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Fantom Is Top Performing Cryptocurrency Again: Here’s What You Need To Know – Yahoo Finance

FTM, the native cryptocurrency of the Fantom project, is up 44% over the last 24 hours. It was trading at $0.5882 at press time.

What Happened: The token previously reached $0.7652 on Feb. 25, gaining 259% in one week.

The current spike seems to follow the news of Fantoms wallet integration to the Binance exchange. The crypto exchange has also enabled deposits and withdrawals for the cryptocurrency.

Why It Matters: The FTM momentum's primary reason is its new cross-chain functionality with the Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH) blockchain.

While Ethereum is the most used network in the crypto space, transaction costs have reached record highs due to congestion on the network.

This has led to users seeking alternative blockchains with lower fees to facilitate their transactions. Users on the Ethereum network will now be able to transfer their tokens to Fantom and benefit from faster and cheaper transactions.

According to Fantom, these transactions will be confirmed within 1-2 seconds and will cost a fraction of a cent.

The cross-chain bridge between Ethereum and Fantom was enabled by Andre Cronje of Yearn.Finance. This "DeFi architect" has built several features across decentralized platforms in the crypto space.

According to Cronje, the idea behind this functionality was not intended to be positioned as an Ethereum competitor.

Cronje stated on Twitter, The goal with Fantom from the beginning was simple, it was never meant to be an ETH killer. ETH is winning, ETH just needs some load balancers to help out a bit.

What Else: Aside from the cross-chain bridge, users on the Fantom network now also have the ability to stake tokens on the network while still accessing their value for use in the crypto ecosystem.

Alameda Research, led by the founder of major cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, has also invested $35 million into the Fantom Foundation.

This investment will align the incentives between Alameda and Fantom, allowing us to push towards a non-tribalistic cross-chain ecosystem with other platforms such as Solana, while also reducing friction for developers who want to build on multiple ecosystems., said Fantom in a blog.

Story continues

Image: Maxim Hopman via Unsplash

See more from Benzinga

2021 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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Fantom Is Top Performing Cryptocurrency Again: Here's What You Need To Know - Yahoo Finance

Himegami is Revolutionizing the Cryptocurrency Market with a Decentralized Elastic Supply Model – GlobeNewswire

Harju County, Estonia, March 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As the cryptocurrency market continues to mature, crypto projects also continue to evolve further driving the evolution of the market. So far, we have seen cryptocurrency projects with a fixed supply for the native tokens. The ultimate aim here has been to create scarcity and drive crypto prices higher.

Now, we believe its time for creating elastic supply of decentralized digital currencies. KGR is one such dynamic and completely decentralized elastic supply protocol that aims to cater to the liquidity needs of the broader crypto market, and more importantly, to solve the issues of market manipulation.

The KRG cryptocurrency achieves better balance of supply and demand as it correlates a synthetic assets price perfectly with the price of its underlying asset. The KGR token is basically an elastic cryptocurrency with its target price at 1 Japanse Yen adjusted for inflation.

The price of KGR can be higher or lower than 1 Yen, however, the supply is always adjusted to meet the target of 1 Japanese yen (). If high demand drives the price higher above 1 Yen, the Himegami protocol will add more supply creating a selling pressure and a rebase action. To distribute the KGR token to the token holders, the system would be able to issue 100,000 tokens per rebase then sell it on public exchanges following a rst-come-rst-serve rule. The unsold tokens in the day will be burned. This method was implemented in smart contracts. This makes KGR one-of-its-kind cryptocurrency with such flexibility and supply elasticity.

The Himegami rebase system is implemented every 1385 minutesto rebase the supply. The rebase function is a new concept to the crypto market and is basically associated to supply smoothening for decentralized elastic supply tokens like KGR.

Since the KGR tokens expand and contract based on the demand and supply, the rebase mechanism ensures that the percentage holding for users remains the same.

We envision the Himegami protocol to be a hedge asset for all of the crypto world as well as to the emerging sector of Decentralized Finance (DeFi). The stability of KGR can help DeFi investors to reduce their dependency on some of the centralized stablecoins. It can work as a hedge asset, a DeFi collateral, and a stable medium of exchange for the entire crypto space.

We are positioning KGR as a useful crypto token and a collateral asset for Decentralized Finance (DeFi). Its unique qualities like decentralized, profitable, self-governing, and more stable asset, makes it important to DeFi. In the future, KGR may have multiple different applications and can be used to supplement other DeFi projects like Tezos, Polkadot, Cardano, and others.

Furthermore, the programmatic rebasing protocol aims to solve the issue of massive fluctuations in liquidity and volatility by making it more predictable and rewarding for everyone involved.

This allows us to position Himegami not only in the current crypto ecosystem but create a whole new host of applications for it in the private DeFi ecosystems of tomorrow that many havent even been thought about yet.

Himegami Protocol Founder Leo Bai

Media contact:Company: Himegami Name: Leo Bai-Founder Email: info@himegamiprotocol.orgWebsite:

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Himegami is Revolutionizing the Cryptocurrency Market with a Decentralized Elastic Supply Model - GlobeNewswire

This Utah Startup Just Raised $100 Million To Solve Cryptocurrencys Looming Tax Problem – Forbes

TaxBit cofounders Justin Woodward and CEO Austin Woodward have raised $100 million to build the ERP for cryptocurrency.

With bitcoins market capitalization approaching $1 trillion, and hundreds of billions more in value in a host of other coins and projects, boring old taxes are becoming a big headachenot just for consumers, but also the exchanges, businesses dabbling in the sector and governments getting involved.

While others speculate on the coins themselves in the new gold rush, entrepreneur Austin Woodwards happy to provide the picks and shovels. His startup, TaxBit, automates all those gains and losses for the customers of exchanges and power users alike. And with Utahs largest-ever Series A funding round in the bag, hes on track to build a buzzy business in the process.

The entire existence of this asset class that can be so disruptive to our financial sector is at risk because of tax and accounting compliance at scale, Woodward says. Theres no NetSuite, Oracle or SAP of cryptocurrency.

Founded in 2018, TaxBits raised $100 million in its Series A financing, led by investment firms Paradigm and Tiger Global. PayPal Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, the investment firm of the billionaire Winklevoss twins, Coinbase Ventures and others, including Bill Ackman and Qualtrics cofounder Ryan Smith, joined the round, which takes the Utah-based startups total funding raised to more than $107 million.

Initially a consumer-facing product, today TaxBit offers its software to a mix of individual practitioners and, more lucratively for the startup, the businesses that help them invest and trade: crypto exchanges, wallet providers, lending platforms and the like. TaxBits software is white-labeled, meaning that users of those tools will sometimes know theyre working in the startups software, sometimes not, often accessing it through the tax center sections or pages of the companies websites. TaxBit has processed more than one million tax forms to date, the company says.

TaxBit got its start as Woodward and his brother, Justin, began to explore the emerging crypto category while in their previous jobs. Justin was working in a federal judicial clerkship while attending law school at the University of Chicago; Austin was spending nights researching and dabbling in crypto assets while an early employee at Qualtrics, the customer experience company that is one of Utahs recent tech breakouts. Austin Woodward says one formative moment was when he was responsible for Qualtrics missing payroll in Australia because he sent a wire ten minutes late that took 48 hours to cleara problem, he believed, that crypto could solve, alongside others like transaction fees, cross-border payments and the ability for nonaccredited investors to buy small pieces of assets like real estate through tokens.

TaxBit cofounders Justin Woodward, Brandon Woodward and CEO Austin Woodward launched their startup from Justin and Austin's dad's basement.

When SAP bought Qualtrics, in a shock move, for $8 billion just days before it was supposed to go public in November 2018, Austin Woodward, whod worked closely on its S-1 filings for that process, saw his cue to work on a tax solution in crypto full time. (Qualtrics eventually went public, after all, in a spinout this past January.) With their cousin Brandon Woodward focused on front-end development and design, the Woodward brothers moved into their dads basement; their father was also their first financial supporter, cutting them an initial check to get going.

Soon, Album Ventures backed TaxBit in a pre-seed round, and as the business scaled to many thousands of individual users for its consumer-facing tool, it raised a $5 million seed round in December 2019. In January, the venture arms of Coinbase and PayPal invested in a strategic round alongside its previous investor, Winklevoss Capital. Scant weeks later, Paradigm, the crypto-focused venture fund founded by Sequoia veteran Matt Huang and Coinbase cofounder Fred Ehrsam, had come knocking, as did Tiger Global, a leading growth equity investor in the software world.

They bring a ton of energy to solving crypto tax, says Huang. For the pitch, the whole team got on a Zoom call on a Saturday night, and Austin was almost jumping through the Zoom screen.

Why raise $100 million so fast? Austin Woodward, TaxBits CEO, says the money is to invest in the companys enterprise tools and international expansion, with the United Kingdom coming first. Eventually TaxBit hopes to offer something like a traditional enterprise resource planning tool for corporations, helping them manage crypto transactions for optimal tax results much like other software tools do for foreign currencies. Governmentsboth the tax-collecting agencies and municipalities that offer crypto as paymentcould also prove natural clients. That means hiring from about 40 employees to more than 100 by years end, Woodward says, and building out a sales and marketing team that largely comprised the founders and vice president Michelle OConnor, a veteran of crypto exchange Uphold, until now.

We were called the TurboTax of crypto really early in this, and that was glamorous to us for whattwo weeks? Woodward says. And then we realized we dont want to be your tool you log into on April 14 because you have to, just to file stuff.

TaxBits story so far reminds at least one person of Qualtrics own trajectoryits cofounder and chairman, Smith, now the owner of NBA franchise the Utah Jazz and an investor in TaxBit following the raise. Like the Woodwards, Smith built Qualtrics with his brother and father from home for years, only raising capital when the business was well-launched. This is my way of getting into crypto, Smith says. When building a startup like Qualtrics, you wonder how many people are paying attention. Austin was definitely paying attention.

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This Utah Startup Just Raised $100 Million To Solve Cryptocurrencys Looming Tax Problem - Forbes

Cryptocurrency theft on the rise – Finextra – Finextra

Last year, the cryptocurrency sector witnessed increased mainstream adoption but it was accompanied by hackings and theft that resulted in the loss of millions of dollars.

According to data researched by Trading Platforms UK, the value of cryptocurrency hacks and thefts between 2019 and 2020 increased by 38.38% from $370.7 million to $513 million. Over the last five years, the value was highest in 2018 at $950 million.

Elsewhere, the value of blockchain fraud and misappropriation declined between 2019 and 2020 by -57.77% from $4.4 billion to $1.3billion. Cumulatively in 2019, the value of both cryptocurrency theft and blockchain fraud was $4.5 billion, while last year, it dropped to $1.9 billion, signifying the cryptocurrency sectors maturity and improved ability to detect fraudulent activities.

Hackers shifting from exchanges to DeFi projects

The increase in the value of cryptocurrency theft comes even as the sector continues to mature with exchanges, wallets, and other digital assets custodians investing in their security mechanisms against hacking. Most custodians have also established relationships with law enforcement making it easy to trace any fraudulent activity almost instantly. However, the rise in crypto theft value is an indicator that hackers are also innovating new means to outpace the current security measures.

Most hackers largely shifted their attention from exchanges and wallets taking advantage of the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) explosion. The sector attracted interest from more investors based on the immense potential to revolutionize the finance sector. Notably, DeFi protocols are permissionless hence they do not have regulatory compliance and anyone can access their code. This nature ultimately attracted hackers.

Besides easy access, DeFi applications are also vulnerable to external exploits. The projects success largely depends on composability hence the more projects that are linked, the more value they can offer. Therefore, the ability to attract more investors opens the door for hackers.

Contributing factors to blockchain fraudAt the same time, the blockchain fraud from last year saw scammers take advantage of the Covid-19 situation. Some scammers impersonated legitimate organizations and prominent people to obtain information and cryptocurrency payment. Some of the payments were disguised as helping people impacted by the pandemic.

One high-profile case was recorded on July 15, 2020, when selected Twitter accounts for prominent people like Elon Musk and organizations were compromised to promote a Bitcoin scam aimed at giving back to society. To date, the value of the scam has not been determined. The scam was further enabled due to the lack of a paper trail that gives scammers more opportunity to embezzle funds.

Worth mentioning is that regulatory bodies are already taking action to curb crypto-related fraud. This explains the drop in value of blockchain fraud in 2020. With fraud involving practices such as money laundering regulatory bodies have increased their oversight of virtual assets.

For example, there is a proposal in the United States that requires transactions between exchanges to include personal information about the sender and the receiver of funds similar to international bank wire transfers. Interestingly, the blockchain infrastructure can significantly help improve the existing monitoring system and detect, deter and document possible fraud.

Overall, most blockchain and cryptocurrency projects are still in their experimental and speculative stage. This means that there might exist some vulnerabilities. However, as the sector continues to mature, the loopholes might be sealed from hackers and scammers.

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Cryptocurrency theft on the rise - Finextra - Finextra

Be cautious when accepting salary or payments in cryptocurrency – Mint

NEW DELHI: Increasingly, freelancers working with overseas clients are receiving payments in cryptocurrencies. Instead of sending money through banks or via other remittance services, clients have been transferring cryptocurrencies as such transactions are low-cost, instant, and convenient.

According to a report in the Economic Times, some companies involved in cryptocurrency business are hiring Indian developers as contractors and paying them in virtual currencies as they don't want to deal with the country's regulations and taxes.

Also Read | Assam shakes up the micro loans universe

But lawyers caution against accepting payments in cryptocurrencies. "The government is planning to introduce a Bill to ban all private cryptocurrencies in the country. If it goes through, the only option for the individuals would be to sell it on overseas exchanges," said Probir Roy Chowdhury, Partner, J Sagar Associates.

Selling it in the overseas market and then remitting the funds back to India will increase the an individual's compliance burden.

Some countries, like Singapore, have allowed the trading of virtual currencies. For a client based in a country where trading of cryptocurrencies is permissible, and they can make cross-border payments in them.

In India, however, the legal position of cryptocurrencies is unknown. As there is ambiguity and the law is not yet settled, many individuals continue to trade in virtual currencies. "Due to the grey areas, trading or receiving payment is not yet illegal," said Chowdhury.

But those receiving payments in cryptocurrencies need to keep in mind that they are not considered legal tender. "Due to this, it could get challenging to seek relief in court against a client or the employer," said Chowdhury.

The government had planned to introduce The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, in the Budget session. As it was not tabled, the details are not yet known. There is speculation that the Bill may offer existing investors of cryptocurrencies an exit option within a stipulated time frame.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das had said that cryptocurrencies could hurt financial stability, thus impacting the economy. The central bank is working on launching its digital currency.

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Be cautious when accepting salary or payments in cryptocurrency - Mint

Cardanos ADA Is Now the Third-Largest Cryptocurrency by Market Cap – Yahoo Finance


The market pendulum has been swinging from one extreme to the other recently, making a difficult environment for investors to track. The ups and downs of the fast-changing situation are the exact opposite of what investors want to see. What investors would most like to see, of course, are returns. And whether the markets are up or down, following the analysts top picks makes a viable investment strategy. The Wall Street pros can do the footwork, and their published reports can inform our market decisions, acting as a set of guideposts for investors. Weve opened up the TipRanks database to take a closer look at three of these top picks. These are all names providing dividends, a sure-fire way to ensure a steady income no matter what direction the market is heading in. If thats not enough, all three received enough support from Wall Street analysts to earn a Strong Buy consensus rating. Ellington Financial (EFC) Well start in the financial sector, where Ellington Financial inhabits the real estate investment trust niche. Ellington puts its energies into a wide range of real estate activities, including commercial and residential mortgage loans, equity investments, and mortgage-backed securities. The company uses a series of risk management tools to mitigate the natural risks of mortgage-backed securities, and ensure profits for investors. Ellingtons recent quarterly report, for 4Q20, showed the third consecutive increase in EPS, which was up 38% from Q3 to reach $1.44. For the full-year 2020, EPS came in at 39 cents per common share, down 15% yoy, on net income of $17.2 million. Like most REITs, Ellington pays out a regular dividend and Ellington has been able to maintain regular dividend payments throughout the corona crisis year, despite a cut at the height of the panic. The most recent declaration, made in early February for a March 25 payout, was for 10 cents per common share, the same as the last three payments. The company pays out the dividend monthly, and has been increasing it gradually after last years cut. The current payment gives a yield of 7.5%. In his coverage of Ellington, Maxim analyst Michael Diana writes, EFC's equity is allocated 85% to credit assets, and almost all have done well. Of particular note are non-QM loans and reverse mortgage loans. Not only has demand for these credit classes been high, but EFC also has material equity stakes in the companies that originate these loans; thus, EFC profits twice. With smaller mortgage companies going out of business during the pandemic, competition has decreased, leading to favorable pricing. At the bottom line, Diana says simply, EFC remains our top pick under our mortgage REIT (mREIT) coverage. To this end, Diana rates EFC a Buy and his $19 price target suggests a one-year upside of ~20%. (To watch Dianas track record, click here) There is general agreement on Wall Street that EFC is a quality investment, and the analyst consensus rating shows that: it is a unanimous Strong Buy, based on 4 recent reviews. The shares are priced at $15.77, and their average target is $17.25, implying a 9% upside potential from current levels. (See EFC stock analysis on TipRanks) OneMain Holdings (OMF) Sticking with the financial sector, but in services rather that REITs, well take a look at OneMain Holdings. This companys subsidiaries offer a range of financial services, including consumer finance and insurance, to a customer base that normally gets neglected by the mainstream finance industry: retail customers who lack access for whatever reason to the regular banking and credit financing industry. The importance of this market segment should not be ignored, and OneMain showed that in fiscal year 2020 by bringing in $4.4 billion in total revenue. Closing out the 2020 calendar year, OneMain reported $1.23 billion in top line revenue for Q4 and $2.67 in earnings per share. While revenues were flat sequentially, EPS was up 43% from the previous quarter and up 39% year-over-year. Like EFC, OneMain pays out a dividend but unlike the REIT, OneMain uses a unique supplemental dividend policy. Each second and fourth quarter, the company pays out its minimum dividend per common share but in the first and third quarters, it adds a one-time supplement to the payment. The minimum payment is currently set at 45 cents per common share; the last common share dividend paid, on February 25, was for $3.95. Analyst Michael Kaye, of Wells Fargo, is impressed with OneMain, and doesnt hold back in his comments on the company: We believe OMF is one of the best stories in consumer finance and that it is surprisingly still under the radar of many financial investors. OMF is a unique excess capital return story, in our view, and we expect $8.30 of dividends to be paid in 2021 which would equate to a 14.5% dividend yield. We also view the new credit card initiative positively as it should drive incremental growth, add value to their franchise, leverage their underwriting, distribution and servicing capabilities. OMF remains our top pick in our coverage. Kaye rates OMF shares an Overweight (i.e. Buy) and his $65 price target implies an upside of 34% over the course of the next year. (To watch Kayes track record, click here) Its not often that the analysts all agree on a stock, so when it does happen, take note. OMFs Strong Buy consensus rating is based on a unanimous 10 Buys. The stocks $63.60 average price target suggests a 31% upside from the current share price of $94. (See OMF stock analysis on TipRanks) Devon Energy (DVN) For the last top pick stock were looking at here, well switch over to the energy industry. Devon Energy, with a market cap of $15 billion, owns mineral rights that is, the right to explore and drill on 1.8 million acres in Texas and in adjacent areas of Oklahoma and New Mexico. This is one of North Americas most productive oil regions, and in recent years, the output here helped make the US a net exporter of fossil fuels. Devon also controls production areas in the mountain state of Wyoming. All told, Devon has over 10,000 wells in active use and an estimated 752 million barrels of oil equivalent worth of proven reserves. In the fourth quarter of 2020, Devon showed a series of strong performance metrics. Production averaged 333,000 barrels of oil equivalent daily, boosted by a 7% quarter-over-quarter increase in crude oil output. Operations yielded a cash flow of $773 million for the quarter, of which $263 million was free cash flow. In conjunction with the earnings report, Devon announced a regular dividend payment of 11 cents per share, along with an additional variable dividend of 19 cents per share. Both are payable on March 31. Scotiabanks Paul Cheng reiterates his decision to make Devon a top pick, writing, We still see significant fundamental upside despite the YTD outperformance and the stock now trading at >4x its 2020 trough We see little reason to expect that relevance, size, liquidity, etc concerns will prevent the stock from re-rating higher. As the company continues to deliver attractive fundamental results and execute on its shareholder-friendly strategy in the coming months and years, we expect DVN to outperform as the market gains further appreciation for the story and begins to more fully reflect these fundamentals in the share price. Chengs Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating is supported by a $30 price target implying a 12-month upside potential of 31%. (To watch Chengs track record, click here) Overall, there are 19 recent stock reviews of Devon Energy, and they break down 17 to 2 in favor of Buys versus Holds, making the analyst consensus rating a clear Strong Buy. DVN is selling for $22.83 per share, and the average price target of $24.89 suggests ~9% upside from that level. (See DVN stock analysis at TipRanks) To find good ideas for dividend stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks equity insights. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

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Cardanos ADA Is Now the Third-Largest Cryptocurrency by Market Cap - Yahoo Finance

Cryptocurrency: Still on the sidelines – The Financial Express

India has always been a cautious player when it comes to adopting new revolutionary technology.

By Kaushalya Venkataraman

This week has seen revived global interest in cryptocurrencies, with Elon Musk breaking headlines by investing more than $1.5 billion in Bitcoin. In India, however, cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin and Ether) are currently trading at a discount.

This is largely because cryptocurrencies have been operating in a regulatory grey area. In 2013, the Reserve Bank of India raised concerns over the potential financial, operational, legal and consumer protection risks emanating from crypocurrencies. In 2018, the central bank issued an order stating that banks and financial institutions shall not deal with crypto-related businesses, and all regulated entities falling within the purview of RBI shall stop providing services to such platforms. The Supreme Court struck down the provisions which literally banned crypto-trade in 2020.

Meanwhile, the government has sought to introduce draft bills to regulate/ban cryptocurrencies. The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 is to be tabled before Lok Sabha in this session. The latest bill seems slightly more positive and forward-looking than the previous one, titled the Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2019. It seems to suggest that instead of an outright ban, the government intends to regulate cryptocurrencies. Though the text of the proposed 2021 bill is not yet out, the gist of the regulations available on the Lok Sabha website seem to highlight that this is indeed not the case as under the 2021 bill only RBI will be empowered to create an official digital currency. The fate of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether is murky as the 2021 bill seeks to prohibit private cryptocurrencies though it is not clear what would be considered as a private cryptocurrency.

India has always been a cautious player when it comes to adopting new revolutionary technology. This is even more so when it concerns technologically advanced financial products. In this space, RBI has always followed a conservative approach that some argue has stifled innovation in the fintech space, while others state is a necessary evil.

In developed economies, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States, cryptocurrency is not banned but rather regulated in varying degrees. In the United Kingdom, the government is currently conducting consultations to understand how to regulate crypto-assets to ensure consumer protection, financial stability and market integrity. From a tax perspective, they are treated as an asset and gains, if any, are subject to capital gains tax. In Australia, the government regulates every person involved in the life cycle of crypto-assets from issuers, intermediaries, miners, exchanges and trading platforms. From a tax perspective, it is treated as an asset similar to the UK. The United States of America has been the pioneer in cryptocurrencies, and the government regulates them to a limited extent. From a tax perspective, cryptocurrencies are treated as assets similar to the UK and Australia.

Currently, there are only a handful of countries that have banned cryptocurrencies (eg Morocco), and even in those countries, the ban has not prevented individuals from trading in cryptocurrencies because of the decentralised nature.

Therefore, an outright ban on cryptocurrency by the Indian Government may not be the most practical option since not only will it stifle innovation in this space but will also fail to curb Indians from investing and trading in cryptocurrency in offshore jurisdictions (as was the case with foreign exchange derivatives as investing offshore would fall into a grey area).

Regulation of cryptocurrency would be a middle ground and would provide the regulator with oversight into the operations of the players and would also help in protecting the consumers and curbing money laundering concerns.

The author is Partner, Chandhiok & Mahajan Advocates and Solicitors. Views are personal

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Cryptocurrency: Still on the sidelines - The Financial Express

Failure to report cryptocurrency on your tax return can lead to trouble with the IRS – CNBC

Avishek Das | LightRocket | Getty Images

Got bitcoin or other crypto? It could come back to bite you if you don't let the IRS know about it.

Regardless of how you interacted with any cryptocurrencies last year, you're expected to include the information on your 2020 tax return. And for those who had income from virtual currency whether due to selling at a profit or getting paid crypto for work performed failure to report it may haunt you.

"It could be a real tax mess for folks who try to hide crypto earnings from the IRS," said Kathryn Hauer, a certified financial planner with Wilson David Investment Advisors in Aiken, South Carolina.

More from Personal Finance:Tax season is upon us. Heres whats new These taxpayers get until June 15 to file their returnsHow Social Security benefits are handled at death

For instance, "just because in one year an entity that paid you doesn't report that payment, a year from now when the entity gets audited and issues late 1099 forms, the IRS will expect you to have reported what you earned," Hauer said.

The IRS has put crypto front and center for this tax-filing season. High up on the first page of your tax return, a yes or no question is posed: "At any time during 2020, did you receive, sell, send, exchange, or otherwise acquire any financial interest in any virtual currency?"

In other words, no matter how it came into your possession, you are expected to tell the IRS about it.

While the price of bitcoin has dropped this week, falling to below $48,000 on Tuesday after hitting about $58,000 on Sunday, its upward trajectory last year likely means there are capital gains to report. One coin was worth roughly $29,000 at the end of 2020, after starting the year out at about $7,300.

Of course, if you owned, say, bitcoin, but engaged in no related transactions last year (i.e., you just held it), you had no taxable event. Nevertheless, you would answer yes to the tax-form question.

In 2019, the IRS sent letters to more than 10,000 taxpayers with crypto transactions who may have failed to report income and pay taxes owed.

Now, especially with the question on page 1, it's a lot harder to say you didn't know you were supposed to report it.

Knox Wimberly

CEO of Taxaroo

"At that point, the IRS said 'We'll let you fix this,' but is less likely to do that moving forward," said Knox Wimberly, an IRS enrolled agent and the CEO of Taxaroo.

"Now, especially with the question on page 1, it's a lot harder to say you didn't know you were supposed to report it," said Wimberly, who also is a fellow with the National Tax Practice Institute.

Assuming you aren't getting paid crypto for work you do (more on that further below), the IRS generally views bitcoin and its brethren as property, not currency, for tax purposes. This means that whether you sell any crypto for cash, trade it for another digital currency or use at a merchant that accepts it as payment, the difference between what you initially bought it for your cost basis and its value upon sale is either a gain (profit) or a loss.

"The taxable transaction is not only when you convert to U.S. dollars," Wimberly said. "It can occur at any point you sell or exchange it."

Depending on the crypto exchange you use and how many transactions you engage in and the aggregate dollar amount you may receive a Form 1099-K. Even if you don't receive it, there are reporting requirements.

If you have a gain, you'll be taxed on it. As with other other investments like stocks, if you held it for one year or less, any profit you made is considered a short-term gain and is taxed as ordinary income. Depending on your tax bracket for 2020, that could range from a rate of 10% to 37%.

Any crypto held for more than one year that generates a profit when sold is taxed as a long-term gain at a rate of 0%, 15% or 20%, depending on your income.

If there's a loss, you can generally use it against other income or investment gains, up to $3,000, and carry over the rest to subsequent years.

If you received any virtual currency as pay for work performed, you are expected to report that, as well.

The difference is that, in that scenario, the crypto is treated like wages which are subject to ordinary income taxes, as well as self-employment taxes for those who are paid as a nonemployee and receive a 1099-NEC from the business that paid the crypto, Hauer said.

Again, even if you don't receive a form, that does not relieve you of your responsibility to report the income and pay any taxes owed.

If you need to report crypto income both because you had 2020 gains and you received it as compensation, the amounts gets entered in separate spots on your tax return.

For example, say that last year you sold bitcoin for a gain of $10,000 and also were paid by a business with $20,000 worth of bitcoin.

"On your 2020 tax return, you would add $10,000 as a capital gain to any profits from stocks that were sold and $20,000 as income to any other wages or 1099-NEC income that was earned," Hauer said.

Also, anycryptocurrency that you mine must be included in your taxable income.

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Failure to report cryptocurrency on your tax return can lead to trouble with the IRS - CNBC

Pornhub turns to cryptocurrency for premium service

In a nutshell: Cryptocurrency has a long history of being linked to shady activity on the Internet. In recent years, however, various virtual currencies including Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum have made substantial strides in becoming a viable alternative to fiat currency.

It has taken Pornhub less than a week to replace Visa and Mastercard as its primary payments processing providers.

Decrypt recently noticed that the adult content platform is now only accepting cryptocurrency for its premium membership. The site appears to be taking a wealth of different virtual currencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, among others.

A Pornhub premium membership sells for $9.99 per month and affords multiple benefits. Subscribers get access to exclusive content as well as faster and higher quality streams. Ads are also eliminated as part of a paid membership.

Its been a roller coaster of a year for Pornhub. After experiencing an influx of traffic attributed to the ongoing pandemic, the adult content site found itself at the center of a New York Times expos highlighting non-consensual and abuse videos. The aforementioned payments processing companies quickly distanced themselves from the site, and earlier this week, Pornhub removed millions of videos from its site that were uploaded by non-verified accounts.

PayPal late last year also stopped accepting payments for thousands of Pornhub performers.

Image credit: Max Sky

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Pornhub turns to cryptocurrency for premium service