The Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority has confirmed that cryptocurrency users are not subject to the Value Added Tax (VAT) when trading digital assets or using them for payments, according to a report from Jornal de Negócios. In addition, the agency indicated that cryptocurrency use is also free from income tax obligations.
Facebook recently retained Washington, D.C.- based lobbying firm FS Vector to support its effort to overcome resistance to its Libra digital currency payment system project, according to a report from O’Dwyer’s PR. The firm has reportedly been hired to provide support for “issues related to blockchain policy.”
Regulators in Switzerland have formally approved banking and security dealer licenses for two digital asset-focused banks. The two firms, Sygnum and Seba Crypto AG, confirmed in online statements today that the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has granted them licenses.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced this week that it has reached a settlement with the promoters of two cryptocurrency-related chain referral multi-level marketing schemes, Bitcoin Funding Team and My7Network. As part of the settlement agreement, the individuals involved in the schemes have agreed to monetary fines and are permanently prohibited from operating similar ventures in the future.
The National Bank of Rwanda is studying options for issuing its own central bank digital currency (CBDC), BNN Bloomberg reports. The central bank is reportedly interested in seeing whether it can take advantage of the technology’s potential benefits to improve financial transaction speed and efficiency and expand the country’s economy growth.
According to a report in the Financial Times, at least three early Facebook Libra backers are looking at options to distance themselves from the project. The three backers are reportedly concerned about the increasing scrutiny and resistance to the proposed digital currency payment system from regulators and legislators around the globe.
Israel’s Capital Market, Insurance and Savings Authority wants to expedite the licensing process for blockchain and other fintech firms, according to a report from Israeli business outlet Calcalist. The Authority reportedly hopes to facilitate greater competitiveness and innovation in the sector.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that it has delayed its decision on rule changes that could permit the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust and VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust to begin trading. With the delay, the SEC won’t make a decision about the two funds until October at the earliest, Bloomberg reports.
New Zealand’s tax authority has published new guidelines permitting the use of cryptocurrency to pay worker salaries, effective September 1, 2019. The published guidelines emphasize that digital currencies are still not considered legal tender, and any salary or wage payments that utilize them must comply with the country’s tax laws.
During remarks at the China Finance 40 Forum, People’s Bank of China (PBoC) Payment and Settlement Division deputy director Mu Changchun claimed that the “People’s Bank digital currency can now be said to be ready.” The PBoC has been researching options for a central bank digital currency since 2014, Shanghai Securities News reported Saturday.
A group of roughly 15 nations are reportedly planning to develop a new system that will facilitate collection and sharing of data related to consumers who engage in cryptocurrency transactions, the Nikkei Asian Review reports. The stated objective is to reduce the risk that cryptocurrencies might be used to fund terrorism, launder money, or facilitate other crimes.
Coinbase Custody Trust Company has added two former New York banking regulators to its board of directors. In a blog post, dated August 7, the company confirmed that Robert Easton and Richard Neiman were selected for their solid experience in “financial services, public policy and banking operations.”
North Carolina Republican Representative Ted Budd’s Virtual Value Tax Fix Act of 2019 has been reintroduced in the House of Representatives and referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. The bill seeks to amend the Internal Revenue Code to “allow exclusion of gain or loss on like-kind exchanges of virtual currency.”
At least one official in Thailand wants to amend the country’s Anti-Money Laundering laws to ensure that cryptocurrencies are not used to facilitate crime. According to a report in the BangkokPost today, Thai Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) secretary-general Maj Gen Preecha Charoensahayanon is convinced that money launderers will eventually use digital currencies to further their illicit schemes.
The Iranian Cabinet has released a newly-ratified bill that outlines the government’s position on digital assets and establishes conditions for cryptocurrency miners to operate within the country. According to Iranian media outlet PressTV, the government’s official position is that digital currencies are not recognized as legal tender in Iran, and the country’s central bank cannot ensure their value.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has advised the EU to consider a blockchain regulatory approach that focuses on ensuring that the technology’s potential benefits are accessible to everyone. In a recent EESC report, the committee warned about the potential risk of creating a new digital divide:
Circle co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire will be testifying in a hearing before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on Tuesday. Allaire’s role in the “Examining Regulatory Frameworks for Digital Currencies and Blockchain” hearing will be as a representative for the Blockchain Association advocacy group.
The United States filed a complaint this week against the BTC-e cryptocurrency exchange and its alleged operator Alexander Vinnik, seeking to recover civil monetary penalties assessed by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in July 2017.
The United States Internal Revenue Service announced today that it is now in the process of sending warning letters to more than 10,000 U.S. taxpayers who trade cryptocurrency. The agency revealed that it began sending those letters last week and plans to complete the process by the end of next month, Yahoo Finance reports.
A new report from a government panel in India recommends that the country ban all private digital currencies, Reuters reports. If adopted into law, the panel’s recommendations would not only make such cryptocurrencies illegal in India but would also fine and jail Indians who are caught dealing with them.