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Regulation

A First Mover: Ukraine Moves Forward With Crypto Legalization Plans (Expected Before 2021)

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Ukraine is in the focus of our daily cryptocurrency news section, this time for developing its crypto-related policy which has made the country a first mover in the field. The eastern European country, known for its political crisis which began in 2013, recently unveiled a new path for adoption of cryptocurrencies.

The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade started the process of regulation of virtual assets, one that is projected to take three years and be completed by year 2012. As the official announcement reads:

“The Economic Development Ministry initiates the adoption of the concept of state policy in the field of virtual assets, the purpose of which is to create understandable conditions for conducting activities in the field of virtual assets and virtual currencies.”

The organization, ran by the government, will set out and define key terms in the cryypto space such as “virtual currency/cryptocurrency, virtual assets, mining, smart contracts, tokens, ICO/ITO” and others, as reported by a local news outlet.

Ukraine is not new to the idea of legalizing crypto. One member of the PArliament named Alexei Mushak, this spring revealed that the path to legalization was in the works – and at the time was urging feedback from other market participants. He then wrote a post on Facebook in which he confirmed that transparency is needed, and that crypto holders would be protected from “unsubstantiated criminal prosecutions.”

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Regulation

Gold-Backed Crypto Will Settle Payments In Russia: RSB

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Gold-backed crypto will be implemented in Russia because of its immutability and censorship that the government appreciates. Following the latest cryptocurrency news coming from Russia, we are about to read more about their decision. Russia is not the only country that considered using gold-backed crypto. For instance, Iran did it as well in order to conduct business with other countries. The Central Banker Elvira Nabiulina was not thrilled about the idea of the cryptocurrency saying that a settlement mechanism based with national currencies would be a better idea:
 “We are generally opposed to cryptocurrencies being launched into our monetary system. We do not see the possibility that cryptocurrencies could act as monetary surrogates. Definitely not in this part.”
Russia has been going on and off on the subject of cryptocurrencies. The government considered a ban on cryptocurrencies, then only for crypto trading but none of that happened and now the current stage for the legality and regulation of cryptocurrencies is unknown. Due to the lack of regulation in the country one economist fooled many western outlets into believing that Russia is going to procure about $10 billion in cryptocurrency. The country considered the ban on cryptocurrency which the central banks especially likes but is now working on a regulatory framework that stops normal people from acquiring and trading cryptocurrency. The digital regulations are also inconsistent with the mentioned ‘’ digital iron curtain.’’ President Vladimir Putin even ordered experts to work on creating a ‘’CryptoRuble’’ that will help the country to subvert the western sanctions. As reported in the best cryptocurrency news sites, Russia is a part of the Eurasian Economic Union whose members include the former Soviet-bloc countries. The EAEU Minister of Integration Tatyana Valovaya was more keen on using gold-backed crypto to settle payments and stated:
 “We have prepared an analytical report and will present it soon, that will analyze what cryptocurrencies are, what is happening in the world, what approaches countries have, what regulation is provided. […] If the trend of cryptocurrencies and blockchain development is picking up pace, we have to realize that.”
As mentioned, other countries are already working on gold-backed cryptocurrencies for international settlements such as Iran. Other Middle Eastern nations also transact with each other by using decentralized ledgers.
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Regulation

Central Bank Of Laos Warns Against Using Cryptocurrency

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The Central Bank of Laos is in today's altcoin news for warning the public against the use, purchase and sale of digital currencies, as reports from the local news outlet Vientiane Times show on May 21. Also known as The Bank of the Lao PDR, the Central Bank of Laos issued a warning to the financial market participants against the public - going directly to confront the cryptocurrency transactions as they are considered illegal in the country. Previously, the bank banned financial institutions from conducting operations with cryptocurrencies and making investments in such assets.
"The Central Bank of Laos and its Transaction System Management Department recently issued the warning after learning that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin have been advertised for use on social media despite the fact that the central bank has banned the use of these currencies."
Meanwhile, the latest cryptocurrency news also show the public which seems concerned about the anonymity of the sender and receiver in a crypto transaction. This fact worries because of the increased risk of digital assets and cryptocurrencies in the money laundering practices. However, a source familiar with the matter recently spoke and told Vientiane Times that authorities don't have a relevant security system that will protect cryptocurrency holders. Even though countries such as Canada, Malta and Switzerland have embraced the new asset class to different degrees, officials around the globe still express their skepticism towards crypto and hardliners call for outright bans on the use of digital assets. In the US, the situation is not similar to the Central Bank of Laos as the legal status of crypto varies from state to state. The best cryptocurrency news sites recently reported that the California Congressman Brad Sherman called for a full ban on cryptocurrencies. He also claimed that cryptocurrency presents a threat to the power of the US dollar and affects world economic developments. In April this year, we also reported a situation similar to the Bank of Laos in India - where the government was considering a complete ban of cryptocurrencies under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act since it could reportedly be used for money laundering. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs then stated that cryptocurrencies are used in fraudulent schemes to 'defraud gullible investors.'  
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IRS Crypto Tax Guidance Is Coming Soon: Official News

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The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is in the latest cryptocurrency news for a new document which shows that it is working on its first tax guidance for cryptocurrency since 2014. The IRS crypto tax guidance came from an agency's commissioner who told a lawmaker about the news on Monday. In a reply to Representative Tom Emmer's request for further guidance on reporting cryptocurrencies, the IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig outlined a plan for an in-depth IRS crypto tax guidance which will come in the near future.
“I share your belief that taxpayers deserve clarity on basic issues related to the taxation of virtual currency transactions and have made it a priority of the IRS to issue guidance,” Rettig wrote in a statement which went viral in the altcoin news.
According to his statement, the organization is working on the concept of IRS crypto tax guidance for “acceptable methods for calculating cost basis, acceptable methods of cost basis assignment, and the tax treatment of forks” according to the letter. The guidance and other issues will be published "soon" as Rettig wrote - a statement which was shared on many best cryptocurrency news sites.
“I am glad to hear of the IRS’ plans to issue guidance on this important issue,” the Representative Emmer said in a statement after receiving Rettig’s reply on the IRS crypto tax guidance plans. “Taxpayers deserve clarity on several basic questions regarding federal taxation of these emerging exchanges of value. I look forward to seeing their forthcoming proposal, and working together to serve the American taxpayers.”
His original request and letter-written statement, however, called for the IRS to “issue more robust guidance clarifying taxpayers’ obligations when using virtual currencies” with a deadline of May 15, 2019. He also emphasised that the IRS crypto tax guidance needs to see virtual currency and "treat it as property so that existing tax principles are applied to it just like they are applicable to property transactions." He accented digital currencies as a medium of exchange and a subject to which investments increase and "continue to develop." In the end, Rep. Emmer said that he hopes the information is helpful, inviting the readers to contact him if they have any additional questions or requests.
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SEC Postpones VanEck ETF Application Verdict – Again

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The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is in the latest cryptocurrency news for delaying the decision on the VanEck Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposal. The fact that SEC postpones VanEck and its application again has raised many eyebrows in the industry - especially after it was officially published in a filing on May 20. In addition to this, the SEC has added a 35 day period to gather more information and opinions on this proposal which was first filed by the Chicago Board Options Exchange. The news that SEC postpones VanEck has been picked up by many best cryptocurrency news sites. As a reminder, in January CBOE withdrew its request to change the rules when the US government shutdown decreased the operational abilities of SEC - but then reapplied on January 31 after the government shutdown was resolved. Today's filing shows that SEC postpones VanEck and lists 14 questions open to the public about the proposal - with a main intent of using the answers and arguments that were provided to help them reach a verdict. These questions specifically pertained to protecting investors and public interest from fraud and several similar exploitations. The report showing how SEC postpones VanEck noted:
“The Commission is instituting proceedings to allow for additional analysis of the proposed rule change’s consistency with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act, which requires, among other things, that the rules of a national securities exchange be ‘designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade,’ and ‘to protect investors and the public interest.’”
Previously, he VanEck application was delayed by the SEC, preventing Bitcoin ETFs to be traded on CBOE. The exchange initially filed for the proposed SEC rule change on February 15 with a 45 day period that was assigned for approval or disapproval. Since the first filing and this news that SEC postpones VanEck's application again, the decision has been postponed twice. For those of you unfamiliar with ETF, exchange-traded funds are securities that are valued as a percentage of the associated asset which makes them very similar to traditional stocks. As such, they are the topic of many Bitcoin and altcoin news sites and are seen as a step towards mass adoption of cryptocurrencies and a sign for crypto maturation.
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