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| February 23, 2019

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State Treasurer: Ohio Companies Now Paying Tax in BTC

February 23, 2019 |

Ohio Companies Now Paying Tax in BTC, Says State Treasurer

Treasurer in the U.S. state of Ohio Robert Sprague has revealed that at least two companies have paid their taxes using bitcoin since the state launched its cryptocurrency payment platform in December. Sprague did not disclose details pertaining to the amount or companies involved, citing confidentiality.

Also read: Liechtenstein Bank Creates Cryptocurrency Trading Platform for Institutional Investors

State to Review BTC Tax Payments

Speaking at a forum organised by the Ohio State Associated Press on Feb. 19, Republican politician Robert Sprague said: “We’re reviewing how [the program] might be either curtailed or might be expanded, and what our counter-party risk is with that vendor.”

Ohio became the first U.S. state to accept cryptocurrency as a means of payment for taxes late last year. Sprague told journalists about his experiences with the BTC payment option on the state platform ohiocrypto.com, established in December by Josh Mandel whom he succeeded in January.

State Treasurer: Ohio Companies Now Paying Tax in BTC

According to the new treasurer, Ohio doesn’t actually receive or hold bitcoin, but Bitpay, the company hired by the state to process the bitcoin payments, converts the virtual currency into fiat money before it is sent to the Ohio treasury.

Bitpay takes 1 percent commission on the transaction as payment. Companies intending to pay taxes in crypto will typically have to register and create accounts on the state’s tax payment platform and submit details about their tax obligations, including tax period and the outstanding amount.

When the project was launched three months ago, Sprague indicated that the move would help to improve the ease of doing business in Ohio and attract new business. “We applaud the pilot that makes Ohio more business-friendly and sets us up as a leader in cryptocurrency. We will evaluate both currency and counter-party risk once we enter the office to see about the future,” Sprague was quoted as saying on cleverland.com. Lawmakers in Ohio are looking to turn the state into a major centre for cryptocurrency and the blockchain industry.

British Lawmaker Lobbies for Payment of Bills in Crypto

In the United Kingdom, member of parliament Eddie Hughes proposed in December that taxpayers should have the option to pay council tax and utility bills in cryptocurrencies such as BTC. The 50 year-old conservative legislator for the Walsall North constituency said the move would place the country at the forefront of digital currency adoption in Europe.

State Treasurer: Ohio Companies Now Paying Tax in BTC

“You’re either ahead of the curve or you’re behind the curve, and our country is in an interesting position right now – we need to be seen as a progressive country,” Hughes said at the time. “We are at a crossroads and we’re about to determine our future – one in which taking the lead in this field could prove very beneficial.”

Regulators throughout the world have complained that cryptocurrencies are risky, and repeatedly alleged that they help to fuel money laundering and terrorism while placing investor funds at the mercy of fraudsters. Their alarmist entreaties have ramped up pressure on governments to act, with many promulgating a series of regulations ostensibly designed to safeguard the public and prevent the risk of financial instability.

What do you think about paying taxes in BTC? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The post State Treasurer: Ohio Companies Now Paying Tax in BTC appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Report: ‘The State of Stablecoins’ Maps the Growth of Fiat-Pegged Cryptocurrency

February 22, 2019 |

Report: The State of Stablecoins Maps the Growth of Fiat-Pegged Cryptocurrency

A new report published this week shines a light on the stablecoin ecosystem. Authored by George Samman and Andrew Masanto in conjunction with Amazix, the report traces the rise of digital currencies against a backdrop of high inflation in 16 countries. The report claims these conditions will create a need for fiat-pegged digital currencies that aren’t beholden to the volatility of local currency in inflation-hit nations.

Also read: Company Evades SEC Penalty Despite Illegally Issuing Security Tokens

Making the Case for Stablecoins

“Sixteen countries today face annual inflation rates of more than 20%, whereas other economies face hyperinflation – like Venezuela, where inflation hit 80,000% in 2018,” begins the report by Samman and Masanto. It continues: “The high volatility of today’s cryptocurrencies hinders their usefulness. Average citizens need a way to protect their money, a way to send money to/receive money from their families in other countries, and merchants need a stable means of exchange in which to do business. The stablecoin market emerged to fulfill those needs.”

40 cryptocurrency and stablecoin companies were surveyed during the creation of “The State of Stablecoins 2019.” The wide-ranging report makes a number of conclusions regarding the nascent stablecoin economy:

  • Developed nations with “stable” fiat currencies will not be early adopters of stablecoins – instead developing nations with high inflation will drive adoption.
  • While most stablecoins are currently tethered to the USD, in the future it is expected that a diversified basket of tokenized assets will become the norm.
  • The next step in stablecoin evolution is for them to be integrated into decentralized banks that will serve the needs of people in emerging markets, especially authoritarian regimes .

Ethereum Dominates the Stablecoin Trade

The 82-page report reveals the extent to which the Ethereum network dominates for stablecoin issuance and trade volume. 68.4 percent of the stablecoin projects surveyed are built on Ethereum, although some expressed a desire to migrate to another blockchain or to their own native network. Ethereum-based coins include DAI and USDC. Stellar ranked a distant second in the survey, with just 7.9 percent of projects built on its chain.

Demonstrating the extent to which most stablecoins are highly centralized, more than one third of the projects surveyed viewed regulations favorably. Just 13.2 percent of projects did not view regulations favorably, insisting that self-governance and complete decentralization were more important.

Amazix, the community management firm that co-sponsored the report, quotes Reserve CEO Nevin Freeman as saying: “The stablecoin market has made significant strides in the past year, but there is still much work to be done. What’s needed is greater coordination amongst projects, and greater focus on the application of stablecoins to solving real-world problems in the places where they are needed the most.”

Report: ‘The State of Stablecoins’ Maps the Growth of Fiat-Pegged Cryptocurrency
Countries that have suffered a currency crisis at some stage

While focused on digital currencies, “The State of Stablecoins” also highlights the dangers of reliance on fiat currency, listing dozens of countries that have experienced a currency crisis since the 1980s. The report signs off with no less than 24 findings, including the assertion that “The holy grail of stablecoins is to become the decentralized central bank for the internet. However, in order for this to be achieved and for a global reserve currency to emerge the internet needs to be truly decentralized.”

Do you think citizens of inflation-hit nations might turn to stablecoins? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The post Report: ‘The State of Stablecoins’ Maps the Growth of Fiat-Pegged Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Rebooting Utah’s State Flag Isn’t Working Out So Well

February 18, 2019 |

Utah is mulling a redesign of its state flag, but so far the process has fallen under the lamentable “best-laid plans” category. Two separate bills were recently introduced to lawmakers that would pave the way for a new flag, but a House committee has already offered what KSTU calls “withering…
Newser

The state and local tax deduction cap probably isn’t going away — despite Trump’s comments

February 16, 2019 |

President Trump again indicated this week he might be open to revisiting the controversial new limit on state and local tax deductions that hits many middle-income residents hard in California and other high-tax, Democratic states.

Even so, don’t count on any changes to the Republican tax bill…


L.A. Times – Business

Another State to Pull Its Troops From Border

February 11, 2019 |

California Gov. Gavin Newsom plans to withdraw several hundred National Guard troops Monday from the state’s southern border with Mexico in defiance of the Trump administration’s request for support from border states. About 100 of the 360 troops will remain deployed under California’s agreement with the federal government to focus…
Newser

Trump says he’s ‘open’ to changing the cap on state and local tax deductions, but Grassley isn’t

February 11, 2019 |

President Trump said he’d consider changes to a cap on the federal deduction for state and local taxes, one of the most divisive provisions of the 2017 Republican tax overhaul.

Trump told regional newspaper reporters in response to a question Wednesday that he’s “open to talking about” revisions…


L.A. Times – Business

Dem silence during State of the Union speech shows all they care about is opposing Trump

February 10, 2019 |

President Trump’s State of the Union address was deliberately structured to emphasize unity and bipartisanship, yet the obstructionist Democrats refused to acknowledge his best overtures.
FOX News

Gayle King says Trump’s State of the Union was ‘pretty tame,’ calls immigration remarks ‘disturbing’

February 6, 2019 |

The co-hosts of “CBS This Morning” appeared on “The Late Show” to react to President Donald Trump’s second State of the Union address.
FOX News

Democrats unmoved by Trump’s State of the Union bid to break gridlock on border security

February 6, 2019 |

Democrats signaled on Tuesday that President Trump’s State of the Union address did little to convince them that a legislative compromise to construct his proposed border wall is possible, as another potential partial federal government shutdown over the project looms.
FOX News

Key Lines in Trump’s State of the Union

February 6, 2019 |

President Trump stressed bipartisan unity in his State of the Union address Tuesday night, but he also made a big push for his border wall and his immigration policies. Here is the transcript, via the Washington Post . Some highlights: Investigations: Trump derided “ridiculous partisan investigations,” saying only they and “foolish…
Newser