Recent reports have provided new insight into the Internal Revenue Service’s concerns about Bitcoin tax evasion, and appear to indicate that only a small portion of Bitcoin users ever bother to report their profits and losses in their annual filings with the agency. The revelations came as the IRS formally filed a lawsuit in federal court to force the Coinbase exchange to obey the agency’s John Doe Summons requiring the release of exchange customer information.
A group of bitcoin exchanges recently released a statement to clarify their position with respect to the ongoing Bitcoin scaling controversy. As most in the community know, there has been an ongoing debate regarding the best way to scale Bitcoin and increase its transaction capability. These exchanges have now announced that if the current debate between the Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Unlimited groups results in a hard fork and two competing currencies, the Bitcoin Unlimited coin would be listed under the ticker symbol BTU, while Bitcoin Core maintains the current BTC symbol.
Chinese regulators appear to be stepping up efforts to bring order to their nation’s digital currency landscape in the wake of the SEC’s denial of the Winklevoss twins’ ETF proposal. While People’s Bank of China director Zhou Xuedong recently acknowledged the importance of tech innovation, he also declared that regulation is essential to prevent illicit activities and financial bubbles. According to Xuedong:
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Today rejected Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss’ proposal for a Bitcoin exchange-traded-fund (ETF). The regulatory body cited the absence of digital currency regulation and the potential for fraud among its reasons for refusing the bid.
Transparency versus anonymity has been a hotly contested debate in the cryptocurrency industry. The debate however, has mostly been framed by one side as a way to hide their activity from government and law enforcement. The other side has made the rebuttal that anonymity provides cover for illegal activities and terror financing; which they are certain we are all guilty of. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, and both sides raise some valid points.
A group of more than thirty of the largest banks and technology companies have come together to form a new consortium focused on developing an Ethereum blockchain system that can be used by the finance industry. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance was formed in December, and formally launched this week at a summit in Brooklyn, New York.
Like many technological advances before it, cryptocurrency has spawned a rapidly developing industry. In this highly competitive field it is important to have every advantage you can get. Anyone can put together a team of individuals and give themselves impressive sounding titles, but few have watched the process of innovation take place first hand, because most are too young to remember the internet and personal computer booms, as well as the subsequent bubbles. The same cannot be said for DNotes co-founder Alan Yong, however – a man who has 40 years of business experience, including 20 years as a pioneering innovator in the software and personal computer industries.
His company, Dauphin Technology, went head-to-head with industry giants such as Apple computer Inc., Tandy Corp., and Motorola in the early days of the personal computer revolution. Since he has seen firsthand the trials and tribulations that projects in emerging tech sectors can face, he knows better than most how to avoid the pitfalls that threaten most entrepreneurs.
Are you considering an investment in Bitcoin? Or considering throwing some spare change at a promising alternative in the cryptosphere? Maybe unsure whether digital currency counts as ‘real’ money? The crypto-industry is rife with exciting developments, rapid environmental changes, and price movements that have made many people very happy, while news stories from less-fortunate people have caused would-be investors and consumers to question the long-term viability of digital money. Many people could have avoided harm if a comprehensive guide existed to inform investors with a base knowledge of cryptocurrency and a rubric for analyzing currencies that goes beyond the general myopic focus on short-term price speculation in the media. This multi-part guide has been compiled to make it easier to understand the value proposition of digital money, and to explain some of the factors that can affect its price and value over time.
As many industry observers already know, The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has been working toward becoming the first exchange of its kind to use blockchain technology for its post-trade services. The exchange revealed late this week that it plans to increase its investment in the technology in 2017 as it pushes forward to build on the distributed ledger system currently being developed by Digital Asset Holdings.
The Austrian capital of Vienna is now home to what is being referred to as the world’s first Bitcoin bank. The newly-opened “Bitcoin Bank” is owned and managed by blockchain firm Bit Trust, and has opened for business in one of the more popular Vienna shopping areas on Mariahilfer Strasse. The bank was launched to help simplify the buying and selling process for Bitcoin enthusiasts in the area.
National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) recently announced that it has successfully employed the Ripple blockchain for its cross-border payment systems. The bank’s integration of the Ripple Distributed Financial Technology is expected to provide its customers with immutable, secure, and cost-efficient fund transfers. With this move, NBAD has become the first bank in the Middle East to officially implement the Ripple technology.
The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission has reportedly joined the R3 blockchain group, according to a new report in the Wall Street Journal. The regulator is collaborating with the group’s banks and blockchain tech firms to test the technology’s capabilities for recording and settling transactions. The formal entry into the consortium is simply the latest evolution in the relationship between the regulator and R3 – a partnership that has seen the parties work together on similar tests in recent months.
In a recently-published transcript of a speech given at the FinTech Forum in Paris last month, French central bank Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau signaled that the Banque de France is seeking greater collaboration with FinTech startups focused on blockchain technology. In the speech, de Galhau revealed that the central bank intends to open a new lab to strengthen its partnership with those blockchain firms and facilitate its broader goal of encouraging more FinTech innovation across France.
Venezuela’s Bitcoin community has felt the pressure in recent weeks, as the nation’s law enforcement agencies have intensified their crackdown on Bitcoin mining. Raids, detentions, and public announcements have contributed to a general sense of unease for Venezuelans, as nearly a dozen people have been detained as authorities confiscated Bitcoin mining equipment from a number of different sites. Now, the largest Bitcoin exchange in the country, Surbitcoin, has announced that it has temporarily suspended its operations.
When the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Central Bank issued new regulatory guidelines for digital payments last month, many observers took note of an apparent ban on “virtual currency” usage by companies that were subject to the new regulations. In a new statement, the central bank has now provided new clarity on the subject by announcing that the new rules do not apply to Bitcoin or other digital currencies.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a new notice this week, warning digital currency users and traders about the risks faced by anyone engaged in cryptocurrency transactions. The central bank reminded Indians that it has not yet authorized any of those digital currency activities, nor provided licenses to any cryptocurrency companies.
A communications analyst formerly employed by the Fed was sentenced on Friday for secretly installing Bitcoin mining software on a central bank server. That former employee, Nicholas Berthaume, pled guilty to the charges last October, after initially trying to mask his activities by deleting the program. The court sentenced him to a twelve-month period of probation and fined him $5,000.
Most experts within the blockchain industry estimate that China’s banks are as much as twelve months behind their Western counterparts when it comes to adopting distributed ledger technology. If the Chinese government has its way, that gap may soon be closed. According to a new report from Reuters, the nation’s regulators have been pushing banks to modernize outdated systems and processes by adopting blockchain technology.
Large corporations, particularly multinationals, as well as some of the wealthiest members of society, often go to great lengths to get out of paying income tax. Their unlimited resources give them access to the best lawyers and accountants that can scour the tax code looking for any loophole that will allow them to pay less. Deep pockets and connections allow them to come up with complicated and often convoluted flow of capital plans, that sees their money move in and out of shell accounts in various tax havens around the world.
Tax avoidance and evasion by this elite segment of society has a trickle-down negative psychological effect on everyone. When an individual or small business owner who is barely getting by, sees this privileged group getting away with it, they are more likely to engage in similar illegal or immoral activities.
In statements posted on their websites Sunday night, Chinese Bitcoin exchanges BTCC, OKCoin, and Huobi announced that they will impose new trading fees to “curb speculation and prevent price volatility.” The announcement of the new 0.2 percent charge on each transaction comes in the wake of recent meetings between the exchanges and the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). The new policy is scheduled to go into effect on Tuesday.