Morning Brief 17.05.2018
Main page Digest

Russia and Iran to create cryptocurrency-based SWIFT alternative

Mohammad Reza Pour Ebrahimi, head of the Iranian parliament's commission for economic affairs, said that cryptocurrencies could prove a useful tool as the country seeks to help its financial institutions operate without access to the dollar and the SWIFT system, Interfax reports. Ebrahimi added that following the meeting with the head of the Federation Council Committee on Economic Policy Dmitry Mezentsev, Iran was able to establish cooperation with Russia on this issue.

Individual cryptocurrency investors exempt from 7% tax in Thailand

On Sunday, May 13, Thailand put in a new law to control and regulate cryptocurrency transactions and ICOs. Authorities imposed two kinds of taxes on operations with cryptocurrencies: a value-added tax (VAT) of 7% and a capital gains tax of 15%. Following criticism, Thailand’s Revenue Department announced that it will waive the VAT on individual cryptocurrency owners.

JPMorgan Chase & Co has begun to explore the cryptocurrency sector

Despite the bank’s skepticism on digital currencies, it remains interested in blockchain technology, as it can potentially improve the financial system, co-president of J.P. Morgan Daniel Pinto said in a CNBC interview. “We are looking into that space. I have no doubt that in one way or another, the technology will play a role,” – he noted.

Prince Charles Used to Promote Crypto Scam

The Texas State Security Board issued an emergency order banning the activity of Wind Wide Coin, a Houston-based cryptocurrency firm that allegedly fabricated user profiles and misled clients using false celebrity statements.The company boasted of support from actress Jennifer Aniston, British Prince Charles and Matti Vanhanen, former Prime Minister of Finland, in order to gain attention for its products.

Steve Wozniak: Blockchain is the next major IT revolution that is about to happen

In his opening speech at the WeAreDevelopers World Congress 2018 in Vienna, Austria, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said that cryptocurrencies will achieve their full potential in a decade, touting blockchain as a “great idea”. Wozniak went on to quote Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in claiming that Bitcoin will become the world’s “single currency”.

PayPal CFO says merchants snub digital currencies due to volatility

John Rainey, Paypal CFO, said that demand for digital currencies is waning among merchants due to price volatility. In a Monday interview with CNBC, Rainey said that merchants prefer “more stable currencies” as they fear for the viability of their business.

"You could have something that appeals to consumers, but if merchants don't accept it, it's of little value," Rainey said. "Right now, we don't see a lot of interest from our merchants. But if it's something that stabilizes in the future and is a better currency, then we'll certainly support that."

Intel and iExec begin collaboration

The decentralized cloud computing platform iExec joined forces with IT giant Intel to create solutions in the field of privacy-preserving offline computing. iExec’s product, a decentralized platform based on Intel’s SGX technology, is capable of processing financial information and making forecasts while ensuring a high level of data confidentiality.

Total cryptocurrency market capitalization stands at $383 299 643 466

By Ekaterina Ulyanova

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