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Morning News: No Regulations from G20?, Japan Faces Crypto Tax Fight

  • G20 likely to Postpone Crypto Regulation, Trump Bans Petro
  • Japanese Gov’t Unlikely to Recoup Full Extent of Crypto Taxes
  • Mayoral Candidate Promises to Turn City into a “Crypto Mecca”
  • Exchange Opens Massive Customer Outreach Center in Seoul Hotspot

Catch up on the most essential cryptocurrency and blockchain news stories breaking in Asia and the Americas while the rest of the world was asleep.

G20 likely to Postpone Crypto Regulation, Trump Bans Petro
Cryptocurrency markets reacted positively to the news, reported by multiple media outlets including Reuters, that the G20 is unlikely to seek to regulate cryptocurrency trading. Reports quote anonymous sources at the summit of finance ministers and central bank governors being held in Buenos Aires as saying the participants cannot come to an agreement on the matter – and will likely postpone any further action until at least November, when finance ministers and leaders of the countries meet again. Many countries, including Japan and France, were hoping to come to a mutual agreement on regulations, but other participants appear to prefer a laissez-faire (French: “allow to do”) approach. Meanwhile, American President Donald Trump has moved to ban Venezuela’s Petro cryptocurrency, calling it “an attempt to circumvent US sanctions.”

Expert: Japanese Gov’t Unlikely to Recoup Full Extent of Crypto Taxes
One of Japan’s leading tax experts has warned that the government is unlikely to recoup taxes from all of the country’s cryptocurrency investors – but claims authorities will seek to make examples of anyone it finds guilty of tax evasion. Hiroyuki Sato, the former head of the Tokyo National Tax Bureau, told media outlet Diamond, “It will be impossible for tax authorities to find every single case of where citizens have failed to file a cryptocurrency declaration. However, as was the case with foreign exchange trading in the past, the government will feel it is necessary to come down on offender like a ton of bricks to show tax dodgers what may happen to them if they are caught.”

Leading Mayoral Candidate Promises to Turn S Korean City into a “Crypto Mecca”
A leading mayoral candidate for the South Korean city of Gumi has announced he would build a cryptocurrency mine in the city if elected. Hong Sung-woo, a former member of parliament, is one of the leading candidates for the Liberty Korea Party. The city is one of the party’s strong seats, and if selected as the official candidate, he would be almost guaranteed election when South Korea goes to the polls on June 13 this year. Hong also says he would move to legalize crypto payments at local stores, foster Gumi-based crypto startups and would even establish a Gumi-based cryptocurrency exchange platform – aiming to turn the city into what he called a “holy land for blockchain and crypto.” Hong told the media, per Newsis, “I want to foster the local blockchain economy, but you need a thriving cryptocurrency scene to do that. I believe that cryptocurrencies will help drive up local competition. Hong is the second mayoral candidate to attempt to woo young voters with cryptocurrency-friendly manifesto pledges – a candidate in Suwon earlier this month pledged to create a new cryptocurrency for use within the city.

S Korean Exchange Opens Massive Customer Outreach Center in Seoul Hotspot
South Korean exchange platform Bithumb has unveiled a new customer care center in one of the busiest (and most expensive) parts of Seoul. The company has closed its old customer center in the Yeoksam-dong district, moving to new premises near the busiest subway station in Seoul, Gangnam Station. The new center is said to be twice the size, with twice as many customer service counters, as well as a consultation lounge for VIP clients, and services provided in Korean, English, Japanese and Chinese. The company has also extended the size of its Daechi-dong premises, with space for some 400 consultants to ply their trade. The company has been particularly active of late, with new advertising campaigns and several product launches. South Korean exchange platforms late last year promised to self-regulate, and refrain from “excessive marketing and advertising” efforts.

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