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Top Headlines for 17 March, 2022

Majority of Cryptocurrency Users Pay Tax

On 17 March 2022, tax reporting firm CoinLedger released its “State of Crypto Tax Reporting Survey” for 2022 in cooperation with YouGov.

The survey revealed that many U.S. investors are confused about the tax reporting requirements. They claimed to be ready to pay taxes but didn’t know that holding crypto could be a taxable event, dispelling the myth that cryptocurrecy investors are always looking to avoid paying taxes.

About 50% of survey participants paid taxes on their holdings in 2021. In contrast, only 15% acknowledged that they did not want to pay high taxes on their crypto assets, and nearly 30% of the participants reported having trouble tracking capital gains and losses. Age also appeared to be a factor in an investor’s tax reporting behavior. Crypto assets are largely popular among the younger generation, who are often not savvy about their tax reporting responsibilities.

Snowden Slams CBDCs

Celebrated whistleblower Edward Snowden again weighed in on the risks associated with the rise of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) in a recorded conversation that was released in March 2022 by Camp Ethereal.

Snowden compared CBDCs to the 1980s Ducktales cartoon in which the Scrooge McDuck character had a huge vault of coins and dollar bills. Whenever McDuck needed more money he swiped a giant magnet across town, which pulled cash out of everybody’s pocket. Snowden warned that something similar would happen with CDBCs because they give they give governments too much power over its citizens’ finances.

CBDCs are essentially a digitized version of fiat currency issued by a central bank. Centralized by design, CDBCs appear to be a response by the traditional banking system to the rise of decentralized networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Many countries worldwide seem to be in a race to test and launch a native CBDC. China is currently leading the pack as the country’s digital Yuan has been released and successfully undergone rigorous testing in the real world with real people.

Snowden had previously described the CBDCs as cryptofascist currencies that can quickly eat up the savings of the average worker. He continued along the same lines in his talk for Camp Ethereal: The whistleblower discussed the authoritarian measures taken by the Canadian government to break up the trucker’s protests, freezing millions of dollars of funds to control the protests.

“The idea that Canada, out of all the places, would do this,” said Snowden. “I think everyone thought of Canada as a pretty enlightened country. Still, just with a flip of the switch, the government can decide to deny us access to our own pockets, and that’s scary.”

Ukraine Legalises Crypto

On 17 March 2022, Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky has signed a new virtual assets bill that legalized cryptocurrencies in the country.

The move appears to have stemmed from evidence of cryptocurrency supremacy over fiat in extreme situations like Ukraine’s invasion by the Russian army.The law describes crypto assets, establishes the Ukrainian National Bank and the Committee of Securities and Stocks as chief regulators, and provides guidance on who can offer these products and how they must be registered. The administration previously proposed a similar bill back in September 2021.

The new law does not make crypto-assets like BTC a legal tender in the country. Alex Bornyakov, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation, said that the crypto law would play a crucial role in the defense of Ukraine, noting that the ministry had been developing an adequate legal framework for crypto assets for the last two years.

Since its invasion by the Russian army on 24 February 2022, Ukraine has received nearly $100 million in donations in various cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH, Polkadot, and even the memecoin DOGE. The signing of the bill could be an important step toward bringing the sector into a broader role and establishing a legal virtual assets market in the country.