Daily Byte: Monday, December 3, 2018


G20 agrees to regulate crypto, Italian court turns away crypto business, Estonia tightening regs, and Wyoming committee approves blockchain banking. Plus, North Korea makes it personal.

G20 Leaders Call for International Tax on Crypto

While the recent G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was at times contentious, one of the agreements reached may have significant consequences for crypto. The leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies agreed on December 1 that an international regulatory framework – including taxation – should be imposed on all crypto assets.

A key component to this agreement is the willingness to resolve barriers caused by cross-border crypto transactions. A company, for example, cannot be taxed by a country for doing business in the country if that company does not have physical assets in said country. As reported by Japanese news source Jiji, a ramification of this new international framework could be a cross-border taxation service to address such payments.

This could both end a method of corporate tax dodging that has plagued the crypto industry and bring a level of normalization that could fuel growth in the nascent industry.

Estonia to Tighten Crypto Regulations

Local news outlet Äripäev is reporting that Estonia is tightening regulations in the crypto market to combat money laundering. This represents a marked departure for the notably crypto-friendly nation.

The nation’s Financial Supervision Authority (FSA) will target companies that offer crypto-related services. Estonia’s focus will be the transfer of crypto to fiat and vice versa.

Due to the ease of starting a business in Estonia, the country has become a token sales hub. However, the FSA maintains that its stance of critiquing all token sales on a case-by-case basis has not changed, with token sales – under certain conditions – being recognized as securities.

Italian Court Turns Away Business Using Crypto

The Currency Analytics is reporting that a judge at an Italian court decreed that a business using crypto was not eligible to register with the Business Register.

Crypto is legal in the European Union. However, the case in question reflects the potential risk of dealing with an unregistered crypto-asset. An Italian joint stock company was found using a cryptocurrency that was not registered with any of the main exchanges.

While other crypto-using companies have not been discriminated against for registering, and while there is a general understanding that businesses using approved cryptocurrencies are tolerated, the company’s use of an unapproved cryptocurrency was a deciding factor in the eligibility decision. This case could form precedence on how the courts deal with unregistered crypto use.

North Korea May Be Targeting HODLers

In a departure from attacking crypto exchanges, North Korea may be taking on individual HODLers, or stake-holding investors with considerable crypto assets. As reported by The South China Morning Post, North Korean hackers are emailing individual victims infected email attachments that, if downloaded, would allow the hacker to take control of the computer system.

This change in tactics may be due to a hardening of crypto exchange protections following a recent string of exchange hacks. With the isolationist nation being forced in a difficult position economically from US and UN sanctions, the cutting off of exchange access may have convinced North Korea to go personal.

This is part of a growing hacking and crypto industry in North Korea, including ransoms from WannaCry, bitcoin and Monero mining, and a sponsored crypto class for North Korean students.

Wyoming Considering Bill to Support Blockchain Banking

A bill that would allow for the integration of blockchain technology with traditional banking moved out of committee in Wyoming on Friday on a 13-1 vote. The bill would create “special purpose depository banks” to provide financial services for blockchain companies.

In response, Caitlin Long of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition tweeted:

Wyoming has been progressive about crypto. In March, the state defined utility tokens and exempted them from the Wyoming Money Transmitter Act. The Wyoming State Legislature is scheduled to consider the latest bill in January.

Be fast, be clever, be wise. Most importantly, be here tomorrow for your Daily Byte.


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