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| January 22, 2018

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Bruce Meyer’s road to success from candle wax to classic cars

January 22, 2018 |

Bruce Meyer was a Berkeley-educated hippie when he suggested that his family’s appliance business start selling candles in a boutique addition to their Geary’s retail outlet. That was the beginning of a Beverly Hills retail and real estate empire.
L.A. Times – Business

Shutdown enters third day as McConnell calls for bipartisan compromise: ‘Step back from the brink’

January 22, 2018 |

The Senate adjourned Sunday without reaching an agreement to end the government shutdown as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for both parties to “step back from the brink.”
FOX News

Indian Crypto Traders Getting Notices From Tax Authority Due to Unreported Investments

January 21, 2018 |

Indian Crypto Traders Getting Notices From Tax Authority Due to Unreported Investments

The Indian tax authority has sent notices to cryptocurrency investors after discovering that some crypto investments are not reflected on tax returns. The government conducted a survey of crypto trading at the country’s 9 exchanges and found that more than $ 3.5 billion worth of transactions were traded over a 17-month period.

Also read: Despite Multiple Government Warnings, Indians Flock to Crypto Exchanges

Tax Notices Sent to Crypto Investors

Indian Crypto Traders Getting Notices From Tax Authority Due to Unreported InvestmentsThe Indian income tax department revealed on Friday that it has sent notices to “tens of thousands of people dealing with cryptocurrency” following a survey at nine crypto exchanges in Mumbi, Delhi, Bengaluru, and Pune, according to Reuters.

The survey shows that more than $ 3.5 billion worth of transactions have been conducted over a 17-month period. A tax official told the news outlet that among those invested in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are “tech-savvy young investors, real estate players, and jewelers,” adding that:

We cannot turn a blind eye. It would have been disastrous to wait until the final verdict was out on its legality.

In December, the tax department already sent out notices to investors informing them that they need to pay tax on capital gains.

The tax notice seen by Reuters also asks investors to provide details of their total cryptocurrency holdings and the source of their funds. B.R. Balakrishnan, a director general of investigations at the income tax department in the southern state of Karnataka, was quoted:

We found that investors were not reflecting it on their tax returns and in many cases, the [cryptocurrency] investment was not accounted for.

600,000 Active Crypto Traders in India

The tax department has also revealed the number of active cryptocurrency traders in India, according to the Indian Express.

“A key factor which helped the department track the total number of investors in the cryptocurrency market was the strong KYC policy (Know Your Customer) followed by the currency exchanges,” a tax official explained, adding that:

While there are 25 lakh (2,500,000) people registered to trade in cryptocurrencies, only 6 lakh (600,000) have provided the KYC details that are mandatory for trading, and only these people have traded on the exchanges.

In addition, the survey shows that “Most of the people active on cryptocurrency exchanges are in the 25-35 years age group, tech-savvy and keenly aware of the cryptocurrency market,” the publication added.

Indians Undeterred by Regulations

Indian Crypto Traders Getting Notices From Tax Authority Due to Unreported InvestmentsDespite multiple warnings by the government, interest in cryptocurrencies in India remains strong.

In an exclusive interview with news.Bitcoin.com, Sathvik Vishwanath, co-founder and CEO of leading Indian exchange Unocoin, said “the registration and trading procedures have not been affected” by government announcements. He noted, “the warning from the government is not something the regular crypto trader would not know about,” adding:

We saw about 240,000 user registrations in December. So that is about 8,000 per day.

Vishwanath is also confident that the number of user registrations will grow in January. He told news.Bitcoin.com, “The holiday season in India usually brings in less volume and it is no different this time…I am quite confident that the volume would improve.”

What do you think of the Indian tax department sending notices to cryptocurrency investors? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Unocoin.


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

The post Indian Crypto Traders Getting Notices From Tax Authority Due to Unreported Investments appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Small Chinese Shippers From Troubled Ports Seen Aiding North Korea Trade

January 20, 2018 |

Some of the Chinese ships U.S. authorities allege have helped North Korea violate trade sanctions sailed from ports with depressed shipbuilding industries, like Linhai, where boom has turned to bust.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia

King Tut’s Wife Disappeared From History. She May Soon Be Found

January 20, 2018 |

The dig for King Tut’s wife is officially on. Last July, archaeologist Zahi Hawass announced his team had located a possible tomb 16 feet underground in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. Due to its location in the Valley of the Monkeys near the tomb of Ay, the pharaoh who succeeded…
Newser

Aly Raisman: USA Gymnastics ‘Is Rotting From the Inside’

January 19, 2018 |

“The women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time are now a force, and you are nothing,” Deadspin quotes Aly Raisman as telling Larry Nassar Friday in court. In a blistering 13-minute speech, the Olympic gold medal-winner ripped into the doctor who allegedly molested her and…
Newser

Letter from SEC Reveals Outlook Not Good for US-based Bitcoin ETFs

January 19, 2018 |

Letter from SEC Reveals Outlook Not Good for US-based Bitcoin ETFs

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a letter to two Washington DC firms seeking guidance on bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF) applications, of which a dozen are pending. In it, the regulator openly worries about cryptocurrency volatility and whether future potential listings have done enough to protect investors. The letter is widely believed to be a major blow in the quest for Wall Street’s mainstreaming of bitcoin.

Also read: Ditch University and High Transaction Fees!

Bitcoin ETF Major Setback

In a Staff Letter: Engaging on Fund Innovation and Cryptocurrency-related Holdings of 18 January, signed by newly appointed Director Dalia Blass from the Division of Investment Management, the SEC wrote to the Investment Company Institute and Asset Management Group Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) about the prospects of bitcoin ETFs.

The outlook is not good, especially if the letter’s import carries weight within the agency.

The letter is clearly written for an audience beyond its two addresses (how many letters have footnotes?). It begins with SEC history and mission statements, outlining its jurisdiction. It also offers up saccharine lines before dealing a deadly sentence. The SEC “stands ready to engage in dialogue with sponsors regarding the potential development of these funds.” And then the phrasing heard around the world: “We believe, however, that there are a number of significant investor protection issues that need to be examined before sponsors begin offering these funds to retail investors.”

Letter from SEC Reveals Outlook Not Good for US-based Bitcoin ETFs

The agency does “appreciate that proponents of cryptocurrencies and related products have identified a range of potential benefits.” However, “concerns regarding transparency of information, trading, valuation and other matters related to the nature of the underlying assets” seem to be dominating the SEC’s current position. Revealingly, the letter admits “the innovative nature of cryptocurrencies and related products, as well as their expected use and utility in our financial markets, means that they are, in many ways, unlike the types of investments that registered funds currently hold in substantial amounts.”

The climate surrounding bitcoin ETFs has gone from frustration to excitement in recent months with the entrance of heavy mainstream exchanges such as Cboe and CME trading futures contracts (and even the appointment, ironically, of Ms. Blass, who was seen as a pro-ETF attorney). It was believed if things went smoothly at these venerable institutions, bitcoin ETFs were a sure thing. Something like a dozen proposals for listings on the New York Stock Exchange Arca have been filed, and not one is approved.

The letter continues, “we have, at this time, significant outstanding questions concerning how funds holding substantial amounts of cryptocurrencies and related products would satisfy the requirements of the 1940 Act and its rules.” The rather lengthy missive goes on to ask a laundry list of questions, to “facilitate the start of our dialogue,” and it’s not entirely made understood the agency is really waiting for a response.

Bitcoin ETF Major Delt Blow as US Regulator Issues Devastating Dear John Letter
Dalia Blass

Questions Demanding Answer

Given their volatility, “Would funds have the information necessary to adequately value cryptocurrencies or cryptocurrency-related products[?]” the agency asks. “How would funds develop and implement policies and procedures to value, and in many cases ‘fair value,’ cryptocurrency-related products?”

They even get into nitty-gritty crypto inside baseball: How “would they address when the blockchain for a cryptocurrency diverges into different paths (i.e., a ‘fork’), which could result in different cryptocurrencies with potentially different prices?” And the questions deepen and go on like this for a few pages.

They ask intriguingly, “What policies would a fund implement to identify, and determine eligibility and acceptability for, newly created cryptocurrencies offered by promoters (e.g., an ‘air drop’)? How might a fund account for those holdings if the fund chooses to claim such cryptocurrencies?”

Bitcoin ETF Delt Major Blow as US Regulator Issues Devastating Dear John LetterIssues of liquidity, custody, arbitrage, manipulation and “other risks,” and more, seem designed to place the ball squarely in the financial community’s court and away from press criticism the agency is dragging its feet or is in some way stifling innovation.

“Until the questions identified above can be addressed satisfactorily, we do not believe that it is appropriate for fund sponsors to initiate registration of funds that intend to invest substantially in cryptocurrency and related products, and we have asked sponsors that have registration statements filed for such products to withdraw them,” the letter concludes, suggesting contact persons for future reference.

What do you think about the prospects of a bitcoin ETF? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, SEC.


Not up to date on the news? Listen to This Week in Bitcoina podcast updated each Friday.

The post Letter from SEC Reveals Outlook Not Good for US-based Bitcoin ETFs appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

China secretly bought North Korean coal as US watched from above: report

January 19, 2018 |

At least six cargo ships linked to China furtively violated U.N. sanctions by taking on North Korean coal late last year, potentially providing a significant financial boost to the rogue regime, the U.S. alleges.
FOX News