By Gregory Bilecki
TWIDW 4/4/22: Russia and Ukraine updates, Senator Warren is starting to worry us, Zilliqa Metapolis event falls flat, Indonesia wants to charge 0.1% tax in crypto transactions, India links crypto to gambling – again, Australian convenience store On the Run expands crypto usage to 170 locations across the country.
Fed News & Market Impacts
In major news amidst the ongoing war in the former Soviet Republic, this week German authorities played a major role in thwarting a potential huge Russian money laundering operation by seizing 543 BTC ($25 million USD) involved in the closure of one of the worlds biggest darkness markets, HydraMarket, which was accessible only via the TOR browser. Under inestigation since August of 2021, authorities revealed the service catered to 17 million users worldwide, with over 19,000 sellers on the service. In 2020 alone, the popular darknet recieved over $1.35 billion USD in revenue whose activity was mostly centered around the narcotics trade. Blockchain forensics firm Ciphertrace revealed customers and sellers lived in and around Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Moldova.
Air Costs…How Much?
In what may not be much of shock to some, U.S. senator and longtime frienemy of cryptocurrency, Elizabeth Warren, went on record and compared Bitcoin to “buying air” by calling it “ephemeral” and merely linking its value to current trends in global perception. As the Russian ruble continues its decline in value worldwide and the country continues to manifest new ways around global sanctions while the U.S. inches closer to the adoption of its own digital currency, the vehemently outspoken senator still touts “worst case” use scenarios for Bitcoin specifically as unlike Russia, many countries have already begun first phase implementations of CBDC’s into their economies via more natural attrition which Senator Warren champions instead as she want on to say that those currencies – as they would be backed by government frameworks – should automatically give investors and lawmakers worldwide less to worry about via this idea alone.
I don’t know Senator Warren, but that seems like a game of…russian roullette…with that ideology.
BTC Becomes More Scarce
This past Friday, the 19 millionth Bitcoin was mined creating a pivotal moment in the cryptocurrency’s existence as now only $2 million BTC currently remain. Mined by SBI Crypto, they company recieved 6.32 BTC ($293,000 USD). WIth $19 million in BTC already having been mined over the past 13 years, while it will still take some time for the last 2 million to be mined even with the launch of Intel’s latest ARM processor engineered solely for mining, the final Bitcoin based on current analyis is expected to be mined in 2140. This comes with news of BTC outflows turning up and for the first time in a very long time as recent on chain data as reported by Glassnode revealed a total negative outflow of $9.5 billion compared to a total negative inflow of $7.9 billion for a total negative net flow of $1.5 billion leaving centralized exchanges. This news also comes after a recent report we mentioned some weeks ago that most of the world’s Bitcoin supply was being largely unspent.
Zilliqa’s Metapolis Event Falls Flat
In last week’s article, we mentioned the Zilliqa’s (ZIL) Metaverse-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform which provides for the unique capability of total customization for enterprises and enterprising individuals alike the ability to create completely custom virtual spaces allowing them more of an opportunity of showcasing their brands. With a special early access launch event scheduled for April 2nd and a prize for VIP passes given away only via a special Reddit link, investors were less than enthused about the experience. Largely dubbing it a schmooze-fest and various other colorful adjectives in many online forums, with specific questions regarding layers of privacy (who owns what?) and probably the more important question on most people’s minds – how exactly does MaaS work alongside the supposed benefits of metaverse which already exist on blockchain going unanswered, leaving Zilliqa (ZIL) down approximately -35% over the week after it’s explosive rally causing the token to soar over over 160% from it’s recent low of $.043 USD.
The Tax Man Cometh
WIth no plans to actually adopt a CBDC, and currently one of the few places in the world where financial firms are currently banned from selling crypto assets, Indonesia is setting their sights on a .01% crypto VAT involving all purchases with an additional .01% being tacked on as an additional final income tax on gains. Plans for adoption of this new measure will go into effect in Indonesia on May 1st. P2P lending and Crowdfunding will also be recipients of these newly implemented tax components.
Finance minister of Bihar (India) Sushil Kumar Modi is now calling for an additional 20% tax on gains made from crypto up from the current 30% as outlined in the country’s recent framework surrounding their regulatory initiative, linking their usage and implementation to countries with unstable economies as a short-term means to remain solvent and liquid and referring to any profits made from their trade to profits akin to gambling saying, “those who want to remain will have to contend with higher taxes because it is like gambling”. Currently India has one of the most restrictive tax frameworks which stats that losses realized with one token cannot be used to offset gains made within another, however expenses for most mining purposes are stated to be allowed.
The CBDC Experiment
While not real CBDC news per se, the recent and popular Australian-based convenience store On The Run plans to begin accepting payments in crypto, across all of its 170 stores in July of this year with an exclusive partnership with crypto.com as an intermediary for its payment service (with the option itself to pay embedded in the crypto.com app) Datamesh will be serving as the payment gateway. Also included in the rollout are the brands other locations which involve three other other fast food chains. This comes as adoption of the implementation of digital currencies across the world is beginning to accelerate more rapidly at the moment.
Gregory Bilecki is a freelance editor at Digital Wealth News, as well as full-time finance, digital marketing, and sushi aficionado. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @omgreaktmedia.