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The infrastructure bill is hanging in the balance. What would its enactment mean for crypto?

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The infrastructure bill is hanging in the balance. What would its enactment mean for crypto?

Later today, the United States House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, a bill authorizing sweeping investments in domains such as passenger rail, bridge repair, clean and wastewater facilities, clean energy transmission, and universal access to high-speed internet. Also tucked into the massive bill are several provisions that would directly affect millions of crypto users if enacted, particularly the expanded tax reporting requirements for entities handling cryptocurrency transactions.

Neither the bill becoming law nor even the Sept. 30 House vote on the bill is warranted. The legislation is working through Congress alongside the budget resolution bill, with several factions within the Democratic party — which controls the majority of seats in the chamber but needs a clean party-line for the initiative — conditioning their support of the infrastructure bill on certain social policy-related provisions being included in the budget reconciliation.

As the political maneuvering approaches the boiling point, here is what legal experts and cryptocurrency industry players think of the bill that can become law within the next few hours.

The spirit of the law

At this point, whether the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 in its current shape will become law is anyone’s guess. Regardless of the way cryptocurrency-related provisions have made their way into an omnibus bill such as this could hint at how Congress might go about legislating on key policies that affect the crypto space going forward.

One point of contention is that provisions affecting cryptocurrency users and businesses were appended to the bill without due consideration of what the industry thinks on the matter.

Ben Weiss, CEO of crypto ATM provider CoinFlip, noted to Cointelegraph:

Representatives from the industry did not have the opportunity to weigh in on or discuss the policy changes, which will cause a major disruption to the cryptocurrency ecosystem. We believe there should be more dialogue between Congress and members of this rapidly growing industry to lead to a better and clearer policy that will benefit everyone.

At the same time, Jahon Jamali, co-founder of crypto investment firm Sarson Funds, does not believe that the passage of the bill would adversely affect the digital asset space in the long run, because the pace of the industry far exceeds the government’s capability to catch up with it. Jamali added:

I am sure that the enormity of the size of the bill and dollar amount the government is looking to spend will have implications on finance as a whole and will most likely drive more innovation in the fintech industry to lay the foundation for a blockchain-based system.

Brock Pierce, chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, expects that the market would “respond over time by adjusting the reality of more regulation.” Pierce expects that cryptocurrency firms and entrepreneurs will work with regulators towards more sensible regulation as the industry’s political influence strengthens.

Indeed, the requirements laid out in the bill will not take effect until after 2023 — a very long time by the standards of the crypto universe.

Shaun Hunley, tax consultant at software firm Thomson Reuters Tax and Accounting, believes that even if the bill doesn’t pass today, some form of legislation requiring crypto information reporting will be enacted “because of the government’s interest in fighting tax evasion.”

Many of these actors do not interact with the parties transacting on the blockchain and thus might not have access to their personal data, which would render compliance impossible.

Who are the brokers?

The major concern of the crypto community regarding the proposed legislation is the section of the Tax Code that broadens the definition of cryptocurrency “broker” — invoking corresponding reporting requirements — beyond cryptocurrency exchange platforms to include entities such as software developers, stakers, node validators and miners.

Many of these actors do not interact with the parties transacting on the blockchain and thus might not have access to their personal data, which would render compliance impossible.

Stan Sater, a corporate and technology attorney at law firm Founders Legal, believes that the confusing expansion of the key definition is a result of the legislators’ lack of understanding of how to deal with crypto reporting. Sater commented to Cointelgraph:

Typically, rather than relying on self-reporting, the government deputizes intermediaries to collect the information they need for taxes. In financial markets, those intermediaries are brokers. So you need to expand the definition of “broker,” but how do you do that for digital assets and capture everyone involved in the industry? The government really doesn’t know how to address this but they have a problem so they proposed an incredibly broad definition of “broker” that captures nearly everyone involved in the digital finance industry, including individuals.

In Sater’s opinion, the proposed requirements are “incredibly vague” and they could lead to “forced surveillance on everyone.”

However, even if the bill is passed in its current form, the draft language would not automatically become law, said Olya Veramchuk, director of tax solutions at blockchain data and software firm Lukka. Veramchuk said:

The Treasury would have to issue proposed regulations and seek input on the matters from the public. That would be the time for the industry participants to add their fingerprints to the regulatory landscape and educate the regulators on the intricacies of the digital asset space, which would hopefully result in a workable and more feasible tax law.

More surveillance and reporting

Another part of the proposed legislation that got some in the crypto circles riled up is the Tax Code Section 6050I that, according to crypto advocacy group Proof of Stake Alliance, could make “receiving digital assets a felony if not reported correctly.” The provision applies to any person who receives over $10,000 and requires them to report the sender’s personal information to the government.

Hunley of Thomson Reuters Tax and Accounting believes that, while the requirement is not new per se, it could dampen some businesses’ appetite for accepting crypto. Hunley commented:

Amended 6050I would just treat digital assets as cash for currency transaction reporting purposes. Only serious investors would use crypto to engage in transactions over $10,000, and those are the types of transactions the IRS wants to know about. However, I believe this new requirement would possibly deter businesses from accepting crypto as a form of payment.

Lukka’s Veramchuk, too, pointed out that the rules articulated in Section 6050I are not new, and therefore it is “unreasonable to view them as imposing undue surveillance on those engaging in digital asset transactions.” The caveat, she added, is that these rules should only be applied in a fashion that is practical, sensible and attainable in the decentralized digital asset ecosystem.

Hunley concluded that the bill “could potentially be confusing for taxpayers.” He added:

The government would essentially treat crypto as property for one purpose (reporting taxable income), cash for another purpose (the Section 6050I reporting rules), and securities for yet another purpose (the broker reporting rules).

A good tax policy, in his opinion, is for crypto to be treated as one thing for all purposes.

As of 2 pm EST on Sept. 30, it is still unclear whether the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 will be brought to the floor today.

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PlanB Admits $98,000 November Bitcoin Price Target ‘First Miss’

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PlanB Admits $98,000 November Bitcoin Price Target ‘First Miss’

Some investors reacted angrily after PlanB admitted that his model failed to accurately predict the price of bitcoin (BTC) for November.

The popular crypto analyst aimed for a $98,000 BTC price for the end of this month. Just last week, he insisted the price target was still possible, even as markets declined.

PlanB correctly predicted BTC reaching $47,000 in August and $43,000 in September. He slightly missed the $63,000 target for October, but said the three percent “rounding error was close enough for me.”

Now the pseudonymous Dutch investor says that his $98,000 prediction for this month “will probably be a first miss,” according to a tweet posted on Nov 25. He did not give an exact reason for the failure.

“I see this miss as an outlier, a black swan, that has not occured in the data last 10 years,” he explained.

He spoke as the price of bitcoin tanked to $55,300 on Nov 23, down 20% from its record high of $69,000 reached on Nov 10. Some analysts are blaming the decline on fears of the impending Mt. Gox BTC repayments.

Bitcoin ‘stock-to-flow model still on track to $100,000’

PlanB, who claims 25 years of financial markets experience, is famed for creating the stock-to-flow (S2F) price prediction model. The model is based on the ratio of the current supply (stock) of an asset or commodity to its annual production (flow).

It can be applied to any asset with limited supply really, and the Dutch analyst did so with bitcoin in 2019. The idea is that since the bitcoin supply diminishes with every “halving” event every four years, it will create boom and bust cycles. He then uses these cycles to forecast prices.

PlanB explained that the missed November target relates only to the “floor model,” one of his three price prediction tools. Unlike the S2F, the so-called floor model relies on price and on-chain data, he says.

He insisted the stock-to-flow model had not been “affected and indeed [was] on track towards $100,000.”

Justin Stagner put the miss into perspective. “[It is] not like you just barely missed it either. I mean, its looking like you really blew this one,” he stated.

Mounting criticism

Some investors reacted angrily to PlanB’s admission of failure, blaming the crypto analyst for their financial losses.

“I used my student loans along with a short term loan using my house as collateral to go all in at $68k because you told me it would reach $98k. Now I’ll be homeless and without a degree…” complained Twitter user Brett Lethbridge.

Another lamented: “Now your stock-to-flow model is not reliable anymore. Most people incurred great losses because of your prediction.”

However, several other people replying defended PlanB, and even thanked him for his predictions. Often, they defaulted to a familiar refrain, a disclaimer of sorts, that his forecasts are “not financial advice. Do your own research.”

PlanB himself averred:

It is indeed absurd that when you publish information for free, somehow people make you responsible for their investment decisions and actions. Everybody is responsible for their own (investment) decisions and actions. Blaming others is a sign of immaturity: NGMI (not going to make it).

The Dutch analyst has faced criticism before. He’s often accused of adjusting his price predictions lower once it becomes clear that the S2F would miss its target, and be invalidated.

Disclaimer

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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Bitcoin (BTC) Falls Below $56,000 After Failure to Sustain Rebound Rally

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Bitcoin (BTC) Falls Below $56,000 After Failure to Sustain Rebound Rally

After initiating a bounce on Nov 25, Bitcoin (BTC) decreased considerably the next day and is back at its weekly lows.

Since Nov 19, BTC had been hovering above the $56,500 support. This is both a horizontal support area and the 0.382 Fib retracement support level.

Yesterday, technical indicators started to show some bullish signs.

After 15 successive lower momentum bars, the MACD finally created one higher (green icon). This was a sign that the short-term trend is gradually picking steam. 

Furthermore, the RSI generated a bullish divergence (green line). This is a bullish occurrence in which a price decrease is not accompanied by the same increase in selling momentum.

However, BTC reversed its trend on Nov 26 and is in the process of creating a bearish engulfing candlestick (red icon). This is a type of bearish candlestick in which the entire previous day’s increase is negated the next day. There are still more than 15 hours until the daily close, but the start of the day looks extremely bearish.

If a breakdown were to occur, the next support area would be found at $53,250.

Short-term BTC movement

The six-hour chart shows that BTC has been decreasing under a descending resistance line since Nov 19. This is a sign that BTC is correcting.

Furthermore, BTC created a lower high relative to the price on Nov 20. This is considered a bearish sign since it didn’t have enough strength to reach its previous highs.

The even shorter-term two-hour chart shows that BTC is trading inside a symmetrical triangle and is very close to its support line, which coincides with the $56,500 horizontal support area. 

Therefore, a breakdown from it would likely accelerate the drop.

Wave count

The wave count suggests that BTC is in the C wave (red) of an A-B-C corrective structure. This means that after the correction is complete, the upward movement is expected to resume. 

The sub-wave count is shown in pink. It shows that BTC is in wave five of the correction, which is the final phase. 

There is a considerable Fib confluence between $53,250-$53,800, created by: 

  • Length of sub-wave one (pink)
  • External retracement of sub-wave four (white)
  • Length of wave A (red)

These levels also coincide with the long-term Fib support outlined in the first section. Therefore, BTC is expected to reach a low in this area before reversing.

For BeInCrypto’s previous Bitcoin (BTC) analysis, click here.

Disclaimer

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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South Korea Crypto P2P Trading Hits New Highs as Regulators Debate Taxation

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South Korea Crypto P2P Trading Hits New Highs as Regulators Debate Taxation

P2P crypto trading has hit a new all-time high in South Korea, data from LocalBitcoins shows. The jump in P2P trading comes at a time when there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding regulation in the country.

Peer-to-peer trading of cryptocurrencies in South Korea is hitting all-time highs as regulators offer some ambivalent comments on regulation. Data from LocalBitcoins shows that over 353 million in Korean Won was traded in the first week of November. This is a significant jump from previous weekly volumes.

South Korean P2P trading volume: Coin Dance

Pondering crypto tax

The increased interest in P2P trading comes as regulators are working on implementing a regulatory framework. South Korea, already one of the leading governments when it comes to cryptocurrency market regulation, is doubling down on its bid to prevent any illicit activity.

The high P2P volume may be a result of investors seeking to make the most of their capital as regulators bear down. Recent reports have indicated that there is some confusion among investors because of the lack of clarity surrounding regulation.

One of the primary issues is the implementation of crypto taxation. South Korea officials announced that it would tax the asset class, to the tune of 20%.

But lately, reports have suggested that there could be a change or complete repeal to this taxation scheme. The taxation law will come into effect in 2022, though it remains unclear about what specific form it will take.

NFT regulation is also throwing more confusion into the mix, as the Financial Services Commission (FSC) said in early November that it would not subject the special asset to taxation. However, later, the Vice Chairman of the organization said that tax provisions would be made for NFTs.

Uncertainty still looms

At the moment, it’s uncertain exactly what the regulatory landscape in South Korea will look like, given the lack of conclusion so far. The South Korean opposition party challenged the taxation scheme and pushed for a delay to 2023, demanding a more generous tax plan.

Exchanges are one of the major elements of the industry under the microscope, with 2021 seeing the first regulatory compliance certifications being sent to them. Several exchanges have had to shut down following regulatory scrutiny.

As it stands, it’s unclear what the specifics of crypto regulation will be. However, it’s almost certain that there will be a framework implemented, and whether or not it is stricter than investors like remains to be seen.

Disclaimer

All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.

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