Bank of Uganda Reportedly Commences CBDC Study

The Bank of Uganda (BOU) has commenced a study that explores the feasibility of issuing a digital currency. However, an executive with the institution warned that the central bank needed to be clear why it must have this in the first place.
Faster Movement of Money
The Ugandan central bank is reported to have commenced studying the feasibility of issuing a CBDC that will be used by households and businesses. In addition, the BOU is reportedly planning to revise the country’s financial laws. The move enables the BOU to formally adopt the CBDC.
This central bank’s decision, according to a report, is supported by proponents of CBDCs who insist that such a digital currency would enable Ugandans to move money cheaply and at a much faster pace.
Nevertheless, the bank’s executive director for operations, Charles Abuka, cautioned during a recent interview that the BOU needs to be clear about why it wants to launch the CBDC in the first place. He said:
First, is to establish properly what is the rationale, why must we have it, what issues is it going to help us resolve.
Abuka also argued that the issuance of CBDC is likely to have “technology implications.” He said the technology architecture of such a digital currency will come at a cost and the central bank needs to understand the implications of these costs. He also highlighted that digital currencies may be susceptible to cyber-attacks.

CBDC Enables the Central Bank to Trace Transactions
Despite the BOU’s concerns, one of Uganda’s digital currency proponents and a blockchain consultant, Noah Baalessanv, insists that a CBDC will allow the central bank to get a sense of the “actual economy.” Baalessanv added that unlike a cash economy — which is also expensive to maintain and opaque — a CBDC leaves the central bank in a position where it can trace transactions.
The blockchain consultant, however, warned that any issuance of a CBDC is likely to result in financial institutions being removed from the banking equation. According to Baalessanv, while issuing digital currency directly to users is more efficient, this can also be the “most dangerous” attribute of a CBDC.
What are your thoughts on this story? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.


Binance Suspends Transactions With Russian Mastercard and Visa Cards

Crypto exchange Binance has blocked transactions with Mastercard and Visa cards issued in the Russian Federation. The trading platform announced the move after the American payment giants decided to halt operations in Russia over its military invasion of Ukraine.
Russians Unable to Use Their Mastercard and Visa Cards on Binance
Starting on Wednesday, March 9, all transactions initiated with Mastercard and Visa cards issued in Russia will be unavailable on Binance. The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume explained this is due to the U.S. payment processors’ decision to suspend their activities in the Russian Federation.
The platform further noted that all transactions initiated with Mastercard and Visa cards issued by financial institutions outside of Russia will be unavailable on Binance within the country, also in line with the policy changes announced by the two financial services corporations.
The restrictions apply only to Binance’s crypto-to-fiat service, Forklog reported, quoting a representative of the company. Traders will still be able to use Russian cards in peer-to-peer transactions, except those issued by banking institutions placed under sanctions, the spokesperson elaborated.

Amid an ongoing Russian military assault on Ukraine, Kyiv issued a call on crypto exchanges to freeze the accounts of all Russian users. While some platforms, such as the U.S. Coinbase and the South Korean Upbit and Bithumb have imposed restrictions, major global exchanges like Binance and Kraken denied the request to unilaterally freeze the accounts of all Russia-based users.
With the West expanding financial sanctions on Moscow, Russians have turned to the digital assets market with reports revealing a spike in Russian ruble trading, including on Binance. Earlier in March, its founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao stated the exchange was following sanction rules without limiting access for ordinary Russian citizens that are not on the sanctions lists.
Binance has also been actively involved in the financing of humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. The exchange announced the donation of $10 million for the Ukrainian people suffering from the military conflict and the Binance Charity Foundation gave Unicef $2.5 million worth of cryptocurrency.
You can support Ukrainian families, children, refugees, and displaced people by donating BTC, ETH, and BNB to Binance Charity’s Ukraine Emergency Relief Fund.
Do you expect Russian traders to face more restrictions on cryptocurrency exchanges in the future? Tell us in the comments section below.


Thailand Approves Tax Relief Measures for Crypto Trading

The Thai Cabinet has approved tax relief measures for crypto trading. The new tax rules are “much more friendly to both investors and industry,” said an executive of a cryptocurrency exchange in Thailand.

Thailand Adopts New Tax Rules for Crypto Investments
Thailand’s Cabinet approved new tax relief rules Tuesday for crypto trading, according to an announcement on the Thai government website.
Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith and Deputy Minister of Finance Santi Prompat jointly disclosed the outcome of the meeting, confirming that the cabinet has approved the crypto tax relief measures.
The finance minister told a news conference that traders will be able to offset annual losses against gains for taxes due on crypto investments. Value-added tax (VAT) of 7% will also be exempt for transfers of cryptocurrencies or digital tokens on regulated crypto exchanges.
He added that the tax exemption, effective from April 2022 to December 2023, will also cover the trading of retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) to be issued by the Thai central bank, the Bank of Thailand.

Last month, the Thai Revenue Department published a manual outlining the new tax rules applicable to cryptocurrencies and digital tokens. The new tax rules are “much more friendly to both investors and industry,” said an executive of a cryptocurrency exchange in Thailand.
Previously, Thailand wanted to impose a 15% withholding tax on cryptocurrency transactions. The plan was scrapped after pushback by the industry.
Cryptocurrency trading has grown significantly over the past year in the country. A finance ministry official said in January that the number of crypto trading accounts in Thailand grew to about two million at the end of 2021 from 170,000 the previous year.
Last month, the Stock Exchange of Thailand unveiled its plan to launch a digital asset exchange.
What do you think about Thailand relaxing tax rules for crypto investments? Let us know in the comments section below.


Crypto Exchange Kraken Pledges Over $10 Million to Support Ukrainian Users

Kraken is planning to hand out more than $10 million in aid for clients affected by the military conflict in Ukraine. The amount covers the fees paid by Ukrainian residents in almost a decade and will also include those withheld from Russian traders in the first half of 2022.
Kraken Exchange to Give $1,000 in Bitcoin to Each Eligible Ukrainian Customer
U.S.-based crypto exchange Kraken is preparing to distribute $10 million to Ukrainian customers suffering from the Russian invasion. Between March 10 and July 1, clients who created an account from Ukraine prior to March 9, 2022, at “Intermediate” or “Pro” level verification, will be eligible to receive $1,000 in bitcoin (BTC), the platform announced in a blog post and on social media.

Kraken will distribute over $10 million worth of to aid clients in 🇺🇦Ukraine. Tranche 1 recipients will be credited $1000 of #BTC, withdrawable tomorrow. The package is funded by historical Ukraine revenues and H1 2022 revenues from Russia-based trading.
— Kraken Exchange (@krakenfx) March 9, 2022

Ukrainian users will be able to immediately withdraw the funds from the exchange while currency conversion fees for amounts of up to $1,000 will be waived. The first of three planned tranches will be approximately equivalent to the total of the fees paid by residents of Ukraine since 2013.
An amount equivalent to the fees paid by Kraken users based in the Russian Federation in the first half of this year will also be donated. The exchange said it may grant additional aid in the future. Commenting on the deepening crisis in Ukraine, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell stated:
We hope to continue being able to provide critical financial services in a time of need to both our clients in Ukraine and in Russia. Cryptocurrency remains an important humanitarian tool, especially at a time when many around the world can no longer rely on traditional banks and custodians.
After Moscow launched its offensive in late February, the government in Kyiv urged crypto exchanges to freeze the accounts of Russian users. However, major global platforms, including Kraken and Binance, denied the request to unilaterally impose such restrictions on all traders from Russia. At the time, Powell noted that’s not a viable business option for his company.

The aid distribution is Kraken’s first such international initiative and represents efforts to align its business with the values of the crypto community, like the belief that all global citizens should have access to financial services. “This includes our clients in Russia, who may be actively trying to protest the ongoing conflict,” the exchange remarked, elaborating:
We believe this aid program benefits both our company and our clients, ensuring none are disenfranchised by the actions of their representatives and leaders.
Kraken further emphasized it’s ready to respond to requests from authorities in affected regions and is closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine to ensure it’s abiding by relevant sanctions. The announcement also provides detailed information on how the crypto aid will be distributed and the applicable eligibility requirements.
Ukrainian officials and volunteer groups have actively sought to acquire funding through crypto donations. The digital money raised since the beginning of the conflict have been used to finance both defense efforts and solve humanitarian problems.
The world’s leading crypto exchange by trading volume, Binance, is supporting humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, too. The platform announced the donation of $10 million for the Ukrainian people and the Binance Charity Foundation gave Unicef $2.5 million worth of cryptocurrency to address the needs of children and their families.
You can support Ukrainian families, children, refugees, and displaced people by donating BTC, ETH, and BNB to Binance Charity’s Ukraine Emergency Relief Fund.
Do you expect other major crypto exchanges to support Ukrainian users suffering from the ongoing military conflict? Tell us in the comments section below.


CoinFLEX CEO Mark Lamb Explains How flexUSD Stacks up to Other Stablecoins

CoinFLEX creates innovative solutions to bring investors and crypto markets together through intuitive yield products such as flexUSD, the world’s first interest-earning stablecoin, and AMM+, the most-capital efficient automated market maker in the world. CoinFLEX is backed by crypto heavyweights, including Roger Ver, Mike Komaransky, Polychain Capital, and Dragonfly Capital.
Mark Lamb is the CEO of CoinFLEX. He recently joined the News Podcast to talk about the market:


Mark has been running crypto exchanges for the past 9 years. He discovered bitcoin in 2012 and quickly became one of the largest crypto OTC market makers, before realizing the need for an exchange and creating Coinfloor, the first UK bitcoin exchange.
In 2018, Mark created CoinFLEX, the first deliverable crypto futures exchange and launched flexUSD, the only stablecoin to pay interest. CoinFLEX facilitates billions a day in repo volumes and its yield products (flexUSD and AMM+) have half a billion in capital.
To learn more about the platform follow the team on social media:
Telegram | Twitter | Discord | LinkedIn | Facebook | Youtube | Reddit

The News podcast features interviews with the most interesting leaders, founders and investors in the world of Cryptocurrency, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), NFTs and the Metaverse. Follow us on iTunes, Spotify and Google Play.

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Crypto Taxes 2022: Here’s What You Need to Know According to CoinTracking

PRESS RELEASE. Crypto changes quickly, with new tax laws and regulations coming to several countries in 2022, impacting how people need to report their crypto gains on taxes.
New regulations in the US are a hot discussion topic among crypto investors, with a bill coming to fruition severely increasing the reporting needs for crypto brokers and traders.
Beyond the increased regulation, new investment vehicles in crypto also spark doubts on traders on how to incorporate them into their local tax regimes.
CoinTracking is here to cover the top 5 crypto tax changes to be aware of in 2022 and onward:

More reporting for crypto brokers with the new 1099-B requirements

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA) of Nov. 15, 2021, requires cryptocurrency exchanges to report crypto transactions on form 1099 starting in 2023. This change requires crypto brokers to issue a tax report with all the individual trades that users conducted, including information such as sales proceeds and costs basis for each trade.
The level of complexity for crypto brokers to comply with the measure is immense and could cause a lack of reporting ability for both brokers and traders, resulting in unfair penalties.
If you have a 1099-B with wrong information from a crypto exchange, you’ll have to correct it and report the actual trades you conducted and their full information. You’ll have to search for a professional tax accountant with crypto experience to help you solve these issues.

More crypto reporting for traders under Section 60501 of the US tax code

More reporting for crypto traders is coming with Section 60501, requiring people who receive more than $10,000 in cash and equivalents in the form of digital assets to file a report with the IRS.
There are two main challenges for traders with this expansion in Section 60501:

The difficulty in determining the Fair Market Value (in USD) of transacted crypto and how to determine the $10,000.
Higher burden and privacy invasion by having to provide additional details (e.g., the transfer recipient, name of the parties, social security numbers, etc.)

DAOs and DeFi 2.0 revenue increase need for crypto tax reporting

The rise of DeFi 2.0 with rebasing protocols like OlympusDAO, Wonderland, and their forks across blockchains is giving investors more opportunities. However, earning staking rewards from these protocols increases the difficulty of reporting, since you’re receiving rewards for each rebase with different underlying Fair Market Values (in USD)
In the US, each time you receive those staking rewards, you have to recognize their Fair Market Value (in USD) as ordinary income. Fortunately, CoinTracking easily tracks your staking rewards from rebasing protocols to ensure you‘re tax compliant.

The search for crypto-tax-friendly locations to cash out profits

As crypto regulation increases worldwide, countries with friendly regulatory frameworks for crypto investors and businesses are becoming a sought-after alternative.
If you have large unrealized gains and are looking to continue your crypto trading journey, moving to a low-tax or crypto-friendly regime may be an option.
Countries like Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Dubai, Portugal, Germany, and Singapore are some of the top crypto-friendly locations worldwide.

Metaverse and tokenization take center stage

Experts predict that GameFi, the Metaverse, and tokenization (NFTs) will go mainstream in 2022. In the event of a bitcoin bear market, rotation from the primary digital assets to emerging categories could even boost that trend.
From a tax perspective, converting digital assets (e.g., bitcoin or ether) for tokens in virtual ecosystems (e.g., in-game digital assets, NFTs, Metaverse tokens) is a taxable event in the US.
For example, trading bitcoin for $SAND (the Sandbox game token) or trading ether for an NFT in any marketplace is a crypto-to-crypto trade, a taxable event in the US, subject to capital gains taxes.
Determining the gain on crypto-to-crypto trades is more difficult, and it increases the need for the use of crypto tax software to easily import trades, get your gains calculated according to your preferred accounting method, and submit tax reports.
Remember to consult with a tax professional with experience in crypto to overcome these challenges and keep updated records of all of your transactions with CoinTracking.
Disclaimer: All the information provided above is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as professional investment, legal, or tax advice. You should conduct your own research or consult with a professional financial advisor when investing.

This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.


Unicef Receives $2.5 Million in Crypto for Ukraine From Binance Charity Foundation

Binance Charity is donating $2.5 million worth of cryptocurrency to support the humanitarian efforts of Unicef in Ukraine. The announcement comes as the ongoing military clash with the invading Russian forces is putting more and more children at risk.
Unicef to Fund Activities in Ukraine With Donated Cryptocurrency
The Binance Charity Foundation has announced a donation of $2.5 million in cryptocurrency for the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef). The money will be used to finance the organization’s efforts in Ukraine amid escalating hostilities with Russia that threaten a growing number of children and their parents.
“Humanitarian needs are increasing by the hour,” Unicef said in a statement. “Many children are profoundly traumatized by the violence all around them. Hundreds of thousands of people are on the move, and family members have been separated from their loved ones,” the organization added.
Unicef noted that the crypto donation comes at a moment when the fund needs to scale up its activities in Ukraine and neighboring countries accepting refugees. The goal is to reach every child in need of protection and Ukraine has around 7.5 million children.
The organization is currently focusing on ensuring access to safe water and healthcare, including in areas close to the line of conflict. The Children’s Fund is working with local authorities to provide immediate help to families in need as well as child protection services and psychosocial care.

“We rely on the generosity and support of the global business community to help Unicef and our partners reach those children and their families whose lives and futures hang in the balance,” said Carla Hadid Mardini, Director of Unicef’s Private Fundraising and Partnerships Division in Geneva. She thanked Binance Charity for its support.
Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, announced last week a series of humanitarian activities and the donation of $10 million for the Ukrainian people. Binance Charity has been working with Unicef through its Luxembourg Committee.
Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao commented that the rate at which the conflict in Ukraine is escalating has shocked the world. He also praised the collaboration between the Binance community and Unicef.
In 2019, Unicef launched a crypto fund, becoming the first U.N. organization to not only accept but also disperse cryptocurrency to support projects for children around the world. In 2020, it also provided crypto investment funding of startups.
Ukraine itself has been raising funds in various cryptocurrencies since Russia launched its military assault in February. Authorities in Kyiv and non-government organizations have used crypto donations to support defense efforts and address humanitarian needs.
You can support Ukrainian families, children, refugees, and displaced people by donating BTC, ETH, and BNB to Binance Charity’s Ukraine Emergency Relief Fund.
Do you expect Unicef to receive more crypto donations in support of its humanitarian activities in and around Ukraine? Tell us in the comments section below.


Europe’s MiCA Crypto Rules Submitted, ECON Committee to Vote in Mid-March

The European Union’s regulatory proposal for crypto markets, MiCA, has been filed with the European Parliament. The latest version of the draft framework does not feature a controversial provision that could have effectively prohibited cryptocurrencies like bitcoin that rely on proof-of-work mining.
Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee to Vote on Latest MiCA Draft on March 14
The EU’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulations have been submitted to the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON), the rapporteur for the regulatory package, Stefan Berger, announced on Twitter. Members of the committee will vote on the legislation on March 14, 2022, he revealed.

Heute habe ich den finalen MiCA-Entwurf eingereicht. Der ECON-Ausschuss wird am 14. März 2022 hierüber abstimmen
➡️ Thread #MiCA
— Stefan Berger (@DrStefanBerger) March 7, 2022
The filed package is missing a text banning companies from providing services for cryptocurrencies based on the proof-of-work mining algorithm (PoW) such as BTC, the coin with the largest market capitalization. The rule was proposed by the factions of the Left, Greens, and Social Democrats, but later removed after sparking a backlash from the crypto industry and community.
Officials and regulators from several EU member states have called for a Union-wide ban on PoW mining which requires more energy than other methods. Sweden insisted on such a measure, citing bitcoin mining’s increasing use of renewable energy at the expense of climate neutrality goals in other sectors of the economy. German representatives have also supported the idea.
“In view of the controversial discussions surrounding the energy consumption of crypto assets, the #taxonomy could provide clarity and ensure a better information basis for consumers,” Berger noted in another tweet. With its taxonomy classification system, the EU is trying to direct investments towards sustainable projects.

The rapporteur further noted that with MiCA, the European Union can set global standards and called on those involved in the process to back the submitted draft. “Strong support for MiCA is a strong signal from the EU Parliament for a technology-neutral and innovation-friendly financial sector,” Stefan Berger elaborated.
The ECON member emphasized that the proposal establishes a regulatory framework that will pioneer innovation, consumer protection, and legal certainty in the crypto space while creating “reliable supervisory structures in the area of ​​crypto assets.”
Once ECON approves the package, MiCA’s implementation will be determined in dialogue between the European Parliament, the Council of the EU, and the European Commission. In February, President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde urged the Union to approve the regulations to prevent Russia from using cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions imposed over its invasion of Ukraine.
Do you expect the EU to quickly adopt the Markets in Crypto Assets framework? Let us know in the comments section below.


Bitcoin Miner Hive to Purchase Intel Mining Chips, Firm Reveals a 100 MW Deployment Deal in Texas

On March 7, the publicly-listed mining firm Hive Blockchain Technologies announced the company inked a deal with Intel to purchase new ASIC mining chips. Additionally, Hive has formed an agreement with an original design manufacturer (ODM) and a non-binding letter of intent with Compute North. Hive said the company plans to deploy 100 MW of mining capacity to Compute North’s renewable energy facilities in Texas.
Hive to Purchase ASIC Chips From Intel, Aims to Deploy 100 MW in Texas
The blockchain company and mining operation Hive (TSX.V: HIVE) (Nasdaq: HIVE) has revealed it has entered a supply agreement with Intel Corporation (Nasdaq: INTC). Hive will obtain Intel’s new ASIC mining chips that will be leveraged in custom-built equipment made for the company. The blockchain firm says it has a manufacturing agreement with an ODM that specializes in “electronics manufacturing.”
“Hive’s engineering team will draw on its expertise in hardware and software implementation and will work closely with Intel and the ODM partner on the systems integration,” Hive’s announcement notes. “These miners are expected to be delivered over a period of one year starting in the second half of calendar 2022, the effect of which, if they are all installed, would be an expected increase of up to 95% in our aggregate Bitcoin mining hashrate from 1.9 exahash per second.”
In addition to the deal with Intel, Hive detailed it closed another agreement with Compute North in order to deploy a 100 MW mining center in Texas. Frank Holmes, Hive’s executive chairman, said the Compute North team “shares the same commitment to using renewable energy that Hive has adhered to since its listing as the world’s first publicly traded crypto-miner.”

Mining Company Holds 2,374 Bitcoin, Hive Joins a Slew of Firms Acquiring Intel Chips
Hive says that further details about the 100 MW facility will be announced in the future. Last year, Hive purchased a great deal of mining rigs from Canaan and in mid-October it expanded its data center campus in New Brunswick, Canada, with 40 MW of capacity. The same month, Hive acquired another 6,500 mining rigs from Canaan. Hive holds a balance of 2,374 bitcoin (BTC) as of February 28, 2022, and the company produced 244.4 BTC last month.
Moreover, Hive joins firms like Griid, Argo Blockchain, and Jack Dorsey’s Block (formerly Square) that have plans to acquire Intel’s ASIC chips. Intel revealed its new mining chips in mid-February and claimed the circuits will deliver 1,000x better performance than current competitors. Later, at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) last month, Intel gave the event attendees a sneak peak at the ‘Bonanza Mine BMZ1’ blockchain accelerator mining chip and the ‘Bonanza Mine BMZ2’ as well.
What do you think about Hive’s plans to purchase Intel ASIC chips and the 100 MW facility in Texas with Compute North? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.


Pakistan’s Central Bank Sees Few Good Use Cases for Crypto Citing ‘a Lot of Misuses’ Worldwide

The central bank of Pakistan does not see many good use cases for crypto. However, the regulator cites “a lot of misuses” of cryptocurrency around the world, “including human rights violations, trafficking of people, money laundering, and many other things.”
Pakistani Central Bank Governor’s Stance on Crypto
The governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Reza Baqir, talked about cryptocurrency during a panel discussion at the 13th Karachi Litera­ture Festival Sunday, Dawn newspaper reported.
Asserting that crypto lacks good use cases, the Pakistani central bank governor remarked:
When we look at the value proposition offered by crypto right now, the use cases that have been brought forward have just been exchanges.
The SBP governor proceeded to talk about the risks associated with cryptocurrencies.
Noting that “There is no way that the regulator or a law enforcement agency has visibility on who is doing transactions and for what purpose,” he opined:
Therefore, around the world there is a lot of misuses [of cryptocurrency], including human rights violations, trafficking of people, money laundering, and many other things.
Baqir also mentioned that the financial system in Pakistan has been used for money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
Nonetheless, the central bank governor explained that people want the regulator to allow bitcoin to be used, traded, and sent abroad.
He explained: “Every new thing has some benefits and some risks … It’s a policymaker’s job to make an assessment of the balance … in particular, make a judgement whether the benefits outweigh the risks with regards to the use of cryptocurrencies in Pakistan.” However, Baqir said last month that the potential risks of cryptocurrency far outweigh its benefits.

Meanwhile, he believes that distributed ledger or blockchain technology is “absolutely useful” and has the potential to solve many problems the world is facing right now.
The Pakistani government is currently evaluating whether to regulate cryptocurrency. A high-level interministerial committee constituted to make recommendations on whether cryptocurrency should be permitted under Pakistani law is against regulating cryptocurrency, however. The committee submitted its report to the Sindh High Court in January recommending a complete ban on crypto.
However, Pakistan’s minister for science and technology, Shibli Faraz, said in the same month that the government intends to “regularize” cryptocurrency in the country. He confirmed that the finance ministry, the State Bank of Pakistan, and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan are working on a plan.
What do you think about the SBP governor’s comments? Let us know in the comments section below.