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SEC’s Paragon Ruling And The Possibility Of Sending ICOs To Bankruptcy

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As we have seen from the recent crackdown on two initial coin offerings (ICOs) by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC,) Paragon and AirFox, the situation could also lead to many other blockchain and crypto projects that would declare bankruptcy in the coming months. This is what is making headlines in today’s crypto news.

As we reported earlier, both Paragon and AirFox were served a fine of $350,000 from the SEC and a refund to all the investors who participated in the token sale.

The problem, right now, is that the two tokens have been asked by the US SEC to refund $12 million and $15 million accordingly to their investors. Since their ICOs, the prices of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum has declined substantially, blockchain projects have used most of their funds from their token sales in order to fund operations.

The official SEC document reads:

“Both companies have agreed to return funds to harmed investors, register the tokens as securities, file periodic reports with the Commission, and pay penalties.”

Aside from this, another issue for ICOs is the right to sue projects to be compensated for their losses, which the SEC clearly outlined. In other words, if an investor invested in a token and recorded a 80% loss, they are eligible to file a lawsuit against the initiator of the token sale and eventually receive the funds back.

“On a date no later than sixty (60) calendar days… distribute by electronic means reasonably designed to notify each potential claimant,  notice and a claim form, both of which shall be in a form not objected to by Commission staff, informing all persons and entities that purchased PRG potential claims under Section 12 (a) of the Securities Act, including the right to sue “to recover the consideration paid for such security with interest thereon, less the amount of any income received thereon, upon the tender of such security, or for damages if [the purchaser] no longer owns the security.”

Upon this crackdown, the co-director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, Stephanie Avakian, heavily emphasized that the SEC will continue to investigate token sales which violated federal security laws with the intent of bringing down ICOs considered as securities by the commission.

“We have made it clear that companies that issue securities through ICOs are required to comply with existing statutes and rules governing the registration of securities. These cases tell those who are considering taking similar actions that we continue to be on the lookout for violations of the federal securities laws with respect to digital assets,” she concluded.

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Regulation

Bank Of Russia Is Interested In Developing A Gold-Backed Cryptocurrency

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The central bank of the Russian Federation, Bank of Russia, is finally set to consider a proposal that would allow it to develop and launch a cryptocurrency backed by reserves of gold. The review process has been in the latest cryptocurrency news after it was confirmed by the bank's official Governor, Elvira Nabiullina on May 23rd. Right now, the review process entails the body's leadership exploring how such a state-sanctioned cryptocurrency could be used to facilitate payment settlements between countries - most of which members of the European Economic Union (EEU) which Russia has been trying to freeze in recent years. The news about Bank of Russia and its interest in a gold-backed cryptocurrency were featured by many best cryptocurrency news sites, who also asked for comments by experts. The Governor Nabiullina noted this week that the policymarkets and their gold-backed crypto proposal was officially on the slate. However, she (and perhaps most of her peers in the Bank of Russia brass) thought that "it is more important to develop settlements in national currencies.” Even though the review is notable since it is coming from one of the largest central banks, Governor Nabiullina and her staff are in general skeptical towards cryptocurrencies and very unlikely to greenlight the Duma's token plan which was a hot topic in the altcoin news.
“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,” the Bank of Russia's governor said.
So, what can be concluded from all this is the fact that Bank of Russia is simply carrying out its constitutional duties in scrutinizing the Duma's latest cryptocurrency proposal. If it was up to them, such a review wouldn't have taken place anytime soon. However, the episode marks a crucial milestone in the coming altcoin news, mostly because it involves a central bank which is procedurally going through the motions of considering the development of its own cryptocurrency. Prior to the gold-backed cryptocurrency, the former Russian energy minister Igor Yusufov proposed an oil-backed cryptocurrency as a one way ticket for countries like Russia to bypass sanctions.
“[An] oil-backed cryptocurrency would allow oil producing countries to avoid any financial and trade restrictions that have become excessive in recent years, and to step up exports of oil and natural gas” Yusufov said back in 2018.
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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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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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