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Bitcoin Daily: P2P Crypto Payments Platform Metal Pay Applies For Bank Charter; South Africa Revenue Service Auditing Crypto Holders; Klarna CEO Warns Against Execs Promoting Bitcoin Investments

Metal Pay, a U.S.-based peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency payments platform, has filed for a national bank charter with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), CoinDesk reported.

The bank would be named the “First Blockchain Bank and Trust, N.A.” and incorporated in South Dakota, the report stated.

Metal Pay also plans to file charter applications with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the platform’s CEO, Marshall Hayner, told CoinDesk.

“This would be the first FDIC-insured crypto bank,” Hayner said, per CoinDesk, and the first crypto bank that would accept cash deposits. The FDIC charter would insure those cash deposits.

In other news, Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of buy now, pay later (BNPL) firm Klarna criticized executives and other societal leaders who have been promoting bitcoin investments, Bloomberg reported.

“Whatever you think about bitcoins, what cannot continue is advertising this as a financial investment product with no protection,” Siemiatkowski said Thursday (Feb. 4), while speaking on a virtual panel hosted by German news outlets, according to Bloomberg.

He called the practice of promoting specific stocks a “major risk” for consumers around the world and called on politicians to intervene, per the report.

“I would be put in jail for breaching laws around how you promote investments,” Siemiatkowski said, according to Bloomberg.

Most notably, perhaps, was Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeting this week that “Bitcoin is a good thing,” followed by a surge in bitcoin that hit almost $34,000.

Lastly, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) is auditing taxpayers’ returns, requesting disclosure on cryptocurrency holdings and trades, MyBroadband reported, citing information from Tax Consulting South Africa.

The request is unusual, according to the report, because the taxpayers who had contacted Tax Consulting South Africa regarding the audit requests had not made any crpyo-related transactions.

Along with standard disclosure questions, SARS is asking for confirmation of crypto investments and trades, as well as the purpose for the purchase, the report stated.

“This would have been reasonably expected by the taxpayers if they had made any disclosure of cryptocurrency-linked trading amounts in their returns,” Tax Consulting South Africa said, per the report. “However, in this case, we had explicitly confirmed that the taxpayers had not, to their knowledge, ever effected a cryptocurrency-related transaction.”

Now that disclosure has been requested, taxpayers who fail to answer truthfully could face a fine or up to two years in jail, the report stated. The audit requests signal that SARS is “pursuing non-compliant cryptocurrency traders.”

“While further cryptocurrency regulation is certainly on its way, and with the international Common Reporting Standards now in full swing, audit requests are still a primary weapon in SARS’ arsenal and the walls are closing in on non-compliant cryptocurrency traders,” Tax Consulting South Africa told MyBroadband.

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