January 31, 2023

Cryptocurrency Governance from Various Nations

4 min read

As more and more people are taking the cryptocurrency business seriously, some politicians are taking a softer and more open stance to it. Here are some of the cryptocurrency regulations from around the world in recent years.

United States of America

United States Federal Government requires the Internal Revenue Service to Clarify its Guidelines on Dealing with Cryptocurrencies
In previous years, the Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee (IRPAC), an external federal advisory committee to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a public report advising the latter to clarify its guidelines on dealing with cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin.

California and Colorado elect pro-Bitcoin governors
California is no stranger to tech. In fact, tech giants call the state home, with its headquarters stationed at the famous Silicon Valley. Which is why a pro-progress, pro-tech, and pro-cryptocurrency politician like Gavin Newsom won the elections as governor. Prior to his election, Newsom announced that he would accept Bitcoins for donations, and believes that government services should be fully digitized. Coinbase, which HQ is in the Bay Area, and many more digital currency startup businesses in the Sunshine State, now find hope in the fact that their governor is supportive of their endeavors.

Just over a thousand miles east, Colorado natives also voted for a pro-Bitcoin candidate. Jared Polis took Newsom’s idea and made it a reality. He is the first state politician in the United States who accepted Bitcoins as legitimate campaign contributions. Locals have heard him echo support for blockchain during interviews and speeches. Furthermore, he wanted the state to become a “safe harbor” for Bitcoin businesses, and probably digital currency businesses in general.

Both Republicans and Democrats have also used cryptocurrency and Bitcoin as significant campaign platforms to get more voters to elect them.

Venezuela National Government Launched Petro
The Venezuelan government launched Petro and its savings plan. After suffering from massive economic woes, the government is opening up an oil-based digital currency investment plan to Venezuelans to help them recoup their losses. This plan was rolled out by President Nicolas Maduro. According to local news outlets, the government rolled out a “Comprehensive National Cryptoasset Plan”, on Plataforma Patria, an online savings platform. The government will sell four million Petros to 18 million Venezuela citizens, which is equivalent to 14 million sovereign bolivars. Citizens can also buy Petros using Bitcoin and Ethereum. They can use Petros to open and participate in the government’s savings plan. The amount of money they get to withdraw will be equivalent to or more than the current value of the bolivar.

Prior to launching the savings plan, the government has already required Venezuelan citizens to use Petro in paying for government services. They have also pushed the country’s financial institutions to allow the use of it.

Iranian General Hinted at Using Cryptocurrencies to Evade International Financial Sanctions
Iranian news agency Mehr reported Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali‘s openness towards the use of cryptocurrencies to bypass penalties set by international banking and financial institutions and reduce dependency on the U.S. dollar. In previous years, US President Donald Trump reimposed economic sanctions on Iran to address the country’s ballistic missile program and “its support for terrorism”, which led to the devaluation of the Iranian rial. Jalali also expressed positivity with the digital currency growth that is currently happening in Tehran. Its ally, Russia, also supports the use of cryptocurrencies, albeit for trade.

Japanese Government Simplifying its Cryptocurrency Taxation Process
The Japanese government’s tax advisers called for the simplification of the cryptocurrency taxation process. Japan is one of the earliest adopters of cryptocurrency. The tax advisory panel told the news outfit Sankei that the process of calculating gains from cryptocurrency is difficult and complicated, hence discouraging owners and investors from declaring their digital assets. The government also taxes the gains from the conversion of one digital asset to another. According to CCN, the Japanese pay between 15% to 55% of taxes from cryptocurrency investments. By simplifying the taxation process, the tax advisory panel hoped to increase compliance among cryptocurrency investors.

Thailand Deputy Prime Minister Pushes for More Cryptocurrency Regulations in the Country
Wissanu Krea-ngam, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister, has pushed for more cryptocurrency regulations in their country. Wissanu expressed his concerns during the fourth Regional Counter-Terrorism Financing Summit hosted by the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Office. According to The Bangkok Post, Wissanu urged anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering experts to “update their knowledge so they will not lag behind criminals”.

Thailand has laws and regulations in place that deal not only with cryptocurrencies, but ICOs as well, including two royal decrees imposing capital gains taxes on cryptocurrency investments and transactions. Wissanu expressed much concern around the anonymous nature of digital currencies which make it hard for authorities to catch tax evaders, money launderers and other lawbreakers.

Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Advocated for Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency investors and businesses now have an ally in the government of Zimbabwe. Mthuli Ncube, the Minister of Finance in Zimbabwe, has advocated for the use of cryptocurrency to help solve the country’s cash problems. Currently, Zimbabwe’s government remains largely anti-cryptocurrency, with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) prohibiting banks from processing digital currency transactions, largely due to worries concerning tax evasion, although RBZ did license BitMari, a Pan-African blockchain platform in 2017.

Cryptocurrency is currently taking the world by storm as more and more people start investing in them. As such, many government bodies have decided to review their laws pertaining to cryptocurrency and its use in the respective countries.

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