Australian tax Authority Warns Retirees Against Risky Cryptocurrency Investments
In a bid to remind 18,000 retirees under Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) of their legal duty to invest their retirement savings cautiously, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) has begun sending stern letters to some of these individuals whom have chosen to spend over 90 percent of their retirement savings in a single asset class such as cryptocurrency, reports Micky on August 16, 2019.
ATO’s Letters to SMSFs
Per the report, ATO has begun sending letters to 18,000 SMSFs who take the sole responsibility of deciding how their private superannuation fund is managed instead of employing the services of relevant professionals.
Reportedly, ATO’s letters are to serve as a warning to SMSFs who have thrown caution to the wind and invested a large chunk of their retirement savings in a single asset class such as cryptocurrency, property, and others.
Part of the letter outlines that SMSF owners have a responsibility to adhere to legal requirements by adopting non-risky investment strategies.
According to Dana Fleming, ATO assistant commissioner, the agency’s primary aim of sending the letters is to make it clear to retirees that it is illegal to put all their eggs in one basket by investing more than 90 percent of their funds on one asset class.
The Australian law stipulates that SMSFs who fail to adhere to the regulation could be fined up to $4,200.
Reason Behind ATO’s Letters
Reportedly, the need to warn retirees against risky investments stemmed from the significant increase in the number of Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements (LRBAs) in Australia.
And the agency also noticed that more than 40 percent of SMSFs owners with LRBAs had invested at least 90 percent of their retirement savings in a single asset class and out of that number, the majority seems to have taken a liking to cryptocurrency-based investments.
“We have already seen two instances of SMSFs losing significant amounts of their retirement savings through investment in cryptocurrency,” an ATO spokesperson said.
Against that backdrop, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has warned citizens to be wary of firms offering an SMSF creation in a bid to help them invest in cryptoassets.
The agency says SMSFs has purportedly become a niche taken advantage of by cryptocurrency companies since the growing market alone is worth about $700 billion.
According to Ajeet Khurana, CEO of Zebpay crypto exchange, most bitcoin-linked businesses have decided to pitch their tents in Australia, as it is the only developed country that allows people to invest all manner of funds in cryptos, including their retirement money and superannuation money.
In related news, BTCManager on May 2, 2019, reported that ATO is obtaining relevant information from designated service providers (DSPs) to ensure crypto traders are filing accurate income statements and paying their taxes.
Earlier this past week Ripple (XRP) along with the aggregated crypto markets faced an incredibly sharp sell-off that sent XRP reeling down to lows of $0.25, which marked a significant pullback from the mid-$0.30 region where it has previously found stability.
Although the crypto was able to post a small bounce today, analysts are still noting that XRP broke below its 2018 support level, which could mean that significantly further losses are imminent.
Ripple (XRP) Finds Support Around $0.25
At the time of writing, Ripple is trading up just over 1% at its current price of $0.265, which marks a slight increase from its daily lows of just below $0.26.
This past Wednesday, XRP incurred a significant influx of selling pressure that sent its price reeling down from over $0.30 to lows of roughly $0.25, at which point it found some strong support that allowed it to climb slightly higher.
It now appears that the $0.25 region is a strong level of support, as it has bounced each time that it has visited this region.
Importantly, unlike many other major altcoins, XRP is currently trading below its 2018 lows, and has now set a fresh low since it first began its downwards ascent from highs of nearly $4.00 in early-January of 2018.
Will XRP Drop Further in Near-Future?
Although analysts are not sure what has been the root cause behind Ripple’s lackluster price action throughout 2019, some investors have pinned it on regulatory concerns regarding its potential status as a securities product, which others have linked it to Ripple – the FinTech company closely associated with XRP – offloading massive amount of XRP onto the markets each quarter.
Regardless of what the cause might be, The Cryptomist, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, noted in a recent tweet that the recent drop marked a break below its 2018 support level, which could mean further losses are imminent.
“$XRP: Relieved I sold last week! 🙂 Support from August 2018 has now broken. However, I am adding some here as we potentially have a falling wedge here. Breakout would test previous support,” she explained while referencing the below chart.
As the week wraps up, it is unclear as to whether or not Bitcoin’s price action will guide that of Ripple’s, or if the crypto will operate on an individual basis as it continues to face intense selling pressure.
IRS Revoking Passports Shows How Government Erodes Everything We Hold Dear
If you have outstanding tax debt, the IRS may now want to take your passport. For U.S. crypto holders still waiting on promised IRS guidelines for filing — especially those overseas who may have missed these warning memos — the over 400,000 agency notifications issued since February last year are troubling. This kind of behavior from government is nothing new, however, but an oft-repeating pattern of parasitism which sucks value from producers of goods, services and surplus, and punishes progress.
It has been said that the most cruel and insufferable forms of tyranny are not those with the most rules, but those with the rules that are the most unclear. Even under extremely unfair and unjust law, if one knows what is expected, one can often survive. It’s the proverbial drunken hand of the volatile, abusive caregiver, who one day is reserved about some small matter, and the next flies into a violent rage about the same, which is truly the crushing burden to bear. In the case of the caregiver, old, unaddressed emotional wounds are likely to blame. In the case of the state, the leveraging of ambiguity to produce fear is intentional.
In May, IRS commissioner Chuck Rettig wrote in a statement: “We have been considering these issues and intend to publish guidance addressing these [crypto issues] and other issues soon.” To date, no such guidance on filing crypto taxes has been issued. What has been issued, however, are vague threats and warnings to crypto holders and traders.
Since February, 2018, notifications have been going out to over 400,000 taxpayers who owe more than $51,000 (recently adjusted to $52,000) in overdue taxes. Since June this year, letters specifically targeting crypto holders have been issued. These letters also clarified inexplicably that, contrary to Rettig and the IRS’s previous statements, crypto is not simply treated as a property under U.S. policy. Every transaction except for buying crypto with fiat is a taxable event.
Expats, who may not have gotten these letters due to residing overseas, could potentially have their passports revoked. Those attempting to visit the U.S. may find themselves trapped in an airport, now without a recognized nationality, unable to return home to their families overseas should they set off alarm bells at immigration. Such mobility-stifling measures are a key means to contain and control financial assets, as the value creators moving them are then unable to relocate to more favorable economic climes.
The Attack on Sustenance
But, where there’s blood, there will be ticks. Where there’s self-sufficiency, surplus and charity, the government will be there to suck it dry. Attacking the geo-mobility of wealth holders through passport revocation is one desperate way to do this. But that’s not where the punishment of productivity ends, of course.
Much like the free exchange of bitcoin in the financial realm, being able to grow one’s own food is a major threat to the forced dependency of government. States worldwide have a long, continuing history of destroying food for price regulation, and shutting down private businesses serving their communities.
Just last month, for example, the U.K.’s sole organic hemp farming co-op was forced to destroy its crop worth an estimated £480,000 (~$583,000) due to licensing issues. The group, Hempen, states it had been completely forthright and transparent with officials, who had seen no problems for years until recently, suddenly deciding to revoke their license. The rationale for the revocation is of course, defined in tyrannically vague terms.
According to a BBC report, Hempen co-founder Patrick Gillen, lamenting the waste of potential tax revenue and benefits to the country from his products, stated:
Instead of capitalising on the booming CBD industry, the Home Office’s bureaucracy is leading British farmers to destroy their own crops, and millions of pounds’ worth of CBD flowers are being left to rot in the fields.
Historically, the New Deal legislation of the Great Depression (which also included the abandonment of the gold standard and a mandatory surrender of privately held gold) made these types of practices a norm in the U.S., when regulations were introduced in a bid to protect prices. John Steinbeck describes the travesty in sobering fashion, in his classic novel, “The Grapes of Wrath”:
And men with hoses squirt kerosene on the oranges … A million people hungry, needing the fruit- and kerosene sprayed over the golden mountains … And children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange.
Though fiction, the novel describes actual events that took place during that tragic era. These wasteful practices continue in the U.S. today. After being ordered to dump 30 million pounds of cherries to rot on the ground in 2009, for example, Michigan cherry farmer Rob Manigold echoed Steinbeck’s words:
The food pantry shelves are bare, people going hungry, and here we are dumping millions of pounds of cherries on the ground.
Arguments for such massive waste based on “the greater good” or “necessary regulation” don’t hold up to economic principle or moral scrutiny, as stifling production where demand is present is irrational, unless justified by one class of individuals possessing a supposed right to determine what others may or may not do with their own bodies or property, which is slavery.
Why Crypto Is the Final Target
So what in the hell do mountains of rotting fruit and revoked passports have to do with crypto? Quite a lot, it transpires. A money that cannot be centrally regulated provides the same essential power that a flourishing, productive private farm does, but on a whole new level. Self-sufficiency. A passport allows free movement, which is another necessity for self-sufficiency. Once the state is not needed for money, however, that’s the very end. At that point, centralized governance is not needed at all. The advent of bitcoin made the financial transcendence of central banks, geopolitical restrictions, and third party oversight possible.
With global devaluation of fiat currencies ever growing, and reckless low and negative interest rate policies being instituted to create more credit bubbles worldwide, the state is beginning to panic. That’s a good sign. The way to sense a debate has been won is often to simply observe one’s opponent beginning to react with fear or irrational outbursts. In the state’s case the reaction is actual violence, however, and that’s why no matter how hard anyone might try, it cannot be said that there is any freedom to be had without a very real risk. What price one is willing to pay for that freedom is entirely up to the individual.
What are your thoughts on government parasitism? Let us know in the comments section below.
OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.
Graham Smith is an American expat living in Japan, and the founder of Voluntary Japan—an initiative dedicated to spreading the philosophies of unschooling, individual self-ownership, and economic freedom in the land of the rising sun.
3 Reasons Why Bitcoin Price Hasn’t Returned to $13,000
Despite the promises of crypto analysts and institutions like Goldman Sachs, Bitcoin price continues to hover around low 5 figures. What’s going on?
After struggling to hold above the $11,000 point earlier this week, Bitcoin price, at last, succumbed to selling pressure and dropped below $10,000 for the second time in three weeks. Prior to the drop, numerous analysts predicted that $10k would serve as a reliable bounce point as the price represents important psychological support.
Clearly, this was not the case and even after making a strong upside move from $9,500 to $10,450, Bitcoin still struggles to stay above $10,100.
Let’s take a look at what is keeping the king of cryptocurrencies down.
Dovey Wan says Ponzi Scheme is Crashing the Crypto Market
On July 14 Primitive Crypto founding partner Dovey Wan attributed the sharp sector-wide correction to bulk Bitcoin sells from PlusToken, a Chinese Ponzi scheme. The scheme managed to accrue 200,000 Bitcoin and more than 800,000 Ethereum from naive investors in China.
According to Wan, not every member of the PlusToken team has been arrested yet and data from cybersecurity auditing firm Peckshield shows that recently more than 1,000 Bitcoin was transferred to Huobi and Bittrex from PlusToken accounts.
Wan is convinced that the scammers are covertly shifting their funds “into small batches into exchanges, like 50 to 100 Bitcoin per batch.” Wan also claimed that she recently stumbled across a chat where Chinese traders were saying that someone had been dumping 100 BTC non-stop on Binance.
The CME Bitcoin Futures gap is another popular topic amongst Bitcoin traders and many cite the existence of the gap as a reason why Bitcoin continues to drop below $10,000. A glance at a Bitcoin daily chart shows an $870 gap between $7,177 and $8,050.
The gap is simply the outcome of Bitcoin price moving over the weekend while the CME Futures are closed and the space denotes the difference between the previous close and the new opening price once the market reopens.
The gap is a cause for concern as traders set the price as a target that must be filled at some point, typically when an asset corrects and retraces to supports in the vicinity of the gap.
Many traders believe that Bitcoin must revisit this $7,100 to $8,500 range to truly correct before resuming its strong bullish trend to a new all-time 2019 high.
Bitcoin Accumulation Before Surge on Recession Fears
An assortment of crypto analysts have posted charts suggesting that Bitcoin has entered a lengthy consolidation phase and will continue to be pinned between $9,000 to $14,000 until more excitement and momentum build up over the 2020 halving event.
Earlier this week as the stock market took a horrific tumble over weakening macroeconomic fundamentals, fears of a recession sprang up as an economist focused on an inverted yield curve on treasury bonds.
This week the slope on US Treasury bonds became inverted and for economists and market analysts, this is typically an indicator that a recession could be on the way.
At the same time, Gold has continued to rise in price and many investors believe that Bitcoin is a similar store of value and hedge against volatility.
If the US and other countries truly are on the verge of a recession, one would increase inflow into Bitcoin and a significant increase in its market cap and value.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin is steadily dropping back towards $10,000 and $9,800 is the most immediate support level.
Do you think Bitcoin price will dip below $10,000 over the weekend? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Images from Bitcoinist Image Library, Twitter: @DoveyWan, BTC/USD charts by TradingView
Software giant Oracle has accused a blockchain venture capital startup of trademark infringement and cybersquatting in a new lawsuit that was reported on Aug. 15.
According to the report, Oracle is suing the New York City-based CryptoOracle for the close similarity in naming. CryptoOracle is a blockchain-focused venture capital startup, with no affiliation to the high-profile Redwood Shores Oracle.
Oracle has a presence in the selling of blockchain services, and is accusing CryptoOracle of cybersquatting in an attempt to give the impression that it is affiliated with the larger software company.
The complaint by Oracle accuses the NYC-based startup of intentionally choosing its name to confuse consumers.
According to the filing, CryptoOracle seeks to
“trade on Oracle’s reputation as an innovator and leader within the technology industry, and to evoke among consumers the goodwill that Oracle has built in its own famous brand.”
Crypto Oracle LLC is owned by Louis Kerner, a former Goldman Sachs executive who founded the company in 2017. The startup bills itself as an advisory firm geared towards businesses and entrepreneurs in the industry of blockchain.
As of writing, CryptoOracle has yet to comment on the situation.
Bitcoin (BTC) has incurred a significant amount of volatility as of late which was perpetuated yesterday by news regarding the release of Bakkt’s physically settles Bitcoin futures product, which many investors view as a bullish development for the entire markets.
In addition to this, growing interest from China may help Bitcoin’s price climb higher in the near-future.
Bitcoin Stabilizes Above $10,300 After Recent Recovery
At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading up over 1% at its current price of $10,330, which marks a significant recovery from its recent lows of roughly $9,500 that were set earlier this past week.
Despite the strong recovery from the bout of capitulation that sent BTC to its weekly lows, many analysts still believe that Bitcoin’s technical formations point to further bearishness in the near-future, which may be supported by the gap in the crypto’s CME futures chart, which currently exists at $8,500.
Despite this, Alex Krüger, an economist who focuses primarily on cryptocurrencies, explained in a recent thread of tweets that there is no guarantee that the gap will ever be filled.
“Even though gaps often fill, gaps are not meant to be filled. Gap filling is a combination of random variations (price moves), self-fulfilled prophecy (traders assign value to gaps), and lack of support/resistance within gaps (i.e. no trades inside),” he explained.
Will Positive Factors Help BTC Buck Recent Downtrend?
Assuming that a drop to $8,500 is not imminent, it is important to note that the markets have incurred robust fundamental developments as of late, which may help it reverse its recent downtrend and begin climbing higher.
Krüger further noted that there have been multiple bullish developments as of late that could help Bitcoin reverse its recent downtrend.
“Positive factors: Bakkt coming online Sep/23. Fidelity, Ameritrade, ETrade (awaiting news), HNWI & Macro traders interest. Macro narratives (false, but who cares). Retail interest trending (though still low). (Chinese interest in particular tripled in 2019, see,” he explained while referencing the below chart.
Assuming that the aforementioned fundamental factors, in combination with growing interest from China, helps Bitcoin reverse its recent downtrend, it is likely that $12,000 will be the next major level of resistance for the cryptocurrency.
Bitcoiners Brace for More Performance Art and Another ‘Satoshi Reveal’
On Friday, a variety of paid press releases were published stemming from a company called Satoshi Nakamoto Renaissance Holdings, a firm that claims a big “reveal” is coming on Sunday, August 18. According to the announcement, Satoshi Nakamoto will divulge his “real-life identity” alongside his “country of origin, education, professional background, and why he has yet to move any of his 980,000 bitcoins.” Many cryptocurrency supporters believe the press release is nothing more than a market ploy similar to the Gotsatoshi.com ruse ‘unveiled’ last May.
Another So-Called Satoshi Plans to Reveal His Identity
There have been so many self-styled Satoshi Nakamotos over the years it’s starting to get hard to keep track of them all. Now this weekend on Sunday, August 18, another person who claims to be Bitcoin’s inventor is supposedly doing a “reveal” to show the world he’s Satoshi. The press release published by a PR agency called Ivy McLemore & Associates never mentions who the mysterious man is, but claims that the person will be disclosing his true “real-life identity.” “After a decade of anonymity, Satoshi Nakamoto will break his silence in Part I of his ‘My Reveal,’” the media release explains. The statement to the press stemming from the company Satoshi Nakamoto Renaissance Holdings can be found on various paid press service websites.
“Indicative of the compelling evidence he presents in each part of the series, Nakamoto will illustrate the role that cyphers and encryption related to his devotion to Chaldean numerology played in many decisions in his creation of Bitcoin,” the announcement claims. Moreover, the so-called Satoshi revealer aims to publicize why he registered the website Bitcoin.org 11 years ago. The statement adds:
Nakamoto also will disclose why he chose the date August 18 not only to register Bitcoin.org in 2008 but also to release Part I of “My Reveal” this coming Sunday on the 11th anniversary of his registration of Bitcoin.org through Anonymousspeech.com.
Here We Go Again — There’s No ‘Blank Slate’ When It Comes to All the Satoshi Marketing Ploys
The company behind the reveal says that the revelations will allegedly culminate Tuesday with part II and III being published on the two websites mentioned in the media statement. The public will be introduced to the “Tabula Rasa, his clean-slate vision for Bitcoin’s transformational rebirth, and the declaration of his identity.” The Tabula Rasa is a theory defined by John Locke that suggests humans are born with a “blank slate” and everything is learned through one’s sensory experiences. What this theory means for the Bitcoin network is anyone’s guess, and it’s likely written in a cryptic way to keep a person curious about the so-called reveal on Sunday. The reveal day follows a similar announcement made last May when the creators of the website Gotsatoshi.com revealed themselves, and it turned out to be a cryptocurrency news feed app for mobile phones. Despite the last Satoshi reveal marketing ploy, the cryptocurrency community has been discussing the matter. “Cryptographically signed message or piss off,” exclaimed the Casa CTO Jameson Lopp.
Since the whole Craig Wright fiasco and the multitude of other self-proclaimed Satoshi’s, people seem to be getting tired of deception and sensational tactics. “Even if somebody did sign/verify the genesis block it doesn’t mean they are Satoshi,” the Twitter handle Bitconsultants responded to Lopp’s tweet. “It just means they have the keys. At this point, it’s next to impossible to prove who Satoshi is/was,” the account further remarked. Digital currency enthusiasts have also been responding to the announcement tweet stemming from Ivy McLemore. “Just get him to move a coin from the genesis block, then people will be bothered,” one person wrote to the PR agency. Another individual tweeted:
This would literally be the single stupidest move he/she/they could make and it would be known to be — 100% bullshit.
And the Satoshi LARP Award Goes to…
The story highlights the fact that there are a great number of people in search of the mysterious Nakamoto, but now marketers and businesses are using this desire to their advantage. It also shows the ridiculous number of Satoshi suspects and those who have claimed to be the currency’s creator. There’s the Hawaiian domain owner, Bitcoin Origins writer Scronty, the writer called “Duality,” the Bulgarian Debo Jurgen Etienne Guido, and of course the Australian who has claimed to be Satoshi for years. There are also Nakamoto suspects who are not alive or are in jail like the criminal mastermind Paul Le Roux, the forensics investigator David Kleiman, and the renowned cryptographer Hal Finney. There have been so many claimants over the years that it’s not even unbelievable anymore that people are willing to come forward and say they created Bitcoin. If anything the crypto community might want to host a live-action role-playing (LARP) award ceremony for all the nuts who say they are Satoshi.
These Satoshi revealers have put far more energy into the Nakamoto LARP in contrast to the simplicity of merely verifying an old message or private keys. Instead, we have people creating domains using Satoshi’s name for marketing purposes, people writing memoirs, and Bitcoin inventors with their own PR teams. A great example of these ludicrous theatrical performances was back in May 2016 when Quartz columnist Joon Ian Wong reported that Craig Wright allegedly used the rockstar David Bowie’s PR agency, Outside Organisation, to help with the big reveal that week. Outside Organisation was so good that they were able to get the public’s eyes fixated on Bowie, David Beckham, the Spice Girls, and allegedly the self-proclaimed Satoshi. Wong’s Quartz article details that during the Wright reveal ceremonies reporters from three different publications were “selected” for “proof sessions.” In addition to David Bowie’s PR firm, the selected journalists from the Economist, GQ, and the BBC publications were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDA) in order to participate in the reveal, Wong detailed.
The Satoshi Nakamoto Renaissance Holdings PR attempt is not much different than the slew of wannabes and attention seekers in the past. Part I of his “My Reveal” on Sunday, August 18, at 4 p.m. EDT will be shown on the company website, Satoshinhr.com. Its likely people will tune in to hear what the person has to say for a brief period of time, but its more probable that the reveal will be nothing more than a tacky marketing attempt in order to highlight something else. An illustration of the announcement’s marketing nonsense can be read under the Satoshi Nakamoto Renaissance (SNR) Holdings business description, which states the company is a provider of “blockchain technologies to help transform people’s lives.” In reality, the only thing this announcement will likely provide is another attempt at Satoshi performance art — And a poor one, too.
What do you think about the so-called Satoshi reveal scheduled for Sunday? Do you think it’s just another marketing ruse? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Satoshinhr.com, and Twitter.
Jamie Redman is a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Redman has written thousands of articles for news.Bitcoin.com about the disruptive protocols emerging today.