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Digital Currency and Blockchain Weekly Round-Up – August 9th, 2019

Fri, 09 Aug 2019, 12:15 pm UTC

International data protection and privacy enforcement authorities seek clarity on Facebook’s Libra
Representatives from a number of data protection and privacy enforcement authorities from around the world have issued a joint statement on global privacy expectations of the Libra network. The letter is addressed to Facebook and 28 other companies behind the Libra project and asks them to provide details of how they plan to process customers’ personal data in line with data protection laws.

US lawmaker reintroduces crypto tax bill to end double taxation
A bill that aims to amend the treatment of cryptocurrencies by the Internal Revenue Service has been referred to the U.S. House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee, CoinDesk reported. On July 25, North Carolina’s Rep. Ted Budd (R) on July 25 reintroduced the bill, titled the “Virtual Value Tax Fix Act of 2019.” By amending1986’s Internal Revenue Code, the bill, if passed, would essentially end the double taxation on cryptocurrency transactions.

British tax authority to crack down tax crypto tax evaders, demands clients' data from major exchanges
British tax authority HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is asking cryptocurrency exchanges to provide the name and transaction histories of their customers, as the office attempts to recover unpaid taxes. “HMRC is looking to work with exchanges when it comes to finding information on people who have been buying and selling crypto. I think they will only go back a couple of years, two or three years,” CoinDesk quoted one of the industry sources.

Brazil imposes new tax reporting requirements for cryptocurrency transactions
Brazilian cryptocurrency traders are now required to declare their dealings to tax authorities, according to the newly published guideline by the Department of Federal Revenue of Brazil (RFB). As per the new policy, transactions that exceed $30,000 Brazilian real ($7,600 USD) need to be reported to tax authorities.

Indian Tax Authority sends letter to crypto owners seeking in-depth details: Report
The Indian Ministry of Finance’s Office of Deputy Director of Income Tax is reportedly sending letters to citizens asking details about their cryptocurrency-related dealings, Bitcoin.com reported. A Twitter user going by the name “Indiabits” shared images of this letter, dated July 22, which contains a total of 26 questions.

India's Supreme Court adjourns crypto ban case until January 2020
The Indian Supreme Court has heard and adjourned the “Crypto vs. Reserve Bank of India (RBI)” case until January 2020, Amb Crypto reported citing crypto advocate and Crypto Kanoon co-founder Mohammed Danish.

ECB plans to increase cryptocurrency surveillance using both on-chain and off-chain data
The European Central Bank (ECB) is planning to use both on-chain data and metadata related to off-chain transactions to monitor the crypto market. The newly released report, entitled “Understanding the crypto-asset phenomenon, its risks and measurement issues” admits that banks’ monitoring activities rely “to a great extent” on publicly available data such as market capitalization, prices, and trading volumes.

South Korean watchdog seeks to bring cryptocurrency exchanges under direct regulation
The Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (KoFIU) intends to bring cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country directly under the regulatory system, Business Korea reported. Currently, the agency regulates cryptocurrency exchanges in an indirect manner through administrative guidance to banks. It has now revealed its plan to directly regulate cryptocurrency exchanges.

Seoul to reward citizens using public services with crypto, to roll out other blockchain-based projects within 2019
Seoul, the capital and largest city in South Korea, is set to roll out a point system that will reward its citizens with S-coins for using public services, like paying taxes and participating in polls. As per a report by local news outlet blockinpress, the point system will be incorporated in ZeroPay, which is a QR-code-enabled network of the government. The coins can be used to pay for goods and services using their phones, and no merchants’ commissions will be charged.

PBoC seeks to accelerate the pace of digital currency R&D this year
The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has revealed its intention to accelerate the pace of the research and development of its digital currency in the forthcoming months. It wants to develop financial technology (fintech) with the objective of meeting new challenges. In addition to accelerating the R&D process of its own digital currency, the central bank also intends to study the trend of virtual currency at both domestic and international markets.

Company News

  • BitMart secures “millions of investment” from Fenbushi Capital
  • BlockFi scores $18.3M investment led by Peter Thiel co-founded Valar Ventures
  • Robinhood is bringing its investing platform to the UK
  • Coinbase did not commit fraud but must face negligence suit over Bitcoin Cash launch, judge rules
  • Thousands of Binance users’ KYC data reportedly hacked; CEO Zhao urges not to fall for FUD
  • SEC twisted facts about $100M kin token sale, says Kik in its latest filing


Digital Currency and Blockchain Initiatives

  • Blockstream launches bitcoin mining facilities, signs Fidelity and Reid Hoffman as clients
  • Overstock.com’s tZERO to open security token trading platform to retail traders
  • Seychelle securities exchange firm MERJ lists first-ever tokenized security on national exchange
  • Amazon wants to place advertising data on blockchain, looks for new software engineer for the task
  • Mastercard seeks senior-level blockchain and crypto execs, hints new crypto wallet solution
  • Mastercard to stamp out fake fashion items with its new blockchain solution 'Provenance'
  • Walmart patents new centralized stablecoin that could rival Facebook's Libra
  • Standard Chartered, Linklogis complete first blockchain supply chain finance transaction
  • Etihad Airways to integrate Winding Tree's blockchain platform
  • Commerzbank trials blockchain-based machine-to-machine payment solution with Daimler Trucks
  • Standard Chartered executes first blockchain-based Letter of Credit transaction on Voltron
  • VeChain brings blockchain technology to imported wines in China
  • South Korea's DAPA to create blockchain platform to enhance business operations, signs agreement with 3 national defense institutions
  • Volvo Cars uses blockchain for tracing ethically-sourced cobalt
  • South Korea's Shinhan Financial Investment to develop blockchain-based stock lending platform

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Aug 23, 2019 (Friday)
Stablecoin project Terra receives funding from HashKey Capital
Three of the founding members of Libra Association consider backing out: Report
Overstock's Patrick Byrne steps down as CEO
Pundi X brings XPOS crypto payments to Venezuela's Traki retail stores
Blockchain startup Blockstack scores strategic investment from Japan's Recruit Holdings
BitGo announces support for multi-signature EOS wallet and custody services
US Treasury blacklists crypto addresses of suspected Chinese fentanyl traffickers
Chainalysis launches ‘Chainalysis KYT Alerts’ to detect suspicious cryptocurrency activity in real-time
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Blockchain energy startup Power Ledger extends energy trading trial in Fremantle
Blockchain accelerator initiatives launched at the University of California campuses
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