BTC Poses Mid-Low Risk In FinCrimes, Hong Kong Gov’t Says

According to the new report of The Hong Kong Financial Services and Treasury, "the risk of VCs is assessed as medium-low"
02 May 2018   1215

Bitcoin is often criticized for being able to be used to conduct criminal activities. However, according to a new report from the Hong Kong government, the increased consumer interest in bitcoin does not correlate with "significant influence" on the risk of financial crime. This is reported by Cointelegraph.

The Hong Kong authorities made this statement as part of the annual state report on the assessment of risks associated with money laundering and the financing of terrorism. It also states that bitcoin and other "virtual exchange products" currently represent a "moderately weak" risk for the government's ability to prevent financial crime and hold accountable those who commit them.

There does not seem to be any visible impact affecting the overall risk in Hong Kong so far. The risk of VCs is assessed as medium-low. While we have not found substantial risks in these newly developing payment methods or commodities, this is a rapidly developing area requiring continued monitoring. The exchange of Bitcoin in person is not popular [...] Domestically, the use of Bitcoin remains at a negligible level.
 

The Hong Kong Financial Services and Treasury Report

The report says that the Bitcoin ATMs in Hong Kong are also “not popularly used by people in Hong Kong.”

Israeli BTC Investors to Face Catch 22

They need to pay taxes from Bitcoin investing in order to avoid their property arrest, but banks don't take their money due to AML issues
06 August 2019   171

Bitcoin investors in Israel are faced with the impossibility of paying taxes, as local banks refuse to accept funds received from the sale of cryptocurrencies because of the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing. About this writes the local edition of Haaretz on August 6.

Bitcoin is not recognized as a currency in Israel, therefore, individuals must pay 25% of the income from cryptocurrency trading to the treasury, and legal entities - 47%.

Investor Ron Gross told the publication that he acquired bitcoins in 2011 and reported his income to the tax office. In 2017, the bank that served Gross began to refuse to accept funds received from the sale of bitcoins. The investor met with representatives of the bank to demonstrate to them a 70-page history of bitcoin transactions as confirmation of the origin of the funds, but failed to convince them.

The tax authority is aware of the problem, but they say the ball isn’t in their courts. I’ve tried working with almost all the banks, but the minute they hear the word ‘Bitcoin’ they freeze up.
 

Ron Gross

Bitcoin investor from Israel

 

Since Gross was unable to pay taxes on time, his bank account, home, and even scooters were arrested. According to the investor, the tax authorities know about the problem, but can do nothing.

According to Haaretz, the tax office is aware of $ 86 million in unpaid taxes on income from cryptocurrency trading. It is possible that the real amount may be significantly higher.

Roy Arav, another Bitcoin investor, kept the proceeds from trading Bitcoin in an account with Israeli bank Discount under the control of the Bit2C exchange. The bank refuses to transfer money to Arava’s personal account under the pretext that its politicians forbid it to transfer funds related to virtual assets to client accounts due to the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.

Arav also could not pay taxes and was forced to sue the bank. According to the investor, the authorities entered his position and granted him a deferral of time for the consideration of the claim.