In this edition of The Daily we cover the next step in the crypto strategy of the Opera browser, a new tax reporting tool for major cryptocurrency investors from EY, a response from Coinbase’s former surveillance partner Elliptic, and an update on hacked New Zealand exchange Cryptopia.
Opera to Bring Crypto Wallet to iOS
Opera Ltd (NASDAQ: OPRA), the Norway-headquartered company behind the web browser used by over 320 million people, has announced Opera Touch for iOS to Web 3. This means that users of Apple devices will soon gain access to a full-featured browser with an integrated native cryptocurrency wallet and dapp browsing functionalities. The company made the decision following the success of its crypto wallet and dapp explorer in Opera for Android, and in response to popular demand from the Ethereum community. Earlier this year the Norwegian browser-maker enabled its Android users in Scandinavia to buy cryptocurrencies directly on their smartphones.
EY Creates Crypto Tax Tool
Ernst & Young, one of the “Big Four” global accounting firms, has launched a solution in the U.S. for facilitating accounting and tax calculations for cryptocurrency transactions. The EY Crypto-Asset Accounting and Tax (CAAT) tool was developed by integrating recently acquired technology assets and related patents. It sources transaction-level information from major exchanges, consolidates the data, and allows for the automated production of various reports and dashboards as well as preparation of IRS tax returns.
According to EY, the tool will be used to serve institutional clients that have crypto assets on their balance sheets, as well as both institutional and individual clients who trade such assets on a smaller scale. From a retail client perspective, the product will be offered to high net worth individuals served by the private client services practice. The accounting firm reports it has seen a significant increase in the number of clients that hold and trade crypto assets.
Elliptic Rejects Allegations of Selling Users’ Personal Data
Dr. James Smith, the CEO of Elliptic, has confirmed that his company provided cryptocurrency surveillance services to Coinbase but denied distributing traders’ personal information for financial gain. The exchange has been under a lot of public pressure recently following its acquisition of Neutrino, a competing surveillance service with ties to Hacking Team. One way Coinbase defended the acquisition is by claiming that having a surveillance team in-house will prevent the need to send information to third parties that can then sell that client data.
The CEO of Elliptic explained that the company has no access to end users’ personally identifiable information. “Our exchange clients, including Coinbase, do not provide us with any personally identifiable information about their users. Our clients use our solutions to screen specific transactions for risk. We do not require or request any transaction data that we can link to individuals, and do not have any other client information such as names, addresses or social security numbers.” His carefully worded denial stopped short of stating that Elliptic has not passed data onto third parties for purposes other than financial gain, however.
Hacked Exchange Cryptopia Is Back Online
The website of New Zealand-based cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia is now back online. The platform, which was hacked at the start of the year, losing almost 10 percent of its assets, is operating in read-only mode and showing balances as they were on Jan. 14. The company has also announced that the next phase in its recovery will be introducing cancel-only mode in the coming days for users to cancel any positions before the trade engine is turned back on and full operations recommence.
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