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ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) have skyrocketed in the past few years. A lot of attention has been given to regulatory matters than the potential tax issues that may soon arise for both investors as well as issuers. The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) didn’t issue any guidance related to the tax treatment of token issuances. Taxpayers are mostly left to apply existing-tax-rules, depending on regulations and models that offer flawed analogies to token issuances.

cryptocurrency and taxes

Cryptocurrency and Taxes

Overall, the facts of a certain token issuance, which includes the rights related to tokens must be scrutinized to regulate the proper characterization of the tokens for tax-related matters. A token has to be considered as an equity interest in the issuing entity, however, the tax consequences to the holders and issuers will rely on the buckets that token falls into.

The rules can be way too much complex if the equity interest is in a partnership, and if the taxable income partnership will surge over to the investors, so they may have a constant tax liability. Furthermore, if an investor uses “appreciated cryptocurrency” to get the tokens, it will end up in current-tax to the investor on the appreciated cryptocurrency, however, considering other facts, the investor may have the ability to claim that the cryptocurrency exchange for tokens was “tax-deferred.”

There are few token issuers that issue some of their tokens for free through an “airdrop.” Receivers usually sign up for airdropped-tokens through the website of the issuer, and sometimes they have to use social media platforms to disseminate information about tokens in order to receive them. For the receiver, the value of tokens that he/she receives in an airdrop is a taxable income.

Token issuers usually pre-sell some tokens via SAFT or SAFE-T. The holder, under a SAFT usually pays a fixed-amount for getting the right to collect a determinable number of tokens. SAFT often provide that the envisioned SAFT’s tax treatment is as a “forward contract.” If this treatment is appreciated, then the tax on the purchase amount must be delayed ’til the tokens get delivered to the SAFT holder.

Though, SAFT as a forward contract won’t necessarily be appreciated by the Internal Revenue Service, as the agency may pursue to re-characterize SAFT to extricate it from a traditional prepaid “forward contract.”

Based on SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity), SAFE-T is planned to be considered as an equity instead of alterable debt. SAFE-T’s tax treatment is ambiguous; however, it comprises the elements of both SAFE and SAFT.

It’s quite clear from that there’s only a little guidance from the IRS about how token offering is treated for tax purposes. Determining how to describe these tools for tax-purposes is an exhaustive procedure. Issuers must look up for a tax adviser to get some help in organizing their token offerings.

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Why Audi Is Also Interested In Blockchain?

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blockchain startups

Thanks to Bitcoin and all the related cryptocurrencies, blockchain startups no more a mystery. All those who are somehow related to the crypto market know that the blockchain technology is infact a decentralized technology that keeps the record of digital transaction and has so far its use been specific for the crypto transactions. To be more precise and accurate we can state that a global network of computers uses blockchain technology to jointly manage the database that records Bitcoin transactions. Blockchain is considered to be invincible because it can continuously replicate itself on multiple computers and databases.

So far Blockchain had been used in case of cryptocurrency transactions only but with the passage of time its use expanded for example in determining identity of digital assets, smart contracts, digital voting and distributed storage etc. Porsche can be considered a pioneer who for the first time decided to utilize Blockchain technology in car manufacturing. Let us see how they did it.

First Use of Blockchain in Automobile industry

With the help of  Berlin-based XAIN, Porsche has become the very first automobile manufacturer to successfully test blockchain in its cars. Blockchain technology based digital processes are both secure and super fast than anything that has come before. Test which was carried by the manufacturer of Porsche included locking and unlocking of the vehicle via an app, access authorisations and encrypted data logging. It is a part of further planning to improve autonomous driving functions of Porsche with the help of Blockchain technology.

What is the Plan of Audi?

For the time being Audi is planning to use Blockchain technology for its physical and financial distribution processing. In short Audi is just making an innovative effort to make its global supply chain more transparent and foolproof. For this purpose the car manufacturer also released a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) of its Blockchain system last year. As a result of positive feedback the manufacturer has now decided to advance the project beyond the PoC stage.

Moreover, the management of Audi is further researching on Blockchain in order to improve the process of data transfer and make it more safe and effective.

Interest Shown by other Car Manufacturers

Like Porsche other German car manufacturers such as BMW and Mercedes have also hit the news with announcements of their interest and expected experiments with Blockchain technology. According to authentic reports, BMW is planning to expand its portfolio by partnering with a Blockchain startup. Mercedes Benz has even took a step forward and has announced that it may issue its own cryptocurrency by the name of MobiCoin. According to the initial announcements Mobican will be used to reward drivers for their environmentally cautious driving.

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Introducing Blockchain-Based E-Voting system in Moscow

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It was in 2014 when Moscow’s Mayor, Sergei Sobyanin launched an innovative Active Citizen app. This app was actually an e-voting platform designed solely for the residents of Moscow to vote on municipal projects pertaining to non-political city decisions, e.g.; naming of subway stations, setting up speed limits, plotting of bus routes, replacing the building’s entrance door or even hiring a new management company etc.

The Active Citizen app was a huge success since its launch, more than 2,800 polls were being administered and over 2 million users participated via the app. But according to some critics this app grew vulnerable to manipulation with the passage of time.

That’s why, Moscow officials announced that they have piloted the Active Citizen onto the blockchain technology in order to minimize the vulnerability issue.

Usually, the term of blockchain is referred to the cryptocurrency transactions. It is a sort of a digitalized and decentralized online database pertaining to public ledger of crypto transactions and interactions. Though specific for tracking secure financial transactions of cryptocurrency, it will now also be used in the e-voting platform of Moscow.

blockchain based e voting

What makes it a safest choice?

Russia’s National Settlement Depository (NSD) has successfully tested this blockchain based e-proxy voting system. This voting system is comprised of the following steps:

  • In the first step a Bondholder will pass vote to a nominal bondholder (NB)
  • The Nominal bondholder will in turn submit that vote to the blockchain
  • The designated Counting commission will count the votes and submit their results to the blockchain
  • Bondholder can latter verify whether the votes were counted correctly or not.

Hence it can be easily concluded that the process of blockchain based e-voting will resemble the secure crypto transactions to a great extent. Once the vote will be placed, it will be listed in a ledger consisting all the votes taken place across a node-to-node fully secure network. So, there will be no chance of data loss, fraud or third-party alteration once the vote has been casted.

In other words, blockchain is becoming a hallmark of digital accountability and security. It comprises of such a complicated mechanism of digitized security that it is almost impossible for the general public to ‘’hack’’ it in their traditional way.

According to some experts the use of blockchain technology will improve the transparency of e-voting system in Moscow and it should also be tried in the general elections as well.

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Buying Bitcoins Through Xcoins – Is the Service Legitimate?

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Buying Bitcoins Through Xcoins

Xcoins is a Bitcoin lending service. It allows you to buy bitcoin with a credit card or PayPal. Lately, there has been too much talk about Xcoins and whether is it legit to buy bitcoins with this service.

In this article, we have discussed all the aspects of Xcoins to help you understand the concept of the service, and whether it is legit to buy bitcoins through Xcoins.

Buying Bitcoin with PayPal Through Xcoins:

Due to the possibility of chargeback fraud – and the lack of support for Bitcoin from PayPal itself, it’s extremely hard to buy bitcoins with PayPal. Xcoins, on the other hand, have exploited this problem and claim to have found a solution in which the coins are loaned instead of getting sold to the clients.

In order to buy bitcoins through Xcoins, the users go to the site where they do an ID verification. After the verification process, they’ll be required to deposit:

  • USD equivalent to how much they want to borrow
  • PayPal/credit card processing fees
  • A fixed amount that acts as the interest on the loan

The site claims to have competitive fees due to their lenders competing against each other for the best possible rate. However, in most cases, the interest rate is fixed at 15% – which could possibly be the lowest interest rate offered by Xcoins. Interestingly, it’s still way higher than what most Bitcoin exchanges offer.

Trading Bitcoins on Xcoins:

Xcoins is not just a buying service – you can also sell/lend coins on the site. To do so, you must decide how much you are willing to loan, and then deposit the amount into your Xcoins account. The amount must be in USD.

Once the deposit is made, the system will automatically direct you to the buyers and they will deposit the money directly into your PayPal account.

Pros and Cons of Xcoins:

The major pros and cons of Xcoins include:

Pros:

  • The quick purchase of Bitcoin either through Credit Card or PayPal.
  • Easy sign-up.

Cons:

  • Slow refunds – can take up to a week or longer.
  • Support staff is not active – even on working days. If you send them an email, expect the response to come in at least two days.
  • Constant complaining to their Support can result in a permanent ban.
  • If you do not dispute your charges, they will disable your ability to buy bitcoins.
  • If you purchased some coins but the lender is not willing to release them, you will still be charged.

Conclusion:

From buyer’s perspective – Xcoins isn’t stable enough for large purchases. Also, the fees are extremely high in comparison to other exchanges. However, if your only option to buy Bitcoin is PayPal, then Xcoins is the way to go.

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LATEST: Why Bitcoin is Hottest 2017! * Experts | Investors | Traders | Reviews

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Expected Blockchain Support By Cloud Computing Giant Salesforce

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Salesforce is a world famous company well known for its cloud computing software. It provides services related to customer relationship management in various industries, including healthcare, finance, media, retail, and manufacturing. The revenue generated by Salesforce in the year ending January 31st was $10.5 billion. And now Salesforce is ready for its blockchain integration with a brand new idea.

blockchain and cryptocurrency

Parker Harris, the co-founder of cloud software giant Salesforce has confirmed that his company is hoping to develop a product for Blockchain and cryptocurrency support by September 2018.

The same news was being disclosed by CEO of Salesforce Marc Benioff in an interview with Business Insider on March 28. In that interview he also stated that he had finalised this plan to work on Blockchain technology and various forms of digital currency while he had a chance to participate in the World Economic Forum Davos, Switzerland last January. It was simultaneously being held with a cryptocurrency conference, where Benioff’s conversation with another event attendee transformed into the above mentioned idea according to which Salesforce could actively participate in the utilization of blockchain and cryptocurrency into its current operation.

 

He further added that he had been thinking about various ways through which Salesforce’s strategy around blockchain and cryptocurrencies could be finalized.

What is in Benioff’s Mind?

There were a lot of things which the company CEO did not reveal about his forthcoming product in his interview. However, he stated that he was planning to have a blockchain and cryptocurrency solution for Salesforce and for all its clients.

 

However, in a recent briefing for its Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) software, the company appreciated the revolutionary blockchain technology for verification and maintenance contracts and automation of trust.

Salesforce is not Alone in this Race

In the past Blockchain was just used as a decentralized ledger to log all cryptocurrency transactions, but now its definition has changed. Now a great number of applications and technologies have a strong connection with it. In the present context,  blockchain keeps or is used to keep record of every digital transaction and exchange which might be in the form of goods, services or private data of any sort. With the passage of time it has been transformed into a global spreadsheet running simultaneously on millions of computers around the globe. The beauty of this technology is that every single individual connected to this peer-to-peer system can see all transactions being made, hence there is no need for a middle man.

 

It is clear that the involvement of Blockchain technology is getting deeper and deeper day by day and no field of life will be functional without it.

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