Daily Archives: May 5, 2018

Thailand, Latest Addition to Asian Cryptocurrency Tax and Regulation Movement

Thailand is the latest country in the Asia region to start levying taxes on cryptocurrencies, despite receiving some opposition from the Thai Blockchain associations. The news arrives as other countries in the region and around the world ramp up legal and regulatory efforts.

Value-Added Tax and Capital Gains

In early April 2018, Thailand’s Ministry of Finance released plans to tax cryptocurrency trading and investments. After a cabinet meeting in late March, Thai Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong responded to a letter sent by digital asset associations calling for the Deputy Prime Minister and government to “rethink the enforcement of a royal decree to regulate digital asset transactions — particularly the withholding tax, as it could be an obstacle to startup fund-raising,“ reports the Nikkei Asian Review.

The proposed 15% capital gains tax is considered by digital asset operators in Thailand to be a stifling figure for the industry. It puts financial pressure on startups seeking to break into the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, which could hinder overall innovation in the country.

There is also a 7 percent VAT charged on all cryptocurrency trades in the country, which for would-be blockchain entrepreneurs and companies seeking to have digital money as part of their business model is very off-putting.

Subject to Change

With that said, it’s somewhat important to note that the Thai legislation is still in its infantile stages. Since 2014, France had laws in place that classified cryptocurrency profits as either industrial and commercial profits or non-commercial profits, which made them subject to an eye-watering 45% capital gains tax at the top end for residents in the highest tax bracket.

As of late April 2018, the French Council of State reclassified cryptocurrencies as “movable property.” This makes them akin to transportable assets such as vehicles, precious metals or intellectual property and brings the tax rate down to a flat 19%, which may be high but is still a definite advancement for blockchain industries and investors in France.

Asian Advancements

Other countries in Asia are also beginning to relieve crypto-tax pressures with nations such as the Philippines announcing a special economic zone for ten blockchain and virtual currency companies.

In Abu Dhabi, the Global Market’s Financial Services Authority released proposals for a “fit-for-purpose” regulatory and taxation framework. In a statement, Richard Teng Chief Executive of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FRSA), regulator of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) said:

“The FSRA is seeking to instill proper governance, oversight, and transparency over crypto asset activities,” Adding further, he said, “Our proposed regulatory regime is only possible with our deep understanding and knowledge of the solutions available to address the respective risks and represents the most comprehensive regime proposed by global regulators so far.”

South Korea, Japan, and China are also making similar headlines with regulatory and tax reforms that can only serve positively towards the future of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

In Thailand, it is still early days and should the new tax laws prove too high for the country; there is a chance that the state will follow up on the original policies with further amendments, just like many other crypto-adopting societies in the world.

 

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Ex-Governor Says Fed Digital Currency Needs “Serious Consideration”

Kevin Warsh, former Federal Reserve (Fed) Governor has suggested that the creation of a “FedCoin” needs “serious consideration,” reports the New York Times.

The concept of a cryptocurrency called FedCoin has provoked interest over past years, based on an idea proposed in 2014 by blogger JP Koning. Since then the idea has been much discussed, and the term is now generically used to describe a Central Bank digital currency which could be overseen by the Federal Reserve, IMF, and the World Bank.

Warsh wants to bring legal activities into a “legal coin,” suggesting that digital currency is still thought of by many banks as a risk, despite major banks beginning to warm up to its adoption, such as Goldman Sachs’ recent announcement that they would start trading in bitcoin futures in the next two months.

“Most central banks have a view that these crypto-assets are clever, like guys in the garage did it and it’s kind of cool, or risky,” referring to recent frauds and coin volatility. Warsh feels that central banks should treat digital currencies as more than a novelty if people see it as the future.

Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell, has already made some positive gestures towards blockchain — the technology behind digital currency, since his appointment earlier this year saying, ” We actually look at blockchain as something that may have significant applications in the wholesale payments part of the economy.” He went on to suggest that he could see cryptocurrencies as a “reliable unit of account” rather than just a “speculative asset,” given that the next generation of cryptocurrencies look more like money and had less volatility.

Major central banks now experimenting with digital currencies and/or blockchain are growing, including The Bank of England, the Banque de France, the People’s Bank of China, the Bank of Canada, the Central Bank of Russia and the Dutch central bank.

It remains to be seen if the Federal Reserve in the US  joins these forerunners that are currently all considering the merits and the pitfalls of issuing their own blockchain-based digital currency.

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Wisconsin Seeks Approval for Bitcoin Campaign Donations

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission has asked the state Legislator to decide on allowing campaign contributions to be made in digital currency, reports Associated Press (AP).

The Washington Times reports that the chairmen of Senate and Assembly elections committees have been asked to “provide clarity to candidates and committees as to whether they may accept contributions of cryptocurrency.” On Friday the commission’s administrator requested that the chairman of Senate and Assembly elections to address the issue which has been in the pipeline for some time.

Wisconsin Libertarian Party Chairman Phil Anderson at an early meeting on Tuesday also asked to allow bitcoin donations, citing the increasing popularity of virtual currencies. A barrier until now has been bitcoin’s fluctuating value making it difficult for campaigns, bound by limits on how much money they can accept from individual donors.

BTCManager reports that US states are still skeptical in allowing digital currency as campaign contributions. Anderson’s suggestion of in-kind conversions of bitcoin at the point of receipt is already being adopted by legislators in both Washington D.C. and Montana. Kansas has rejected the proposal, and California legislators have advised against it.

In March of this year a Republican party runner from Missouri, Austin Petersen, received 24 bitcoins in his campaign, making it the largest single amount received by a candidate in cryptocurrency. It’s suggested that his age played a part, at 37 being more accepting and less distrusting of new technology. He commented:

“As someone who strongly believes in deregulating money, it was a natural fit for me to accept Bitcoin for my campaign and I’m more than delighted to be the US record holder for the largest donation to a candidate in US history.”

The situation can be different overseas; in Russia for example, Alexei Navalny, who ran against Vladimir Putin prior to his reelection, is reported to have received $6 million donations to his campaign in bitcoin.

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Kuende, A Social Network That Connects The Offline World With The Online, Adopts Blockchain

The internet has certainly changed how people interact with each other now. Social media platforms have truly made connecting with people, just a click away. Yet, out of this ease of connection, problems have surfaced that were not ever thought of when the technology first emerged.

People, especially the younger generation, are spending more and more time online, preferring a disconnected interaction, rather than go outside and physically meet people. This is leading to a greater social isolation and a lack of physical exercise.

Connecting The Online and Offline, Kuende

Kuende is a social media platform like none other. Founded in 2015, the social media platform’s unique approach towards giving the youth a platform to connect with like minded people and at the same time, adding a layer of gamifying the experience by actually physically meeting up for interactions and gameplay, has garnered a lot of attention. The platform was established with a private investment of $2,600,000 and now boasts in excess of 54,000 active users and nearly 20,000 different kinds of applications installed. All this without the need of any external marketing strategy or campaign.

Pavel Antohe, the CEO and founder of Kuende explains the concept and creation of the platform by saying “There’s something wrong in today’s social media landscape and users are looking for a better alternative. A social media that shifts the focus from heavily filtered posts that highlight a false glamorous reality to real, genuine projections of our real lives.

Kuende Takes Up Blockchain

The platform is shifting towards the blockchain technology, allowing for increased security and protection of data. The platform already has a policy of giving complete control to users over their data. With blockchain, they make this even more open and transparent.

With the recent news of social media platforms and other big corporations collecting information about their users and selling it off, user privacy is now a major concern. Today, most of social media platform users are the youth and with them uploading and sharing everything online, this has become and alarming situation for them.

Kuende tackles both issues of social isolation and privacy protection.

KUE and Token Distribution

The Kuende platform, with its adoption of blockchain, allows for users to use app services by paying through their native tokens, the KUE. Currently, the KUE is running its private distribution event. Users and investors must fulfill a KYC and sign a SAFT agreement before being eligible to participate. The event will end on 31st May, 2018. The Kuende platform has not announced a rate for the tokens in the private sale and will inform users after the end of the event.

There is also a 30% bonus in the private event. The bonus tokens will be released after the main event is over (dates to be announced later on). Of the 356,000,000,000 KUE tokens ever to be made, half of them will be available for backers in the two sales. 15% of the tokens will be reserved for a Community Pool, which will be used for future programmes for sustaining the economy of the platform.

For more information, visit the Kuende website: https://kuende.com/

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Lionel Messi Scores a Goal for Blockchain

Superstar Barcelona FC football player Lionel Messi has become the official brand ambassador for Sirin Labs, the company marketing a new smartphone called ‘Finney’ that runs on blockchain technology.

According to the BBC, the company is known for previously marketing an ultra-secure smartphone for a hefty price of $17,000, based on its ‘watertight security.’ The new device is reported to offer users, “… the first open source, secure smartphone and all-in-one PC’, that will run on a fee-less blockchain, “ now enabling investors to protect their bitcoin on their phones.

Sport is clearly beginning to look at what blockchain offers. Messi, who has expressed more than a passing interest in cryptocurrency has said previously that he has, “…been digging deeper into blockchain and decentralized systems.” Also, Spanish football club Espanyol, and ex-greats, footballers Roberto Carlos and Ronaldinho, all have deals with decentralized sports investment platform, SportyCo.

Blockchain technology is under the microscope in sport at the moment. Ticketing issues and touting has always been an issue for some of the larger football clubs with enormous gates. The BBC, in its report, argues that teams like Manchester United with a stadium capacity of 75,000 would have a “logistical nightmare” keeping track of the records attached to tickets sold. Michael Broughton, who is a football business expert at Sport Investment Partners says:

“If you put your ticketing system onto the blockchain, you can verify if people attended, or who they gave their tickets to. If people want to transfer these tickets to friends or others then it has to be recorded on the blockchain.”

He suggests that sport now has this great opportunity through new technology to be at the forefront of its adoption. It can generate better revenues and enable a better service for sports-goers and fans.

Lionel Messi is not the only major sports figure to endorse a blockchain product recently. The world tennis number two, Caroline Wozniacki became an ambassador for health app, Lympo, becoming the first female athlete to follow in Messi’s footsteps.

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PR: HOLDVEST Launch Universal Crypto Trading Portal

Bitcoin press release: Holdvest, the new platform that will aggregate order books from many exchanges, offer trading for crypto index funds, enable investment in token events and support user-launched token sales.

30th April 2018, Moscow, Russia: HOLDVEST is a new form of blockchain investment platform that combines the best features of exchanges, brokerages, and instant trading apps. The centrepiece of the platform is a liquidity aggregator connected to all major crypto exchanges, enabling users to gain the best price for their trades from a single portal. This will power a wide range of user-friendly trading activities, making crypto investing more accessible than ever before.

The HOLDVEST platform will be monetised by means of the HDL token, which is hosted on the Waves blockchain. Tokens equivalent to 50% of all ongoing HOLDVEST revenues will be burned to decrease supply and deliver value to holders. The HOLDVEST pre-sale begins on 8 May with a discount of 35% and will last for one month or until the hard cap of $5 million is reached. The main token sale will be held towards the end of June, if required.

In addition to offering the best prices available on the market for any trade, HOLDVEST will enable the creation and trading on cryptocurrency index funds, allowing users to buy and sell diversified portfolios of cryptos with a single click.

The platform will also enable investment in popular token events, with tokens delivered directly to the user’s wallet, to be traded on HOLDVEST’s internal exchange or withdraw to an external account. It will additionally be possible for a user to launch their own token event from the portal, with all of the technical overheads managed automatically.

HOLDVEST therefore offers exceptional security, convenience and flexibility, and is suitable for experienced traders, institutional investors and newcomers alike.

The beta platform has already been launched. Users can register and test out the portal at beta.HOLDVEST.com.

Website: www.HOLDVEST.com
White paper: https://holdvest.com/Whitepaper0.1.pdf
Medium: https://medium.com/@holdvest
Twitter: https://twitter.com/holdvest
Telegram: https://t.me/holdvest

Media Contact: CEO
Name: Igor Pletenev
Location: Russia
Email: ico@holdvest.com

Holdvest is the source of this content. Virtual currency is not legal tender, is not backed by the government, and accounts and value balances are not subject to consumer protections. Cryptocurrencies and tokens are extremely volatile. There is no guarantee of a stable value, or of any value at all. Token sales are only suitable for individuals with a high risk tolerance. Only participate in a token event with what you can afford to lose.

This press release is for informational purposes only. The information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest. The Holdvest token sale is closed to US participants and participants of all countries in which ICOs are illegal.

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Physical Bitcoin Smart Banknotes Launched in Singapore

Singapore startup Tangem released its own version of a physical bitcoin banknote at a shopping centre in the city yesterday.

The banknotes are available in denominations of 0.01 BTC ($98) and 0.05 BTC ($485) at launch. Each note is a Samsung Semiconductor S3D350A chip which reportedly cost the Tangen $2 to manufacture. according to Cision PR Newswire, the Tangem Note is the first hardware storage solution with certification for its entire electronics and cryptography to Common Criteria EAL6+ and EMVCo security standards

Tangem co-founder Andre Pantyukhin is confident that the new notes are completely safe, maintaining that the chip, ‘addresses all known attack vectors on hardware and software levels” and the accompanying wallet is uncopiable.

The company’s headquarters are in Zug, Switzerland’s answer to Silicon Valley, home to over 200 blockchain companies and a global hub for cryptocurrency. Tangen says it has now has plans to distribute its notes globally, beginning with a first shipment of 10,000 production notes to prospective partners and distributors around the world for commercial pilots.

Pantyukhin comments that the notes have real advantages for the user and transfer of ownership is exactly like a fiat note in that as soon as the note is handed over, so is ownership, “Physically hand over the whole wallet together with the blockchain private key. No transaction fees, no need to await confirmation blockchain.” Each note will allow a user to instantly verify the validity of the assets by NFC via smartphone. He adds the company is continuing production with goal facilitating, “immediate, free and anonymous,” transactions for users.

According to Tangem’s press release the concept behind the notes was make the spending of crypto easier, “to radically improve the simplicity and security of acquiring, owning, and circulating cryptocurrencies for both sophisticated and incoming users.”

Although based in Switzerland and Singapore, Tangem manufactures in centres in South Korea and Southern China, Taiwan, Russia, and Israel.

 

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