• Report: Israeli Bitcoiners Petition Banks to Disclose Crypto Policies

    The petition purportedly seeks to require local banks to disclose their policies on money originating from digital currencies.

    Aug 20, 2019
  • US Lawmakers to Visit Switzerland to Discuss Crypto, Facebook’s Libra

    A delegation of the United States House of Representatives will visit Switzerland on cryptocurrency concerns, with Facebook’s not-yet-released stablecoin Libra being in the focus.

    Aug 19, 2019
  • EU Members Adopt Tougher Crypto Rules Than AML Directive Requires

    Europe is gradually tightening the rules for the crypto space.

    Aug 15, 2019
  • Crypto Insider Warns 40,000 Bitcoin Could Flood Market As India Reportedly Mulls Bitcoin Ban

    Nearly half a billion dollars in Bitcoin could hit the market if a ban is approved in India.

    Aug 13, 2019
  • Korean Financial Regulator Planning to Directly Regulate Cryptocurrency Exchanges

    The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) under the Financial Services Commission (FSC) has disclosed a plan to directly regulate cryptocurrency exchanges and bring them into the regulatory system. Currently, the FIU indirectly controls cryptocurrency exchanges through administrative guidance to banks. An FIU official said on Aug. 6 that the government will enhance the transparency of cryptocurrency transactions by introducing a “cryptocurrency exchange licensing system” recommended by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Lee Tae-hoon, head of administration and planning at the FIU, said, “If an amendment to the Act on Reporting and Use of Certain Financial Transaction Information, which reflects the FATF’s international standards for cryptocurrencies, passes the National Assembly, it will be possible to prevent money laundering through cryptocurrencies.” Lee was speaking at a public hearing on the enactment of a law to improve transparency in virtual asset trading held at the National Assembly Member’s Office building. “If the amendment is approved by lawmakers, we can raise the effectiveness of regulations by shifting from the current indirect regulation through commercial banks to direct regulation,” Lee said. In this regard, crypto…

    Aug 7, 2019
  • New Mexico Regulation Could Force Local Blockhain Startups to Cease Operations

    A new law was introduced earlier this year by the Bank of Mexico, which entailed Mexican blockchain startups to apply for an operations license within the country. The reason why startups had to apply was due to the blockchain’s affiliation with finances, therefore classifying them as financial services providers. However, the law had not been fully implemented until only recently reports started coming in from Mexican media outlets about some blockchain startups that could ultimately halt their operations. The license comes with multiple costs, as monetary compensation is requested alongside experts that will ensure the startup’s compliance. This may sound harsh now, but let’s not forget that the previous version of the crypto regulation pretty much placed a permanent ban on handling, exchanging and selling cryptocurrencies by local startups. Having to apply for a license was basically a gateway for most entrepreneurs, but not all of them have the funding to handle it, unfortunately. Thankfully though, there are several Mexican authorities who are directly opposing the new requirements, stating that the bar is set way too high and could potentially introduce a monopoly from already established corporations…

    Aug 7, 2019
  • Iran Announces New Rules to Regulate Cryptocurrency Market

    New rules have been introduced by the Iranian government for regulation of cryptocurrency market as more people become interested in mining digital coins as a way of accessing international currencies at the time US sanctions. A bill ratified by the Iranian Cabinet and released on Sunday said that the government will not recognize as lawful any trade activity carried out inside Iran involving cryprocurrencies. It said the government and the banking system would not view the digital coins as legal tender and the Central Bank of Iran would not guarantee their value. However, the bill said mining digital currencies would be allowed inside Iran under certain conditions, including if miners obtain the approval of Iran’s industry ministry, do not mine the currencies inside a 30-kilometer boundary of all provincial centers except for the capital Tehran and the central city of Esfahan where tougher restrictions apply. It said the miners should also observe rules set by Iran’s standardization and communications authorities for mining machines, adding that certain fees will be applied for the energy used for mining the currencies. Discussing the…

    Aug 5, 2019
  • SEC Commissioner: US Could Draw Crypto Policy From These Countries

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could learn from other countries when finalizing its own crypto regulation, Commissioner Hester Peirce explains. While highlighting peculiar and notable features of the U.S. system, the commissioner emphasizes cross-border considerations, detailing applicable crypto frameworks of several countries. Importance of Cross-Border Considerations SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce explained last week her agency’s approach to regulating crypto assets and how the U.S. could draw from other countries’ regulatory frameworks in setting its own policies. Her speech was given in Singapore at the “SUSS Convergence Forum: Inclusive Blockchain, Finance, and Emerging Technologies,” hosted by Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS). Among the topics she discussed was cross-border crypto regulation. Peirce, known in the crypto community as Crypto Mom, suggested that “The U.S. SEC can look to our counterparts overseas for ideas in untangling some of our most difficult legal and policy questions in this area.” “Because so much of the activity is taking place outside the United States, we have to think about our regulation with a sensitivity for cross-border considerations, cooperation, and what I call co-learning.”…

    Aug 5, 2019
  • Brazilian Tax Authorities Impose New Requirements on Crypto Trading

    Crypto traders in Brazil now have to report their transactions to the National Treasury. The Department of Federal Revenue of Brazil published guidance regarding cryptocurrencies in May stating transactions in excess of $30,000 Brazilian real ($7,600) must be reported to tax authorities. The ruling is widely seen as a means for the government to increase tax revenues. It targets both private investors as well as companies that deal in crypto. Brazil sees some of the highest cryptocurrency trading volumes in Latin America, topping nearly 100,000 BTC in April. Additionally, the total value of the crypto market exceeded $8 billion reals in 2018, according to the National Treasury. Information related to the purchase, sale, or donation of crypto funds will be submitted to the National Collection, through the Virtual Service Center (e-CAC), by the last working day of the month. Failure to comply may result in sanctions. Complete omissions may see fines from 100 to 1000 reais, while incomplete or inaccurate filings may be garnished 1.5 to 3 percent of the total value of the transactions. Another Brazilian media outlet reported the measures were introduced to prevent…

    Aug 5, 2019
  • UK Finance Watchdog Issues Guidance on Regulation for Bitcoin and Crypto Assets

    The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has finalized its guidance on crypto assets, clarifying which tokens fall under its jurisdiction. Most of the rules issued Wednesday were proposed in consultation paper CP19, which was released for public comment in January. As widely expected, the final guidance does not drastically alter the regulatory landscape, instead specifying when certain types of crypto assets fall under existing categories. True cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether, which the FCA classes “exchange tokens,” are not regulated, though anti-money-laundering rules apply. The FCA said some 92 responses to the consultation paper were received from an assortment of firms, including banks, trade associations and crypto exchanges. Most respondents supported the proposals, said the FCA Importantly, the guidance provides a definition of security tokens. When issued, these assets behave like shares or debt instruments, including ownership rights, thus falling under the category of a “specified investment” and, in turn, the FCA’s remit. Almost all respondents who answered the question agreed with the regulator’s assessment of security tokens in relation to the regulatory perimeter. Utility tokens, by contrast, do not grant the same sorts of rights as regulated financial…

    Aug 1, 2019
  • Major Indian Trade Organization Speaks Out Against Proposed Crypto Ban

    Nasscom, a major Indain trade organization, has said that it is against a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies, which was recently proposed by a governmental panel in the country According to a report by local financial periodical The Economic Times on July 30, Nasscom commented: “Nasscom believes that the recent proposal of the inter-ministerial committee of the government to ban all cryptocurrencies barring those that are backed by the government, is not the most constructive measure. […] Instead, the government should work towards developing a risk-based framework to regulate and monitor cryptocurrencies and tokens.” As per the report, Nasscom claims that crypto projects can always be tested in regulatory sandboxes prior to launch. Nasscom also reportedly believes that banning crypto will only serve to push away legitimate businesses who are already pro-compliance. However, Nasscom does believe there is work to be done in terms of creating a regulatory framework to mitigate illegal activities in the crypto space: “We should work towards creating a regulatory framework that will constantly monitor and prevent illegal activities. Regulating would allow the law enforcement agencies to be better equipped to…

    Jul 31, 2019
  • Senate Wrestles With Bitcoin vs. Crypto, Gauges Need for Regulation in Latest Hearing

    The United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hosted a hearing today, July 30, 2019, on cryptocurrency and blockchain regulation. This is the third in a recent spate of cryptocurrency-specific hearings in Congress, which began two weeks ago with Libra’s rounds in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. Libra’s hearings were notably longer than today’s (two hours and 18 minutes in the Senate and six and a half in the House). Politicians punctuated these sessions with worries over Facebook’s past privacy and data scandals. If Facebook can’t keep our data safe — and moreover, if we can’t trust what it says compared to what it actually does with this data — then why should regulators trust something like Libra with monetary policy?  Within the spectre of these pervasive fears, Bitcoin looked good by comparison. REGULATING THE INEVITABLE  Today’s hearing played out like a follow-up to some of Congress’ broader queries on cryptocurrency during the Libra discussions. Legislators grilled three panelists — Circle’s CEO Jeremy Allaire; University of California at Irvine School of Law professor Mehrsa Baradaran; and…

    Jul 31, 2019
  • Government Restrictions on Cash Transactions Show Why Bitcoin is Important

    The government of Australia wants to ban cash payments for goods and services exceeding 10,000 AUD ($6,900). Interestingly, it excludes digital currency, such as Bitcoin, from the restrictions, arguing that if the regulations cover crypto assets, they would also limit innovation. Although Bitcoin is excluded from the proposed ban, such restrictions make the case for the permissionless digital asset even stronger. They exist in many countries around the world too. The Case for Bitcoin: A Restriction on Cash Transactions is a Restriction on Freedom Last week, Australia’s treasury stated in a memorandum that it plans to ban cash payments over 10,000 AUD. This would mean that all major purchases must be first authorised by a bank. Australia would join several others countries that have similar restrictions on cash transactions. Cryptocurrency analysis firm CryptoRand highlighted this earlier today via Twitter. The precise figure of some of the limits stated in the above Tweet were brought into question. For example, one person responding stated that Italy’s figure is actually 3,000 euros. Realistically, it makes little difference the exact figure of the limit. The fact that the government,…

    Jul 30, 2019
  • Iran’s Government Officially Legitimizes Cryptocurrency Mining

    Cryptocurrency mining in Iran is now legal, Mehr News Agency reports. This follows a Sunday decision by the country’s cabinet to authorize the mining of cryptocurrencies. Now classified as an industrial activity, cryptocurrency miners will be required to acquire licenses from Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade. The green light from Iran’s cabinet comes about a week since a government committee gave its approval for cryptocurrency mining. This was revealed by the governor of the Central Bank of Iran, Abdolnaser Hemmati, on July 21: “A mechanism to mine digital coins was approved by the government’s economic commission and will later be put to discussion at a cabinet meeting.” Will Cryptocurrency miners now flock to Iran? Iran currently has one of the cheapest countries in which to mine cryptocurrency. This is due to the giant subsidies granted to power generation. For instance, in 2017 Iran spent more than $45.1 billion on fossil energy consumption subsidies, per the International Energy Agency. The low electricity prices have consequently attracted crypto miners from other parts of the world including China. However, they are unlikely to remain low as…

    Jul 29, 2019
  • South Korean President Stresses Regulatory Innovation for Blockchain

    South Korea’s President Moon Jae-In stated that regulatory innovation regarding blockchain technology is now a question of survival. Regulatory innovation is not a matter of choice anymore, it is a question of survival The President of South Korea stressed the importance of the development of new regulatory approaches towards new technologies such as blockchain in the light of the selection of Busan city as a regulation-free zone, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph on July 24. In the press release, Moon compared the era of industrialization to the ongoing fourth industrial revolution, claiming that the latter requires regulatory innovation as a basic must. Moon said: “While regulatory innovation in the era of industrialization was a matter of choice, it is now a question of survival as we are experiencing the fourth industrial revolution, characterized by fusions across industries and fields.” The president added that creating real use cases for blockchain to protect personal data contribute to a greater international presence for South Korea, while blockchain applications in finance will greatly contribute to the revitalization of the local economy….

    Jul 26, 2019
  • ‘However Long It Takes’: Zuckerberg Vows to Win Over Libra Regulators

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the company will spend “however long it takes” to get regulators and others on board before launching the Libra cryptocurrency project. Speaking during a quarterly earnings call on Wednesday, the social media giant’s founder sought to assure investors that Facebook would act responsibly with its development of Libra, the ambitious crypto project revealed last month as a potential payments rail for unbanked individuals. Facebook worked with “prospective members” of its governing council, the Libra Association, to publish its white paper last month in order to address questions about it, he said. “We’re committed to working with policymakers to get this right.” The company initially said it aims to launch the currency in the first half of 2020, but the pushback from regulators and politicians has called that timeline into question. In response to an analyst’s question about timing, Zuckerberg said Facebook’s approach to Libra is “to try and have a very open dialogue,” and that unlike a few years ago, when the company might have just launched a new product, today Facebook tries to detail what specific “ideas and ……

    Jul 26, 2019