As Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies gain credibility as legitimate investments, the investment world is working to make changes. One interesting change has been the acceptance of Bitcoin as a legitimate investment as part of an IRA account in the US.
First, most 401K and IRA accounts have provisions that only allow for traditional investments such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. In recent years, the Internal Revenue Service in the US has put forth rules that allow for less traditional type investments in what is termed a “self-directed” IRA. Any potential investment account that allows for the trading of cryptocurrency demands further discussion, especially in light what has transpired in the cryptocurrency market over the past year or so.
By definition, a self-directed Individual Retirement Account is “an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), provided by some financial institutions in the United States, which allows alternative investments for retirement savings. Some examples of these alternative investments are real estate, private mortgages, private company stock, oil and gas limited partnerships, precious metals, horses, and intellectual property.” In other words, some financial institutions have been permitted to offer IRAs, which investors can use to make riskier investments if they so choose. Not all of these specialized custodians allow for Bitcoin trading as of yet, but the trend is heading in that direction.
In this day and age, this makes perfect sense. Thanks in large part to the Internet, today’s average American is much more investment savvy than say the average American of 20 years ago. This has prompted the IRS to view taxpayers as more fiscally responsible, which gives the tax collection agency a willingness to allow IRA investors more leeway related to their investments. This is an important distinction because IRA investments are made from pre-taxed earnings and remain tax-exempt until the individual begins drawing down funds later in life.
As a long-term investment, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies hold great promise. Setting aside outrageous claims of tremendous Bitcoin growth in the next couple of years, the time is fast-approaching when Bitcoin is going to be accepted as a viable form of payment for goods and services being provided throughout the world. To some extent, this transformation is already underway. Assuming that it becomes reality, Bitcoin’s pricing should stabilize, making it a terrific long-term investment option.
Of course, these early days of Bitcoin trading come with a bit of risk. We have already witnessed the volatility that comes with any form of new investment vehicle. The reality is investors aren’t quite sure what to make of the Bitcoin revolution. Fortunately, time and experience will solve these issues. As investors gain confidence, we can only imagine the heights to where Bitcoin may travel.
Whether from a Bitcoin wallet or a self-directed IRA in the US, the investment world has found a new friend in Bitcoin. Over the next couple years, we can expect each country to take a hard look at crypto-currencies in general. Regulations will be set forth and much of the mystery will diminish. In the US, the notion the IRS is willing to accept Bitcoin as a viable investment bodes well for the coin on US soil.
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Reports from the 대한민국 Republic of South Korea (ROK) indicate its Customs Service announced on Wednesday, 31 January 2018, it has discovered “cryptocurrency crimes” which amount to nearly 600 million USD.
South Korea Customs Service Finds Almost $600 Million in Cryptocurrency Crime
ROK Customs Service released a statement claiming to have “uncovered cryptocurrency crimes worth 637.5 billion won ($594.35 million),” according to Reuters. Evidently, it includes illegal foreign exchange trading, a statement released by the country’s customs service said on Wednesday.
Korean Customs Service’s (KCS) charter includes keeping “our society safer from illegal foreign transactions,” its website notes. Reporting on the incidents mention South Korean investors gobbling up almost 2 billion won in cryptocurrencies. Supposedly tokens and coins were then sent abroad through “virtual wallets,” only to be brought back in the form of fiat currencies “which amount to unrecorded capital outflows,” according to Reuters.
The statement continued, “Customs service have been closely looking at illegal foreign exchange trading using cryptocurrency as part of the government’s task force.” Reuters further explained, “Illegal foreign currency trading of 472.3 billion formed the bulk of the cryptocurrency crimes, Customs said, but gave no details on what action authorities were taking against the rule breaches.”
“Among other breaches,” the report continued, “Customs said there were also cases where investors in Japan sent their yen worth 53.7 billion won to their partners in South Korea for illegal currency trade.” This series of events comes at the end of a very hectic few months for the peninsular East Asian nation. Yesterday, US regulators in New York requested trading data on cryptocurrencies. New regulations regarding cryptocurrency exchanges took effect as well, essentially eliminating anonymous trades.
Wait and See
Even the Republic’s chief of state recently issued guidelines concerning public officials and their involvement in crypto. There has been a multi-pronged approach to limiting, if not outright ending, foreign participation in exchanges, which included South Korean card companies.
Ecosystem markets were rocked at the end of the year when fears arose cryptocurrencies would be banned outright. It turned out to be just a minister spouting off, but that unleashed a wave of dips in prices, and it spurred domestic protests to essentially leave cryptocurrencies alone.
As East Asia’s fourth largest economy, South Korea punches above its weight in the crypto world, clearly. “The customs office added that it would continue to monitor the use of cryptocurrencies in cases like illegal currency trading or money laundering,” Reuters explained. No word yet as to how the market will absorb this current controversy.
How do you think markets will respond to the South Korean crime news? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Pixabay, KCS.
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Hardforks in the Bitcoin system don’t surprise anyone anymore, but the Ethereum fork, carried out simultaneously with the ICO conducted by the e-Chat team is really something revolutionary for the entire crypto-community.
The thing is that the project has long outgrown the limits of the usual blockchain-based messenger and transformed into an interesting, self-developing start-up.
The e-Chat team decided to transform the messenger into a multi-functional platform where any participant or business can create their applications based on the e-Chat platform, as well as create their own tokens to pay for services provided both inside the application and outside it. A wide range of services will be available, from a taxi to a babysitter in the neighborhood. Similar functionality exists in the WeChat application, but the degree of protection in it leaves much to be desired, and all payments are possible only in fiat currency. At the moment, the only competitor to the e-Chat project may be Telegram, which launches the ICO in March 2018, but it will happen only in March, and the guys are conducting ICO already now.
Ethereum – e-Chat fork, can be held in early March. Making such an uncompromising step, the team of e-Chat mobile blockchain platform has 3 goals:
- improvement of the Ethereum network;
- additional benefits for investors;
- instant attraction of a large number of new users and developers to the platform.
Why Is It Profitable for Investors?
The situation is not standard since the futures trading of the ECHT coin will soon be launched on some crypto-exchanges, which will provide a benchmark for traders. All issues of converting ERC-20 tokens into fork coins will be determined by the voting of investors.
The approach of the team that appeared on the ICO with an already running application is indicative, which is gaining in popularity both among ordinary users and popular bloggers, such as: Xenia Sobchak (presidential candidate in Russia in 2018), Jay Alvarrez (an extremely popular Travel blogger, 6 mln subscribers), Victoria Lopyreva (Ambassador Of FIFA WC 2018) and many others.
At the moment, e-Chat has launched a vote among investors in order to determine the further development path of the project, the team will change the concept in case if the majority of investors vote for the fork.
All details can be found on the official website and in the social networks of the project.
Wing Hing Commercial Building,
139 Wing Lok Street,
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
+8 (528) 009-06441 – Hong Kong
Images courtesy of e-Chat
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Financial authorities are not the biggest proponents of cryptocurrencies. Nor do they like initial coin offerings all that much either. Warnings have been issued in many different formats over the past years regarding these investments. In Hong Kong, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau will take things one step further. A dedicated TV ad campaign will warn against investing in cryptocurrencies and ICOs. Ignoring this message will prove to be rather difficult.
This new public campaign will go live later this week. In doing so, the financial regulators hope to dissuade people from paying attention to this nascent industry. It is true both cryptocurrencies and ICOs pose a risk to investors. That doesn’t mean people shouldn’t take notice of the opportunities presented to them, though. Hong Kong officials have no plans to ban cryptocurrencies or ICOs as of right now. However, they are concerned over people investing in these unregulated industries, which is only normal.
Hong Kong Regulators Issue Another Warning
Print media spots with warnings against cryptocurrency are nothing new. Virtually every country without active Bitcoin regulation has seen such warnings before. In Hong Kong, it is the first time a wide-scale operation like this is created. Especially the TV advertisements are a cause for concern. Then again, it remains to be seen how many people will heed these warnings first and foremost. Television is no longer the “convincing” medium it once used to be, especially when it comes to financial advice.
According to the Hong Kong regulators, cryptocurrency-related investments are not suitable for everyone. It isn’t the first time we hear such statements either. Countries such as Russia contemplate allowing only accredited investors to trade cryptocurrency in the future. For now, none of these plans have effectively been turned into a law, though.It is doubtful we will see a similar approach in Hong Kong, for the time being. Warning the general public is never a bad thing, even though people will make up their own mind in the end.
We live in an era where cryptocurrencies and ICOs have become increasingly popular. A lot of money entered these ecosystems throughout 2017. Most of that money is the direct result of hype and speculation, rather than genuine potential offered by currencies and projects. People need to educate themselves a lot better before making any crazy investments. It seems that is the main objective for the Hong Kong regulators. They want to ensure consumers do their due diligence before potentially throwing away money because of a sales pitch.
Taipei hopes to become a ‘leading’ smart city with the help of IOTA’s Tangle technology.
Taipei, Taiwan is seeking to become a smart city by utilizing the power of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), or Blockchain. The city has chosen to partner with IOTA, the inventors of the so-called Tangle technology for the Internet of Things (IoT), to provide a number of new technology features for residents.
Wei-bin Lee, Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology in Taipei City Government, suggested in an official press release that the ‘unique technology’ offered by IOTA will usher in a ‘new era of smart cities for the citizens of Taipei’.
The first project on the docket is the creation of citizen ID cards built on the Tangle technology. Called ‘TangleID’ cards, the creation is designed to eliminate risks of identity theft and voter fraud, while at the same time providing a simple means for tracking health history and other data for government-related services.
The company is already working on a side project for the city to create a palm-sized card with sensors that would detect light, temperature, humidity and pollution. The design is intended to give the citizens of Taipei up-to-date information about pollution levels in real time.
IOTA Foundation co-founder David Sønstebø sees the adoption as a massive step forward, noting that ‘the technology is ready for real-world use cases and is more than just a theory’.