Crypto Regulation Around the World

Regulation around cryptocurrency is still very unclear and governments around the world have very different ideas about it. While some jurisdictions are trying to ban it outright, others just want to have a bit more control over how it’s traded. Some jurisdictions still don’t fully understand crypto and still don’t know if it should be qualified as a currency or a security. Understanding regulations is very important for traders as they can have serious tax and legal implications. Let’s look at a few examples of how crypto trading is regulated around the world.

United States

Even if crypto trading and mining are very popular in the US, the country still doesn’t have a clear regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. The SEC, the Treasury, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission all see cryptocurrencies differently, calling them a security, currency, and a commodity respectively. Not only that, but the IRS classifies cryptocurrency as property, which further complicates things for traders.

The country has done a great job at regulating exchanges in the country, however. All exchanges have to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act and be registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. They also have to abide by the Anti-Terrorism Act and anti-money laundering (AML) legislation.

Japan

Japan is another country that has decided to embrace crypto, and like other regions has seen a rise in the popularity of crypto trading via a range of providers that seek to serve this booming market. These include “regular” crypto exchanges, to decentralized exchanges known as a DEX, to online brokers of crypto derivatives like contracts for difference. All locally based trading platforms have to be registered with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA), which is one of the most rigorous financial regulatory agencies in the world. All exchanges have to be compliant with AML obligations as well. Crypto gains in the country are taxed under “miscellaneous income” and crypto is viewed as property from a tax standpoint.

United Kingdom

The UK, like many other countries, does not recognize crypto as legal tender, but as property. All exchanges operating in the country have to be registered with the UK Financial Conduct Authority. They also have to abide by special ‘know your customer’ (KYC) regulations and follow AMT and CFT guidelines.

Canada

Canada is one of the countries that has taken the most proactive measures to regulate crypto trading. All exchanges in the country have to be regulated by provincial agencies. The country is also one of the first to accept crypto derivatives by being the first to approve a Bitcoin ETF in February 2021.

Australia

Australia is relatively proactive when it comes to crypto and has some strict rules about what exchanges can offer services to Australians and even which coins they can offer. Australia is one of the only countries to formally ban privacy coins, and exchanges operating in the country have to register with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre while abiding by AML/CFT regulations. Australia also has strict rules regulating initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto is treated as legal property under the tax code.

Even if most countries have similar legislation governing crypto, there are still some nuances. This is why traders living in these countries or thinking of trading within their borders should learn more about the regulatory framework in each country before starting.

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How Does a Credit Union Work?

The first thought of many people who need to take out a loan is to turn to banks. But there are other institutions in the financial system that you can apply to for a loan, such as Payday Depot or a Credit Union.

Brief Credit Union History

The first Credit Unions appeared in the 19th century. In 1934, president Franklin Roosevelt adopted the Federal Credit Union Law, thereby creating more favorable conditions for their development and dissemination. It stated that a credit union could be established under federal or state law. The adoption of this law was followed by the creation of the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund regulated by NCUA, and their deposits have become insured at the federal level. Now that you know a bit of history, let’s try to understand what the credit unions are and how they work. 

What Is a Credit Union?

Credit Union services are quite similar to bank services, but with one significant difference. Banks attract customers and provide them with their services, whereas a Credit Union is а member-owned, member-controlled financial cooperative. Serving millions of people, Credit Unions are managed by a Board of Directors with a principle of one participant – one vote. Credit unions are open to everyone, and all members can participate in the elections of the Board of Directors. According to federal laws, these people serve credit unions as volunteers and don’t get compensation.

Credit Union vs. Commercial Bank

While commercial banks operate exclusively based on the profit received from their customers, the goal of Credit Unions is to provide their members with the necessary financial resources at more convenient conditions. Credit Unions work on the not-for-profit principle, but this doesn’t mean that they are charitable foundations. Credit Unions still need to provide some profit for themselves to cover operating expenses. The services provided by Credit Unions include:

  • Deposit accounts and boxes
  • Debit and credit cards
  • Consumer loans
  • Car loans
  • Mortgages
  • Home Equity Loans and many more

Thanks to the Credit Unions’ business model, many of these services will cost less. 

Types of Credit Unions

Credit Unions can be classified based on the level at which they are registered. This classification has two types:

  • Federally Chartered Credit Unions, regulated by the NCUA.
  • State-chartered credit unions, regulated by the government. It is worth mentioning that not every state has a state-chartered Credit Union. 

Besides, Credit Unions differ depending on who can become members of the Credit Union in question. Here are some examples:

  • Local Credit Unions
  • College Credit Unions
  • Military Credit Unions
  • Employer Credit Unions
  • Group Credit Unions

Bottom Line

Along with reasonable prices for services, credit unions also have restrictions. Firstly, it is necessary to be a member and make contributions to benefit from them. Secondly, the Credit Union network is not as widespread as the banking one. In addition, they do not own large assets like banks, and because of this, they may have stricter limitations when it comes to providing services.

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3 Changes You May Make for Your Business

Do you have any thoughts to making significant changes to your business anytime soon?

In the event you say yes to such a question, what might those changes be?

Making one or big changes to something you’ve worked for over the years can seem a little daunting.

That said it is important to have faith in any big decisions you want to move ahead with.

Changing the Status of Your Business

When considering changes for your business, here are three that may come to mind and why to consider them:

  1. Organizing in a different way – Have you given thought to the possibility of changing? That is how your business is legally organized? For example, what about the notion to convert C Corp to an LLC for your business? Doing this can allow shareholders to take proceeds. They can then make contributions with them to the LLC. Such a conversion can also mean tax benefits over time. Be sure you do research and speak to pros familiar with the conversion process. Do what it takes to avoid a big tax bill you want no part of it. Organizing in a different way can also mean you will expand beyond your present base. If you only have one office or other sort of workspace, any thoughts to expanding? This can lead to more business. It may mean going outside the town or city you are in now. By knowing when the proper time to grow your business is, you could set the stage for a boom. This is one that will take your company to new heights.
  2. Changes in management – Depending on the size and scope of your business, might it be time to shake things up? That is with your management if you have people in such roles? Such changes are big and should not be taken lightly. That said you may be at a point where you sense such a move can better propel the business forward. One of the keys to having a successful business is having the right people in the right positions. So, take stock of those individuals you have now and what they are doing. You may well decide that some change is needed and can’t wait.
  3. Go in a new direction – Although it is a big move, would you consider taking your aspirations in a new direction? This can mean selling what you have now and starting fresh. Even though such a move is a big one, you may feel it is in your best financial interests to do this. So, before you make such a move, sit down and think it over from start to finish. Do you have the financial means to sell your business and open something brand new? That of course depends in part on what kind of offers you may get for your current business. You’d also need to think if you have employees about how such a move would impact them. Finally, what are the trends showing in the industry you are thinking about going into? Doing all this research is key before considering a move. Remember, it will have a major impact on your life in more ways than one.

In making changes for your business, are you confident you will make all the right decisions?

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How To Find a Legitimate Lender Online

There are a number of lenders out there who claim to offer a safe and reliable lending service, but are these always accurate?

When looking to borrow any type of loan from a lender, it’s important to ensure that they are a trustworthy provider to borrow with and to entrust your personal details with.

Otherwise, handing such sensitive information over to an untrustworthy service can come with some significant, perhaps damaging consequences – or you can find that you are overcharged or there are upfront fees taken from your account.

Thankfully, there are a few tell-tale signs you can look out for to differentiate between the lenders to trust and the lenders to avoid. In this article, we explore some top tips on how to borrow money safely.

1) Check The Lender is FCA and SEC Authorised 

The Financial Conduct Authority (or FCA for short) is the UK’s financial watchdog and SEC is for the United States, which both sets and enforces the regulations for loans and rules that consumer credit firms must operate within.

If you’re unsure whether the lender you’re looking at has been authorised by the FCA, you can check this via the FCA’s Financial Services Register. Users can search this list by using the postcode of the firm, their name and reference number.

The Financial Services Register can help users find out if the lender they’re looking at is authorised to offer the services it’s currently offering, the exact types of activities they are authorised to carry out, as well as details of the firm including the main business, contact details and trading names.

2) Check the Website for Signs of Legitimacy

There are also a few features of a lender’s website that can help to suggest they are a legitimate business.

One sign to look out for is if they have their full contact details clearly displayed on the website, making it easy to reach them for any queries or concerns you may have. Be sure to check the terms and conditions too for details including company name, address and how they use your information.

Another sign is to check whether the website has HTTPS. Check to see whether there’s a padlock symbol by the URL. If it’s there, the website is secure. If there isn’t a padlock you shouldn’t use the website.

3) Check Reviews and Social Media

Another great way to check the trustworthiness of a lender is to explore their reviews – e.g., through Trustpilot and other reputable review sites. These reviews can give you a realistic insight into the experience customers have had with the business, which can help you to assess whether their services are safe for you to use.

But you must be critical when looking at the reviews, since having only good reviews might seem unnatural and perhaps they are not real, so you want to have a fair balance to get a good idea.

Similarly, you should check social media for activity and engagement, since a legitimate company will be posting on facebook and twitter regularly and also getting feedback from customers – and this is a telling sign of a real company.

4) Check the Language and Any USPs

The common language used by rogue companies includes ‘guaranteed’ or ‘100% approved’ – meanwhile we know that all customers should undergo checks to ensure that they can afford repayment without causing financial difficulty, especially if they have bad credit.

One should also be conscious of any USPs or terms that require you to make a payment before receiving a loan – since you should never have to put down money upfront. This is a common sign of an illegitimate lender.

Finally, good lenders are transparent, clearly stating their fees and how much a loan should cost – and this is always a good indication of someone good to work with.

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Should you borrow money from family and friends? 

 

Borrowing money from family and friends is one of the oldest and most popular ways of getting access to finance. On a daily basis, it might start with borrowing $10 here and there for drinks or tickets to a show, but on a larger scale, it is one of the main sources for funding big purchases, especially from parents to children, who may be helping to buy a new car, a new property or for starting a business.

But it is also widely known that money amongst friends should not mix – and if not handled well, it can lead to conflicts, falling outs and even legal action.

With this in mind, we give you some of the key things to consider when borrowing money from family and friends.

When is borrowing money from people you know a good thing

Borrowing money from family and friends certainly has its place. In times of need such as funeral costs or household repairs, the trust and bond that you have between close family and friends can help you get through a difficult time.

For these kinds of expenses, the lender is also likely to be a lot more patient and considerate in terms of repayment – and they would not be lending out the money if they expected it back quickly or at all. It is purely because they want to help.

Similarly, when your parents give you money to buy your first car or get on the property ladder, there is no real expectation to repay and no doubt your parents receive joy from helping you during this important milestone in life.

Furthermore, if the person has been turned down for a loan due to various reasons, such as bad credit or no credit – this can be a better loan option than using a loan shark, payday loans or high cost loans, which are very prominent in areas such as Nevada, Texas and California.

When borrowing money turns sour

Borrowing money from people you know can turn ugly if the expectations are not met. Whether it is a small or large amount, it can get a bit hairy if the lender is expecting repayment and this does not materialise within the expected timeframe.

The purpose of how the money was spent is also key here. If it was used for a personal or emergency expense, this is likely to result in more patience and need for fast repayment.

If the reason for borrowing is not disclosed and the borrower is seen living a lavish lifestyle or making poor life decisions e.g alcohol, drugs – this is likely to cause resentment and lead to an unhappy friendship or relationship.

Should you have a contract?

If you are lending out money to a friend and expecting repayment, there is an argument to put a contract in place, even if it is just a one-pager or written up casually on a piece of paper.

This achieves to formalise the agreement and above all, it manages expectations including the amount borrowed, when repayment is expected and any interest (if this applies).

Even just a basic email that highlights the terms is something that can legitimise the transaction and there is nothing wrong with this amongst friends. Although, you should probably avoid a lengthy agreement sent by your lawyer!

Make sure you manage expectations

Overall, borrowing amongst family and friends is just about managing expectations. You want to avoid conflict and any bad feelings, and if it works out, maybe even borrow money again. But knowing exactly the purpose of the loan and when repayment is expected are the most vital things to ensure that the transaction goes smoothly and the relationship remains strong.

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What to Do When Your Reverse Mortgage Becomes a Financial Burden

Did you take out a reverse mortgage? Many seniors consider reverse mortgages to deal with financial issues that they encounter during retirement.

There can be a lot of great reasons to take out a reverse mortgage. However, they are not without their own issues. You need to be aware of the potential pitfalls that you are going to encounter when you have a reverse mortgage.

Some of the problems with reverse mortgages might creep up on you over time. Fortunately, there are ways that you can deal with them.

Here are some things that you can do to offset any issues that were created by a reverse mortgage.

Consider refinancing your reverse mortgage

According to All Reverse Mortgage, “You can also refinance your reverse mortgage if you don’t like the interest or other terms associated with it. This might be your best option if you think that you will need to sell your property in a few years.” Refinancing will keep you from losing a large amount of money and interest. It would also be ideal if you want to make sure that your kids or other people inheriting your estate will get more.

The process of refinancing your reverse mortgage is very similar to that of refinancing a traditional mortgage. The only caveat is that you generally need to wait at least 18 months after taking out the original reverse mortgage before you can refinance it.

You should take a close look at your credit history before submitting a refinancing application. Your payment history keeping up property charges is going to be the most important factor for qualifying for a better HECM in most cases.

If your credit has improved since you took out the last reverse mortgage, you will possibly be able to qualify for that terms. You can also try to take steps to improve your credit score if you want to take preemptive measures to get a better deal. You should start by looking at your credit reports and seeing if there are any errors on them. Around 20% of all credit reports contain errors, which could be hurting your score. You should also take a close look at any outstanding debt that you have. If you still have a large amount of money from your reverse mortgage, then you should use it to pay off high interest debts, such as credit card bills. This will both boost your credit score and minimize your long-term expenses. It will be a win-win, especially if you get a cheaper read on your reverse mortgage.

You should also settle any possible liens on your property. They could be hurting your potential of getting a better read on your reverse mortgage.

Lease your home instead of selling it before you move

When you take out a reverse mortgage, the bank is going to give you money that will later be taken out of the value of your home. Unfortunately, you have to hold onto the property if you don’t want to pay the reverse mortgage loan back.

You might end up in a situation where you really can’t stay in your home. You might feel like you are a prisoner to your loan, because it is keeping you from relocating if you can’t afford to pay it back.

You might not have been concerned about this when you first took out your reverse mortgage. You probably thought that you would never relocate. Unfortunately, problems happen. You might get an unexpected divorce. You might develop health problems that prevent you from living in an area with bad weather or excessive pollution. Your kids might take new jobs in another state, which forces you to move as well if you want to be close to them.

Before you bite the bullet and sell your home to repay your reverse mortgage, you should explore other options. One idea that you might want to consider is leasing out your home and using the cash from it to pay for new housing wherever you want to relocate.

This might give you the best of both worlds. You get to keep the money that you secured from your reverse mortgage and have the flexibility to relocate at the same time. You don’t even have to physically deal with your tenants if you are willing to outsource that obligation to a property management company.

Explore property tax relief services

Property taxes are among the reasons that people when face problems with their reverse mortgages. You might be required to repay your reverse mortgage if you stop paying your property taxes.

You might be able to get ahead of the problem by seeking property tax relief services. The terms of these services vary between jurisdictions, so you should pay close attention to the requirements. The governor of Idaho recently signed a property tax relief bill, which is an example of how these services work. If you are eligible, you might avoid property tax problems that could trigger a requirement to repay your reverse mortgage.

Make sure that you are reverse mortgage is a benefit rather than a liability

There are a variety of reasons that reverse mortgages have become popular in recent years. They really do offer a lot of benefits. However, there are some situations where they could become a burden, so you need to take steps to avoid that from being the case.

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Robert Testagrossa – Why NFTs Work So Well

NFTs are a hot topic at the moment and we are seeing many companies set up by experts like Robert Testagrossa which are focused towards the rising success of NFTs. This isn’t necessarily a new idea, it is in fact one that has existed for a number of years now, but in recent months we have see an enormous focus on this aspect of the blockchain.

Today then we are going to take a look into what NFTs are and why they work so well for all parties involved.

Breaking Down an NFT

To those of you who aren’t sure what an NFT is, this stands for ‘non-fungible token’ in layman’s terms this means that it is a digital product which is not fungible, or transferrable across the blockchain. We can use NFTs in artwork, music, event tickets and many other forms of token. Those who buy an NFT, in whatever capacity it takes, will be the sole owner of that token. This can be resold by the owner, but the address for the NFT will always remain the same.

Security

One of the biggest reasons as to why NFTs work so well is that they are an incredibly secure way of passing on and storing information. Back in the European Championships in 2016 we saw tickets being delivered as NFTs, which made them much more secure that paper tickets or even emailed tickets. This can also greatly help with concert tickets, which are often bought and sold by scalpers who drive the ticket prices up, and restrict people from having tickets. NFTs is a great way to solve this problem.

Control For Artists

In the world of art and music we are seeing time and time again that artists are not making the money that they should do from the work which they are completing. There are so many record companies for example who rake a huge cut from the artist’s work, as well as art houses who take a slice of artwork created. Using NFTs mean that the artists no longer need that third party in order to get their work out there. This gives them the power to release as many NFTs as they like, and it means that they will end up with an overwhelming proportion of the money which is made from sales.

Increased Demand

And finally, as more and more people learn about what NFTs are, and more and more professionals jump onto the possibilities of NFTs, we are going to see a huge increase in demand. This has already started of course and many NFT artworks are being snapped up each and every day, by people who perhaps usually wouldn’t. This increase in demand is great for everyone involved with NFTs.

The possibilities for this technology really are endless and in the coming years we are certainly going to be seeing big changes within the world of NFTs. What do you make of this new technology?

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Businesses Which Equipment Financing Companies Can Help

Equipment financing companies offer businesses something slightly different when it comes to helping them secure funding. What these companies specifically do is offer funding solely for new equipment for the business. This means that your company can free up capital which it was going to spend on equipment, to keep for other aspects of the business. Furthermore using these funds you would still be able to get lines of credit elsewhere. Another reason why many will look towards equipment financing is that they are much more likely to be approved, based on the fact that the money loaned is going directly towards a tangible asset. 

So what exactly kind of businesses could benefit from this kind of financing? Let’s take a look. 

Restaurant Business

As anyone in the restaurant business will tell you, equipping a kitchen is no small ask and that is why they will often need funds to help them get their kitchen equipment up to scratch. The cost of ovens alone are enough, and that is before you factor in any additional equipment such as pizza ovens to support the business. For this reason this is often an industry which will seek out equipment financing. 

Adventure Companies 

Another type of business which requires extra funding to get set up are adventure companies, which of course have to rely on pretty pricy equipment in order to get things off the ground. Whether it be the buying of ATVs, jet skis or even an airplane, there is absolutely no doubt that these kind of companies desperately require some additional support in order to offer their customers the very best experience. These companies will often rely on the specific financing for these kind of vehicles. 

Manufacturing 

No matter what you happen to be manufacturing, there is absolutely no doubt that getting things set up and off the ground is going to be expensive. The sheer volume of machinery inside these factories is incredible and that is why they depend on this kind of financing in order to get going. One thing which these companies in particular can count is the fact that those machines are incredibly powerful and owing to the volume of output it isn’t long before they have paid for themselves more than once over. 

Brewery 

In recent years we have seen microbreweries become incredibly popular and if we take a look at just some of the equipment which they use in their industry, the costs are pretty high. Most microbreweries are small operations and they simply don’t have the funds to invest in all of that equipment. Having said this, in order to get set up they are required to invest in so much of the equipment otherwise they just can’t produce what they would like to. This is yet another industry which relies on this kind of funding to get things rolling. 

This is a fantastic option for businesses to consider when it comes to getting themselves started.

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3 Tips to Being a Smart Small Business Owner

For many individuals, the idea of owning their own small business can be quite appealing.

From making your decisions to setting a schedule around your needs can be appealing.

That said operating a business takes smarts, good money management and even some luck.

With that being the case; are you cut out to be a good small business owner?

What will it Take for Success?

In looking at what it will take when it comes to operating a business for years to come, here are three areas of focus:

  1. Money management – How good of a job you do with money management will go a long way in determining a level of success. With that in mind, do you tend to do a good job of overseeing your finances? If not, now is the time you need to focus on that. Bad money management can doom a small business from the start. Given challenges small businesses face, especially in the early years, be on top of your money. That actually starts before you even open up your business for the first day to customers. If you are looking at acquiring a startup company, make sure you do your homework. Doing so will help you to find the right startup at the right price. Know that there are services online to help you with the search. By having that help, you are in a better position to find the right small business venture to move ahead with. Once running your company, look for good deals in working with vendors. Also be smart to avoid running up sizable debt. Make it your business to manage finances the right way.
  2. Overseeing employees – If you will need to hire people to help you operate a business, make the best hires. While some bad hires here and there tend not to be the end of the world, you do not want it to become a habit. Knowing you have the most qualified folks and they give you their best efforts each time out means a lot. Of most importance, it means your customers are getting good service. As a result, many are likely to stick with you for years to come. Also make it a point to treat your employees well. In doing so, you build a level of trust and most will go the extra mile for you.
  3. Promoting your brand – Last, how successful can you expect your business to be if too few consumers know it? That is why it is so important to get the word out from day one. Make sure the consumer world knows all about you and your brand. Use all the resources at your side to help spread the word to consumers. You might even want some customers to do some testimonials, tell family and friends about you and so on. Of all the key jobs you have to do in running a small business, being a good promoter is one of the critical ones.

When a small business is a big part of your life, how good of a job will you do in running it towards success?

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Saving for a rainy day? 4 ways you can look after your money and save it

We’d all like a little more money each month. But in today’s financial climate it’s certainly not easy to save for a rainy day and it’s only going to get harder. If you’re isolating at home, you may be feeling a little uncertain about your job security and your future, which is why saving as much money as possible has never been more important.

Whether you’re in between jobs, waiting for your benefits to kick in, how long does it take to get SSDI back pay? (Click the link to find out) if you’re wondering if you’ll have a job to go back to when all this is over, here you’ll find some useful saving tips that will help you make the most out of your current financial situation.

Do you really need new clothes?

We all have our vices and for some of us, spending money on clothes that we don’t need is certainly a habit that needs kicking. Whether you want a new outfit every time you head out with friends, or you like to have several pairs of gym leggings to choose from each day, clothes spending can quickly spiral out of control. Instead of spending money on new clothes, take better care of the ones you have! Consider the following:

  • Having damaged clothing repaired
  • Following the care instructions so they last longer
  • Shop second hand or swap for other items

Food, glorious food

Food takes up a huge chunk of our monthly budget. Saving money on food is easy, but believe it or not, you don’t have to stop eating the things you love to save money. Consider the following ideas:

  • Always shop with a list and a specific budget
  • Never food shop when you’re hungry
  • Create a meal plan for the week
  • Buy ingredients like rice, pasta, chopped tomatoes and sauces in bulk
  • Make freezer friendly meals

Go through your bills

We can all make savings here and there on our utilities and other expenses. Price comparison websites are your friends here. But don’t forget to compare the following:

  • Your broadband
  • Phone package
  • Water, electricity and gas
  • The items on your food bill
  • Your home, contents and car insurance

Sell, sell, sell!

Old clothes, toys, books, games, DVDs and other household items. If you don’t want them, someone else might. So, place these unloved items online and see how much money you could earn.

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