Venezuela may be going forward with a plan to allow the use of the Petro (PTR) cryptocurrency to pay taxes, according to Cointelegraph.
A group of the country's mayors, the Bolivarian Council of Mayors, has signed onto the government's "National Tax Harmonization Agreement" that would allow 305 municipalities in the country to pay taxes with the Petro. Because of the new campaign, Petro's usage has seen a surge in recent days, according to the report.
Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said the new rules would simplify payments.
"It is the simplification of procedures, making the state's administrative activity at the service of the people more efficient, of the economic sectors that stimulate economic activity in the productive and commercial areas, framed in this week of flexibility that began on Monday," he said, according to Cointelegraph.
In other news, Rosfinmonitoring, a Russian agency tasked with gathering data to fight cybercrime, is developing new artificial intelligence (AI) that can track cryptocurrency transactions and link them to users, CoinDesk reported.
The agency's move would essentially have the effect of removing the anonymity from those making transfers of crypto. The endgame, according to a letter from Rosfinmonitoring to Maxim Parshin, Russia's minister of Digital Development and Communications, is to make an AI-based system to analyze blockchain, the report stated.
The system would be used to look into alleged illegal deals with digital assets and to locate crypto funding schemes that are involved in money laundering and terrorism, according to CoinDesk. The software would cost $10.4 million in government funding, $6 million of which would be needed by 2021.
Meanwhile, Michael Ackerman, a former New York Stock Exchange broker and the chief trading officer at investment club Q3, has pled not guilty to charges that he was involved in a crypto trading scheme that defrauded investors, according to CoinDesk.
His charges involve Q3 telling investors the company used a proprietary algorithm that guaranteed returns trading on cryptocurrency. Investors were coerced by Ackerman and other leaders to send a total of $33 million supposedly for trading crypto, with promises of up to 20 percent returns per month.
Instead, Ackerman allegedly used the money on things like jewelry, cars, personal security and a massive house renovation, according CoinDesk, citing evidence from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Ackerman is accused of wire fraud, and if convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison and be fined $250,000.