Archive for Category: News

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  • NYSE Parent Company Reveals Launch Date for Bitcoin Futures on Bakkt Platform

    NYSE Parent Company Reveals Launch Date for Bitcoin Futures on Bakkt Platform

    The parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), has announced the launch date for Bitcoin (BTC) futures on its platform Bakkt, according to a document released Oct. 22.

    Bakkt is a platform for trading, storing, and spending digital assets that was established earlier this year by global exchange operator ICE.

    Per the document, ICE will list Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contracts for trading on Dec. 12, 2018. The product will be physically-settled and cleared by ICE Clear U.S., Inc. The notice further explains:

    “Each futures contract calls for delivery of one bitcoin held in the Bakkt Digital Asset Warehouse, and will trade in U.S. dollar terms. One daily contract will be listed for trading each Exchange Business Day.”

    The announcement is backed by a previous statement in September that the company’s “first contracts will be physically delivered BTC futures contracts versus fiat currencies” against U.S. dollars, pounds sterling, and euro.

    As previously reported, Bakkt will not support margin trading for its BTC contract. By refraining from allowing for margin, leverage and cash settlement, the platform will reportedly better support market integrity and enable the “trusted price formation” that it says is the key to “advancing the promise of digital currencies.”

    In December of last year, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board Operations Exchange (CBOE) launched Bitcoin futures. This summer, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco wrote an Economic Letter stating that “the rapid run-up and subsequent fall in the price after the introduction of futures does not appear to be a coincidence” and “it is consistent with trading behavior that typically accompanies the introduction of futures markets for an asset."

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  • Overstock’s Medici Ventures Invests in Decentralized Social Network

    Overstock’s Medici Ventures Invests in Decentralized Social Network

    Overstock’s venture capital subsidiary Medici Ventures has invested in decentralized social network Minds, Inc. (, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph Oct. 22.

    Founded in 2011, Minds is a decentralized social networking platform that rewards users for their activity online via cryptocurrencies, revenue, and views of their content. Recently, Minds launched its native crypto token $MINDS on the Ethereum (ETH) Mainnet, which can be earned for engagement on the platform.

    Per the release, Minds has received Series A investment from Medici Ventures, although the investment sum was not revealed. With the investment, founder and CEO Patrick M. Byrne has reportedly become a member of Mind’s board of directors.

    Moreover, Minds has adopted the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Manila Principles as the platform’s Digital Bill of Rights in order to “ensure freedom of speech” for its users.

    Overstock has been actively demonstrating its interest in blockchain-powered projects around the world. Earlier this month, the company through its subsidiary Medici Ventures invested in Israeli-based technology company VinX to develop a token-based digital wine futures platform based on the Bordeaux futures model.

    Prior to that, Overstock’s blockchain land registry subsidiary Medici Land Governance (MLG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Zambia. The firm will work with the Zambian government on revamping land ownership, allowing rural landowners to legitimize their estates and access financial instruments.

    Byrne, who is known as an early advocate for Bitcoin (BTC) and blockchain technology, sold 10 percent of his shares — a $20 million sum — in September. In an open letter to investors, which Byrne signed "your humble servant," he pointed out several reasons for shareholders not to be concerned about his decision, saying “don't worry, I'm still in the game, and we're going to bring this House to its knees." Byrne also noted that he is going to reinvest most of his sold shares “next to you [investors].”

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  • Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, Monero, TRON: Price Analysis, October 22

    Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, Monero, TRON: Price Analysis, October 22

    The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

    Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

    The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global anti-money laundering (AML) supervisory body, will set up rules to monitor cryptocurrencies by June of next year. This is a welcome step that will create uniform regulations and reduce the use of virtual currencies for money laundering and terrorism financing.

    In 2017 and in early 2018, Bitcoin’s volatility was a hot topic. It was cited as one of the key deterrents in the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. Fast forward to the last quarter of 2018, and the 20-day historical volatility (HV) of Bitcoin has fallen to 31.5 percent, below that of top stocks like Amazon, Netflix, and Nvidia Corp, whose HV is 35 percent, 52 percent, and 40 percent respectively.

    Is this the new normal or just the calm before the storm? Only time can answer that. Let’s study the charts and identify the key levels that will determine whether the cryptocurrencies will continue their downfall or enter a trend reversal.


    Bitcoin dipped below the moving averages on Oct. 19, but the bears could not capitalize on the fall, as the price climbed back up the next day. The 20-day EMA is flat while the 50-day SMA is gradually sloping down. The RSI is at the midpoint. All the indicators and the price action suggest a state of equilibrium between the buyers and the sellers.


    If the bears break below $6,500, the fall can extend to $6,200. The critical level on the downside is the support zone of $5,900–$6,075.04. If this breaks, we anticipate panic selling that can result in a steep decline.

    On the upside, a break out of $6,831.99 will attract buying and force the short sellers to cover their positions, propelling the BTC/USD pair to $7,400.

    Volumes have dropped and there is no confident trading either from the bulls or the bears. We have to wait for either party to make a decisive move. Until then, sluggish, range bound action is likely to continue. Traders who own long positions can keep a protective stop at $5,900.


    Ethereum continues to trade below both moving averages, which is a negative sign. It can now slide to the first support at $192.5, below which a retest of the Sept. 12 low of $167.32 is probable.


    On the upside, if the ETH/USD pair breaks out of the moving averages, it can reach the top of the $192.5–$249.93 range.

    The digital currency will become positive if it can scale $250. If the bulls sustain above the range, a rally to $322 is probable. We can’t find any setups as long as the price remains inside the range.


    The bears have successfully defended the 20-day EMA for the past four days. Ripple can now correct to the 50-day SMA, which might act as a support.


    If the bears break below the 50-day SMA, the XRP/USD pair can drop to $0.37185. On the upside, a break and close (UTC time frame) above the 20-day EMA can carry prices to $0.5, $0.55, and further to $0.625.

    We couldn’t find any reliable buy setups at the current levels, hence we are not suggesting any trades in the pair.


    Bitcoin Cash is struggling to bounce off the support line of the symmetrical triangle. The price has failed to rise above the 20-day EMA, which is a bearish sign. Both moving averages are sloping down and the RSI is also in the negative territory. This shows that the bears have an upper hand.


    A break down of the triangle and the Sept. 11 intraday low of $408.0182 will resume the downtrend, pushing the price to the next support at $300. Therefore, traders can keep a stop loss at $400 on their existing long positions. The BCH/USD pair will show signs of a pullback if it breaks out of the triangle.


    EOS has been stuck close to $5.5 for the past six days. Both moving averages are flat and the RSI is close to the neutral territory. This shows that the consolidation might continue for a few more days.


    The EOS/USD pair will indicate a trend reversal if it breaks out of $6.8299. If the price sustains above the range, a rally to $9 is probable.

    On the downside, if the bears break down of $4.4930, a retest of $3.8723 will be on the cards. The traders can protect their long positions with a stop loss at $4.9.


    Stellar has been trading close to the downtrend line of the descending triangle for the past four days but has failed to break out out it. Currently, it is trading above both moving averages, which are sloping up. This is a positive sign.


    A break out of the triangle can propel the XLM/USD pair to $0.36, with a minor resistance at $0.3. Therefore, the traders can initiate a long position on a close (UTC time frame) above $0.27, which is just above the intraday high of Oct. 15.  

    If the bears defend the downtrend line and sink the price below the moving averages, the digital currency can slide to the lower support zone of $0.184–$0.2.


    Litecoin has been gradually sliding towards the bottom of the range of $49.466–$69.279. Both moving averages are sloping down and the RSI is in the negative territory, which is a bearish sign.


    A break down of the range will resume the downtrend and can plunge the LTC/USD pair to the next lower support at $40.

    The virtual currency will show first signs of a trend reversal if it breaks out of $69.279 and sustains above it. Following the breakout, the price can rally to the next overhead resistance at $94. The traders should wait for a confirmed breakout before initiating any long positions.


    Both moving averages and the price of Cardano are bunched close to each other with hardly any movement in the past three days. The virtual currency is stuck in a large range of $0.060105–$0.094256.


    If the bulls push the price above the moving averages and $0.083, a rally to the overhead resistance of $0.094256 is probable.

    On the downside, a break below $0.069 can sink the pair to the critical support of $0.060105. With the ADA/USD pair trading close to the midpoint of the range, we couldn’t find any reliable buy setups at the current levels.


    Monero has held the $104 mark for the past four days and is currently attempting to climb above the 20-day EMA. If it rises above both moving averages, it can move up to $128.65.


    If the XMR/USD pair rebounds from the 20-day EMA, it can slide to $100, which will act as a strong support, as this level has held on two previous occasions. The flattening moving averages point to a consolidation. However, if the bears break below $100, a drop to $81 is likely.


    TRON continues to trade near the 20-day EMA. The intraday range has shrunk dramatically in the past three days, which shows a lack of both buying and selling interest among the market participants.


    The TRX/USD pair will make its next move after it breaks out and sustains above the top of the current range of $0.0183–$0.02815521. As the cryptocurrency has been trading inside this range for more than two months, we anticipate the breakout to carry it to the next overhead resistance of $0.04158193. The traders can buy on a close (UTC time frame) above $0.03, keeping the initial stop loss at $0.02.

    If the bears push the price below the support of $0.0183, the next target on the downside is $0.00844479.

    Market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. Charts for analysis are provided by TradingView.

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  • Crypto Market Sees Slight Losses After Trading Sideways, Bitcoin Hovers Near $6,400

    Crypto Market Sees Slight Losses After Trading Sideways, Bitcoin Hovers Near $6,400

    Monday, Oct. 22: markets have taken a slight downtrend after trading sideways last week, with 15 of the top 20 digital currencies by market capitalization in the red, and Bitcoin (BTC) trading around $6,400, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

    Market visualization by Coin360

    Market visualization by Coin360

    The BTC price has been trading in a narrow corridor from $6,372 to $6,730 at its highest point during the day. The leading cryptocurrency has lost 0.45 percent over the last 24 hours, and is trading at $6,483 as of press time. In terms of its weekly performance, BTC has seen a price drop by 0.43 percent, per Bitcoin Price Index.

    Bitcoin weekly price chart. Source: Bitcoin Price Index

    Bitcoin weekly price chart. Source: Bitcoin Price Index

    Ethereum (ETH) has seen larger losses on the day, with a 6 percent drop and trading around $201 at press time. Its weekly chart shows that ETH fell to as low as $202 on Oct. 19, while its highest point was $212 on Oct.16, subsequently correcting downwards and then sideways in the last few days. The second largest coin is down over 1.5 percent during the last 7 days, with monthly losses over 16 percent.

    Ethereum weekly price chart. Source: Ethereum Price Index​​​​​​​

    Ethereum weekly price chart. Source: Ethereum Price Index

    Litecoin (LTC) has gained 1 percent on the day and is trading around $53 at press time. On its weekly chart, LTC has declined from its peak of $55 on Oct. 16 echoing a similar value from Oct. 19.

    Litecoin weekly price chart. Source: Litecoin Price Index

    Litecoin weekly price chart. Source: Litecoin Price Index

    Tether (USDT) has seen a slight gain of around 0.33 percent, and is trading at $0.986 at press time. Today marks the higher price point of the coin over the last seven days, while its lowest point was $0.96 on Oct.18.

    Tether 7 days price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap​​​​​​​

    Tether 7 days price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

    The remaining top ten coins on CoinMarketCap are down slightly or trading sideways, with Ripple (XRP) losing 1.07 percent to trade at $0.453, EOS down 0.86 percent at $5.38. Stellar (XLM) is up by a slight 0.27 percent to trade at $0.242.

    Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is also down by 0.39 percent, Cardano (ADA) is down by 0.07 percent, and Monero (XMR) is up by 0.06 percent.

    Total market capitalization of all digital currencies is over $209 billion at press time, up around $3 billion from its intraweek low of around $206 billion on Oct. 19.

    Total market capitalization 7-day chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

    Total market capitalization 7-day chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

    Digital currencies have mostly been trading sideways over the last week, though yesterday Oct. 21 the market saw a little momentum, with all the major cryptocurrencies making slight gains, and BTC trading back above $6,500. Total market cap saw a slight influx over the day, up to $210 billion from $209 billion.

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  • US SEC Suspends Securities Trading of Nevada-Based Firm for False Crypto Claims

    US SEC Suspends Securities Trading of Nevada-Based Firm for False Crypto Claims

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has suspended securities trading of a Nevada-based firm for making false claims that its cryptocurrency trading activities were approved by the SEC, according to an announcement published Oct. 22.

    Per the SEC’s order, in August 2018 American Retail Group, Inc. aka Simex Inc. published two press releases stating that the company had partnered with a custodian qualified with the SEC.

    The partnership would purportedly allow the company to conduct crypto transactions that would be “under SEC Regulations.” American Retail Group also stated in the releases that it was conducting a token offering, that was “officially registered in accordance [with] SEC requirements.”

    In response to the company’s statements, Robert A. Cohen, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit, said that “the SEC does not endorse or qualify custodians for cryptocurrency, and investors should use vigilance when considering an investment in an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).”

    The SEC noted that under federal securities laws, the regulator can suspend securities trading for 10 days, as well as ban a broker-dealer from soliciting investors to purchase and sell the stock until compliance with certain requirements is met.

    On Oct. 11, the SEC issued an investor alert warning investors to be cautious towards  fraudsters that may use false claims about regulators to lure them into buying digital assets and to artificially raise their value.

    “Federal government agencies, including the SEC and CFTC [Commodity Futures Trading Commission], do not endorse or sponsor any particular securities, issuers, products, services, professional credentials, firms, or individuals,” the warning reads.

    Earlier this month, North Dakota Securities Commissioner Karen Tyler issued cease and desist orders against three firms for allegedly offering unregistered and fraudulent securities in the form of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). One of the alleged companies, Advertiza Holdings (Pty) Ltd. falsely claimed to be registered with the SEC and was also not registered to sell securities in North Dakota.

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  • U.K. MP to Advise Crypto Exchange on Gov’t Relations, Says ‘Steep Learning Curve’ Ahead

    U.K. MP to Advise Crypto Exchange on Gov't Relations, Says 'Steep Learning Curve' Ahead

    U.K. Member of Parliament (MP) Stephen Hammond has joined the advisory board of a new retail investor-focused crypto exchange to provide guidance on government relations. The news was shared in a press release with Cointelegraph today, Oct. 22.

    Hammond is also notably a member of the Treasury Select Committee, where he is responsible for government financial oversight and regulation. The exchange, dubbed IronX, is a regulated platform that has been jointly established by digital trading firm IronFX and EmurgoHK, developers of the ninth-largest crypto by market cap, Cardano (ADA).

    The platform says it “aims to “bring crypto trading to the mass retail trading market.”

    Hammond has served as MP for the constituency of Wimbledon in London since 2005, and reportedly worked in the financial markets for twenty years prior to starting his political career. He is quoted today as saying that, “we are all on a steep learning curve to understand this new asset class,” adding:

    “The only way cryptocurrencies will be trusted and become accepted in the traditional business environment is through regulation [...] This includes governments, policymakers, regulators and the financial services industry. Governments cannot afford to be ambiguous in their stance and need to engage with the industry.”

    The MP continued to give a positive endorsement of the emerging sector, stating his belief that “a great opportunity exists to improve the current status quo of the financial system.”

    IronX CEO Markos A. Kashiouris has stated that regulatory approval was a “key milestone” for the exchange ahead of its public launch, which is reportedly slated for this December. Last month, Ironx was granted a licence by the Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), enabling it to offered crypto-fiat exchange and crypto wallet services.

    As previously reported, Hammond’s fellow U.K. Tory MP and blockchain advocate Matt Hancock delivered a speech this spring in which he spoke of the “monumental impact” that blockchain technology could have on the financial sector, government services, and laws and regulation.

    In late August, Cointelegraph also reported that U.K. financial watchdog The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) granted its third e-money license to date to a crypto-related company, prepaid crypto-fiat debit card Wirex, having previously granted a similar license to exchange and wallet service Coinbase in March.

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  • Australia: $50 Million ICO Shuts Down ‘in Accordance with’ Regulatory Requirements

    Australia: $50 Million ICO Shuts Down ‘in Accordance with’ Regulatory Requirements

    An Initial coin Offering (ICO) conducted by an Australian crypto startup Global Tech Exchange (GTE) has ceased operations, citing the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) requirements, the company’s website reveals Monday, Oct. 22.

    According to Business Insider Australia, the ICO was launched summer 2018 by GTE to create an an education-based trading and exchange platform and had a fundraising goal of $50 million.

    The firm quickly gained popularity after being endorsed by Michael Clarke – a former Australian cricket captain and national celebrity. As of August, GTE cited him on its website as endorsing the project:

    “I am really excited to be involved with Global Tech. Their ambition and drive is something that I resonated with straight away and I can’t wait to learn more about blockchain technologies.”

    Clarke later posted the quotation to his Twitter account and was immediately warned by his followers about the general controversy surrounding ICOs.

    The reasons behind the ICO’s closure remain unclear – ASIC has not yet commented on the matter following Business Insider’s request. On paper, the move appears instigated by GTE itself, which evidently voluntarily applied to the ASIC to deregister its ICO.

    As per GTE’s website, the company has already returned all funds to investors. The statement also explicitly noted that Michael Clarke is “no longer associated with Global Tech Exchange and the Global Tech Exchange Blockchain education and awareness program.”

    GTE’s ICO marks the sixth crypto crowdfunding project to be closed in Australia since April 2018. As Cointelegraph reported in September, ASIC revealed that the five other ICOs shut down before April were stopped due to a lack of required investor protection measures on part of the fundraisers in question.

    However, only one of them was shut down permanently, while others needed to be restructured, the regulator noted.

    This fall, ASIC has also revealed its plans to increase scrutiny of cryptocurrency exchanges and ICOs to ensure any “threats of harm” from the nascent industry are mitigated under its regulatory scope.

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  • Visa Set to Launch Blockchain-Based Digital Identity System with IBM in Q1 2019

    Visa Set to Launch Blockchain-Based Digital Identity System with IBM in Q1 2019

    Visa is readying its blockchain-based digital identity system for cross-border payments for launch in the first quarter of 2019, according to a press release published October 21.

    The system, dubbed Visa B2B Connect, will provide a blockchain-based digital identity solution for financial institutions to securely process cross-border payments. The system reportedly tokenizes sensitive business data – such as banking details and account numbers – granting them a unique cryptographic identifier that will be used for transactions on the platform.

    Kevin Phalen, global head at Visa Business Solutions, suggests that the system will help with fraud:

    “B2B Connect’s digital identity greatly reduces the opportunity for fraud that might otherwise exist with checks, ACH and wire transfers today, while also helping companies remain compliant as part of the regulated financial ecosystem.”

    From a technical standpoint the solution will integrate a Hyperledger Fabric framework (which is hosted by the Linux Foundation and was developed with input from IBM) with Visa’s “core assets,” which the release claims will establish a scalable permissioned network for use in the financial sector.

    Jason Kelley, general manager at IBM Blockchain Services, is quoted as saying that the system represents one of the most “powerful examples to date of how blockchain is transforming payments.”

    Fintech provider Bottomline Technologies – which serves 1,200 financial institutions, according to the release – is also partnering with Visa on the B2B Connect system, a partnership that will enable “mutual financial institution clients” to access the system.

    As reported last month, Thailand’s fourth largest bank, Kasikornbank, just recently joined the B2B Connect corporate cross-border payments initiative.

    According to Visa’s website, B2B Connect was first previewed back in 2017, and counted the U.S. Commerce Bank, South Korea’s Shinhan Bank, the Union Bank of Philippines, and the United Overseas Bank in Singapore as among the first partners processing pilot payments ahead of commercial launch.

    Even as it embraces blockchain’s potential, Visa – alongside MasterCard – has this month reportedly moved to group cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offering (ICO) under a new “High-Risk Securities Merchants” classification, meaning interaction with them will be subject to additional monitoring.

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  • Demand for Blockchain Engineers Has Grown 400% Since End of 2017, Report Says

    Demand for Blockchain Engineers Has Grown 400% Since End of 2017, Report Says

    The average earnings of a blockchain engineer have soared to between $150-175,000 per year, CNBC reported Oct. 21, citing Hired’s 2018 State of Salaries Report.

    Far higher than the $135,000 average software engineer salary, the figure puts blockchain engineers in the same pay bracket as artificial intelligence (AI) specialists, as the pace of blockchain recruitment demand gathers pace. The figure is also notably higher than other specialized tech engineering roles; Hired CEO Mehul Patel told CNBC that:

    "There's a ton of demand for blockchain. Software engineers are in very short supply, but this is even more acute and that's why salaries are even higher."

    Hired, which has reportedly provided data for blockchain roles as of 2017, says demand since then has soared 400 percent, despite the wider cryptocurrency bear market.

    CNBC notes the demand is further fueled by the interest of global tech giants such as  Facebook, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft, all of whom are currently advertising for specialists from the emerging sector.

    Hired told CNBC that while many job listings are defined under more generic roles such as “back-end engineer,” “systems engineer” or “solutions architect,” these often specify blockchain as a “desirable” skill for applicants.

    Coveted knowledge encompasses “networking, database design and cryptography computing skills,” and fluency in the Java, JavaScript, C++, Go, Solidity and Python coding languages, CNBC notes, citing “multiple blockchain engineers” as its source. Patel also noted that a “long-term view” is governing enterprises’ strategy when it comes to recruiting blockchain talent.

    According to Hired, the report was compiled to encompass tech workers across thirteen global cities, based on over “420,000” interview requests alongside an optional demographics survey to include age and race data where possible.

    Hired’s separate salary comparison tool further reveals that demand for blockchain engineer is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, and London.

    An analysis published this August by recruitment firm Robert Walters indicated that the blockchain job industry has seen a sustained uptrend in Asia, while cryptocurrency-specific applications appear to wax and wane with volatile markets.

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  • Spanish Government Approves Draft Law to Require Crypto Investors to Reveal Holdings

    Spanish Government Approves Draft Law to Require Crypto Investors to Reveal Holdings

    Cryptocurrency investors governed by Spain could face mandatory reporting of their holdings for tax purposes under a new draft law the government approved Friday, Oct. 19, local daily news network ABC reports.

    Unveiled at a press conference by the country’s finance minister María Jesús Montero, the measures seek to make holders of cryptoassets declare them regardless of whether they are in Spain or offshore.

    Specifically for tax purposes, she said, the government wishes to gain “identification of the holders and the balances contributed by these virtual currencies.”

    “It is stated as mandatory that people and companies inform the Tax Agency about this operation,” the publication quotes Montero as saying, including if the holder is a Spanish resident living abroad.

    Spain has stepped up its efforts to formalize the cryptocurrency sector this year, in April sending user identification requests to no fewer than sixty businesses involved in the nascent economy.

    If the latest draft becomes law, cryptocurrency holdings would need to be included in Spain’s notorious tax reporting structure known as the 720 form.

    As Bloomberg notes, the penalties involved for incorrect information about a taxpayer’s earnings are severe, consisting of a €5,000 ($5,745) fine for each inaccuracy.

    The move underscores the patchwork regulatory environment for crypto tax that persists in the European Union.

    As Cointelegraph has reported, some member states -– notably Poland – have U-turned on previously-instigated conditions and tax thresholds for cryptocurrency holdings, while others such as Malta and Spain’s neighbor Portugal already have preferential policies.

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