El Salvador creates framework for Bitcoin bonds
El Salvador was the first state in the world to declare Bitcoin its national currency in 2021. But that’s not all, because next, President Nayib Bukele is planning the introduction of Bitcoin-shaped government bonds. In order to establish a legal framework for this, his government put the Congress of the Central American state aloud Reuters 20 legislative proposals. Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya also promised that the first bond would be launched this year. It is said to be worth one billion US dollars and to help make the dream of El Salvador’s Bitcoin City a reality. Since the city is supposed to mine Bitcoin using volcanic energy, the bond is also available as a Volcano Bond known. Half of the money they raise will be invested in building infrastructure. The remaining amount is used by the state to expand its own BTC reserves.
Violent protests in Kazakhstan sent Bitcoin hashrate downhill
The past few months have seen a boom in Kazakhstan’s mining industry. In the international ranking, the country is now in second place for the Bitcoin hashrate. The riots of the past week were therefore not without consequences for the crypto space. In response to soaring fuel prices, people took to the streets. The president declared a state of emergency and dismissed the government. Violent clashes between demonstrators and security forces have since left an unclear number of dead and injured. On January 7, President Tokayev even issued an official order to fire his police units.
In the course of the conflict, the state-owned Kazakhtelecom also switched off the Internet repeatedly since January 5th. The government probably wants to make the exchange of information between its opponents more difficult. The global Bitcoin hashrate then collapsed by 13.4 percent. Proof of the outstanding position of the Kazakh mining farms. At the time of going to press it was not clear whether the Internet in the Central Asian country would have returned to normal operation.
Kosovo bans mining
In Kosovo, meanwhile, things are also getting uncomfortable for crypto miners. Because the government of the Balkan state initiated a restrictive course against the mining of crypto currencies in response to persistent energy shortages. The law enforcement authorities are therefore urged to prevent the mining of Bitcoin and Co. in the future. Due to the energy shortage, the disaster has been in force in Kosovo since December. A particularly harsh winter caused numerous coal-fired power plants that produce a large part of Kosovar’s electricity to fail. The situation in the country is therefore also tense beyond the crypto industry.
Estonia tightens information rules for Bitcoin exchanges
At the turn of the year, Estonia tightened the rules for crypto service providers. As early as December 23, the parliament of the Baltic state passed a corresponding legislative proposal. The primary goal is to reduce the risk of crime. The law extends a ban on opening anonymized digital accounts, which was passed in 2020. Bitcoin exchanges and comparable providers will in future be obliged to verify the identities of their customers. The information must be stored in a form that allows it to be assigned to a particular transaction at a later date. The rules are thus similar to those that apply to traditional banking transactions. Furthermore, only companies based in Estonia will be allowed to apply for a license as a crypto service provider in the future. Selling a license to third-party providers, however, is prohibited. Little changes for ordinary Bitcoin hodlers. The law does not contain a crypto ban and does not force anyone to pass on their private keys.
Thailand introduces crypto tax
Thailand’s Bitcoin fans will be asked to pay more in the future. Because the Bangkok Post reported on Jan. 6 that the Thai Treasury Department would be demanding a 15 percent levy on crypto profits. The enforcement of the profit tax is related to the growth of the crypto market and the associated increase in the value of cryptocurrencies. The tax is said to apply to both miners and individuals. It is currently unclear from what amount it will apply. All those affected are required to present their crypto profits for the year 2022 to the tax authorities. Only Bitcoin exchanges seem to be exempt from this rule so far.
Mexico is working on CBDC for 2024
Mexico is entering the race for its own digital central bank currency (CBDC). The government announced via Twitter that its central bank plans to start issuing its own CBDC by 2024. Exact details about the digital peso are still pending, but the project is obviously aimed at promoting financial market inclusion in the Central American state. More than half of adult Mexicans do not have a bank account. “Banking the Unbanked” works not only as a creed of the Bitcoin community, but also as an argument for the development of a centralized digital currency.
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Bitcoin miners don’t have it easy