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Michael Saylor, MicroStrategy to pay $40m in tax evasion settlement

MicroStrategy CEO and Bitcoin supporter Michael Saylor has agreed to the largest income tax settlement deal in Washington D.C.’s history. 

According to The Washington Post, Bitcoin (BTC) advocator Michael Saylor and his software company MicroStrategy reached a $40 million payment package with the state to settle a tax evasion lawsuit. 

Attorney General Brian L. Schwalb’s case revolved around Saylor’s residency and tax returns between 2005 and 2021. While Saylor claimed he lived in Florida, city attorneys had reason to believe he lived in a luxury apartment and on yachts within the District of Columbia’s jurisdiction. 

Both MicroStraegy and Saylor denied tax evasion violations per the terms of the settlement deal. 

Michael Saylor’s Ether ETF prediction nullified

Saylor’s tax debacle in the Capital follows disputed assertions by the enigmatic Bitcoin believers. Early last month, MicroStrategy’s founder told an audience that the U.S. SEC would deny spot Ethereum (ETH) ETFs.

Saylor’s reasoning for the statement stemmed from unclarity around the securities status of cryptocurrencies. However, in the CEO’s words, altcoins like Cardano (ADA), Ethereum, and Solana (SOL) are all unregistered crypto asset securities. The argument echoed rhetoric from SEC Chair Gary Gensler. 

Although Gensler has refrained from making such a categorical statement, the commissioner is adamant that most cryptocurrencies fall under existing financial laws, and digital asset service providers operate illegal businesses should they fail to register with the regulator. 

Weeks after Saylor’s stance on stage, the SEC announced the first stage of spot ETH ETF approvals. Due to what experts have termed “shifting political tailwinds,” the Ether-backed products look likely to trade on national exchanges before the year’s fourth quarter. 

Analysts like Bloomberg’s Eric Balchunas and James Seyffart did note issuers withdrew all staking language from updated filings, and S-1 forms remain under review. 

The updates have fueled speculation over the regulator’s view on Ethereum as a blockchain running under the proof-of-stake consensus model and whether the SEC will ever recognize crypto staking as a non-security instrument.