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Think Tank Report Argues for Standardized Crypto Rules Within EU

A Belgium-based think tank is arguing that the EU should create a single standard for cryptocurrency rules in a report sent to finance ministers within the economic bloc.

Bruegel, based in Brussels, the Belgian capitol, believes that the EU needs “common rules” on cryptocurrencies, as well as how tokens are distributed and traded, Reuters reported Wednesday. It’s report comes in advance of an “informal meeting of economic and financial affairs ministers” later this week. The report is not yet publicly available.

The report says the EU should enforce common regulations on crypto exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs) as well, according to Reuters. That being said, the report notes that bitcoin’s decentralized nature makes regulating the cryptocurrency itself “impossible.”

As such, it emphasized that any regulations would have to apply to exchanges or other related companies. It also referenced China’s crackdown on cryptominers, noting that mining farms can be banned as well.

The news comes a day after lawmakers in the European Parliament met to discuss standardizing ICO rules under crowdfunding regulations.

Ashley Fox, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), has submitted a draft proposal for creating a common standard for ICO regulations within the EU and select other nations. If adopted, the rules would allow for startups to raise funds and operate in each of the member nations, rather than just the specific country they are based out of.

EU image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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As No-Deal Brexit Looms, UK Blockchain Startups Are Weighing Options

From longer approval processes to the threat they might lose access to the European market, it’s safe to say U.K. blockchain startups are looking for contingency plans.

A quick recap: in 2016, the U.K. held a referendum on whether to stay in the European Union (E.U.), with a majority of voters opting to leave the economic bloc. Since then, the government has been negotiating with E.U. officials on the terms of its exit – but recent hurdles have raised the specter of a “no-deal Brexit” that could lead to economic turbulence and uncertainty.

It’s that uncertainty that has some blockchain startups sweating about their future prospects – at least in the months ahead as politicians attempt to hammer out an agreement.

“Brexit is a hindrance to everything in the short term,” said Jamie McNaught, CEO and founder of Solidi Ltd, which is developing a blockchain-based payments platform that uses cryptocurrencies to facilitate money remittances.

He told CoinDesk:

“[It’s] because all fintech regulation experts and lawyers are busy with so many things at the moment. They wouldn’t be busy if the Brexit hasn’t happened. In terms of just getting time with people is difficult at this moment. Will it (Brexit) be a hindrance in the mid-and-long term? That really depends on how successful the Brexit will be.”

The startup is one of the four blockchain companies that were accepted by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for a normally six-month-long sandbox test in December 2017.

Until this July, Solidi was still in the regulatory test, as “the whole thing is being held up by some of the requirement as to become regulated,” McNaught said.

What Solidi is waiting for is the approval of a money service business (MSB) license from HM Revenue & Customs, the U.K. authority that reviews anti-money laundering compliance. Solidi has waited nine months to get approved for the MSB license, but the process previously took about five weeks, and the startup is not the only company in this position according to the FCA, McNaught said.

Stormy horizon

To other blockchain firms who aren’t facing that specific issue, the ramifications of a “hard Brexit” have become a big concern.

Renat Khasanshyn, co-founder of Etherisc, a European firm offering decentralized insurance protocol, expects Brexit will create hurdles for users and developers of its protocol and, therefore, hamper client growth. The company’s platform allows providers to build insurance products on top of an open-source infrastructure.

But if negotiations around Brexit falter, cross-border market testing will be much harder, and compliance costs for providers will increase, as Khasanshyn explained.

“The users of our protocol will be impacted by Brexit negatively because they will need to comply with regulations in the U.K. and the EU, which will likely go in different directions,” Khasanshyn told CoinDesk. “And they will comply and pay for this compliance twice.”

For London-based blockchain startup Globacap, the biggest concern is likely to be the threat of the loss of passporting rights.

In its white paper on Brexit, the British government proposed new trade arrangements with the EU, suggesting the U.K. and the economic bloc maintain current agreements to trade goods but not services.

Under the proposal, British financial services companies such as banks, insurers and asset managers risk losing their passporting rights – which grant them unconstrained access to other EU markets – when the U.K. formally exits the bloc next year.

Myles Milston, CEO and founder of Globacap, explained that “normally, once [we] become a fully authorized securities firm, we get passporting [rights] into the rest of the countries in the EU.”

“However, obviously with Brexit, we might not get that passporting right anymore,” he went on to say. “So it doesn’t actually affect the sandbox test, but it might affect our business model after the sandbox.”

Sunnier shores

Unless a deal is struck to extend market access – at least for a transition period – these firms will have to pay up to open new bases of operation in the EU or face a severe loss of market access.

Blockchain companies that provide payment or e-money services, therefore, anticipate unfavorable impacts on their businesses, with a number of firms contemplating to set up separate EU subsidiaries to avoid being blocked from the market altogether.

Globacap is another project participating in the FCA sandbox, within which it is working on the issuance of debt and equity securities on blockchain in the FCA’s oversight.

As soon as the project goes through the test and is fully launched as a company, it plans to open an office in Europe and apply for regulatory clearance to avoid losing its passporting rights, Milston said.

“At the moment we are deciding where the best place is in Europe to start that,” he added.

Nivaura, a U.K.-based fintech company building an issuance and administration platform for securities, including tokenized securities, says its seeking approval from German regulators to open an office in the country.

“The passporting now takes about three months, and we can go anywhere,” said Avtar Sehra, CEO and chief product architect for Nivaura.”But if we have to go into Germany and set up a whole new business, there is a whole approval process. It could take from a year up to 18 months.”

Not all doom and gloom

Risks aside, not everyone that spoke to CoinDesk about the potential Brexit impact had a negative view of the situation.

Richard Cohen, a U.K.-based lawyer at international law firm Allen & Overy, contended that Brexit would have little effect on the blockchain industry as a whole – in fact, he sees it as a potential positive for the country in terms of its approach to fintech.

“The U.K. will be allowed to come up with a regulatory framework that is much more favorable to fintech companies and become a friendly jurisdiction in which banks can make the best use of blockchain and global opportunities,” Cohen argued.

Alastair Johnson, CEO of Nuggets, an e-commerce and payment ID platform, also struck a largely positive note, telling CoinDesk that his company has found the U.K. government to be a supportive partner.

And its actions to date – particularly through the FCA, which has sought to include blockchain and distributed ledger startups within its sandbox cohorts – bear out that assertion

“The U.K. is very supportive at the potential of innovation in fintech and technology as a whole,” Johnson said. “And I think they will also see that as an opportunity to create markets, continue growth and associate with Europe and the world as a whole. It’s everything that driving the support.”

Cracked flag image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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ICOs Can ‘Prove Their Legitimacy’ Under New Crowdfunding Rules, Says EU Lawmaker

The European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs is working on new crowdfunding regulations that could extend to some initial coin offerings (ICOs), according to a draft report published August 10.

Ashley Fox, a British Member of the European Parliament (MEP), proposes bringing some ICOs within the remit of a new draft regulatory framework for crowdfunding that has been in development as of March.

The report says that while the draft crowdfunding rules may not provide an outright solution for regulating the ICO space, they represent “a much-needed step” towards introducing appropriate regulatory measures aimed at investor protection.

Emphasizing that ICOs represent “an excellent funding stream for tech start-ups,” the report proposes that the new framework offers an “opportunity” for “ICOs that want to prove their legitimacy to comply with the requirements of this regulation”:

“In order to allow for a competitive Union framework, crowdfunding service providers should be permitted to raise capital through their platforms using certain cryptocurrencies […] ICOs offer new and innovative ways of funding but can also generate substantial market, fraud and cyber security risks to investors. Therefore, [ICOs] should comply with specific additional requirements under this Regulation.”

Fox proposes that the new requirements would not extend to every type of ICO. Omissions include ICOs that are considered to be “private placements,” that use a counterparty, or that seek to raise in excess of 8 million euros, the “threshold up to which EU Member States can exempt offers of securities to the public from the obligation to publish a prospectus in accordance with Article 3 Regulation (EU) 2017/1129 of the European Parliament and of the Council.”

A recent report jointly published by “Big Four” consulting firm PwC and the Swiss Crypto Valley Association outlined the evolving ways in which the “booming” ICO space is currently being approached worldwide:

“The U.S. uses a centralized system in which all tokens offered by ICO are traded as securities. In Europe, on the other hand, a differentiated regulation prevails [that] classifies tokens into three sub-types: asset, payment and utility tokens […] Finally, in Asia, regulation is very heterogeneous, ranging from strict prohibition to active promotion of ICO projects. “

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Licensing Fees and Taxes: The Upside For Governments Embracing Crypto Regulation

The cryptocurrency and blockchain industries have pretty much stood unregulated ever since the Bitcoin (BTC) ledger was launched back in 2009. This means that for the last 9 years or so years, crypto enthusiasts, exchanges and traders have been enjoying the ride without answering to governments or any laws. This has been a good thing for this is the main point of decentralization through Distributed Ledger Technology.

But as much as John McAfee hates centralized governments, they are a necessary evil to maintain order in the various countries we live in. Whether it be an autocratic or democratic government, its mandate is to provide basic services to its citizens such as security, economic stability and healthcare. Governments achieve this through taxation, levies and fees for specific services.

With more countries embracing Crypto-regulation such as the Philippines, South Korea, Australia, Japan, Malta, Thailand, Kazakhstan and more, the corresponding governments will find a way to get their share of the crypto market action. One form is licensing fees as can be seen in the Philippines. The regulatory body there will rake in a cool $67 Million for issuing the 25 licenses it has set to approve. This means the funds collected can be diverted to other social services in the country.

The country of Australia is also working on taxing crypto profits for its citizens that have been stashed away their crypto loot in foreign jurisdictions. This will involve cooperation between the Australian authorities and other governments they have an agreement with when it comes to such matters of finance. The revenue collected from such individuals will once again probably fund the welfare benefits the country sets to distribute via blockchain technology. The country also aims at being a global leader in blockchain technology, A.I. and quantum computing. All these projects need some sort of funding and it will probably be sourced from taxing crypto trading.

In a nutshell, with cryptocurrencies and crypto-trading, comes a new way for generating revenue for any individual. With any income generated, comes the responsibility of paying taxes to the corresponding jurisdiction we live in. Crypto exchanges are also business entities that must declare profits and pay their dues in licensing fees and taxes accordingly. This is a reality we must embrace no matter how bitter it is to accept.

Besides, one of the unwritten universal laws in being a resident of this Earth, is to leave it a better place than we found it for the coming generations. If their lives will be made better through the schools, hospitals and technology developed from taxing crypto trading, then it is alright.

But the fees and taxes have to be within limits. We all know that one of the dangers of high taxation is a reduction in economic growth. Higher taxes means less individual capital to venture into investments and business enterprises. Therefore, the fees and taxes requested by governments with regards to crypto, have to be reasonable.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to give financial advice. It is an opinion piece. The opinion herein should be taken as is. Please carry out your own research before investing in any of the numerous cryptocurrencies available.

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+CityxChange and IOTA Join Forces on a Massive Project Funded by the EU

The European Commission formally invited the +CityxChange team to be part of the Smart Cities and Communities Project. The project in question belongs to the EU Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020.

+CityxChange team

The +CityxChange project uses IOTA to facilitate connectivity between devices as a means of promoting “climate-friendly and sustainable urban environments.” Such a large-scale implementation leads to what the team refer to as “Smart Cities”.

The +CityxChange team explains the concept of Smart cities on its official website. The long-term prospects are quite promising, possibly explaining the European Union’s interest in its research and development:

“In the future, municipalities must handle a completely different complexity in society. In order to have well-functioning cities, cities must improve how they utilise their resources and how they engage with technologies in different ways. A smart city will use digital technologies to enhance performance and wellbeing, to reduce costs and resource consumption and to engage more effectively and actively with its citizens.”

The Project has evolved satisfactorily and the experts have positively evaluated it. It not only attracts the attention of technology enthusiasts but has also received significant support from high-level policy makers, universities, enterprises, SMEs, Non-Profit Organizations, etc.

+CityxChange and IOTA: A Great Team For a Better Life

IOTA NonProfit CurrencyThe IOTA team is enthusiastic to see how their network can contribute to the successful development of the +CityxChange project. On the official IOTA blog, the satisfaction of its Head of Business Development, Wilfried Pimienta, is evident:

“Smart cities is one of the fastest growing cross-sectoral arenas of innovation for IOTA. Building on our work and partnerships across mobility, energy or data marketplace, these smart city ecosystems bring it all together. The +CityxChange consortium gathers many public and private partners around an ambitious open innovation and co-creation initiative.”

The consortium project will receive initial funding of 20 million Euros from the European Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020; however, it is important to stress that this will not be the only source of income for the project.

It is estimated that around 10 million euros could be received immediately from partners interested in the rapid development of such solutions. The project is expected to start on January 1, 2019.

Additionally, The cities chosen for implementation are: Trondheim, Limerick, Alba Iulia, Pisek, Sestao, Smolyan, and Voru.

The chosen cities interconect 7 countries across Europe

It is also important to take into consideration that the project interconects 7 countries all around Europe. It is possible to envision global interconection as IOT evolves into a massive phenomenon just as communications did decades ago.

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Ripple’s (XRP) David Schwartz, Currently Touring Europe On An XRP ‘Crusade’

Perhaps Crusade is too strong of a word when considering the historical background of such events. But it is in a sense also appropriate due to the fact that Ripple’s (XRP) Chief Cryptographer, David Schwartz, will be in Europe for a bunch of events where he will attend meetups, give keynote addresses and share his perspective with industry experts in panels and fireside chats, and with respect to Ripple and Blockchain technology.

The Ripple website has dubbed this tour by Mr. Schwartz as the Tour De Schwartz EU.

                                     Tour De Schwartz flier, source, Ripple.com

This week, Mr. Schwartz is in the Netherlands attending the Next Web (TNW) Conference in Amsterdam. The even started yesterday and runs up until today, the 25th of May. He will be giving a speech on his personal journey from discovering Bitcoin (BTC) and blockchain. He will also share how he became part of the team of original designers of the XRP ledger and a chief cryptographer of the project.

                          David Schwartz at the TNW Conference on the 24th of May, source @Ripple twitter page

He was quoted as saying the following just yesterday at the event:

We are trying to make moving money as easy as sending an email using #blockchain. We should be able to move value as easily as we move information, this is the lubricant to make global commerce better.

Next week, he will be in Germany for the Blockshow Europe event in Berlin on the 29th of May. In the event, he will be in a panel discussion on how innovators can discover new decentralized solutions with blockchain technology. He will then proceed to Hamburg for Unchain to give a presentation on the importance of the Internet of Value.

Mr. Schwartz will then return to the Netherlands on the 4th of June for the Money20/20 Europe event in Amsterdam. On the next day, June 5th, he will participate in a panel moderated by Sara Feenan to discuss the classification of digital assets by regulators and how they should go about it.

For the week that starts on June 11th, he will be at a meetup in Dublin, Ireland where he will chat about digital assets in an event moderated by Fortune’s Robert Hackett. The event already has 80 confirmed attendees. His last day in Europe will be the 12th of June and in Dublin to attend the MoneyConf fintech event.

More updates on his European tour can be found via the twitter pages of both Ripple and David Schwartz.

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European Commission To Fight Fake News With Power Of Blockchain

The European Commission (EC) has recently named blockchain technology to be part of its framework to combat the spread of false information online, TechCrunch reports Monday, April 30.  

The EC has identified blockchain as a critical part of what it will call the Code of Practice on Disinformation, which it intends to introduce by summer 2018.

According to a recently published press release by the EC, blockchain technology is one of “emerging technologies which are changing the way information is produced and disseminated, and have the potential to play a central role in tackling disinformation over the longer term.”

The EC says blockchain applications can help provide provide transparency, reliability, and traceability of news on the Internet. The Commission added that distributed ledger technology (DLT) can be combined with other identification processes:  

“Innovative technologies, such as blockchain, can help preserve the integrity of content, validate the reliability of information and/or its sources, enable transparency and traceability, and promote trust in news displayed on the Internet. This could be combined with the use of trustworthy electronic identification, authentication and verified pseudonyms…”

The recent press release follows a report published in March by the EC High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) that calls for more transparency from online platforms to fight the spread of false information online. The commission’s next step is to develop the EU-wide Code of Practice on Disinformation that is set to be published by July 2018.

Blockchain development will also be included in the research activities of the European Union’s research funding body Horizon 2020 Work Programme, which is considered “the biggest EU research and innovation funding programme ever.”

On April 11, the EC announced the signing of a Declaration to create a European Blockchain Partnership made of up 22 countries. EC Vice-President Andrus Ansip had previously urged the EU to take action in blockchain development in an effort to make Europe a world leader in digital innovation.

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EU Agencies to Offer €100K Prize at Blockchain Hackathon

Several European Union agencies will collaborate to facilitate an EU developer event – what they’re calling a “blockathon” – in June in a bid to explore applications of the tech for intellectual property rights enforcement.

The European Commission has partnered with the European Union Intellectual Property Office and its Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights to launch the Brussels-based hackathon, in which competitors will aim to develop a blockchain-based “integrated solution to combat counterfeiting,” the agencies announced on Wednesday.

The successful team will win a €100,000 (about $124,000) prize.

The agencies estimate that around 43 million EU citizens unknowingly purchased counterfeit products in 2017. However, existing preventative systems “are scattered, often working in silos, and criminal networks use this to their advantage,” they explained in the statement.

As a result, EUIPO executive director Antonio Campinos said, the agency is turning to blockchain as a potential tool to help combat this issue.

He explained:

“The EUIPO is determined to explore the potential of blockchain to interconnect systems and ensure security and immutability of data in order to add trust to our legitimate ecosystem for the benefits of citizens, enforcers and companies alike. We believe a strong networked alliance can be built to secure logistics, ensure the authenticity of goods, protect consumers and combat criminal and illegal activities.”

The intellectual property use case for blockchain was established during the early days of the industry, with companies using the bitcoin blockchain to store and track digital certificates of ownership. Since then, a number of startups and projects have sprung up applying the tech to networks that aren’t based on bitcoin.

Last year, for example, a project facilitated by the American Society for Composers started developing a platform to track the ownership of legally protected musical works.

E.U. flags image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Don't Forget the 'Other' Cryptocurrency Tax

David Deputy is the director of strategic development and emerging markets and George Salis is a principal senior tax economist at Vertex, a tax software firm. 

The following article is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s Crypto and Taxes 2018 series.


Currency has three primary functions: a store of wealth, a unit of account and a means of exchange. Most would argue that cryptocurrencies today only serve the first of these.

Therefore, whenever taxation of cryptocurrency is discussed, it’s almost always about taxing changes in realized wealth, i.e. income tax.

But that could soon change.

As we weather the great crypto winter of 2018, many believe the space could emerge stronger than before, as regulators grow more comfortable with the risks and become more committed to global cooperation on the issues. With concurrent work by core developers pushing scalability and fee-reducing upgrades into the tech stacks, cryptos may finally be poised to begin gaining acceptance as a means of exchange and a unit of account – in other words, ready for use in daily transactions.

While certainly a long-anticipated and welcome milestone, it’s also sure to raise the ire of national and state regulators hungry for revenue – revenue from sales taxes, value-added taxes (VAT) and goods and services taxes (GST). On a global basis, these taxes raise more revenue for governments than income tax.

As with income taxes, failure to comply can lead to dramatic consequences for those who are unaware or fail to follow regulations. And these taxes can bite, with Finland charging 24 percent, France 20 percent and Germany 19 percent.

So, how do we start the conversation, and what do businesses, decentralized or otherwise, need to know? What about issuing or holding tokens: how does the classification of the token determine which taxes apply? With many token issuers hoping (or perhaps praying) for a “utility” rather than security classification, does a utility designation result in transaction tax liability and if so where?

Unfortunately, it not an easy picture to paint. Just as there is a lack of consistency and global uniformity when it comes to securities regulations for cryptocurrencies, the same byzantine quilt of regulatory morass exists for transaction tax regulations.

Here are three cryptocurrency transaction tax trends that businesses, and to some extent individuals, need to be aware of.

Different countries, different rules

As in nearly every other aspect of tax, different countries have different regulations and guidelines. If your company does business in more than one country, this can be nearly impossible to manage without a full-time staff of experts or advisors.

In cases where goods or services are purchased using crypto, and the crypto is considered an asset or property, first the gain is computed as income subject to tax for the purchaser, then the total value of the transaction is subject to transaction tax, which the merchant/seller/vendor must then collect and remit.

This is all calculated in local fiat currency converted with the appropriate timing. Individual nations (and even some states within countries like the U.S.) impose their own set of tax rates and often their own definitions for the different categories of goods and services.

In several countries there are multiple layers of taxation: think city, state, and federal, all at the same time but with different rates. In short, it’s a real mess for small businesses going global.

But wait, there’s more! If you thought calculating rates was difficult, determining which jurisdictions have the right to tax is even more complicated.

In a typical transaction, there’s a relatively complex set of required factual determinations involving “bill to,” “ship to,” “ship from” and “consumer resident jurisdiction.”  Of course, exactly how these facts apply varies by jurisdiction.

The taxman goes online

With digital goods, which most emerging crypto tokens presently represent, the rules have only just started to emerge in the last few years.

These rules are in constant flux, with efforts by the EU and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)  hot and heavy as we write this (search “OECD BEPS Action 1 interim report” for 300 pages of recently published, potentially mind-numbing details).

The clear trend points toward taxing digital transactions (no more tax-free internet). Taxing is based upon where the consumer resides. Collection is done via holding platforms collecting and remitting on merchants’ behalf and/or the withholding of taxes on payments sent to offshore merchants.

So it’s complicated. In the crypto space, should we care?

One can argue that today the pseudonymous nature of crypto means little is typically known about the sender or receiver of a transaction. Consequently, all these new “digital economy” rules simply cannot be enforced.

However, with government tax and other administrators leaning on the exchanges to introduce know-your-client (KYC) guidelines, and then requesting these records, unidentified accounts may dwindle over time. Further, we may also eventually expect some type of global default rule requiring crypto-based businesses to accumulate and then distribute these taxes based upon some kind of allocation to jurisdictions.

Think about a set of “white blockchains” emerging which enforce tax, securities, AML/KYC and other rules. These would be in-demand platforms as businesses and investors seek to de-risk their crypto space operations.

Taxing the intermediary

The third trend relates to who is responsible for paying a tax.

The digital economy (by which we mean just the internet, not yet the blockchain) arose far faster than regulators were prepared for.  So now, they are struggling to find a way to tax transactions that present a rapid erosion to their transaction tax base.

One emerging idea is to make intermediaries, such as Amazon and Alibaba, responsible for tax collection. This is not yet a widely accepted solution, but discussions within the OECD and the EU are occurring, and the U.S. has legislative and judicial actions already pending.

If this method were to catch on, it may be easy to see a distributed blockchain-based business, or even the underlying distributed blockchain itself, as an intermediary that is responsible for collection of transaction taxes.

This much is clear: Given the projected revenue loss from internet transactions, governments are not delaying.

Australia, India, Singapore, the U.K. and others are introducing regulations to tax digital transactions that take place within their borders. Regulators are unlikely to view blockchain-based transactions as anything other than a new form of digital-economy “internet” transaction for which they are launching rules today.

Tokens for taxable goods or services

Further, depending on the country, any companies or individuals, having issued tokens redeemable for goods or services, should consider both their corporate tax risk and the peril to their individual freedom.

First we have to acknowledge that this is a fuzzy area, given that the basic concept of what a token represents is still unclear. Governments are struggling to draw bright lines between what is a security or property or an asset or a commodity or something with utility (prepaid goods or services). The ability for a token to morph over time further complicates the matter as we have seen with the shifting fortunes of the SAFT approach.

But complexity and lack of expertise is not often a valid or effective defense – just do a quick search under the term “dawn tax raid” and you will see first-hand the cold, hard reality of misinterpreting or ignorance of tax rules.

Pay special attention to South Korea, both a crypto hot-spot and the jurisdiction most active in “dawn raids.” Further, our Korean friends have an interesting law, whereby a business alone cannot be indicted as a natural person – a human must also be charged.

Consequently, beware of that early morning knock on your hotel door when you attend that conference in Seoul. As usual, caveat emptor.

Tax calculator image via Shutterstock.

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.