Belgian tax authority investigates cryptocurrency operations

Following a 33% tax on virtual currency gains Belgian regulator tightens its grip on cryptocurrency
04 March 2018   722

Special Tax Inspectorate has launched 3 distinct investigations that concern exchange operations with cryptocurrency. Several Belgian citizens have allegedly traded virtual currency at foreign exchanges and yet to file the gains made on the operations. STI received such information from foreign tax authorities. Now, the regulator will try to contact those tax offices directly with the intention to elaborate on the allegations.

To remind the readers, Belgian regulator has made a bold move last year with the introduction of 33% tax on any cryptocurrency income and instruction to refer to it as "Other income" in the tax filing form. But such measure turned out to be difficult to actually implement as most of the virtual asset are based on foreign platforms that are prone to be resistful to authority penetration.

At present, in Belgium cryptocurrencies are neither legal nor illegal. And despite the fact that Minister of Justice Koen Geens has proposed the implementation of a new legislation that is meant to control all of the digital currency transactions, and despite the fact the country's tax authority approved the suggestion still Brussels didn't announce any comprehensive policy. Belgium is in a standby mode for now waiting for a common European policy.

Crime prevention and regulations should evolve with new technologies. cryptocurrencies should be subject to stricter rules because of their growing popularity with cybercriminals and scammers, and crypto companies should be obliged to cooperate with authorities.

 

Koen Geens

Minister of Justice,  Belgium

Fidelity Investments to Launch BTC & ETH Platform

New platform is designed for institutional investors
16 October 2018   137

One of the world's largest asset managers, Fidelity Investments, announced the launch of a unit focused on providing institutional investors with Bitcoin and Ethereum services. The Forbes reports.

The new division received the name Fidelity Digital Assets and, possessing a staff of 100 employees, will provide a platform for trading cryptocurrencies and consulting services 24/7.

The platform already has first customers, but its launch for a wider range of investors is scheduled for the beginning of 2019.

This is a recognition that there is institutional demand for these assets as a class. Family offices, hedge funds, other sophisticated investors are starting to think seriously about this space.
 

Tom Jessop

Founding head, Fidelity Digital Assets

In particular, Fidelity Digital Assets will offer a transaction service that, using internal cross-connect and order routers, will trade through third-party liquidity providers.

One of the most popular offers by the company can also be a service for storing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It is physical storage, distributed in different geographical locations and offering the so-called "cold" storage of digital assets. This way of storing cryptocurrencies without access to the Internet and with a multi-level control system is considered to be one of the safest and most resistant to hacking today.

As the CEO of Fidelity Investments, Abigail Johnson, said, the goal of the new platform is to make digital assets like Bitcoin more accessible to investors.

Fidelity Investments is considered the fifth largest asset manager in the world, offering investment and custody services to 13,000 consulting firms and brokers. In total, the company manages assets worth $ 7.2 trillion.