Crypto weekly update
13. October 2022  • clock 5 min •  Daniel Mitrovsky

Google Will Accept Payments in Cryptocurrencies – Crypto Weekly Update

This week, the total market capitalization exceeded €937 billion. The decrease at the 7-day interval is 4.09%. Bitcoin decreased by 3.9% during the week to a current value of over €19,600. Bitcoin dominance is 40.2%.

Source: Coinmarketcap

Google Will Accept Payments in Cryptocurrencies

Google, one of the largest companies in the world, confirmed at Tuesday’s Google Cloud Next conference that it will start accepting crypto payments for cloud services early next year. The integration of payments via cryptocurrencies will be possible thanks to a partnership with the crypto exchange Coinbase.

Crypto payments will initially only be rolled out to a handful of customers involved in the Web3, but if the crypto payment option catches on, it is possible to expect its implementation  for other customers as well. As part of the collaboration, Google will also use a crypto custody service called Coinbase Prime.

“We want to make building in Web3 faster and easier, and this partnership with Coinbase helps developers get one step closer to that goal,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud.

Accepting payments in crypto is far from Google’s first step into the world of cryptocurrencies. In addition to investing in several crypto companies during this year, Google has, for example, introduced the display of Ethereum wallet balances when an address is searched on Google. In addition, Google Cloud has partnered with the BNB chain to jointly support the growth of early-stage Web3 blockchain startups. Source

Big Mac for Bitcoin?

The multinational fast-food chain McDonald’s has started accepting Bitcoin as a payment method in the 63,000-populated city of Lugano located in Switzerland.

A one-minute video of ordering food on McDonald’s digital kiosk and then paying for it at the regular register with the help of a mobile app was uploaded on Twitter. In the video, the Bitcoin symbol can also be seen on the payment terminal as well as on the door of the building. The implementation of Bitcoin payments at McDonald’s in Lugano is not surprising, as, in March 2022, the city of Lugano announced it would accept Bitcoin, Tether and the LVGA token as legal tender.

In Lugano, it is currently possible to pay taxes via selected cryptocurrencies. Crypto payments related to paying for parking tickets, public services or student tuition fees are expected to be implemented in the near future. According to the survey, up to 200 shops and businesses in this city plan to accept crypto payments for goods and services in the future. Source

The Final Version of MiCa Is Now Available

The European Union (EU) has agreed upon the full legal text of its landmark legislation known as Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) and the legal text of another law related to the making of crypto payments.

MiCA represents the first-ever licensing scheme for crypto wallets and exchanges to be able to operate across the European bloc under a single set of rules. The legislative framework deals with the regulation of crypto service providers and issuers of crypto assets in an effort to protect crypto users and investors across the Union.

The regulatory framework includes, for example, requirements related to stablecoin reserves to prevent possible future collapses, such as the Terra project and its algorithmic stablecoin UST. A separate law on funds transfers requires wallet providers to check their customer’s identity in a bid to cut money laundering.

MiCA should come into force following the completion of the approval process and its publication in the European Union’s Official Journal, expected towards the end of 2022. However, many of its provisions will become applicable in late 2023 or by mid-2024. The full text of the regulatory framework can be found at this link.

Brazilian Companies Are Massively Investing in Bitcoin

As a result of high inflation as well as growing confidence in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, institutional investors’ interest in digital assets is also growing. This trend is confirmed by the latest data from the tax authority in Brazil, which confirmed a record increase in the number of companies owning crypto.

According to local media reports, Brazil’s Federal Tax Office recorded 12,053 unique organizations declaring crypto on their balance sheets in August 2022. This number represents a month-on-month increase of up to 6.1%, setting a new record for institutional adoption in Brazil. The most popular cryptocurrency among institutional investors  is Bitcoin, followed by stablecoin Tether (USDT).

According to a September survey by Bitstamp, Brazilians’ confidence in digital currencies is enormously high. The survey results showed that almost 77% of the population trusts digital assets and believes in their potential.

Over the past few months, several financial institutions in the country have launched various crypto services. For example, brokerage giant XP or payment app PicPay have joined the world of cryptocurrencies and have decided to provide crypto services for their clients. Crypto exchange Binance has also shown increased initiative in Brazil, doubling the number of employees in Brazil since March and opening two new offices. Source

EU Bans Crypto Services in Russia

In response to the ongoing invasion and annexation of Ukraine, the European Union imposed new sanctions on the provision of crypto services to residents originating from the Russian Federation in September.

The Council of the European Union describes the new policy as a full ban on the provision of wallets, account creation, or custody services to Russian residents, regardless of the total value of those crypto assets. A separate statement published by the European Commission said the related restrictions were only put in place last Thursday but that wallets holding less than €10,000 had been exempt from those sanctions.

The sanctions package also contains bans unrelated to cryptocurrency. Specifically, it aims to restrict Russian imports and exports, limit the movement of military equipment, and implement a price cap on Russian oil exports.

On the other hand, Russia is seeking to lift its own restrictions on the use of cryptocurrencies. The Russian Ministry of Finance has only recently announced plans to allow the use of cryptocurrencies for international payments across most industries. Source

Will We See Lower Crypto Taxes in Slovakia?

Members of the National Council of the Slovak Republic from the SaS party, Peter Cmorej and Marián Viskupič, proposed a draft to reduce the tax-levy burden of digital currency sales from the beginning of next year. This step should encourage the use of cryptocurrencies in everyday life, as well as relieve investors from the high taxation of cryptocurrencies.

This could make investing and saving in cryptocurrencies significantly more accessible to the wider public, including in the context of long-term investment savings or the forthcoming pan-European retirement savings scheme.

According to a draft law submitted to Parliament, income earned when exchanging digital currencies for goods, services, or other digital currency would be exempt from income tax. Thus, only income from the transfer of digital currency for fiat or the exchange of digital currency for stablecoin would be subject to tax.

In addition, when digital currency is sold later than one year after the purchase, the income would be taxed at a rate of only 7%. In the case of a sale within one year or exchange for a stablecoin, the income is included in the partial tax base together with other income. Furthermore, the amendment to the Health Insurance Act should exempt individuals from the obligation to pay health insurance levies on income from the sale of digital currencies if the digital currency was not part of their business assets.

This bill is clearly a welcome change for crypto investors in Slovakia, as the current tax-levy burden on realising profits is one of the highest across the European Union. Source

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Daniel Mitrovsky


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