Bottom line is that in Russia there is only one legal tender which is the rubble ((if im not mistaken this is the same situation as in Canada for example... please correct me if im wrong!)) ::: Here are the links to the conference :: http://bitcoinconf.ru/en Twitter :: @BitcoinConfRu Someone is live tweeting from there if youre interested in live info + photos :: www.twitter.com/bitcoineando
Why the New Zealand government should sanction the creation of a national NZ blockchain dollar to run in tandem with the NZ fiat dollar.
White paper April 29, 2017 The problem: No country today has a national currency built on the new digital-cryptographic-blockchain. This innovative architecture is a prerequisite to engaging with blockchain economic activity which is nascent but burgeoning at the present time. Blockchain technology, among other things, allows a currency to expand its capabilities beyond what we currently understand a currency to be i.e. a mechanism to transfer intrinsic value. Fiat-based currencies are the incumbent format. Although fiat is now mostly digitised, its architecture is not cryptographic by design, thus rendering it largely unusable within these new emerging economies. The native state of a cryptographic blockchain currency is in cryptographic digital format; it does not have a physical equivalent as fiat does. This white paper is an overview explaining why this currency is different, why it is needed and how to implement it. Preamble: There is growing recognition within the fintech (financial technology) community that emerging cryptographic blockchain currencies will be a major disruptive technology. They can be permissioned or permissionless. Permissionless means they can be created and used without-permission or restriction and they do not recognise borders. They are freely available to any citizen from any country. They’re normally publicly issued with a fixed supply and/or with a predictable inflation rate. No bank or government will have had a hand in issuing them; nor do they control them. Paradoxically permissionless currencies hold real value, albeit unofficially. A permissioned currency is normally issued and controlled by a government or bank and used by that nation for economic activity. All fiat currencies are permissioned currencies. Currently there is no permissioned cryptographic blockchain currency issued by any government anywhere in the world. One of the purposes of this paper is to position blockchain cryptographic currencies as the next logical step in the evolution of money. Blockchain cryptographic currencies, in the broader sense i.e. permissioned or permissionless is a nascent yet powerful new technology which very few people are yet aware of. With a permissionless blockchain currency, any person, group or company can now create their own digitally secure currency-type token to transfer value within and across borders. One of the advantages of cryptographic architecture is that it offers unbreakable anti-counterfeiting security along with the ability to firmly fix the monetary supply. This means no individual or government has the ability to arbitrarily tamper with it. It can be changed only through consensus by the majority of its users. This is in contrast to the current permissioned fiat system where additional money creation can and is arbitrarily created by less than one tenth of one percent of its users i.e. the banking industry and government regulators. The vast majority of users within the fiat system have been indirectly shut out of the process that determines when and how much additional money should be created. Monetary creation more recently renamed quantitative easing has the effect of directly devaluing all currency in circulation and all savings held by individuals. There is a growing concern for the health of the world’s financial system due to high levels of unprecedented quantitative easing taking place throughout the world today. This has exacerbated an era of protracted low interest rates and historic high levels of debt. In the West, the poor and middle-classes are bearing the brunt of the effects of quantitative easing. Interest rates paid on savings or earnings held in bank accounts are at historical lows, and in real terms are returning negative capital growth. Savers and earners are experiencing the devaluation effect as their money purchases less and less of fundamental asset and service necessities like housing, education and health. For this group of citizens, this reality will become a very powerful incentive to move surplus earnings or savings away from a highly devaluing fiat system and into a permissionless blockchain currency that offers a fixed, stable monetary supply. What exactly is a blockchain currency? Broadly speaking, the architecture of a blockchain currency is based on digital cryptography. This makes it secure when transferring over the internet. Digital fiat architecture is not cryptographic, making it unsecure to use over the internet. Digital blockchain currencies have an important commonality with physical fiat cash. When I take a physical $20 note out of my physical wallet or a digitised $20 blockchain currency out of my digital wallet, and transfer it to you, both our wallet balances are updated immediately without an intermediary being involved i.e. no bank. In both cases your balance rises by $20 and mine declines by $20. This type of simple person-to-person value-transfer and simultaneous balance-update with physical fiat currency or digital blockchain currency is impossible with digital fiat currency. Digital fiat must have a bank to act as intermediary between us. It is the bank that actually makes the transfer between us and it is the bank that updates each of our bank balances (usually overnight). So as to remove all doubt, a physical fiat currency and a digital blockchain currency do not require a bank to act as intermediary when transferring to someone else. This is a powerful, yet unobvious concept to grasp. The ramifications of this statement of fact is far reaching, yet little understood by the average person. The problem with fiat: Fiat currency has a quasi-symbiotic relationship around ownership and control, shared between a government and banks. It is a marriage of convenience rather than one of choice. Regulation and oversight is supposed to be controlled by government, but in this marriage, an unhealthy imbalance has grown over time that has put the banking industry in a much stronger position as to how money is created and controlled. This imbalance in power has come into existence as a result of new levels of modern debt issuance. Most developed and all undeveloped countries are in some measure deeply indebted to the banking industry, whether the debt be government or private. Total worldwide debt levels are now so high it is unlikely to ever be repaid. When you owe a bank a lot of money they have much more control over how things should be run. Physical fiat was digitised with the invention of the computer and before the invention of the internet. Digitised fiat consists of two parts the digital currency itself, and the digital infrastructure used to move it around. Before the internet, the banking institution created this digital system to enable their users (every bank account holder) to transfer value between each other. It’s a proprietary closed system (in other words it does not use or currently need the internet). There are no competitors and every user must have a bank account. We all have no option but to use this system. Lack of competition has allowed it to become antiquated, with very little innovation to improve its overall functionality. It is expensive to keep it going, and without genuine competition, price gouging is suspected on the fees charged to users for just about every aspect of its use. The fiat system is also filled with friction. For example, it’s slow and very expensive to perform international remittances. There are fees to convert the currency and then more fees to send that currency on. It can take anything from 3-5 business days to receive an international payment. Payment-associated transactions like credit cards and PayPal also attract expensive fees. A state change is upon us: The blockchain currency has arisen with the ubiquitous penetration of the internet and its ownerless yet persistent state (always on). The internet has grown and emerged as the predominant superhighway to transfer all types of digital information. Physical postal-service mail was the first major industry that was disrupted by this new superhighway due to the invention of email. Today, most legacy infrastructure that supports telephony, radio, movies and television has been disrupted to some degree. These industries are shifting ever larger parts of their data transmission over to the internet because an ever-growing number of their users are using the internet as the preferred portal to access their digital data requirements. Private siloed and permissioned legacy infrastructures are in rapid decline. With the invention of the blockchain, transfer-of-value directly over the internet is now possible. The banking industry’s siloed fiat system is perhaps the last and most important private legacy infrastructure to be disrupted by the internet. With the blockchain, being willing to incur a “cross-border payment” while suffering up to a 5-day wait becomes as unthinkable as sending a “cross-border email” that is expected to take 5 days to arrive. Blockchain currency conversions are relatively frictionless and virtually instantaneous (less than 1 hour in most cases), and transactions fees (if any) are also considerably lower. Paying an expensive fee to send your blockchain payment locally or internationally makes about as much sense as paying a fee to your internet provider to send an email locally or internationally. The internet has thoroughly penetrated the fabric of modern society for all things digital, one of the most notable being ecommerce. From around 1995 the demand from users to participate in commerce via the internet grew exponentially, and this in turned forced the banking industry to bring their private siloed system closer to the new superhighway in an effort to meet its users’ ever-growing demands for digital convenience via the internet. This has now expanded to include online banking and payment systems (Visa/MasterCard). However, it is important to note the fiat banking system plugs into or sits on top of the internet. It is still separate and is unable to integrate in a safe and secure way with the internet the way a blockchain currency does. So today the fiat system has a competitor that has the potential to genuinely disrupt its singular monopoly. Blockchain technology has become a game-changer. We are no longer forced to use only government/banker-issued fiat currency to store value; nor are we forced to use the banking system to transfer it. We can now store our value in a public decentralised currency (a blockchain currency) and use a public decentralised system (the internet) to transfer it to others. The current state of blockchain currencies: Cryptographic blockchain currencies are at a very nascent stage. They are not a separate technology to the internet, but rather a major enhancement or upgrade to the internet’s ongoing evolution. Cryptographic blockchain currencies therefore inherit the genetic or core fundamentals of the internet right down to the protocol level. Arguably, the most important of these attributes is the decentralised state of the internet. The internet is the rails that a blockchain currency is transferred around on. It is not owned by the banks or controlled by a government. This means high fees are unlikely to be ever charged since a “level playing field” or a “neutral worldwide rails system” is now in place. This is a similar state of affairs to when Skype was created. International phone calls through Skype suddenly became very cheap or free. As a direct result, toll call charges from incumbent Telcos plummeted all around the world. The Telcos’ siloed telephone system faced extinction. They had to lower prices to compete with services being offered by the likes of Skype to stay in business. And it was the ownerless state of the internet as the underlying rail system that brought this about. There are only permissionless (non-government/bank) blockchain currencies in existence today. The first permissionless blockchain currency was Bitcoin, created in 2009. It was a technological experiment that has been highly successful and has proved that currency movements over the internet can be safely and securely performed without a banking system. It comes with a fixed money supply of 21 million coins, and it’s the resultant scarcity this creates that makes it extremely valuable. One bitcoin at time of writing is worth around $1300 USD. No government, dictatorship or banking institution was involved in its creation or deployment. Its value is autonomous and is derived solely from what its users believe it is worth. There are now over 500 permissionless blockchain currencies available today. Permissionless currencies are only one (and the first) product that a blockchain can be used for. They can also be used in other new and innovative ways not possible with fiat. Micro payments, escrow, and multi-signature transactions are some examples where blockchain currencies are far superior. In addition, there are other functionalities not specific to finance that are possible using blockchains and which are much more secure and unforgeable, such as proof of identity (like a passport), ownership transference (like vehicles and homes), and democratic voting systems. Hundreds of non-currency blockchain products are being worked on now and many thousands more are likely in the future. However these developments are outside the scope of this paper. Why a government should support this technological innovation: Blockchain products and new economic communities are under development. They can be accessed or used only via a blockchain cryptographic currency. Currently there is no permissioned or government-created one. Electronic fiat is unusable within these environments because its architecture is not cryptographic. It must be converted to a currency that is cryptographic before its intrinsic value can be utilised. On this basis alone, a risk for government is the economic exclusion of fiat in these new economies. Users will be forced to sidestep the fiat system for no other reason than these new economies can only function or be used with a currency that has cryptography built into its design i.e. a blockchain currency. To ensure a country’s national currency remains relevant to these emerging new economies, its currency must be made available in a blockchain format. In the near future, it is this author’s view that most countries will need to convert at least part of their fiat currency over to a blockchain architecture. This means two different architectures for the same currency for example, NZ dollar fiat and NZ dollar blockchain. It is simply a matter of when a government recognises that electronic value-transference will be moved (in part or wholly) to the internet, thus breaking away from the current banking industry’s siloed fiat system. It also means the beginnings of the disintermediation of banks since blockchain currencies do not require them. A tough reality that the banking institutions are currently grappling with. Bitcoin has proven that creating or digitising a currency (or digitising a value asset) to store value is no longer the privileged purview of banking consortiums or even governments. Permissioned systems based on fiat is not the future. Total domination of currency creation and value transference by the banking industry and governments is ending. Why this technological innovation will grow with or without government sanction: Once the blockchain becomes the accepted standardised architecture for currencies, some governments and banks will be unable to surreptitiously devalue their currency without serious repercussions from its users because those users can easily abandon it as a store of value. This in effect is what we have now, albeit nascent. Citizens who live in economies like Brazil, India and Greece are now storing a growing percentage of their savings in non-government-created cryptographic currencies in the knowledge that it’s secure (it cannot be arbitrarily confiscated and access cannot be shut down), it will maintain its value much better than the official fiat currency, 24-hour access is guaranteed via their mobile phones, and it can be moved to any location in the world that has internet access. Their wealth will easily follow them wherever they go. Being a refugee will no longer necessarily mean you have no access to your savings irrespective of the country that takes them in. Blockchain currencies will enable users to exchange and hold their savings in many different currencies (permissioned or permissionless) with very little friction. Sending and simultaneously switching one type of currency to another will be as seamless as sending an email from an Apple Mac, Android phone, Windows PC etc. to any other device anywhere in the world. This new technology – as was the case for the internet in the early days – will be largely ignored by everyone until suddenly we all find ourselves using and relying on it in our daily lives. The architecture of a solution: In the future, it is likely that a mix of fiat and blockchain currencies will coexist for a time. Governments and the banking industry will create and control the official fiat and the official permissioned blockchain national currency, while permissionless blockchain currencies (or currency-like tokens) will be created by various members of the public (worldwide) to achieve or enhance their specific economic goals. There are blockchain solutions suitable for permissioned government-issued cryptographic currencies. These solutions will enable governments to safely move or exchange at least some portion of their fiat currency over to a blockchain architecture to enable its constituents to use blockchain products and participate in blockchain economies which would be impossible with fiat currencies. A government can issue a regulated permissioned currency with all of the architectural advantages of a cryptographic blockchain. There is no requirement for it to be decentralised as is the state with a permissionless blockchain currency. Deciding what features and safeguards a permissioned cryptographic currency should have embedded into its protocol is the more relevant question. Several first-world central banks have been experimenting with a form of blockchain currency using distributed ledger technology (DLT) for example Canada, Britain and Japan. However they have restricted that usage largely to streamlining interbank financial activities. As important as this is, there should also be a focus to cater directly to end users who want to actively engage in localised economic blockchain activity within the real economy (non-financial). Governments should lead the way and be the conduit to lay down the initial infrastructure for their citizens. This proposal focuses on first-step distribution being offered directly to the public. The distribution, in all probability, will be taken up via “software developers”, who will require a cryptographic currency to deliver cryptographic blockchain solutions. Such solutions would promise better efficiency within current business models which rely on a high degree of human intervention (for example international money transmittance). These solutions will also drive out friction in antiquated legacy systems and create new forms of value transference not yet thought of. This would enable a meaningful assessment of real-world demand and also allow innovation to be driven directly by the needs of users. Currently, software developers are forced to use permissionless cryptographic tokens/currencies to deliver these products. There would be no need for this if a permissioned government blockchain currency was available. Any cursory investigation by world governments will confirm the burgeoning wall-to-wall projects underway in this sector. Literally billions of dollars are being invested into this ecosystem. None of these dollars are going into a government-permissioned cryptographic currency. A controlled and measurable pathway is required to apply a blockchain architecture to the national currency. It needs to be done with the buy-in of key stakeholders namely, the government, the banking industry and individual citizens. This paper provides a starting point as a way forward for the adoption of a cryptographic currency as the correct or better mode of transport to transfer value. Simply put, an orderly and safe process is needed to introduce a government-issued and controlled cryptographic currency. It would operate in parallel with the fiat system. The key is to implement it with demonstrable incentives to accommodate the key stakeholders. The process would also need to demonstrate low or negligible instability risk to the current financial system. Specifically a modified CAB (centralised autonomous blockchain) would be created. The proposal: For the purposes of this proposal I would suggest a country like New Zealand (of which I am a national) would be good candidate. It is a small, first-world economy with a sound and relatively open financial system and would be well suited for such an experiment. The government, in effect, owns one bank called KiwiBank. In partnership with this central bank the foundation for this proposal is already in place. The central bank of New Zealand could create a limited quantity of cryptographic currency that would be available for use in parallel with the national fiat currency. Kiwibank would control the initial release of this new currency into the system. This would insure KYC (know your customer) legal requirements and AML (anti money laundering) regulations are met. Kiwibank would in effect provide the on/off ramp into and out of the NZ cryptographic dollar from the NZ fiat dollar. Since there is no physical note or coin for the new cryptographic currency, converting fiat to cryptographic would be digital only via Kiwibank customers. Customers of Kiwibank would convert monies from their digital fiat bank account and transfer it to a smart-phone digital wallet, using an APP (via Google’s ‘Play Store’). An internal ledger would be created and maintained by Kiwibank for auditing purposes. The government would then know with whom and when the coins were converted. A Federated Server (or servers) owned and controlled by key stakeholders would be responsible for running the blockchain ledger. The coin would be a New Zealand digital cryptographic dollar (NZCD) and would carry the same value and rights as a New Zealand digital fiat dollar (NZD), backed by the full faith and credit of the New Zealand government). The initial users who convert their fiat to cryptographic would most probably be software code developers who want to create new blockchain applications for blockchain economies that are accessible only with a cryptographic currency. They would convert their current digital fiat dollars for digital cryptographic dollars. When a new-use application, solution or asset is created, the wider community would then need to convert their fiat dollars for cryptographic dollars to use the new application and participate in the new economy created. Security and Control: Strong controls can be built into a government-permissioned blockchain currency, together with highly transparent visibility. Regulatory compliance rules could be built in if required, for example: • Freezing the contents of any funds held in any wallet due to criminal activity. • Automated deduction of any funds held in any wallet i.e. outstanding fines (currently forced on employers to collect). • Automatic freezing or confiscation of any funds used on any blacklisted markets. • Automatic recall of funds transferred or used outside a specific geographical location (national or international). In effect, highly advanced controls can be programmed into a cryptographic blockchain currency that is not possible within a fiat system. Cryptographic currencies offer control and flexibility well beyond what a fiat currency is capable of. Lawful activity can be programmed in and unlawful activity can be programmed out. How? (Basic technical overview): In essence two cryptographic currency tokens would be created. Firstly, a rights token (RST) and secondly a cryptographic currency i.e. a New Zealand cryptographic dollar (NZCD). Both tokens would be created via central-bank/government and would have a symbiotic relationship with each other. The rights token would be tradable, that is to say it would be tradable for legal tender (NZCD) but in itself it would not be legal tender. It would be similar to a share certificate of a company in this respect. The rights token would receive a dividend from the usage of NZCD. A transaction fee would be deducted and held in escrow each time NZCD was transferred from one entity’s wallet to another to purchase goods and services. This function would be programmed into the blockchain currency and would be automated. For example, the fee could be say 0.1% per transaction (or something set well below any current fiat system fee). Every quarter, transaction fees would be autonomously distributed to all RST token holders on a pro-rata basis at set intervals based on the number of RSTs they own. RST token: The purpose of an RST is to incentivise and enable key stakeholder participation. It is a new form of ROI (return on investment) for the banking industry. All key stakeholders would benefit from ownership of RSTs. RST ownership could be made transferable or tradeable to qualifying entities or persons and be made divisible to say 8 decimal placings. The 8 decimal placings (the unofficial standard for cryptocurrencies) provides significant depth for a coin to expand its fungibility and allows the token to be highly divisible. Continual price-discovery through market forces would price the token’s actual market value. The initial distribution of RSTs would or could be distributed via a crowd sale to key stakeholders i.e. the banking industry, governments, individuals or other entities. A very basic example of how this could be implemented is as follows: An initial 10 million RST could be created with a portion then held for auction or for sale. A simple split of the tokens could be: • 2 million held for government or used as incentives for other entities like developers and maintainers of the system. • 4 million held and distributed to all KiwiSaver participants or held in escrow for every Kiwi citizen (KiwiSaver). • 4 million set aside for auction or sale to banks and private New Zealand investors, either all at once or in tranches over time. NZCD dollar: As little as $1,000,000 dollars could initially be issued. With the above-mentioned built-in safeguards, this level of seed-cryptographic currency would have a negligible impact on the economy. It would allow New Zealand program developers immediate access to start building out new products and economies. As and when demand rose, further NZCDs could be issued. Incentive for the government: There are a number of incentives for a government to move into this space sooner rather than later. Investment opportunities, economic growth and first-mover advantage are some of them. In 2015 a record 1 billion dollars’ worth of venture capital was invested into this space, up from 347 million in 2014. Estimates for 2016 are forecast at 5-10 billion dollars. There is more investment being channelled into this space than during the comparative early days of the internet. All of it is virtually walled out by the fiat system. Currently, the only way in or out is via unregulated international private cryptographic coin exchanges. This comes with a high level of friction and risk, which in effect has reduced the cross-border investment primarily to early VC adopters. Governments would have two clear advantages over other institutions when introducing their own cryptographic currency. The first is legitimacy and the second is immediate stability in line with the national fiat currency. Most permissionless currencies do not have these advantages. In any event, cryptographic currencies are here to stay. It would be much better for a government, looking forward, to introduce their own cryptographic national currency. This would allow software developers to build out or imbed new emerging cryptographic economies with the nation’s own cryptographic currency. Key Terms: Rights Token (RST): RSTs reward the owner with transaction fees collected on the system. A reward-based return for any transactional volume will be generated through the use of NZCD Tokens. RST Token ownership would be made transferable or tradeable to qualifying entities or persons and could be divisible to 8 decimal placings. New Zealand Cryptographic Token (NZCD): An NZCD token represents 1 New Zealand dollar. NZCDs are kept in digital wallets. A set amount would initially be created and grown over time. They have a symbiotic relationship to the RST tokens. Federated Server (closed system): Servers that run and secure the blockchain. Owned and run by a combination of key stakeholders, banks, a central bank and the government. ICO: Initial coin offering. A fundraising option to purchase RST tokens. Crowd sale: Another fundraising option. A crowd sale is used to allow stakeholders to purchase RSTs. Proceeds would be used to fund the system, incentivise stakeholders and attract appropriate developers. Price per RST: Example: if the crowd sale concludes with a total value of NZ$1,000,000,000 raised, the tokens will be valued at $1,000,000,000/10,000,000 = NZ$100.00 per 1.00000000 RST. 1 RST rewards the holder with transaction fees from NZ cryptographic dollar tokens (NZCDs) on the blockchain at 1 / 10,000,000 of all transaction fees every quarter. As an example transaction fees of NZCD could be set at say 0.1%. Scenario 1: NZ$1,000 transaction volume per day: The transaction fees collected would be $1,000 * 365 days = 365,000 / 10,000,000 RST tokens. So annual fees collected would be $365 NZCD and distributed pro rata at 0.00003650 cents per 1.00000000 RST held. Scenario 2: NZ$10,000,000 transaction volume per day: The transaction fees collected would be $10,000,000 * 365 days = 3,650,000,000 / 10,000,000 RST tokens. So annual fees collected would be $3,650,000 NZCD and distributed pro rata at 0.365 cents per 1.00000000 RST held. Scenario 3: NZ$100,000,000 transaction volume per day: The transaction fees collected would be $100,000,000 * 365 days = 365,000 / 10,000,000 RST tokens. So annual fees collected would be $36,500,000 NZCD and distributed pro rata at $3.65 per 1.00000000 RST held. About the author: Monty Kirkman is an artist and small business owner. He currently runs a small manufacturing business producing glass art giftware in Whangarei New Zealand www.maoriboy.com As a keen technologist, in 2013 he discovered the underlying technology called ‘the blockchain’. He became fascinated by the very real disruption this technology will bring to all forms of industry. One of his aims is to raise awareness to the small business community to prepare themselves for this emerging technology.
Bitcoin may be gaining wide acceptance as both a means of monetary exchange and investment however authorities in Canada have ruled that Bitcoin is not to be considered as legal tender. There are two facets to Bitcoin, the crypto-currency that is gaining acclaim (and infamy) as a means of anonymously and securely moving funds with virtually no intervention from government agencies. Bitcoin is Not Legal Tender, Says Canada Government Official A Canadian government official has said bitcoin is not considered legal tender in the country, according to a report in the Wall Street ... Canada doesn't consider bitcoin to be legal tender, a government official said, putting a question mark over the use of the increasingly popular virtual currency here. "Only Canadian bank notes ... A Canadian government official has said bitcoin is not considered legal tender in the country, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. “Only Canadian bank notes and coins are recognized as legal tender in Canada. Bitcoin digital ‘currency’ is not legal tender in Canada,” the official reportedly wrote in an email. The official […] Is Bitcoin Legal Tender? It is important to note that while it is completely legal to buy and sell bitcoin, hold them and even use them for buying goods and services, they have not been given the status of the legal tender. Only the Canadian Dollar has that status. This doesn’t really affect any investors and their crypto transactions. It ...
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