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This article was published on November 4, 2019

Moonday Mornings: Bitcoin isn’t money, says UK tax authority

And more in this week's weekend wrap-up

Moonday Mornings: Bitcoin isn’t money, says UK tax authority
Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

Welcome to the first Moonday Morning of November. If you don’t know what that means, where have you been? But seriously, it’s Hard Fork’s wrap-up of this weekend’s cryptocurrency and blockchain news that you can’t afford to miss.

Let’s take a look.

1. Late last week, the UK’s tax office, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), issued an update to its  guidelines for how businesses and individuals should pay tax on their cryptocurrency. Bear in mind these guidelines relate only to what HMRC refers to as “exchange tokens,” which include Bitcoin. Guidance on security and utility tokens is coming at a later date. The TL;DR? If you deal in cryptocurrency in the UK you probably owe tax on it, and HMRC doesn’t class the digital tokens as money or currency.

2. Authorities in Hindustan, India arrested three individuals in connection with an online and cryptocurrency fraud scam, The Hindustan Times reports. The trio offered  to help individuals searching for jobs abroad for a fee, once the victim had paid they would cease communication. The group then converted payments to Bitcoin to share amongst themselves. It’s not known how much the group earned as a result.

3. According to South China Morning Post, blockchain related stocks went on a “roller-coaster” ride last week, allegedly fueled by the Chinese president’s endorsements of the technology. However, analysts say that a “profitable application of blockchain is years away.” You’d have thought investors would have learned by now. Take the case of beverage company Long Island Tea Corp. which changed its name to “Long Blockchain Corp.” Its stock price shot up despite there being no real blockchain-based technology. Maybe we’ll never learn.

4. Reginald Middleton, the self-professed financial guru that was being sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly running a fraudulent initial coin offering, has agreed to settle the case for $9.5 million. In a court document published last Friday, Middleton agreed to the judgement, however did not admit or deny the allegations and has waived his right to appeal, CoinDesk reports. According to the SEC, Middleton raised funds in his ICO by “making material misrepresentations” about the tokens being sold.

And finally…

5. Craig Wright, the Australian businessman who has continually claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto but failed to provide cogent proof, has now revealed he can’t pay the 500,000 Bitcoin ($4.5 billion) settlement in the case against David Kleiman’s estate. Wright has been fighting allegations in court that he stole Bitcoin from supposed Bitcoin co-creator, the late David Kleiman. He had originally agreed to pay the settlement, however, with Wright’s latest omission the trial is back on with another hearing due to take place in March, 2020.

Well, that’s all for this week. Now go get to work.

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