An increasing number of countries are looking at the cryptocurrency space, with three national governments launching efforts to regulate and examine projects in the last two weeks. – with a particular focus on tax policy.
As might be expected, some jurisdictions – especially in the Asian market – have moved to clarify the rules that crypto-traders must follow when reporting their gains or losses. And while some of those are in the earliest stages, the developments suggest that government officials want to clear the air of any doubt that may be felt by those working in the space – and who might bring their business to those areas.
To that end, some governments are looking to actually clear the runway, as it were, for companies looking to exchange or trade cryptocurrencies. Part of that involves reducing the tax burden for such companies, with the implicit hope that they'll set up shop in those countries.
Even still, it may be some time before those rules get clarified – at least until next tax season.
Thai taxes take shape
Thailand is on the cusp of implementing a 7 percent value-added tax (VAT) and a 15 percent capital gains tax on cryptocurrency transactions – a move that is coupled with new regulations on exchanges that handle the trade of such assets.
Last week, Thailand's Ministry of Finance noted it was moving ahead with the bill despite a request from the Thai Blockchain Association to relieve some of the tax burdens that will be placed on the community.
The bill will also require exchanges to institute more stringent know-your-customer (KYC) procedures and collect identification data for all their users.
Special zone in the Philippines
The government in the Philippines is taking what you might call the opposite approach.
Officials have announced that they would allow 10 cryptocurrency startups to launch operations in a special economic zone that offers lower tax tiers.
The startups will include miners, ICO platforms, and exchanges. But they aren't just being offered a red carpet – they'll be required to invest in the nation's economy over the next two years. The $1 million investment will come on top of a $100,000 licensing fee, Reuters reported.
The startups will also still be restricted to some degree and will be forced to handle all fiat conversations offshore to avoid violating the nation's laws.
Feedback for Abu Dhabi
In a less binding move, the Abu Dhabi Global Market's Financial Services Regulatory Authority released their proposed rules on cryptocurrency trading.
There's no policy set in stone, though. Right now, the agency is looking for feedback from industry members on the framework.
Among other stipulations, the framework outlines anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing, consumer protection, technology governance and safe custody rules. Spot crypto assets are also included in the proposed framework.
Past tax considerations, state regulators in the U.S. continue to crack down on what they allege are fraudulent schemes targeting would-be investors.
North Carolina's Secretary of State Securities Division has issued a permanent cease-and-desist against PowerMining Pool, following a temporary order which was sent out in early March.
The regulator alleged that PowerMining Pool violated the state's Securities Act and using dangerous sales tactics when it was allegedly selling shares in bitcoin to help it mine one of several cryptocurrencies.
In its permanent order, the regulator noted that the company's website had gone down and that it did not respond to the temporary order.
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