News Updates May 23, 2023

1. MetaMask New Terms Goes Viral As It Can Withhold Consumer Funds To Pay Taxes

Crypto wallet MetaMask faces backlash from the crypto community as new terms of services reveals it can withhold consumer funds to pay taxes.

Crypto wallet MetaMask’s new terms of conditions going viral as it confuses and surprised the community. If you don’t pay taxes, Metamask reserves the right to withhold it from your Metamask wallet for the tax departments.

MetaMask and ConsenSys now face backlash for withholding consumer funds for paying taxes, which is against decentralization and financial freedom.


MetaMask Updated Terms Face Backlash From Crypto Community

According to new terms of service by MetaMask developer ConsenSys, fees payable by consumers are “exclusive taxes unless otherwise noted. We reserve the right to withhold taxes where required.”

MetaMask users are required to identify and pay all taxes, as well as government fees and charges. ConsenSys made some important changes to the Terms of Use related to ConsenSys offerings, including MetaMask in April 2023.

1inch co-founder earlier raised questions on the new MetaMask’s terms stating that MetaMask holds the right to withhold taxes.

Decentralization Is Dying

Decentralization is the primary principle of crypto. The crypto community took to Twitter to criticize the move by MetaMask, claiming it is against decentralization and financial freedom. Some even linked it to the Ledger controversy, saying the backdoor is for paying taxes and meeting other requirements as per the government’s rules and laws.

Metamask has not released any clarifications regarding the crypto community confusion. In December, ConsenSys faced backlash reading its data collection practices. It shared users’ transaction data alongside their IP addresses with its other product Infura. Metamask later updated the MetaMask wallet in response to the backlash.

2. Ukraine’s Anti-corruption Bureau Unveils Plan to Fight ‘Crypto Corruption’.

Ukraine’s anti-corruption bureau has stated that it is probing the crypto sector to unmask money launderers.

In an official National Anti-corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) release, the regulator said that it was teaming up with the United States Embassy for the drive.

The NABU said that its efforts would be “financially supported” by the US State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

As part of the drive, the NABU said, “over 250 detectives and analysts” have begun to “study” cryptoassets.

The NABU called cryptoassets “the tools of ‘modern’ corruption.”

The bureau said it “understands” that the “top” corruption offenders in the nation “try to accumulate, use, and hide a significant part” of their illicit funds “in cryptocurrency.”

It claimed the initiative would comprise a nine-month training program that would cover “cryptocurrency technologies” and “methods of investigating crimes using cryptoassets.”

The NABU wrote:

“This is the largest training course in the history of the bureau.”

It also claimed that both domestic and global “experts” and “specialists” in crypto would provide training sessions.

These will include the “representatives of the crypto community and the developers of analytical tools.”

The sessions will wrap up in January 2024, the bureau said.

And the NABU pledged to “establish channels of cooperation and interaction with key Ukrainian and global crypto exchanges, as well as [...] international law enforcement organizations.”

A table showing trading volumes of the top three coins on Kuna, one of Ukraine’s leading crypto exchanges.

Trading volumes of the top three coins on Kuna, one of Ukraine’s leading crypto exchanges. (Source: CoinMarketCap)

Ukraine’s Crypto Corruption Crackdown Plans

The NABU wrote:

“This [drive] will ensure that cryptocurrency will cease to be a ‘panacea’ for corrupt individuals who want to hide their crimes.”

Earlier this month, the United States said it was providing solutions from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis to help Ukraine track Russian sanctions evaders.

The government is set to roll out new EU-inspired crypto regulations before the year is out, politicians have claimed.