Last Week In Crypto - October 17th - 23rd

Last Week In Crypto - October 17th - 23rd

Boluwatife Akande

Hello guys, it’s me again and as always, welcome to another exciting time with me. The year is coming to a grand end and as expected, things are changing to be on course for a brand new year. So stay informed and enjoy this piece.

I’m not a typical one to stay updated with any meme coin news but something about this one was intriguing. Even though I feel it's more motivational than a piece of financial advice, stay with me.

In a recent interview, Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, stated a proposal for a new project he wants to work on. He called it “THE protocol” token. Protocol tokens (PT) are digital tokens that are governed by a coded protocol. The underlying blockchain technology enforces the rules of the protocol. They’re generally not linked to any centralized entity or traditional real-world assets. Buterin mentioned the reason for this new crypto project is because he wants bots to announce ‘THE’ anytime their common shilling phrases are used on Twitter.

Since we live in a decentralized society in the crypto-verse, a crypto enthusiast (and maybe huge Buterin fan) went ahead to actually build this project. After its completion and announcements, the token contract was built for $THE token and got 1000% added to its value almost immediately.

Because of its quick success, the token creator wanted to thank Buterin for the idea, so the creator sent him 10% of the total supply of $THE. This token has already attracted some popular investors in the cryptocurrency industry.

As expected, some on-chain and marketing/research platforms have released D.Y.O.R (Do Your Own Research) warnings regarding the token.

The past few days have seen almost all majorly traded cryptocurrencies flashing red or menial gain but not Terra USTC, which has shockingly gone up 12% in the last 48 hours. Per CoinMarketCap, USTC trading has been up 180% also in the previous 48 hours, currently trading at 0.038970 as of the time of writing.

While the reason for this coin's response seems unknown, I believe it may be due partly to the Terra Burn that happened last month, which reduced the tax burn rate by 0.2%. Note that the Terra community approved a substantial tax burn from 1.2% to 0.2% and set aside an additional 10% tax revenue for ecosystem contributors and infrastructure. As of the 19th of October, the new tax rate became effective with Epoch 98.

Binance supported the new Terra tax burn and released updates on the withdrawal and deposit rate of all Terra coins (LUNC, USTC, Terra Classic). All these come off the distraction affecting the Terra Classic Network Hierarchy. LUNC may be on the verge of a significant comeback, but it’s still holding the D.Y.O.R warning on my network.

N26, a European digital bank with a market value of over $9 billion, announced that they’re launching their crypto trading platform amidst the tremendous bear market. Austria is projected to be their first market. Announced on Thursday, this service will be called N26 Crypto and start off with 100 tokens available. The long-term plan for N26 is to launch the feature worldwide in 6 months’ time while also offering over 194 coins.

N26 gave the guidelines for using the new feature: “To make a trade, users select a coin and specify how much they want to buy or sell. Once they complete their order, cash is deducted from their main account balance and appears alongside the token of their choice. Customers can also ‘drag and drop’ funds from their main account into their crypto portfolio”. N26 charges 2.6% on all trading of all types of cryptocurrencies on the app except Bitcoin, which it offers customers at a reduced rate of 1.5%. The new crypto feature is powered by Bitpanda, an Austrian crypto trading platform, explaining why Austria is the first country to roll out. Obviously, Bitpanda gets a good commission for every single trade done via the N26 app.

But it seems N26 came a little late to the party, with this year mainly seeing red throughout for most traders, if you know what I mean. While N26 competitors like PayPal and Revolut have long offered this option to their customers while working with payment leviathans (i.e. MasterCard and Visa) while also giving their customers a chance for this service. But as the saying goes, better late than never.

Some critics point out that banks now having crypto features creates a ‘closed-circuit investment loop’ where users’ assets are sealed in a controlled environment. It’s a feature some of crypto’s biggest proponents might say is at odds with the technology’s decentralized roots. But N26 argues that this offers more excellent protection for its users. Clients have to fulfil identity verification checks before becoming eligible to make crypto trades.

Are financial institutions severing the ties towards the decentralization of funds?

RUSSIA (shaking hands emoji*) KAZAKSTAN
Russian crypto users can now use some Kazakhstan exchange platforms, despite western sanctions on the country’s economy. The onboarding by these exchanges didn’t come without certain restrictions. An example is a local Kazakhstan crypto exchange called Intebix, which allows retail clients to buy crypto with the local currency, the Kazakhstani tenge (KZT).

The CEO who doubles as one of the co-founders of Intebix, Talgat Dossanov, has said the company isn’t limited to only the country’s locale. They want to expand their wings towards other eastern Europe countries and therefore are willing to welcome and service foreigners into their company. However, on one condition: all Intebix crypto transactions can only be accessible by cardholders of a Kazakhstan bank (presumably Eurasian Bank).

Dossanov noted that crypto transactions on Intebix are only successful for verified clients, and that the due process involves opening a local Kazakhstan bank and going through the venting process. He emphasized that for foreign customers to enjoy the fiat-to-crypto transactions, they need to be cardholders of a bank in the country.

Due to Russia’s close proximity to the country, Kazakhstan has become a significant destination for Russian citizens seeking shelter or an escape from being called into the military.

Despite Intebix accepting sanctioned Russian nationals into their company, Kazakhstan has joined most European countries to place sanctions on Russia. Major banks in Kazakhstan, including Halyk Bank, reportedly suspended the use of Russia’s payment system Mir, amid sanctions warnings by the United States Treasury Department. Apart from boycotting Mir, some Kazakhstan banks have also stopped accepting payments from local branches of central Russian banks like Sberbank, causing them to sell their local businesses.

Despite welcoming foreigners, the Intebix crypto exchange is still committed to complying with sanctions in its way.

South Africa has declared crypto as a financial product which is still subject to the country's financial law services. The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), South Africa's financial regulator, published a notice on the 19th of October, indicating that the country's 2002 Financial Advisory and Financial Intermediary Services Act (FAIS) had been updated to include a definition of crypto assets. A decision of this type has been expected for several months, finally bringing crypto assets under regulation in South Africa for the first time.

This is a historic moment for S. Africa. Under the FAIS, a financial product is defined as a security, debenture, ‘any money-making instrument’ or an instrument conferring rights to protection and instruments. It can be offered by financial service providers, either domestic or international firms, licensed in South Africa. Registration can be “an onerous procedure”,  according to the local press.

Is the future bright for crypto holders in South Africa? According to the Chainalysis 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index, published in September, South Africa ranks 30th worldwide for cryptocurrency adoption. Various estimates say that about 10-13% of the South African population are crypto holders.

Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) has officially granted class 3 registration to Binance as a Crypto-Asset Services Provider (CASP). This registration will allow Binance to offer services, including spot, custodian, staking and card services, in compliance with the requirements of the CySEC’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) rules.

Changpeng Zhao ‘CZ’, the founder and CEO of Binance, has hailed this as another milestone in Europe and its regulatory movements. He said, “Binance has some of the industry’s most thorough AML and CTF compliance policies. Recognition of the efforts we have made to be on the leading edge of compliance that our registration in Cyprus represents is a testament to that. Effective regulation that protects users and stimulates innovation is essential to the continued growth of our industry”.

Will Binance take over Europe?

Yo! guys, I constantly check on the charts to stay updated on changes in prices and am always looking forward to buying and/or selling crypto. Help!

On today's episode of ‘Bolu Answers’...

This is probably one of the least likeable topics in investment, and I totally understand. Although cryptocurrency is still relatively new, federal governments all over the world are working on getting stricter compliance rules. But you need to understand how taxes work with crypto so you don’t end up owing a huge tax debt.

Also important is the fact that if all you do is store your crypto assets in an exchange or crypto wallet and don't trade, you’ll probably not incur any tax at all. Obviously, this means the more you trade, the more tax you pay – but there’s a catch. Regulatory laws differ with countries. There are countries that have banned the use of cryptocurrency but still have laws that govern practising companies and individuals, while there are those that encourage the use of cryptocurrency and therefore have specific regulations regarding the use of crypto; most notably, the country that comes to mind is the United States.

In the U.S., laws have been created to regulate the use of cryptocurrency, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has created a ledger for tax filing purposes. Buying cryptocurrency in the U.S. is not tax-deductible, but selling and trading will generate tax. There’s a page on the IRS site specific to how much tax you owe when you trade certain amounts of Bitcoin.

Trades between coins are where crypto taxes get complicated. A crypto trade is a taxable event. If you trade one cryptocurrency for another, you’re required to report any gains in U.S. dollars on your tax return. In Nigeria, we don’t have standing guidelines for filing tax in the country, but when you buy, sell and trade Bitcoin, you pay a specific V.A.T on them, which I believe is a result of the agreement with the governmental licensing committee and cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the country. So as I said earlier, different countries have different laws.

Every time you trade cryptocurrencies, you need to keep track of how much you gained or lost in U.S. dollars. That way, you can accurately report your crypto gains or losses. If you'd rather keep it simple, cryptocurrency stocks could make tracking gains and losses easier than buying and selling specific coins.

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