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Category Archives: Blockchain, Crypto, Digital Assets Regulations

Foreign property tax implications associated with owning cryptocurrencies

Financial Post | Jamie Golombek | Oct 14, 2021

Crypto taxes - Foreign property tax implications associated with owning cryptocurrenciesWhere, exactly, is your cryptocurrency located? It's complicated

If you hold foreign property whose total cost exceeds $100,000 at any point in a tax year, you’re required to file Form T1135. The form covers the obvious things, such as your Swiss bank account or Cayman offshore investment portfolio, but it’s also required for foreign stocks, such as Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. or Google owner Alphabet Inc., that are held in a Canadian, non-registered brokerage account.

The penalty for filing late is $25 per day to a maximum of $2,500, plus arrears interest. There have been at least 20 reported cases in which taxpayers have been assessed a late-filing penalty since the 1998 introduction of Form T1135.

Is cryptocurrency considered foreign property?

Those questions were discussed in a recent article by William Musani and Ashvin Singh of Felesky Flynn LLP, a boutique tax law firm with offices in Alberta and Saskatchewan. They analyzed whether cryptocurrency falls under the technical definition of “specified foreign property” in the Income Tax Act, which includes “intangible property situated, deposited, or held outside Canada that is not used or held exclusively in the course of carrying on an active business of the taxpayer.”

Back in 2015, the CRA stated that “digital currency would be funds or intangible property and would be specified foreign property of a person or partnership to the extent that it is situated, deposited or held outside of Canada.”

See:  Proposed Amendments to the GST/HST Treatment of Cryptocurrencies

But where, exactly, is your cryptocurrency located?

In practice, an entitlement to your cryptocurrency exists in the form of a digital ledger on the related blockchain. But because it’s stored on a blockchain, it can simultaneously exist in several geographic locations.

These digital ledgers are considered both “distributed” and “decentralized” databases. The database that records the entitlements of a cryptocurrency holder is stored and updated in many locations at once — that is, distributed — which makes it difficult, if not impossible, to manipulate its records. The ledgers are also decentralized, since no single distributed database is the sole source of the true ownership of the particular cryptocurrency.

The article’s authors argue that in relation to the location of your cryptocurrency holdings:

The geographic location of your private key is “arguably the most relevant factor in determining where such cryptocurrency is situated, deposited, or held for the purposes of the act.”

See:  Miami mayor says the city is moving toward paying public employees in bitcoin

But the answer to this may depend on whether you are using a “hot” or “cold” digital wallet. Hot wallets are digital wallets connected to the internet, which is how nearly all cryptocurrency exchanges or online providers store your cryptocurrency.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Foreign property tax implications associated with owning cryptocurrencies The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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CFTC fines Tether US$41M for misleading claims about currency backing

Bloomberg | Jesse Westbrook | Oct 15, 2021

Tether fined 41M - CFTC fines Tether US$41M for misleading claims about currency backingTether will pay US$41 million to settle allegations it lied in claiming its digital tokens were fully backed by fiat currencies, putting a major compliance headache behind the world’s biggest issuer of stablecoins even as regulatory scrutiny intensifies.

For years, Tether told customers and the broader cryptocurrency market that it had US$1 in reserve to back every token, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in a Friday statement. That claim was wildly misleading, according to the agency. For instance, from June to September 2017, there was never more than US$61.5 million backing Tether, even as more 442 million coins were circulating at one point.

Read:  Tether banned on Canada’s first 2 licensed digital currency exchanges

“This case highlights the expectation of honesty and transparency in the rapidly growing and developing digital assets marketplace,” said acting CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam.

Tether is widely used to trade Bitcoin and other tokens, making it pivotal to the crypto market. That’s because the coin allows quick transactions and because it’s designed to be largely immune to volatile price swings -- a function of its one-to-one peg to fiat currencies.

But many traders have long been skeptical that Tether genuinely had the money backing the coins that it claimed. More recently, the Treasury Department and other federal agencies have been alarmed by the stablecoin’s dramatic growth. There are now Tethers worth about US$69 billion in circulation, prompting concerns among that crypto-market disruptions could trigger chaotic investor fire sales that threaten the financial system.

In its enforcement action, the CFTC said Tether failed to disclose that it held unsecured receivables and non-fiat assets as part of its reserves, and falsely told investors it would undergo routine, professional audits to demonstrate that it maintained “100 per cent reserves at all times.”

See:  Is Tether a Black Swan?

In fact, Tether reserves weren’t audited, the agency said. Until at least 2018, Tether manually kept tabs on its reserve levels, a process that wasn’t updated in real time, the CFTC said. Tether didn’t admit or deny the CFTC’s allegations.

“Tether agreed to resolve this matter in order to move forward and focus on the future,” the company said in a statement posted on its website.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - CFTC fines Tether US$41M for misleading claims about currency backing The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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First American bitcoin ETF (ProShares Trust) looks set to debut Tuesday

MarketWatch | Mark DeCambre | Oct 18, 2021

ProShares bitcoin ETF approved in US - First American bitcoin ETF (ProShares Trust) looks set to debut TuesdayProShares looked set to offer the first bitcoin exchange-traded fund, marking a major milestone in the crypto sector as digital assets gain greater mainstream adoption.

The fund provider submitted an amended filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for a bitcoin futures ETF that set the table for a launch soon, said Todd Rosenbluth, head of ETF and mutual fund research at CFRA, in a phone interview.

See:  Bitcoin ETF option gives investors a safer and liquid way to get exposure

The filing for the Bitcoin Strategy ETF points to a rollout of the fund on Tuesday. The new ETF would end a yearslong push for a approval of a bitcoin ETF that started back in 2013 and has seen scores of applications rejected by the SEC.

Anticipation had been building for a bitcoin futures ETF after SEC Chairman Gary Gensler earlier this year said he supported such a structure, which he argues offers more investor protections than an ETF that is tied directly to physical bitcoin.

Bitcoin has seen its price surge in anticipation of the ETF, with the value of the world’s No. 1 crypto above $61,000 up 7.1%, in anticipation of a bitcoin ETF.

Some bitcoin professionals have made the case that using futures contracts for an ETF, rather than using bitcoin directly, confers additional costs to the end user, which could be mitigated by using the spot market. Futures are derivatives that are designed to allow investors to gain exposure to a commodity without owning it outright. However, futures contracts roll monthly, or expire, and must be repurchased, which can add to costs in administering the fund, which, in turn, are passed on to end users.

See:  Cathie Wood’s Ark grants itself power to buy Canadian Bitcoin ETFs

The ticker symbol for the ProShares offering is set to be “BITO” and the fund carries and expense ratio of 0.95%, which means that it will cost $9.50 annually for every $1,000 invested.

On top of the costs, futures don’t always track the underlying asset accurately.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - First American bitcoin ETF (ProShares Trust) looks set to debut Tuesday The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Bitcoin’s mystery man turns up in the law courts

The Law Society Gazette | | Michael Cross | Oct 14, 2021

Bitcoins mystery man - Bitcoin’s mystery man turns up in the law courts

Source: iStock

As far as his acolytes are concerned, the ministry on earth of Satoshi Nakamoto lasted just over two years.

During that time, from the end of 2008, ‘he’ - Satoshi is a male given name - published a brilliantly written white paper setting out the principles of a currency that could operate without a central authority. He also released the computer code to turn Bitcoin in to practice (written in the programming language C++) and engaged in web conversations about its debugging and development. The last public comment appeared in December 2010. Email exchanges with developers continued for a few months, but then Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared without trace. 'I’ve moved on to other things,' he wrote in April 2011.

His, or their, identity remains a mystery.

See:  Privacy laws might prove to be a blessing in disguise for crypto

At least that is the widely accepted version of history among the mixture of geniuses, visionaries, hard-headed entrepreneurs, gullible punters and outright rogues who make up the global Bitcoin community. However a series of actions in the English courts could rewrite the authorised version. They are being brought by Dr Craig Wright, an Australian academic and Bitcoin entrepreneur resident in England, who says that the identity of Satoshi is no mystery, because it is he. Wright has registered the US copyright of Bitcoin's founding white paper and the original computer code. In June this year the High Court granted default judgment against the bitcoin.org website for infringement of his rights.

Wright is also taking vigorous action for defamation against those who dispute his claim. Judgment in a pre-trial review of one such action, against posts by a podcaster named Peter McCormack, resulted in a 256-paragraph ruling in the Queen's Bench Division earlier this month. Legal action is understood to be under way against another blogger.

Why, you may ask, does this matter? Surely Dr Wright has every right to defend his reputation, which has been subject to unquestionably vicious attacks. To quote Mr Justice Julian Knowles, Wright 'avers by way of innuendo the said words meant and were understood to mean that the claimant had fraudulently claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto'. Not that there appears to be much innuendo in complained-of phrases such as: 'Craig Wright is a fucking liar, and he's a fraud; and he's a moron'. (McCormack admits publication.)

See:  Bitcoin is an Unstoppable Force

The immediate answer is that anyone claiming, or admitting, to being Satoshi Nakamoto must accept responsibilities along with the kudos. A widely believed reason for 'Satoshi's' disappearance was the growing concern by law enforcement agencies in the use of Bitcoin to finance criminal and terrorist activity. These concerns have not gone away. The financial services authorities may also be interested: Satoshi's Bitcoin holding is in theory worth some $60bn. And HMRC is unlikely to ignore the sudden appearance of a multi-multi-billionaire apparently within its jurisdiction.

Wright is already contesting a lawsuit in the US over the ownership of a very large sum in Bitcoin; a trial opens in Miami next month.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Bitcoin’s mystery man turns up in the law courts The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Speech by Jon Cunliffe: ‘Is crypto a financial stability risk’?

Bank of England | Jon Cunliffe, Deputy Governor, Financial Stability | Oct 13, 2021

Sir Jon Cunliffe - Speech by Jon Cunliffe: ‘Is crypto a financial stability risk'?

Sir Jon Cunliffe, Deputy Governor, Financial Stability, BoE

Jon Cunliffe's Speech Overview delivered at Sibos:  Jon Cunliffe looks at the impact of ‘crypto’ on the stability of the UK’s financial system.  He says unbacked crypto-assets (eg Bitcoin) and backed crypto-assets for payments (stablecoins) have begun to connect to the financial system. And he talks about how regulators are responding to their rapid growth.

I want to talk today about whether the world of ‘crypto finance’ poses risks to financial stability.

Cryptoassets have grown by roughly 200% in 2021, from just under $800 billion to $2.3 trillion today. They have grown from just $16 billion 5 years ago. $2.3 trillion of course needs to be seen in the context of the $250 trillion global financial system. But as the financial crisis showed us, you don’t have to account for a large proportion of the financial sector to trigger financial stability problems – sub-prime was valued at around $1.2 trillion in 2008.

See: 

When something in the financial system is growing very fast, and growing in largely unregulated space, financial stability authorities have to sit up and take notice. They have to think very carefully about what could happen and whether they, or other regulatory authorities, need to act.

At the same time, they need to be careful not to over-react – particularly when faced with the unfamiliar. We should not classify new approaches as ‘dangerous’ simply because they are different. Innovation, technology and new players can tackle longstanding frictions and inefficiencies and reduce barriers to entry. Throughout history, they have been key to driving improvement and to increasing resilience in financial services.

I will give you my conclusions at the outset. Crypto technologies offer a prospect of radical improvements in financial services. However, while the financial stability risks are still limited, their current applications are now a financial stability concern for a number of reasons.

Cryptoassets are growing fast and there is rapid development of new applications for the technology. The bulk of these assets have no intrinsic value and are vulnerable to major price corrections. The crypto world is beginning to connect to the traditional financial system and we are seeing the emergence of leveraged players. And, crucially, this is happening in largely unregulated space.

Unbacked cryptoassets

Unbacked cryptoassets make up nearly 95% of the $2.3 trillion.

They are essentially non-replicable strings of computer code that can be owned and transferred without intermediaries. Bitcoin, of course, is the most prominent example, but there are now nearly eight thousand unbacked cryptoassets in existence. These have no intrinsic value – that is to say there are no assets or commodities behind them: the value of the cryptoasset is determined solely by the price a buyer is prepared to pay at any given moment.  As a result, their value is highly volatile.

See:  World Economic Forum (WEF) Warns of Cyberattack that will Collapse Existing Financial System

And while retail investment predominates in this market, there are signs of growing institutional investor interest, with these investors now thinking about whether to have crypto in their portfolio. More complex investment strategies are beginning to emerge, including crypto futures and other derivatives.

At the same time, core wholesale finance and financial market infrastructure firms are putting their toes in the water. Several global banks are offering, or are planning to offer, digital asset custody services. Some international banks have started to, or are looking at, trading cryptoasset futures and non-deliverable forwards; and offering wealth management clients cryptoasset investments, following client demand. Others have developed exchange platforms facilitating matched trades, or offer customers access to other crypto exchanges through their apps. Leading payment firms are also exploring ways of allowing people and businesses to use certain stablecoins for payments and for the settlement of transactions within their networks.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Speech by Jon Cunliffe: ‘Is crypto a financial stability risk'? The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Amidst Regulatory Controversy Binance Launches $1 Billion Crypto Fund

Decrypt | Scott Chipolina | Oct 12, 2021

Binance background - Amidst Regulatory Controversy Binance Launches $1 Billion Crypto FundCrypto exchange Binance has launched a $1 billion growth fund to spur on the adoption of blockchain technology, as well as to support the Binance Smart Chain blockchain itself.

“With the $1 billion initiative, our focus will be widened to building cross-chain and multi-chain infrastructures integrated with different types of blockchains”

Gwendolyn Regina, investment director of the Binance Smart Chain Accelerator Fund reportedly said in a statement.

Approximately half of the funds will go to blockchain services, as well as other, more niche areas of the crypto world such as gaming and virtual reality.

See:  Binance: The low-down on the drama-ridden crypto exchange

In addition, about $300 million will reportedly go to a builder program, and another $100 million will go to talent development and liquidity incentives. Liquidity incentives in this context suggest the fund will provide additional bonuses to crypto platforms. Increased yields for a limited time on decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms has been one example of this.

News of the fund comes amid a long and drawn-out period of regulatory controversy for Binance.

It’s been a difficult few months for Binance, as the exchange has raised the ire of financial services regulators around the world.

Regulators in the UK, Italy, Malaysia, the Cayman Islands, Singapore, Holland, South Africa, and Japan have all addressed the exchange’s apparent regulatory shortcomings.

In Holland and Japan, the Dutch Central Bank and the Financial Services Agency issued consumer warnings about Binance. In Italy and the Cayman Islands, regulators said Binance is not licensed to do business in their respective countries.

Read:  Binance Under the Microscope: Former FBI Agent Discusses Possible Investigation of World’s Largest Crypto Exchange

“We have come to realize that we need a centralized entity to work well with regulators,” Zhao said last month.

The Malaysia Securities Commission went as far as to take enforcement action against Binance for allegedly operating illegally in the country.

Singapore—where CZ lives—said Binance is not currently licensed, but recently told Decrypt an application was ongoing. Last month, the Monetary Authority of Singapore placed Binance on an Investor Alert List.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Amidst Regulatory Controversy Binance Launches $1 Billion Crypto Fund The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Miami mayor says the city is moving toward paying public employees in bitcoin

ComplianceX | Jack J. Kelly | Oct 13, 2021

Miami - Miami mayor says the city is moving toward paying public employees in bitcoin

Miami will advance a plan to pay city workers in bitcoin, Mayor Francis Suarez told Bloomberg on Tuesday, expanding on his push to make the Florida city a major hub for digital assets.

“We’re going for a request for proposal in October to allow our employees to get paid in bitcoin, to allow our residents to pay for fees in bitcoin and even taxes potentially in bitcoin if the county allows it,” Suarez said in an interview with the business channel.

A formal solicitation would come after the city commissioners in February backed his resolution to direct the city manager to procure a vendor to offer employees the ability to receive a percentage of their salary in bitcoin.

See:  Miami’s mayor says MiamiCoin generated over $5 million USD for the city in the last 30 days

At the time, bitcoin traded close to $48,000, then hit an all-time high of $64,804.72 in April, fell below $30,000 in July, and recently reclaimed the $55,000 mark.

Despite the price volatility, Suarez also wants the state of Florida to allow Miami to hold bitcoin on its balance sheet. Statutes at the state and federal levels currently don’t allow cryptocurrencies to be owned by municipalities.

“It’s a major priority for me because I want us to differentiate ourselves as the crypto capital of the United States or of the world,” Suarez told Bloomberg Tuesday.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Miami mayor says the city is moving toward paying public employees in bitcoin The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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