Crypto proponent appointed to run the White House. President Donald Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, will serve double duty as acting White House chief of staff starting at the end of the month. Mulvaney, a one-time South Carolina congressman who accepted bitcoin contributions on his campaign website and co-founded the bipartisan Congressional Blockchain Caucus. A frequent critic of the Federal Reserve and central banking in general, he has praised bitcoin as “not manipulable by any government.” If only Stormy Daniels had accepted crypto, maybe Trump’s face would’ve made it onto Mt. Rushmore.
French tax cuts for crypto traders? Mais non. France’s National Assembly voted down provisions to a new tax law that would have benefited cryptocurrency traders and users, Bitcoin.com reports. One measure would have increased the annual tax exemption by an order of magnitude, and another would have allowed occasional participants in the crypto market to be treated less stringently than full-time traders. Three separate amendments that would have granted capital gains and losses from digital assets treatment to that of capital gains and losses from legacy securities. A lowering of the flat tax on crypto transactions from 36.2% to 30% is still in the bill as it moves forward. Crypto traders who are looking for any further tax break are encouraged to spend BTC 0.0015 on a yellow vest.
‘Terminator’ fans: Will SkyNet be financed in bitcoin? Blockchain infrastructure developer Blockstream has launched its fifth satellite, completing its ability to cover the entire planet’s populated land mass with streaming data. Still, in beta, the network is streaming the entire Bitcoin Core blockchain all over the world, enabling transactions with Lightning Network throughput and without internet access. According to Forbes, Blockstream’s satellite feed also provides an API to allow users to send encrypted messages. And that’s all fine and dandy as long as it doesn’t become self-aware.
Exodus 1 purchasers: Can you hear me now? Exodus 1, the first blockchain-native smartphone was supposed to be this year’s must-have gift for the crypto-enthusiast in your life. HTC, the Android phone’s manufacturer, started taking orders in October promising December delivery. Although TokenPost reports that the first batch shipped December 5, there might be some disappointed shoppers come Christmas morning. According to the Telegram channel, though, European consumers who had the Exodus 1 on pre-order were informed via email that delivery would be delayed. And they didn’t take the news very graciously.
Can CoinMarketCap be trusted? CoinMarketCap, the go-to citation for free trading data, might be giving its users no more than they pay for. According to a report from the Blockchain Transparency Institute, “over 80% of the CMC top 25 BTC pairs volume is wash traded. These exchanges continue to use these strategies as a business model to steal money from aspiring token projects.” A wash trade occurs when an investor simultaneously sells and buys the same financial instruments. This misleading, artificial activity is intended to manipulate the market.
Masters takes to the sidelines. Digital Asset CEO Blythe Masters, by all accounts one of the most powerful women in the crypto space, has stepped down for unspecified personal reasons. While the JPMorgan veteran remains a director of the DLT development firm, her duties will be taken over temporarily by AG Gangadhar, who is moving up to chairman after being elected to the board in April. The internet isn’t talking much about her reasons, but her departure comes barely a month after one of her former subordinates at Morgan was revealed to have pled guilty to market manipulation charges. CNBC reports that, when the U.S. District Court for Connecticut’s case was unsealed, the silver trader acknowledged he worked with “unnamed co-conspirators.” Could be totally unrelated though. Just a thought.
LOOKING FORWARD: Russian lawmakers continue to tweak a bill regulating ICOs. In the latest iteration, Russians would be able to invest $1,500 per project, up to $9,000 per year. The draft has been a work-in-progress since May, according to Bitcoin.com, and this is almost certainly not the last change to be made before it becomes law. China might be developing its own version of bitcoin, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports. Although Beijing has displayed hostility toward the entire crypto space for years, it has also been collecting blockchain patents and promoting technocrats within the People’s Bank of China. Central bank digital currency is a concept that runs afoul of both the Bank for International Settlements’ penchant for order in monetary policy and the crypto community’s rampant libertarianism. But the PBoC would prefer to offer a coin that can be more readily monitored for money laundering and tax evasion. Expect a gradual roll out.
This Featured Article appears on a weekly basis on TheIndustrySpread.com. If you have feel you have missed out on the previous week’s Buzz… You can find it here .