Wisly Wednesday Industry News — 25 May 2022

The month of May has certainly been an eventful one in the world of crypto and the past week has been no different with some fascinating developments that are sure to dominate talk amongst crypto circles. Cyprus plans crypto implementation; Portugal to tax crypto transactions; TAG Heuer to accept crypto payments; and Dubai couple ties the knot in the metaverse.

Cyprus plans crypto implementation

Cyprus has made moves to prepare its own legislation for crypto regulation — well ahead of the EU’s plans to finalise a common regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. Government officials in Nicosia have been encouraged by global crypto adoption and have welcomed the careful use of cryptocurrencies in the country.

Cyprus is no stranger to innovation on the continent, having been awarded the second-best innovation progress in 2021 according to the country’s Deputy Minister for Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy — Kyriacos Kokkinos. In a recent meeting with the local fintech community, Kokkinos walked a fine line between embracing innovation and cryptocurrencies, while adhering to the country’s laws.

Kokkinos appeared optimistic as he said, “I can tell you that Cyprus welcomes the use of digital and crypto assets, but we still need to be very careful and respect not only the regulations currently in place but also the absence of any regulations… My answer is that we will go it alone while respecting the rules.”

Kokkino went on to reveal that the Cyprus government had already drafted a very attractive bill on crypto assets, with the legislation already published and awaiting review from interested parties. A New York-based crypto firm has also been roped in to help with the implementation of crypto regulations.

This is great news for crypto lovers in the region as the adoption of digital assets will open up a world of opportunities in Cyprus. Wisly will keep you up to speed on the latest developments.

Portugal to tax crypto transactions

Portugal — one of the few countries in the world that do not tax crypto transactions — is planning a seismic shift in proceedings, much to the dismay of crypto investors in the country. Government officials are looking to fill the void that prevents crypto transactions from being taxed — something that has been very attractive for crypto investors in Portugal thus far.

Portugal has always been of the view that crypto transactions should not be taxable as they are not considered foreign currencies or financial assets in terms of a 2016 ruling by the country’s tax administration. The government has, however, realised the potential to generate revenue from the growing number of crypto investors in the country.

Portugal’s Finance Minister — Fernando Medina — was clear with his intentions as he told foreign journalists in Lisbon, “The government intends to legislate on this matter, we are not going to maintain this vacuum. The government wants to present ‘as quickly as possible’ a new legal framework that would ensure a balance between fair taxes and international competitiveness.”

It is anticipated that individuals do not have to pay VAT or capital gains tax on the buying or selling of crypto assets, and only business activity paid for in crypto assets would be liable for tax. This news is sure to dampen the spirits of crypto investors in Portugal. Wisly will keep you in the loop with the very latest on this.

TAG Heuer to accept crypto payments

Swiss luxury watchmaker — TAG Heuer — has become one of the latest global companies to accept crypto for payment. A recent announcement by the watchmaker revealed that US-based customers will be able to pay for their luxury TAG Heuer timepieces and accessories with cryptocurrencies.

TAG Heuer has partnered with BitPay to make this possible and customers in the US will be able to purchase for up to $10,000 per transaction. TAG Heuer’s statement read, “With an increasing number of customers using or earning digital currencies regularly, TAG Heuer intends to be a key player in the imminent transformation of the e-commerce and retail spaces. With the support of BitPay, which specialises in building custom blockchain payment technology for businesses, TAG Heuer now accepts a total of 12 cryptocurrencies at checkout.”

The 12 cryptos include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Shiba Inu, Wrapped Bitcoin, and five USD-pegged stablecoins. CEO of TAG Heuer — Frederic Arnault — beamed with delight as he said, “We have been following cryptocurrency developments very closely ever since Bitcoin first started trading. As an avant-garde watchmaker with an innovative spirit, we knew TAG Heuer would adopt what promises to be a globally integrated technology in the near future despite the fluctuations — one that will deeply transform our industry and beyond.”

This is awesome news for Tag Heuer connoisseurs in the US and Wisly will keep you posted on the latest news on this story.

Dubai couple ties the knot in the metaverse

With all things metaverse gaining traction as Web3 development pushes on full steam ahead, a Dubai-based couple — Florian Ughetto and Liz Nunez — has decided to seal their marriage in the metaverse. This development comes after the couple encountered many legal problems in the Middle Eastern country that stopped them from getting married.

The couple is of different nationalities and complicated marriage laws in Dubai meant that they couldn’t get married in the country. After initial problems with Dubai’s marriage laws, the couple went to Georgia in 2019 where they tied the knot officially. They could not, however, register that marriage in Dubai.

Their metaverse marriage will take place almost three years to the day since their Georgian marriage — and officially pronounce the couple husband and wife. The couple’s virtual wedding outfits we acquired from OpenSea, an NFT marketplace with virtual outfits available for all occasions.

The couple has invited 20 guests for the metaverse wedding, after which both Mr. and Mrs. Ughetto will take their guests to an undisclosed metaverse location for the after-wedding party. The couple has also established a virtual wedding planning company to help other couples in the same situation that they were in.

It is estimated that the wedding will cost around $800 — just incredible! As always, Wisly will keep you updated on the latest developments with this.

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