What to expect in this article?
- Handpicked news from crypto and blockchain space that has long term impact on the space
- Forget the fluff, focus on the important news
- Summary of the news with authentic sources referenced
- This edition covers important news from November 2019 thru Jan 20, 2020
- Bonus: You can highlight any text on this page to instantly share
And, we are back.
After a somewhat long holiday hiatus we are back to the exciting world of blockchain and crypto. A lot has happened since we last posted the Last Week Crypto News Today. That means there is a lot of weeks to cover in this week’s edition.
Bookmark this section to get caught up each week on most important crypto news without fluff.
Pornhub adds crypto payment to beat PayPal’s ban
If Bitcoin is undermining the US’s bullying power, crypto as a whole is liberating businesses who are subjected to the power of oligarchical power of financial institutions. Latest in the liberation stories is PornHub. PayPal decided to stop payments on PornHub and PornHub bounced back by adding Crypto payment options on their platform. In a blog post, the company stated that they are adding Tron and USDT payment options to the platform.
Jack Dorsey’s Square wins ‘crypto-to-fiat’ patent
Square, Inc. was granted patent for the crypto-to-fiat transactions. Titled “Cryptocurrency payment network”, “the technology provides a payment service for providing financial transactions between a customer and merchant wherein the customer can pay in any currency and the merchant can be paid in any currency.”
India has not banned crypto after all
Reserve Bank of India has announced that it has never banned cryptocurrency rather has asked the regulated bodies, like banks, to refrain from dealing with highly volatile and uncertain crypto space. While there have not been any evidence provided to show that cryptocurrencies have been used in terror activities, the rhetoric has been used to keep people from entering into the space by many government bodies like India and USA. People unfamiliar with blockchain technology think that virtual currencies are more difficult to trace than hard cash while the truth is stark opposite.
Budweiser-owner AB InBev is using blockchain to help small farmers
Blockchain continues to garner adoption from industry giants. Latest in the series is Budweiser’s owner AB InBev who is helping small farmers in Africa by helping them with bank accounts and line of credit to eventually become the giant’s supplier. “This farmer, who was never bankable — because she couldn’t prove income of any source, had no reports, or material or paperwork — now in a flip phone, she has in the blockchain proof that she is a supplier to AB InBev, a global company, and now she bankable. Now she can open a bank account. And now she can maybe have a line of credit to develop the business,” according to the news.
Blockchain tops the most-in-demand job skill
According to LinkedIn data, Blockchain has emerged into number 1 skill in demand. For any industry to flourish – it needs best minds behind it. LinkedIn data shows that blockchain has evolved into a force of transformation and businesses are embracing it with both arms. We anticipate that Blockchain will be among the top in-demand skills in the coming decade as well.
Virtual Currency Tax Fairness Act of 2020 could boost cryptocurrency adoption
A bill called “Virtual Currency Tax Fairness Act of 2020,” introduced in front of Congress reads “Gross income of an individual shall not include gain, by reason of changes in exchange rates, from the disposition of virtual currency in a personal transaction (as such term is defined in section 988(e)). The preceding sentence shall not apply if the gain which would otherwise be recognized on the transaction exceeds $200.” Because Virtual currency is treated as property – when someone buys something (like a coffee), technically, that transaction is required to be reported as ‘capital gain’ transaction. If passed, this bill could ease the tracking requirements and give a huge boost to cryptocurrency adoption.
Ripple files motion to dismiss to avoid its demise
We were never fans of Ripple. And now a lawsuit claiming that Ripple has participated in sale of ‘unregulated security’ threatens company’s future. And no, that is not our biased statement. Ripple, in its motion to dismiss, states in its motion “allowed to belatedly challenge the classification of XRP, it would not only threaten to eliminate XRP’s utility as a currency, but it would upend and threaten to destroy the established XRP market.” We have to wait and see if this motion to dismiss verdict comes out in XRP’s favor. Our opinion is – it definitely will come out in Ripple’s favor because of its [almost] unlimited supply of cash.
American Cancer Society joins the list of organizations accepting crypto through BitPay
American Cancer Society is the latest addition to BitPay’s already impressive nonprofits list. People can now donate Bitcoin through BitPay’s portal to support the cancer research. American Red Cross and United Way are among the nonprofits who accept cryptocurrency through BitPay’s payment system.
Google suspends MetaMask citing cryptocurrency policy
According to the Tweet from MetaMask “the MetaMask Android client was suspended by the Google Play App Store. They cited their policy that bans mining on mobile, which we don’t. Appeal rejected.” Google’s play store policy states, “we don’t allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices. We permit apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency.” However, MetaMask does not mine or manage mining of cryptocurrency. The initial ban is understandable given the amount of companies that google manages using automated bots. However, the appeal should have been heeded to since MetaMask is a legit business that does not engage in mining operations. In response MetaMask tweeted “speak out, and show Google that you will not support a platform that censors disintermediation. Plenty of other great browsers out there with @Firefox and @brave.”
SEBA enters into 10 new countries including Switzerland
SEBA, “The Bank for the New Economy,” started accepting clients in 10 new countries including Switzerland. These new jurisdictions include “Singapore, Hong Kong, U.K., Italy, Germany, France, Austria, Portugal, and the Netherlands.” “SEBA is a licensed and supervised Swiss bank providing a seamless, secure and easy-to-use bridge between digital and traditional assets. Secure, trade and manage your crypto currencies, digital assets, and conventional securities all in one place,” according to their website.
Nike applies for patent to tokenize shoes!
We could soon see ‘blockchain-enabled digital shoes’, according to a patent filed with the US Patents office. “A method of generating cryptographic digital assets for footwear includes a middleware server computer receiving, over a distributed computing network from a remote computing node, confirmation of a validated transfer of footwear from one party to another. The middleware server computer determines, from an encrypted relational database, a unique owner ID code of the transferred party, and generates a cryptographic digital asset for the footwear. This cryptographic digital asset includes a digital shoe and a unique digital shoe ID code,” according to the application. In plain English, it means – the ownership is assigned with a unique token and owner ID and can help track the authenticity and ownership of these shoes.
Italy’s new cash limit boost Bitcoin’s viability
Italy was in our crypto news before for bitcoin beating American Express as a method of payment. Now, that dominance could get a turbo boost because a new law that sets new cash transaction limits. Under the new law, individuals cannot pay in cash for transactions involving Euro 2000 or more. This limit is set to reduce to Euro 1000 in 2022. This limit sent a boost to Bitcoin’s viability as people are growing frustrated with government dictating how they can or cannot spend their own hard earned money.
US Attorney’s Office charges five in a $722 million crypto fraud case
According to the charges brought against five individuals alleges defrauding investors in a $722 crypto investment fraud case. Case summary states that these individuals have “conspired together to solicit investment in BitClub Network through fraudulent means, including by providing false and misleading figures that BitClub investors were told were “bitcoin mining earnings” purportedly generated by BitClub Network’s bitcoin mining pool. Goettsche, Balaci, Weeks, and others obtained the equivalent of at least $722 million from BitClub Network investors.”
Korea is considering crypto gains tax
According to The Korea Times, Korea is considering taxing crypto capital gains. “The government is seeking to include capital gains tax on virtual currency,” the post reads. In addition ‘a bill on enhancing the transparency of the trading of virtual assets awaits passage at sub-committee level. If the bill passes the Assembly’s plenary session, it will go into effect one year after the regulation is promulgated.’ These regulations are actually good news. They provide legal stature to the crypto’s existence.
China to proceed with its ‘digital yuan’ efforts, launches real-world pilot
China looks to lead the digital currency race. We have covered China multiple times in the cryptocurrency news and it continues to stay in the headlines with its undertakings. However, this move of real-world pilot crof its digital currency has put other nations, especially the US, on notice. “Compared with the previous pilot, this time the central bank’s legal digital currency pilot will go out of the central bank system and enter real service scenarios such as transportation, education, and medical treatment, reaching C-end users and generating frequent applications,” according to the Caijing news.
IRS introduces self-declaration question related to Cryptocurrencies
Individuals, filing US tax returns, with any type of crypto transaction have to be careful when filing their 2019 Form 1040 as IRS has slipped in a self-declaration question with on the Form. Remember, when you sign tax returns you are bound by the perjury law. When individuals deliberately do not answer this question will be regarded as filing ‘fraudulent tax returns’, which throws the statute of limitation out of the door. Check out the article we have written about the Crypto Tax declaration on 2019 Form 1040.
Germany to open doors for Banks to offer Bitcoin custody services from 2020
Google translated Handelsblatt news article from Germany reads “A new business field could open for German banks from 2020: the sale and custody of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. So far, almost no institute offers its customers virtual assets . The planned law to implement the fourth EU Money Laundering Directive is likely to change that . The draft law passed by the Bundestag provides for corresponding relief, and approval of the federal states for the new regulation is expected.” Industry applauded the initiative. Sven Hildebrandt, head of the DLC consultancy, says: “Germany is well on the way to crypto heaven. German lawmakers are playing a pioneering role in regulating crypto-custodians.”
Switzerland to develop framework to become world blockchain leader
We have covered Switzerland in a positive light in our crypto and blockchain news before. And the good news continues to flow from this blockchain and crypto heaven. Switzerland’s Federal Council is looking to improve the framework for the blockchain companies to operate in Switzerland. According to this press release “The Federal Council has now adopted the dispatch on the adaptation of federal law to developments in distributed ledger technology. The proposal has been revised and refined in a number of areas as a result of suggestions received during the consultation process. This federal legislation, which is designed as a blanket framework, proposes specific amendments to nine federal acts, covering both civil law and financial market law.”
Korea moves forward with Cryptocurrency bill to legal status
Korea JoongAng Daily reported that Cryptocurrency bill that provides legal status to cryptocurrencies has received ‘approval’ from the committee. “The National Assembly’s national policy committee passed a bill that will establish a legal foundation for virtual currencies by categorizing them as digital assets,” the news read. “It added that the law will require virtual assets businesses to prevent money laundering and set ground rules for financial transactions,” news read, “under the new bill, all cryptocurrency-related businesses will be required to report to and register as digital asset businesses with the FSC’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).” Korea, along with, Switzerland has been in the forefront of bringing legal framework for cryptocurrencies.
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