Bitcoins rose in value by nearly 1,500% in the past year and although they have now fallen back substantially, they still represent a massive return for those who got in early. For those who are kicking themselves for not having taken a punt on this enigmatic currency when it was first starting to take off, the profits might not be all they seem. Despite being converted into sterling, many British mortgage lenders and brokers are refusing to accept the funds citing money laundering concerns as they cannot trace the source of the money.
Lloyds are refusing to accept Bitcoins, full stop. The European Union has said ‘Transactions with virtual currency benefit from a higher degree of anonymity than classical financial fund transfers and therefore entail a risk that virtual currencies may be used by terrorist organisations to conceal financial transfers. Possible further risks relate to the irreversibility of transactions and the opaque and technologically complex nature of the industry and the lack of regulatory safeguards.’ UK regulation does not prevent investors owning sterling proceeds from crypto currency transactions, however, banks are self-regulating on this and requiring extensive audit trails that most Bitcoin investors do not possess. Better not put down the deposit on the yacht just yet.
The above is the lead article in our latest monthly News Notes – March 2018. Other topics in this edition include:
- Defined Ambition Pension Schemes
- Two Tier Regulation
- Inheritance Tax
- RPI v CPI
- The Independent Office of Tax Simplification
- MiFID 2 Document Changes – Training & Competence Section
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
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