Lessons to be learned from the Current Volatility of the Great British Pound

As we reach September many will argue that 2016 has seen a year of upheaval within the United Kingdom. Big political decisions have resulted in the UK successfully exercising its right to democracy and many members of our society will tell you that this will have far reaching consequences. Whether you are a Brexit supporter or Brexit cynic, there can be no doubt that the recent referendum has had a profound effect on our beloved Great British Pound.

As of this week the pound was down a further 1.5% against the dollar. Currently the pound is sitting at around $1.3120 for the dollar and at €1.1799 at for the Euro. While this wasn’t completely out of the blue, market analysts are expecting a fresh wave of Brexit-impacted data to have further detrimental effect on the GBP and even the UK index as a whole.

This drop has naturally affected many business and organisations such as the pharmaceutical company Hikma which suffered a dramatic plunge with its shares down a massive 17% leading the company to explain that such a fall would result in a drop in profits for one of its generic drug facilities. The well-known insurance provider Aviva actually benefited with a 7% increase leading to a respectable 13% half year rise in operating profits.
We discussed back in June the potential for cryptocurrency to act as a safe haven due to the uncertainty surrounding the pound and whether a potential exit from the EU would hold further consequences. Fast forward a month and here we are discussing the pounds current predicament. With the forecast still looking bleak for the pound perhaps it is time we refresh ourselves on the advantages of cryptocurrencies in these times of economic uncertainty.

What we love about cryptocurrencies are their relative resistance to the usual forces that influence our global economy. Scotcoin hasn’t been affected at all by Brexit nor would it be affected by a financial institution such as an international bank collapsing. In many cases cryptocurrencies benefit from traditional economic failures. This is due to a number of factors – some are simple and some are far more complex! Essentially cryptocurrencies are not controlled by a bank, they are not regulated by the government (as of yet) and their value is based on their trade interaction between users.

While some circumstances can cause  currencies to fluctuate more dramatically than usual – no currency can ever be completely stable – now is a prime time to invest in Scotcoin as an alternative to traditional fiat currencies. Because there is a finite number of Scotcoins ( there will only ever be 1 billion), our goal is to grow the overall value of Scotcoin exponentially over a period of time. With this in mind why wouldn’t you want to buy a product that is currently on the up as opposed to the poor, downward trending pound Sterling?  And do you really want so little interest on those pounds in the bank that you can’t even buy a packet of crisps? Check out our exchange or send us a tweet, text, email or call and we’ll be happy to help! “

legislation

EU Proposes End of Cryptocurrency Anonymity

Since the inception of Bitcoin, Governments have been left with the question of how to manage and regulate digital currencies. In the EU, the stance has always been to learn more and wait. However, this week could mark a change in thinking after the European Commission proposed an amendment to its AML Directive. The proposed reform could see digital currency users tracked, with their details held on a database. Therefore, anonymity in cryptocurrency use could become a thing of the past.

What is AML?

For anyone not familiar with the legislation, AML stands for Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The purpose of the legislation is to prevent money from funding illegal activity. The AML directive sets out guidelines for financial institutions, ensuring that their internal processes are set up to prevent money laundering. It provides examples of red flags and the subsequent steps to take, should suspicious activity arise.

Proposed AML reforms will endeavour to ensure that cryptocurrencies are legally recognised as money and would prompt the creation of a database to link user IDs to their respective wallet. As a result, transactions would become traceable. It is unclear at the moment whether the EU plans to hold all information on a central database or whether the task would be segmented by jurisdiction.

How will this affect my Scotcoin?

Providers of digital currency wallets- which we will be in the very near future- would be required by law to ask all European users to register with their real information. This data must then be made available to financial intelligence agencies, should they require it. The talks come after many cases of money laundering have been thrown out of court due to the fact the defendant’s use of digital currency did not contravene current law.

Our Stance

So, how do we feel about this proposed legislation change? At Scotcoin, our aim has never been to actively or passively assist anyone engaging in illegal activity. Therefore, should the proposed AML directive reform become law then we will welcome the change. The overall aim of the legislation to discourage people from using our channels to fund illicit activity such as terrorism and/or tax avoidance. Scotcoin was not created to be used as such and so we will comply with any EU changes fully if/when the time comes.

Brexit Impact?

Given the recent vote for Britain to leave the EU, it could be the case that Scotcoin is never regulated as such. The European Parliament has stated that it will vote on the proposed changes before 2016 is out. However, we are all aware that regulation changes take time to pass through any parliament. Therefore, it could be some time before new laws are enforced. By which point, Brexit may have already occurred.

Scotcoin is, as we all know, a Scottish cryptocurrency. Scotland is in flux at the moment, with a huge push taking place for independence. So, where Britain goes, Scotland may not follow. With this in mind, we are still paying very close attention to the conversations taking place in the European Parliament. Anonymity was just one of the many benefits held by digital currencies such as ours. We firmly believe that Scotcoin is strong enough and provides a significant number of user features that the proposed changes will not impact its success

Why Accepting Scotcoin makes Sense for Businesses

Since our inception, we have been inviting businesses to become Scotcoin merchants. There are many reasons why it makes financial sense for businesses to do so, especially given our current economic climate.

In the wake of the Brexit vote, the pound sterling has taken a huge hit. There has never been a better time to look to other, more viable safe havens. Scotcoin could, in fact, benefit from the strains currently placed on traditional currencies. As it makes more sense than ever for people to own and use Scotcoin, it is pivotal that merchants begin to accept the currency.  This is where you come in.

Why Accept Scotcoin?

Scotcoin is not governed by any central bank and as such is not dependent on their operation in order to complete transactions. Scotcoin transactions are carried out extremely quickly, as Scotcoin itself is a peer to peer payment system. You will never face delays in receiving your funds.

Scotcoin transactions are extremely secure. The open blockchain system which facilitates the transactions is constantly being improved upon. Scotcoin sits on the counterparty platform on the Bitcoin blockchain which houses all the security benefits enjoyed by the Bitcoin currency. Safety is not an issue.

Most decisions tend to come down to the impact on the bottom line, which is why we must impress upon you that adopting Scotcoin makes financial sense. Many firms lose profit on sales due to the fees levied by services such as Amex, PayPal and MasterCard. Often these fees are dependent on the size of the transaction, which can be between 2.5-4%. This is not the case with Scotcoin. All of our transactions are charged a flat fee of 10p, irrespective of their size. The margin that you would’ve lost to other service providers, is then kept by you- the retailer.

The Set-Up Process

You’ll be pleased to know that including Scotcoin as a payment method is extremely easy. We’re committed to continuous improvement, which is why we’re also working on ways to make it even easier as we speak.

Quite simply, to begin accepting Scotcoin, all you need is a wallet. Set up a wallet using our recommended applications and you’ll be ready to go. You can find detailed information on how to set up your wallet here.

After it has been established, all you need to do is ensure that you publicise your wallet ID and/or its respective QR code. It’s not essential to publicise the QR code, however, it does make it easier for mobile users to complete the transaction.

How do I accept a Scotcoin payment?

Online Retailer

If you are an online retailer then be sure to publish your Scotcoin price equivalent. The customer will have your wallet address and the cost of the item, all that’s left is for them to transfer the coins to you. After doing so, their wallet will issue the customer with a confirmation code which you will ask them to send to you.

Once you receive the confirmation code, you know that your funds are on their way. All you need to do now is look out for the incoming funds.

Physical Premises

Should you own physical premises, the process will be very similar. However, in this case, you must ensure that the customer shows you the code with the correct information and wallet address before handing over any goods.

For instance, if you own a bar then make sure that your bar staff are checking that the recipient wallet address is that of the bar. Also, that the correct number of scotcoins are being transferred. Then at the end of the night, you can tally up the total of scotcoins taken in the same way you would for other takings to get your total profit.

Making transactions using Scotcoin is convenient for both consumers and businesses. The extremely low transaction fees also make it a cost effective and financially sound decision. At present, we are working on developing a specially adapted ‘till’ style wallet, which we hope to debut in the near future. If you are interested in accepting Scotcoin and would like more information, contact us. Also, if you have begun accepting Scotcoin and want to let consumers know then we can help. Just get in touch with us via the website or one of our social media channels.

We believe that we can revolutionise the way that payments are made in Scotland. Are you ready to join the movement?

5 Reasons to Buy Scotcoin

We know that interest in cryptocurrencies, and indeed Scotland’s cryptocurrency Scotcoin, has grown over recent years.  It is also clear that many of those people who are interested in Scotcoin don’t fully understand the financial benefits of buying it now.  In this blog, we will go over some the top economic reasons for purchasing Scotcoin today.

1 – Scotcoin Value is Stabilising

Over the last year, we have seen the price of Scotcoin fluctuate, but still steadily increasing its value in relation to Bitcoin.  This rise has seen Scotcoin value rising from roughly 0.15 of a Bitcoin per million with an increase of nearly 25 times to 3.5BTC per million; and against the value of US Dollar and British GBP the rise has been even greater with a growth of nearly 35 times to its present value of USD 2200 and GBP 1750 to a million Scotcoin. The rise has seen Scotcoin gain credibility as a financial instrument, which allows for a greater trust in the longevity and integrity of the currency. As the pound sterling has fallen in the wake of the Brexit vote, Scotcoin has gained friends and value too.

2 – Unstable Global Economy

All around the world, we have seen an ever more unstable economic climate, but during this uncertainty, cryptocurrencies like Scotcoin have been stable, or increasing in value, as their value is not directed correlated with the stock markets.  In 2008, this instability led to an economic collapse due to debt levels being too high and unsustainable.  Since the collapse, the levels of debt have continued to increase, and over the next few decades, we may see another collapse, which would see many of your traditional investments decrease in value.  This collapse would not affect Scotcoin, and in fact, the worse traditional economies get the better it is for cryptocurrencies.  That is why it makes smart economic sense to invest in Scotcoin as part of your investment portfolio.

3 – The Number of Scotcoin is limited

We know that there will only ever be one billion Scotcoin in existencefor people to purchase.  This is a fixed amount and won’t change, so as we see the use of Scotcoin grow as it becomes increasingly accepted, so it is simple economics to expect the value to rise accordingly.

4 – Strong Growth over the Year

If we take a look at the value of Scotcoin over the last year we can see that the value has grown strongly, although with a volatile last few months.  This volatility has led to a decline in price, however, this decline can be attributed to a pause as market participants wait for the next big rise in value.

5 – Looking for an alternative to Cash

In many Western countries around the world, we have seen an increasing desire to do away with cash in favour of digital payment methods.  This is good for Crypto Currencies like Scotcoin as  payments through the present system lack the privacy that cash offers.  Crypto Currencies , on the other hand,are digital cash and offer the privacy that consumers desire and can’t get from usual payment methods.  So, with the trend that cash will increasingly be sought to be done away with, we will see an increased demand for Crypto Currencies which can only lead to the value of Crypto Currencies like Scotcoin increasing.

Purchase of Scotcoin IP

The Scotcoin Project (TSP) is pleased to announce today that the Intellectual Property and all economic rights relating to Scotcoin have been bought from Scotcoin founder and first mover Derek Nisbet. The rights have been bought by Scottish businessmen Temple Melville and David Low for an undisclosed sum. The package consists of all rights to the name, use, trademarks and domain names relating to Scotcoin and The Scotcoin Project.
TSP has been granted the rights to develop Scotcoin as the cryptocurrency for Scotland and will be unveiling a number of initiatives over the next twelve months designed to increase the understanding, acceptability and usage of Scotcoin as a store of value and means of payment for an increasing range of goods and services.
Project Director Willie Fleming said “Today marks an important step in the evolution of Scotcoin. We are profoundly grateful to Derek Nisbet and applaud his vision. Now it is our job to carry on the work of making Scotcoin a viable alternative to sterling and educating Scots and the wider world about the advantages of strong cryptography, the blockchain and specifically Scotcoin. The Brexit vote underlines how important cryptocurrencies now are and how essential that we in Scotland have our very own – Scotcoin – to fall back on in times of uncertainty.”
About Scotcoin
Scotcoin is Scotland’s own cryptocurrency, freely tradeable and useable worldwide, securely sitting on the Bitcoin Blockchain.
About the Scotcoin Project
 The Scotcoin Project is an educational organisation that has applied for Community Interest Company status. It is dedicated to informing and educating the Scottish people and their friends about the Blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Its mission is to promote and assist with the creation of additional economic activity within Scotland through the use of Scotcoin as the nation’s cryptocurrency.

Contact

The EU Referendum and Your Money

Today Britain will vote in the EU Referendum. The outcome of the vote will decide whether or not we remain as part of the European Union. In the lead up to the vote, the pound sterling has become extremely volatile. The currency exchange rates, driven by the huge level of trade uncertainty have fluctuated wildly in the last few weeks. With such an uncertain future lying ahead for the pound, many are looking to find safer homes for their savings. Cryptocurrency has the potential to be the perfect safe haven.

Fluctuation of the Pound

Since the beginning of the referendum debates, the pound has steadily fallen against other currencies. It has fallen 12.5pc against the Euro, 6.8pc against the US Dollar and 11.4 against the Australian. Much of this drop can be attributed to the fear of a possible Brexit. If Britain vote to leave the EU, our trade deals will have to be renegotiated. This applies not only to EU trade deals but also to those with other countries, which we rely on EU deals to reach. Paving the way for a post-EU Britain will take time. In the meantime, many may opt to sell off their sterling to mitigate the risks posed by the uncertainty.

Buyer Behaviour

Currency outlets throughout the UK have reported a surge in exchanges since the weekend. The Post Office Travel Money has reported that sales of foreign currency have risen by 48.8%. Online purchases have surged, with a 381% rise. The majority of buyers are exchanging their pound sterling for the Euro and American dollar. Some experts have suggested that the pound could even fall to parity with the Euro.

Cryptocurrency as a Safe Haven

Given the instability that we’ve listed above, cryptocurrency is becoming a far more favourable currency option. The main reason for this is that digital currencies such as Scotcoin are not strongly correlated with either the stock market or national currencies. The same cannot be said for the pound sterling. Therefore, now would be a perfect time to hold funds in a digital currency.

Scotcoin vs Traditional Safe Havens

In times of global financial strain, people look for safe havens. Traditionally this has meant stable valuables. Basically, items which traditionally appreciate in value regardless of the global financial climate.  However, these often have many drawbacks. The most obvious problem with holding cash in fixed assets is their lack of portability. Cryptocurrency has no such barriers. It can be moved anywhere quickly and with little effort. As Scotcoin is a peer to peer system, no banks are involved. Therefore, no operating hours are imposed. You can make payments whenever you need to.

In short, your money is protected from outside political factors affecting its value. You can also use the funds as and when you need to. Digital currency such as Scotcoin offers liquidity. At present, they are also not subject to many tax impositions.

To sum up, the EU Referendum is sure to have far-reaching impacts on the UK economy. The pound sterling has already taken a hit which will only be compounded- at least in the short-term- should Britain chose to leave the EU. For those looking for a safe haven which also offers liquidity, Scotcoin presents a perfect solution.

Scotcoin launches CPD

The Scotcoin Project (TSP) in collaboration with Scotesq Ltd (Scotesq) is now offering Continuing Personal Development courses (CPD). These will cover the Blockchain (what it is, how it works, what it could be used for), Scotcoin, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general.

There is a minimum of ten participants required. The full course as delivered by Scotesq costs £250 per person, but a short course complete with CPD certification is available at £100 per person.

We also offer a completely free tutorial on Scotcoin.

Anyone interested in these courses should contact us at [email protected] in the first instance. We will attempt to put together a session within your area. We are particularly interested where a group of at least ten people would like a talk in one location.

Why More Countries are Exploring Digital Currencies

Last week, reports emerged indicating that Russia had entered into talks over the development of a new national digital currency which would operate alongside the ruble. Now, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ has confirmed that it has been undertaking its own experiments with digital currency. Both parties are huge players in the world economy. For most people, this begs the question, what is it about cryptocurrency that currently has the world abuzz?

Quite simply, digital currency stands for innovation in payment methods. Whilst at first, many regulators treated cryptocurrencies with scepticism, now they are open to the possibilities that they represent. Many governments around the world are now in agreement that resources must be dedicated to understanding and researching blockchain and its possible implementations.

Our product, Scotcoin, is a digital currency. We hope that in time it can be used to revolutionise the way we make payments in Scotland. It is decentralised and as such, is continually being improved upon. So, why should you use Scotcoin? Well, let us tell you a little bit more about our vision and the benefits of using our product.

Our Vision

It is our hope that Scotcoin will become an effective alternative to the pound sterling. The way we make transactions is changing. You only need to glance at a news outlet to see how payment methods are becoming more and more entwined with technology. With Scotcoin, we want to ensure that this occurs in Scotland in the right way; in the safest and most secure way. This is the reason why we operate on a secure and continually innovating counterparty platform.

In the future, you will be able to use to Scotcoin with the same ease as using pounds and pence. The number of Scotcoins is fixed at 1 billion. So, the higher the demand for the coin then the higher the value.

If you wish to purchase Scotcoin, check out our full list of vendors.

The Benefits of Scotcoin

Security

We operate on the counterparty platform which operates on the same blockchain as Bitcoin. For those of you who are new to the world of digital currencies, this statement may mean nothing. However, we hope to provide more material to discuss why this is significant in the future. For now, quite simply, it means that our product is always being improved upon by the best minds in the world. As the blockchain is continually evolving, security is continually strengthened.

Only recently Judd Bagley of Overstock.com, one of Bitcoin’s first ever retailers stated that ‘the distributed nature of the network that verifies the integrity of the transactions and associated account balances makes a successful attack mathematically impossible.’

Peer to Peer Transactions

Unlike other payment transfer methods, Scotcoin removes the need for a bank or a building society to facilitate the transaction. In fact, it is more like using cash. As there is no bank or building society involved, there are no account numbers. Therefore, you do not have to share your information. You can ensure your anonymity.

Also, whilst banks are restricted to set operating hours, Scotcoin is not. Banks close at the end of the day, often causing delays in digital payments. Scotcoin transactions can take place all day, every day. They are completed almost instantly.

Very Low Processing Fees

With Scotcoin, you will be charged little or no processing fees for carrying out a transaction. Merchants, in particular, may find that they are losing valuable funds in processing fees for debit/credit cards or even PayPal transactions. At present, a merchant can typically expect to forfeit between 2.7-3.5% per PayPal transaction. You will face nowhere near this level of fee when using Scotcoin, meaning you keep more of the money that you’ve earned.

Digital currencies are changing the way we make transactions. Scotcoin is part of this positive change in Scotland. For further information on how you can become part of the innovation, see our merchant’s page or contact us. We want to make payments easier for everyone in Scotland. Help us achieve our goal.

Cryptocurrency and Taxation

Back in 2009, with the creation of Bitcoin, Government bodies around the world were tasked with dealing with a problem they had never faced before. Namely, how to treat cryptocurrencies within the scope of taxation. This has been a long process and regulation has only come to the fore in the last 2 years in the UK. It should be noted that at present Scotcoin is not taxable. However, it is expected that it may be to some degree in the future. To give you all in an idea of where Scotcoin will fall under the purview of taxation, we’ll be taking a look at the HMRC’s current stance on Bitcoin.

The last directive on Bitcoin by the HMRC was published in September 2014. In a fortunate move for digital currency traders, the UK became one of the best places for Bitcoin start-ups.  The legislation outlined rules on the following taxes:

VAT

The VAT treatment of cryptocurrencies in the UK must be consistent with any treatment which may be implemented across the EU. The EU recently voted on issues surrounding cryptocurrency, which we will discuss in more depth later in the article. However, the overall message is that the EU are taking a hands-off approach to prevent stifling new innovation. At present:

  • All income which comes as a result of mining activities will generally not be subject to VAT.
  • No VAT is due on the value of Bitcoins themselves, where an exchange of Bitcoin to another currency takes place.
  • Charges made as a result of carrying out the above exchanges will also be outside the scope of VAT.
  • VAT will be levied on any goods or services which are sold in exchange for Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.

Corporation Tax, Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax

Businesses which accept payment for goods and services in Bitcoin will see no change in how taxable profit is calculated.

Corporation Tax

Any profit or loss on exchanges between currencies is to be taxable. For any company entering into transactions involving Bitcoin, these transactions will be recorded in accounts and will be taxed under normal corporation tax rules.

Income Tax

In the case of income tax, any non-incorporated business which deals in Bitcoin must declare any profits or losses in their accounts. These will be taxable under normal income tax guidelines.

Capital Gains Tax

When it comes to chargeable gains, any gains or losses incurred on Bitcoin are chargeable or allowable on capital gains tax if they accrue to an individual. They are chargeable or allowable for corporation tax if they accrue to an organisation.

 

How will Brexit affect Cryptocurrencies ?

As we mentioned above, how the UK treats cryptocurrencies for VAT purposes is determined by decisions made by the EU. On the 26th May, the European Parliament decided to take a hands-off approach to blockchain regulation. Instead, MEPs voted in favour of precautionary monitoring. To achieve this objective, a Virtual Currency Task Force is to be created. This task force will monitor how cryptocurrencies evolve and make recommendations for special regulation should the need ever arise.

However, if Britain votes to leave the EU then the above issues will no longer come under their purview. The UK will then have to decide on their own stance in relation to Bitcoin regulation and VAT. The Financial Conduct Authority, the financial regulator for the UK, has already expressed an interest in developing anti-money laundering regulations. This is unsurprising given that the FCA has made strengthening Britain’s AML regulations a priority over the past few years.

To conclude, although cryptocurrencies are subject to some tax regulation in the UK, Britain can still be considered to be one of the best jurisdictions to trade in digital currencies. This may change should Brexit go ahead. However, given that a ‘hands-off’ approach to regulation is favoured by UK regulatory bodies, it is unlikely that these regulations will change too drastically.

Calling all Scotcoin holders

I hope you are all well and enjoyed the brief few summer days we had!

I’m looking for your help.

We know that quite a few people had what we call Scotcoin 1 which lasted until it was transferred over onto the Counterparty system and became Scotcoin 2. There were two transfer periods, the last of which was early in 2015.

IF YOU DIDN’T TRANSFER TO SCOTCOIN  2 YOU WILL HAVE LOST YOUR SCOTCOIN

A few people have contacted us telling us this, and we have told them they are lost and gone forever.

However, as a gesture of good will, we would like anyone who was a Scotcoin 1 holder and didn’t transfer to get in touch with us. We will help you get a new Scotcoin compatible wallet and we’ll even put some Scotcoin into it for you.

If you were interested in Scotcoin when it first came out there are lots of reasons why you should be even MORE interested in it now. We aim to educate and inform anyone interested, especially the Scots. We intend to distribute Scotcoin widely to enable entrepreneurs and small businesses to expand and grow, helping the Scottish economy to help the people of Scotland.

So if you had Scotcoin 1 but don’t have any Scotcoin 2, then remember, we can help and want to help and want to bring you on board as advocates of Scotcoin.

Get in touch on [email protected]