The SEC is back in the news again this week, issuing a wave of subpoenas to cryptocurrency firms. On top of that 600 mining rigs have been stolen in Iceland in a heist people are dubbing the “Big Bitcoin Heist”. All that and more in the latest Bitcoin This Week, read below for more detail.
St.Petersburg Authorities Reject Ban on Crypto Websites
Last May, the owners of over 40 websites were banned by a regional court in St. Petersburg for propagating information about Bitcoin and other various cryptocurrencies. However, they were fortunate enough to have the ruling overturned this week. That being said, it will still return to another judicial hearing. At the moment, it is looking more and more likely that the case will be referred to the Moscow Supreme Court.
The reason for the ban in the first place was due to those in the St. Petersburg prosecutors office filing a lawsuit against the websites, due to the fact that they were “spreading information” about cryptocurrency and because it “is not backed by any real asset and does not provide information about its owners.” Moscow authorities are busy drafting new rules and regulations on the use of cryptocurrency, presently the terms and conditions surrounding cryptocurrency are very unclear, hopefully, this will be cleared up soon and remove any future complications from the matter.
Collective Action Against Coinbase for Insider Trading
Coinbase has been the center of many rumors for quite some time, around the time of release for Bitcoin cash huge allegations were pointed towards Coinbase with the phrase “insider trading” being a buzz word thrown around a lot. The CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, released a statement shortly afterward this incident trying to clear things up. He expressed his zero-tolerance policy on any kind of insider trading, stating that if they were to find out such trading had taken place within the company he would “not hesitate to terminate the employee immediately and take appropriate legal action.”
Coinbase is no being hit by two class action lawsuits for conducting unlawful and unfair business practices. One of these actions is to do with the previously mentioned alleged insider trading, and the other is related to a mechanism that Coinbase has on their platform allowing users to send funds to email addresses instead of wallers. In the cases where these emails were left unanswered, the funds were left unclaimed and kept by the Exchange, stirring controversy for those affected.
Europe Moves on Bitcoin Legislation?
It has been quite an eventful week for cryptocurrencies in Europe. First of all, Germany legislated that it would be giving cryptocurrency the respect it deserves, treating it and other cryptocurrencies as legal tender. This move will make things a bit easier from a taxation point of view, avoiding the nightmare that every Bitcoin purchase could be labeled as a taxable affair.
In the same week, a lot of cryptocurrency investments have been catching the eye of the tax authorities of Belgium. There have been several investigations opened by the Belgian Tax Authorities into cases where Belgian citizens have traded on foreign exchanges. Those who are involved in cryptocurrency trading within the country should be prepared to pay 33% on their earnings in capital gains tax, despite the fact that Bitcoin and most cryptocurrencies are unregulated and not legalized within the country of Belgium.
Icelandic Big Bitcoin Heist
Over 600 mining rigs have been stolen in the Reykjanes peninsula after a series of burglaries and theft, this is being dubbed by the Icelandic press as the “Big Bitcoin Heist”. Authorities are speculating that the rigs will not be sold on by the thieves in any sort of black market, but rather will be used for their purpose: cryptocurrency mining. This would yield much larger profits than selling the rigs for parts. However, perhaps the thieves should have done a bit more thinking regarding the theft of the rigs, it’s certainly hard to imagine where 600 mining rigs could appear suddenly without drawing any attention.
At the moment, 11 people and 1 security guard have been arrested but not equipment has been found as of yet. We only recently reported on the theft of 21 mining rigs from a town in Bulgaria, so as much as we may hope and pray, the frequency of these crypto crimes does not seem to be decreasing at all.
Bitcoin Weekly Price Round-Up
It was reported in the last week that the transactional volume of Bitcoin has decreased significantly to a new 2 year low, this just goes to show that nowadays it is more and more being used as a store of value as opposed to being used as a day to day currency. On top of that, Bitcoin’s dominance has grown to 40%. Many people believe that due to its current dominance, albeit weakened by its price at the moment, there is a draining effect on the altcoin market as people reinvest in Bitcoin.
Bitcoins price held steady for the first part of the week and then grew in a healthy fashion, holding at present at around the $11,500 mark, with little volatility. Bitcoin has been floundering a bit since Christmas, as with most of the cryptocurrencies, and with some luck, this currency growth could boost it back up to further glories. It just may take some time, for now, all we can do is HODL and hope for some price jumps.