Survey: South Korean Investors Welcome Controversial Crypto Tax Law

A new survey has revealed that a majority of South Korean investors support the proposed crypto tax law set to be unveiled next year.

53.7% Support Crypto Gains Tax

According to a recent survey sponsored by local television station YTN, many South Korean crypto investors support the government’s move to tax crypto gains.

The research carried on 500 respondents aged 18 years upwards by local research firm Realmeter showed that 53.7% of respondents support the proposed taxation regime scheduled to come into effect in Jan. 2022.

38.3% of responders feel it could hamper the sector’s growth, saying the move was biased.

The survey showed that respondents within the age bracket of 20 and 29 were strongly against the planned taxation more than any other age group.

47.8% of respondents in their 20s said they do not support crypto taxation, while 47.5% of respondents said it might be necessary to do so.

The data collated also showed that female crypto respondents were more supportive of the taxation scheme than their male counterparts.

Data collated by South Korean statesman Kwon Eun-hee showed that crypto investors in their 20s and early 30s were the most active participants with over 2.35 million confirming that they have traded digital currencies at least once in the top four crypto exchanges operating in the country: Bithumb, Upbit, Korbit, and Coinone.

But despite what may be a growing dissent against Seoul’s plans to regulate the burgeoning industry, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki believes it’s only fair to tax capital gains on crypto transactions the same way other financial transactions are taxed.

But crypto stalwarts have called for a revision of the incoming tax law. The capital gains tax on virtual currency transactions has been pegged at 20% and will only affect trading profits that surpass the 2.5 million (about $2,234) mark.

South Korea’s Growing Regulations On Crypto

South Korea is determined to regulate its crypto sector. The Asian nation has been working steadily to bring the crypto industry under the purview of the government. It started by outlawing privacy tokens like Monero’s XMR.

It then extended its laws to comprise virtual assets service providers (VASPs), including cryptocurrency exchanges stipulating a hefty fine for any crypto company that fails to report suspicious transactions on its platform. It also said that failure to keep relevant customer data and separate management of customers’ transaction records would see them facing the full weight of the law.

These laws have since seen crypto exchanges like OKEx and Binance close shop in the country.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Both Coinbase.com and Pro Now Support USDT, “Making Arbitrage Across Exchanges Faster”

Both Coinbase.com and Pro Now Support USDT, “Making Arbitrage Across Exchanges Faster”

For now, Coinbase only supports ERC20 USDT. The total USDT market supply meanwhile surges past 52 billion, up 147% so far this year.

  • Coinbase Pro is officially starting the trading of USDT.
  • The exchange is providing support for six pairs viz. BTC-USDT, ETH-USDT, USDT-EUR, USDT-GBP, USDT-USD, and USDT-USDC.
  • Along with this came the announcement that Coinbase.com is now also supporting USDT.

On Monday, the exchange said that the popular stablecoin will now be available on the main Coinbase platform along with its iOS and Android apps.

“Coinbase customers can now buy, sell, convert, send, receive, or store USDT,” said the exchange. USDT is available in all the supported regions except for New York State.

At this time, the exchange only supports ERC20 USDT running on the Ethereum blockchain, clarified Coinbase as USDT is issued on several blockchains including Tron, EOS, Liquid, Algorand, Solana, and other blockchains.

As of writing, nearly $27 billion USDT is issued on the Tron blockchain compared to almost $26 billion on Ethereum, as per the Tether website.

The total supply of the dominant stablecoin in the market has currently climbed past $52 billion, up 147% so far this year, as per CoinGecko.

According to Paolo Ardoino, the CTO of crypto exchange Bitfinex and its sister company Tether, the largest crypto exchange in the US supporting USDT is of importance because of arbitrage.

“Traders arb across multiple exchanges,” and speed of transfer and low friction are key to that, he noted.

Launched in 2014, Tether was created exactly for this use case, making arbitrage across exchanges faster, he said. Now, after seven years, “all exchanges will be all tethered by a common, high liquidity stablecoin.”

While the dominance of USDT is gradually decreasing in the market as more and more competitors like USDC and BUSD gain traction, Ardoino points out that it is still 4x the second biggest stablecoin USDT with a market cap of just under $15 billion, up 277% YTD. He added,

“Tether and Bitfinex are setting up a massive strategy (including spin-offs and investments) that will open mind-blowing opportunities for the next decade, and this might well be an understatement.”

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Author: AnTy

Tesla’s Elon Musk Is In Support of Bitcoin Incentivizing Renewable Energy

Tesla’s Elon Musk Is In Support of Bitcoin Incentivizing Renewable Energy

While ignorant people would like to say that Bitcoin is destroying the planet, according to some, it was supposed to consume all the world’s energy by 2020, this is not the case, and Elon Musk, whose Tesla is working towards a “sustainable energy future” by relying on renewable energy is in agreement to this.

On Wednesday, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey came in support of Bitcoin that it incentivizes renewable energy, with which Musk agreed.

Dorsey’s Square Crypto has released a report in collaboration with Cathie Wood’s Ark, whose funds invest in Tesla, Square, and crypto, arguing for “bitcoin as a key driver of renewable energy’s future.”

The whitepaper explains how the Bitcoin network functions as a unique energy buyer that could enable society to deploy substantially more solar and wind generation capacity.

Both wind and solar produce cheaper energy than fossil fuels but produce too much energy when demand is low and now enough when high. As such, it proposes an ecosystem of solar/wind, batteries, and bitcoin mining coexisting to form a green (cleaner and more resilient electricity) grid that runs almost exclusively on renewable energy.

Bitcoin mining then can encourage investment in the solar system, enabling renewables to generate a higher percentage of grid power with potentially no change in the cost of electricity.

“We believe that the energy asset owners of today can become the essential bitcoin miners of tomorrow.”

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Author: AnTy

OKEx Adds Lightning Network Support for Cheaper and Faster BTC Deposits & Withdrawals

Crypto Exchange OKEx Adds Lightning Network Support for Cheaper and Faster BTC Deposits & Withdrawals

Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx has added Lightning Network deposits and withdrawal support. The integration was first announced in February.

With this integration, OKEx will bring scalability, instant payments, and low cost to its users. As of now, it is live on the exchange’s desktop website, with mobile support to follow soon. OKEx tweeted,

“If you thought layer one of BTC was something else, wait until you use layer two for the first time.”

Launched in 2018, Lightning Network is a second layer on top of the Bitcoin network that facilitates faster and cheaper transactions.

On OKEx, this support is expected to bring down the average cost of Bitcoin transactions to under 0.01 cents and the average confirmation time to be reduced to mere 1-3 seconds.

Over the past year, a number of crypto exchanges have adopted Lightning Network in a bid to lower the deposit and withdrawal fees for their clients. Before OKEx, Bitfinex, Bitstamp, OKCoin, and River Financial announced the integration, while Gemini and Coinbase have yet to provide support.

Kraken is also expected to follow suit this year.

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Author: AnTy

On-Chain Data Indexing Platform, The Graph, Looks to Support 8 New Layer 1 Blockchains

On-Chain Data Indexing Platform, The Graph (GRT), Looks to Support Eight New Layer 1 Blockchains

The Graph, an indexing and query layer of decentralized applications, evaluates a move to eight different layer 1 blockchains following a successful mainnet launch on Ethereum. The company is currently working on integration on the Bitcoin, Polkadot, and Binance Smart Chain (BSC) L1 networks – to name a few.

A blog post released on Monday revealed eight-layer 1 technologies being evaluated by The Graph for “potential integration.” The querying and indexing platform launched its mainnet on Ethereum at the tail end of 2020, building a robust and decentralized system on the Inter-Planetary File System (IPFS). Now, the company is shifting its focus to allow the deployment of sub-graphs (open APIs in the Web3 ecosystem) on other blockchains.

The list provided mentions eight potential L1 layer candidates to integrate The Graph (GRT), including Bitcoin (BTC), Polkadot (DOT), NEAR, Cosmos (ATOM), Solana (SOL), Avalanche (AVAX), Binance Smart Chain, and Celo.

The Graph was first conceptualized in 2018 to make it easy and efficient for developers to access on-chain data and build dApps by launching their sub-graph. Moving to new L1 blockchains will allow users and developers to build interoperable applications hence “growing the overall Web3 ecosystem”, the post further reads.

“After launching mainnet, we are looking to accelerate the upward trajectory of the Web3 ecosystem”

“That means ensuring that no matter which Layer 1 blockchain you are building on, you can build a subgraph and easily access data from across chains”.

Eva Beylin Director at The Graph Foundation

The company is still analyzing the conditions necessary to integrate its indexing platform to the Layer 1 blockchains – and the respective developer communities. The Graph is planning to use several criteria to integrate on a blockchain, including ease of integration, the communities’ hype and rigor, compatibility with its goals, and overall contribution to the Web3 ecosystem.

So far, over 7,000 sub-graphs have been deployed by decentralized finance products on Ethereum (ETH), including AAVE, Compound (COMP), Synthetix (SNX), and Uniswap (UNI). These projects use sub-graphs to retrieve data improving the efficiency of the platforms.

“By providing subgraph support across chains, developers will be able to utilize the best of whatever each blockchain has to offer,” Eva further said.

Finally, the post also revealed the Graph Foundation is launching the “Graph Grants Program” to any developers working on integrating the selected Layer 1 blockchains on its platform. The Foundation released 25 million GRT – The Graph’s native tokens – to be distributed across the Graph’s ecosystem across 2021.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Mark Cuban: Blockchain’s Evolution Over Past 3 Years to Support Smart Contracts, Changed the Game

Mark Cuban: Blockchain’s Evolution Over Past 3 Years to Support Smart Contracts, Changed the Game

WSB traders are applying the same principles of the digital/CryptoAsset world, said the billionaire while name dropping Bitcoin, Ethereum, AAVE, and several NFT projects like Mintable, Rarible, OpenSea, NiftyGateway, SuperRare, NBA TopShot, and Bitcoin Origin, and CryptoSlam.

Billionaire Mark Cuban has been getting more and more cryptocurrency-friendly with each passing day. While previously he didn’t find any worth in them, at least not more than bananas, now he realizes that it’s all about the demand and supply.

And this has him penning the blog titled, “The Store of Value Generation is Kicking Your Ass and You Don’t Even Know it,” where he name drops Bitcoin, his favorite AAVE, and several NFT projects.

While Cuban has been involved in the DeFi space for some time now, the battle between Wall Street Bets and Wall Street has him and the people realizing the true power of decentralization. He wrote,

“WSB traders are applying the same principles of the digital/CryptoAsset world to the stock market, and they are loving the fact that the old schoolers are hating it.”

The owner of Dallas Maverick is slowly coming around to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, and in his latest write-up, he talks about the evolution in the store of value.

Previously it was gold, which any gold bug would argue has value because of its history as the foundation for currency, a hedge against inflation, and other narratives and while “there are plenty of other “precious metals” that meet the same criteria, gold simply “has more buyers,” he wrote.

Cuban says this changed over the past 3 years as the “blockchain has evolved to support smart contracts and the ability to uniquely identify digital goods and the transactions associated with them.”

Now, everything is digital, and that is all that the New Generation knows — “This generation knows that a smart contract and the digital good it reflects or a CryptoAsset are a better investment than old school sees, touch or feel uses.”

While following the same laws of supply and demand, the digital space offers all the fun and same sense of ownership, “it has none of the hassles beyond remembering my passwords and dealing with wallets,” noted Cuban.

And though digital goods and crypto-assets markets aren’t perfect with high transaction costs, influenced by narratives, and propensity to be moved by a few big players, “the bottom line is that there are a growing number of investors and traders” believe in it.

The young generation loves its different features, including no central authority, and they don’t care about the Old School Wall Street’s narratives of Price-Earnings Ratios or NPV of future cash flows that are just sales pitches “designed to reward the people with the most money.”

“The more decentralized the power, the more power that comes with the collective working together,” wrote Cuban, adding that’s what Wall Street “hates and will fight because it moves the power out of their hands.” Cuban added,

“Every generation in this country has had its unique special power. This Store of Value Generation has found at least one of their special powers in financial unity. We as a country will be far better off if we understand them, respect them and learn from them, quickly.”

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Author: AnTy

The Graph Now Exploring Support for Bitcoin, Polkadot, Solana, BSC & Other Layer 1 Blockchains

The Graph Now Exploring Support for Bitcoin, Polkadot, Solana, BSC & Other Layer 1 Blockchains

After successfully launching its mainnet on Ethereum blockchain, The Graph protocol for indexing and querying data is now exploring providing support for additional Layer 1 blockchains.

Blockchain interoperability is a pain point for developers. Amidst the growing DeFi and NFT spaces, applications need to interact with many protocols and chains, reads the official announcement while noting over 7,000 subgraphs are deployed to date. The team said,

“Additional Layer 1 integrations will dramatically increase the number of subgraphs and the ability for dApps to work in a multi-blockchain environment to give users optionality and the best Web3 experience.”

The blockchains under consideration include Bitcoin, Polkadot, NEAR, Cosmos, Solana, Avalanche, Binance Smart Chain, and Celo to support Web3 development and make it easy for developers to access on-chain data and build decentralized applications.

Already many Ethereum projects have built subgraphs to retrieve data, including Uniswap, Aave, Synthetix, ENS, and DAostack. Eva Beylin, Director at The Graph Foundation, said,

“After launching mainnet, we are looking to accelerate the upward trajectory of the Web3 ecosystem. That means ensuring that no matter which Layer 1 blockchain you are building on, you can build a subgraph and easily access data from across chains. We think this is a key part of unlocking that next wave of innovation on the decentralized internet.”

The community is currently conducting due diligence on Layer 1’s infrastructure, and they are expected to be onboarded in the coming months.

However, Ethereum will remain the standard, and GRT an ERC20 token, said the team.

The Graph Network’s native $889 million market cap GRT token is currently trading at $0.713 and enjoying an uptrend. It is also up over 101% YTD.

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Author: AnTy

Grayscale Donates $1M in Support of Crypto Advocacy Group; Will Match Another Million

Grayscale Donates $1M in Support of Crypto Advocacy Group; Will Match Another Million

Major digital asset manager Grayscale investment is donating $1million and would match further pledges from other firms

Top asset manager Grayscale Investments has donated $1 million to crypto-based think tank Coin Center. Grayscale also plans to match subsequent pledges from donors up to an additional $1 million, per an official announcement. The donate and match campaign is set to run through the end of February 2021. Grayscale’s CEO Michael Sonnenshein explains,

“While it is the responsibility of blockchain and digital currency firms to support good policy-making in DC to drive this industry forward, it is in the interest of all users, developers, investors, and other market participants that regulators are properly informed about developments in this space.”

Grayscale’s donation takes a cue from Kraken that raised over $3 million for the cryptocurrency advocacy group in 2018. Jerry Brito, executive director of Coin Center, in a statement,

“We’re grateful and humbled by this generous commitment from Grayscale and the ongoing commitment by so many other individuals and firms who support us.”

Educating Policymakers on Cryptos

Coin Center is a Washington-based think tank created to advance public policy that benefits the blockchain space.

The advocacy group is known for fighting for Bitcoin’s cause. In 2017, Brito testified before members of the Terrorism and Illicit Finance Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee, explaining in simple details how Bitcoin works.

At the hearing, the Coin Center chief advocated for a deep understanding of the technology before slamming restrictive regulations on it.

Last month, Coin Center formed part of the opposition against the Treasury Department’s move against self-hosted wallets. Coin Center published an expert take from C Labs executive Jai Ramaswamy, who argued against restricting self-hosted wallets to detect and disrupt illicit financial activity in support of noncustodial wallets.

Grayscale’s donation comes amidst a change of guard as a new administration settles into Washington. With the new faces at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) helms and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) comes new ideas and possibly new regulations. However, there are speculations that the Biden administration is tapping technocrats with experience with blockchain technology.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

OKCoin Exchange to Support Bitcoin’s Lightning Network in Q1 2021

OKCoin Exchange to Support Bitcoin’s Lightning Network in Q1 2021

Digital asset exchange OKCoin has become the latest to announce its integration of the Lightning Network, enabling it to access greater support from the Bitcoin ecosystem and faster transaction speeds.

The Lightning Network serves as a layer-2 solution that operates on top of the Bitcoin blockchain, providing it with the means to scale and complete transactions at a fraction of the time and cost. At the moment, OKCoin is undergoing the final phases of integration, with the team highlighting some of the net benefits,

“Integrating the Lightning Network increases transaction speed, meaning that OKCoin customers can now choose to have their transactions occur on the Lightning network. Doing so will confirm transactions within a few seconds instead of up to an hour. It will also reduce our current minimum withdrawal/deposit from 0.001 bitcoin or 100k satoshis (~$35) to 0.000001 bitcoin or 100 satoshis (~$0.04).”

By integrating into the Lightning Network, the digital asset exchange would effectively operate as one of its nodes; supporting the validation of transactions across the ecosystem. Within the announcement post, made on OKCoins blog, Company CEO Hong Fang added the following,

“The lightning network, like Bitcoin, requires a network of nodes and adoption of the technology to perform to the best of its capabilities. As part of our analysis of the technology, we assessed the nodes’ strength and quality and now feel the network is strong enough to participate as an exchange with a high volume of withdrawals and deposits a day.”

OKCoin is still keeping abreast of other blockchain solutions but is currently focused on the full integration with Bitcoin’s Lightning Network for the time being.

Lightning Network – What it Means for Users

The immediate benefits of integrating with Lightning is the drastic cut to transaction costs and a dramatic increase in their speed. For example, an average transaction on Bitcoin would cost an average of $10, rendering it expensive for the typical holder. Additionally, these same transactions would take around 10-30 minutes to be deposited/withdrawn.

In comparison, transactions using Lightning would cost $0.01 and would take 1-3 seconds to be completed. For any user, the Lightning network provides far greater security and privacy; each transaction takes place off-chain, meaning that the Bitcoin network does not log them.

Next to OKCoin, Kraken Exchange announced that it too would support Lightning by the first half of 2021.

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Author: James Fox

Adult Entertainment Site, PornHub, Adds Support for XRP, BNB, USDC & DOGE

Adult Entertainment Site, PornHub, Adds Support for XRP, BNB, USDC & DOGE

Giant adult entertainment platform, Pornhub, is expanding its payment options for its customers after adding support for four other cryptos: USDC, BNB, XRP, and DOGE.

The popular adult content website with approximately 120 million visitors per day will accept premium subscriptions using the four virtual coins.

Notably, the platform removed its support for privacy-oriented digital asset Dash and the PumaPay token that had been added in mid-December. This shows that the new changes were agreed at the end of last month.

The four crypto options also raise the number of coins supported by Pornhub to sixteen up from fourteen. The addition of the four crypto payment options was hailed by Changpeng Zhao, the founder of the globe’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, which also owns the BNB token. CZ tweeted to alert his followers that they can now subscribe to premium videos using Binance coin.

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Attracting 3.6 billion visitors per month, Pornhub is arguably one of the most popular websites in the world. Although most of its content can be accessed freely, the site requires its customers to pay to access premium videos.

In the past, subscriptions were payable through Mastercard and Visa. However, following allegations that Pornhub had published videos involving rape and child abuse, the payment platforms withdrew their support for the site. The firm has strongly denied these allegations stating that they conduct due diligence before posting a video.

With the cutting of ties with Visa and Mastercard, Pornhub started to list cryptos as alternative payment options. Puzzling, the addition of Ripple’s XRP came as a surprise to many following the coin’s recent delisting from major crypto exchanges.

Pornhub’s crypto payment options are widely used in the US, Singapore, and the UK, while in various EU nations like Germany, the firm supports bank wire services.

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Author: Joseph Kibe