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16/02/2018: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

1. Spanish Political Party Wants To Use Tax Benefits To Attract Blockchain Companies

The People’s Party (PP), the current ruling party in Spain, has said that a possible bill granting tax breaks to blockchain companies is under development. Teodoro Garcia Egea, the lawmaker in charge of the preparation of the bill, affirmed that the move would stimulate sectors such as finance, education, and health, since blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionise them. Regulations to create an attractive environment for ICOs is also under consideration. Switzerland is an example of a country that has been friendly to crypto from an early stage, with their Crypto Valley project, and it is under examination by the Spanish government.

2. Crypto Self-Regulatory Body To Be Formed In Japan

A self-regulatory body for the crypto industry is being set up in Japan through the merger of two cryptocurrency industry groups. The two entities are the Japan Blockchain Association, built around Japanese crypto exchange bitFlyer, and the Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association, which has Osaka-based Tech Bureau as one of its members. The new coalition should be launched on April 1st, the first anniversary of when Japan officially recognised Bitcoin as a legal tender. The self-imposed regulations will cover various areas such as system downtimes, safe guides for users’ assets, insider trading, and advertising.

3. British Companies Are Diversifying Their Crypto Portfolios

According to a study conducted and published by technology services company Citrix, half of the British businesses have stockpiled cryptocurrencies, and only 7% of them are only accumulating Bitcoins. The results are based on a sample of 750 IT decision makers, employed at businesses with at least 250 employees. Each business owned on average 24 BTC ($230,000). The most popular cryptocurrencies are Litecoin (53%), Ethereum (43%), Ripple (33%), and Dash (29%). Furthermore, many said they made a profit when selling off their Bitcoins. On the other hand, 38% of Bitcoin holders are thinking of selling now, while 5% are going to hold. The respondents were also surveyed on why they decided to make the purchase, along with cyber attacks and expectations for the future.

4. US Is Not Going To Regulate Bitcoin Anytime Soon, Says US Official

Special Assistant to the president and White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Rob Joyce affirmed at the Munich Security Conference, which took place in Germany, that the US government still has a long way to go before regulating Bitcoin. Joyce believes that a complete understanding of the cryptocurrency, as well as its risks and advantages, is fundamental before planning any regulation. He went on to discuss the issue of anonymity, probably the most discussed aspect of Bitcoin. Joyce acknowledged the potential of the cryptocurrency, but agreed with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the concern over its use in illegal activities, as we previously reported.

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