The blockchain island of Malta has been featured on many occasion on our DC Forecasts crypto news site. This time, we are featuring the potential of the postage stamp-like nation nestled in the Mediterranean again – mostly because of its attractive climate for crypto/blockchain businesses, British expats and other things.
As of recently, Malta has become famous for more than its rich heritage. It was also a welcoming home for the iGaming sector which is worth approx. $1.4 billion (12% of the country’s GDP). On top of this, the European island of Malta was able to register a surplus of €182 million for 2017 which is its second year in a row with a plus like this.
The country is being talked about in blockchain regulatory circles as well, mostly because of its progressive stance on cryptocurrency, even being rebranded as “the Blockchain Island”. The prime minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, recently gave a compelling speech to the United Nations about how countries should work together to solve the world’s problems.
Still, Malta is commonly on the radar mostly because of the sticky issues coming with cryptocurrencies – with money laundering as the biggest among them. On the surface, however, it is definitely a country and an island that is a pioneer in the cryptocurrency regulation space – especially after passing three new crypto bills this summer and becoming the first and only country to regulate cryptocurrencies in such way.
This has helped Malta attract even more crypto businesses and establish a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, blockchain and DLT in general.
To sum things up, Malta is definitely living up to the hype of crypto, blockchain and fintech – being one of the several places on Earth which crypto and blockchain enthusiasts can call a home.
Central Bank Of Laos Warns Against Using Cryptocurrency
"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.'
IRS Crypto Tax Guidance Is Coming Soon: Official News
“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.
SEC Postpones VanEck ETF Application Verdict – Again
“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.
Crypto Regulators To Add New Strict Rules For Crypto Exchanges
“During its presidency of the FATF, the United States has worked with other countries to clarify how all countries should regulate and supervise activities and providers in the digital currency space. We anticipate that in June the FATF will adopt a final version of its Interpretative Note, along with updated guidance to further assist countries and industry with their obligations.”Even if the FATF accepts the proposed policies, they will not be enforced overnight. The member countries first have to pass the legislation or recommend making changes to the guidelines. The Assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara Julia Morse pointed out:
“The FATF recommendations are not legally-binding international law; however, because the FATF’s members – 36 economies and two regional bodies – include the largest and most important financial systems in the world, its rules have teeth.’’As mentioned in the latest cryptocurrency news, industry members are waiting to see the final guidance and hope that the governments will provide enough time for a solution on sharing information among other crypto exchanges. The industry leaders should also be ‘’recommending an extended adoption timeframe to ensure proper implementation and coordination across the industry.’’
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