Law

  • Thailand to Bring Cryptocurrency Under Anti-Money Laundering Rules

    Thailand’s anti-money laundering regulator is planning to amend the country’s laws to include cryptocurrency. Speaking to the Bangkok Post, Police Major General Preecha Charoensahayanon, secretary-general of the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo), said he believes that, while currently not an issue, cryptocurrency “will be a tool of new money laundering.” Preecha said that Amlo currently does not receive complaints around money laundering involving cryptocurrencies, but warned: “We may not find any clue, but that doesn’t mean the wrongdoing does not occur.” The secretary-general argued that criminals will increasingly turn to digital assets to conceal their ill-gotten proceeds. To prepare for this shift, he told the Bangkok Post he plans to alter the country’s laws to bring cryptos into the AML regime, starting with the Anti-Money Laundering Act. Preecha indicated would add a rule requiring cryptocurrency exchange platforms to report activities to the Amlo, adding that such information is crucial to track laundered money over the internet. The legal changes would corresponds with international standards on crypto exchange service providers, he said. Thailand is a member nation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – an international money-laundering…

    Aug 6, 2019
  • Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives Calls for Legal Framework for Cryptocurrency

    Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, has called for a substantive legal framework for cryptocurrencies in the country. According to a report by Nigerian news daily Daily Post on July 23, Gbajabiamila wants the country to develop clear regulations for digital assets so that the country does not get left behind as cryptocurrencies become more widely adopted.  Speaking at a visit by the board of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Gbajabiamila said: “On the issue of cryptocurrency, I think blockchain technology is novel and coming up strong. We don’t want to be left behind. […] I think the world is taking the issue of cryptocurrency and block-chain technology seriously. We don’t want to be left behind, and we have to take it seriously.” Gbajabiamila noted the House’s readiness to develop relevant legal frameworks for the emerging technology and asset class.  In addition to blockchain and cryptocurrencies, the lawmaker also spoke about the role of the NDIC and creating well-defined and separate competencies between it and the country’s central bank. The speaker said that the House would expand…

    Jul 24, 2019
  • NY State Plans to Rewrite Laws to Allow It to Seize ‘Abandoned’ Bitcoin

    State representatives are brushing the dust off centuries-old legal doctrines on abandoned property and applying it to Bitcoin. A new draft law would allow the state to seize Bitcoin which has no owner. Escheatment laws are nothing new. Dating back to feudal England, they allow for property to be seized if it is ‘unowned’ and ‘unclaimed’ by anyone. This can happen due to sudden death with no will, a disappearance, or if a property was abandoned for any reason whatsoever. However, these centuries-old escheatment laws are now under consideration to be updated. Currently, all 50 states have escheatment laws on the books, but almost none have any amendments which specify ‘unclaimed property’ as it relates to cryptocurrencies. This could soon change though, as states realize they might be an untapped source of revenue. A New Proposal A new bill proposed in the New York State Assembly would allow the government to liquidate unclaimed cryptocurrency assets and transfer them to state coffers. According to the Unclaimed Property Professionals Organization, an organization lobbying for the bill, as cryptocurrencies “more unclaimed property issues will…

    Jul 22, 2019
  • India on Bitcoin: Will the Newly Elected Indian Government Pass Crypto-Friendly Laws?

    Hence, as the political visionaries have recognized the potential of Blockchain, a complete ban on cryptocurrencies would not make sense entirely. The Department of Economic Affairs in India had noted in January 2019, that the cryptocurrency regulations are in its final stages.

    May 24, 2019
  • Banks Can’t Snub Crypto Startups Thanks to France’s New Blockchain Law

    Among developed countries, France’s new approach to regulated cryptocurrency and blockchain companies can fairly be described as avant garde. In perhaps the most striking example, the regulatory framework drafted by Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), the country’s financial markets overseer, aims to remove a longstanding point of contention faced by such startups: banking relationships. Under the framework, firms that opt in to be regulated are guaranteed a bank account. This is a long way from the U.S., where regulators’ warnings about “reputation risk” have tacitly discouraged banks from providing deposit accounts to digital currency businesses. According to Domitille Dessertine, head of the fintech, innovation and competitiveness division at AMF, “strong feedback” from crypto players on the need for adequate banking was matched by firm consensus from the French authorities. The French government and legislators “were very supportive of this right and entitlement to open a bank account as long as you are regulated,” said Dessertine, who has been shepherding the new rules over the past two years. Under the new law, the burden is now on banks to explain why…

    Apr 25, 2019
  • 5 Major Indian Laws That Apply to Cryptocurrency

    India has a number of laws that currently apply to cryptocurrency. A new Cambridge University report explains some of these laws.? Laws Applicable to Cryptocurrency Cambridge University’s Centre for Alternative Finance has recently released its new Global Cryptoasset Regulatory Landscape Study, sponsored by Japan’s Nomura Research Institute. India is among the countries covered in the report which outlines a number of existing laws applicable to cryptocurrency and token sales. While the Indian government is working on drafting the legal framework specifically for cryptocurrency, several existing laws apply to crypto assets in addition to the infamous RBI circular that prohibits all regulated entities from providing services to crypto businesses. For cryptocurrencies that are deemed securities, the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act 1956 may apply. However, the report states that “Currently, there is regulatory uncertainty regarding applicability” of this law to tokens but some “may fall within its remit if, inter alia, they are issued by an identifiable issuer and backed by the underlying assets of the issuer.” It further details: Some tokens may also fall within the purview of collective investment schemes which are…

    Apr 23, 2019

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