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US Treasury Sec: Bitcoin Could be Swiss Bank, Kraken Crypto Tax Law Harvest, Ripple in Brazil

TL;DR: Welcome to In Case You Missed It (ICYMI), a daily crypto news update. US Treasury Steven Mnuchin worries bitcoin is being used for laundering, but isn’t as worried about fiat. Kraken calls users to harvest tax losses. Ripple seeks to grow in Brazil. Korean tax services to go after Bithumb. Litecoin MimbleWimble extension for confidential transactions is being worked on, and BrewDog Budapest now takes bitcoin cash.

US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin: Bitcoin is Being Laundered, Fiat Cash Isn’t

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin commented during an interview on CNBC’s program Squawk Box about his views regarding cryptocurrency and money laundering. When asked if he was keen to regulate Bitcoin because it was used for nefarious activities compared t fiat cash, Mnuchin stated he didn’t think money laundering had “been successfully done with cash,” and that the Treasury would work to not let Bitcoin “become the equivalent of a Swiss number bank accounts.”

Kraken Calls Users to Harvest Tax Losses

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Kraken, one of the most important US-based exchanges, released a blog post calling for its customers to lower their tax bill using a strategy called Crypto Tax Loss Harvesting. “Crypto Tax Loss Harvesting is actually very simple. It involves disposing of a crypto asset at a loss. This transaction creates a taxable loss that can offset gains and, in some cases, ordinary income,” the company explained.

Ripple Seeks to Gain a Stronger Foothold in Brazil

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Ripple, a remittance and bank-based cryptocurrency-focused company, will start the new year getting more partnerships with banks in Brazil. Luiz Antonio Sacco, Managing Director of South America at Ripple, stated, “With successive advances in Brazilian banking regulation to facilitate financial transactions, including international, opportunities here will grow greatly in the coming years.” Ripple has already entered partnerships with several Brazilian banks, but there is still room for growth especially considering SWIFT leads remittances there.

Korean Tax Service to Withhold Taxes From Bithumb’s Foreign Customers

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The National Tax Service (NTS), the tax watchdog of South Korea, iannounced it will withhold tax from foreign customers of Bithumb, the largest exchange in the country. Vident, Bithumb’s largest shareholder, responded they “confirmed Nov. 25 that the NTS will impose 80.3 billion won [$69.3 million] of withholding tax on our foreign clients.” Despite this, the exchange announced legal action against the government to adjust the tax claim in the future.

Litecoin MimbleWimble Extension Work Officially Started

The development of a MimbleWimble extension for Litecoin, to allow the project to take advantage of confidential transactions, has already started, according to a message from David Burkett, the developer of Grin++. The donation fund to implement the function managed to raise 1/4 of the $72,000 required. However, Litecoin devs are still asking for donations. The Litecoin Foundation has been in the eye of the storm for its finances and for also opening a donation fund to get confidential transactions in the codebase.

BrewDog Budapest Now Takes Bitcoin Cash and GoCrypto

BrewDog, the biggest independent beer brewery in Scotland, has started taking bitcoin cash and GoCrypto, the official SLP token of Eligma, at its location in Hungary. This is the first spot that Eligma, a cryptocurrency gateway company, managed to onboard in Hungary, marking this the first step toward expanding throughout Europe. Eligma recently migrated their Eligma token, based on Ethereum, to their new token, GoCrytpo, now using the SLP Bitcoin Cash-based protocol.

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