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Tornado Cash Co-Founder Seeks Dismissal of Money Laundering Charges | IDOs News

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Tornado Cash’s co-founder, Roman Storm, has filed a dismissal motion for charges related to money laundering and violating the IEEPA.

Roman Storm, one of the co-founders of the privacy-focused Ethereum mixer Tornado Cash, has put forward a motion to dismiss the charges of money laundering and the breach of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) leveled against him. The legal representatives of Storm argue that the decentralized application (dApp) was designed to operate autonomously and had become immutable and publicly accessible before any misuse by hacking groups, which later came to be sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Tornado Cash emerged as a decentralized protocol that provides privacy for Ethereum transactions by obfuscating the on-chain link between the recipient and source addresses. However, the platform drew scrutiny from U.S. authorities after it was allegedly utilized by North Korean state-sponsored hackers, among others, to launder money. In response, OFAC imposed sanctions on Tornado Cash in August 2022, a move that sparked widespread debate about privacy, decentralization, and regulatory overreach.

The core of Storm’s legal argument is centered on the premise that as a decentralized and autonomous platform, Tornado Cash operates independently of any individual’s control upon its release to the public. The defense further points out that the dApp’s code had been made immutable — meaning it could not be altered or shut down — even before the sanctioned groups began using it. This narrative posits that the developers, including Storm, should not be held accountable for the actions of individuals who interact with the technology post-deployment.

This case underscores the ongoing tension between privacy advocates and regulators in the blockchain ecosystem. The legal outcome of Storm’s motion to dismiss will likely have far-reaching implications for developers of decentralized technologies, potentially setting a precedent for how they might be held responsible for their creations’ use in illicit activities.

Adding to the complexity of this case is the ongoing international debate over the nature of code as free speech. Proponents argue that the development and release of cryptographic software, like Tornado Cash, is an act of expression protected under the First Amendment. However, regulators emphasize the importance of enforcing laws designed to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism, especially when digital asset platforms are involved.

As the crypto community watches closely, the outcome of Storm’s motion to dismiss will provide meaningful insights into the future of decentralized finance (DeFi) regulation. The case raises critical questions about the extent to which developers can be held liable for the decentralized applications they release into the world, especially when those applications are leveraged for nefarious purposes by others.

The case against Roman Storm is part of a broader regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrency platforms and their founders, reflecting a period of significant transition as the industry grapples with increasing government scrutiny. As this legal battle unfolds, it will undoubtedly contribute to the ongoing discourse on the balance between innovation, privacy, and regulatory compliance in the evolving digital economy.

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Binance Futures Introduces Updates to Taker Program, Offering Fee Discounts | IDOs News

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Binance Futures, the futures trading platform of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, has recently unveiled updates to its Taker Program. These updates aim to offer enhanced benefits to eligible users who engage in trading activities on the platform.

Effective from April 30, 2024, at 00:00 (UTC), eligible users will be able to enjoy a taker fee discount of up to 20% on eligible USDT-margined perpetual and delivery contracts. Additionally, users can take advantage of a promotional taker fee rate of 0.0136% when trading eligible USDC-margined perpetual contracts. This promotional fee rate will be available until July 1, 2024, at 23:59 (UTC).

To participate in the Taker Program, users must reach a total futures trading volume of 100,000,000 USDT equivalent within the last 30 days. Once eligible, users can submit an application for the program at any time. The assessment for eligibility will be conducted during the weekly review of the Taker Program.

Users who have previously applied for the Taker Program are not required to resubmit the application form. Their eligibility will be assessed automatically. The taker fee discount and promotional fee rate will become effective on the following Tuesday at 00:00 (UTC) after the weekly review.

Based on their weekly trading volume and volume share on BTC and ETH pairs, users can qualify for higher taker fee discounts on eligible USDT-margined perpetual and delivery contracts. The table below provides an overview of the fee tiers and their corresponding discounts.

It is important to note that from March 26, 2024, at 00:00 (UTC) to July 1, 2024, at 23:59 (UTC), users who qualify for the Taker Program and achieve a minimum 0.5% weekly taker volume share on USDC-margined perpetual contracts will receive a fee tier upgrade one level higher than their actual qualification. Alternatively, users can qualify for a higher fee tier and corresponding taker fee discount on eligible USDT-margined perpetual and delivery contracts based on their weekly trading volume and volume share on BTC and ETH pairs.

To illustrate, let’s consider User A, who achieves a weekly taker volume of 3,500M USDT equivalent, a 2% weekly taker volume share on BTC and ETH pairs, and a 0.4% weekly taker volume share excluding BTC and ETH pairs on USD‚ìà-M perpetual and delivery contracts from April 22, 2024, at 00:00 (UTC) to April 28, 2024, at 23:59 (UTC). Based on their weekly USD‚ìà-M futures taker volume share on BTC and ETH pairs, User A qualifies for Fee Tier 3.

Consequently, User A will enjoy a 20% taker fee discount on trades made on USDT-margined perpetual and delivery contracts starting from April 30, 2024, at 00:00 (UTC)to July 29, 2024, at 23:59 (UTC). Furthermore, User A will also benefit from the promotional taker fee rate of 0.0136% when trading eligible USDC-margined perpetual contracts during the same period.

Binance Futures continues to enhance its trading experience by providing users with fee discounts and promotional offers through the Taker Program. These updates aim to incentivize traders and provide them with a competitive advantage in the cryptocurrency futures market.

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USA and Nigeria to Discuss Digital Economy and AI Advancements for Economic Growth | IDOs News

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The United States of America (USA) and Nigeria are poised to explore potential partnership opportunities in the digital economy, emerging technology, and the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI). The discussions aim to strengthen economic ties between the two countries and foster deeper collaborations in these areas.

The Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy, Mr. Arthur Brown, announced that high-level U.S. government officials will be in Abuja for a conference under the auspices of the U.S.-Nigeria Bi-National Commission. The conference will provide a platform for both countries to discuss the digital economy, emerging technology, and AI advancements.

During the closing ceremony of a four-day Workshop on National Artificial Intelligence Strategy in Abuja, Mr. Brown highlighted the importance of fostering partnerships and working together to drive robust, resilient, and inclusive economic growth. The United States is ready to work with Nigeria as equal partners in various areas, including talent development, infrastructure, research, and innovation. Mr. Brown also commended Nigeria for its support on the adoption of a landmark United Nations resolution on AI and pledged the U.S. government’s continued partnership with Nigeria on the economy.

Nigeria has shown a growing commitment to AI and emerging technologies in recent years. In November 2020, the country established the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), the first of its kind in Africa, marking a major moment for state-level commitment to AI. The NCAIR was established in line with Nigeria’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020 – 2030, which listed AI as one of the eight pillars of the country’s digital economy.

Since the establishment of the NCAIR, AI has featured more prominently in government policy efforts. The NCAIR launched programs to equip children with coding and machine learning skills, making them conversant with AI and other emerging technologies. The Nigerian government has also directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to provide AI research grants to tertiary institutions to drive innovation and improve economic resilience.

In March 2023, Nigeria drafted a National AI policy, co-created by the National Information Technology Development Agency and industry experts, to further strengthen its AI commitment. The country has also launched initiatives like the 3 million Technical Talents (3MTT) program and the Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme (NAIRS) to train young people in AI and support AI startups and researchers.

The upcoming discussions between the USA and Nigeria present an opportunity for both countries to share knowledge, expertise, and best practices in the digital economy, emerging technology, and AI advancements. By aligning AI governance and ensuring safe, secure, transparent, and trustworthy AI deployment, the partnership aims to drive economic growth and innovation in both nations.

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IRS Introduces New Form 1099-DA for Reporting Income from Digital Asset Transactions | IDOs News

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A preview of the new Form 1099-DA, a tax form that will be used by cryptocurrency brokers to record transactions involving digital assets, has been made available by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States of America. As part of the continuous efforts of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to enhance compliance and guarantee that taxpayers appropriately report their income from digital assets, this form has been developed.

By the beginning of the year 2025, it is anticipated that Form 1099-DA will be in use. Brokers will be responsible for preparing this form for each client who sells or trades digital assets. According to the form, brokers will be required to disclose certain information, which may include token codes, wallet addresses, and places where blockchain transactions are taking place. It will be possible for the Internal Revenue Service to identify taxpayers who have transactions that may be difficult to detect via standard ways of information reporting if this level of reporting is implemented.

It is clear that the Internal Revenue Service is committed to resolving the tax consequences of transactions involving digital assets, as seen by the issuance of Form 1099-DA. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the purpose of mandating that brokers record these transactions is to guarantee that taxpayers correctly report their income and pay the required taxes on their activities involving digital assets.

The rising significance of cryptocurrencies, nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and stablecoins in the financial landscape is reflected in the decision made by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to list these digital assets as reportable assets on Form 1099-DA. Having a comprehensive grasp of the digital asset transactions that taxpayers engage in is very necessary for the authorities in charge of taxation, given the continued growth in popularity and utilisation of cryptocurrencies.

Among the crucial data elements that are captured by the draft form are the date of acquisition, the date of sale, the proceeds, and the cost basis of the crypto assets that were sold. For taxpayers to correctly submit their cryptocurrency tax filings, it is vital for them to have these information. Furthermore, the form has a checkbox labelled “unhosted wallet provider,” which serves as an indication that the Internal Revenue Service intends to include unhosted wallets within the definition of a broker. When generating unhosted wallets or engaging with platforms using unhosted wallets, users may be required to give know-your-customer (KYC) information as a result of this shift.

Despite the fact that the draft form offers helpful insights into the reporting requirements, it is essential to keep in mind that it may be subject to modifications as a result of the input that would be received during the comment period. Through its website, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) welcomes members of the public to provide feedback on draft or final versions of forms, instructions, or publications.

As a conclusion, the issuance of Form 1099-DA by the Internal Revenue Service represents an important milestone in the process of regulating and reporting revenue from transactions involving digital assets. Through the requirement that brokers record these transactions, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) hopes to promote compliance and guarantee that taxpayers appropriately report the income they get from digital assets. In order to prevent possible fines or audits, it is essential for taxpayers to be knowledgeable about their reporting responsibilities for digital assets, since the landscape of digital assets continues to undergo continuous change.

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