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Mining crypto – a free lunch?

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If you speak to anyone over 50 about mining crypto, it’s likely they will ask you where your pick, hard hat and shovel are. Many of us under 30 will almost certainly have considered it.

Mining is a way of earning cryptocurrencies in your sleep. Or more accurately, a way your computer can earn them while you sleep.

Using your computer’s internal systems to process the complex calculations to load transactions on to the ledger or block earns you coins. The more you calculate, the more coins you earn. This explains why there are huge “farms” in China and plenty of other places running 24/7 to process these transactions.

It can be lucrative, and it is a lot more certain than trying to second guess how a currency will move.


Your capital is at risk.

However, just as there is no such thing as a free lunch in real life, the same is true in the digital world. The taxman is very interested in your mining activities. Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have set out guidance as to how it classes these activities and, yes, you’ve guessed it, there might be tax to pay.

Just like regular mining – for coal, tin, diamonds – at the end of the process, you end up with something of value. This means you earned it (even if it was just pushing a button on a keyboard) and all earnings can be considered taxable. Income Tax, which you pay on your regular wage, might be liable on your mining activities.

HMRC says it is willing to offset “any appropriate expenses” against this Income Tax, but so far it is not clear what “appropriate” means. Consider that mining does not just require a relatively high-powered computer, but a decent chunk of your power supply, too – this might be taken into account, or it might not.

The “miner” is also likely to be liable to pay Capital Gains Tax, should they dispose of the cryptos for a higher value (vs sterling) than they earned them. Double whammy.

But there is a potential get-out clause. HMRC has not publicly announced how much mining makes you an actual miner. It said in December that it would depend on a range of factors, including the degree of activity, organisation, risk and commerciality.

This might mean it is only looking at the massive farms, rather than the smaller setups – but for the moment, we don’t really know.

So, keep an eye on the regulations and announcements from HMRC. No one wants to dig themselves into a hole with the taxman.

Check out eToro’s crypto tax calculator to see if you owe tax on crypto.

Cryptoassets are volatile instruments which can fluctuate widely in a very short timeframe and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Other than via CFDs, trading cryptoassets is unregulated and therefore is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework. Your capital is at risk CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. 

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eToro Launches Sentiment-Based Portfolio for Crypto Investors

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eToro users can now invest in a professional-grade algorithmic strategy from The TIE

October 15, 2019 —  eToro, the leading global investment platform, announces the launch of TheTIE-LongOnly CopyPortfolio, offering users access to a sentiment-based, AIgo-driven investment strategy from The TIE, a cryptocurrency data analytics platform trusted by some of the largest traditional quantitative hedge funds as well as crypto-specific funds.

Guy Hirsch, US Managing Director of eToro, said: “In traditional markets, retail investors have historically lagged behind the ‘smart money’ when it comes to the data and tools available to them. This puts individual investors at a major disadvantage. In the spirit of crypto and decentralized technology, we believe that offering institutional-grade tools to every investor will level the playing field and democratize investing.” 

Cryptocurrency fundamentals are still maturing. They have no revenue, dividends or debt. As a result, social sentiment — people’s positive or negative perceptions — is a significant indicator of crypto asset  price movement. The Tie’s proprietary machine learning and language processing models ingest 850 million tweets per day, quantifying the positive and negative tone of conversations on Twitter. TheTIE-LongOnly CopyPortfolio strategy allocates based on positive sentiment, algorithmically rebalancing once per month.

Joshua Frank, CEO of The TIE, said: “eToro is well-known as a community where some of the smartest crypto traders share insights and strategies. We’re proud to offer investors of…

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Version 2.0 of eToro’s open-source programming language Lira developed to write options contracts

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8 October 2019: eToro, the global multi-asset investment company, has announced that Lira, the open-source programming language developed by eToroX Labs, has evolved to write options contracts on the Ethereum Blockchain for the OTC derivatives market.

Announced at a workshop at Devcon V, Osaka, on 8th of October 2019, Dr Omri Ross, eToro’s chief blockchain scientist demonstrated Lira 2.0’s new features, including writing options contracts. The Lira programming language, recently referred to* as one of the “most imaginative things happening in DeFi today” is one of only two such open source solutions on the market, and is all the more exclusive since it is formally verified.

Responding to the announcement, eToro CEO Yoni Assia commented: “eToro has long held the belief that we will eventually see all tradable financial assets tokenized. Lira, our open source programming language, is a step towards making this a reality, enabling the entire community to write and deploy secure financial contracts on Ethereum. The workshop where this was announced was a central event at Devcon, which is significant in demonstrating how the blockchain community shares our vision for open finance.”

Dr. Ross commented: “I am delighted to see the excitement of the community in response to this project. Developers will now be able to…

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Planning on joining the crypto revolution? What does it take to be a successful trader?

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The potential rewards that can result from successful crypto trading have led to a whole new type of trader entering the fray. Amateur and hobby traders have always been part of the market, but till recently, they constituted an insignificant minority. Yet a combination of new online trading tools becoming available and Bitcoin hitting the headlines for its meteoric rise in value a couple of years ago led to the world and his wife wanting a slice of the pie.

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, and inevitably, many got their fingers burnt and withdrew a little wiser, and often a lot poorer. That’s not due to any inherent fault on the part of the markets – we all know they can go down as well as up. It’s simply a case of inexperienced traders making poor decisions.

As with anything in this world, doing a successful job demands the right tools. Here, we take a look at what an amateur trader needs at his or her disposal in order to hit the ground running and avoid those early mistakes that can be so costly. We will also look at one particular provider, eToro, which has recently entered the US market and seeks to provide a one-stop-shop that delivers everything you will need. 

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Crypto trading is all…

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