State employee is arrested for mining at job

IT Manager is held pending trial and with a bail of $5,000
14 March 2018   221

Today Florida local outlet reported an arrest of Matthew McDermott, an IT Manager  for Florida's Department of Citrus - a state government agency that administers citrus industry. Florida Department of Law Enforcement, according to Tampa Bay Times jailed the state employee for supposedly exploiting office computers to mine cryptocurrency.

Mr. McDermott reportedly was mining bitcoin and litecoin with the department's computers resources, and is charged with grand theft and official misconduct.

FDLE analyzed the utility bills October 2017 through January 2018 and discovered a sudden and significant increase by over 40% - another evidence of the prolific cryptocurrency mining. Moreover, the IT Manager also acquired 24 units of GPU using the office account with the overall charge resulting in approximately $22,000. As GPUs have much faster computing characteristics, that comes at a cost of power consumption - a parallel with the utilities bill surge.

This case follows news of last week reported investigation on another state - Louisiana: Bureau of Investigation had allegedly discovered hardware that could have been used for mining cryptocurrency. In 2017 two similar cases were sighted: Federal Reserve's Office of the Inspector General and New York's Department of Education

Crypto Taxpayers to be supported in India

Cleartax, the largest Indian tax filing platform joins Zebpay exchange to help crypto taxpayers
24 March 2018   102

The object of this partnership is to educate Bitcoin traders and investors about the current tax laws and how to apply them in stating cryptocurrency profits and incomes. Indian authorities are aimed to find the best approach to Bitcoin and the other kinds of cryptocurrencies. The recent declarations of the regulators that new instructions would be accepted in a short time, have not been followed by real actions. So the attempts to enforce the control on this sphere have led to summaries that this task in not going to be simple at all. According to last month media reports, new frameworks and rules were waited by the end of March.

Though they failed to to introduce extensive regulations, the Indian authorities are focused to tapping into crypto earnings. In a previous month the Income Tax Department released notifications for thousands of cryptocurrency investors, as reported.

The Cryptocurrency Advisory Plan will help Indian bitcoin investors and traders in this year's tax campaign. The biggest tax filing platform Cleartax joins the Indian bitcoin exchanges and wallet providers Zebpay. They are both objected to support taxpayers to understand and abide by the law regarding taxation of the transactions with cryptocurrencies.

Cleartax declared it has the tax and technological expertise “to help people understand how bitcoin works”. Besides, the platform has started tax filing services for cryptocurrency investors. The Cleartax CEO and founder Archit Gupta claimed that together with Zebpay they are going to “simplify taxes for Indians”. The head of exchange at Zebpay, Nischint Sanghavi added that he believes the partnership with Cleartax will simplify tax planning for Zebpay`s customers.

In February about 100,000 cryptocurrency investors received tax notices from India`s Income Tax Department. Questionable dubious transactions, authorities investigated some of the cryptocurrency exchanges, and banks paused many of their accounts. Then the governmental pressure caused significant drop in trading volumes.

The authorities in Delhi have set a number of warnings against investing in BTC. Also the largest commercial banks have restricted severely the operations of local exchanges and individual cryptocurrency traders, even before any law demanding such measures is adopted.