Crypto News Headlines (02-Jan-2023)

The U.K. is enforcing a tax exemption for foreign investors purchasing crypto through local investment managers or brokers starting Sunday.

The tax break, announced in December, is a part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s plans to turn the U.K. into a crypto hub.

“This exemption is an important factor in attracting global investors, meaning foreign investors won’t be brought into U.K. tax simply by appointing U.K.-based investment managers,” the government’s tax arm, the HM Revenue and Customs, said in an email to CoinDesk. “To build upon the U.K.’s position as an investment management hub, this exemption has been extended to include crypto assets, so that funds which include them aren’t put off from appointing U.K. managers.”

The Italian parliament greenlighted a new tax for cryptocurrency on Dec. 29, as part of its budget law for the year 2023. Senators approved the document presented on Dec. 24, which approved a 26% aliquot for cryptocurrency gains above 2,000 euros (approx. $2,060) during a tax period.

The capital gains tax for crypto had been proposed since Dec 1, when the draft for the budget law was presented. The approved document includes a series of incentives for taxpayers to declare their cryptocurrency holdings, proposing an amnesty on gains achieved, paying a “substitute tax” of 3.5%, and adding a 0.5% as a fine for each year.

Another incentive included in the budget law will allow taxpayers to cancel their capital gains tax at 14% of the price of cryptocurrency held on Jan. 1, 2023, which would be significantly lower than the price paid when the cryptocurrency was purchased

The top two cryptocurrencies remain practically unchanged since last weekend to close out 2022, a brutal year overall for coin prices.

Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) both fell 1.5% over the last seven days, with the former changing hands at $16,557 and the latter worth about $1,192 at the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap data.

The Bitcoin network started the week with a handicap after several leading U.S. miners suspended operations due to extreme weather. Bitcoin’s hash rate—a mark of the computing power of the network—dropped nearly 40% and bottomed out at 156.36 EH/s. It has since recovered to 247.87 EH/s.

Solana’s native token SOL erased most of Thursday’s 15% fall after Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin tweeted support for the blockchain most battered by FTX’s implosion.

SOL rebounded from Thursday’s low of $8.19 and retook the $9.50 range where it had been trading for much of the day. But the token is still 96% below all-time highs near $260, in part because of sellers dumping the “Sam coin” alleged fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried once loudly boosted.

“Some smart people tell me there is an earnest smart developer community in Solana, and now that the awful opportunistic money people have been washed out, the chain has a bright future,” Buterin tweeted shortly before SOL’s Thursday recovery began.

SOL has lost 20% in just one week. It is trading in the single digits for the first time since February 2021.

Cryptocurrency hackers and exploiters seemingly slowed down for the 2022 holidays as December saw $62.2 million worth of cryptocurrencies stolen, the “lowest monthly figure” of the year, according to CertiK.

The blockchain security company on Dec. 31 tweeted a list of the month’s most significant attacks. It highlighted the $15.5 million worth of exit scams as the method that stole the most value over the month, followed by the $7.6 million worth of flash loan-based exploits.

A later tweet on Jan. 1 confirmed that the 23 largest exploits were responsible for around 98.5% of the $62.2 million figure, with the $15 million Helio Protocol incident on Dec. 2 the largest of the month.

The transition to the new year has not been particularly upsetting for cryptocurrencies, and for Bitcoin in particular.

The king of digital currencies was down 0.2% at $16,551.22 in the past 24 hours, according to data firm CoinGecko.

Cryptocurrency prices did not move much in the last week of 2022. Bitcoin (BTC) prices thus closed the last week down almost 2%. Over the past year as a whole, the first cryptocurrency in the world in terms of market value has seen its value collapse by 65%.

This fall has impacted the entire cryptocurrency market, the value of which has fallen below $1 trillion. This market is currently worth $828 billion compared to over $3 trillion in November 2021.

For the first day of 2023, the crypto market was down 0.4%.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva shared the IMF’s predictions on the U.S., the EU, China, and the world economy in an interview with CBS, aired Sunday. She detailed:

This is what we see in 2023. For most of the world economy, this is going to be a tough year, tougher than the year we leave behind. Why? Because the three big economies, U.S., EU, China, are all slowing down simultaneously.

“The U.S. is most resilient. The U.S. may avoid recession. We see the labor market remaining quite strong. This is, however, a mixed blessing because if the labor market is very strong, the Fed may have to keep interest rates tighter for longer to bring inflation down,” the IMF chief continued.

Bitcoin mining hardware firm Compass Mining announced today that it won a nearly $1.5 million judgment in court this week following a contentious battle with hosting provider Dynamics Mining.

Kentucky-based Dynamics said in June that Compass had failed to pay utility and hosting bills tied to a facility in Maine, and terminated its hosting agreement. Compass sells hardware that customers can use to mine Bitcoin, and also provides hosting for the power-intensive machines through partnered facilities.

Compass filed a lawsuit, claiming that Dynamics’ allegations were “completely incorrect, lack any factual support, and create further damage to Compass.” The company further alleged that Dynamics Mining was holding its machines “hostage.”

According to a post made by Bitfarms on December 29, Emiliano Grodzki, co-founder and CEO of the Canadian Bitcoin mining company, has resigned.

#Bitfarms Promotes Geoffrey Morphy to Chief Executive OfficerBitfarms promoted President and Chief Operating Officer Geoffrey Morphy to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer effective immediately. More Info:

— Bitfarms (@Bitfarms_io) December 29, 2022

The mining company was established in 2017 by Emiliano Grodzki and Nicolas Bonta. The company said in the statement that Grodzki would continue to serve as a director on the board, while Nicolas Bonta will transition from his current position as executive chairman to that of board chairman. President and Chief Operating Officer Geoffrey Morphy has been promoted to CEO as a result of Grodzki’s resignation.

El Salvador, the first country to legalize Bitcoin BTC tickers down $16,726, has been pushed down yet another spot in total crypto ATM installations as Australia records 216 ATMs stepping into the year 2023.

As part of El Salvador’s drive to establish Bitcoin as a legal tender, President Nayib Bukele decided to install over 200 crypto ATMs across the country. While this move made El Salvador the third-largest crypto ATM hub at the time after the United States and Canada in September 2021, Spain and Australia overtook the Central American country’s ATM count in 2022.

On October 2022, Cointelegraph reported that Spain became the third-largest crypto ATM hub after installing 215 crypto ATMs. However, Spain continued its installation drive and is home to 226 crypto ATMs at the time of writing. El Salvador’s position as the fourth-largest crypto ATM hub was short-lived as Australia stepped up its game over the following months.