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ICON (ICX) unaffected by South Korean tax investigation into ICONLOOP, says chairman

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The ICON Foundation, creator of the ICON (ICX) project, has issued an official response to the news that South Korean tax authorities are investigating its technical partner, ICONLOOP.

In a statement published on Monday, the chairman of the ICON Foundation, Min Kim, said that the ICON Foundation would not be affected by the investigation, noting that ICONLOOP is operated as a separate entity.

The ICON Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Switzerland. In late 2017 it conducted an initial coin offering for the native coin of the ICON blockchain, ICX, raising over $42 million in the process.

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ICONLOOP is the technical partner of the ICON Foundation, operating out of South Korea, and creator of the “loopchain” technology upon which ICON is based. It has previously been employed by the Seoul government in various blockchain pilots, including explorations into COVID-19 tracking apps, citizen rewards and mobile driving licenses.

But past relationships apparently counted for very little at the end of February, when the Seoul Regional Tax Office dispatched 10 employees to ICONLOOP’s headquarters in Euljiro. The investigation is reportedly under way, according to an article by local outlet, Paxnet, from March. 8. Such investigations are said to typically last 3 months, with the final judgement expected to be revealed in June.

ICONLOOP is the second blockchain firm to be investigated by Korean tax authorities this year. In January it launched an investigation into the HN Group — issuer of the HDAC token.

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Official tax laws for the issuance of virtual assets in South Korea are expected to be implemented next year. In the meantime, the National Tax Service has initiated tax evasion and accounting audits for large domestic virtual asset issuers.

Specifically, the tax office is investigating possible tax evasion that occurs when virtual assets issued by overseas foundations are transferred into South Korea. ICONLOOP is under investigation regarding the possible transfer of the Ethereum (ETH) funds raised by the ICON Foundation in its 2017 ICO, the details of which have not yet been disclosed to authorities. ICONLOOP reportedly argues that it doesn’t need to disclose the details of such transfers, since it operates as a small or medium-sized business, reports Paxnet.

In Monday’s official statement, ICON’s Min Kim, emphasized the legal and jurisdictional distance between the foundation and ICONLOOP, saying:

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“We want to make it clear that the ICON Foundation is not under investigation by the Korean National Tax Service authorities. The ICON Foundation is regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).”

Kim said the investigation would not affect the ICON Foundation, or the ICON project at large, adding that all legal requirements have been met. Kim said: “ICONLOOP is operated independently from the ICON Foundation. ICONLOOP is an important technical partner for the ICON Foundation.” He added further:

“We are confident that this investigation would not affect the deliverables and progress for the ICON project.”

Cointelegraph sought further comment and clarification from the ICON Foundation and ICONLOOP. This article will be updated should they reply.

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Ripple

Coinbase CEO Shows Support for Ripple and XRP Amid Battle with SEC

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The XRP Army believes that Brian Armstrong could be hinting at relisting the cryptocurrency

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has displayed support for Ripple in its fight against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

In a series of recent tweets, Armstrong writes that the company’s case is seemingly going “better than expected.”

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Armstrong stressed that launching attacks against the crypto industry and hurting investors is “politically unpopular.”

The head of the largest American exchange then channeled Ripple’s oft-repeated talking point about the SEC hurting consumers instead of protecting them:

The irony is that the people they are supposedly protecting are the ones attacking them.

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XRP relisting rumors get a new life  

Armstrong’s tweets inevitably reignited rumors about Coinbase potentially relisting XRP on its platform.

The exchange moved to suspend XRP trading after the SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple on Jan. 19, which triggered a massive price drop.

As reported by U.Today, Coinbase relisting rumors started making the rounds on social media after XRP trading pairs started showing up on the company’s mobile app last month, but it ended up being a bug.

Despite its legal troubles, XRP has remained resilient, with crypto mogul Mike Novogratz recently noting that the cryptocurrency has tripled in value since the agency filed its complaint.

Coinbase’s run-in with the SEC

Ripple started alighting itself with Coinbase after Armstrong publicly called out the SEC for threatening to sue the leading exchange over its yet-to-launch lending offering.

Even though the company caved in to the SEC’s demands and shelved the product in question, it seems like it hasn’t buried the hatchet with the formidable regulator.

Earlier this month, Coinbase proposed replacing the agency with a new cryptocurrency-focused regulator, arguing that the laws from the 1930s were not suitable for the “technological revolution.”

The exchange will have to convince Congress to pass a legislation that will establish a dramatically different regulatory regime that it envisions.

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Bitcoin

Legendary Trader Peter Brandt Challenges Binance with Four Questions about 88% BTC Crash

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Here’s what is unclear for Mr. Brandt about mysterious Bitcoin (BTC) flash-crash of Oct. 21, 2021

Prominent trader and analyst Peter Brandt has taken to Twitter to ask his four questions in the context of the flagship crypto’s 88% dropdown.

What do Binance and Binance.US have in common?

First of all, Mr. Brandt challenged the character of corporate relationships between Binance and Binance.US, its unit focused on American markets.

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Also, Mr. Brandt asks whether Binance is planning to release detailed documents to specify statistics for trades, their volume and prices during the flash-crash.

Then, the trading legend asked about the role of the platform in taking the opposite side of a client fills.

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Besides the Binance CEO and co-founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, Mr. Brandt mentioned the Interactive Brokers platform, U.S. watchdogs CFTC and SEC and Gary Gensler, the SEC chairman.

Most expensive “trading algorithm bug” ever?

Also, Mr. Brandt attached a screenshot of a tweet by CZ when Binance’s boss warned his audience about expected volatility spikes across cryptocurrency markets.

Finally, Mr. Brandt added that he never used Binance for trading.

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As covered by U.Today previously, on Oct. 21, 2021, amidst a spending rally, the Bitcoin (BTC) price briefly tanked to the $8,000 level, losing more than 88% in no time.

A similar flash-crash was registered on 26 other low-liquidity exchanges. A Binance.US representative attributed this dramatic plunge to a critical bug in third-party mechanisms by one of the platform’s sophisticated institutional clients.

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Crypto Exchange

Crypto investments a financial backup for Facebook whistleblower

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Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee turned whistleblower, revealed that her refuge in Puerto Rico is currently being supported by an auspiciously timed cryptocurrency investment.

Haugen worked as a Facebook product manager before accusing the company of spreading controversial and insensitive misinformation. She allegedly possesses numerous confidential research documents, which, according to her, shows that “Facebook prioritizes profit over the well-being of children and all users.” Previously, Facebook has been accused of influencing the 2016 United States presidential election with the help of Russian agencies.

In a follow-up interview with The New York Times, Haugen was asked about her financial situation:

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“For the foreseeable future, I’m fine, because I did buy crypto at the right time.”

The whistleblower also received financial help from nonprofit organizations (NPO) backed by Pierre Omidyar, a co-founder of eBay. However, Haugen clarified that Omidyar’s NPO fundings were only used to finance travel and related expenses.

According to Haugen, shifting to Puerto Rico helped her join her “crypto friends” who enjoy capital tax exemptions on Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency assets.

Iconic whistleblower and former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency agent Edward Snowden also continues to show support for the Bitcoin economy amid regulatory pressures from governments across the world.

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On Oct. 4, Snowden tweeted about Bitcoin’s tenfold growth despite China’s blanket ban on crypto mining and trading.

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