Perhaps the biggest news in the cryptocurrency world this past week was that Bithumb reported a large loss of 205.5 billion won, or $180 million, in 2018. The South Korean exchange's profit plunged into the red from a net profit of 535 billion won in 2017. Revenue grew 17.5% to 392 billion won, up from 333.4 billion. Operating expenses jumped from 68.3 billion won to 135.6 billion. Bithumb suffered its most recent hack two weeks ago. It has since changed policies to hold all customers' coins in cold wallets in order to prevent future hacks.
Here is the rest of the week in review:
Several US lawmakers again urged the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to clarify cryptocurrency tax rules ahead of the April 15 tax filing deadline. A bipartisan letter sent to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig asks the agency to explain how it is treating various coins for tax purposes. The IRS ignored a similar letter last year. The lawmakers believe the IRS needs to clarify how taxpayers should calculate cost basis, lot relief, and assignment, as well as the tax treatment of coins obtained from hard forks, such as Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The lawmakers' letter requested written guidelines by May 15. That would mean confused taxpayers need to request a tax filing extension to October if they still do not know how to report crypto gains.
Horizen Labs announced it has raised $4 million, double its original goal of $2 million, in a seed funding round. The blockchain startup raised seed funding from venture capital firms Digital Currency Group and Liberty City Ventures, plus independent angel investors. The American startup is a spinoff of Horizen (ZEN), formerly ZenCash. Horizen Labs plans to use seed funding to develop cheap, efficient, and customizable blockchain solutions for enterprise. Its main feature will be a proprietary sidechain-as-a-service platform, and it aims to pursue partnerships with third-party businesses seeking blockchain integration.
Crypto prices fell modestly to around $174 billion this week, unable to keep the wild pace of gains from the past month. Bitcoin (BTC) clung above $5,000. For the majors, Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash, Stellar (XLM), and Ripple (XRP) fell the hardest with double-digit percentage losses. Only Binance Coin (BNB) and Tether (USDT) ended the week positive. In the top 100, the biggest losers are Loopring (LRC), down 30%, Project Pai (PAI), down 21%, and Maker (MKR), down 20%. The biggest gainers are Lambda (LAMB), up a whopping 142%, Crypto.com Chain (CRO), up 58%, and TrueChain (TRUE), up 21%. Traders will watch to see if crypto can retake the recent high of $180 billion.
The author owns a small amount of BTC and LTC.