This Week in Bitcoin: Digital Money Makes the World Go Round

This Week in Bitcoin: Digital Money Makes the World Go Round

This week we saw that despite some countries being less open to cryptocurrency than we would have wanted to, this amazing innovation continues to fascinate the whole world. This was evident in stories from all over the globe that were covered in this week’s daily editions of Bitcoin in Brief.

Also Read: Devere Group Adds Bitcoin Cash and EOS to Crypto Exchange App

Poloniex Responds to Complaints

On Monday we reported that Poloniex, the US-based cryptocurrency trading platform which was taken over by Circle earlier this year, has finally responded to complaints by its clients about frozen accounts. The company tried to reassure clients their funds were safe and that it has taken steps to increase the speed of the identity verification process. Additionally covered was the fact that the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed it is investigating two dozen unauthorized cryptocurrency-related ventures and has also opened seven whistle-blower reports in 2018 alone.

McAfee Warns of War on Crypto

This Week in Bitcoin: Digital Money Makes the World Go Round
John McAfee (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

The big news on Tuesday was that cybersecurity expert turned pump and dump guru John McAfee has issued another bullish prediction. Bitcoin (BTC) will surpass $15,000 in June, but will dip in July, McAfee predicted. His prediction was in contrast with Russian analysts who expect that value of BTC will continue to drop, even below the psychological $6,000 USD threshold.

McAfee also also talked about “the war we are all engaged in”, Claiming that the banks, the government and the US Securities and Exchange Commission have declared war on crypto. He advised crypto enthusiasts to take action – write their congressmen and press banks and credit card companies with demands for crypto transactions. McAfee called on his followers to also write the SEC and ask “to leave us alone, because we are not a security […] we are a currency.”

China Fights Impersonators and Fraudsters

A couple of stories that show cryptocurrency is still a hot topic in China were our focus on Wednesday. First, Chinese social media has erupted in anger this week after the use of a Mao Zedong impersonator at the Boao Blockchain Forum for Asia in Hainan province. Second, a Chinese procurator’s office has reportedly prosecuted 98 people and recovered 1.7 billion yuan (about $270 million) in an alleged Onecoin pyramid scheme. Additionally covered were high market awareness in Germany, a London mosque that accepts bitcoin donations, a new green mining farm in Canada and an MMA champ’s love for crypto.

Asus Creates 20-GPU Mining Motherboard

This Week in Bitcoin: Digital Money Makes the World Go Round
Asus H370 Mining Master

On Thursday we reported that Taiwanese computer hardware manufacturer Asus has created a new motherboard with support for up to 20 graphics cards, designed specifically for crypto miners. The company explains that: “Mining is a numbers game; it’s only worthwhile if the value of the cryptocurrency you generate exceeds the cost of producing it. Increasing the number of graphics cards per node is a great way to stack the deck in your favor.” We also reported about a Singaporean businessman acquiring a Japanese exchange; some ripple-loving alleged Russian hackers shaking down Canadian banks; and a Colombian soccer star launching his own coin.

Expanding Horizons in Uganda, Bahrain and Georgia

Countries not often mentioned in the news made headlines on Friday. First, Binance could be opening a new office in Uganda, CEO Changpeng Zhao revealed at The Africa Blockchain Conference. “I was very impressed by the enthusiasm of Africans to introduce cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. It was surprising to see that cryptocurrencies enjoy not only an increased interest from the people, but also the active support of many representatives of African banks and government officials,” CZ stated. Second, Bahrain has recently enjoyed a spike in online trade using cryptocurrency due to an absence of limiting regulations and a shop selling crypto-priced items is set to open soon in Riffa. Lastly, we reported that a luxurious apartment has been put on sale for 25 bitcoins in Georgia.

Blockchain on the Agenda in Spain, Slovenia, Estonia and Hungary

This Week in Bitcoin: Digital Money Makes the World Go RoundGovernments all across Europe were our focus on Saturday.  Lawmakers in Spain have issued a unanimous call for adopting regulations that favor the implementation of crypto and blockchain technologies. The government of Slovenia has adopted an action plan to underpin the implementation of blockchain technology in the country and create a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. In Estonia, officials have scaled down plans to issue a national cryptocurrency, which were criticized by both the European Central Bank and local banking authorities. And in Hungary, “The newly established Ministry for Innovation and Technology, along with the enhanced national digital wellbeing strategy, can help local blockchain players embrace innovative solutions and improve their fundraising potential,” said Péter Benedek, the CEO of Blockchain Competence Center (BCC).

This Week in Bitcoin Podcast

Catch the rest of this week’s news in the This Week in Bitcoin podcast with host Matt Aaron.

What other stories in the bitcoin world caught your attention this week? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you agree with us that Bitcoin is the best invention since sliced bread? Thought so. That’s why we are building this online universe revolving around anything and everything Bitcoin. We have a store. And a forum. And a casino, a pool and real-time price statistics.

The post This Week in Bitcoin: Digital Money Makes the World Go Round appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Spanish Parties Back Crypto Draft, Slovenia Adopts Crypto Action Plan

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Spanish Parties Back Crypto Draft, Slovenia Adopts Crypto Action Plan

All parties represented in the Spanish Congress have voiced support for a new draft legislation introducing favorable crypto regulations in the country. We’ve covered the details in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief. Also, Slovenia adopts a crypto action plan, Estonia drops plans to issue a national cryptocurrency, and Hungary claims it’s ready to join the global blockchain market.  

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Expanding Horizons in a Bearish Month

Spanish Parties Call for Favorable Crypto Regulations

Lawmakers in Spain, who have earlier this year reviewed proposals to introduce incentives for crypto companies, have now issued a unanimous call for adopting regulations that favor the implementation of crypto and blockchain technologies. These should be introduced to the market “through controlled testing environments.” A draft legislation aimed at achieving the goal, proposed again by the ruling People’s Party, has just won support from all parliamentary groups in the Finance and Public Function Committee of the Spanish Congress.

The legislative initiative calls for promoting the advantages of the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, including cost savings through the elimination of intermediaries in payments and transfers and the benefits it offers when it comes to raising capital, especially for startups. Its sponsors urge support for projects to build authorized blockchain technology networks, Europa Press reported.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Spanish Parties Back Crypto Draft, Slovenia Adopts Crypto Action Plan

The draft approved by Spain’s leading parties also turns attention to the perils associated with crypto-related operations, calling for “adequate dissemination of information about the risks” assumed by investors, as well as their rights and the guarantees they can rely on. According to Spanish deputies, the approach will help to avoid “economic damages that are impossible to repair”, such as those linked to high-risk financial products.

Lawmakers call on the government in Madrid to support the initiative and join the efforts of the National Securities Market Commission and the Bank of Spain in that direction. They also insist on reaching a common position in regards to the use and the regulation of cryptocurrencies on European level and ask the executive branch of power to work with other EU countries and institutions to achieve that.

Slovenia Adopts Crypto and Blockchain Action Plan

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Spanish Parties Back Crypto Draft, Slovenia Adopts Crypto Action PlanThe government in Ljubljana has adopted an action plan to underpin the implementation of blockchain technology in Slovenia and create a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. According to the Economy Ministry, the plan entails a series of measures designed to also regulate Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). Slovenian authorities hope to establish a safe and stable legal environment to help the creation, growth and development of blockchain technology-based projects and startups.

Another goal is to transpose in the national legislation the legal provisions adopted by European and other relevant institutions, STA reported. Local officials believe that the application of blockchain technologies can improve the competitiveness of the Slovenian economy. The government also backed the creation of a European Blockchain Hub as a link between public and private stakeholders in the field, both in Slovenia and within the EU. On Thursday, the Slovenian Ministry of Economy was tasked to get actively involved in the hub.

Estonia Backpedals on Plans for National Crypto

Estonian officials have scaled down plans to issue a national cryptocurrency, which were criticized some time ago by both the European Central Bank and local banking authorities. According to Siim Sikkut, who is in charge of the country’s IT strategy, Estonia has dropped its intentions to peg the Estcoin to the common European currency and offer it to all citizens. The digital tokens will instead be distributed as an incentive to e-residents of the Baltic country, Sikkut said in an interview, Bloomberg reported. These are foreign nationals who use Estonia’s electronic identification system to remotely sign documents and set up companies.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Spanish Parties Back Crypto Draft, Slovenia Adopts Crypto Action Plan

The tech-savvy former Soviet republic was one of the first European nations to come up with plans for a national cryptocurrency. Similar initiatives have been discussed in Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, the UK, and other countries. The idea, however, was not appreciated by the ECB management. In September, the bank’s president, Mario Draghi, criticized the proposal declaring that “No member state can introduce its own currency. The currency of the Eurozone is the euro.”

“We agreed in discussions with politicians that Estcoin will proceed as a means for transactions inside the e-resident community. Other options aren’t on the table. We’re not building a new currency,” Siim Sikkut said. This was confirmed by the author of the Estcoin plan, Kaspar Korjus, who also noted that the details are still being analyzed for potential benefits. Estcoin “would definitely not be a national ‘cryptocurrency’,” he emphasized. Estonia’s e-residency program has so far issued ID cards to more than 35,000 foreigners. The majority of the participants are from Finland, the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

Hungary Prepared to Join the Global Blockchain Market

Blockchaineum 2.0, arguably the largest blockchain summit in Central and Eastern Europe, recently gathered major stakeholders in Budapest to discuss blockchain-based solutions and other hot topics related to the implementation of the technology around the world. While many in Europe are just starting to take blockchain seriously, Hungary has been preparing for some time and now claims it’s ready to join the global blockchain market.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Spanish Parties Back Crypto Draft, Slovenia Adopts Crypto Action Plan“Many regulatory rules have been laid down recently on European level, and it is in Hungary’s best interest to make use of them in order to become a regional center. Although, this won’t happen because of regulation, but rather on purely market basis,” said Tamás Czeglédi, quoted by the Budapest Business Journal. He is one of the organizers of the event and is working to put his country on the European blockchain map.

Hungarian business wants to jump on the blockchain bandwagon ahead of regional competitors and it has created a Blockchain Competence Center (BCC) earlier this year to prove its intentions. “Whereas the EU had been focusing on regulation until around a year ago, the past few months saw a shift towards a more practical approach,” said Péter Benedek, the CEO of BCC. “The newly established Ministry for Innovation and Technology, along with the enhanced national digital wellbeing strategy, can help local blockchain players embrace innovative solutions and improve their fundraising potential,” he added.

What are your thoughts on today’s Bitcoin in Brief topics? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Bitcoin News is growing fast. To reach our global audience, send us a news tip or submit a press release. Let’s work together to help inform the citizens of Earth (and beyond) about this new, important and amazing information network that is Bitcoin.

The post Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Spanish Parties Back Crypto Draft, Slovenia Adopts Crypto Action Plan appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Project to Build Satoshi Statue Gains Support in Kiev

Project to Build Satoshi Statue Gains Support in Kiev

An initiative to erect a monument of Satoshi Nakamoto in Ukraine’s capital is gaining momentum and support. The idea is to place the statue right where the red Karelian stone figure of Lenin used to stand, before it was taken down almost five years ago. The project is said to be part of a global campaign to build Satoshi monuments around the world.

Also read: Slovenian City Unveils World’s First Public Bitcoin Monument

Nakamoto on the Pedestal of Lenin

A monument of Satoshi Nakamoto may soon greet residents and visitors of Kiev, capital city of Ukraine. The project to erect a statue of the unknown creator of bitcoin and the blockchain technology has been gaining support. The plan is to place the figure on the intersection of Kiev’s main “Khreshchatyk” Street and the “Taras Shevchenko” Boulevard.

Project to Build Satoshi Statue Gains Support in KievThe targeted spot is not a random place. Several years ago it was occupied by the monument of Vladimir Lenin, the communist founder and leader of the Soviet Union. His statue was toppled down and destroyed by angry protesters in December, 2013. The act was one of the memorable events during the Euromaidan demonstrations which lead to dramatic political changes in Ukraine.

The empty space, opposite the “Bessarabsky” Market, has since turned into a site for political expression and artwork. At the height of the civil unrest in February 2014, opposition activists put a golden toilet on the pedestal as a symbol of the rampant corruption in their troubled and divided country. One of the numerous accusations against the then president Viktor Yanukovych was that he had gold toilets installed in a country estate near Kiev.

The people behind the project plan to initially design a virtual Satoshi monument. The digital statue will be visible through a mobile app, when the smartphone is turned towards the pedestal, as reported by the outlet Delo. The Ukrainian VR/AR and robotics company Raccoon World has promised to materialize the virtual reality concept.

Project to Build Satoshi Statue Gains Support in Kiev

The organizers also intend to file a petition with the Kyiv City State Administration and apply for permission to build a real, physical monument. They plan to raise the necessary means through a crowdfunding campaign. In the meantime, the virtual statue project has been supported by the Ukrainian entrepreneur Alexander Soroka, founder of the investment platform Startup Network, who has already donated 1 bitcoin (BTC).

A Global Initiative, a Blockchain Republic

According to local media reports, the installation of the statue in Kiev is part of a global initiative to erect Satoshi monuments around the world and create a so called “Blockchain Republic.” In case the city authorities reject the petition, the authors of the project say they’ll be looking for another location to place the symbolic figure.

Project to Build Satoshi Statue Gains Support in KievNot long ago, a similar initiative was realized in Slovenia, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. In March, the city of Kranj inaugurated a monument dedicated to bitcoin and blockchain – the first in the world, according to local authorities. The installation is in the form of a large bitcoin logo placed in the middle of a roundabout. The crypto theme of the monument has been chosen by the citizens of Kranj.

Would you support a project to build a bitcoin monument or a Satoshi statue in your city? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Delo.ua.


Bitcoin News is growing fast. To reach our global audience, send us a news tip or submit a press release. Let’s work together to help inform the citizens of Earth (and beyond) about this new, important and amazing information network that is Bitcoin.

The post Project to Build Satoshi Statue Gains Support in Kiev appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: A Panther’s Moonshot Bet

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: A Panther’s Moonshot Bet

Bitcoin in Brief today is slanted toward a crypto winter slowly thawing, as Pantera Capital bets on a moonshot price point. Also, the world’s most popular decentralized digital asset has been forked more than a plate of good pasta; there’s a growing list of countries who’re less likely to nab your crypto profits; Yahoo! smashes rumors; and a good-hearted wager between bitcoin core and bitcoin cash partisans exemplifies how ecosystem actors should treat one another.

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Hide Your Seed

A Panther’s Moonshot

Bulls have a panther as their advocate to help thaw this crypto winter. We reported this week, “Pantera Capital, an investment firm exclusively operating in the cryptocurrency and distributed ledger technology sectors, has published a letter predicting that bitcoin has established the low for its current bear market. Pantera cites a number of factors as informing its market outlook.”

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: A Panther’s Moonshot Bet

Among those factors are taxes on capital gains, where estimates are in the many, many billions expected from enthusiasts. That in turn, the fund theorizes, dragged prices down, and bitcoin core has found a bottom at $6,500, as holders were forced to sell in order to pay government bills. We continue, “Pantera also states that ‘It’s highly likely’ for the price of bitcoin to exceed its previous record highs of $20,000 ‘within a year,’ asserting that ‘A wall of institutional money will drive’ the growth in price.”

Speaking of Taxes

Until that prediction comes true, readers should pack their bags to save money from the tax man! Start looking for places to stay in Germany, Slovenia, Denmark, Belarus, South Korea, Singapore, as they’re some of the most advantageous.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: A Panther’s Moonshot Bet

We stressed how many “jurisdictions have yet to update their tax laws to encompass cryptocurrencies. Rules governing taxation are often incoherent and very different even in countries that are part of a common space. In the European Union, for instance, tax rates in member-states vary between 0 and 50%.”

Forking Crazy

Be honest. You’ve never heard of Bitcoin Minor, Bitcoin King, nor Bitcoin Boy. How many times would you guess the Bitcoin network has been forked? During an extensive and really interesting investigation, we revealed nearly 70 times. That’s right, 70.

We summarized findings as how forking “bitcoin used to be a rarity. Then it became the norm. And then it became a meme, with anyone and everyone forking bitcoin on a weekly basis. There have now been a total of 69 bitcoin forks plus another 18 altcoin forks. Holders of bitcoin, monero, ethereum, and litecoin can claim almost 80 additional coins for free. Whether it’s worth their time to do so, however, is another matter.”

The Fork of All Forks Remains a Solid Option

The most famous of forks is, of course, bitcoin cash (BCH). Its being faster, sleeker, younger, and bigger (block wise) has lead those on the bitcoin core (BTC) side to take a stance on BCH’s long term viability. And while each side feels passionate about its coin, and the future that it entails, debate often become rancorous, turning everyone off.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: A Panther’s Moonshot Bet
A reader responds to a hilarious bet.

We reported how two well-known advocates joked and ribbed one another about Core’s anticipated Lightning Network solution. They bet bragging rights if a demonstration of the solution failed a basic transaction. Loser would have to wear a t-shirt of the winner’s coin. Regardless of which won, the import is how the two men exchanged laughs and good humor, and the ecosystem needs more of both.

Japan Continues to Lead

No laughing matter is how the crypto winter continues its thaw as “Yahoo! Japan has confirmed that it is entering the crypto space by acquiring a stake in a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange that is already licensed by the country’s financial regulator. The company plans to launch a crypto exchange in the fall of this year,” we explained.

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: A Panther’s Moonshot Bet

We Have the Best Readers in All of Crypto

Thanks to our readers liking and sharing, our post on aspects of Islam possibly opening to cryptocurrency was picked up and republished and referenced around the world. Some contend it was the root cause of bitcoin’s recent price rebound. Great job, gang.

The crazy good book by Wendy McElroy we continue to serialize brings in wonderful reader comments and observations. To wit:

Bitcoin in Brief Monday: A Panther’s Moonshot Bet

Do you think bitcoin will continue to rise or to fall to new lows? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Bitcoin in Brief Monday: A Panther’s Moonshot Bet appeared first on Bitcoin News.

These Countries Won’t Tax Your Bitcoins Too Much

These Countries Won’t Tax Your Bitcoins Too Much

A growing number of governments can’t resists the temptation to get their hands on some of the bitcoins their citizens are making. Several states, however, think that leaving some breathing space for crypto users and entrepreneurs is a better idea in the long run. Crypto-friendly tax regimes can still be found around the world.

Also read: Tax Paying Americans Owe $25 Billion in Cryptocurrency

Tax Exemptions Offered Here:

Germany, Europe’s economic locomotive, has been quite careful with crypto taxation. Last month the Federal Ministry of Finance issued a notice which treats bitcoin as a currency. The Bundesrepublik is not going to tax cryptos when exchanged with euros. Purchases with bitcoin are subject to VAT, just like any other. No tax will be imposed, however, on long-term investments in cryptocurrency. If a trader sells a bitcoin more than a year after its purchase, the profit is exempt from taxation. The same applies to yearly profits of less than €600.

These Countries Won’t Tax Your Bitcoins Too MuchCapital gains of individual investors trading cryptocurrencies are not taxed in Slovenia. Its residents are not required to report them in their income tax returns. However, private individuals who receive their income in cryptocurrency, are obliged to declare the digital money and pay regular income tax. The country uses a progressive scale and rates vary from 16% on incomes of less than €8,000 a year to 50% on incomes exceeding €70,000.

Tax authorities in Denmark have said that fintech companies should pay taxes just like any other business. On the other hand, individual investors trading cryptos do not owe any tax on their gains.

Belarus has created a friendly environment for crypto investors, both corporate and private. Activities like mining, issuing, and trading coins were legalized in March. A presidential decree introduced tax exemptions for crypto incomes and revenues for a period of five years.

These Countries Won’t Tax Your Bitcoins Too Much

Gains from cryptocurrency transactions are still tax free in South Korea. The Finance Ministry and the tax authorities in Seoul are working on a legislation that is likely to change the situation. The new tax bill should be adopted in the first half of this year, according to officials. No concrete time frame has been set.

Buying bitcoin will save you taxes in Singapore. Digital coins are not considered commodities there and are not recognized as currencies. In the absence of special requirements, gains from crypto investments of private individuals are not taxed. Companies trading cryptocurrencies, however, are expected to pay taxes on their profits.

Incoherent Rules Govern Crypto Taxation

These Countries Won’t Tax Your Bitcoins Too MuchMany jurisdictions have yet to update their tax laws to encompass cryptocurrencies. Rules governing taxation are often incoherent and very different even in countries that are part of a common space. In the European Union, for instance, tax rates in member-states vary between 0 and 50%.

The Eurasian Economic Union is another example, with Belarus exempting crypto transactions from taxation, while Russia is collecting 13% tax on crypto incomes and 24% corporate tax on profits.

The situation in the US is also complicated. Several states have taken steps to become crypto-friendly jurisdictions. Wyoming passed a bill exempting cryptocurrencies from property taxation. Two other states want to legalize bitcoin as a payment option for tax purposes. Arizona has promised to become the first US state to start accepting taxes in cryptocurrency. Georgia may also allow its residents to pay taxes in bitcoin.

What taxes on crypto incomes and profits do you have to pay in your country? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Bitcoin News is growing fast. To reach our global audience, send us a news tip or submit a press release. Let’s work together to help inform the citizens of Earth (and beyond) about this new, important and amazing information network that is Bitcoin.

The post These Countries Won’t Tax Your Bitcoins Too Much appeared first on Bitcoin News.

0 to 50% – Time to Pay Crypto Taxes in the European “Union”

0 to 50% – Time to Pay Crypto Taxes in the European “Union”

With the increasing popularity of bitcoin and the like, this year’s tax campaign in Europe comes with many questions on how to report and pay crypto taxes. Despite the obvious hesitation on the part of many governments to comprehensively regulate/legalize the sector, cryptocurrency incomes and profits “enjoy” special attention. Different decisions on the matter pose different challenges to citizens of individual member-states.

Also read: Excessive Crypto Regulation Not Optimal, EU Banking Authority Says

Different Approaches

There is no uniform approach towards cryptocurrencies in any region and Europe is no exception when it comes to taxation. The recently held G20 summit proves no global consensus on the status of cryptocurrencies, and each jurisdiction is expected to take its own decisions in the short run. In the absence of pan-European guidelines on how to treat crypto-related incomes and profits, some member-states follow a decision by the Court of Justice of the EU. In a 2015 ruling on the application of value added tax (VAT) to cryptocurrencies, the Luxembourg-based institution set a precedent. It basically drew a parallel between “virtual currencies” and fiat money, when digital coins are used for payments.

0 to 50% – Time to Pay Crypto Taxes in the European “Union”In accordance with that decision, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Finance recently announced that bitcoin should not be subject to VAT, when exchanged with fiat. The tax is applicable only when goods and services are paid for in cryptocurrency. According to German authorities, exchanges can enjoy tax breaks when they trade cryptos, and crypto mining should not be taxed. Trading cryptocurrencies by individuals, however, is subject to standard capital gains tax. Profits of less than €600 and gains from long term holdings (over one year) are exempted.

Several other governments have adopted similar rules. Estonia subjected digital currencies to capital gains tax and VAT. Authorities in Tallinn view cryptos as both means of payment and investments. Slovenia does not tax capital gains of individual investors trading cryptocurrencies, as they are not considered part of their income. Crypto incomes, however, for both individuals and businesses, should be reported and taxed. Applicable rates depend on the annual income and vary from 16% for less than €8,000 to 50% for incomes over €70,000 a year.

Tax authorities in Denmark have announced that crypto companies will be taxed as any other business. According to the Financial Services Authority, private individuals trading cryptocurrencies will not be required to pay taxes. The agency called for adopting legislation that regulates cryptos and their taxation. Spain is mulling tax breaks for businesses using blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies. The exact scope of the exemptions is yet to be determined, but the ruling People’s Party has introduced a bill to offer incentives for small companies in the crypto sector.

Waiting for Brussels’ Decision

0 to 50% – Time to Pay Crypto Taxes in the European “Union”A number of EU countries are still waiting for a common, European approach towards cryptocurrency taxation. The government in Belgium, which is home to many EU institutions, has not issued an official stance on the matter. Nevertheless, recent reports suggest that tax authorities are going after Belgian citizens trading cryptocurrencies on foreign exchanges. Anyone speculating on crypto markets is expected to pay 33% tax on their gains, despite the fact that cryptocurrencies are not regulated. Belgians should declare them as “other income” on their tax returns, the Special Tax Inspectorate said at the end of last year.

Bulgaria is another member-state expecting guidance from Brussels. The National Revenue Service has issued a clarification notice saying 10% capital gains tax is applicable to profits from buying and selling cryptocurrencies. Their legal status, however, is yet to be determined by the Bulgarian parliament. It remains unclear how bitcoin incomes and purchases with cryptocurrency will be taxed.

Other EU member-states are losing patience. Dutch finance minister recently described the current regulatory framework as “insufficiently equipped”, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. Wopke Hoekstra spoke of the “inherently cross-border” nature of cryptocurrencies and called for “coordinated international approach”. The government in the Netherlands insists on adopting new European regulations by the end of next year, including amendments to the anti-money laundering directive, which also deals with tax evasion.

The European Neighborhood

While EU regulators are still struggling to grasp the crypto phenomenon, other countries in Europe have taken advantage of their non-aligned status. Belarus, for example, is fighting political and economic isolation by embracing crypto. A decree, signed by President Lukashenko, introduces tax breaks and other incentives for crypto-related activities until 2023. It enters into force in less than a week, on March 28. Whether this crypto-friendly policy will fill government coffers at the end of the day remains to be seen.

How are crypto incomes and profits taxed in your country? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we.

The post 0 to 50% – Time to Pay Crypto Taxes in the European “Union” appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Slovenian City Unveils World’s First Public Bitcoin Monument

Slovenian City Unveils World's First Public Bitcoin Monument

The Slovenian city of Kranj has inaugurated what it claims to be the world’s first public Bitcoin monument. A roundabout in Slovenia’s fourth largest city now hosts a large ‘B’ in the center that connects two roads at Kranj’s city center.

Also Read: Soon There Will Be More Bitcoin Investors Than Stock Traders in Indonesia

Slovenian Roundabout Becomes Tribute to Bitcoin

The Slovenian city of Kranj recently unveiled a public monument to bitcoin and blockchain technology, of which it claims is the first in the world. The monument was financed by major bitcoin exchange Bitstamp, and blockchain software company 3fs.

The three-tonne metal sculpture is situated near Kranj’s courthouse, approximately 20 miles from the city’s capital. The circle surrounding the bitcoin ‘B’ has a diameter of roughly seven meters. The statue was created by artists Selman Čorović and Aleksander Frančeškin.

The mayor of Kranj, Bostjan Trilar, told reporters that the bitcoin ‘B’ was chosen as the design for the monument by the cities citizenry, stating “We asked citizens on our Facebook page to decide what to place in the new roundabout and this was one of the first ideas we received… Kranj has a lot of companies dealing with high technology.” Mayor Trilar added that many of the city’s inhabitants are “tightly connected to modern technology companies, some of them have been successful precisely with the blockchain technology and we thought it was right to honor them.”

Slovenia to Create Favourable Business Climate for Blockchain and Crypto Companies

Slovenian City Unveils World's First Public Bitcoin MonumentIn a press release, the Kranj municipality stated: “We’re sending a message to the world that emphasizes our openness to digitization, susceptibility to the use of new technologies and hospitality towards progressive thinking.”

Last month, Slovenian officials promised to work alongside local companies operating in the distributed ledger technology sector in order to “educate the public on the benefits and the opportunities that the innovative technology brings.”

Following a recent meeting hosted by Viberate that was attended by Slovenian prime minister, Miro Cerar, distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based start-up Insurepal published a blog post indicating the government’s desire to create a “favorable” business climate for DLT businesses. “We have called for regulation that would assist blockchain projects with existing financial limitations and allow us easier recruitment processes. The government has agreed that it will provide us with more favorable conditions in due time,” the company stated.

What do you think of Kranj’s new bitcoin monument? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Reddit


Want to create your own secure cold storage paper wallet? Check our tools section.

The post Slovenian City Unveils World’s First Public Bitcoin Monument appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Slovenia’s Fourth-Largest City is Home to a Bitcoin Roundabout

Kranj, the fourth-largest city in Slovenia, will soon make history by unveiling the world’s first public Bitcoin monument. “Roundabout Kranj,” as the monument has been officially dubbed, sees a Bitcoin logo placed in the center of the roundabout connecting Oldhamska and Gregorčičeva street, a “connecting point” for the city’s “urban ecosystem.” A Bitcoin Symbol Roundabout

The post Slovenia’s Fourth-Largest City is Home to a Bitcoin Roundabout appeared first on CCN

Cryptocurrency Interest Wanes — Online Searches for “Bitcoin” Drop 80%

Cryptocurrency Interest Wanes — Online Searches for "Bitcoin" Drop 80%

Over the course of the past few weeks, cryptocurrency prices have been dropping in value. However, online interest is another trend plunging as well within the digital currency realm as Google Trends searches for the word “bitcoin” have descended to levels not seen since October of 2017.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Online Interest in Cryptocurrency Word and Phrase Searches Decline Considerably

According to data from Google Trends and Insights searches for the word “bitcoin” is declining rapidly. The chart dating back to March 2017 is almost identical to the BTC/USD weekly price chart. The same can be said for a variety of popular words that reached peaks at the end of 2017 like the words “ethereum,” “ripple,” and “cryptocurrency.” Google’s data suggest that all of these words including “bitcoin” show searches are down well over 80 percent.

Cryptocurrency Interest Wanes — Online Searches for "Bitcoin" Drop 80%
Word searches for “bitcoin” and “cryptocurrency” drop significantly.

Cryptocurrency Interest Wanes — Online Searches for "Bitcoin" Drop 80%

Right now the countries showing the most interest in bitcoin searches includes South Africa, Slovenia, Australia, the Netherlands, Singapore, Austria, Canada, Switzerland, Ghana, and Norway. Right now the most relatable queries include searches like “Binance,” “ripple price,” “bitcoin bubble burst,” and “bitcoin cash news.” Bitcoin cash (BCH) searches are also meandering at October levels as well, and copious amounts of interest in BCH stems from Bolivia, the Netherlands, and Australia.

Cryptocurrency Interest Wanes — Online Searches for "Bitcoin" Drop 80%
Other popular queries like the words “ethereum” and “ripple” have declined.

Big Volume Countries and Tether Searches Diminish

The biggest trading volumes are coming from areas like Japan and South Korea, but searches are dipping low for these subjects as well. The controversial tether currency saw a lot of searches last year but in March people are not too interested in this subject. However, tether trade volume is through the roof, and the ‘stable’ cryptocurrency captures 12.6 percent of the global trades. Interest over time for bitcoin or cryptocurrency “exchanges” has also declined considerably.

Cryptocurrency Interest Wanes — Online Searches for "Bitcoin" Drop 80%
The top five related queries as of March 8, 2018.

It’s safe to say the price spike last year sparked a lot of attention, but since the price has drifted downwards interest has waned. Last year the word “bitcoin” was the top most searched term. 2018 may be a different story.

What do you think about online cryptocurrency interest taking a nosedive? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, and Google Trends. 


At news.Bitcoin.com all comments containing links are automatically held up for moderation in the Disqus system. That means an editor has to take a look at the comment to approve it. This is due to the many, repetitive, spam and scam links people post under our articles. We do not censor any comment content based on politics or personal opinions. So, please be patient. Your comment will be published.  

The post Cryptocurrency Interest Wanes — Online Searches for “Bitcoin” Drop 80% appeared first on Bitcoin News.

The ICO Scam Train Arrives in Sweden – Meet “Starflow”

The ICO Scam Train Arrives in Sweden

ICO scams can take many forms. There are phishing scams, perpetrated by impostors. There are the straight-up take-your-money-and-run exit scams. And there are the pointless ICO scams which will rob investors by failing to deliver a viable working product or shipping vaporware. In the long run, these are every bit as pernicious, for not only will they deprive investors of their money, but they’ll also cost them their time. This week the ICO Scam Express stopped off in Sweden and Slovenia courtesy of Starflow and Futourist. Both projects look almost certain to fail.

Also read: Trading Tip `The Wall´ – Drop Tokens That Suffer From Overtokenization

Another Day, Another Pointless ICO

Pointless ICOs aren’t the exception – they’re the rule. By any reckoning, less than 10% of all startups are worth investing in, and only around half of those are a long-term hold. ICOs should fare even worse. They are only good for a quick flip (if you happen to get in early and timely) before the token dies a slow death or the platform fails to materialize. Every country produces its share of pointless ICOs, so Sweden and Slovenia are certainly not alone in that respect. They take a starring role this week however thanks to the arrival of Futourist and Starflow.

The ICO Scam Train Arrives in SwedenIt is the latter project that is the most egregious. On first glance, Starflow looks legitimate enough. There’s nothing glaringly wrong with the website, which outlines plans for a platform where brands and creators can monetize their content. The white paper is slick and comprehensive. It’s also a load of rubbish. Prefaced by a four-page disclaimer, it features wishful statements such as the following:

StarCoin will function as loyalty token, strengthening relationships in between all participants and ensuring long term activities on the platform. It will also ensure that Starflow will be valued and appreciated based on our own performance rather than that of others.

This, unfortunately, is wishful thinking. Users aren’t loyal to app tokens. The paper continues: “[StarCoin] is the heart, the essence, of the entire offering and It’s [sic] mere existence is what enables all the new and enriched possibilities for creators to produce more, better, exclusive and premium content.” So if the platform were to use ether as its currency, creators would produce worse content?

A Team You Can Trust?

The ICO Scam Train Arrives in Sweden
Johan Staël von Holstein

After inspecting the white paper, the next port of call for any potential investor performing due diligence should be the project’s team and advisors. Do they have the experience to suit the sector? Have they demonstrated a willingness to stick with projects, or do they jump from startup to startup? One of Starflow’s early backers and advisors is Johan Staël von Holstein, described as a “notorious serial entrepreneur”. The notorious part is certainly correct. One of von Holstein’s earliest ventures was Icon Medialab, which was rekt during the dot com boom, causing its shares to plunge 98% in a year and leading to 500 layoffs. It was later bought over.

A cached Swedish news story sheds further light on von Holstein’s business acumen and quirks. His Twitter bio, meanwhile, reads “Internet visionary, investor & serial entrepreneur! Privacy, ownership & control with the right to sell & profit.” Investors may conclude that the serial entrepreneur’s priorities lie with personal enrichment rather than furthering the advancement of the decentralized web. They may also notice that Starflow’s Twitter followers are mostly fake.

The ICO Scam Train Arrives in Sweden

Peering into the Futourist

The ICO Scam Train Arrives in SwedenSweden has Starflow and Slovenia has Futourist, a platform with a very similar business model. Futourist – which has drummed up extensive support – is “the first blockchain based review platform that rewards you for your content”. Payments, predictably, will “happen through a transaction of a newly issued Futourist Token (FTR), an ERC20 token being processed on the Ethereum network”. From the perspective of funding the project, a token makes sense. But from the perspective of user convenience, it’s just an extra step that’s likely to leave the platform, like Starflow, marginalized and unutilized when the fledgling crypto economy takes off.

Eric Wall put it best in his recent trading column: “While it may be true that an ICO could be the thing that gets a project off the ground that wouldn’t have otherwise, it may also be the thing that kills it.” Don’t get blinded by flashy websites promulgating the blockchain meme. Do your own research and invest only in projects that have real merit, real commitment, and a real use case for their token. Also, ask what you get in return for your money when buying the token. If the only thing you are getting is the token, then all you have done is prepay for a future service. Why not wait and buy it if it ever actually materializes? Starflow promises “loyalty” in return. So you are buying your own loyalty. You are giving them money, so you can be “loyal” to them. That’s crazy.

What metrics do you use to gauge the merits of ICOs you’re considering investing in? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Starflow.


Get our news feed on your site. Check our widget services.

The post The ICO Scam Train Arrives in Sweden – Meet “Starflow” appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Steps towards Self-Regulation in Croatia and Slovenia

Steps towards Self-Regulation in Croatia and Slovenia

Communities in two countries, which share a border, history and perspectives, have expressed similar views about the future of the cryptocurrency sector. A new association in Croatia hopes to lay the foundations of self-regulation in the industry. In neighboring Slovenia, entrepreneurs and government officials have promised to work together to “educate the public” on the benefits of the blockchain technology.

Also read: Crypto Exchanges Launch P2P Platforms from Latvia and Bulgaria

Croatian Crypto Companies to Advise Regulators

Businesses and enthusiasts in Croatia have united their efforts to help authorities take informed decisions about the cryptocurrency sector. A new umbrella organization will be bringing suggestions and important matters to the attention of policy makers in Zagreb, Bitfalls reported this week. The Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Association will be advising regulators on anything from buying and selling cryptocurrencies, to crypto payments and salary payouts in bitcoin.

UBIK [“Udruga za Blockchain i Kriptovalute”] intends to create “a focused and strong community of people involved with the blockchain technology and the domain of cryptocurrency in Croatia”, but also in the region. Providing relevant information, education and knowledge about the crypto economy is among its priorities. The Croatian crypto association plans to help authorities and its members with legal, financial, and technological support in the development of the regulatory framework and realizing strategic blockchain projects.

Steps towards Self-Regulation in Croatia and Slovenia

Interest in bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies and the underlying technology has grown significantly in Croatia in the past year that saw skyrocketing prices on crypto markets. The local community has expanded with new companies working with blockchain technologies and more businesses accepting crypto payments.

A comprehensive regulatory policy is yet to be adopted by Croatian authorities. During a discussion on digital currencies back in 2013 the Croatian National Bank reportedly stated that bitcoin was not illegal in the country. More recently, in 2017, HNB noted that cryptos were neither legal means of payment, nor electronic money under current law in Croatia. The country has appealed for common EU decisions in regards to cryptocurrencies.

Government and Businesses to Educate Slovenians about Blockchain

More positive signals came this month from Croatia’s neighbor Slovenia, another former Yugoslav republic and current member of the EU. Government officials and blockchain companies promised to work together to “educate the public on the benefits and the opportunities that the innovative technology brings”. They met to set up an open dialogue between authorities and entrepreneurs, necessary to clarify and address the challenges. Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar also took part in the meeting hosted by Viberate, a startup developing a decentralized live music marketplace.

Steps towards Self-Regulation in Croatia and Slovenia“We have called for regulation that would assist blockchain projects with existing financial limitations and allow us easier recruitment processes. The government has agreed that it will provide us with more favorable conditions in due time”, Insurepal, one of the participating companies, said in a blog post. It expressed hope that similar public discussions will help Slovenia become one of the most advanced countries in the field of blockchain.

The companies, which took part in the meeting, also announced the establishment of the Blockchain Alliance CEE. It will focus their efforts on improving visibility and raising the reputation of the sector through unified communication.

The current government in Ljubljana has a positive attitude towards the crypto industry. Speaking at the Digital Slovenia 2020 conference last year Prime Minister Cerar acknowledged the progress made by local businesses and said his country could become a leader in blockchain-development in the European Union. Slovenia is also among countries that do not tax individuals on capital gains from bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Do you think positive developments in Southeast Europe in regards to crypto regulation will influence decisions in the EU? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock. 


Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we.

The post Steps towards Self-Regulation in Croatia and Slovenia appeared first on Bitcoin News.