The big boys, Apple and Google, are now actively developing a payment API for cryptos to use within their browsers. This is a double-edged sword and possibly indicates a shift in tax policy.
I don’t trust either Apple or Google at all. The news from Coindesk about Apple and Google developing a payment API on the heels of multiple avenues of officaldom cracking down on cryptocurrencies is enough to give you whiplash.
The work, started by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) with the help of Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple and Mozilla, is a tangible step forward for a currency-agnostic web payment standard first conceived in 2013. Equally, as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies gain more momentum, the launch signifies the growing recognition of cryptocurrency as a payments technology.
Indeed, the W3C has gotten more interested in blockchain technologies over the years, hosting its first ever blockchain workshop in June last year. But while participants were left with interest in standardizing and democratizing the technology’s use, no formal work was decided upon then. That, however, has changed.
Announced on Thursday, the API is currently being implemented in browsers including Google’s Chrome, Microsoft’s Edge, Apple’s Webkit, Mozilla’s Firefox, the Samsung Internet Browser and Facebook’s in-app browser. When activated, the Payment Request API will allow new payment types, including bitcoin, ether any any other available cryptocurrency (as well as more traditional online payment methods) to be stored directly in the browser.
The last thing anyone should want is for their cryptos to be held in their browser knowing that all code developed in the U.S. is subject to government intelligence oversight.
Trust Big Google
This is absolutely a Trojan Horse designed to look like it legitimizes cryptos like Bitcoin but immediately puts them at risk of seizure by anyone with malicious intent.
First, it’s not like any code developed by these people is exploit-proof. Let’s get serious, security on Android, iOS and Windows is a joke. Google took Linux and made it worse than Windows. It’s actually an astounding feat of bad engineering.
Microsoft, Apple and Google are all very tight with the U.S. government.
It’s part of the reason why Russia continues to crack-down on use of their software. Putin knows it’s all spyware.
Second, if your cryptos are stored in your browser then they can be stolen from you. Forget petty thieves. I’m thinking much bigger than that. Do you really think any of these companies would not comply with an IRS decree to seize your assets directly off of your computer?
If you do, then I have a nice piece of water-spanning real estate to sell you connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Moreover, let’s see how this “standard” develops.
Will it support third-party hardware wallets like a Trezor or Ledger?
Will it accept any crypto in payment, including the anonymous ones like Monero and Dash?
If the answers to these questions in no, then that’s your sign that this API isn’t simply another backdoor way to maintain control over everything.
Cause I’m the Tax Man
This announcement makes me believe that the recent bill introduced by House Reps Jared Polis (D-CO) and David Schweikert (R-AZ) will likely sail through Congress. The bill would exempt cryptocurrency transactions under $600 from capital gains taxes.
While this bill is an unqualified good thing as it will radically improve liquidity it is also the prerequisite needed to jump start this API development. So, while the U.S. will continue to fight the crypto-market officially for as long as it can, it is also bowing to the pressure from its corporate partners to free them up for commerce to begin.
The IRS rule is actually choking off a significant amount of money velocity in the world economy. This will only get worse if it doesn’t change. Bitcoin was designed to put purchasing power back in the hands of the people themselves and take it away from the banking system who demand their vig on every transaction.
So, there will be a trade-off to using this API when it is finally released if it doesn’t support the part of the crypto-market the government doesn’t have control over yet.
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And finally, don't forget, "don't buy bitcoin... it's going to crash!"