Many notable developments took place this week across the worldwide Bitcoin realm, which included a changing of the guard in Finland as well as a new partnership between RewardsPay Partners with Coinbase.
Finland Exempts Exchange Commissions From VAT
Finland has gone against the grain of most of the EU, classifying bitcoins as payment instruments, not goods or commodities. This means that Bitcoin purchases are rendered as financial services, therefore exempting commissions levied by exchanges from VAT.
Richard Asquith, Vice President of global tax compliance at Alavara, went as far as to say that Finland has pushed Bitcoin “towards being regarded as a formal currency.” While such an assertion can be debated for several reasons, the ruling is nonetheless unique. Read more here
RewardsPay Partners with Coinbase, Enabling Bitcoin Payments For Facebook, Amazon Gift Cards
RewardsPay has partnered with Coinbase, allowing consumers to pay with Bitcoin while redeeming accumulated loyalty points with online merchants.
On its website, RewardsPay describes how approximately $50 billion worth of rewards are issued every year in the United States by credit cards, hotels, airlines and retailers. The company thus helps merchants tap into the “tremendous purchasing power” of these reward programs. Read more here
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Bitreserve Looking to Raise $10 Million in Crowdfunding, Planning Developers Conference
Bitreserve is looking to raise $10 million through its latest crowdfunding campaign. $7 million has been raised thus far, with 51 days left in its campaign.
The startup was initiated by CNET founder, Halsey Minor, proposing an offer of a Bitcoin wallet hedging against crypto volatility relative to fiat. Their website also has a transparency page to demonstrate proof of solvency. Also offered are API tools for 3rd party developers, among them exchanges looking to incorporate the transparency features. The company plans on holding a developers’ conference in the future. Read more here
Extortionists Demand $800k in Bitcoin after Hacking into Detroit Database
Hackers reportedly seized a database from the city of Detroit, demanding 2,000 BTC (worth at the time approximately $803,000) for its release.
The incident took place in April but only came to light in recent days. Mayor Mike Duggan made the revelation at the North American International Cyber Summit, bringing together cybersecurity experts to discuss the latest issues.
The city refused to give in to the hackers’ demands, mainly because the database was outdated and no longer needed-perhaps the greatest irony, seeing that poor maintenance might have allowed for the attack in the first place. Duggan said the incident was a wakeup call to store critical information more securely and to upgrade its aging infrastructure. Read more here.