Aussie Banks Still Cold to Cryptocurrency Businesses Despite Regulation

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Australia’s largest bank, however, revised its policies 14 months ago to prohibit virtual currency purchases via credit card. Despite this, a Commonwealth Bank spokesperson stated that “customers are still able to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using their CBA transaction accounts and debit cards.” CBA subsidiary Bankwest shares the same policies.

Few Banking Options Available to Australian Cryptocurrency Businesses

News.Bitcoin.com was unable to find an Australian financial institution that expressed a willingness to bank cryptocurrency businesses.

Of the major banks, while CBA and Westpac declined to comment on the matter, an ANZ spokesperson indicated that the company’s policy “is to not bank businesses that operate as issuers, dealers or exchanges of digital or crypto-currency as they are outside of our risk appetite.” A spokesperson for regional bank Suncorp also indicated that the company does not provide “services to cryptocurrency businesses.”

The country’s credit union also appears to hold policies that are cold to cryptocurrency businesses, with a Newcastle Permanent spokesperson indicating that the entity does not partner with crypto companies, nor does it permit cryptocurrency purchases using its credit cards.

https://news.bitcoin.com/aussie-banks-cold-cryptocurrency-businesses/

Indian Supreme Court Confirms New Date for Crypto Case

During the hearing on Friday, India’s supreme court was expected to hear about the country’s crypto regulation from the government as well as address the petitions against the banking restriction by the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). However, the courtadjourned without much progress on either matter.

News.Bitcoin.com talked to lawyer Jaideep Reddy on Tuesday who was at the hearing about what actually happened. He represents the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), on behalf of Nishith Desai Associates, in its writ petition against the RBI ban.

Indian Supreme Court Confirms New Date for Crypto Case

“The matter started with a counsel for the respondents asking for a passover of the matter (i.e., for the matter to be heard at the end of the list for the day). However, the Bench stated that the matter should be heard and that a passover would not be entertained,” Reddy explained. “The respondents are both the government and the RBI, among others,” he clarified. Regarding the banking restriction, he detailed:

Mr. Gopal Subramanium, Senior Advocate for IAMAI, stated to the Bench that this is a matter of high importance and should be heard at length. The counsel for the respondents then asked for the matter to be heard on a non-miscellaneous day … The Bench accepted this request and has now ordered that the matter be heard on July 23, which is after the court’s summer vacation.

Reddy also noted that “Mondays and Fridays are ‘miscellaneous’ days of the supreme court and the present matter is considered to be of a ‘non-miscellaneous’ nature.” The recently released court order from Friday’s hearing confirms the new date. “Upon hearing the counsel the court made the following order … List the matter on 23rd July, 2019,” the order shows.

 

https://news.bitcoin.com/indian-supreme-court-new-date-crypto-case/

 

Indian Bitcoin Users in the Dark Over Their Tax Liabilities

Fake Invoices

Under the ongoing ban, cryptocurrency users cannot enter the Indian fiat system. Banks in both public and private sector adhere to the guidelines set by the RBI, which means that their account holders have to follow the same rules indirectly. So if a user, say, sells a bitcoin token in an over the counter trade and receives Indian Rupees in return, he/she violates the RBI’s crypto banking ban. Generally, most of these traders are cash-settled, which leaves no means for RBI to detect their presence. However, traders using internet banking conceal such trades using fake invoices.

On the promise of anonymity, the owner of a New Delhi-based over-the-counter cryptocurrency exchange told NewsBTC that they were conducting $4,000 worth of crypto-trades every day.

“Many a time, we have to create fake invoices for crypto transactions exceeding Rs 49,000 (~$711),” she said. “Generally, we make it look like IT support services.”

The owner explained that they were forced to take these measures because of the lack of cryptocurrency regulations, adding:

“I and my cousins were investing in bitcoin since 2015. We could not just dump everything following the RBI ban. We are ready to declare our assets and pay taxes if they create a law. But so far, they have not given any indication towards that direction.”

It is worth noticing that, in February last year, India’s Central Board of Direct Taxes, issued 100,000 tax notices to cryptocurrency traders and investors. Chairman Sushil Chandra said that they “felt” that profits made from cryptocurrency investments were a taxable event, citing finance minister Arun Jaitley’s vows to eliminate illicit use of cryptocurrencies.

Pending Supreme Court Case

The Supreme Court of India is now hearing a case challenging RBI’s authority when it imposed abanking ban on the crypto sector. India’s apex court earlier ordered the central bank to present their crypto regulation proposal’s first draft in four weeks, a deadline which is ending this March 29, two days before the fiscal year close.

RBI did not reveal whether or not it would ban bitcoin, considering the bank has remained mum over its perspective on crypto regulations so far. Based on the outcome, taxpayers could gain some clarity over how they should perceive their crypto investments. Till then, declaring crypto assets could push them to either side of the pit.

Exclusive: Indian Bitcoin Users in the Dark Over Their Tax Liabilities

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Bitgo Obtains $100M Insurance Policy to Cover Crypto Assets

 Insurance to Cover Hacks, Theft and Loss of Keys

According to a statement released on Feb. 19, Bitgo, which provides custodial services for more than $2 billion in digital assets, said its business wallet customers will now be able to buy theft insurance and a key recovery service called Lost Key Cover. This will be done through Digital Asset Services, an insurance provider overseen by the Financial Conduct Authority, the U.K. financial services regulator. The key recovery service will be available for purchase either as an annual subscription or when needed, the company said.

Custodial assets held completely by either Bitgo, Inc. or Bitgo Trust Company are insured for up to $100 million through insurance group Lloyd’s. The assets will be covered for third-party hacks, physical loss or damage of private keys, insider theft by employees and other hazards. At the end of 2017, Lloyd’s had about $44 billion in gross written premiums. The insurer has a presence in nearly 200 countries and is one of the world’s largest insurance and reinsurance marketplaces.

Whereas traditional bank deposits are insured up to a certain threshold, cryptocurrency deposits generally are not, or only to a limited extent, such as exchanges insuring funds kept on their hot wallets, but not in offline cold storage. The Quadrigacx saga, in which the crypto exchange’s founder died with keys to $145 million worth of cryptocurrency, underscores the need for insurance protection. When CEO Gerald Cotten suddenly died in India in December, he apparently took with him the passwords to a multi-million-dollar fortune belonging to investors, which neither his work colleagues, court nor his wife can locate.

Commenting on the Bitgo deal, Nicholas Edwards, an official with Lloyd’s said: “We have been working hard to tailor a bespoke insurance product for Bitgo in this new, rapidly developing and complex sector. Following a thorough review of Bitgo’s security and controls we are delighted to have delivered an innovative solution that enables our client to develop and grow its business with confidence and security.”

San Francisco-based Bitgo claims to process 15 percent of all onchain global bitcoin transactions and $15 billion per month across all cryptocurrencies. The company is backed by the likes of Craft Ventures, Galaxy Digital Ventures, Goldman Sachs, Redpoint Ventures, and Valor Equity Partners.

https://news.bitcoin.com/bitgo-obtains-100m-insurance-policy-to-cover-crypto-assets/

 

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Bitfury Reportedly Considering a $5 Billion Crypto IPO in Europe

Founded in 2o11, Bitfury has mostly remained the seller of crypto mining equipment regardless of its venture into the blockchain technology businesses. The London and Amsterdam-based firm earned a promising $450 million annual revenue as of March, during the crypto boom period which saw thesales of ASIC and GPU mining gears rocketing up. After an extensive bubble correction in the crypto market this year, the revenues declined hugely.

According to insiders, the volatile nature of crypto assets, on which the business models of companies like Bitmain is based, has led investment bankers to avoid advising such an IPO. Only recently, Bitmain, the world’s largest ASIC manufacturing firm, filed for IPO in Hong Kong, but their application received a lot of criticism for hiding their second-quarter losses with the shadow of first-quarter profits. On the whole, analysts ruled out that Bitmain didn’t explain the risks of their business nature – dependance on volatile assets’ prices – in their filing.

Bitfury, in contrast to its Beijing counterpart, is a small firm concerning revenues. Though no final decision has been taken, the firm would want to pitch a proposal that appears more in line with the regulation and weaker risk sentiment. It could involve the projection of Bitfury’s stable ventures, including blockchain-enabled software development for large institutions, companies, and governments, over unstable mining ones that may or may not yield profits for them.

The world’s leading chipmakers Nvidia and AMD had also reported losses from the over-manufacturing of crypto mining GPUs against a weaker demand.

Meanwhile, Bitfury is expanding its crypto mining network with the announcement of advanced crypto mining chips and equipment, and a large mining farm in Vancouver, Canada.

Large Investments Coming-in despite Risks

The prediction of crypto bulls states that the market has found its bottom, citing the growing influx of institutional investments into this space. Just recently, Yale’s $29.4 billion-endowment added two cryptocurrency funds to its portfolio. Fidelity, the world’s fifth largest asset management firm, announced a new hedge business related to cryptocurrencies. Caspian, another asset management platform, raked in $19.5 in funding via a public sale, after forging partnerships with Wall Street-backed financial firms.

Bitfury Reportedly Considering a $5 Billion Crypto IPO in Europe