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Taxing Times

The ATO are sending out letters to 350,000 people demanding they pay their crypto taxes. Here’s how to keep on the straight and narrow. Take a look at the BitcoinAUS

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The ATO are sending out letters to 350,000 people demanding they pay their crypto taxes. Here’s how to keep on the straight and narrow.

Take a look at the BitcoinAUS Reddit page right now and you’ll see one topic dominating the conversation: people panicking after the Australian Tax Office (ATO) sent them letters telling them to ‘fess up and pay up on their old crypto transactions.

For many it seems like a wake-up call to finally sort out their taxes from the 2017 bull-run, while others are being pinged for selling $50 worth of BTC four years ago. But the take-away message is simple: if you’re an Australian citizen and you have ever – and we mean ever – dealt with cryptocurrencies, then the ATO probably knows about it. 

Now, here’s an artist’s impression of the tax office coming for your crypto gains:

Surpriiiiiiiiiiise!

When it comes to the tax office, the best piece of advice we can give you is: disclose, disclose, disclose. The ATO works with dedicated crypto tracking specialists to deanonymise crypto transactions and given that they’ve discovered 350,000 Australians in potential breach of their tax reporting obligations we can assume the work is going rather well.

I mean, who would have thought that a technology which records every transaction on an immutable and publicly available ledger would make it so easy for the tax department to track…

But we understand that disclosure in crypto can be a complex and challenging beast. It doesn’t take much to find yourself trading across multiple exchanges, multiple coins and multiple currencies in a way that simply doesn’t have a parallel in any other market. So, how do you even get started?

Help is on its way

As Australia’s longest running crypto exchange, CoinJar have been monitoring developments in the land of cryptocurrency and tax for almost eight years. For this tax season, we’ve decided to finally bite the bullet and compile a comprehensive, easy-to-read guide to everything we currently know about crypto tax in Australia

For instance: what does it even mean to trade 5000 XRP for 2.8 ETH one exchange and 230 USDC on another? At what point do you stop being an investor and start acting as a professional trader? And how much money can you actually save just by HODLing your coins for longer than 12 months?

Tracking well

CoinJar have also partnered with crypto accounting software CoinTracker, CryptoTaxCalculator and Koinly to make it easy not only to track all your crypto transactions – whether they’re buys, sells, trades, gifts, donations or that half a bitcoin you lost on some shady exchange in 2015 – but to then render all of those transactions in an ATO-friendly AUD capital gains and losses worksheet.

If you are interested in signing up, you can check out special offers for CoinJar users here.

(As someone who has used CoinTracker for the last couple of years, I can say that this is a sure-fire way to impress your accountant/save you a significant amount in accounting fees.)

Doing your crypto tax can seem overwhelming at first, but it only takes a few small steps to start straightening things out – and the earlier you start the easier it will be in the long run, from both an administrative and tax point of view. 

After all, just like Santa Claus, the ATO can tell if you’ve been naughty or nice. But, unlike Santa, they have the legislative and financial resources to really make you pay.

Source: https://blog.coinjar.com/2020/07/08/taxing-times/

Blockchain

Facebook’s Libra Could Reportedly Arrive in January 2021 in a Scaled-Down Version

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  • Although Facebook failed to launch Libra in mid-2020 as initially planned, the social media giant could do so in early 2021.
  • Finance Times cited three people working on the project claiming that Libra’s long-awaited launch could come in January 2021 but in a scaled-down version.
  • CryptoPotato reported before that Libra already changed its original idea from being a “single global digital currency” to creating a series of various digital coins. 
  • The FT coverage asserted that Libra could see the light of day after receiving approval to operate as a payments service from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). However, the Libra Association would initially release just a single coin backed one-for-one by the dollar. The other set of currencies would be rolled out later, should the FINMA application is successful.
  • Facebook rattled the financial world last year after announcing plans to launch its own cryptocurrency called Libra. After receiving scrutiny from world watchdogs, the Libra project underwent numerous changes, including executive replacements.
  • Libra suffered more blows when several notable partners left. Those included PayPal, Mastercard, eBay, Vodafone, and more.
  • In an attempt to salvage the project, the Association decided to make further changes by renaming Libra’s wallet provider from Calibra to Novi.

Featured Image Courtesy of AlJazeera

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/facebooks-libra-could-reportedly-arrive-in-january-2021-in-a-scaled-down-version/

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Bitcoin Worth $500 Million Withdrawn From OKEx as Users Look for Other Alternatives

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Users withdrew a record 29,300 BTC from OKEx after the Malta-based cryptocurrency exchange resumed withdrawals yesterday. This comes after bitcoin (BTC) price kickstarted its epic freefall dropping to levels near $16,500 before bouncing back up again. But what is the reason behind the massive bitcoin exodus out of OKEx?

OKEx Sees Significant BTC Withdrawals And Deposits

As per the latest update from on-chain and market analysis firm Glassnode, OKEx users have withdrawn a record 29,300 bitcoins after the exchange gave the green signal for resuming withdrawals yesterday. These BTC transactions amount to roughly $5 billion (considering the current spot rates).

Glassnode also observed a deposit of 21,600 BTC on OKEx. Withdrawals and deposits together had a depreciating effect on the exchange’s overall bitcoin balance which reduced to around 212,000 BTC.

The potential cause behind the massive exodus of bitcoin holdings could be a result of users leaving OKEx in search of other alternatives. Binance, Huobi, and some third party wallets were at the receiving end of the initial bitcoin transfers from the exchange.

Users Dissatisfied With OKex; Seek Other Alternatives

OKex announced the resumption of withdrawals on November 19. Few folks welcomed the developments, but most of them seemed miffed with the exchange’s recent bitcoin and crypto withdrawal suspension, with a lot of users demanding compensation else they make their move to other platforms.

Large BTC Deposits Point To ‘Centralized Failure’ Risks

As reported by CryptoPotato, OKEx had more than 200,000 BTC stored in their wallets during the ‘withdrawal lockdown.’

Although OKEx CEO Jay Hao assured users that their funds are safe and that there’s no “cause for alarm,” the vastness of the above bitcoin stash is pretty alarming. Especially because it is controlled by one single organization.

What’s more disappointing is that the official who had access to the private keys was ‘out of touch’ with the management. The OKEx personnel wasn’t able to reach out to him. This is not desirable since it poses huge risks to these BTC stashes falling prey to coordinated attacks that target centralized points of failure.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-worth-5-billion-withdrawn-from-okex-as-users-look-for-other-alternatives/

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‘Retail s*ckers duped by manipulative whales’ – Roubini on Bitcoin’s price fall

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Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, is in the news again after American economist and popular crypto-critic Nouriel Roubini claimed that it had no intrinsic value, adding that BTC is heavily manipulated. Taking to Twitter on Thanksgiving Day, the crypto-skeptic, in fact, also went on to blame retail investor FOMO for the latest Bitcoin price drop. Roubini said, 

“See also the academic evidence that Tether is used to manipulate the Bitcoin market. And look at the recent indictment of BitMex and his criminal CEO & gang. It [Bitcoin] has no intrinsic value, it is not backed by any asset, it is not legal tender, it cannot be used to pay taxes.”

Roubini has been one of the industry’s oldest critics, with the economist going as far as lauding the CFTC’s charges against BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes a few weeks ago, having claimed that Hayes and his firm were running a “massive criminal operation.”

In the past, the economist had also called out the stablecoin Tether for the “criminal manipulation” of Bitcoin rallies.  

Bitcoin has risen by 134% this year, hitting a record high of $19,293 this week, before falling by 12% on the price charts. The said fall came on the back of Bitcoin trading close to its ATH levels, with crypto-investors soon cashing in on their holdings, pulling the price of the cryptocurrency down. It should be noted here that experts in the field had already predicted this drop, labeling it as an inevitable and regular price correction. 

However, while influencers and Bitcoin bulls have noted BTC’s potential as a safe-haven asset, Roubini seems convinced that Bitcoin has “no role” to play in institutional or retail investor portfolios because it isn’t a currency, unit of account, or a scalable means of payment.  Roubini even argued,

“Retail suckers with massive FOMO have been jumping again into BTC as they did in late 2017 when price went from 10K to 19K only to crash down to 3K in 2019. Only winners were the manipulative whales that dumped their BTC to the retail suckers & led to its 85% price fall.”

What is interesting here is that Roubini seems to be discounting the scale of institutional participation during this bull rally. Over the past few months, the likes of Square and Microstrategy have invested millions in Bitcoin. While the popular economist might be quick to denounce them as “manipulative whales,” it should be noted that unlike back in 2017, many of these entities have been quick to highlight BTC’s potential as a more “ubiquitous currency in the future.” 

What is even more interesting is that with the latest series of tweets, Roubini seems to be backtracking on his recent statements. A few weeks ago, back when BTC was consolidating its position to climb on the charts again, the crypto-skeptic had conceded that Bitcoin was “maybe a partial store of value.” While many saw this as a sign of the economist warming up to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, it would now seem that this wasn’t to last for long. 

Source: https://eng.ambcrypto.com/retail-whales-roubini-bitcoin

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