Cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea will be gearing up for a massive tax bill as the country seeks to clamp down on its booming digital currency sector, Fortune reports. According to an official in the finance ministry, exchanges with more than 20 billion won ($18.8 million) of income during 2016 will need to pay a 22 percent corporate tax and a 2.2 percent local income tax this year.
Additionally, Coinbase is finding handling customer demand, well, taxing. So the U.S. cryptocurrency marketplace hired Tina Bhatnagar, former vice president of operations and user services at Twitter, CNBC reported. Bhatnagar will serve as vice president of operations and technology at the exchange, aiming to provide 24/7 support to all customers by the end of Q2.
In other cryptocurrency news, one of the lawyers who set up the structure for companies to raise funds in virtual currencies called the set-up “stupid” – and maybe outdated, Reuters said. Dr. Luka Müller of MME Legal made the comments. His firm assisted in the creation of Switzerland-based foundations for the world’s largest initial coin offerings (ICOs), such as Bancor and Ethereum.
And let’s not forget about bitcoin. Bitcoin.org has made some, well, small adjustments to its marketing, TheNextWeb reported. The site jettisoned “fast” transactions and “low processing fees,” in favor of “peer-to-peer transactions,” “borderless payments” and “fraud protection.”
Speaking of fraud protection: Ernst & Young found that over 10 percent of funds raised through ICOs fall victim to hacker attacks, Reuters reported. Digging through more than 372 ICOs, the firm found that of the total $3.7 billion in funds raised to date, approximately $400 million had been stolen. The most common hacking technique? Phishing – and hackers steal up to $1.5 million in ICO funds per month, the report found.
Due to risks like this, perhaps, the Nordic region’s largest bank will ban its approximately 31,000 employees from trading in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, the company said on Monday (Jan. 22), according to news from Reuters. “The risks are seen as too high, and the protection is insufficient for both the coworkers and the bank,” said a Nordea spokeswoman. While Nordea will not force employees to sell cryptocurrencies that they currently own, the bank recommends that they do so.
And bitcoin had a rough go of it on Monday (Jan. 22), hitting $10,500 – down from $11,700 – to begin the week. The financial publication Barron’s reported that regulations – new ones, rumored to be in the offing – were the impetus that sent the price skidding. And this time around, as seen earlier in the month, South Korea was in the news due to hefty taxes for cryptocurrency exchanges.