Forget Bitcoin As A Safe Haven; Steven Seagal Under Siege From The SEC

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CRYPTO MARKETS

Bitcoin sunk more than 10% this week as the stock market had a disastrous week, challenging conventional wisdom that it’s a safe haven similar to gold in times of market turmoil. Other major cryptocurrencies like XRP and ether recorded even heavier losses.

Some industry leaders view the dip as a buying opportunity. Binance’s enigmatic CEO, Changpeng Zhao, made a rare prediction that the bitcoin price is likely to rise leading up to the cryptocurrency’s halving event in May. “I personally believe the halving has not been priced in,” Zhao said in a video interview with BlockTV.

SEC FINES ACTION MOVIE STAR

Martial artist and actor Steven Seagal, famous for his roles in action movies in the 1980s and 1990s, agreed to pay an SEC fine of $314,000 for failing to disclose that he was paid to promote Bitcoiin2Gen leading up to its 2017 ICO. Seagal was promised $250,000 in cash and $750,000 worth of bitcoiin—not to be confused with the far more valuable similarly-spelled cryptocurrency—in exchange for his participation as a “brand ambassador.”

Those cryptocurrency holdings are nearly worthless now—the token that launched to ride bitcoin’s coattails crashed to almost zero last year after peaking at $0.76 in 2017.

EUROPEAN EXCHANGE ADDS SUPPORT FOR XRP

Luno, a London-based cryptocurrency exchange, is adding XRP to its current offerings of bitcoin, ether and bitcoin cash in the next two weeks. The new offering stems from a year-long poll of its three million users asking which other tokens they wanted on the platform. The results of the survey that were leaked to Forbes showed that XRP was the overwhelming top choice, ahead of smaller cryptocurrencies like litecoin and stellar.

TAX SEASON UPDATE

Continuing its efforts to crack down on cryptocurrency tax evasion, the IRS is inviting cryptocurrency executives and advocates to an all-day summit at its Washington D.C. headquarters on Tuesday. The event will include four 90-minute panels on technology updates, issues for cryptocurrency exchanges, tax return preparation and regulatory guidance and compliance.

The IRS already signaled an increased focus on cryptocurrencies by adding a new question to the 2019 Form 1040. It asks if you received, sold, sent, exchanged or otherwise acquired any financial interest in any virtual currency at any time during the year, which could set you up for a perjury charge for checking the wrong box. The motivations behind the question may be vague, but what’s clear is that answering “no” if the truth is “yes” is a big mistake.

ELSEWHERE

Prime Broker Tagomi Becomes 22nd Member of Facebook’s Libra Association [CoinDesk]

SEC Quashes Dreams of Bitcoin ETF With Another Rejection [Bloomberg]

Roger Ver: Prison Made Me a Bitcoin Believer [Cointelegraph]

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