Following the news last week regarding cryptocurrency exchange HitBTC not allowing some users to withdraw funds and freezing their accounts, it appears as if things have not improved. Reddit users explain their frustration with unreasonable Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures and inability to withdraw funds.
Things don’t appear to have gotten any better with HitBTC, as Reddit users continue to post about the shady dealings of the exchange.
HitBTC was in the spotlight last week leading up to the proof of keys event held on 3 January 2018, when most people talked about HitBTC not being able to manage if users all withdrew their funds.
Recap: Reddit user honors ‘Proof of Keys’ and remembers what a pain it is to move crypto
HitBTC managed to avoid a catastrophe and survived the event. However, users are still experiencing bizarre KYC procedures which include activities such as asking for social media account info and taking pictures of oneself in different areas of their houses.
The HitBTC sub-reddit page is rife with stories of withdrawal issues and KYC problems. While some users admit that they have managed to withdraw, there appear to be plenty of users who admit they cannot seem to withdraw their funds. Another interesting issue on Reddit, is that the Reddit user, @HitBTC has been suspended and the only moderator of the HitBTC Reddit page is in fact, Reddit user @HitBTC. Therefor the Reddit page is currently not run by anyone at this point.
Reddit users have recently created a HitBTC victims sub-reddit for anyone looking to post their story and perhaps find a solution.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Claims 91% Conviction Rate for Tax Crimes In 2019
Last Updated on December 6, 2019
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the US recently revealed that they successfully brought conviction in 91.2% of all tax crimes it identified during 2019. It highlighted an aggressive strategy to enforce rules and bring more tax criminals to justice.
IRS wants better conviction rates
IRS figures reveal that it has convicted at 9 out of 10 cases of tax crime. However, the officials suggest that they want to improve the conviction rate further. The annual report of criminal investigations emphasizes the aggressive enforcement actions by the agency. It also highlights how criminals are using new technologies and unique methods to evade taxes.
IRS criminal investigation unit head Don Fort commented,
“They took their money offshore and hid around the world, but we found them. They went on the dark web, thinking that their actions were anonymous, but they weren’t, and we again found them.”
He added that criminals are using cryptocurrencies to keep their transactions anonymous. However, IRS agents have found ways to identify their transactions and follow their illegal activities.
What does the data suggest?
The agency incarcerated about 79% of the convicted criminals in 2019 and sentenced them to three years on average. Other convicts were sent on house arrest, restitution and were ordered to pay fines. The IRS identified tax frauds valued at over $1.8 billion during the year. It also identified $4.4 billion in additional financial crimes, including frauds and money laundering.
The IRS prioritized tax evasion crimes in 2019 and focused its attention on cryptocurrencies. The anonymity feature of digital assets like Bitcoin allows users to transfer money around the globe with no oversight. Some coins like Zcash and Monero are designed to provide additional privacy to users and scrambles their tracks which makes identification difficult.
However, the IRS found a new way to tackle these issues. It received details of more than 10,000 users of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and sent them letters earlier this year. It asked them to pay taxes on their crypto holdings or face action. Some of these letters had a relatively harsh tone which suggested that the agency isn’t keen on delays and excuses.
The newfound enthusiasm at the agency is being credited to Michael Desmond and Charles Retting who joined the agency in 2019 and 2018 respectively. Both are known to be effective tax litigators who keep prosecution in criminal cases as their top priority.
Japan’s biggest bank MUFG cryptocurrency set for a delay
- Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group has been preparing the launch of its own cryptocurrency.
- Reports suggest the release will now be in the first half of next year.
Japan’s largest bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is getting set to release a cryptocurrency, however the project has now been postponed to a later date.
The firm is set to leverage the digital currency in a mobile payments business. According to local reports, the mobile payment service will start utilising the new digital coin as a unit of transactions that will be shown off hand in hand in partnership with the HR company, Recruit Holdings.
Users will be able to start converting their money they have pocketed away in their bank accounts into the MUFG coin, as part of this new service.
It is reported that the mobile payment service is expected to be launched in next year’s first half. Currently, the two firms are awaiting regulatory approval. They are seeking a fund transfer service provider license.” Information on these pages contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Markets and instruments profiled on this page are for informational purposes only and should not in any way come across as a recommendation to buy or sell in these assets. You should do your own thorough research before making any investment decisions. FXStreet does not in any way guarantee that this information is free from mistakes, errors, or material misstatements. It also does not guarantee that this information is of a timely nature. Investing in Open Markets involves a great deal of risk, including the loss of all or a portion of your investment, as well as emotional distress. All risks, losses and costs associated with investing, including total loss of principal, are your responsibility.
Steps to Mass Adoption: Crypto PoS Terminals by 2020
Most big businesses that are outside of the Cryptocurrency and the Finance industry are skeptical about digital assets like Ethereum and Bitcoin. The main reason for this is the lack of merchant or mass adoption and the lack of mass produced Cryptocurrency PoS terminals. Merchants are currently having some issues that prevent the retail sector to adopt Cryptocurrencies, but things will change in the future, as more and more Cryptocurrency PoS machines enter and are adopted by the market.
What are the problems that merchants face with mass adoption?
The problems that retailers have with adopting Cryptocurrencies for their everyday transactions can be summed up in three key factors:
- There is no Cryptocurrency Support from existing Point-of-Sale machines: Existing Point-of-Sale machines don’t support Cryptocurrency for now and this is a big problem for merchants. A mass produced PoS machine can solve a lot of problems. Currently, those merchants that want to incorporate Cryptocurrency payments to their systems have to do a lot of work to make the system secure. It’s easy to setup your Cryptocurrency wallet and to accept payments, but to make accepting Crypto on a larger scale, merchants need to use the Services of experts, which do not come cheap. Also setting up your wallet doesn’t ensure the clients that they will receive their order, because Cryptocurrency payments aren’t regulated enough.
- High Volatility: We all know it. Cryptocurrency Prices are highly volatile and neither merchants, nor clients are comfortable parting ways with their Crypto, when another Bull Run can be right around the corner (or another Bear’s market). The intense Cryptocurrency Volatility is one of the biggest factors that stay in the way of mass adoption or in the way of Cryptocurrencies playing the role of Currencies more than the role of Securities. Of course, the emergence of more Stablecoins like Circle and TrueUSD will become more and more convenient for merchants, as they don’t really differ that much from a dollar value.
- Doubt on Cryptocurrency transaction fees and scalability: Scalability issues and high transaction fees have been plaguing the mass adoption debate for a long time. Bitcoin transaction fees were so large at one time, that transaction fees had jumped to 20-100$ per transaction. Also you’ve probably heard that Bitcoin can process 5-7 transactions per second, which is nothing compared to VISA’s almost 2000 transactions per second. However, scalability and transaction fees issues are in the past. Bitcoin transaction fees have dropped so drastically with the implementation of the Lightning Network and SegWit protocol that even Bitcoin micro transactions are becoming possible. The scalability issue is still a work in progress, but as Technology evolves, all existing problems will be fixed. Both Bitcoin and Ethereum are also developing their two-layer protocols which will solve the scaling problem for both networks, but also enable micropayments with fees of few cents.
More Cryptocurrency PoS machines will solve some of the problems
The increasing Cryptocurrency user base will eventually become a big enough reason for merchants to switch or to incorporate a Cryptocurrency PoS to their businesses. Point-of-Sale machines that can operate both with existing payment methods and Crypto transactions will solve the problem of Cryptocurrency incorporation.
Pundi X is a developer and a manufacturer of Cryptocurrency PoS machines that will be able to operate both traditional payment methods and Cryptocurrency payment methods. The CEO of Pundi X, Zac Cheah said that International Merchants will have at their disposal more than 100,000 Cryptocurrency Point-of-Sale (PoS) apparatus by 2020-2021. He said in an interview with Korean ZDNet:
“In the next 3 years, more than 100,000 Cryptocurrency Point-of-Sale (PoS) machines will be distributed to the market. In the last 6 months, sellers have requested 25,000 Cryptocurrency PoS apparatus from Pundi X.”
Cheah also made it clear, that his company believes that digital assets will become mainstream in the future. Pundi X also believes that in time, Cryptocurrencies will become the default global payment method.
South Korea will be the first to incorporate Cryptocurrency PoS
South Korea will most likely be the first country in the world to incorporate Cryptocurrency PoS machines on a larger scale and it shouldn’t come as a surprise. South Korea has been the biggest adopter of Cryptocurrencies. The South Korean Cryptocurrency market accounts for more than 30% of all transactions and it shouldn’t be a surprise that Pundi X will target the South Korean Market first.
Zac Cheah also said that the Cryptocurrency PoS machines will be very useful in Asia, and particularly China and South Korea. Both countries have nearly fully adopted payment methods like Credit Cards, Mobile payment methods like WeChat Pay, Samsung Pay, KakaoPay and Alipay. Pundi’s Cryptocurrency PoS supports mobile payment apps like the above, plus the traditional Credit Cards. Cheah added on that:
“Given that the South Korean Market accounts for almost 35% of global Cryptocurrency transactions, the demand for and the incorporation of Cryptocurrency PoS machines is increasing rapidly”
South Korea made recently a big step towards mass adoption. South Korean exchanges will now be considered financial institutions. This is a very big step for the Cryptocurrency economy! You can read more in the links below.