Digital Currency Weekly Recap 5-8-2016
Winklevoss Twins’ Gemini Exchange Now Supports Ether
Beginning on Monday, the Gemini exchange will begin supporting Ether trading, offering customers the option of both ETH/USD and ETH/BTC. Gemini, which is owned by the Winklevoss Twins, will be the first exchange licensed to offer Ether trading, with the entire process operating under the regulatory supervision of the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) – the same agency that approved the cryptocurrency’s inclusion. The news was announced on the Gemini blog, and in a separate press release from the Department of Financial Services.
Full Disclosure: Winklevoss Twins Are Personally Invested in Ether
In an effort at achieving full disclosure, the Winklevoss Twins followed up news about Ether trading support on their Gemini exchange with an announcement that revealed that the duo has personally invested in the Ether cryptocurrency. According to Tyler Winklevoss’s revelation in a recent Coindesk interview, the pair began purchasing Ether several months ago, and now hold what they are describing as a “material” amount of the digital asset.
Nuspay Crypto Platform to be Hosted on Microsoft Azure
The Nuspay Next-Gen Digital Currency Platform will reportedly be hosted on Microsoft Azure, according to a recent press report from the Sunnyvale FinTech firm. In that announcement, the company’s CEO Greg A. Wooten revealed that Azure’s cloud-based environment has been chosen due to its world-class infrastructure and reliability. The decision to use Azure also frees the company up to focus more on global expansion rather than the nuts and bolts of IT.
ConsenSys BTC Relay to Connect Ethereum with Bitcoin
In a press release earlier this week, ConsenSys announced that it was launching BTC Relay. Already hailed as the first real sidechain, BTC Relay is designed to securely connect Ethereum to the Bitcoin network using Ethereum smart contract functions to verify transactions. The project will provide the first real cross-blockchain communication, and is seen by many as the first step toward achieving potential interoperability between different blockchain platforms.
Australia’s Treasury Asks Public’s Help for Cryptocurrency Classification
As part of Australia’s new push to support FinTech innovation throughout the nation, the Australian Treasury recently called for public comment as part of a broader effort to determine precisely how digital currencies should be generally defined for taxation purposes. The request was part of a recently released paper entitled GST Treatment of Digital Currency, and is designed to help correct the current system of double-taxation that consumers face when they purchase products subject to the nation’s existing goods and services tax, or GST.
This public consultation period invites Australians to submit comments via letter, email, or fax, and will be open until the 3rd of June. After that time, the Treasury will make those comments and suggestions public on the agency’s website. The discussion paper outlines several options under consideration, even as it invites interested parties to offer other alternatives. Those options include input taxed treatment of digital currencies that would remove taxation on the purchase of cryptocurrencies, a move to simply redefine digital currencies as “money” and treat them as such, and a solution that would just make all cryptocurrencies free from tax altogether.