as I am currently in the process of releasing a service on the SingularityNET marketplace I talked to my tax attorney. I was told that selling a service via SingularityNET in my country (Germany) is not this straight forward as there are two topics to be taken into consideration:
- Taxes on the sold services
- Money laundering claims
I would like to take the chance to make this project where people around the world can contribute their legal research for countries for 1. and 2. as well as other legal concerns or considerations necessary to sell or buy on the marketplace. Please also explain how you got your information. If you know that something is unregulated - so there are no laws for it - the next step would be to explore what happens in the country if you do unregulated business.
For the second point the scenario is as follows:
A columbian drug lord buys BTC on localbitcoin. Exchanges it for AGI and buys my services for all of it. Then this drug money is converted into tokens my business owns in Europe. I will pay my bills for the creation of the service and transfer the remainder to my bank account. In this process the money was laundered. I could now collude with the columbian to share this money and the dirty money was laundered successfully.
This post is meant to discuss, track and inform potential service providers about pitfalls in their way to become merchants of the future.
pythonEd found a possible solution around the KYC problem:
This could be implemented in SingularityNET to integrate an enable/disable necessity into using the service to include a call and verification of the buyers identity via civics API. In this way the tax issue can be solved as the location and therefore the corresponding location of the user can be also accessed. Via an additional service like https://developer.avalara.com/ the service can then estimate the tax and adjust the price of the service accordingly.
To reduce the confusion of the user the website should probably allow to first check in via the civic API to then fetch the taxes and show the adjusted prices to a user directly.
This will still have the consequences that certain locations will be cheaper for companies to be located in to sell on SingularityNET than others but it will enable people to get around the 1. and also the 2. problem.
For me personally this solution is not perfect as it will reduce the target audience for the service to people that went through the process of creating a civic profile and being able to use it. In a decentralized marketplace I would love to service all possible customers and not just a subset of them. But for now this would solve all the issues.