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   126

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.

China to Finance Hacker Attacks on Exchanges, - FireEye

Experts believe that the victims of APT41 are industry participants, the development of which is a priority in the current Chinese five-year period
08 August 2019   247

The hacker group APT41 attacks companies in the areas of healthcare, telecommunications, fintech, media, and cryptocurrency exchanges. This activity is funded by the Chinese government, according to analysts of cybersecurity company FireEye.

Experts believe that the victims of APT41 are industry participants, the development of which is a priority in the current Chinese five-year period.

Industries Targeted by APT41
Industries Targeted by APT41

At the same time, APT41 pursues its own goals, extracting financial benefits from attacks, which is unusual for other groups under the Chinese government, according to FireEye.

APT41 is known to include at least two people with the pseudonyms Chzan Xuiguan and Wolfji. The group probably has connections with other hacker organizations like BARIUM and Winnti.

FireEye also evaluated at what time of the day the APT41 attacked the gaming industry (its core target) and businesses from other areas. It turned out that this was happening outside the framework of a standard working day - probably these people, among other things, have the main job.

APT41 Operational Times
APT41 Operational Times

According to the UN Security Council, hackers under the DPRK government stole about $ 2 billion from banking institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges.