Bitcoin robbers are on the rampage once again. About four years after some BTC robbers stole 119,756 Bitcoins worth about $1.3 billion from crypto exchange Bitfinex in 2016, the robbers have moved $13.2million worth of BTCs to unknown wallets. This happened some hours ago.
According to a series of tweets yesterday, by the advanced crypto tracker Whale Alert, wallets linked to Bitfinex’s 2016 security breach have moved over 1,200Bitcoins (BTC) — worth roughly $13.2 million at the time of writing — in over 4 transactions.
The biggest loot of the four transactions was 455.11 BTC (4,851,402 USD) of stolen funds transferred from Bitfinex hack in 2016 to an unknown wallet.
⚠ 455.11 #BTC (4,851,402 USD) of stolen funds transferred from Bitfinex Hack 2016 to unknown wallet
— Whale Alert (@whale_alert) October 7, 2020
How easy is tracking BTCs?
It should be noted that Bitcoin is not really anonymous because all BTC transactions are kept permanently and publicly on the blockchain or ledger system, so it’s very easy for anyone to see the transactions and balances of any BTC address.
Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website
In 2016, Zane Tackett, Director of Community & Product Development for Bitfinex, in a statement credited to Reuters disclosed that 119,756 bitcoins had been stolen from users’ accounts.
“The bitcoin was stolen from users’ segregated wallets,” he said.
Bitfinex added that it had reported the theft to security agencies and was in liaison with blockchain analytic companies to track the stolen BTCs.
What these means: Blockchain security and security agencies have flagged the BTC wallets containing the stolen BTCs, making it very difficult to move the 119,756 BTC without being noticed.
Rich Bitcoin investor moved $175 million worth of BTC for just $0.84
An anonymous whale recently transferred 13,242 BTC worth $175.1 million for a fee of just $0.84.
One of the richest Bitcoin investors known is suddenly moving his crypto fortune.
An anonymous whale recently transferred 13,242 BTC worth $175.1 million for a fee of just $0.84. The transfer was first reported by a whale-watching bot known as Whale Alert.
Businesses and individuals are fast adopting Bitcoin on the bias that it’s virtually cheap to transfer any amount of funds, and doesn’t exhibit stringent capital controls on outflows, relatively high transaction costs, and inflexible exchange rate system prevalent in many global financial systems.
Why is this happening?
Popularly known hedge fund manager and Billionaire, Paul Tudor Jones, recently had been bullish on bitcoin, calling it the best inflation hedge you can find.
“I like bitcoin even more now than I did then. I think we are in the first inning of bitcoin and it’s got a long way to go,” Jones said on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Thursday.
He first revealed his bitcoin investment in May and on Thursday, he said he holds a “small single-digit investment” in the cryptocurrency.
The widely respected trader believes the huge quantitative easing program from the Federal Reserve is setting the stage for inflation to make a grand comeback.
“The reason I recommended bitcoin is because it was one of the menus of inflation trades, like gold, like TIPS breakevens, like copper, like being a long yield curve and I came to the conclusion that bitcoin was going to be the best inflation trade,” Jones said.
Jens Ischebeck, a renowned Fintech publisher, in a note shared with Nairametrics, gave vital insights on why Africans are fast adopting crypto and the advantages that crypto-assets bring
“Most African citizens have started shifting their hopes to the use of crypto, to escape numerous constraints faced with the traditional money transfer services, including cost, speed, and inconveniences.”
The definitive Cryptocurrency tax guide for 2020
When it comes to cryptocurrency, it is hard to know when taxes are owed and how to pay them.
Anyone who wants to buy Bitcoin should know that the coins will be taxable. There are no exceptions to this rule, and the IRS will go after delinquent taxpayers.
However, the IRS is one of the most difficult federal bureaucracies to deal with. When it comes to cryptocurrency, it is hard to know when taxes are owed and how to pay them. This guide contains essential information to help cryptocurrency owners, or potential owners, who do not know how to get the tax reporting season on the right track.
How Do Cryptocurrency Taxes Work?
The tax authority views crypto coins like Bitcoin or Ether as digital assets that represent value and act as the exchange means. When it comes to charging taxes, it is treated as property. Charges on whatever cryptocurrency is owned are based on the amount of gross income that one gains from crypto coins.
For crypto coins to be taxable, the owner must have dominion and control of it. If a trader receives a coin and can execute trades, they have dominion and control. If the owner has cryptocurrency in a wallet, but they are not able to trade, sell, buy, or exchange it, they do not have control or dominion over the coins. In this case, cryptocurrency cannot be taxed.
Here is a real-life example. (1) Brian received one unit of cryptocurrency worth $40 on June 1st, 2020. The transaction is recorded in the distributed ledger, and Brian is able to buy, sell, and trade the cryptocurrency. This means that Brian received $40 of gross income. That amount is taxable. However, if Brian receives the same amount of cryptocurrency, but for whatever reason, he cannot use it, that cryptocurrency is not taxable because he does not control it.
There are instances when cryptocurrency is not taxed. Transferring cryptocurrency from one exchange to another is not taxable. Purchases are also not taxable. Gifts of cryptocurrency are not counted as income; however, if they later produce income, that income is taxable. Also, if cryptocurrency is received as part of an inheritance to satisfy an heir’s right to an estate’s income, it is treated as income from the property and is taxable.
Are Cryptocurrency Losses Tax-Deductible?
As with trading stocks, losses incurred by trading cryptocurrency must be reported to the tax authority. It can then provide relief based on those losses in the form of a tax refund. Taxpayers are allowed to deduct $3,000 per year or $1,500 for those who are married and file separately. For example, someone who loses $6,000 in 2020 can make two $3,000 deductions for two consecutive years to cover the losses.
How to File Cryptocurrency Taxes
All income derived from cryptocurrency must be reported. In 2019, the IRS included a question in Form 1040 asking taxpayers about income derived from cryptocurrency. Taxpayers who have profited from cryptocurrency should answer “yes.” Cryptocurrency owners must also file an IRS 8949 capital gains and losses report.
The best way to file taxes accurately is to hire a professional to do it. Several firms specialize in tax preparation and filing, such as H&R Block. There is also TaxBit, which is tax preparation software uniquely designed for taxpayers who own cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency owners can also hire a private accountant to assist with tax reporting and filing.
Will the IRS Call Me if There is a Discrepancy in My Taxes?
The IRS will contact anyone they believe owes them money. Typically, the IRS will contact cryptocurrency owners if they failed to file IRS form 8949 for reporting gains or losses. The IRS has created a team to search the blockchain for delinquent taxpayers. Anyone who has not reported their gains or losses will be audited. Taxpayers who are audited should seek the assistance of a tax attorney. An attorney can work on the taxpayer’s behalf to resolve the dispute and possibly reduce the amount owed.
The IRS will send a notice to anyone it plans to audit. This notice will contain the taxpayer’s identifying number, a return address, a phone number, and information about why the taxpayer was contacted. Anyone who receives such a letter should contact the IRS to find out if this is a legitimate audit or attempt to collect taxes. Such notices may be an attempt at fraud. If fraud is suspected, inform the IRS and do not speak to them or police, especially the FBI, without an attorney present.
Closing Thoughts on the IRS and Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency traders must do everything they can to remain IRS-compliant. The main things to do in order to stay off their radar are to file form 1040 every tax season and form 8949 for reporting gains and losses.
Crypto experts reveal their favourite Cryptos
Nairametrics decided to seek the opinion of crypto experts on what Crypto they would consider investing in.
In the crypto-verse, Nigeria remains one of the fastest-growing and lucrative markets for crypto traders and global investors to be in.
Data retrieved from a Chainalysis report ranked Nigeria as the eighth (out of 154 countries) in its 2019-2020 global adoption index. Africa’s largest economy is first among other African countries in peer-to-peer payments (moving $139 million in the past year).
The increased usage by many young, educated Nigerians is often attributed to the high bureaucratic processes by many commercial banks for transfers, not forgetting stringent cash control mechanisms set by the Nigerian Central bank in controlling cash flows. Crypto provides low-fee remittances and an alternative way to preserve and grow wealth.
Nairametrics decided to seek the opinions of crypto experts on what cryptos they would consider investing in, apart from the known flagship crypto Bitcoin. Their responses were as insightful as they were diverse, ranging from popularly known altcoins to some new ones.
Clement Hugbo – Founder and CEO at Crevatal Technologies
“As volatile and unpredictable as cryptocurrencies are, they are still one of the best investments to get right on and it’s never too late.
5 Cryptocurrencies I will advise to invest in at this time are:
- Binancecoin, BNB
- Ethereum, ETH
- Bundle token (coming soon)
- PhoenixDAO, PHNX
- Uniswap, UNI.
I chose these tokens because they not only have infrastructures and working products to back their assets, but they play deeply within the DeFi ecosystem which currently is the future of money.
While Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world and has diverse use cases for its token, it recently launched its own Smart chain, bringing DeFi possibilities and flexibilities to more developers and communities. Bundle token will be Africa’s Binance coin as its use cases are diverse, being a partnering project with Binance. PhoenixDAO has diverse products like staking dApps, DAO, events and so much more, with brands using her protocols for products development.
Ethereum, being the mother of smart contracts and Tokenization, has diverse use cases by devs and communities in the ecosystem.
Lastly, Uniswap is the mother of DeFi and decentralization, enabling traders to transact in a permissionless and decentralized platform, completely excluding their parties.
My choices are based on the consistent use cases of these tokens and their relevance to creating lasting solutions in the Blockchain ecosystem.”
Henry Muna – Founder & CEO, Muna Wallet
“USDN (Neutrino USD) is an algorithmic stablecoin soft-pegged to the US Dollar and collateralized by WAVES.
The stable exchange rate is maintained using an advanced stability algorithm.
USDN offers 10-15% annual percentage returns without the risk of liquidation.
It leverages the staking reward system of the Waves monetary policy and LPoS consensus algorithm. Staking rewards are distributed according to your contribution to the network with additional USDN.
Its asset is available on Waves and Ethereum blockchain, with staking services available on Muna, Waves.exchange, Kucoin, and any Etheruem wallet.
1 USDN = 1 USD; it lets traders hedge against market volatility.
USDN staking is governed by a smart contract, not by a central authority.
Neutrino’s smart contract resilience is verified by Beosin (Chengdu LianAn) Technology Co. Ltd.”
David Effiiong (Davizoe) – National community director at Bitfxt Technology
Ethereum: It’s a blockchain that allows decentralized applications to be built on.
Dapps are decentralized applications without censorship which give people freedom. People are building games, and social media platforms on it because of its scalability.
On ethereum, smart contracts are built also; it acts as the middle man.
EOS: EOS is a blockchain network that is more scalable and allows Dapps, and smart contracts to be built. The transaction on this blockchain is less than 5 secs, and on Eos.io you can build several blockchains on it.
The recent mind-blowing announcement is the partnership of Google with EOS; this shows its scalability.
BitDeFi (BFi): It’s a decentralized finance (DeFi) token that brings the banking system on the blockchain.
BFi is just 200,000 max supplies and 50% will be burnt because it uses a burning mechanism which makes it a deflationary token. I can boldly say it’s 100k in max supply because of 50% burning away.
BitDeFi allows you to perform all bank use cases like savings, investment, loan, capital rendering, and many more.
20,000 of BFi will be available for the next 5 –10yrs and it’s a community token which allows banking to be decentralized.”
Charles Okaformbah – Blockchain Solutions Architect
“Asides Ethereum, from a protocol pov, and value that DAO tokens seem to garner in the long run, I would advise traders to look at Polkadot’s DOT.
Currently sitting in the top 10 of coinmarketcap, with one of its founders being Gavin Wood (cofounders of Ethereum), it’s a cross-chain protocol that connects several chains together in a single network, allowing them to process transactions in parallel and exchange data between chains with security guarantees.
It’s been in development for years now and the DOT token is majorly used as a governance token.
Another project from a utility pov would be Kittiefight’s KTY (full disclosure, I’m a team member). Online Betting generates massive tonnes of revenue for its stakeholders.
What if that revenue is shared with a community of users who participate in the funding of each game’s jackpot via a DeFi backed algorithm? Not only that, KTY serves as a utility token for in-game activities. Currently, Kittiefight is rated 8 in the Top 10 DeFi lending platform by coinmarketcap.”
It’s fair to say that the crypto experts interviewed were not short on selecting different altcoins that serve as alternatives to Bitcoin.
That said, crypto experts are also taking advantage of altcoins and their prevalence for high price swings. As the old financial saying goes, volatility is king, on the basis that volatility provides a great way to increase one’s holdings and potentially make some good profits.