Policy

  • South Korean Government to Grant $3.2 Million to Blockchain Companies

    Two South Korean ministries have announced their support for the blockchain industry in the country with plans to allocate up to $3.2 million in funding to local startups to encourage the use of such technology. The Ministry of Science and ICT (Information and Communications Technology) and the Ministry of Information and Communication Industry Promotion will launch a pilot program called “Blockchain Technology Validation Support in 2020″ to carry out the project, according to a March 16 report. The plan is to select nine projects through free public offerings and grant each one up to 450 million won ($360,000) in funding. Among the program’s selected criteria is the excellence of current performance, the feasibility of future performance, the feasibility of technology verification, solid business goals and savvy, expected results, and level of jobs expected to be created. Project’s key targets The companies selected, according to the project, must offer services that can create economic and social value through blockchain technology. About the program, Park Yoon-kyu, Minister of ICT, said the following: “We plan to support domestic specialized companies to rapidly grow…

    Mar 17, 2020
  • U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar Introduces “Crypto-Currency Act of 2020”

    In the latest pro-crypto development in the U.S., on March 9, 2020, Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ) introduced the “Crypto-Currency Act of 2020” which seeks to create a conducive environment for digital assets in the country. Crypto-Currency Act of 2020 Promises A Conducive Regulatory Framework Historically anti-crypto governments the world over are slowly but surely adopting a softer stance towards digital currencies, as according to a recent development, a U.S. Congressman introduced the “Crypto-Currency Act of 2020” which aims to provide clarity and legitimacy to crypto assets in the country. Essentially, Gosar’s bill divides digital assets into three categories. These are, crypto-commodity, crypto-currency, and crypto-security. These three categories, respectively, would come under the purview of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Secretary of the Treasury via the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The bill notably classifies the legal definition of digital assets like Bitcoin as crypto-commodities rather crypto-currencies. Interestingly, in the proposed legislation, cryptocurrency is defined as “representations of United States currency or synthetic derivatives.” The bill also makes no mention of non-fungible…

    Mar 9, 2020
  • India Supreme Court Lifts RBI Ban on Banks Servicing Crypto Firms

    The Supreme Court of India has struck down the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) controversial ban on banks’ dealings with crypto-related firms.

    Mar 4, 2020
  • Crypto Now Officially Seen as Financial Instruments in Germany

    According to BaFin, its new classification echoes the guidelines of intergovernmental agencies like the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

    Mar 2, 2020
  • Bank of Canada Won’t Issue Its Own Crypto Unless Libra Succeeds: Deputy Governor

    Bank of Canada Deputy Governor Timothy Lane said the central bank won’t issue a central bank digital currency unless a private competitor takes off.

    Feb 26, 2020
  • Canada Puts Most Crypto Exchange Under Securities Laws

    All exchanges, onshore or offshore, providing services to Canadian residents will have to comply with the guidelines.

    Jan 17, 2020
  • What You Need To Know About Congress’s Two Proposed Crypto Laws

    As the cryptocurrency universe enters 2020, U.S. lawmakers are drafting bills to provide clarity around stablecoins and offer regulations for tech companies like Facebook that might want to create their own cryptocurrencies. The draft legislation “Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance Act” was proposed on July 15, 2019 by the Democratic majority of the House Financial Services Committee. While this legislation specifically targets Libra, a new digital currency spearheaded by Facebook, the proposal aims to prevent big technology companies from operating like financial institutions. According to a copy of the draft legislation, a large technology firm is described as a company offering an online platform service with at least $25 billion in annual revenue. With that in mind, the bill specifically proposes that: “A large platform utility may not establish, maintain, or operate a digital asset that is intended to be widely used as medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function, as defined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.” Facebook still plans to launch Libra, regulators express concern Facebook (which…

    Jan 2, 2020
  • Uzbekistan Bans Citizens From Buying Cryptocurrencies

    The government of Uzbekistan has reportedly barred its citizens from purchasing cryptocurrencies. According to local news outlet Novosti Uzbekistana on Dec. 25, the National Project Management Agency has banned citizens from purchasing crypto, even on established exchanges.  The decision comes as a surprise to many, as the country has previously displayed a relatively lenient stance toward digital currencies.  In September 2018, the country’s government signed a memorandum of understanding to regulate and establish licensing for crypto exchanges, mining operations and initial coin offerings. That same month, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev ordered the establishment of a state blockchain development fund called the “Digital Trust.” In July last year, he also signed a decree on the development and integration of blockchain technology into the country’s public administration.  Some exclusions for current crypto holders While the new regulation bars citizens from acquiring or selling cryptocurrencies, it gives some limited trading permissions to current cryptocurrency holders.  Holders that are citizens of Uzbekistan can sell their current investments on two licensed exchanges after undergoing Know Your Customer procedures, ostensibly to avoid the possibility of money laundering.  Any crypto assets whose origin cannot be…

    Dec 26, 2019
  • Poles Hit With Backdated Tax on Crypto Trades

    A new clarification issued by the Polish National Tax Administration (KAS) states that persons who carried out cryptocurrency trading transactions before July 13, 2018 are liable for the Civil Law Transactions Tax (PCC).

    Dec 17, 2019
  • Will India Change its Negative Cryptocurrency Stance Soon?

    The cryptocurrency situation in India remains very difficult to assess. Most government officials want nothing to do with bitcoin, but can they avoid the inevitable? As far as Indian Parliament member Dr. Subramanian Swamy is concerned, embracing cryptocurrency is a must. India Might Push to Adopt Cryptocurrencies Soon He is one of the few people openly advocating the country to transaction to cryptocurrencies. That is a bit of an awkward stance, given how India is very divided on this front. The Reserve Bank of India, for example, has no love lost for bitcoin and altcoins.  This is despite the bank looking to issue its own central bank digital currency backed by the Indian rupee. For now, the bank maintains a “ban” on banking transactions involving bitcoin and other similar currencies. That decision has caused a fair few problems for the domestic exchanges and trading platforms. The comments by Dr. Swamy certainly carry some clout, but they might not necessarily be heeded. India has come up with several initiatives to keep its financial situation in check. Most of these ventures have…

    Dec 16, 2019
  • South Korean Committee Passes Bill Enforcing FATF Crypto Rules

    South Korea’s national policy committee has passed an amendment establishing a legal framework for cryptocurrencies. It requires crypto exchanges and service providers to register with the country’s financial regulator and comply with the recommendations set by the Financial Action Task Force. Committee Passes Bill On Tuesday, the South Korean National Assembly’s national policy committee passed an amendment to the Act on Reporting and Using Specified Financial Transaction Information, local media reported. Joongang Daily described on Wednesday that the bill “will establish a legal foundation for virtual currencies by categorizing them as digital assets,” adding that “Cryptocurrency is one step closer to being legitimate in Korea.” The country’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), explained that the legislative move will enhance the transparency of crypto transactions while fulfilling international standards. The FSC emphasized that it plans to actively prepare the enforcement decree and relevant notices after promulgation for the implementation of the proposed rules. The regulator will also gather industry comments as part of the preparation process. The bill still needs to be passed by the judiciary committee and…

    Nov 27, 2019
  • New Bill Would Put Facebook’s Libra Stablecoin Under US Securities Law

    This bill would bring them the security they deserve by applying the laws we use to regulate financial securities to this new breed of digital currencies.”

    Nov 22, 2019
  • US SEC Takes Another Look at Rejected Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Proposal

    The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reviewing its decision to reject the Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) filing from Bitwise Asset Management and NYSE Arca. Taking a second look In an announcement on Nov. 18, the commission said that the ETF filing from Bitwise Asset Management and NYSE Arca will return to review, following the earlier rejection for not meeting the necessary requirements. In October the U.S. regulators said that the applicants did not meet the necessary requirements regarding possible market manipulation and illicit activities. The SEC wrote at the time: “The Commission is disapproving this proposed rule change because, as discussed below, NYSE Arca has not met its burden under the Exchange Act and the Commission’s Rules of Practice to demonstrate that its proposal is consistent with the requirements of Exchange Act Section6(b)(5), and, in particular, the requirement that the rules of a national securities exchange be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.” Continued concerns about market manipulation One of the regulator’s major concerns when evaluating new commodity-based ETFs is establishing whether the…

    Nov 19, 2019
  • Hong Kong Cryptocurrency Exchanges to Receive new Regulations

    The regulatory watchdog in Hong Kong is set to release clear regulations regarding cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. According to a report by Reuters on November 6, 2019, the new set of crypto regulations will center on areas such as know-your-customer (KYC), anti-money laundering, and custody rules.  SFC Set to Release Robust Cryptocurrency Rules Speaking at a recent fintech conference held in Hong Kong, the chief of the city’s financial regulatory body, the Securities Futures Commission (SFC), Ashley Alder announced that the cryptocurrency trading platform should get ready to receive a robust crypto regulation from the SFC.  The announcement from the SFC Chief comes amidst a blanket ban on bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges in China. Hong Kong, unlike China, is more receptive to the cryptocurrency industry. Head of the virtual asset trading firm, BC Group, Hugh Madden, commented on the recent development by the Hon Kong regulatory watchdog, saying: “Ashley Alder’s announcement of a regulatory framework for digital asset trading platforms is a seminal moment for financial services in Asia and points to increased acceptance of digital assets as new…

    Nov 7, 2019
  • British Tax Authority Updates Cryptocurrency Guidelines, Says It Is Not Money

    The United Kingdom’s tax, payments and customs authority, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), has updated its cryptocurrency taxation guidelines for businesses and individuals. On Nov. 1, the U.K. government tax agency, which manages taxes alongside other financial policies, released tax guidance updates that further clarify its stance on how businesses and individuals involved with cryptocurrency will be taxed. Crypto is not money or currency The guidelines set out HMRC’s view on cryptocurrency transactions, which taxes apply, how to file tax returns and accounting practices, among others. It also considers the taxation of exchange tokens, while stating that rules for utility or security tokens will be added in the future. Companies that buy or sell tokens, mine, exchange tokens for other assets or provide goods or services in return for tokens are liable to pay for one or more different types of tax. Those taxes include income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax, stamp taxes and National Insurance contributions. The tax authority explicitly stated that it does not consider any of the current types of cryptocurrencies to be money or…

    Nov 4, 2019
  • US Congressman to Introduce Bill Clarifying Digital Asset Issuance

    United States Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN) intends to introduce new legislation to provide regulatory certainty for cryptocurrencies. On Oct. 24, Congressman Tom Emmer, who serves as the Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee’s Task Force on financial technology, announced that he is introducing a new law that can provide a clear path to regulatory certainty for cryptocurrencies and other emerging technologies under securities law. The bill would allow companies that are already compliant with securities laws, or who have already acquired a securities exemption, to distribute their assets without subjecting them to further regulations. According to a tweet by Weiss Crypto Ratings, the bill would provide companies who have complied with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registration requirements with legal protection from some of the SEC’s enforcement actions. Emmer said in the announcement: “Companies that have followed our current rules of the road, even if convoluted, deserve the certainty that they can offer their digital asset to the public and help contribute to a truly decentralized network. I am hopeful this non-partisan legislation will receive strong…

    Oct 31, 2019