Top Crypto News – 29/05/2018

331 Japanese Cryptocurrency Investors Made at Least $1 Million in Profit Last Year: Tax Agency


Mainstream media outlets in South Korea and Japan JoongAng and Nikkei have reported that the National Tax Agency (NTA) of Japan is fully aware that 331 investors in the Japanese cryptocurrency sector recorded a profit of $1 million through trading, generating more than $331 million in total.

Chasing Cryptocurrency Taxes

By the end of 2017, NTA reported that 21.98 million in Japan declared taxes to the government, generating more than 41.4 billion yen. The NTA revealed that the amount of taxes it garnered last year increased by more than 3 percent from 2016, primarily due to the improvement in Japan’s economy.

Out of the 21.98 million individuals that filed taxes to the government, 549 individuals recorded a non-operational or non-working profit of $1 million, which is often generated by investments into stocks, assets, commodities, and properties. Out of the 549 individuals, 331 were cryptocurrency investors that made well over a million dollars in profit in the Japanese cryptocurrency market.

In 2017, the Japanese government, Financial Services Agency (FSA), and NTA announced that local monetary authorities would tax up to 55 percent on non-operational profit generated by investments. This February, Bloomberg reported that the Japanese government hinted its intent to tax up to 55 percent on cryptocurrency investment, especially on individuals that have made more than 40 million yen, worth around $365,000.

But, the Japanese government did not clarify its policy on cryptocurrency taxes and investors admitted their lack of confidence in the cryptocurrency market.

“The government hasn’t clarified certain details, so you’re left unsure whether you’ve got it right or not,” said blockchain technology consultant Hiroyuki Komiya.

cryptocurrency tax
Source: Shutterstock

In regions like the US, tax agencies and local financial authorities previously challenged companies like Coinbase to chase down cryptocurrency investors to garner taxes. However, in Japan, the NTA stated that all 331 investors declared their earnings from cryptocurrency investment to the government and it remains optimistic in regards to the voluntary tax declaration of cryptocurrency investors.

Still, some industry experts stated that the number seemed too low to be true and emphasized that they suspect many investors have opted not to declare their earnings.

“If the rapid growth of the cryptocurrency sector in late 2017 is considered, 331 is a number that is simply too low to be true. A large portion of cryptocurrency investors probably did not declare their earnings to the government,” said one analyst.

Will South Korea Follow?

Last year, the South Korean government banned local investors from investing in domestic initial coin offerings (ICOs) to “minimise risk.” However, earlier this year, upon the announcement of Kakao and Bithumb to conduct ICOs outside South Korea, the local government stated that it would legalise domestic ICOs once a proper taxation policy is drafted.

“The South Korean government has no other choice but to follow the regulatory frameworks and trends established by other leading governments. While there certainly exists a negative reputation attached to the cryptocurrencies, the government’s stance is to allow what has to be allowed, for the benefit of the South Korean market,” a South Korean government official said.

It is likely that South Korea will soon follow the roadmap of Japan’s voluntary tax declaration system and assist cryptocurrency investors to declare their earnings to the government.

Featured Image from Shutterstock
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Bitcoin Addicts Crave Risk, Excitement, Escape


Bitcoin Addicts are a Thing in Scotland

Crypto addicts could do worse, and that’s for sure: Scotland’s Castle Craig Hospital addiction treatment center is a bucolic, sprawling campus seemingly designed to induce calm and reflection. It’s also home to a first of sorts, according to regional press: a concentrated program set to dealing with a growing phenomenon, cryptocurrency addiction.

The hospital’s creative writing coordinator and gambling therapist, Christopher Burn, explains how the “high risk, fluctuating cryptocurrency market appeals to the problem gambler. It provides excitement and an escape from reality. Bitcoin, for example, has been heavily traded and huge gains and losses were made. It’s a classic bubble situation.”

Bitcoin Addicts Crave Risk, Excitement, Escape
Christopher Burn

Mr. Burn can be temporarily excused from jumping his lane into speculative finance; a good guess is literally no one seeks him out for economic analysis. But the rest of his point can be valid in the sense of popular anecdotes. At what time in the journey from regular, functional adult to 21 year old Canadian living in a car to save money in order to buy lesser-known crypto, … is it an addiction? What if the example does not involve a ballsy single dude; instead, it’s a family of five with three children, parents in their late 30s, who’ve sold their house in hope of riding the-then booming bitcoin core (BTC) price? Are these examples of addiction or are they simply badass pioneers who know something the rest of us do not?

Is Crypto Just Gambling in Disguise?

Bitcoin Addicts Crave Risk, Excitement, Escape
Tony Marini

Tony Marini, on site therapist, and someone who has also struggled with cocaine and gambling addictions himself, details, “Having been through it myself, my experience of addiction gives me insight and empathy towards others who have the same problem. I see cryptocurrency trading as a way for people to escape from themselves, into another world, because they don’t like the world they’re in. The first stage of treatment is to join other addicts in group therapy and share their life stories. This helps them identify with each other and realise that they’re not alone.”

A recurring word, “escape,” permeates both explanations, still admittedly fuzzy in the way of a solid definition. Nevertheless it does seem if crypto occupies too great (?) a space in a person’s mind, to a point where they chronically ignore real, ongoing life around them, they just might have a problem. And since speculative markets very often evidence fast fortunes gained and lost, and gained and lost again, there must be properties of problem behavior similar to gambling addictions (which have been well-documented).

Experienced in treating addictions such as traditional alcohol and drug problems, Castle Craig Hospital has begun addressing addictions involving cryptocurrency. Indeed, they’re using techniques in the course developed from successful gambling addiction methods. Though more than ten million people worldwide are said to be trading and dealing in cryptocurrency, no firm numbers or percentages exist regarding the amount of people with addictive symptoms.

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Draft Law Requires Israeli Firms to Report on Clients’ Crypto Activities


Israeli Ministry of Finance Publishes Draft Money Laundering Regulations

The Israeli Ministry of Finance a draft of the amended Money Laundering Prohibition Order – with the proposed legislation now containing provisions pertinent to cryptocurrencies. The new regulations will incorporate virtual currencies into the regulatory apparatus designed to prohibit money laundering in the financial services sector.

Explanatory notes accompanying the draft acknowledge the intention to expand the regulations to apply to companies providing virtual currency services in addition to mainstream financial services providers, stating: “The definition of a service in a financial asset that comes to replace and expand the term ‘currency services’ includes all the activities and services performed in financial assets through a business that does not involve granting credit. The intention is to enable the supervision of financial services, other than tangible assets or standard financial means, in an area that has been developing in recent years.”

Proposed Regulations to Introduce Suite of Reporting Requirements Regarding Clients’ Cryptocurrency Activity

Draft Law Requires Israeli Firms to Report on Clients' Crypto ActivitesIn addition to incorporating virtual currency services into the legislative apparatus, the proposed regulations will additionally impose a number of new reporting requirements on Israeli financial institutions.

According to local media: “As of June 1, brokers, banks, money changers and cryptocurrency trade and commerce platforms in Israel will be obligated to report any suspicious cryptocurrency activity by their clients […] The draft, which is open to public purview until June 13, specifies 37 money laundering red flags, among them large sums of over NIS 5,000 (approximately $1,400 USD) transferred to a digital wallet; any money transfers made using an anonymous IP address or an address that is incompatible with the geographic origin of the connection; cryptocurrency transfers to online gambling sites; and any activity in anonymous cryptocurrencies such as monero or zcash. The draft also states service providers must maintain full documentation of cryptocurrency activity, which includes all parties’ digital wallet addresses, IP addresses, and the type and amount of currency, for a period of no less than five years.”

New Money Laundering Laws to Take Effect on June 1st

Draft Law Requires Israeli Firms to Report on Clients' Crypto ActivitesYishay Trif, the chief executive officer of international payments provider, Moneynetint, has indicated that financial institutions have reacted favorably to the proposed legislation bringing greater regulatory clarity regarding the virtual currency sector.

“In order to complete the legal framework for activity in virtual currencies, clear instructions are required regarding the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The statement that the area is not regulated is repeated as part of the banks’ automatic refusal to provide services for those who trade in Crypto. Because of this, the steps taken are important and necessary. They provide regulatory certainty to banks and financial institutions and define clear rules on what is permitted and what is not, Mr. Trif stated.”

Meni Rosenfeld, the chairman of the Israeli Bitcoin Association, has echoed Mr. Trif’s sentiment, stating that “On many of the occasions in which banks have refused to accept money that originated with cryptocurrency, we met with the statement that the field is not regulated. The new order will regulatory certainty for those involved in the field, and will define rules that are permitted and forbidden, which will enable banks and financial institutions to know who is compliant with the law, and whose money they can safely receive. The union gave a proposal on the subject to the Israel Anti-Money Laundering Authority several weeks ago, and we welcome the regulator’s quick action to allow those involved in the field to operate.”

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Nasdaq Exchange Supports Litecoin, Stellar and Bitcoin Cryptocurrencies


One of the most important exchanges in the United States, has taken important steps to get involved in the virtual currency market. The reality is that crypto exchanges have been profiting from the important influx of new investors at the end of 2017. But which are the cryptocurrencies that Nasdaq is backing?

Stellar, Litecoin and Bitcoin

Stellar is one of the first digital currencies that has been backed by Nasdaq. According to exchange, Stellar has the potential to grow by partnering with enterprises like IBM. The currency allows stellar 300x181 - Nasdaq Exchange Supports Litecoin, Stellar and Bitcoin Cryptocurrenciescompanies to perform worldwide cross-border transfer which is very useful for many industries.

The Stellar Network has been created and developed in order for financial institutions and individuals to participate on it. It is an hybrid blockchain that is open source and distributed.

Litecoin is another virtual currency that Nasdaq mentioned as one with future potential. Why? Some weeks ago, Blocknet announced that Litecoin will function as a cross-blockchain decentralized application. These kind of partnerships would allow Litecoin and other currencies to keep growing, aggregating value and being used.litecoin 300x225 - Nasdaq Exchange Supports Litecoin, Stellar and Bitcoin Cryptocurrencies

Litecoin is known as a cryptocurrency for payments, that has short transaction times, and low fees. It can be used in many different stores and websites and it is listed in an important number of virtual currency exchanges. Moreover, the currency does not want to replace Bitcoin, but instead, complement it.

Finally, Bitcoin has been marked as the favourite cryptocurrency with huge future potential. Nasdaq believed that the Consensus was going to have a positive multiplying effect in Bitcoin’s price. But it did not happen. Bitcoin was not able to capitalize the positive atmosphere at the meeting and grow. bitcoin pantera 300x136 - Nasdaq Exchange Supports Litecoin, Stellar and Bitcoin Cryptocurrencies

But it is important to mention that Bitcoin will be implementing the so awaited scaling solution known as the Lightning Network (LN). As we wrote some days ago, the LN would help Bitcoin scale reducing transaction times and fees almost to zero. Additionally, the number of users is also expected to grow with this implementation that is also trying to add support to privacy functionalities.

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