James’ project creates “a decentralized and transparent index for digital content and protected file persistence.” According to James, it’s working. In 2019 the organization saw some solid acceptance including new implementations of the protocol in real-use cases.

Amy James is a self-described storyteller. As co-founder of the Open Index Protocol, James entered the world of blockchain when she realized it was impossible to control or even find content.

“I was a writer and director, and so I’m really familiar with the friction that content creators are experiencing,” she said at the Digital Money Forum at CES 2020. “Right now it’s really hard to make a living. It’s really hard to keep track of your stuff. And so I felt really unstable about building a media business that way.”

Ultimately, James sees the future of content as a decentralized system free of major gatekeepers like YouTube and Twitter. But it will take work.

“If you are on Instagram or you make a show on YouTube, you kind of work in a company town. And if they do something to you, they endanger your entire livelihood,” she said. “And so what we’re talking about is how this decentralized future is going to make it so that we own our data again, that we own our content that we’re putting into the world and that that’s just really clear and transparent.”

First, the organization created a partnership with the state of Wyoming and Overstock’s Medici Land Governance blockchain to decentralize property records. The team also created a video series called What Kind of Internet Do You Want? to describe the features of decentralized media.

Ultimately, James sees the decentralized future as a solution to many problems in the media. The key, said James, is making the decentralized tools as easy to use as Medium.

“How do we bridge this decentralized future that we all dream of with the world of platforms that are so convenient and so easy to use and have so many tools and features?” she said. “That’s really the question of the day.”

The IRS Will Now Ask If You Own Crypto in the Most Widely Used US Tax Form

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has updated the main form individual U.S. taxpayers use to report their income to include a question about cryptocurrencies.

Following the release earlier this week of the IRS’s long-awaited guidance for reporting crypto-related income, the IRS on Friday circulated a draft of the new Form 1040, Schedule 1, Additional Income and Adjustments to Income. The draft was shared in an email to tax software companies, which the agency also shared with journalists.

The sheet, prefaced by a warning that it’s only a draft and not an actual document for filing taxes, asks at the top:

“At any time during 2019, did you receive, sell, send, exchange, or otherwise acquire any financial interest in any virtual currency?”

The main parts of the form, “Additional Income” and “Adjustments to Income”, both appear below this question.

“Taxpayers who file Schedule 1 to report income or adjustments to income that can’t be entered directly on Form 1040 should check the appropriate box to answer the virtual currency question. Taxpayers do not need to file Schedule 1 if their answer to this question is NO and they do not have to file Schedule 1 for any other purpose”, the IRS said.

The IRS asked its software partners to send comments on the new form in the next 30 days.

The guidance released this week was the agency’s second-ever given on virtual currencies, following five years of silence on the matter. The document provided answers to long-standing questions, addressing such issues as crypto received as a result of a hard fork, buying goods and services with virtual currencies, calculating the fair value of crypto holdings and other matters.

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