Weekly Digest: Revolut Crypto Expansion, New Fiat on Binance, South Korea and Crypto Taxes
If you are looking for the most relevant events from the crypto and blockchain world, then continue reading or compilation of news from our Weekly Digest series.
Revolut to Enter the US Crypto market
London based Revolut is one of the most popular mobile banking apps in the world. While its main clientele is centered in Europe, the platform has revealed on February 28th that it plans to extend its crypto services to all 50 United States.
Revolut supported the buying and selling of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and XRP (XRP) against one of the 29 fiat currencies. But this feature is currently available only to European residents.
Dan Westgarth, the general manager for North America of Revolut has stated that Square’s Cash App is the company’s biggest rival for crypto mobile trading. But Square’s Cash App currently supports only Bitcoin (BTC), while Revolut has a total of 5 cryptos.
Regarding how Revolut’s customers perceive the risk of cryptos, Dan responded:
“Our investors like crypto, they don’t mind the risk as long as it is well-managed, and we are good at it.”
Crypto.com and Travala Partner Up
“Today Crypto.com, the pioneering payments and cryptocurrency platform, and Travala.com, the world’s leading crypto-friendly hotel booking platform, announced a strategic partnership including the integration of Crypto.com Pay on the travel website’s platform. Travala.com will now accept CRO, the Crypto.com Coin, along with BTC, LTC, ETH and XRP through Crypto.com Pay.
Over 1 million users of the Crypto.com App can now pay for bookings at over 2 million hotels and accommodations in 230 countries globally on Travala.com using the Crypto.com Pay feature in the app. From now until 30 June 2020, travellers can get up to 10% back in Pay Rewards for bookings paid in CRO.
From now on Crypto.com app users will have access to all of Travala.com’s hotel inventory. Alongside the 40% reward, users will also enjoy a 10% cashback every time they make payments using CRO. This giveaway is expected to last until 30 June 2020.’- revealed the announcement.
Kris Marszalek, the Co-Founder and CEO of Crypto.com, said regarding the announcement that: “ At Crypto.com, we are continuously building an ecosystem to foster mass adoption of cryptocurrency. Travala.com is a well-recognized brand in the crypto community and we are pleased to welcome them aboard to our expanding merchant network for Crypto.com Pay Checkout.”
Travala.com’s COO and Co-Founder, Steve Hipwell, also expressed his excitement regarding the collaboration: “We’re excited to partner with Crypto.com to further drive cryptocurrency adoption to the masses and make paying with cryptocurrency a norm and look forward to the Crypto.com users joining our crypto travel movement and supporting crypto adoption by booking.”
Travala.com currently supports the use of 25 different cryptos on its site in addition to fiat options, such as Paypal and Debit/Credit cards.
Samsung Will Be Introducing More Secure Crypto
According to a press release posted on February 25, Samsung revealed that it will be implementing a new Secure Element (SE) to ensure better protection for the data stored on its smartphones.
Dongho Shin, the senior vice president of System LSI marketing at Samsung Electronics, said in the announcement:
“Strong security measures have become a crucial feature in today’s smart devices as they evolve into essential tools that hold the key to our personal data connected to various services such as the cloud and financial transactions,”
“Samsung has a long and proven history in security solutions such as smart card ICs, IoT processors and other semiconductor products that require robust security. Our new turnkey SE solution for mobile devices will not only keep user data safer on the go but also enable new mobile applications that will broaden and enrich our everyday lives.”
The press release described the new turnkey solution as a secure storage option for its phone’s users:
“Samsung’s new turnkey solution is a dedicated tamper-resistant strongbox that securely stores users’ confidential and cryptographic data such as pin numbers, passwords and even crypto-currency credentials separate from the typical mobile memory such as embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS).”
Samsung ‘s newest phone models support crypto wallet passwords and seed phrases, which is why the company has stated it needs to enhance its security protocols.
The SE is a Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance (CC EAL) turnkey security solution, which is the highest security level hardware for any smartphone, as it protects against attack vectors, such as power glitches, laser attacks, and reverse engineering practices.
“Samsung’s new SE solution is currently in mass production and is featured in Samsung’s recently-announced Galaxy S20 series smartphones,”- ended the press release.
Like the Samsung S10 series, the S20 models will also feature integrated crypto wallets.
Binance Supports Hong Kong Dollars
Top crypto platform, Binance, has added deposit and withdrawal functionalities for another fiat currency, Hong Kong dollars.
On Feb. 21, Binance announced that users can now make deposits and withdrawals in Hong Kong dollars with no fees on its deposits.
“Users can now login and deposit to Binance via their Epay account with zero fiat deposit fees for HKD.”
The HKD transactions are now possible through Binance’s collaboration and payment processor, Epay.
“Epay now supports HKD, EUR and GBP fiat currencies, with SWIFT CODE, Wire Transfer, SEPA, Fasapay, PM and other E-currency deposit and withdraw services also supported,” - read the announcement.
South Korean Government Pressured to Lower Crypto Taxes
The South Korean government has been advised by tax experts to reduce the trading tax on profits in cryptocurrency before releasing the public transfer income tax. The country’s new tax reform plan is expected to be released at the end of this year.
The insistence for a low trading tax was due to a lack of legal structure to enforce transfer taxation on crypto transactions.
The Korea Blockchain Association pointed out that the expense calculation improvement should start from cryptocurrency acquisition costs, so that transfer income taxation can be possible after trading tax imposition. “Acquisition costs need to be clarified for transfer income tax imposition, but cryptocurrency acquisition costs are hard to clarify because the currencies are traded in various exchanges and related information and data are restricted.”
The association continued: “Infrastructure needs to be established after case-by-case trading tax imposition.”
The tax expert proposal also received support from the blockchain Association in Korea, which also argued that:
“Related laws are still absent and the taxation infrastructure is still insufficient to cover cryptocurrencies and, as such, some supplements need to be added on the expense calculation side.”
Featured image: SmartData Collective