Dub 22

Home Run or Swing and a Miss? Cryptocurrency Winners and Losers for the Week Ending April 22, 2018

· April 22, 2018 · 5:15 pm

As John F. Kennedy was wont to say, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Essentially, what benefits one, benefits all. When Kennedy first uttered those words, it was in 1963 and he was talking about the economy. Flash forward 55 years and – as the cryptocurrency market appears to be recovering from a depressing Q1 2018 bear run – the same sentiment is applicable once again.


This past week has been extremely gratifying for crypto community members who weathered Q1 2018’s bear market and made the choice to ‘hodl’ when others were panic-selling. At press time, the total cryptocurrency market cap was just over $394.9 billion – a more than 18% increase from the same time last week.

With the total crypto market cap on the rise, how have Bitcoin and its altcoin brethren fared over the past week? Well, Bitcoin is up roughly 8% – landing at a respectable $8957.95, up from its 7-day low of $8286.88. As to the altcoins? Let’s take a look…

Top 3 Cryptocurrency Winners…

Top 3 Cryptocurrency Winners…

These are the top three best performing cryptocurrencies based on 7-day market activity and with a 24-hour volume of at least $750,000.

Game.com (GTC)

24-Hour Volume: $252,617,000
Gain: 592.80%

Game.com is an ambitious project that combines several elements into a total blockchain-based gaming environment. A combination gaming platform, digital asset wallet, crowdfunding platform, and instant messenger, Game.com is riding high on a rising swell of popularity.

This time last week, GTC was trading at around $0.05 and has climbed to just under $0.35 per token. The sudden spike in value is no doubt due in large part to their partnership with Tron and this week’s announcement that Game.com would be running for a super delegate position in Tron’s upcoming Super Representative vote. A win in this election could not only push GTC prices even higher, but it would give Game.com a seat at the table and a voice in deciding Tron’s future.

Pundi X (NPXS)

Volume: $7,257,560
Gain: 234.72%

Pundi X is a project that aims to make every day crypto usage “as easy as getting bottled water.” It is a POS (point of sale) solution for retail businesses that will make it easy for brick-and-mortar businesses to accept cryptocurrencies in-store.

Earlier in the week, Pundi X’s token (NPXS) was trading at just over $0.0014. On Friday it peaked at an all-time high of $0.0054 before settling down to around $0.0048.

So why the sudden rise in price?

First, the token was recently added to Korea’s Coinrail exchange, which currently accounts for more than 25% of the token’s trade volume. Next was a favorable review of Pundi X’s new POS terminal in this month’s issue of The Nilson Report. Finally – and probably most significantly of all – Pundi X executed its first NPXS token buyback of roughly 200 ETH worth of tokens at a price more than triple that of the then-current market value.

Prices continued to climb in the wake of the buyback but are slowly starting to settle back down. Whether it settles in at a price higher than that of its 7-day low remains to be seen.

XinFin Network (XDCE)

Volume: $899.141
Gain: 201.51%

XinFin is a hybrid blockchain network that combines the power and transparency of public blockchains with the security and speed of private networks. Designed primarily to serve the global trade and finance industries, XinFin has been met with enthusiastic response and successfully concluded their ICO last month.

Since being listed on CoinMarketCap in mid-April, XDCE has been holding steady at around $0.003 per token. Last week, however, things started looking moonish for the cryptocurrency. Trading at $0.0034 this time last week, XDCE reached an all-time high of $0.0168 on Saturday before settling down to around $0.0115 at press time.

The sudden spike in price is most likely largely attributed to XDCE’s upcoming listing on Singapore’s largest crypto exchange – COSS – as well as a 12.5 million XDCE trading promotion. That, coupled with growing interest in XinFin as well as project team that is absolutely doing everything right, could spell continued gains in XDCE’s future.

…and the Top 3 Cryptocurrency Losers

…and the Top 3 Cryptocurrency Losers

Unfortunately, not all altcoins were watching the crypto market through green-tinted glasses this week. These are three worst performing cryptocurrencies based on 7-day market activity and with a 24-hour volume of at least $750,000.

Octoin Coin (OCC)

Volume: $878,826
Loss: -28.96%

Octoin combines crypto trading, mining, p2p exchange, and multi-cryptocurrency wallet functionality into one easy to use platform. The platform’s token, OCC, has been steadily declining ever since peaking at an all-time high of $19.02 in mid-March, however, this past week saw a bit sharper of a decline than in previous weeks. Trading at $3.21 just one week ago, the price has dropped by nearly a third to $2.26 at press time.

As far as what factors could be influencing the price drop, there isn’t much out there that is concrete. The Octoin team are hyping the hell out their platform through a series of mini-conferences and meetups, but there is also a lot of speculation as to the legitimacy of the project. A quick search on Google turns up numerous ‘Octoin: Legit or Scam?’ type articles and their BitcoinTalk thread is rife with investor complaints as well.

Mind you, none of this has been proven, but if I were a betting woman, I’d bet against a recovery for Octoin.

Ormeus Coin (ORME)

Volume: $8,212,730
Loss: -27.56%

Ormeus Coin is a digital money system that is backed by a $250 million crypto mining operation that – according to a February press release – is one of the largest industrial crypto mining operations in the world.

Prices for ORME have been all over the map, ranging from a low of $0.56 in September of 2017 to an all-time high of $3.62 in December that same year. Presently, however, things look quite different. Last Sunday saw ORME trading at $2.58, followed by a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it spike to $3.38 ahead of Ormeus’ global launch party and subsequent Ormeus Cash airdrop. Since then, however, ORME has resumed its downward slide and currently sits at $1.90.

Considering that Ormeus’ crypto operation is reported to be pulling in $6.7 million per month, what gives with the poor token performance?

The decline could be FUD-related. There were allegations on Reddit about market manipulation, but nothing was proven. The more likely scenario, however, is that we’re looking at a selloff in the wake of last week’s airdrop.

Will it recover? Given the team’s active participation within the community and that the mining operation does appear to be legit, I can see this one going back up.

Dragon Coins (DRG)

Volume: $8,404,190
Loss: -26.80%

Dragon Coin (DRG) is the native cryptocurrency of the Dragon Platform, which connects VIP gamer with “junkets”, casino VIP rooms across the globe that host private games and have a system of transferring funds via junket agents.

DRG has slowly been declining since it first started trading in late March of this year and that downward trend appears to be continuing. At this time last week, DRG was trading at $0.975 and it just kept meandering downward to a price of around $0.704.

I honestly can’t pinpoint any one single reason for the decline. The Dragon Coin team seems to be doing everything right, so perhaps it is just post-launch malaise and/or whales dumping.

One of Dragon’s milestones is to launch their own branded junket in Macau. If that happens, I can absolutely see prices going back up to previous highs – and higher.

Do you think that these tokens will continue their current price trends? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of AdobeStock, iStockPhoto

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Bitcoinist.com. Claims made in this article do not constitute investment advice and should not be taken as such.

Show comments

Share
Dub 20

Tax Attorney: Blockchain Immutability ‘Does Make The IRS Smile’ (Interview)

· April 20, 2018 · 4:30 pm

Bitcoinist spoke with Alexander Stern, legal attorney and founder of Attorney IO, to unpack the complexities related to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies taxes, potential loopholes for users, and how the IRS can easily track individuals using Bitcoin compared to fiat currencies. 


Alexander Stern

The fact that a lot of this is on a blockchain (and cannot be tampered with) does make the IRS smile.

– Alexander Stern

Bitcoinist: First, how and for how long has your law firm been involved with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies? Are you seeing increasing interest from clients?

Alexander Stern: I’m an attorney and the founder of Attorney IO. Attorney IO is a startup that provides legal AI to other lawyers to give them an AI’s perspective on the law. We proudly support lawyers working on the latest cryptocurrency issues, spanning from taxes to securities. I believe smart contract technology and legal AI are the future of the legal profession.

Bitcoinist: So do you see the legal profession also facing disruption? In other words, will many legal experts be replaced by AI and smart contracts in the future? 

Alexander Stern: Yes, I think a huge number of lawyers will be replaced by AI and smart contracts. However, the best lawyers will embrace this techno-legal future rather than fight it. It is now common to get a joint degree in law and business.

With the rise of AI and smart contracts, I think we’ll start seeing a lot more people getting joint degrees in law and computer science.

Bitcoinist: Is trading crypto-to-crypto on an exchange like Binance or Poloniex, for example, a taxable event? Is it retroactive? If so, from what date did this go into effect?

Alexander Stern: We asked some of the top tax law professors in the country this question. The Attorney IO Panel Report generally found that starting January 1st, 2018, all crypto-to-crypto exchanges are taxable events.

This is the case whether you use an exchange such as Poloniex or even if you make a private swap without using an exchange. The only exception I’m aware of may be to use non-taxable retirement accounts. However, the panel said that, prior to 2018, a great deal of crypto-to-crypto exchanges are taxable events and have been since before the Bitcoin whitepaper was published. The question is whether the two crypto assets being exchanged are highly similar to each other in how they function.

For example, it is arguable that Bitcoin and Litecoin are sufficiently similar to suggest swapping one for the other may be a non-taxable “like-kind exchange.”

On the other hand, one panelist said, “I don’t think a swap of cloud storage for a car is LK [like-kind]. So why should a digital asset that allowed you only to get cloud storage be LK [like-kind] with a digital asset that could be redeemed only for a car?” In other words, all exchanges going back to Bitcoin’s release are potentially taxable events, especially when the two coins are meaningfully different in function.

Bitcoinist: Is it possible to have taxable gains despite never having been converted into dollars? Moreover, what if the gains were wiped out by later unrealized losses?

Alexander Stern: Yes, this is the single biggest news of the panel report. The blockchain ecosystem could move into a second generation of coins and leave the first generation in the dust. If that happens and most of this first wave of tokens drop to levels seen only a few years ago, thousands of families could owe tens of billions of dollars in taxes, despite receiving much less than that in dollars. This could haunt people for the rest of their lives.

One panelist, Prof. Ainsworth, answered this question as follows: “Absolutely. The same happens in any real estate bubble where people are flipping homes. Some people flip every month, and if they end up flipping a $1 million home at the top of the market, and the value of all real estate ‘tanks,’ it is possible to have [taxable] gains that exceed the current market value of real estate.”

Another panelist, Prof. Kane, said, “I could exchange an appreciated, valuable painting for a farm. Not like kind (even before 2017 changes), so I recognize gain. But then the land market crashes, and I take a big loss. Was it wrong for the system to tax me given I did not really end up with any gain at the end of the day?”

Bitcoinist: The CFTC considers crypto to be commodities while the SEC believes some are securities. Is there any clarity at this point?

Alexander Stern: Cryptocurrencies are a completely new technology and paradigm. Regulators could decide they have features of both securities and commodities. It will also likely depend on the token itself rather than the asset class as a whole.

Bitcoin looks a lot more like a commodity. The latest ICO often looks a lot more like a security.

Ultimately, one token could be regulated as both a security and a commodity. This could mean at least two federal agencies would have simultaneous authority over one token.

Bitcoinist: Many people in the crypto space get paid salaries in Bitcoin, for example. Would this be taxable the same as income in dollars?

Alexander Stern: Yes. If you get paid in Bitcoin or any other digital asset, you generally have the same tax responsibilities as payment in dollars.

Bitcoinist: We’ve seen instances where people claim they got “hacked” and that the funds are no longer theirs. How can the IRS technically prove that an individual has control of their funds?

Alexander Stern: In my opinion, this seems very similar to losses due to theft outside of the blockchain. If you keep half of your salary as cash under your mattress, it is vulnerable to theft too. In some cases, the IRS does allow you to deduct for theft, but it is a very case-specific process. If you have a substantial theft from a cryptocurrency hack, you should get a tax attorney to guide you.

Documentation, such as police reports or news articles on a major hack, can be crucial to demonstrate to the IRS that you did indeed lose money due to theft. Nobody should consider claiming a hack that is not genuine. That may lead to serious consequences that could include jail and fines.

Bitcoinist: Are there any legal loopholes that Bitcoin users can use to avoid taxation? For example, sending bitcoin to another person as a “gift”?

Alexander Stern: Generally speaking, no. A good rule of thumb in the tax world is to ask whether something would be effective if you use dollars instead of cryptocurrencies. If you get a salary in dollars or cryptocurrencies, you cannot avoid income tax by saying you gifted it all away.

IRS

Bitcoinist: The IRS is increasingly forcing third-party intermediaries to turn over records such as we’ve seen with Coinbase. However, since technological innovation is always one step ahead, could new tech, such as anonymizing features, decentralized exchanges, cross-chain atomic swaps, etc., make it even harder for authorities to track individuals? Who do you see winning this game of cat-and-mouse?

Alexander Stern: These new technologies could make it harder for the IRS but certainly not impossible. The Bitcoin blockchain is particularly susceptible to scrutiny. Panelist Prof. Ainsworth notes that “all the IRS needs to do is get a good computer out and draft assessment notices once they have the account numbers.

The fact that a lot of this is on a blockchain (and cannot be tampered with) does make the IRS smile. Assessments could not be easier. The metaphor of ‘fish in a barrel’ comes to mind.”

However, the IRS is a very capable agency. People try to dodge taxes outside of blockchain investments all of the time. When you start driving around in a Lamborghini but report only a small income, that raises some serious red flags. If the IRS can catch tax evaders using cash, it can do so with even the most sophisticated anonymous blockchain assets.

Bitcoinist: Given that 2017 was a record year in terms of price gains across the board for cryptocurrencies, do you believe we’ll see more people file taxes on the crypto returns this year or less?

Alexander Stern: All sorts of federal and state government agencies have seen the dramatic price appreciation of cryptocurrencies. They all want to increase their authority and get a piece of the pie. The panel report notes that only a few months ago we saw a ramp up in IRS scrutiny of Coinbase.

I think we’ll start seeing significant legal action taken against cryptocurrency tax dodgers, and this enforcement will spark a community-wide increase in paying taxes.

Bitcoinist: Do you think tax service companies like Turbo Tax or H&R Block will start offering cryptocurrency tax services as it becomes more popular?

Alexander Stern: Yes, I think that’s a great idea. Turbo Tax and H&R Block could make a ton of money by tapping into this burgeoning market. Most people want to comply with the law and that means paying taxes. These companies can make a few small additions to their systems and capture this market.

taxes

Bitcoinist: What’s your advice for cryptocurrency users moving forward? Should they keep track of every single transaction and trade?

Alexander Stern: The panel report does find people should track every single trade. Panelist Prof. Chodorow says, “To comply with the tax laws, keep track of how much you paid for each coin. Further, keep track of which coin you sell or spend as well as the value of the coin at the time you dispose of it. You will also need to determine how long you have held the coin. If you hold your coins at one of the exchange companies, those companies should be able to provide you that information.”

He adds, “Any time that you sell or spend a virtual coin, you will have a tax gain or loss if the value of the coin at the time you sold or spent it differs from the value when you acquired it.”

In other words, even if you buy a small item such as a cup of coffee, you are technically incurring a tax obligation.

It is no different than if you sold $5 in Bitcoin and took that $5 to the coffee shop. Both events are taxable. While this could limit the practical use of these assets as currencies, it may not be so onerous if you are with an exchange that automatically records all of the necessary information each time you make a trade.

Bitcoinist: Finally, where can people find more information on this topic?

Alexander Stern: I suggest that people read the entire Attorney IO panel report on cryptocurrency taxes and adjust their bookkeeping and tax strategies accordingly. Some of the best law professors in the world took the time to educate the cryptocurrency community about their obligations. It’s worth looking into what they have to say.

Did you pay your cryptocurrency taxes this year? Share your comments below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Attorney IO

Show comments

Share
Dub 15

Hong-Kong Based Exchange OKEx Plans to Move to Malta

· April 15, 2018 · 4:00 pm

OKEx, one of the largest exchanges in the world, has announced plans to move to the European island, Malta. This announcement came quickly after a similar announcement made by Binance, one of OKEx’s main competitors.


In an attempt to gain an understanding of the political climate around cryptocurrencies in Malta, OKEx’s executives met with the Maltese government. While many EU countries are taking a standoff-ish, if not downright hostile, approach to cryptocurrency, Malta – which aims to become a ‘global pioneer’ for cryptocurrency – has proven to be extremely welcoming to crypto and blockchain businesses.

Currently, OKEx only offers crypto to crypto trading along with a futures market. OKEx is currently based in Hong Kong, which has probably made it difficult for the exchange to obtain the required licenses to allow for a fiat gateway to be opened in collaboration with banking systems.  However, some suspect that with the move to Malta, that the exchange will open fiat to crypto trading, which will become an essential part of any successful exchange in the near future. 

OKEx CEO Chris Lee stated:

We look forward to working with the Malta government as it is forward thinking and shares many of our same values: the most important of which are protection of traders and the general public, compliance with Anti Money Laundering and Know Your Customer standards, and recognition of the innovation and importance of continued development in the Blockchain ecosystem.

Malta – a Global Pioneer for All Things Crypto

Since the rise of the cryptocurrency industry, Malta has been continually open to accepting companies who are looking for a bit more wiggle room with regard to regulations. As a result of this, Malta has established itself as the crypto and blockchain ‘go to’ locale as more startups and exchanges flock to the country.

Malta - a Global Pioneer for All Things Crypto

Earlier in 2018, Malta’s government announced their plans for a new segment of the government called the Digital Innovation Authority which aims to provide full legitimacy for blockchain and cryptocurrency companies alike.

It is unlikely that Malta will be averse to any legitimate cryptocurrency or blockchain company in the future as their policy plans indicate that they are willing to keep cryptocurrency rules minimal.

OKEx Chief Risk Officer and Head of Government Relations noted:

Malta’s Virtual Financial Asset Act is a solid foundation for the industry and the government to work together in fostering the nascent blockchain/digital asset industry. More specifically, Malta’s sound risk-based approach will help cultivate a responsible, compliant, and healthy ecosystem.

Do you think that the cryptocurrency and related technology industry will flourish in Malta? If not, where else? Let us know in the comments!


Images Courtesy of  AdobeStock, iStockPhoto

Show comments

Share
Dub 13

Yahoo! Japan Enters the Crypto Field: Acquires Minority Stake in Tokyo Crypto Exchange

· April 13, 2018 · 5:00 pm

Yahoo! Japan Corp announced on Friday its intentions to purchase a minority stake in BitARG Exchange Tokyo. The deal builds on the increasing mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrencies in the country on behalf of business in the face of some of the most prominent Japanese companies.


Getting Involved in the Crypto Field

As reported by Reuters, Yahoo! Japan Corp is set to buy a minority stake in a Tokyo-based, FSA-approved crypto exchange. The hope of Japan’s number #2 most popular and visited website is to completely dismiss concerns associated with security as well as to get involved in the cryptocurrency field. It’s safe to say that the move has its merit, as the company has had its fair share of security breaches in recent years.

Yahoo! is set to buy out a 40% stake off BitARG Exchange through one of its subsidiaries. The official launch of the services is scheduled to start sometime this autumn.

Even though official financial terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed, a person close to the matter said that the purchase amount is likely to be close to two or three billion yen, which is the rough equivalent of $18.6 to $27.9 million.

Serious Mainstream Business Adoption

Serious Mainstream Business Adoption

It seems that the Country of Eight Islands is becoming a hot spot for the crypto field – not only for individuals but also for businesses.

The Yahoo! deals follow recent moves of other major Japanese companies. Earlier last week, a leading local financial services firm confirmed the purchase of Coincheck – a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange which had suffered a hacker attack earlier in the year, setting it back with upwards of $430 million in compensation to its users.

Going further, back in January, the country’s largest messaging service, Line Corp, has also attested its interest in the field, applying for cryptocurrency exchange license.

Do you think Yahoo!’s deal will attribute to the development of the cryptocurrency field in the country? Will other big players follow? Please let us know in the comments below!


Images Courtesy of DepositPhotos

Show comments

Share
Dub 10

Bank of America: History’s Greatest Bubble Has Popped, But For Real This Time

· April 10, 2018 · 4:30 pm

Ignoring pretty much every piece of information outside of Bitcoin’s chart, Bank of America has officially announced that the greatest bubble in history is popping, but for real this time. 


The Greatest Bubble in History

For at least the 279th time, Bitcoin is dead.

As noted by Bloomberg, Bank of America’s Chief Investment Strategist Michael Harnett made the claim that the gold standard of cryptocurrency’s bubble has popped in a Sunday note. “The cryptocurrency is tracking the downfalls of the other massive asset-price bubbles in history less than one year out from its record,” claims the media company’s report.

Additional explanations from the North Carolina-based multinational financial services company, however, are not provided.

price bubbbles

Conveniently Ignoring the Facts

Bank of America’s FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) comes at a time when Bitcoin is struggling to maintain price action above $7000. It also, conveniently, fails to take into account the dominant cryptocurrency by market capitalization’s past parabolic runs and subsequent falls, which illustrate that the current situation is — more or less — par for the course.

Bank of America also apparently glosses over the cryptocurrency’s major developments, including the exciting Lightning Network — a second layer payment protocol which enables instant transactions between participating nodes and solves the scalability problem plaguing Bitcoin’s recent history.

Furthermore, Bank of America seems to care less about the increased interest in Bitcoin trading from ultra-rich insitutional investors like George Soros and the Rockefeller family — both of which have officially signaled their intentions to trade cryptocurrency.

The bank also fails to mention the New York Stock Exchange’s interest in listing Bitcoin futures contracts and the SEC’s potential allowance of Bitcoin ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) — both of which signal increased legitimacy.

Bank of America

America’s second largest bank has, however, expressed its fear of Bitcoin in the past. In February, Bank of America wrote in a Securities and Exchange Commission report:

The widespread adoption of new technologies, including internet services, cryptocurrencies and payment systems, could require substantial expenditures to modify or adapt our existing products and services.

The major bank has also contributed to the alleged popping of the Bitcoin bubble, having banned credit card purchases in the beginning of February — conveniently when the cryptocurrency market had just started to really roll downhill.

How much credence do you give Bank of America’s FUD-filled statements? Do you think Bitcoin is a bubble? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Bloomberg, Reuters, and Bitcoinist archives.

Show comments

Share
Dub 09

Bitcoin’s Richest Could Own a Significant Part of Global Wealth

· April 9, 2018 · 3:00 pm

Credit Suisse’s latest estimates indicate that for the first time the richest 1% own 50.1% of all global wealth, a proportion that’s likely to move to the richest 1% owning two-thirds of global wealth by 2030.


World’s Rich Getting Richer

Global wealth inequality had improved between 2000 and the financial crisis of 2007-2008 but the trend since has seen global wealth statistics shifting. The top 1% of individuals have gained a greater proportion of the world’s total wealth.

Projections in a report by the UK Parliament suggest that the world’s wealthiest individuals, the top 1%, will own 64% of global wealth by 2030.

Since 2008, the wealth of the richest 1% has been growing at an average of 6% a year – much faster than the 3% growth in wealth of the remaining 99% of the world’s population. Should that continue, the top 1% would hold wealth equating to $305tn (£216.5tn) – up from $140tn today.

The Wealthy are Investing

The House of Commons report goes on to suggest:

Wealth has become concentrated at the top because of recent income inequality, higher rates of saving among the wealthy, and the accumulation of assets. The wealthy also invested a large amount of equity in businesses, stocks and other financial assets, which have handed them disproportionate benefits.

Assuming that cryptocurrency investments could be among the financial assets providing “disproportionate benefits” how does this compare to the Bitcoin Rich List?

BitInfoCharts gave an estimation in January of how many millionaires had been created by the Bitcoin boom:

“It is impossible to know,” a spokesperson for BitInfoCharts told Penta. “My guess is somewhere between 20,000 and 200,000.”

What’s more is that the ultra-rich are starting to get into Bitcoin investment themselves. Yesterday, Bitcoinist reported how the Rockefeller family is placing a multi-million dollar bet on the bright future of cryptocurrency following the footsteps of billionaire George Soros and the Lichenstein crown prince just to name a few.

Bitcoin Wallets in the Top 1%

This could mean 200,000 of the world’s wealthiest 1% made at least part of their wealth from Bitcoin. Given that the price of Bitcoin could rise significantly by 2030, creating more wealth and more Bitcoin millionaires, Bitcoin owners could be a significant statistic in the volume of individuals controlling two-thirds of the planet’s wealth.

The three biggest Bitcoin wallets contain over 99974 Bitcoins, even at today’s low Bitcoin price of $6772 the three wallets are worth between $677 billion and $1.26 billion USD each. In comparison, the world’s richest individual, Jeff Bezos, is currently valued at $112 billion USD.

Twins

It is rumored that some of the biggest Bitcoin wallets and addresses are actually held by the FBI and that at least one of the top 10 wallets belongs to the as yet unidentified Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. The Winklevoss twins also hold at least one of the top 10 wallets.

Though some of the richest people in the world have undoubtedly got richer after investing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies the sector has also created a healthy number of new millionaires. These new millionaires may at least, in part, diversify the pool of wealthy who control the majority of the world’s total wealth.

What are your thoughts on the unequal distribution of global wealth? Is it good, or bad, that Bitcoin might be contributing to this inequality?


Images Courtesy of ZeroHedge, Credit Suisse, Shutterstock.

Show comments

Share
Dub 06

$25 Billion Owed in Crypto Taxes Causing ‘Massive’ Selling, Wall Street Analyst Says

· April 6, 2018 · 3:00 pm

‘Massive’ selling of cryptocurrencies into fiat by mid-April to be expected, as U.S. crypto holders ‘likely’ owe $25 billion in capital gain taxes according to Tom Lee, head of Fundstrat Global Advisors.


Tom Lee, the former chief equity strategist at J.P. Morgan Chase is amongst the few, if not the only Wall Street analysts who are providing regular thoughts and analysis on Bitcoin and the overall state of the crypto market.

Pressure Rises as Deadlines Approach

As the mid-April tax filing deadlines approach, Lee says that cryptocurrency selling pressure rises. In a report for CNBC, the analyst says that he estimates an approximate $25 billion being owned in capital gain taxes for cryptocurrency holdings by U.S. Households. And that’s the ‘low estimate’.

As the tax day approaches, we could witness ‘massive’ selling of cryptocurrencies into U.S. dollars.

Lee explained:

This is a massive outflow from crypto to USD and historical estimates are each $1 of USD outflow is $20-$25 impact on crypto market value.

Going further, the expert believes that selling pressure is also being piled up by crypto exchanges.

Many exchanges have net income in 2017 [of more than] $1 billion and keep working capital in Bitcoin or Ethereum and not in USD — hence, to meet these tax liabilities, are selling BTC/ETH.

Taxes are No Joke

In late March, the IRS reminded that virtual or digital currencies are taxable by law just as transactions of any other type of property. The taxman also went on reminding that steep penalties are in for those who fail to properly oblige by mid-April’s tax day.

While administrative cash penalties and interest are awaiting low-key crypto investors for failing to report their taxes, those who deal in larger quantities definitely have a lot more on the line to worry about, according to the release from the IRS:

Criminal charges could include tax evasion and filing a false tax return. Anyone convicted of tax evasion is subject to a prison term of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000. Anyone convicted of filing a false return is subject to a prison term of up to three years and a fine of up to $250,000.

Yet, a recent poll in twitter held between more than 7,500 people revealed that 53% of them aren’t really worried about taxes on the premise that “They’ll never catch me”.

What Does This Mean for the Crypto Market?

Tax-related selling would certainly add to the tough start of the year for Bitcoin. Yet, Tom Lee and other proponents remain positive.

When asked about Lee’s previous prediction of Bitcoin’s price, the analyst maintains his full-fledged positivity:

“We’re still positive. The important trends to focus on crypto are that there’s a lot of underlying progress, adoption is still growing,” adding that “Ultimately, we expect bitcoin to find footing after April [17], tax day.”

Do you think the price of Bitcoin will be affected by mid-April’s tax deadlines? Please let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Bitcoinist Archives; Pixabay

Show comments

Share
Dub 05

Experts: Cryptocurrency is ‘A Multi-Decade Trend’ and ‘Proxy for True Freedom’

· April 5, 2018 · 3:00 pm

2018’s cryptocurrency charts have you feeling blue? Don’t worry. According to some experts, there are still plenty of riches to be made by investing in market leaders.


‘Still way too early’

In 2017, plenty of individuals joined the new crypto-rich crew. However, many also became crypto-poor — having been left holding the bag after buying at all-time highs. Explained Invest.com Senior Analyst Jesse Cohen to Forbes:

It’s safe to say that the price action in the crypto market over the past few months has been very ugly. All the major coins have suffered steep double-digit declines since the start of the year and are all trading below their respective 200-day moving averages, which usually signals more losses ahead.

However — though nobody can predict the future — it would be foolish to assume that “Bitcoin is dead,” “the cryptocurrency bubble has popped,” or that any other FUD-filled statement repeated time and time again has finally come to fruition. Explains Cohen:

We’ve seen Bitcoin do this before, where it plunges sharply over a prolonged period only to violently bounce back to new highs in a short time. While it isn’t looking too hot at the moment, it’s still way too early to call the end of Bitcoin, or cryptos in general.

Bitcoin

‘A Multi-Decade Trend’

“Way too early,” indeed. In many respects, cryptocurrency and its underlying blockchain technology is only really starting to gain traction now, with the majority of projects still in their developmental stages. Meanwhile, most of those that are already developed are still struggling to gain mainstream adoption — something many digital currency proponents see as an inevitability. Aaron Lasher, BRD CMO and co-founder, agrees, saying:

The game isn’t over, Digital scarcity is a major innovation in money and value, and we’re in the initial stages of a multi-decade trend towards tokenization of assets.

He also goes so far as to call cryptocurrency’s potential life-changing, asking Forbes:

If sending money globally as easily as an email doesn’t impress you, how about the ability to store your life savings in your head, then walking your family across a war-torn border to safety?

cryptocurrencies

‘True Freedom’

Those who care less about the life-changing applications of cryptocurrencies and more about the potential riches and “true freedom” to be gained by speculating in the market also have reason for optimism. Explained Lasher to Forbes:

Getting rich with cryptocurrency is a proxy for true freedom, a personal financial situation that is largely immune to the politics, flaws, and vicissitudes of an interconnected, global system — an oasis of security and a platform for individual pursuits.

Do you think the cryptocurrency bubble has burst, or do you think the market has only begun to show its true potential? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Bitcoinist archives.

Show comments

Share
Dub 02

When Lambo? Cryptocurrency Millionaires Cause Supercar Sales Spike

· April 2, 2018 · 3:00 pm

Lamborghini sales have indeed been boosted by the cryptocurrency community’s obsession with the Italian supercar — but is that really all investors should aspire to achieve?


When Lambo?

As noted by Business Insider, rich individuals in Silicon Valley don’t generally flaunt their wealth — instead favoring a more casual, humble, and work-focused approach. That’s not the case with the newfound ‘crypto-rich,’ however.

Lamborghini

In a young industry full of newfound bag-holders looking who bought high and sold low during the epic bull-run and subsequent collapse over the last five months, the words “When Lambo?” have been sarcastically (and seriously) asked on virtually every cryptocurrency-related social media thread one can possibly find.

Though most users asking that question will never get behind the wheel of a Lamborghini, plenty of cryptocurrency investors have struck it rich by getting involved with the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and others early on — which has, in turn, helped boost sales of the much sought after Italian supercar.

Now Lambo!

As reported by Lamborghini, 2017 proved to be another record year for the luxury automobile maker. The company delivered 3,815 vehicles last year, marking seven straight years of positive sales growth.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, more than a few of those automobiles have been purchased with cryptocurrency.

Lamborghini

Pietro Frigerio, the dealer principal and general manager at Lamborghini Newport Beach in Costa Mesa, California, told CNBC’s Make It that Lamborghini sales spiked when Bitcoin reached all-time highs in December 2017, saying:

We went from one, maybe two transactions a month from 2013 until 2016, and in [December 2017] alone we had over 10 transactions.

One particularly famous Lamborghini buyer is Peter Saddington, a 35-year-old coder living in Atlanta, who became internet famous after purchasing a 2015 Lamborghini Huracan, worth $200,000, with 45 bitcoins — which he purchased for less than $3 per bitcoin in 2011. Saddington remarked to Yahoo Finance:

Buying the Lambo with bitcoin is proof it can be used for real transactions, buying really cool stuff. It’s not only used by criminals.

Really? Lambo?

Not everyone in the cryptocurrency space is so keen on Lamborghini purchases as a means of flaunting one’s newfound wealth.

Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin — who recently contributed to a $1 million donation in OmiseGO (OMG) tokens to refugees living in poverty — once lambasted ‘#WhenLambo’ cryptocurrency investors on Twitter.

In a statement regarding Buterin’s and OmiseGO’s donation to impoverished refugees, the collective wrote:

The crypto economy has grown immensely over the last year, bringing a great deal of wealth to many people and organizations within the ecosystem. In part we simply see an exciting opportunity to share that wealth. We hope the fortunes made in the crypto space will lead not to extravagant lifestyles but to extravagant generosity.

Though we’re not one to tell people how to spend their money, don’t expect to find ‘When charity?’ questions to be asked by eager Redditors on the Verge subreddit anytime soon.

What do you think about the cryptocurrency community’s desire to buy, above all things, Lamborghinis? Do you think cryptocurrency-generated wealth could be better served? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Bitcoinist archives, Pixabay, and Twitter/@VitalikButerin.

Show comments

Share
Bře 30

South Korean Exchange YouBit’s $2.8 Million Insurance Claim Denied

· March 30, 2018 · 2:30 pm

The Seoul-based cryptocurrency exchange Youbit has seen its insurance claim denied by a South Korean insurance company following a high-profile cyber attack in December.


Rejected!

Youbit was hacked twice in 2017. The first cyber attack on the little-known exchange took place in April and saw 4000 BTC covertly liberated from Youbit’s stores. The exchange never fully recovered before it was hacked again in December, losing an estimated 17 percent of its total assets.

Youbit is operated by Yapian Corp. According to The Wall Street Journal, the operators filed a claim with DB Insurance Co. – one of South Korea’s largest property-and-casualty insurance companies. Notes the report, the policy “had taken effect just weeks before,” and “covered up to $2.8 million in damages for an annual premium of about $244,400.”

On Thursday, DB Insurance confirmed its rejection of Yapian’s claim in February. The company was seeking the maximum $2.8 million. No reason for the denial was provided.

Going Broke

In December, Bitcoinist reported on Youbit’s announcement that it has filed for bankruptcy following the second hack. Read the announcement:

I am very sorry to inform you again with the sad news. After the accident in April, we made every effort to strengthen security, recruit personnel, and reduce hot wallet storage… In the meantime, due to the hacking of our company at 4:35 in the morning, funds have been lost from your wallet.

Youbit claimed it would go through a formal bankruptcy procedure to minimize customer fallout, but that balances would still auto-adjust to a fraction of their former worth, with the aim to refund once formal proceedings are over. Said the exchange:

Through various measures such as the sale of cyber comprehensive insurance (3 billion [won]) and the operating rights of the company, the loss to members is expected to be lower than 17%… I will make every effort to minimize this.

DB Insurance’s denial of Yapian’s claim will certainly not help matters.

What do you think about DB Insurance’s denial of Yapian’s claim for $2.8 million in damages? Do you think that cyber attacks against cryptocurrency exchanges will continue to increase? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Pixabay

Show comments

Share