SBI’s Crypto-Focused Venture Capital Arm Sees Major Turnaround On Year

SBI’s Crypto-Focused Venture Capital Arm Sees Major Turnaround On Year

SBI Securities’ trading revenue surged 19% in 2019 due to the inclusion of SBI VC Trade crypto affiliate in July, SBI Holdings says.

SBI Securities’ trading revenue surged 19.2% in 2019, largely due to the inclusion of the company’s crypto investment wing, which turned a $7.1 million loss into a $30 million profit over the year.

Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings released its new financial report on Oct. 30. The report analyzed results for the six-month period ended Sept. 30, 2019 and witnessed major growth of SBI’s crypto-heavy venture capital arm in 2019 amid a general decline in SBI’s revenue.

SBI VC Trade profits grow over $30 million over a year

According to the report, SBI VC Trade’s profit before income tax expense has seen a considerable increase in the first half of the fiscal year (FY) 2019. The number has surged from 765 million Japanese yen ($7.1 million) in losses in H1 FY2018 to as high as 3.2 billion yen ($30 million) in profits in H1 FY2019, the firm said.

SBI Holdings noted that SBI VC Trade, an SBI affiliate that operates a crypto asset exchange, became a subsidiary of SBI Securities in July 2019. 

SBI’s crypto mining business SBI Crypto surges $10 million

Alongside notable growth of crypto exchange-driven profits, SBI has also recorded a significant increase in profits from its cryptocurrency mining business SBI Crypto, according to the report. As such, the business’ profit before income tax expense added almost $10 million from 783 million yen ($7.2 million) in losses in H1 FY2018 to 293 million yen ($2.7 million) in H1 FY2019.

SBI added that it also expects a further increase in the scale of crypto asset mining due to new miner operations within the year as well as in-house miner operations in 2020.

Earlier this year, SBI established a dedicated division for manufacturing crypto mining chips.

Further advances with Ripple

Similarly to previous financial reports, SBI has again outlined the growing importance of Ripple’s technology in its remittance division, SBI Remit as well as the development of Ripple’s xCurrent-based remittances. SBI noted that its Ripple-connected subsidiary SBI Ripple Asia is expected to cover nearly 50% of the overall Ripple network once the connection is activated.

On Oct. 1, Cointelegraph reported on SBI Securities and five other Japanese brokerage firms including Rakuten Securities setting up Japan Security Token Offering Association.

Security Token Platform Receives Transfer Agent License From SEC

Security Token Platform Receives Transfer Agent License From SEC

Security token platform Harbor has just received a transfer agent license from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Harbor, the digital platform for alternative assets, has received a transfer agent license from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

On Oct. 31, Harbor CEO Joshua Stein told the Block that his blockchain-enabled platform is “now the first blockchain company to receive both a transfer agent license and a broker-dealer license.”

Transfer agent license will compliment broker-deal license

The transfer agent license will enable Harbor to maintain financial records of security token ownership, track account balances and pay out dividends while attracting blockchain companies that are looking to conduct Reg A+ offerings. The SEC requires companies to engage with transfer agents for Reg A+ offerings.

Regulation A+ is an initial public offering alternative geared towards startups in need of early funding. Regulation A+ funding was introduced in 2012 via the “Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act.”

Stein added that both the transfer agent license and the broker-deal license will compliment each other, as they will enable the company to facilitate the full life cycle of security token issuance as well as regulated trading. Stein said:

“Think of the entire life cycle of this, there is… selling the investors into the investment, maintaining the investment while they are in, and controlling how they are traded. The broker-dealer is mostly involved in gaining the investors into the investment. The transfer agent maintains the records while they are in and pays out dividends, and the transfer agent controls when they pay out.”

Stein recently said that securities regulations “do not work” in regard to utility tokens in decentralized apps, adding that current securities laws are only appropriate for traditional securities, and that “they are not a good fit” for the ICO industry.

First-ever U.S. SEC-approved token offering

The blockchain-based startup Blockstack was the first-ever digital token offering to receive the go-ahead from the SEC to run a $23 million investment round under Regulation A+. Founders of Blockstack Muneeb Ali and Ryan Shea reportedly spent 10 months and approximately $2 million to get the green light from the SEC for a Reg A+ offering.

Tracking Bitcoin Transactions, Explained

Tracking Bitcoin Transactions, Explained

Keeping track of your crypto transactions can be crucial for some much-needed peace of mind.

How can I be informed of what’s happening with my crypto transactions?

Some crypto exchanges are aiming to deliver full transparency to their users.

This attitude toward openness can be especially beneficial for users who are using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for the first time.

HitBTC, which bills itself as one of the most advanced crypto exchanges on the market today, has created a System Monitor that delivers live statistics concerning incoming and outgoing transactions for each of the cryptocurrencies it supports. Processing times for the last 100 transactions are provided — detailing the slowest and fastest execution times as well as the average for the group. Information about maintenance operations also offers updates about any improvements being made to the platform that might briefly affect transactions.

Learn more about HitBTC

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

Can Bitcoin transactions be cancelled?

This is a very common question, but the answer is no.

Blockchains are designed to be irreversible, and once a transaction has been committed to a network, control falls out of your hands.

This is why it is imperative to check, double-check and triple-check before you are sending crypto transactions of a high value to ensure that you haven’t made any typographical errors in the address. It’s also worth verifying that you’re sending the right amount of crypto.

Why do Bitcoin transactions take so long?

Scalability has long been an issue on the Bitcoin network.

For a transaction to be finalized, it usually has to be confirmed six times before it is sent over to the recipient. This, when coupled with the high levels of demand that was mentioned before, means that it can take anywhere from 10 minutes to a day for transactions to clear — or even longer in some circumstances.

Bitcoin’s scalability issue has been a long-running issue for many years. The network is only capable of processing approximately seven transactions per second, meaning it pales in comparison to payment behemoths such as Visa. Workarounds such as the Lightning Network, which adds another layer to the blockchain to deliver instantaneous payments with lower fees, have been introduced, but it’s fair to say that even these solutions haven’t had the levels of traction expected.

How do I avoid stuck transactions?

To begin with, it’s important to ensure that you’re paying sufficient fees.

Over the years, the number of transactions being executed over the Bitcoin network has continued to increase apace. This has meant that miners end up prioritizing transactions with higher fees, including these in their blocks first.

When a crypto transaction is sent with a lower fee, it can take hours, days and potentially weeks for it to be confirmed. Such long delays normally indicate that the transaction is continually being outbid, and miners have little incentive to get it cleared. As a result, it ends up languishing in a mempool, waiting longingly for a block to come along.

Crypto wallets — and some exchanges — have started to help users achieve the best chance of their transaction being verified the first time around. Some monitor network activity and enforce dynamic fees, meaning the charges attached to each transaction fluctuate based on how busy miners are. If you are in a rush, it is also possible to manually add a higher fee to boost your chances of a speedy execution. Conversely, if you’re not a rush, you can save money on fees and accept it might take a little longer for your funds to reach the recipient.

Are there any benefits to transaction trackers?

There are an extraordinary number of potential applications.

When you are using a crypto exchange, transaction trackers can help you to double-check whether their trading platform is operating normally, and how long a transaction may take to finalize. This can provide valuable information in advance of a payment being made, as long delays may mean you choose to rely on a different provider instead.

It is possible that relying on some of these trackers can help you to be better prepared from a tax perspective too, and easily assess how your crypto portfolio has been performing. In the dreaded scenario that crypto has been sent by mistake, you’ll also have the opportunity to find out which address received it. Unfortunately, however, this is by no means a guarantee that you’ll get it back.

How can I track Bitcoin transactions?

Through block explorers and dedicated services offered by some crypto exchanges.

Unlike banks, where it can be difficult to find out information about details about transactions that are currently being processed — as well as those that have been completed — the blockchain offers far greater levels of transparency.

Anyone can search for information based on particular Bitcoin addresses, block numbers and transaction hashes. This, when coupled with wallet explorers, means it becomes possible to draw connections between addresses and the wallets being used to hold Bitcoin.

Of course, this will prove exceptionally useful if you’re worried about whether your crypto has gone to the right destination — or are wondering whether the transaction has been verified. But it’s worth remembering that these tools are also practical for law enforcement agencies that are attempting to clamp down on BTC being used for illegal means.

Crypto Futures Volume Is Now At 50% of Spot Trading Volume

Crypto Futures Volume Is Now At 50% of Spot Trading Volume

Futures trading volumes creep up on spot trading in crypto, with futures now amounting to half of the value of more traditional buy-sell trades.

Crypto futures trading volume now reportedly amounts to nearly 50% of the value of spot trading on crypto markets, according to Bloomberg.

13 exchanges analyzed

Citing volume data from 13 major global crypto exchanges, Bloomberg reported on a massive growth of cryptocurrency futures markets Oct. 31.

The analyzed exchanges include institutional digital asset platform Bakkt, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group (CME), Binance, Bitfinex, the Huobi Derivative Market (DM), Kraken, FTX, Bitz, Deribit, CoinFlex, Bybit, OKEx and BitMEX.

First ever Bitcoin futures launched in late 2017

Spot trading is simply buying or selling a commodity or, in this case, a crypto asset at the moment of the trade. Prior to the launch of the first Bitcoin (BTC) futures platform back in 2017, spot trading was the principal option available for crypto trades. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) launched the first trading of BTC-based futures contracts on Dec. 11, 2017, just a week before the launch of a similar product by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

The Bloomberg report follows a new Bitcoin futures volumes record on major digital asset platform Bakkt, which launched its service on Sept. 22. On Oct. 26, Bakkt traded 1,183 Bitcoin futures contracts worth of $11 million after hitting a previous all time record of 441 Bitcoin futures on Oct. 23.

On Oct. 29, OKEx, the world’s 5th-largest crypto exchange by trading volume, announced plans to start trading Tether (USDT) futures.

Zilliqa Offers $5M Fund to Oxford DLT Students to Support Diversity

Zilliqa Offers $5M Fund to Oxford DLT Students to Support Diversity

Oxford students will be invited to participate in the Zilliqa's $5 million Ecosystem Grant Programme.

Singapore-based blockchain firm Zilliqa launches blockchain workshops in collaboration with Oxford University to encourage diversity in the industry.

Together with Zilliqa, the Oxford Women in Computer Science Society (OxWoCS), an Oxford society that aims to support women in computer science, will carry out a series of interactive workshops called Blockchain A-Z, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Oct. 31.

Winners to apply for grants to Zilliqa's $5 million Ecosystem Grant Programme

According to the announcement, Blockchain A-Z will be conducted on-site at the University of Oxford and will be open to all students currently enrolled at the University of Oxford. Limited to 20 students, the workshops will take place between Oct. 31, 2019 and Nov. 21, 2019. The workshops will cover a wide variety of topics associated with blockchain fundamentals, including philosophical foundations, technical topics, industry insights as well as business advising, the firms said.

As part of Demo Day on Nov. 21, the best students will be invited to submit their projects to acquire a grant from Zilliqa's $5 million Ecosystem Grant Programme for further mentorship.

Decentralization doesn’t work without diversity

In the announcement, OxWoCS President Paula Fiddi outlined OxWoCS’ mission to ensure that female experts are provided with equal opportunities to engage with various fields of the technology industry.

Saiba Kataruka, developer marketing lead at Zilliqa, emphasized that diversity issues continue to be an “endemic problem in the wider tech industry,” adding that blockchain is no different. She stressed that decentralization is a core principle of blockchain technology that cannot be reached without diversity.

“Whether it be the diversity in race, profession, academic background, or gender, having a variety of individuals, each with a unique perspective and broad breadth of experiences to offer, is essential to success. Decentralisation is a core principle of blockchain, and you can't really have decentralisation without diversity.”

Low level of gender equality in blockchain

According to a 2018 Quartz survey, only 8.5% of 378 global crypto and blockchain firms had a female as a founder or co-founder between 2012 to 2018.

Earlier this year, another research revealed that fewer than 5% of the codes of the top 100 crypto projects on Github were contributed by women.

Bitcoin and Stocks Break 2019 Reverse Correlation Trend — Chart Data

Bitcoin and Stocks Break 2019 Reverse Correlation Trend — Chart Data

Bitcoin price charts reveal an inverse correlation to the S&P 500 index over the past two years at times, and particularly during summer 2019.

In many ways, Bitcoin (BTC) and the crypto markets as a whole live somewhat independently from traditional markets. The global crypto space never sleeps, operating at all hours of the day on a global scale.

Traditional market price movements and conditions, however, may still have an impact on Bitcoin. If the economy is healthy, seeing rising prices for traditional market indices such as the S&P 500, it makes sense that people might be more willing to take risks by putting money into Bitcoin, an asset that is still speculative at this point in its history.

Crypto-Twitter has hosted many discussions on Bitcoin’s potential reaction to an overall market recession, which the digital asset has not yet truly seen since its creation in 2009. The jury is still out on how the asset and its surrounding blockchain industry might react to such a scenario.

Comparing daily charts: S&P 500 and Bitcoin

Comparing Bitcoin’s price with the S&P 500 index over the last two years shows some interesting data. 

A major benchmark of traditional finance, the S&P 500, takes the 500 biggest public companies in the United States and averages their stock prices into an index, providing a single price that reflects the overall market performance. 

For the most part, over the course of 2018 and 2019, Bitcoin and the S&P 500 acted surprisingly opposite to each other, with the exception of two instances when the two markets seemingly flowed together.

S&P 500 USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview 

S&P 500 USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview 

BTC USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

BTC USD daily chart. Source: Tradingview

Several comparisons can be made between the S&P 500 and Bitcoin over the course of 2018 and 2019. 

Starting in 2018, between Jan. 26 and Feb. 8, both prices suffered a steep decline before bouncing in similar fashions. 

Between February and September, the S&P and Bitcoin rode opposite trends. The traditional market index gradually rose to new all-time highs while crypto’s largest asset trended down, dropping more than 40% between March and September 2018.

On Sept. 21, the S&P hovered around all-time high levels while Bitcoin fluctuated near $6,000 support during a time of low volatility. At this point, Bitcoin was nowhere near its yearly high above $17,000, which the digital asset hit in January 2018.

The S&P saw the bottom of a correctional period around Christmas, which was similar to Bitcoin’s market state this time, although Bitcoin saw a big drop earlier — from $6,000 to nearly $3,000 — in November 2018, and did not bounce with exuberance like the S&P.

Instead, BTC bottomed out with consolidation and low volatility until April 2019. 

Bitcoin soars 70% in May 2019 as stocks correct

The S&P was back near its all-time price highs by May 1, 2019. Meanwhile, Bitcoin was in the early stages of its uptrend — a trend that would eventually more than double the digital asset’s price. 

During the month of May, the two market products acted strikingly opposite to each other. The S&P faced a rather bold correction, just over 7% to the downside as Bitcoin rose more than 70% in the same time period.

The inverse correlation between continued into July, with the S&P posting new all-time highs once again around July 26, while Bitcoin was consolidating after its 2019 high near $13,900.

This pattern was also displayed in late July as well, with a sharp Bitcoin bounce while the S&P saw a notable decline. 

On the whole, since August 2019, the S&P stayed in an upward trend, while Bitcoin has seen an overall downward trend until recently, in what may be the start of a potential bullish reversal. 

Is Bitcoin an alternative investment?

Since May 1, 2019, Bitcoin and the S&P 500 have been inversely correlated for the most part, particularly when it comes to sizeable moves. Recently, however, the S&P has hit record levels, coinciding with Bitcoin’s historic 42% daily price gain on Oct. 25 and, therefore, undermining the summer’s reverse correlation patterns. 

As Bitcoin is often pitched as a borderless, decentralized and alternative digital asset, it should, in theory, act independently of traditional markets. Buyers of Bitcoin, however, often need cash to pay for Bitcoin, which is ultimately affected by politics and traditional markets, leading to a correlation between the two worlds. 

Not everyone buys Bitcoin as a hedge narrative

Bitcoin as a hedge to government currencies and traditional markets is a hot topic these days, particularly in light of the recent economic unrest in countries like Lebanon

Since May 2019, the charts above show Bitcoin as a potential hedge against the S&P 500, which in many ways represents the overall state of traditional financial markets. 

This inverse correlation, however, was not as consistent in 2018. Anthony Pompliano, the co-founder of asset management firm Morgan Creek Digital, has spoken on the topic of Bitcoin as a hedge. In August 2019, Pompliano said

“Central banks bought more than $15 billion of gold in the first 6 months of the year. They are trying to hedge their risk to the U.S. dollar. Wait till they find out about the non-correlated, asymmetric upside profile of Bitcoin. Every central bank will be buying Bitcoin.”

Fundstrat managing partner and Bitcoin permabull, Tom Lee, holds the opposing view, however, arguing that BTC/USD moves with traditional markets. In a Sept. 12, 2019 tweet, Lee said:

“Unpopular opinion, Bitcoin won’t make a new high until S&P 500 makes a new high. BTC has been range bound because macro trendless. Confirmed by our Bitcoin Misery Index falling from 66 (50 now). Since 2009, best years for Bitcoin is when S&P 500 >15%.”  

Comparing charts from the S&P and Bitcoin shows compelling — but certainly not conclusive — evidence for the Bitcoin hedge narrative. It is also important to consider the many other factors that might affect correlation data, such as central bank policy, inflation, etc. 

For example, as Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, the United States Federal Reserve has added $210 billion to the market over the past two months — an amount greater than Bitcoin’s entire market cap of $167 billion — and one that could make deflationary assets such as gold and Bitcoin attractive to investors. 

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of (@benjaminpirus) 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.


Video: Vitus Zeller on Team Satoshi and Bitcoin Advocacy Through Sports

German entrepreneur and Bitcoin enthusiast Vitus Zeller began his Team Satoshi athletic initiative in January 2019. By virtue of the #TeamSatoshi hashtag (now popular among Bitcoin sports enthusiasts), a worldwide torch is passed on Twitter between marathon runners who embrace and promote the values of sound money. In this exclusive Bitcoin Magazine interview, held on the second day of The Lightning Conference in Berlin, Zeller explained how it all started and how a personal challenge grew into a global phenomenon. 

From Tour de Satoshi to Team Satoshi

It all started with Zeller’s desire to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Bitcoin’s Genesis Block, so he embarked on a 10-day challenge to bike across the Swiss Alps. His journey, which he called the “Tour de Satoshi,” was more than a personal tribute to Satoshi Nakamoto: Every night, he paid for his hotel room with bitcoin as a way of raising awareness and spreading adoption. Zeller’s trial also bears the symbolism of transformation: He began riding his bicycle in the defining city of the Renaissance (Florence, Italy) and stopped in Frankfurt, Germany, at the European Central Bank.  

“Tour de Satoshi was a winter bike tour through Italy, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Austria and Germany. I went from Florence to the European Central Bank, trying to pay every night with Bitcoin.”

— Vitus Zeller
In this video interview, Team Satoshi creator and leader Vitus Zeller talks about promoting Bitcoin and cypherpunk ideals through athletic events.
During the Tour de Satoshi tribute, Zeller cycled across the Alps. Source: Team Satoshi 

In August 2019, Zeller upped the stakes by inviting other athletes to join a triathlon challenge across Switzerland and Germany. Seven Bitcoin enthusiasts would run, cycle and swim over a distance of 222 miles and pass a torch along the way. This effort gave birth to the Team Satoshi concept.

“We had a triathlon through Switzerland and Germany. It was joined by other bitcoiners, including Jeremias from LocalBitcoins and Anita from the ‘Bitcoin & Co.’ podcast,” said Zeller.

A Tribute to Hal Finney

Less than a month later, Team Satoshi became even more popular thanks to a tribute to Bitcoin pioneer Hal Finney. As a way of remembering the day when Finney ran his last half-marathon prior to entering a phase of ALS-induced physical deterioration, bitcoiners all around the world have been encouraged to go out for a run and publish a screenshot of their performance on Twitter under the #RunForHalFin hashtag.

In this video interview, Team Satoshi creator and leader Vitus Zeller talks about promoting Bitcoin and cypherpunk ideals through athletic events.
Zeller (center) held a Team Satoshi meeting before The Lightning Conference. Source: Team Satoshi

“We also did the memorial run for Hal Finney during which we asked bitcoiners to join for a run in memory of Hal. Ten years ago, in 2009 he ran his last half-marathon.”

— Vitus Zeller

Just a couple of months on, Team Satoshi is still expanding and spreading the word about Bitcoin and the cypherpunk values of freedom of information, human rights, free speech, privacy and freedom of transactions.

“We also started a Lightning Torch called #TSTorch or #TeamSatoshiTorch, and it’s being handed, just like the Olympic torch, from athlete to athlete,” Zeller said. “The idea is that each athlete adds the kilometers run during the trial or competition and sends that amount of satoshis to the next athlete. Yesterday, for example, we had an athlete who ran an ultramarathon in Singapore and is now handing the torch to another bitcoiner who’s running a marathon in Slovenia in the name of Team Satoshi. A week later, somebody else is running at the New York City Marathon. There is quite a lot going on and we are planning an event for the halving.”

Anyone Can Join Team Satoshi

As Zeller explained, there are no physical trials or financial requirements involved in becoming a part of Team Satoshi. Participation is voluntary and is only based on ideological compatibility and the willingness to reveal one’s identity to the public.

Furthermore, the organization is decentralized enough to allow athletes and enthusiasts to create accounts on and create pages of their own, containing personal initiatives and trials. In the long term, this can become a fundraising platform through which athletes get funded with bitcoin. 

“You just need to be a Bitcoin enthusiast who likes the cypherpunk ideas, and you need to want to put your face out there,” Zeller explained. “If you fulfill these two criteria and truly want to join Team Satoshi, you can create a login at You can create a page there and maybe even get your own donations and your own event sponsors.”

The post Video: Vitus Zeller on Team Satoshi and Bitcoin Advocacy Through Sports appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Bisq Unveils New Trade Protocol Promoting Principles of Decentralization

Bisq Unveils New Trade Protocol Promoting Principles of Decentralization

Bisq, a prominent decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, has launched a major software update promising new features such as a new trade protocol that further reinforces the trustless nature of the system.

The Bisq developers announced this update via blog post on October 29, 2019, promising two major changes: a new trade protocol that removes the influence of third-party arbitrators and a way for new accounts to gain accreditation as a reputable trader of crypto assets without compromising user anonymity or site security. A leading Bisq developer (who wishes to remain anonymous) spoke with Bitcoin Magazine about this development.

According to this developer, throughout the development cycle of Bisq, the biggest challenge has been “attracting more developers who really care about privacy, security and freedom. Bisq is uncompromising in its approach to handling these principles, and it’s devised a slew of tools and approaches to accomplish its goal of becoming a maximally decentralized bitcoin exchange network that promotes these principles.” 

Bisq is particularly noteworthy as a truly decentralized cryptocurrency exchange due to its DAO, or decentralized autonomous organization. Founder Manfred Karrer originally ran Bisq with a more traditional company structure when he founded the organization, but since May 2019 he has fully removed his unique privileges and access. In Bisq’s current state, the DAO infrastructure, first formalized in April 2019, now allows Bisq to be operated directly by its stakeholders and contributors, although longtime developers like Karrer still play a major role.

Resolving Disputes, Peer-to Peer on Bisq

This version 1.2 update to Bisq has removed the role of the third-party arbitrators as a key holder entirely. So its trade protocol now works by means of a 2-of-2 multisig escrow, rather than 2-of-3, as this third key was for the arbitrators.

Arbitration in the old versions of Bisq “was always considered an imperfect solution to the problem of dispute resolution,” said the Bisq source. “It required users to trust anonymous third parties, and legal advice from the early days of the project indicated arbitrators were in a grey area because of their key in the multisig escrow. So it wasn’t great for anyone, but it worked reasonably well while developers worked on the Bisq DAO and other elements of the software critical to trading. Furthermore, until the Bisq DAO actually launched, there just wasn’t a way to implement anything better.” 

Additionally, this update has reworked the dispute resolution system into a three-layered version, with the express purpose of keeping the process streamlined. The first layer is an encrypted chat platform between the two parties conducting a trade, allowing both to privately hash out any minor discrepancies that may arise. 

“We’ve received a lot of compliments about trader chat,” the source said. “As with many issues, there’s simply no reason for a third party to intervene.” 

They went on to state that this change to protocol has “increased speed and privacy for solving a lot of issues. Otherwise, if things go well, the new trade protocol really shouldn’t affect a user’s daily experience.” 

Third-Party Arbitration — But Without the Third Key

If direct communication between the two parties does not resolve the issue, a third party can be involved, first to mediate arguments between the two (the second layer of the three-layer dispute resolution system), and then as a last resort to act as a final arbiter themselves (the third layer). Dubbed “bonded contributors” in Bisq’s general trading rules, these special third-party actors can make suggestions and moderate discussion, but ultimately they do not have any control over funds. In the rare (emphasis Bisq’s) circumstance that neither of these methods of recourse still work, the rules claim that Bisq is able to award funds. 

To avoid abuse, this final method of recourse works like this: After one or both parties reject the recommendations of the mediator or the session runs out a predetermined amount of time, all of the funds in question are forwarded to Bisq’s donation address. Since the system is based on either the deal timing out or the traders choosing to reject the bonded contributor’s official requests, no individual arbitrator at Bisq actually has the power to jettison the money like this; only the actions of the traders can trigger the failsafe. From there, it will take anywhere from one to three weeks for the arbitrators to resolve the situation. The expectation is that this process will discourage bad actors.  

“Removing the third key should make Bisq more resistant to legal concerns,” the developer explained. “Because they no longer have a key, dispute agents (mediators and arbitrators) don’t need to be as highly trusted as before, so it will be easier to find dispute agents who can communicate in other languages as Bisq grows around the world.” 

The source indicated hope that these new features will keep the dispute system easy to navigate, although they admitted that “the process may take a bit longer for those with rare issues.” Nevertheless, this will only affect “a small number of trades,” and the developers “expect mediation to handle the vast majority of issues that trader chat doesn’t solve.” 

A Model for What’s Possible for Decentralized Exchanges

Trying to become acclimated to these tools and work environment can be very difficult for potential new developers at Bisq, but the source stated that “it’s rather thrilling to see how they come together to create a microcosm challenging conventions for everything from financial rules, to how free software can work, to how people collaborate for work, to what it means to be a company and so much more.”

In the immediate future, Bisq is planning to work first and foremost on fixing some bugs before getting to work on what our contact called “some serious quality-of-life upgrades” further down the line. Those interested in some of the technical specifications of these plans can find out more about them here.

“I think the possibility of any of this influencing the rest of the crypto space is wishful, but I would like to think it shows people what becomes possible with a separate microeconomy,” the Bisq source said. “Bitcoin is a great monetary tool, but it’s capable of so much more. I hope Bisq’s endeavors serve as a model to the space of what’s possible.”

The post Bisq Unveils New Trade Protocol Promoting Principles of Decentralization appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Canada Pushes to Regulate Crypto Adoption, Forgoing Volatile BTC Past

Canada Pushes to Regulate Crypto Adoption, Forgoing Volatile BTC Past

Canada’s volatile history of mainstream adoption and fraud is directly impacting the future of cryptocurrency in the country.

Recently, Canada’s central bank has been leading working groups with global partners exploring a blockchain future. Their crypto presence has soared with Ernst & Young’s announcement that it is using Toronto to test its public government expenditure blockchain. But what is the cryptocurrency landscape currently like in Canada

The history of crypto in Canada may seem as volatile as a token with a small market cap, yet mainstream use and adoption have been on a consistent incline since 2013, when Canadians started pushing mainstream adoption. Now, the Canadian government is leading working groups. What else has the country been up to in the blockchain space?

The first thing that comes to everyone’s mind when it comes to the Great White North is that the founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, grew up in Canada — but Etherum isn’t all the country has provided to the crypto space. Here are some more notable stories from Canada’s blockchain history.

Timeline of blockchain adoption in Canada

The world’s first Bitcoin ATMs

Canada contributed to Bitcoin’s (BTC) mainstream use early on by opening the world’s first Bitcoin ATM at a coffee shop in Vancouver in 2013. The ATMs were released by Bitcoiniacs and Robocoin. Bitcoin was trading at around $200 at the time and, during the first day, the kiosk performed 81 Bitcoin transactions equaling around 81 BTC.

The ATM is considered a strong driver for attracting new people to cryptocurrency, with around a third of its users new to Bitcoin. In an interview with Cointelegraph back in 2013, Robocoin CEO Jordan Kelley marveled at how easy it was for people to get started with Bitcoin. According to industry monitor CoinATMRadar, there are at least 715 cryptocurrency ATMs in Canada, with 85 in Vancouver and 227 in Toronto. 

Operation Cryptosweep

It is easy to agree that the initial coin offerings (ICOs) craze produced more losers than winners, as many took advantage of the hyped-up funding method to conduct scams. In response, state and provincial securities regulators in the United States and Canada launched probes into potentially fraudulent crypto investment programs as part of the North American Securities Administrators Association’s Operation Cryptosweep in 2018. The initiative is reportedly the largest coordinated investigation held by state and provincial officials targeting suspicious crypto investment products, and has resulted in over 200 investigations of ICOs and crypto-related investment products.

Operation Cryptosweep has issued at least 77 actions against crypto programs, including the infamous BitConnect, which has gone down in history as one of the largest cryptocurrency scams.

Vancouver mayor suggests a ban on Bitcoin ATMs

The mayor of Vancouver, Kennedy Stewart, suggested a complete ban on Bitcoin ATMs in the summer of 2019 due to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) issues associated with the ATMs. The associated police report claims that criminals could purchase a Bitcoin ATM for their own needs for a few thousand dollars, and then deposit their cash into that ATM “as many times as required” to profit from or eliminate the transaction fees.

While many Canadian governing bodies have already taken steps against cryptocurrency, British Columbia’s review into the alleged money laundering activities is ongoing. Canada saw the amount of money laundering claims triple last year to 2,466 claims

Money laundering claims reviewed in Canada

When speaking to Cointelegraph, Andrey Peshkov, the CEO of money transfer app USDX Wallet, dismissed the concerns surrounding money laundering using cryptocurrency in Canada, remarking:

“I do not think that cryptocurrency holders try to laundering money in Canada because they are obligated to pay taxes. Many countries do not require holders to pay taxes from their crypto income making them more attractive to bad actors.”

Related: Head of Crypto Capital Arrested in Connection With Money Laundering

Flexa and Coinsquare integrate physical retail payments for Canada 

However, not all news surrounding Canada recently has been negative.The Winklevoss-backed cryptocurrency payments service Flexa, which allows merchants such as TopGolf to accept cryptocurrency, has seen strong acceptance around the country. 

Related: Where to Spend Bitcoin: A Global Overview From Ljubljana to Zurich

Current estimates show that over 7,500 businesses have signed up on the platform to offer crypto payments to their customers, indicating that business owners in Canada see a need to provide payment solutions in crypto. 

Canada audits QuadrigaCX exchange

A review of Canada in cryptocurrency would not be complete without talking about QuadrigaCX, a defunct Canada-based exchange. The company began grabbing headlines ever since its CEO Gerald Cotten was declared dead in India without ever having revealed the keys to access the company’s cryptocurrency reserves. When these reserves were discovered inaccessible, the business became insolvent, declaring bankruptcy. 

Related: QuadrigaCX Users Lose $190M as Speculations Over Cotten’s Death Swirl

The Canadian company’s bankruptcy trustee was Ernst & Young, a Big Four accounting agency. A bankruptcy trustee oversees the exchange’s insolvency proceedings focusing on auditing from a tax and creditor perspective.

Recently, the widow of QuadrigaCX Founder Gerald Cotten, Jennifer Robertson, paid $9 million in assets to the users of QuadrigaCX through EY. Robertson wrote in a personal statement, “The vast majority of my assets and all of the Estate’s assets are being returned to QCX to benefit the affected users.”

While the widow may not have been aware of her husband’s alleged malfeasance, what happened suggests that Canada is determined to rid cryptocurrency of fraud to protect both investors and holders. According to EY, Robertson’s late husband created fake accounts under several pseudonyms and used them to trade users’ money on the QuadrigaCX platform to show artificial income. The auditor also said that much of the funds were eventually transferred to personal accounts that he controlled

High-paying employment in Blockchain Consensus report

The Blockchain Consensus report was released on Oct. 4, 2019 by the Chamber of Digital Commerce Canada, exploring the blockchain ecosystem in Canada. The report takes a closer look at Canada’s blockchain ecosystem, breaking down insight by region and company size. The report also states that government commitment is desperately needed to move this highly innovative technology sector forward by providing legal clarity.

Further, the report includes statistics that highlight the average annual blockchain salary in Canada sitting at more than $98,000 Canadian dollars, making blockchain careers among the highest-paying in the country. The CEO of Shortex, Vladimir Prosvirkin, remarked on this report to Cointelegraph:

“Canada is one of the leading countries adopting blockchain technology on a corporate level. Every second company is invested in blockchain somehow last year. Due to the country’s low energy cost, high internet speeds, and favorable regulations, blockchain and cryptocurrency industries have always prospered here.”

Piloting government spending tracking in Toronto

In an effort to increase transparency, EY started tracking how public funds are spent in the capital city of Toronto. As reported by Cointelegraph on Oct. 16, the system can track the government’s public funds as they move through different state agencies, providing transparency to the public. 

According to EY, data provided by the platform can potentially be used to better inform future decision making on policies. Upon the pilot program’s launch, EY issued a statement, “Blockchain technology can positively impact processes from tax collection to open data to public spending.” A Bitcoin-conscious and highly functioning city like Toronto may benefit from greater transparency in government spending and provide an important use case. 

G-7 working group on stablecoins

On Oct. 13, 2019, the Bank of Canada released results from the G-7 working group on stablecoins that was tasked with “investigating the impact of global stablecoins” as a whole. While much has been written about the strong language in the report, such as “Stablecoins pose a threat to financial security,” it also outlines ways in which governments and digital securities can work together. Participants included the Bank of England, the Bank of Canada, the Bank of France, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Italy, the Bank of Japan and the United States Department of Treasury.

On the eve of the G-7 working group, Anthony Pompliano, co-founder and partner at Morgan Creek Digital, noted that it has taken only a decade from Bitcoin’s creation for the “decentralized digital currency to go from basically the fringes of the internet to now being discussed at the G-7 and other regulatory offices.”

Challenges lie ahead for stablecoins

The report goes on to outline the challenges that stablecoins need to overcome in order for them to remain in compliance. Focusing on private stablecoins, the report highlights that stablecoins, regardless of size, pose some major risks such as regulatory, security, and those relating to financial reporting and misconduct. 

Further, the paper addresses challenges and risks that globally adopted stablecoins like Tether (USDT) pose to monetary policy, financial stability, the international monetary system and fair competition. Jude Regev, the founder of Element Zero, an open-source network that provides branded stablecoins and a fee-free on-chain SmartSwap, noted to Cointelegraph:

“Private stablecoins will need to be more similar to a shield that protects purchasing power and provides security against hacking. When Central Bank’s like Canada issue their own digital currencies and other countries do the same, being able to create stable interoperability between each countries’ fiat onboarding will add the most value to the ecosystem.”

Based on international conversations and the working session led by Canada in conjunction with other countries, it is clear the country sees both value and risk in stablecoins. The working document shows a future where digital currency will utilize banks only as a means for fiat onboarding. The document seems to address two known stablecoin protocols, an algorithmic stablecoin like DAI and asset-backed stablecoins like Tether. 

Toward the future

Canada’s blockchain history is marked by triumph and struggle. The Crypto Canucks are constant drivers and mass adoption is incoming through all the perceived barriers. From the first Bitcoin ATM to considering banning Bitcoin ATMs to leading the international community toward adoption, the Great White North has been at the forefront for both cryptocurrencies’ benefits and risks. 

While adoption continues to increase, inappropriate regulation could potentially hinder some projects in the country. Guidelines may end up forcing private stablecoins to comply with securities laws in big countries or to even become banks, significantly raising the barrier to entry. Alternatively, countries may turn to outlawing private stablecoins altogether for fear of harm coming to their existing banking systems.

Regulators Hostile to Bitcoin Will Fall Out of Favor, Warns Samson Mow

Regulators Hostile to Bitcoin Will Fall Out of Favor, Warns Samson Mow

Bitcoin is digital freedom because it allows making the transactions that others don’t want you to make, Blockstream CSO says.

Hostility to Bitcoin (BTC) from the global regulators is a double-edged sword that can hurt authorities if they lose their power, the Blockstream Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) warned.

During a panel at a Liquid meetup at Litecoin Summit on Oct. 29, Blockstream CSO Samson Mow predicted that regulatory restrictions to Bitcoin could have both favorable and unfavorable consequences for the regulators themselves.

Regulators should be careful while enforcing Bitcoin regulation

The panel is a part of the event hosted by BTC technology firm Blockstream and BTSE exchange in Las Vegas, BTSE’s global marketing director Lina Seiche shared on Oct. 31. 

Alongside Mow, the panel also featured Litecoin (LTC) founder Charlie Lee and industry Twitter personality WhalePanda.

During the discussion, Mow pointed out that Bitcoin really solves a lot of issues in the existing financial system such as inflation. He also predicted that global jurisdictions will eventually have to adopt it due to the multitude of benefits of the cryptocurrency.

However, they also might be hostile to it, Mow noted, urging that excessive hostility can lead to unfortunate consequences if regulators’ power is undermined by this borderless technology. He said:

“They might be hostile to it. But the thing is hostility to Bitcoin is a double-edged sword like if you are in power and you ban Bitcoin, and you fall out of power, then you’re screwed. [...] People need to be careful when they are enforcing regulation and creating all this policy because you could be on the other side of the sword, down the road if you fall out of favor.”

“Bitcoin is essentially digital freedom”

Mow further emphasized Bitcoin’s decentralized and deflationary nature as one of the major benefits for soon-to-come global adoption, forecasting that people will eventually find out those advantages. He also cited the growing adoption of Bitcoin in China, claiming that both people and the government in the country love Bitcoin. The Bitcoin bull declared:

“Bitcoin is allowing you to make the transactions that people don’t want you to make. It’s essentially digital freedom.”

Earlier this year, Mow claimed that Bitcoin is not ideal for payments, but this could be solved by the Lightning Network, a second layer payment protocol that works on top of Bitcoin to increase transaction capacity.

Top Five Tips for New Bitcoin Investors

Top Five Tips for New Bitcoin Investors

Here are the basic steps to success when making your first cryptocurrency investment.

Investing in Bitcoin (BTC) can be quite intimidating if you’re only just learning about its existence now. In fact, taking the plunge and entering the cryptocurrency sphere is a risk for anyone, with or without investment experience. This is because the crypto space has no centralized authority to guide investors. Rumors, hype and horror stories dominate the internet, and separating fact from hearsay can be difficult at times.

Like any other business venture, you should never get your feet wet until you have all the facts straight. Many Bitcoin investors who have taken losses will agree that they didn’t do their own research. Riding on rumors and hearsay is setting yourself up for failure.

However, the cryptocurrency community does come in handy for inquiries. You’re better off talking to people who are already in the crypto space. As a college student, you’ve got all the time and resources to find out all there is to know about investing in Bitcoin. As you find ways to invest, don’t forget to keep an eye on your academic performance, but if it does begin to suffer, online writing services like WriteZillas help ensure you maintain above-average performance.


The crypto space has existed for quite a number of years now, which means that so much has changed since its advent. If you’re just getting wind of Bitcoin now, you need to do your homework. You’ll make better investment choices when you understand what you’re getting yourself into. Even though cryptocurrencies offer a unique investment opportunity, that doesn’t mean they come without risks.

Treading accordingly ensures you miss all the potholes along the way. Dive into Bitcoin’s underlying technology and figure out how the whole system works. A strong grasp of how the blockchain stores secure data will help you understand everything pertaining to Bitcoin investments.

Don’t go through a few articles on the internet and conclude that you know enough about Bitcoin, because knowing it like you know the back of your hand takes time. Find a mentor in the crypto space who is resourceful and trustworthy. Ask as many questions you can, so that by the time you’re investing, you are doing so in a safe environment.

Ignore the hype and dig deeper to find out the truth. Otherwise, if you rely on the success stories as your guide, you’ll end up risking money you cannot afford to lose. Even though Bitcoin opens up an exciting world, the horror stories are proof enough that it can be complex and confusing, as well.

Baby steps

Knowing everything about the crypto world doesn’t mean you should dive into the deep end. Risk is inherent in every investment, and the crypto space is no exception. You need to proceed with caution, because digital currency is still in its early stages of development. There are extremely high risks involved, which means you can either win big or lose everything you have.

Start small and see how it goes before putting in more money. Instead of chasing Bitcoin prices, let the prices come to you. Timing is key when it comes to investing in cryptocurrency. Once you decide on an entry point, don’t change your mind just because someone told you otherwise.

Once the price gets to where you want it to be, don’t use all your capital to buy the coins. Buy in small quantities, investing a little at a time. The right way to invest in Bitcoins is synonymous with summoning a genie — one wrong move and you lose it all.

Broaden your horizons

Ideally, no investor should put all their eggs in one basket. When investing in the crypto space, you need to diversify effectively. This way, a decline in one component can easily be offset by an equal gain in another.

Aside from Bitcoin, you can also invest in Ripple (XRP), Ether, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC). Investing equally across different components maintains a balance, as all these components are within the crypto space, and if one drops by a given percentage, another is bound to rise by the same amount.

Be aware of all active cryptocurrencies and invest in them with caution. A cryptocurrency can easily fall because they’re like startups within the crypto space. Researching and keeping up with the crypto market is crucial because a currency can crash to the ground overnight.

Keep your coin in wallets

Since you’re investing within a digital space, you should keep an eye out for cybersecurity. Cybercriminals are all over the crypto space. Use exchanges to buy currencies and move your coins back to your wallets as soon as you’re done. Holding your assets in exchanges exposes you to cyberattacks.

Many exchanges have been hacked before, and this trend is not likely to change. Consider investing in cold wallets, which is another name for offline wallets. These are much more secure than hot wallets (online wallets).

Buckle up, it’s going to be a wild ride

There is nothing as volatile as the digital currency market. As a new investor, you need strategies to help you manage price fluctuations. Aside from diversifying, you should buy and hold Bitcoin — this means resisting any temptation to get into short-term bets. In the crypto space, passive investment has a better chance of succeeding than an active one.

Now that you know the best way to go about investing in Bitcoin, you can enter the crypto space armored with information. When it comes to investing, making informed decisions is key.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Natalie Crawford is an author and blogger in marketing, education and other fields. The aim of her articles is to bring benefits and useful knowledge to readers.

Mt. Gox Bitcoin Stays Put: Claims Deadline Pushed Back to Spring 2020

Mt. Gox Bitcoin Stays Put: Claims Deadline Pushed Back to Spring 2020

Nobuaki Kobayashi repeats extends the deadline for the same reasons as before — the number of “fully or partially disapproved” claims.

The trustee in charge of refunding users who lost money in the implosion of Bitcoin (BTC) exchange Mt. Gox has again extended the submission deadline for claims. 

New claims deadline March 31, 2020

In a statement released on Oct. 28, Nobuaki Kobayashi said that the high volume of problematic requests for money meant that a five-month extension was inevitable. 

Kobayashi confirmed the plan just one day before the current deadline arrived. That, too, was the result of an extension which the trustee agreed in April. 

“A large amount of rehabilitation claims that the Rehabilitation Trustee fully or partially disapproved remains undetermined for being subject to claim assessment procedures and appeals against a decision on a petition for claim assessment,” he explained.

Kobayashi’s statement concluded:

“In light of the foregoing, the Rehabilitation Trustee filed a motion to seek an extension of the submission deadline of a rehabilitation plan at the Tokyo District Court, and, on October 25, 2019, the Tokyo District Court issued an order to extend the deadline for a rehabilitation plan to March 31, 2020.”

Almost six years since collapse

As Cointelegraph reported, a total of around 24,000 people were implicated in the Mt. Gox debacle. The exchange collapsed in early 2014, with a lengthy legal process still to award any refunds. Around 850,000 BTC (at the time worth $460 million) disappeared from its books. 

The cryptocurrency industry is also keenly eyeing another exchange’s demise this year. Canada’s QuadrigaCX, the founder of which suddenly died in late 2018, still owes around $145 million to its 115,000 creditors.

The founder’s widow handed over $9 million in assets last month.

New IRS Guidance: How to Report Crypto Assets Accurately

New IRS Guidance: How to Report Crypto Assets Accurately

Understanding the new IRS guidance for cryptocurrency.

The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is continuing to focus its efforts in cryptocurrency. After sending a recent enforcement letter, the IRS has released two new pieces of guidance for taxpayers who engage in transactions involving digital currency.

The new guidance includes Revenue Ruling 2019–24 and FAQs, including guidance for using the specific identification method. Additionally, the IRS has published a new draft for form 1040 Schedule 1, including a broad declaration regarding crypto holdings or trade.

Here is a breakdown of these publications.

Revenue Ruling 2019–24: airdrops and hard forks

So, what are airdrops and hard forks, and what do they mean for the tax obligations of crypto holders? 

In short, an airdrop occurs when a company distributes its tokens to a user’s wallet, free of charge, in order to raise funds, and in certain other cases, such as after hard forks. A hard fork is when nodes of the newest version of a blockchain creates a permanent separation from the previous version, creating a “fork” in which one path follows the new and upgraded blockchain, while the other follows the old path. 

In Bitcoin (BTC), a hard fork is the result of changes in the blockchain rules, sharing a transaction history with Bitcoin up to a certain time and date. The most famous hard fork occurred in August 2017, when some Bitcoin developers and users decided to initiate a hard fork known as Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

The new IRS guidelines distinguish between hard forks and airdrops, stating that not every hard fork should be treated as an airdrop. Those who received new currencies in a hard fork are considered as having received them through airdrop and should report it to the IRS as gross income.

The new ruling also acknowledges the possibility that a taxpayer did not receive an airdrop, detailing that if a taxpayer receives new currency from an airdrop into a wallet managed by an exchange that does not support the airdropped currency, the taxpayer is off the hook. But, if the exchange later ends up supporting that airdropped crypto, the taxpayer is considered to have received the new currency at that time and is therefore liable to taxation.

While the IRS has made significant steps in regulating crypto, the new guidance raises questions about the request to tax airdrops when the crypto holder receives them as gross income, unlike regular crypto which it’s taxable events occur only on selling or exchanging. 

Frequently asked questions

Back in 2014, the IRS issued Notice 2014–21, which describes how existing general tax principles apply to transactions using digital currency. This notice contained 16 Q&As, which have now been amended and added to the 2019 ruling, resulting in a whopping 43 questions and answers that cover the entirety of crypto taxation issues.

These are the main issues you should know: 

1. Understand what Fair Market Value is: 

Fair Market Value (FMV) is typically defined as the selling price for an item to which a buyer and seller can agree.

Cryptocurrency value is determined by the cryptocurrency exchange and recorded in U.S. dollars. However, when it comes to peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions or other transactions not facilitated by an exchange, the FMV is determined according to the date and time at which the transaction was recorded on the blockchain. 

2. Determine the cost basis:

Cost basis is the original value of an asset for tax purposes. For digital currencies, the cost basis is the amount you spent to acquire the digital currency, including fees, brokerage commissions from exchanges, and other acquisition costs in U.S. dollars.

Your adjusted basis is your basis increased by certain expenditures and decreased by certain deductions or credits based on marital status, income, etc. To calculate an accurate cost basis, you must first determine which units of currency were sold, exchanged, or disposed of and match the buying cost for every unit sold. 

3. Choose the calculation method carefully:

Here is the big news: For the first time, the IRS has clarified the preferable method of calculation for cryptocurrency, advising to use the “specific identification” method. This means identifying the exact unspent output Bitcoin transaction (UTXO) you have sold out of all the Bitcoin you had in your wallets, and then calculating your tax liability based on the sale of the actual Bitcoin UTXO.

If you are not using it already, you should use the first in, first out (FIFO) method. This method does not take real-time user activity into consideration. Basically, to calculate in the FIFO method, you need to make a list of all purchases and another list of all sales. Then, to do the matching, take the first item in the purchase list and calculate the tax results as if you sold it at the same price and on the same date as the first sale in the sales list. FIFO results can cause overtaxation, especially if you bought your first Bitcoins in the early years.

To get a complete and accurate report, taxpayers are encouraged to use the specific identification method. This method is used to track individual units of virtual currency. It is applicable only when individual units can be clearly identified to provide a complete report of crypto-asset movements, including addresses, wallets, exchanges, etc.

Taxpayers can identify specific units by unique digital identifiers such as private and public keys and addresses, or with records showing the transaction information for all units of a specific digital currency (such as Bitcoin) held in a particular account, wallet or address. Specific identification must exhibit the date and time each unit was acquired, the cost basis and FMV of each unit at the time of acquisition, as well as the date, time, FMV and sale value or price of each unit when it was sold, exchanged or disposed of. 

Related: Crypto IRS Audits: Hire Professionals or Do it Yourself?

4. Save all your documentation:

When compiling a report and filling out the appropriate documentation, taxpayers must report all income, gains and losses incurred by all taxable transactions, regardless of the amount. IRS codes and requirements are to maintain thorough documentation on receipts, sales and exchanges in order to establish validity on their tax returns.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Or Lokay Cohen is the vice president at Bittax, a crypto tax calculation platform. Or has 10 years’ experience with regulation, managing a leading tax consultant firm. She holds a LL.M. law degree, a B.A. in communications and an M.A. in management and public policy. In her work at Bittax, Or promotes the goal of bridging the gap between cryptocurrency and the taxation reality to enable tax reporting under a clear, regulatory framework and specific identification methods.

Binance Quietly Launches Ruble Trading for ‘Top-10 Market’ Russia

Binance Quietly Launches Ruble Trading for ‘Top-10 Market’ Russia

Russia is one of the top 10 markets on Binance exchange, CEO Changpeng Zhao revealed as the platform just added support for ruble trading.

Major global crypto exchange Binance has silently launched Russian ruble trading on Oct. 30.

Binance Ruble trading goes live according to the plan

Less than two weeks after announcing Binance’s plans to launch fiat trading starting with Russian ruble, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) revealed that ruble trading is live in a tweet on Oct. 31.

CZ noted that the launch of Russian ruble was released silently and in conjunction with his interview on Coindesk stating that Russia is one of the biggest markets of Binance exchange.

CZ first announced the ruble trading launch speaking at a Russian government-sponsored event, the Open Innovations Forum in Moscow on Oct. 21. At the time, Binance said that the exchange was expecting the launch in about two weeks.

Russia is among the top 10 markets on Binance

In another interview with Russian-language crypto news outlet Forklog on Oct. 31, Binance CEO revealed that Russia is one of the top-ten markets on Binance. When asked about the number of Russia-based users, CZ suggested that the amount is significant, saying:

“Russia is in the TOP-10 for sure. Our user base is very similar to the geographical distribution of Bitcoin holders.”

According to a recent Forklog survey, Binance is the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, with nearly 60% of the respondents claiming that they prefer Binance rather than other global crypto exchanges. 

When asked what could be a trigger for such a level of popularity in these regions, CZ said that Binance is just trying to meet the demand by adapting their products to the local language.

Binance’s introduction of Russian ruble trading comes amid a report that Russia’s internet ombudsman is planning to launch a new Bitcoin (BTC) mining facility to mine 20% of the global Bitcoin. 

Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency industry is not formally regulated in the country, as recently reported. On Oct. 22, Zhao expressed his confidence that the bill on regulating digital currencies in the Russian Federation will be adopted in the foreseeable future.