Israeli Gov’t to Implement New Regulations for Crypto Holders
In line with its effort to deter tax evasion and money laundering, the Israeli government has drafted a law dubbed as “war against black capital.”
According to a press release by the Ministry of Finance of Israel on Tuesday, under the proposed law, investors are required to report their crypto holdings above $61K worth of BTC (bitcoin) or equivalent to 200,000 Israeli shekels.
As further stated in the bill:
“Virtual currencies have become commonplace among the public, and they are practically traded as an asset on exchanges. Digital coins can be subdivided into small units, transferred relatively easily by electronic means, and are not subject to surveillance or inspection. In these circumstances, virtual currency is a convenient and effective means of concealing income, accumulating undeclared assets and money laundering.”
If passed into law, the government hopes to raise revenue of estimated 30 million shekels ($9.2 million) in 2022 through additional tax.
But the bill was opposed by the Israeli Bitcoin Association (IBA) and other bitcoin advocates in the country. The association sent a letter to Eran Yaakov, the head of the ITA stating the reason why they opposed the proposed bill.
In reports, the ITA stated that the main goal of the proposed bill is to reduce the country’s volume of “black capital” and expose undisclosed assets and income. But the head of regulation at IBA, Nir Hirshman believes otherwise. He believes that the bill will create discrimination against crypto investors in the country. He further adds:
“This is a bad proposal that will harm bitcoin investors and won’t add even one dollar to tax collection in Israel.”
With the looming implementation of the crypto regulation, the country seems to tighten its reign on cryptocurrencies particularly on BTC (bitcoin). In February, Israeli regulators declared that cryptocurrency is a security and subject to the Israeli Securities Law.
XRP Price Surges After Launching On-Demand Liquidity in Japan
The embattled XRP (Ripple) is finally recovering after recording a 5-week high after launching its On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) in Japan.
In a press release, Ripple announced on Wednesday the launching of RippleNet’s first live On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) service implementation in Japan, in collaboration with SBI Remit Co., Ltd, the largest money transfer provider in Japan, and one of the leading mobile wallet services in the Philippines, Coins.ph.
Asheesh Birla, General Manager of RippleNet at Ripple commenting on the partnership:
“The expansion of our relationship with SBI Remit to kickstart RippleNet’s ODL service in Japan marks a major milestone in one of our largest markets. SBI Remit has been a leader when it comes to embracing new technology to deliver the best customer experience.”
He further adds:
“We are excited to partner with forward-looking companies like SBI that see the value in blockchain technology and to support them in preparing for a crypto-enabled future.”
The launching of Ripple’s ODL was primarily to address the rise in demand for affordable remittance services for Filipinos in the country. In 2020 alone, remittance flows from Filipino overseas workers in Japan amounted to approximately 1.8 billion U.S. dollars. Also, Japan accounts for one of the highest cross-border payment fees in the world. In a report by the World Bank, the country’s average remittance is 10.5% and almost twice that from G8 countries with only 5.92%.
In recent data by Crypto.co, XRP (Ripple) is now at $ 0.723320 and has recorded a 2.14% in a 24-hr chart.
E-commerce Giant Amazon to Accept Bitcoin as Payment
In a report by the London business newspaper City A.M., the e-commerce giant Amazon plans to accept BTC (bitcoin) as payment. This was revealed by an anonymous source inside Amazon with the media outlet. The source further stated:
“This isn’t just going through the motions to set up cryptocurrency payment solutions at some point in the future — this is a full-on, well-discussed, integral part of the future mechanism of how Amazon will work.”
Amazon will start accepting BTC (bitcoin) as payment by the end of this year and plans to launch its own token by 2022. But aside from BTC (bitcoin), the company is also considering adding other major cryptocurrencies in the future. They further add:
“This entire project is pretty much ready to roll.”
This was further confirmed when a job opening was also posted on the company’s job board for a “Digital Currency and Blockchain Product Lead”. The qualified applicant will help develop Amazon’s digital currency strategy and product roadmap. The job entails expertise in different aspects of crypto like blockchain, distributed ledgers, and central bank digital currencies.
US Treasury Blacklists Bitcoin Wallet Associated with Suspected Terrorist
A bitcoin wallet that belongs to Farrukh Furkatovitch Fayzimatov was blacklisted by the US Treasury allegedly due to its association with the terrorist group Hay’et Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS).
On Wednesday, the office of the US Treasury Department announced the sanction in a press release against the Syria-based terrorist fundraiser and recruiter. It was also revealed that the suspect is involved in posting propaganda using social media, recruitment of new members, and solicit donations for HTS. He was also engaged in organizing community fundraising campaigns to provide equipment for the benefit of HTS, including motorbikes.
As further added in the press release:
“engaging in certain transactions with the individuals designated today entails risk of secondary sanctions pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended”
Cryptocurrencies have long been associated with illicit activities including terrorism. Since digital assets are decentralized, funds can be received and sent without the need for intermediaries like banks hence evading regulations. But with the advancement of technology and regulatory compliance by crypto custodians like exchanges, a user crypto wallet can now be uncovered and transactions can be blocked.