Bitfinex: “We are required to report certain account info to the BVI Govt.”

On 17th May, the fourth largest cryptocurrency trading platform, Bitfinex issued a statement to their users explaining that the users need to reveal their tax information, which might be shared with the government. Bitfinex has a total market capitalization of about $686 million.

Owned and operated by iFinex Inc, Bitfinex is registered in the British Virgin Islands [BVI] under BVI law. According to the statement, they are obliged to report specific information if the government needs it.

Bitfinex has to provide information about their clients to the tax authorities in concordance with the state’s tax laws, based on the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act [FATCA], the Organization for Economic Co-operation, and Development Common Reporting Standard [CRS].

New York Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman has included Bitfinex in the list of Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative as part of an inquiry into the policies and practices of crypto trading platforms. The exchange was requested to provide information on operations, internal controls, registration information, and other key factors to protect cryptocurrency investors and clients of the exchange.

The deadline for the users of Bitfinex to submit the information is on 24th May. The provided information should fill-in the self-certification forms depending on whether they are either individuals, firms or entities. The users who are residents or citizens of the United States of America, an entity organized in the United States or an entity with at least one 25%+ ownership who is a US citizen have to provide tax information by completing the appropriate FATCA form or CRS form, to prevent money laundering or tax evasion.

Whalepool tweeted:

“We completely disapprove that Bitfinex has requested their clients to provide their tax information so that it can be shared with BVI which will be disclosed with the user’s country tax authorities. If you also disagree with our decision, peacefully protest it by withdrawing your money from Bitfinex Exchange”

In response to Whalepool, Bitfinex tweeted:

“We have not sent this message to all clients. We have deliberately targeted clients that we believe have an obligation to self-disclose. If a client has not received a message from us, they need not self-certify anything to us at this time.”

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