Crypto Investors in Thailand Will Get Taxed

After the Bank of Thailand ordered the country’s financial institutions to steer clear of cryptocurrency, its military government has now advised that cryptocurrency taxes are on the cards.


Thailand has previously been hesitant to take decisive action against cryptocurrencies. However, 2018 has seen this on-the-fence stance change.

February saw the country’s financial institutions put an end to offering crypto-related services, while earlier this month saw authorities suggest that virtual currencies would soon be subjected to tax regulations.

Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand to Issue Crypto Tax

According to Nikkei Asian Review, the latter is definitely happening. Thailand’s Finance Minister, Apisak Tantivorawong, made the announcement on the 27th of March. Authorities cite the prevention of money laundering, tax evasion, and aiding in criminal activities as the reasons for the introduction of these cryptocurrency taxes.

Crypto investors will be liable to pay a 7% value added tax (VAT) on all of their cryptocurrency trades as well as a 15% capital gains tax on their returns.

Cryptocurrency taxes

Protecting the Status Quo

The February ban and this latest tax development appear to show that the country’s government could be feeling wary of the impact that the disruptive nature of virtual currencies could have on their well-established processes.

Former finance minister and chairman of the Thai Fintech Association, Korn Chatikavanij, gave this warning:

But they have to be cautious not to allow their conservative instincts to result in draconian regulations.

Crypto Popularity Was on the Increase

Thailand has a growing and enthusiastic cryptocurrency community. In the last few months of 2016, weekly Bitcoin transactions were sitting at 12 million baht, while last year saw that number quadruple to 48 million baht during the same time period. Some retailers in the country even accept Bitcoin as payment.

Uncertain Regulations a Cause for Concern

Startups also found success in Thailand last year. OmiseGo, a decentralized financial services platform, managed to raise $25 million during its ICO. However, the country’s delay in providing a clear regulatory framework has left startups registering their platforms, as well as their ICOs, in Singapore, which has long been seen as a crypto-friendly country.

Singapore

Singapore

Six.network, which is another decentralized financial services platform, is one such company. However, Natavudh Pungcharoenpong, a co-founder of the platform, has said that the startup is working with the Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a Thai regulator, stating:

The company has already approached the office to constantly clarify the operation to ensure transparency.

Another Thai startup, JFin, has also cited regulation indecision as the reason for the postponement of listing their tokens on digital exchanges.

The ban in February, the tax directive, and possible new regulations could push potentially lucrative Thai startups into the waiting arms of Singapore, Hong Kong, and even Switzerland.

What do you think of Thailand’s crypto tax regulations? Will it drive these startups to greener pastures? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Pexels and Pixabay.

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Source: Bitcoininst

Russians Owe 13% Tax on Their Crypto Incomes

Russians Owe 13% Tax on Their Crypto Incomes

Russian citizens are expected to pay 13 percent tax on their crypto-related incomes. Amendments to the tax code are currently being prepared. The exact rates should be confirmed by the end of the year. However, lawyers have warned that even now citizens risk criminal prosecution if they fail to report gains from dealings with cryptocurrencies.

Also read: 0 to 50 percent – Time to Pay Crypto Taxes in the European “Union”

Tax Obligations Apply to All Residents, Including Foreigners

Lawmakers are finalizing the legislation that should regulate crypto-related matters in the Russian Federation. Two bills have been filed in the State Duma in the last couple of weeks. The draft law “On Digital Financial Assets” legalizes blockchain technologies, mining operations and initial coin offerings. Another bill amends Russia’s Civil Code to introduce terms like “digital money” and protect the rights of crypto investors. The bills should be adopted by early summer but changes to the tax laws are expected to follow later.

In the meantime, private individuals in the Russian Federation are not free from the obligation to inform tax authorities on their income from cryptocurrency operations. The standard tax rate of 13 percent is applicable to gains from trading cryptos like bitcoin, according to a letter by the Finance Ministry. The clarification notice has been issued in response to a private request (№03-04-05/66994) filed in October last year.

Russians Owe 13% Tax on Their Crypto Incomes

Although the letter is just a recommendation, tax lawyers say it reflects the stance of the ministry and should be used as a reference before new rules are adopted, Kommersant reports. The income tax rate, and other crypto-related parameters of taxation will be officially confirmed with the amendments of the tax code. Russia’s parliament and the Ministry of Finance are currently working on these changes expected to take effect by the end of the year.

Until that happens, Russian citizens are required to report crypto income on their tax returns and pay the regular income tax which has a flat rate of 13 percent. Foreign nationals present in the Russian Federation for at least 183 days in a year are treated and taxed as permanent residents. In all other cases the rate is doubled to 30 percent. Dividends are taxed at 6 percent (15 percent for non-residents).

Miners Can Pay Taxes as Individual Entrepreneurs or Legal Entities

The draft legislation, currently under review in the lower house of Russia’s parliament, defines crypto mining as an “entrepreneurial activity”. That means miners will be have to either register as individual entrepreneurs, or set up companies. In any case, they will be required to report their profits and pay their taxes. The applicable tax rates, and tax rights, depend on the type of registration they choose. Corporate profit tax in Russia is 24 percent.

Russians Owe 13% Tax on Their Crypto Incomes

Many aspects of crypto taxation need further clarification. Legal experts say that Russian tax officials lack the expertise necessary to address the matter adequately. The Federal Tax Service inspectors are struggling to understand how crypto exchanges work, and have no idea how to identify the owner of a cryptocurrency wallet.

At the same time, traditional regulations collide with the principles of anonymity and independence associated with cryptocurrencies. Nevertheless, individuals and businesses risk prosecution if they fail to report their incomes and gains from crypto-related activities. That’s why tax lawyers advise both citizens and companies to pay their taxes on time.

Do you agree that tax authorities should first do their homework on cryptocurrencies before they tax crypto incomes? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Double-Bottom? ‘Substantial Funds’ Waiting for Crypto Collapse to Complete

The cryptocurrency market has entered a full-fledged state of depression, leaving many long-time investors frustrated and many first-time investors downright furious. However, the worst is almost certainly over.


A hard fall

Many uneducated cryptocurrency investors lump the major market players — Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), and possibly Bitcoin Cash (BCH) — into the same category, even though there are fundamental and core differences between these cryptocurrencies.

That group, according to Linda Butcher, co-founder of Rewards Blockchain LTD., is often believed to be on the verge of collapse.

However, for the savvy, tuned-in investor who pays attention to more than just the ignorant mainstream media outlets and videos from view-hungry YouTubers, it’s fairly evident the said collapse has already happened.

Image courtesy of CoinMarketCap.com

At press time, Bitcoin is down 19.84 percent. Meanwhile, Ethereum is down 24.37 percent, Ripple is down 20.89 percent, Bitcoin Cash is down 29.98 percent, and Litecoin is down 26.39 percent — and that’s just in the last seven days. When compared to each cryptocurrency’s all-time high only a few months earlier, the losses are astronomical.

Bottom Approaching

That isn’t to say that the major market players in the cryptocurrency space couldn’t fall even further. They certainly could — but Butcher believes we’re likely approaching the bottom. She explained to Forbes:

There are certainly stabilizing factors in this market that will ultimately influence prices. The substantial funds seem to be sitting on the sidelines waiting for the bottom.

I believe the market will start to respond as more public companies take cryptocurrency mainstream. These companies will be leaders in establishing blockchain as a lasting technology giving confidence to the global market and cryptocurrencies.

Butcher also rightly claims it has been easy to lose sight of the bigger picture after the stupidly-massive run-up the entire cryptocurrency market experienced at the end of 2017.

At that time, one could put money into just about any altcoin — even those without whitepapers — and see gains anywhere between 2-10x in a matter of days. Thus, it’s only natural that such euphoria would be followed by anger and depression as the cryptocurrency rocket corrected its flight path. Butcher reminded Forbes:

We have to remember that March 30th of 2017 Bitcoin closed at $1026 and as of today it closed $7165. By all accounts that is a massive 12-month run not seen in any other market. That doesn’t seem like a crash to me.”

Image courtesy of CoinMarketCap.com

One needs only browse Reddit or enter a few search terms into Google to find a flood of negativity surrounding cryptocurrency — which is understandable, given the massive losses accrued by market-wide bag-holders.

However, though nothing is certain and past performance doesn’t guarantee future success, investors may want to start asking themselves: If now’s not the time to start considering taking positions in major cryptocurrencies, when is?

What do you think about the current state of the cryptocurrency market? Do you think the bottom is already in or rapidly approaching? Is not the time to add to your core positions in the market’s major cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, CoinMarketCap.com, Twitter/@maxkeiser.

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Source: Bitcoininst

Crypto Still Tax Free in Korea but Regulators Have Set Timeframe for Taxation

Cryptocurrency transactions are still tax-free in South Korea due to a lack of tax regulations. As the law stands, citizens are able to profit millions of won from cryptocurrencies without being required to pay taxes on them. However, the regulators have set a tentative timeframe for the introduction of the crypto tax law.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Still No Tax on Crypto Transactions

A lawyer in his early 40s recently revealed that he “made a profit of nearly 30 million won last year on investments in bitcoin and ether, but he did not pay any tax on virtual currency investments,” Money Today reported. The news outlet reiterated:

There is no obligation to pay tax even if you earn hundreds of thousands of won or even hundreds of millions of won in virtual currency investments.

Crypto Still Tax Free In Korea But Regulators Have Set Timeframe For TaxationMeanwhile, when selling stocks, there is a sales tax of 0.3% for listed securities and 0.5% for unlisted ones, the news outlet detailed.

“In the case of the ‘major shareholder,’ the obligation to pay tax on capital gains is also imposed. Unlisted shares also pay taxes on capital gains.”

Tax Regulation Timeframe

Crypto Still Tax Free In Korea But Regulators Have Set Timeframe For TaxationTo rectify the situation, the tax authorities have set up “a virtual currency taxation standard in the first National Tax Administrative Reform Committee in 2018,” Money Today informed. Furthermore, the 2018 economic policy direction, announced by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, has a schedule set for crypto taxation plan for the first half of this year, the news outlet added, noting that:

Korea will be able to pass the tax bill in the first half of this year if it is included in the amendment bill of the August tax law. Virtual currency taxation will be implemented next year.

Recently, local media reported that “Virtual currency taxation will come out in June.” However, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance subsequently issued a statement, clarifying that, “we are currently considering the taxation data through virtual currency taxation task force regarding virtual currency taxation,” adding that the media report was “not true.” An official of the ministry confirmed:

We did not set a specific time frame but we are thinking about announcing a virtual money tax during the first half of the year.

Crypto exchanges will also pay taxes. While reiterating that “Virtual money exchanges will have to pay taxes,” an official of the ministry was quoted by local publications early this year explaining that “we have yet to decide the exact tax rates as we are in talks with the National Tax Agency.”

What do you think of South Korea’s tax plan for crypto transactions? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Wendy McElroy: How Centralized Exchanges Intend to Devastate You

How Centralized Exchanges Intend to Devastate You

The Satoshi Revolution: A Revolution of Rising Expectations
Section 2: The Moral Imperative of Privacy
Chapter 6: Privacy is a Prerequisite for Human Rights

How Centralized Exchanges Intend to Devastate You. Chapter 6, Part 6.

The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that’s required to make it work…We have to trust them [third parties] with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves [including government] drain our accounts.
Satoshi Nakamoto

Satoshi never envisioned centralized exchanges. The spectacle would have appalled him. Bitcoin was forged to avoid centralized third parties, such as banks and centralized exchanges, that require users to trust them with wealth and privacy. Peer-to-peer transfers based on cryptographic proof were supposed to replace the need for a middleman who demanded trust. They were designed to give financial power back to the individual.

The problem: there is a market demand to speculate, to trade in currencies, and to perform sophisticated financial transactions for which peer-to-peer (as it currently exists) can be ill-equipped. There is also a demand for convenience and access that does not require technical knowledge or effort. Centralized exchanges may be the polar opposite of what Satoshi envisioned, but centralized exchanges fill a niche, or else they would not be popular. They currently dominate much of the crypto world, with a majority of users entrusting exchanges with their wealth and privacy.

The niche of centralized exchanges comes from blending the functions of a stock market and a bank. A centralized exchange is a marketplace for trading or converting assets through a single location or service. In many ways, it is similar to the New York Stock Exchange. Currencies can be traded and shorted, for example; margin trading, stop loss, and lending are also available. Satoshi did not address the stock-market functions of crypto, which he probably did not foresee. In fairness, Satoshi explicitly referred to Bitcoin as a developing and evolving technology, which was in its infancy.

In other ways, centralized exchanges resemble banks. After purchasing crypto from an exchange, many customers choose to leave their coins in an account rather than transfer them to a private wallet on their own hard drive. The reasons vary: convenience, the comforting similarity to a bank, the ease of converting to fiat, quick trading, and discomfort with the technology required to set up a private wallet. Whatever the reason, centralized exchanges become trusted third parties that endanger the wealth and well-being of individuals. Consider one aspect of the problem. Private keys are the crypto. The coins have no physical presence, only algorithmic ones. When an exchange controls the keys, it owns the coins; the customer has nothing more than a promise of access to them upon demand.

Reality often breaks promises. Hackers use software vulnerabilities and human error to loot accounts that are advertised as secure. High volume causes downtime, during which traders lose opportunities and prices can plummet. Then, there are calculated denials of access. Outstanding orders may be canceled, especially if rates disadvantage the exchange; withdrawals and deposits can be halted without notice; exchanges vanish, along with accounts; owners commit fraud or steal from accounts. This returns people to the pre-Bitcoin days, in which trust and betrayal are defining factors of wealth management.

Recently, the risks associated with centralized exchanges have increased exponentially, and for one reason.

A Forbes article (Feb. 28, 2018) announced the inevitable.

“It’s finally happening: The much-ballyhooed turnover of documents in the battle between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Coinbase, a company which facilitates transactions of digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, is moving ahead. Coinbase has announced that it has notified affected customers that it will comply with a court order regarding the release of specific data.”

2018 is the year in which tax agencies get serious about cryptocurrency profits and holdings. Governments around the world are watching as Coinbase turns in data on its customers, which will almost certainly lead to audits and high-profile prosecutions. Specifically, Coinbase is reporting all customers with transactions of $20,000 or more in a single year between 2013 and 2015. Taxpayer IDs, real names, dates of birth, street addresses, and all transaction records from whichever period is in question will be delivered. The wealth of data is available because Coinbase, like every other licensed centralized exchange, complies with Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering laws, which destroy financial privacy.

Beyond such requirements, Coinbase is extremely aggressive about gathering information and verifying identities. The exchange uses facial-recognition technology, for example, to compare a real-time face shot from a webcam or smart phone with whatever ID an applicant submits. Coinbase UK adds, “we may collect personal information disclosed by you on our message boards, chat features, blogs and our other services to which you are able to post information and materials.”

Expect such intrusion to become the norm for centralized exchanges that prize their licenses and relationships with government. Expect them to act as data-gathering arms of government. The danger is not only the freezing and confiscation of accounts, but also legal proceedings against and imprisonment of account holders. The IRS states that “anyone convicted of tax evasion is subject to a prison term of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000. Anyone convicted of filing a false return is subject to a prison term of up to three years and a fine of up to $250,000.”

Fortunately, the market demand for stock market and banking functions can be satisfied (or soon will be) without sacrificing the privacy and safety.

Decentralize for Privacy

A decentralized exchange is a marketplace that does not rely on third party services. Trades are peer-to-peer; they are direct transfers between people who use an automated process to facilitate the exchange. They are trustless. They are transparent, with software and transactions being open source. They are Satoshi. A decentralized exchange allows individuals to hold their own private keys, which makes it a less attractive target for hackers. It also requires a minimal amount of personal or financial data to establish an account and to conduct commerce. Often, only an email address is requested, and it can be one that is generated specifically to register, with no connection to a real identity, to a True Name.

Decentralized exchanges employ a wide variety of strategies to facilitate peer-to-peer transfers. Some create proxy tokens; others employ a multi-signature escrow. Peer-to-peer banking uses an auction-type dynamic to facilitate loans between members of a specific amount and at an agreed-upon rate. Smart contracts can assume the traditional functions of banks. Technology Review (Dec. 7, 2017) explained,

“Switching back and forth between fiat money and cryptocurrency will require a traditional point of exchange for the foreseeable future. But some technologists say an alternative model for trading cryptocurrencies that would give people more control over their wealth is possible. It’s meta: exchanges can be decentralized, they say, using a blockchain. The idea hinges specifically on so-called smart contracts, software code that can be stored in a blockchain and set up to programmatically govern transactions. Imagine, for example, you want to send your friend some cryptocurrency automatically at a specific date and time. You could use a smart contract to do that.”

The point here is not to advocate a particular decentralizing strategy. It is to offer a sense of the rich and evolving alternatives to centralized exchanges.

Many people will still choose a centralized exchange because the platforms are easy to access and use; they are sanctioned by government; and they offer familiar, advanced functions of a stock market. For those who prize privacy, however, this is a poor choice. An analogy illustrates the stark difference in how privacy fares under a decentralized and a centralized system.

The Cautionary Tale of Social Media

’Want To Freak Yourself Out?’ Here Is All The Personal Data That Facebook/Google Collect.” That was a headline in Zero Hedge on March 28, 2018. The types of data collected are too extensive to enumerate. An indication: Android cellphone users who downloaded specific Facebook apps have had data on their personal calls logged by Facebook, sometimes for years.

A relatively undiscussed cause of social media’s privacy hemorrhage, along with its abridgment of free speech, is the centralization of information and discussion that accompany corporate behemoths, like Facebook and Google. An intriguing article in The Federalist (March 28, 2018) asked, “Was Social Media A Mistake?” The author, Robert Tracinski, harkened back to the 2000s-the golden age of blogs, when everyone and their grandmothers expressed themselves through blogging.

Tracinski wrote, “It felt like liberation. The era of blogging offered the promise of a decentralized media. Anybody could publish and comment on the news and find an audience. …We were bypassing the old media gatekeepers. And we had control over it! We posted on our own sites. We had good discussions in our own comment fields, which we moderated.” It was a whirlwind of free speech, but it was also a bastion of privacy because individuals retained control.

Then social media arrived like a juggernaut, and the mom-and-pop blogs migrated their insights and information to Facebook, Google, Twitter and other trusted third parties. Like centralized exchanges, the social media giants were relatively easy to access and use; they offered sophisticated software and functions that individual bloggers lacked the technical knowledge or money to implement; social media also slid seamlessly onto cell phones via apps that seemed to open up the world.

Tracinski noted the result. “A few of the best and most interesting blogs became full-fledged online publications, but a lot of the small, quirky, one-person amateur bloggers moved onto social media. That turned out to be a big mistake, because the era of social media has recentralized the media. Instead of a million blogs—what Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame called an “Army of Davids” — we now have a social media economy mostly controlled by three big companies: Twitter, Facebook, and Google.”

Lately, the price tag of centralizing insights and information has become apparent. The left-leaning politics of social media meant they purged (suspended) or punished (throttled) the “wrong” views; this is akin to banks and other financial institutions refusing to deal with porn, pot, or gun industries due to political pressure from government. “The old media gatekeepers” were replaced by the equally intrusive Silicon Valley Puritans. Although both are preferable to direct government intervention, their quasi-monopolies are bolstered by tax privileges, by favorable regulation, and, sometimes, by direct tax funding. Individuals lost control. Perhaps it is more accurate to say they relinquished it.

Nowhere is this more apparent than with personal data. In return for offering convenience, all social media wanted was to know and to market every detail of customers’ lives. The role of centralization in this rape of privacy should not be ignored. It was key to the effectiveness. This is equally true of the centralization of financial data-only with an important difference. The destination of the financial information is a government file, especially a tax one. Social media cooperates with government, to be sure, but its ultimate purpose was and is making a profit.

Conclusion

Privacy is a front-line defense of individual freedom and well-being. Decentralization is the social condition under which privacy thrives. No one can or should tell individuals which strategy to use. But, if you value privacy and safety, decentralize.

[To be continued next week.]

Reprints of this article should credit bitcoin.com and include a link back to the original links to all previous chapters


Wendy McElroy has agreed to ”live-publish” her new book The Satoshi Revolution exclusively with Bitcoin.com. Every Saturday you’ll find another installment in a series of posts planned to conclude after about 18 months. Altogether they’ll make up her new book ”The Satoshi Revolution”. Read it here first.

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The Marijuana Industry Will Be Way, Way, Way, Way, Bigger Than Craft Beer

When former Budweiser executive Tom Magee said on Feb. 7 that the marijuana industry will be “way, way, way, way bigger” than the craft beer industry, he wasn’t exaggerating.

In 2017, legal marijuana sales in North America clocked in at $10 billion. By 2021, that’s expected to skyrocket 145%, to $24.5 billion.

You see, much like marijuana, craft beer was a niche industry that turned into a thriving market.

Back in 2012, there were 2,420 U.S. craft breweries. As of 2017, there are now a total of 6,266 U.S. craft breweries, according to BrewersAssociation.org.

And along with the growing amount of breweries, sales in the craft beer industry have skyrocketed…

Year Total U.S. Craft

Breweries

Craft Beer Sales
2012 2,420 $11.85 Billion
2013 2,898 $14.27 Billion
2014 3,739 $19.61 Billion
2015 4,544 $22.3 Billion
2016 5,424 $23.5 Billion

But as craft beer sales nearly doubled from 2012 to 2016, investors couldn’t get in on the action very easily.

Your local brewer down the street just isn’t listed on the Nasdaq, NYSE, or over-the-counter markets.

Top Three California Pot Stocks to Watch for the Biggest Gains – Learn How to Cash In Here

That’s not the case in the cannabis industry.

You can get in on the ground floor with marijuana stocks

Right now, 30 states and the District of Columbia have legalized some form of medical marijuana, and eight states also have legalized recreational marijuana.

It’s just a matter of “when,” not “if,” medical marijuana is legalized across the country. After all medical use is legalized, recreational legalization won’t be far behind.

That’s why, before the industry really takes off and reaches $24.5 billion in sales, savvy investors are purchasing their tickets for the cannabis gold rush.

By clicking here, you have the opportunity to join them

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Bitcoin is Making Currency Manipulation Difficult for Central Banks

Bitcoin was largely created as a means of undermining the control of governments and traditional financial institutions. Now, the dominant cryptocurrency by market capitalization is making it difficult for governments and central banks to manipulate their own fiat currencies.


Losing Their Grip

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have made it easier than ever to move money across borders — and governments the world over aren’t too happy about it.

As noted by The Telegraph, the ability for Bitcoin to circumvent government-imposed economic restrictions “could have significant implications across the world, upending currency wars, hampering efforts to manage crises and challenging traditional ideas of economic development – all of which frequently include restrictions on taking money abroad.”

President Trump

Nowhere is this fact more immediately evident than in Venezuela’s launch of its own state-issued cryptocurrency, Petro.

US President Donald Trump has issued a prohibition earlier this month that banned American citizens from going anywhere near the South American country’s state-issued virtual currency, while also ordering Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to issue any regulations required to enforce this ban.

However, US-imposed economic sanctions have done little to prevent Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s shameless cryptocurrency cash grab from succeeding. According to data from the struggling country’s Superintendent of Cryptocurrency and Related Activities, 83,000 individuals in 127 countries have bought into Venezuela’s cryptocurrency — raising more than $5 billion in funds.

Market Manipulation

Cryptocurrency-utilized loopholes have also threatened the ability of politicians and central bankers to artificially manipulate exchange rates. Explained the Royal Economic Society’s Gina Pieters to The Telegraph:

Bitcoin can fulfill two functions in international markets: an alternative way to obtain a foreign currency and a way to circumvent capital controls.

Pieters also explained that — should governments fail to enforce control over the cryptocurrency — Bitcoin could effectively begin “eroding a country’s ability to control their own exchange rates.”

Bitcoin vs. Fiat Currency

In an effort to express sovereign power, the US is considering forcing visa applicants to disclose five years’ worth of their social media information — something previously only required for applicants from terrorism-affected regions.

Such restrictions may set a dangerous precedent, as governments seek to gain more and more access to an individual’s personal and private data. In the future, that may include a five-year history of cryptocurrency transactions.

What do you think of Bitcoin’s ability to circumvent government-imposed economic sanctions? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Pexels, Flickr, and Shutterstock.

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Source: Bitcoininst

PBOC to Strengthen Cryptocurrency Regulations in 2018

PBOC to Strengthen Cryptocurrency Regulations in 2018

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC)’s Institute of International Finance has released a report identifying cryptocurrencies as a top priority for 2018. The document claims that widespread retail investment into cryptocurrencies has the potential to pose systemic risk to the Yuan, and also emphasizes the PBOC’s intention to expand its research and development into cryptocurrencies.

Also Read: FBI Warns of Crypto Scammers Posing as Exchange Support Staff 

Strengthening of Virtual Currency Regulations Top Chinese Monetary Policy for 2018

PBOC to Strengthen Cryptocurrency Regulations in 2018The report emphasizes the risks perceived to be associated with virtual currencies by the Chinese government – specifically the potential for price volatility to manifest systemic risk to the yuan in the event of widespread retail investment, the potential for criminal misuse, and the lack of a robust regulatory framework providing consumer protections to investors.

The document advocates the strengthening of China’s regulatory framework regarding cryptocurrencies, calling for the development of a comprehensive procedure for monitoring the circulation of virtual currencies. The report also supports propositions that the G20 should lead efforts to establish a global regulatory framework with regards to digital currencies, advocating information sharing and cooperation between international regulatory institutions regarding digital currencies.

The report asserts that the popularity of cryptocurrencies has grown rapidly – attributing their dramatic rise to global demand for bitcoin’s utility of providing greater efficiency and reduced costs in conducting transactions.

The report also emphasized the targeting of MLM and pyramid schemes using cryptocurrencies as a priority for Chinese regulators.

PBOC Convenes Monetary Policy Conference

PBOC to Strengthen Cryptocurrency Regulations in 2018The PBOC also recently published a document providing a synopsis of the topics discussed during the central bank’s recent telephone conference on national currency, gold, silver, and monetary policy.

The document emphasizes the PBOC’s desire to expand its efforts asserts in the “promot[ing] the R&D of the central bank’s digital currency” as a primary monetary policy for 2018, indicating that the development of a long-rumored Chinese national cryptocurrency is still a top priority for China’s central bank.

The PBOC also described “the rectification of various […] virtual currency” markets as a desired policy outcome, emphasizing the need for strengthened anti-money laundering processes.

Do you think that China will be able to effectively enforce its cryptocurrency ban? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Over 20 Percent This Week

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Over 20 Percent This Week

The market value of all cryptocurrencies within the digital asset economy has dropped significantly over the past few days. Since the last year’s all-time high, most cryptocurrencies have lost between 60-70% of those gains. While lots of coins are following suit in relative unison with BTC/USD market losses, some digital currencies have received more severe cuts in value.

Also read: Bitkan CEO Discusses China, Bitcoin Cash, and the ‘K Site’

Bull Traps, Bear Runs, and Falling Knives

The digital currency bear market is still in full swing this week even though many cryptocurrency enthusiasts are begging for the storm to end. Meanwhile, other proponents are using the lower prices to get some cheaper cryptocurrencies as they believe the bull market will return soon. At the moment BTC/USD markets are kicking back into gear after reaching a low of $6,590 a few hours back and now bulls have breached past $7K once again. Market volume has not changed over the past few market updates and still rests at around $5.9Bn in 24-hour trade volume. Top exchanges processing the most volume this evening are Bitfinex, Binance, Okex, Huobi, and Bitflyer. Over the past seven days, BTC/USD markets have lost 19 percent in value but markets are up over the past 24 hours.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Over 20 Percent This Week
Tether USDT holds the second largest trade volume.

The Japanese yen is still dominating the pack of currencies traded against BTC as the fiat currency captures 54 percent at the time of publication. This is followed by the USD (23%), tether (USDT 12.5%), the euro (4%), and South Korean won (2.8%). Of course during the dumps tether volume is seeing demand as it’s the only currency that’s been in the green all week long. Another interesting thing to notice is USDT is occupying the second highest volume just under BTC and above ethereum (ETH). The biggest trade on Shapeshift this evening is trading BTC for ETH as 44 percent of Shapeshifters are trading BTC for another currency.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Over 20 Percent This Week
During the early morning hours (EDT) bulls have managed to break the $7K resistance.

Technical Indicators

Looking at the 4-hour window showed some earlier retractions and a bearish MACd and RSI. The 100 Simple Moving Average (SMA) is well below the long-term 200 SMA which indicates the path to resistance may continue to the downside. Projections today pushed well below the 78.6 Fibonacci Retracement level as BTC/USD prices touched $6,590. A crucial low below $5,900 would mean a double bottom or lower than prices that scarred markets just a few weeks ago. Looking at order books, if bulls manage to gather some momentum then the resistance past $7,500 and $8K might not be that bad to manage. However on the backside, order book foundations are far more solid around $6,400 than they are now.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Over 20 Percent This Week
BTC/USD prices touch $7,120 per coin but continue to struggle from that vantage point.

The Top Digital Asset Markets

Most cryptocurrencies are up right now, but over the past seven days they have all suffered immensely. The second highest market capitalization held by ethereum is down 23 percent as one ETH is around $411 per token. Ripple (XRP) lost 20 percent this week and XRP prices are $0.52 cents right now. Moving on to the fourth highest market valuation, bitcoin cash (BCH) is down 28 percent over the past seven days. BCH market values are around $727 per coin this evening. Lastly, litecoin (LTC) markets are still resting in the fifth position but LTC values are down 26 percent this week as prices are around $122.

Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Over 20 Percent This Week
The top ten digital asset markets on March 31, 2018.

When Will the ‘Crypto-Winter’ End?

Traders are either having fun surfing the shorts all the way down or they don’t know what to think as it’s been a tumultuous trading season this year. So far most of the market action in 2018 has been downward prices and a long bear market. Short contracts on Bitmex are stacked more than longs and traders in forums are calling for a double bottom. Some of them are repositioning their musical chairs either trying to catch a falling knife or profit from a bullish reversal.

Where do you see the price of BTC and other digital assets heading from here? Do you think cryptocurrencies will see more gains? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Price articles and markets updates are intended for informational purposes only and should not to be considered as trading advice. Neither Bitcoin.com nor the author is responsible for any losses or gains, as the ultimate decision to conduct a trade is made by the reader. Always remember that only those in possession of the private keys are in control of the “money.”


Images via Shutterstock, Bitstamp, Trading View, and Coinmarketcap.


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The post Markets Update: Cryptocurrencies Lose Over 20 Percent This Week appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: Bitcoinnews.com

Australia’s Biggest Bank: No to Bitcoin, Yes to Mafia Money Laundering

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has come under fire after an investigation accused it of helping the Italian mafia launder money.


Bank Suspends Corrupt Workers After Press ‘Questions’

CBA, the largest Australian listed company on the Australian Securities Exchange and the biggest bank in the southern hemisphere, made the headlines last month for blocking cryptocurrency access for clients due to their “unregulated” nature. Now local media reports it has fired two employees who did private deals with Calabrian kingpin Rocco Arico in 2015.

As The Age reports, the scam involved three major Australian banks, with Rocco now serving a 14-year jail term for a string of offenses.

After the publication “asked questions” about CBA’s involvement, the institution fired two employees who are the subject of a transcript of an interview with Rocco, in which he signaled they would engage in corrupt activities for his benefit.

The employees’ real names have been changed.

“I’ll organise it with the banker,” Arico told an acquaintance. “You come in the Commonwealth Bank, we see Hasan the bank f—ing guy, give your details, sign the documents, to go for the loan and let me worry about it.”

“Even better … We go and see Peter… [he] is a hundred percent. This guy is the best … and whatever he’ll need to do, he’ll do.”

Rabobank? Is That You?

The irony of the bank’s practices, which come to light at a time various legacy institutions criticize cryptocurrency for its apparent lack of legality, echoes that of the Netherlands’ Rabobank just months ago.

As Bitcoinist reported, even as Rabobank barred Bitcoin for being “too risky,” its Californian arm was being taken to court and fined $369 million for being complicit in Mexican drug money laundering. What’s more, Rabobank later announced plans to open up its own custodial cryptocurrency wallet called Rabobit. 

CBA meanwhile faces “hundreds” of other money laundering complaints from Australian lawmakers, Reuters reported in February.

As for Bitcoin, the policy remains unchanged.

“We have made this decision because we believe virtual currencies do not meet a minimum standard of regulation, reliability, and reputation when compared to currencies that we offer to our customers,” the statement announcing the block reads.

What do you think about Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s money laundering connections? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

The post Australia’s Biggest Bank: No to Bitcoin, Yes to Mafia Money Laundering appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: Bitcoininst