CME Bitcoin Futures Saw New Records
CME Group announced that its bitcoin futures product had its best month since the product first launched in late 2017, in both volume and open interest in May.
Average daily volume within the month finished at more than 13,600 contracts, or around $515 million in USD traded value. Open interest, or the number of contracts left unsettled, also saw all time highs of 4,602 total contracts.
The exchange also stated that the bitcoin product added 223 new trading accounts in May, the most its seen since January 2018, pointing that institutional interest has indeed picked up. (Positive)
US Congressman Argued that Cryptocurrencies Should Have a de Minimis Tax Exemption
United States Congressman (R-N.C.) Ted Budd testified to the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee on purported issues with current tax laws on cryptocurrencies.
Congressman Budd argued that cryptocurrencies should have a de minimis tax exemption like foreign currencies and commented that he cosponsored bill H.R.3708, or the “Cryptocurrency Tax Fairness Act“, which would extend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to treat personal cryptocurrency purchases like personal transactions in foreign currency, which are not taxed.
Budd highlighted the fact that, since the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers cryptocurrency to be a type of property, cryptocurrencies do not currently qualify for a de minimis tax exemption.
Instead the IRS requires persons who use cryptocurrency to buy fiat money, or goods and services, to calculate and then pay the tax liability associated with this “property” transaction.
Furthermore, Budd commented on the issue of double taxation. Since cryptocurrencies are taxed as properties, cryptocurrency transactions result in a “double taxation” situation in which the IRS treats the transaction for the buyer as both a sale and a purchase. Budd argues that this results in unfairly demanding record-keeping practices for taxpayers, and is a deterrent to participating in blockchain-based business.
Congressman argued that purchases with cryptocurrencies should be treated as ordinary purchases. He referred to bill H.R.7361, or the “Virtual Value Tax Fix of 2018” bill, which would include cryptocurrency in the scope of tax-deferrals under the IRS Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Section 1031, regarding “like-kind exchanges.” Without a solution of this kind, Budd says that blockchain transactions are subjected to almost 40% sales tax. He also remarked that blockchain technology development is a national economic issue, saying that it would be a problem if blockchain innovation moved primarily to countries such as Malta and Singapore. (Positive)
Republic of San Marino Formally Ratified Blockchain Decree
The Republic of San Marino has formally ratified its blockchain decree, legally recognizing blockchain and formally making it the latest blockchain jurisdiction on the global scene.
A Tweet by Sara Noggler, a member of the San Marino Innovation Scientific Committee, revealed the news.
Although no official press statement has been released yet, a LinkedIn post and video shared by blockchain project JUR’s CEO, Alessandro Palombo, seems to confirm the news. Palombo has been serving as an advisor to San Marino Innovation, a private but state-owned entity responsible for the market oversight and supervisory role of the now formal blockchain market in San Marino.
The Republic of San Marino is among the now growing number of countries that have drafted up a formal document that provides a regulatory framework on these emerging technologies, under the overarching theme of blockchain.
San Marino Innovation aims to create an ecosystem supporting innovation within the small republic, hoping to put it on par with other blockchain jurisdictions such as Malta and Gibraltar as European blockchain hubs. (Positive)