British Tax Agency Demands Customer Information From Crypto Exchanges 

British tax agency HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is demanding customer and transaction information from cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase, eToro, and CEX.IO.

HMRC has sent out letters to these three exchanges requesting customers’ names and transaction histories, stating that “these transactions may result in potential tax charges and HMRC has the power to issue notices requiring exchanges to provide this information.”

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has also sent out letters regarding cryptocurrency taxation, urging to pay cryptocurrency-related taxes properly. The IRS obtained these letter recipients’ information from Coinbase, through a demand similar to that of HMRC for customers’ names and transaction histories.  

Additionally, the IRS will receive a copy of the Form 1099-K that exchanges send out to their users who have conducted transactions that exceed certain thresholds in a given year. This means that the IRS can access information including gross gains from selling digital assets. (Neutral)

VeChain has Partnered With Autralian Winemaker to Release a Case of Blockchain-Encrypted Wine Bottles For Sale

Public enterprise blockchain platform VeChain has partnered with Autralian winemaker Penfolds to release a case of blockchain-encrypted wine bottles for sale, as part of its Wine Traceability Platform (WTP) initiative.

More specifically, the launch of Penfolds Bin 407 in July marks the beginning of VeChain’s WTP phase 2, per a press release from VeChain on Aug. 6. The bottles from this case are reportedly available at the Waigaoqiao International Alcohol Exhibition & Trading Center, D.I.G.’s  Flagship Store and the Sen Lan Shang Du in Pudong New District.

As per the press release, each bottle inside Bin 407 comes attached with an encrypted N.F.C. chip. This chip reportedly contains the bottle’s product information on a blockchain, which can be accessed with a chip reader. These details reportedly include the bottle’s provenance information, which is verified by third-party auditors.

A number of companies are beginning to issue blockchain verification systems for wine. For example the big four audit firm Ernst & Young announced that it’s Ethereum-based blockchain solution will be used to verify the authenticity of imported European wines in Asia. This solution would reportedly be implemented on the e-commerce platform Tattoo, for use by Blockchain Wine Pte. Ltd.

On a slightly different note, retail giant Overstock announced its move into blockchain-based wine futures back in Oct. 2018. Overstock reportedly also intended to fight wine fraud, but in this case by means of developing a digital trading platform for wine futures. This would reportedly result in a secure supply chain that verifies wine industry products. (Positive)

Overstock’s tZERO Wins Patent to Settle Tokenized Securities on a Public Blockchain

Security token trading platform tZERO, a subsidiary of retail giant Overstock, has received a patent for technology that enables settlement of tokenized securities on a public blockchain.

Announcing the news on Tuesday, tZERO said that the technology, Time Ordered Merkle Epoch (TOME), can help record trade data and the resulting on-chain settlement data into public blockchain ledgers.

Giving an example, the firm said, off-chain trade data and on-chain settlement data occurring on an Ethereum mainnet can be combined and anchored into the Bitcoin blockchain for “added resiliency, security and transparency.”

TOME will also help the platform produce an auditable and immutable record of those transactions. “It can be used in our suite of products, as well as licensed to companies across various industries that are seeking to maintain a tamper-proof and auditable record of time-series-based data,” said tZERO CEO Saum Noursalehi. (Positive)