digest

December 13

Weekly Legal digest 13.12.2018

December 13

BDO GMT Legal Ksenia Stafeeva revealed the main events in the field of cryptocurrency regulation for this week.

China

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC), the country’s central bank, highlighted the illegality of Security Token Offerings (STOs) in the country.

“Illegal financing activities through ICOs and STOs were still rampant in the mainland despite a nationwide clean-up of the cryptocurrency market last year”, — Pan Gongsheng, a deputy governor of China’s central bank.
“I want to warn those who are promoting STO fundraising in Beijing. Don’t do it in Beijing. You will be kicked out if you do it”.

Despite the country’s ban on cryptocurrency trading, ICOs and STOs, China is a strong proponent of the technology underpinning it, in terms of both capital and policy.

In 2018, several blockchain funds, with a scale of $5.82 billion in total, have been initiated by local governments in China to promote the better development of blockchain technology, according to incomplete statistics.

Russian Federation

Members of parliament introduced a draft bill that looks to empower the government to block a website if it has concerns about possible fiscal fraud. The document is on the website of the State Duma.

Websites that fake existing banks’ URLs, offer financial services without having a license, or promote “financial pyramids” are mentioned among those that fall under the newly introduced restrictions.

Japan

A representative of the third-largest opposition political party Nippon Ishin, Takeshi Fujimaki has proposed four amendments to the current taxation regime in order to ease the burden for cryptocurrency users and encourage adoption of cryptocurrencies in the country.

  1. To set a distinct tax rate of 20% on crypto gains instead of current up to 55% rate. Gains from cryptocurrency trades are not stable like salary income and there are chances of incurring losses. Accordingly, gains from cryptos should be taxed on par with other investment options in the country.
  2. To allow to carry forward losses forward losses from cryptocurrencies in order to have a “fair” system. Now, if you make a loss in one year and profit in the next from cryptos, you still need to pay tax on the gains that you made in the second year with no allowance for the previous loss. However, in the case of other investment types, such as stocks and property taxpayers can deduct losses from the total profit and pay tax on the difference.
  3. A tax exemption for trading between two virtual currencies.
  4. A tax exemption to small payments made in virtual currencies.

Israel

Israel Tax Authority has unilaterally opened tax accounts for hundreds of Israelis as having unreported earnings from cryptocurrency trading.

Cryptocurrencies are not defined as a currency but as a financial asset, and therefore is subject to a capital gains tax of 25%-30% in the country.

Great Britain

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental financial security body, has demanded the United Kingdom step up its cryptocurrency monitoring.

Virtual currency exchange providers are not yet covered by AML/CFT requirements”.

Netherlands

The Dutch Central Bank, De Nederlandsche Bank, wants to regulate crypto companies by requiring them to get licenses in order to operate.

This measure will deter money laundering and the use of cryptocurrencies to fund terrorism. To qualify for a license, crypto companies will have to report any suspicious transactions as well as complete a series of KYC checks that ensure the identity of their clients.

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