IRS and Its $625,000 Bounty, New UNI Token Launched, 87% Surge in BTC ATMs, Kraken Becomes a US Bank

In this edition:

  • IRS Offers a $625,000 Bounty for Cracking Monero and Other Privacy Coins
  • Crypto Community Excited Over Uniswap’s New UNI Token
  • Bitcoin ATMs Surge by 87% in Past Year
  • Kraken: From a Crypto Exchange to a US Bank

Fellow Anchorians, how’s your September going? Better than Billie Joe Armstrong’s, I hope. It’s almost autumn and the affairs in the world of crypto have indeed been various. So many things can happen in a week, but we gladly sum them up for you. 

This 58th edition of Weekly Crypto Roundup brings some interesting news, especially from the US. We will talk about the buzzing events in the community and how we perceive them, as we usually do. Our main goal is to keep you guys informed! 

Now, find a comfortable position, and let’s dive into another Anchor’s Roundup together!

IRS Offers a $625,000 Bounty for Cracking Monero and Other Privacy Coins

By sergiign, Freepik

No matter how tough you think you are, the IRS is tougher. Or at least more persistent. These guys will find you and tax you, rest assured of that. Certainly, the IRS has to do its job and this time, its eyes turn to crypto. 

With the assumption that most crypto transactions are not being reported by the taxpayers, the IRS has decided to do something about it. And, yes, believe it or not – they are offering a bounty of $625,000 for people who will crack privacy coins such as Monero. 

The goal is to break untraceable coins like XMR and to trace transactions on BTC Lightning Network, too. The first $500,000 are meant to finance the prototype with a deadline of eight months. Once this pilot becomes government-approved, $125,000 will follow. 

“IRS-CI is seeking a solution with one or more contractors to provide innovative solutions for tracing and attribution of privacy coins, such as expert tools, data, source code, algorithms, and software development services.”

While this may sound like an attack on crypto, here’s a quick reminder – Chainalysis has already assisted the law enforcement in fighting child abuse, money laundering, and terrorist financing. While cryptocurrencies are an awesome and revolutionary thing, we can’t turn a blind eye on illicit activities. 

I guess what the government is trying to say is – you’ve got nothing to fear if you’ve got nothing to hide. While the blockchain analytics company CipherTrace claims to have the solution for ‘’tracking stolen Monero used for illegal transactions back to the source’’, we are anxious to see what the IRS will come up with. Stay tuned!

Crypto Community Excited Over Uniswap’s New UNI Token

DeFi platform Uniswap launched its new UNI governance protocol token on Ethereum and the crypto community is very excited! Over 13,000 DeFi users have already claimed their tokens and the Binance exchange decided to list it shortly after, too. 

‘’The introduction of UNI (ERC-20) serves this purpose, enabling shared community ownership and a vibrant, diverse, and dedicated governance system, which will actively guide the protocol towards the future. […] UNI officially enshrines Uniswap as publicly-owned and self-sustainable infrastructure while continuing to carefully protect its indestructible and autonomous qualities.’’

Overall, one billion UNI have been minted, and they will become fully accessible over the next four years. 600,000,000 UNI will be allocated to the Uniswap community members, 215,101,000 UNI to team members and future employees, 178,000,000 UNI to investors, and 6,899,000 UNI to advisors.

Many consider this to be a counterattack to Sushiswap that has recently tried to attract Uniswap’s liquidity with its SUSHI token rewards. 

A very positive response came from the community with encouraging comments such as kain.eth’s: The retrospective distribution to all  @UniswapProtocol users is probably going to be the best token distribution we have ever seen. Galaxy brain move by @haydenzadams.

Bitcoin ATMs Surge by 87% in Past Year

By rebrandy, Freepik

Good news, everybody – there are now over 10,000 BTC ATMs (also dubbed BTMs) all over the world! AksjeBloggen, a Norwegian financial services company, conducted research discovering that the number of BTC ATMs has jumped 87% in the past year.

According to the report, the top 3 countries by the number of BTMs are the US (with more than 7,500 ATMs in total), Canada, and the UK. 

‘’In December 2017, there were 1,932 BTMs in the world, revealed Coin ATM Radar and Statista data. By the end of 2018, this figure soared to 4,009, a 107% jump in a year. The number of Bitcoin ATMs operating around the world continued growing in 2019 and hit 5,795 in December. However, 2020 has witnessed a surge in the number of ATMs supporting digital coins, with 3,885 new BTMs operating worldwide between January and September, a 67% increase in nine months.’’

This piece of information screams crypto adoption, am I right? However, while still global, the adoption of cryptocurrencies doesn’t have an equal pace worldwide. For example, on the top 10 list, there are no countries outside of Europe and North America. 

Nonetheless, this isn’t the only valuable parameter for measuring crypto adoption since e.g. Ukraine is also missing from the top 10 list, but in the previous Roundup, we learned this East-European country is de facto the global crypto adoption leader. 

Kraken: From a Crypto Exchange to a US Bank

Hear, hear – Kraken is officially the first crypto exchange that has become a US bank! This well-known San Francisco-based crypto exchange applied for SPDI (special purpose depository institution) charter and the Wyoming Banking Board approved its request.

By definition, SPDIs may resemble custody banks in that these institutions will likely focus on fiduciary activities, safekeeping, asset management, and servicing.

Kraken’s managing director David Kinitsky (and the new Kraken Financial CEO) said: “By becoming a bank we get direct access to federal payments infrastructure, and we can more seamlessly integrate banking and funding options for customers.”

This way, Kraken will now be able to operate in more jurisdictions, with the focus on ‘’building out operations and personnel for the bank’’. The goal is to have 10-25 department heads in the beginning.

We are at the beginning of a potentially new trend for crypto exchanges in the US since, from July, banks, in general, can provide crypto custody services. It remains to be seen what this will exactly mean for the crypto businesses, but we will make sure to keep you guys posted!

Final Thoughts

Alas, the end of another crypto adventure! The IRS, DeFi, BTMs, and crypto banks – we sure did have some variety in this 58th edition of our Roundup.

What was your favorite part? Feel free to share with our Anchor Telegram Community >>

It’s getting harder to separate crypto from other industries – with the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies came various ideas for collaboration and partnerships. But that’s a good thing, crypto came to life precisely to revolutionize the existing system. Be that as it may, I wish you fair winds and the following seas, my dear fellow Anchorians!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not legal, accounting, or financial advice. I am not a lawyer, accountant, or financial advisor. I am not registered as an investment adviser with any federal or state regulatory agency. The Information should not be construed as investment or trading advice and is not meant to be a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any cryptocurrencies.