Spain’s Tax Office Homes in on 15,000 Crypto Investors

Level of influence is — 2 :(

As part of a new taxation law introduced in October by Spain’s Council of Ministers, which requires private citizens to declare their cryptocurrency holdings, some 15,000 individuals have now been targeted.

The new tax model centered on private cryptocurrency investors carries stiff penalties of up to EUR 5,000 (USD 5,740) for inaccurate tax returns. The 1,500 names held by the Spanish Ministry of Finance are of individuals who have conducted cryptocurrency transactions over the past year, according to Spanish paper El Pais.

As Bitcoin News noted when the original legislation was passed for tax reform, the move came as a notable shift in direction since the ousting of former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who was on the point of pushing forward legislation for possible tax breaks in order to create a more favorable environment for potential blockchain investment.

Spain’s National Fraud Investigation Office has now opened investigations into banks, financial companies and other organizations who conduct crypto transactions. The group of around 15,000 individuals has now been added to this list for further inspection.

Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria (AEAT) is targeting new technologies as part of its fiscal tax plan which includes “blockchain and, especially, cryptocurrencies” to combat both tax evasion and fraud. AEAT have put out the following statement outlining its intended activities:

“The use of cryptocurrencies, such as [Bitcoin], as payment means, is one of the most demanding challenges today. In order to face this threat, the use by the tax agency’s research units of the new information collection and analysis technologies in all types of networks will be enhanced.”

Spanish authorities have indicated that the small group may not be the limitation of its inquiries as it expects to broaden the field in the future if clear evidence of tax evasion is revealed en masse. However, the tax authorities have said that the main focus will be on those citizens who have failed to declare capital gains or those involved in money laundering activities.

India May Have Cryptocurrency Market Regulation in Place by the End of 2018

Level of influence is — 2 :)

Quartz India reports that after a lot of debate and confusion, the special panel created by the Finance Ministry of India at the end of the last year announced that it is ready to submit a draft regulation for cryptocurrency this December. The news comes via a counter-affidavit filed by the Narendra Modi government to the supreme court in relation to the lawsuit initiated by several of cryptocurrency exchanges.

The cryptocurrency industry in India has been waiting for clear guidance from lawmakers and regulators since April 2018, when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) effectively banned cryptocurrency trading in the country and required local banks to stop operations with crypto-related companies. In response, Indian cryptocurrency exchanges filed a petition to the supreme court against the central bank’s decision.

The court requested the government to submit a counter-affidavit and provide policy guidance in relation to digital assets within two weeks. As the policy has not yet been formulated, the government had to speed up the process of preparing the draft legislation.

Paxos and BitPay Partner to Add PAX Support for Global Bitcoin Payment Service

Level of influence on coin — 2 :)

Paxos announced today that its USD pegged stablecoin Paxos Standard Token (PAX) will now be integrated with BitPay as an option for settlement. The opportunity to settle in PAX will be available to a global list of BitPay merchants. This development will give businesses and merchants access the stablecoin, which is a digital equivalent of the dollar.

Japanese Banking Giant, Others Donate $800K for Blockchain Course at University of Tokyo

Level of influence is — neutral

The University of Tokyo will launch a blockchain course following a donation of nearly $800,000 from several companies, including Japanese banking giant Sumitomo Mitsui (SMBC) and the Ethereum Foundation, Cointelegraph Japan reports Nov. 21.

In a Nov. 20 press release, SMBC lists five more contributors, apart from itself and the Ethereum Foundation, who contributed to the donation: Good Luck 3, JSS, Zipper, Hotto link, and Money Forward. The banking group does not disclose the details of 90 million yen donation, nor did it reveal the main contributor.

According to the press release, the education course, dubbed “Blockсhain Innovation Donation Course,” in the graduate school of engineering at the University of Tokyo will last three years: having begun Nov. 1, 2018, it will run until Oct. 31, 2021.

The course has been developed for students who aim to become blockchain-related entrepreneurs. It is focused on the development of decentralized solutions, their social implementation, and human resources. The module will combine lectures and practice, such as establishing an information and communications technologies (ICT) service or developing a blockchain-driven business model.

Airdrops reconsidered: free XLM on Blockchain’s Wallet

Level of influence is — 3 :)

Here is a balanced look at Stellar’s airdrop of the XLM token on Blockchain Wallet. Is it a ploy? Is it a generous gift? Is it both at the same time?

Airdropping is a marketing technique through which an organization aims to expand its community and currency adoption. Handing out free money sounds like a good trick. However, the ethics of airdrops are more complex than they may seem.

For a currency to have value, it needs to be used. So dropping it into thousands or millions people’s wallets, although at a great expense, may be worth it. At the same time, the brand is being solidified and reaches a wide public. On the surface, everyone makes gains.

That scams could set back the societal progress that cryptocurrencies and blockchain applications offer in fostering low-friction, peer-to-peer economic opportunity.” At the same time, the spreading of a currency in such a quick and effective way inevitably boosts its utility and adoption:

“A currency is quintessentially a network product. More than anything else, its “utility” is a direct function of the size of its network. And while that network will surely fail if the product’s functionality isn’t maintained and reinforced on an ongoing basis, the critical mass that’s needed to achieve real network effects is dependent on mass communication of the idea.”

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