bigX social post: the filter: the five most important stories in crypto [24 Mar 2021 – 31 Mar 2021]

VISA: Payments giant will settle in USDC // COINDIA? Coinbase opens India office // MINING: Chip shortage pushes cryptomining gear to 5x premium // FRAUD: Australia’s first ever stolen crypto case comes to court // TAXMAN: UK office releases new crypto guidelines

visa to settle payments in USDC using ethereum [29 mar 2021]

$450bn market cap payments giant Visa dropped a bombshell on the crypto world this week when it confirmed to Reuters that it was to allow payments settlement on its network using the USDC stablecoin. Previously the credit card company had to convert cryptocurrency back to fiat currency like US dollars in order to settle payments, adding a layer of complexity and cost to the process. Visa will record USDC payments on the Ethereum blockchain, and its settlement agent will be Anchorage, the first federally-regulated crypto bank in the US. Read more here.

coinbase opens India office despite ban threat [30 mar 2021]

Cryptoexchange Coinbase is to open an office in India, despite rumours of a wholesale ban on trading or holding cryptoassets from the domestic government. It signals the US firm’s intent to expand into the largest crypto markets worldwide and comes ahead of the company’s planned IPO via a direct listing on the tech-focused NASDAQ stock market. Read more here.

worldwide chip shortage pushes cryptomining gear to 5x premium [30 mar 2021]

A global shortage in graphics cards, semiconductors and computer chips capable of mining Proof of Work cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin has pushed spot prices of mining hardware to a premium five times higher than normal. The worldwide deficit is adding to an ongoing supply and demand imbalance, with rocketing retail interest in cryptocurrencies coming at a time when new Bitcoins are being created much more slowly than usual. Read more here.

australian court faces first ever ‘stolen’ crypto case [13 mar 2021]

French national Alexandre Raffin is bringing a fraud suit against an Australian cryptocurrency research company in what is thought to be the first ever case of its kind in the country. Mr Raffin alleges that Modern Assets Australia failed in their duty of care in brokering a deal to purchase of $800,000-worth of the Klaytn cryptoasset. MAA failed to broker the buy, and while the plaintiff sat on the sidelines the cryptoasset soared in value by 30 times, the suit alleges. Read more here.

UK tax office updates cryptoasset rules to include staking [30 mar 2021]

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, which deals with tax in the UK, has updated its cryptoasset guidance to include new rules on staking. The move was strongly welcomed by industry participants and traders, who have long sought clarity in the tax treatment of their cryptocurrency assets.  It marks the first time that the tax authority has differentiated between mining and staking. HMRC added that any cryptoasset would be subject to income tax or capital gains tax if sold for a profit. Read more here.