Wisly Wednesday Industry News — 16 March 2022
With March now in full swing, it’s been another eventful week in the world of crypto with some tantalising news that’s sure to whet the appetite of crypto investors. St. Kitts launches crypto-friendly citizenship deal; Singapore announces NFT tax regulations; Canadian police seize $28 million BTC from government official; and Australian investor uses crypto profits to buy dream home.
St. Kitts offers crypto-friendly citizenship deal
The Caribbean island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis has recently reignited an exciting “citizenship by investment programme” to entice wealthy crypto investors to its shores. While this citizenship investment programme has been around since the 1980s, it has since been opened to crypto investors who will qualify for a St. Kitts and Nevis passport for 3.89 BTC at the time of writing.
The smallest sovereign state in the Western hemisphere is known for its warm climate, stunning beaches, amazing mountains, and well-preserved sugar plantations — now converted to luxury hotels and condominiums — making it the perfect location for wealthy investors to bide their time.
To make the deal even sweeter, the government of St. Kitts and Nevis has committed not to tax any crypto gains from their new-found citizens, with local banks ready to welcome crypto investors with open arms. In addition, there are plenty of Bitcoin ATMs strewn across the twin-island nation for investors to access funds. One famous figure in the world of crypto — Roger Keith Ver — has renounced his US passport in return for a St. Kitts and Nevis one and is living life to the fullest in this paradise location.
Boasting of his newfound lease on life, Roger said, “Cryptocurrency gives people a certain degree of financial freedom, but its entire potential is unlocked through obtaining citizenship of a crypto-friendly, tax-favourable country like St. Kitts and Nevis. St. Kitts and Nevis’ citizenship by investment program has long been a route for high-net-worth individuals, to obtain greater global mobility, enhanced financial freedom, and a robust plan to mitigate political and economic instability. Those with more than one nationality enjoy greater travel, economic, and political freedom than single nationality holders. This sovereignty gives breath to an entirely different lifestyle, just as cryptocurrency destroys the shackles of centralized finance. Hence, it is only reasonable that both ventures go hand in hand.”
Wisly will keep you in the loop with the latest on this story.
Singapore announces NFT tax regulations
Singapore’s Finance Minister — Lawrence Wong — has announced that all transactions that involve NFTs will be taxed as of 11 March 2022, depending on the nature and use case of that specific NFT. This newly-imposed tax will apply only to those individuals who earn an income from NFT trading or transactions.
Singapore does not currently have a capital gains tax regime, so the earning of capital from NFT transactions will not attract tax on capital gains. However, the situation will change if an individual is living off NFT trading — where taxes will then be imposed, as they would for any other sources of income.
In order to clarify how this tax imposition will take place, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore will consider the nature of the digital asset, the intention to buy, the holding period, the volume and frequency of similar transactions, the financial arrangement to hold onto the digital asset for a period of time, and the reasons for it being sold.
While this news may appear to restrict crypto-related activities in Singapore, the country actually has one the most liberal crypto regulations in the world that allow cryptocurrencies to be used in many areas of highly-regulated crypto trading. With that being said, NFT collectors have nothing to fear considering such thought has gone into regulating such a niche field.
Wisly will keep you posted on the very latest developments with this story.
Canadian police seize $28 million BTC from government official
A former Canadian government IT professional — Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins — has been nabbed by Canadian police with conspiracy to commit computer and wire fraud, amongst a host of other offences. A carefully executed raid by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on Vachon-Desjardins’s home led to the seizure of 719 BTC valued at over $28 million — staggering!
According to prosecutors, Vachon-Desjardins used the NetWalker ransomware to infiltrate businesses, municipalities, hospitals, and law enforcement units during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic — many of which were based in the US.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) stated that Vachon-Desjardins was extradited from Canada to face charges in connections with multiple ransomware assaults that resulted in him benefitting from tens of millions of dollars in ransoms.
NetWalker — also known as Mailto — is a large-scale ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) operation that recruits affiliates to deploy ransomware in exchange for a considerable cut of the ransom payment. An official from the DOJ revealed, “Vachon-Desjardins conspired to and did purposefully harm a protected computer and transmit a ransom demand in connection with doing so — from April to December 2020.”
Wisly will keep you informed of the latest news with this story.
Australian investor uses crypto profits to buy dream home
A 23-year-old crypto investor from Australia — Loi Nguyen — has used the profits of his crypto investment to buy his dream property worth over $300,000. This was possible thanks to his carefully planned crypto investment strategy that allowed him to cash out less than half of his crypto portfolio for a down payment on the property.
Nguyen — a native from Queensland — patiently accumulated BTC and ETH over many years before eventually buying his dream home in the aftermath of the 2020 crypto bull run. His crypto investment journey began in 2017 with a commitment of a few hundred dollars’ worth of BTC and ETH, although his crypto investments surpassed his entire stick portfolio by 2021.
Nguyen revealed that while there were lower interest rates from traditional financial institutions, it was still difficult to break ground in the real estate market. He then chose to apply a dollar-cost averaging investment strategy and diversified his portfolio to include crypto. When traditional markets collapsed as the pandemic engulfed the globe, Nguyen’s crypto portfolio started to skyrocket.
Nguyen always believed that his investment will help him to buy his dream home, and that desire materialised at the end of December 2021 — where he was able to cash out the funds he needed to kick-start his property journey.
Indeed, clear evidence that being patient and resilient with your investments is sure to lead to brighter days ahead. As always, Wisly will keep you posted on the latest developments with this.