Africa and the Middle East
Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.
South African Revenue Service changes crypto tax laws: The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has announced a new amendment to the tax code that can potentially increase taxation on cryptocurrencies.
Currently, cryptocurrencies are classified as tech assets and thus they are eligible for tax breaks from the government that is reserved for research and development projects. Now that the tax code is going to be changed, traders will have to pay increased income taxes on their profits.
Blockchain to aid water regulation: A local blockchain company, HashCash, is working with the government to help regulate water in the country. The high-tech infrastructure deployed by the company will allow the government to monitor the water usage which is a critical issue in the country which was hit by severe drought recently.
Cape Town was the worst city affected by the drought. As a result, various blockchain companies are looking to work on water conservation systems, including HashCash.
Kenya opening up to crypto: Cryptocurrencies are getting more and more traction in Kenya especially in the financial sector where it is disrupting the status quo.
Adoption of cryptocurrencies in the country will hope to increase financial inclusion in not only Kenya but other parts of the continent where there is little or no financial inclusion. The increased use of smartphones in the area is allowing the people to move to a cashless, bankless future where cryptocurrencies will play an important part.
Government looks for blockchain solutions: The Tanzanian government is collaborating with academics and researchers to produce blockchain regulations and solutions, according to South African news source The Citizen.
As part of an annual conference on information technology 2018 in Dar Es Salaam, Dr Jim Yonazi, a senior member of Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication, spoke to the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry in devising new use cases of blockchain to devise regulatory moves.
While Tanzania has a practical approach towards cryptocurrencies, progress in this sector has so far been painfully slow, though it had its first baby birth recorded on the blockchain and a few other innovations. The central bank is also studying DLT for effective regulatory practices.
United Arab Emirates
Government recognizes crypto assets as securities: Recently, the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) of UAE has approved a resolution to regulate cryptocurrencies and ICO tokens as securities.
It had been deliberating on a regulatory framework for a while and has now declared cryptocurrency assets as real assets of value and thus, they fall under the framework of the SCA. While the framework itself has not yet been updated for the cryptocurrencies, deliberations are underway to do so.
With the new regulatory status, UAE could become home to more and more cryptocurrency startups in the region. The evidence is out there as the country witnessed the launch of the first officially recognized and registered cryptocurrency exchange recently: The Crypto Bulls Exchange (CBX).
The CBX is not only the first cryptocurrency exchange in UAE but in the whole Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It also became the first cryptocurrency exchange to offer UAE dirham trading pairs for cryptocurrencies.
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