BAR’s Biweekly global crypto regulatory round-up (Jan27 – Feb 9)

Regulation News

 

Philippines 

Philippine Central Bank Widens Cryptocurrency Regulation — Sees ‘Accelerated Growth’ in Crypto Activity

The Philippines’ central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), has expanded the country’s cryptocurrency regulation after seeing “accelerated growth” in the use of crypto exchanges. The new regulatory framework is in line with the guidelines recommended by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), according to the central bank, reported a crypto news site. 

Other News

‘Don’t ban bitcoin. It’s good for the economy’

According to reports, cryptocurrency startups in India believe the country can become a thriving hub for crypto-innovation and have started a campaign to lobby the government to reconsider its proposed ban on cryptocurrencies

Japan to Have Blockchain-Based Stock Exchange in 2022

SBI Holdings has reportedly partnered with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) to launch a digital stock exchange slated for spring 2022.

SBI and SMFG are expected to launch the platform in Osaka to compete against the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), according to a Nikkei report.

Japan’s SBI and SMFG to set up digitalized securities exchange

According to reports, SBI Holdings and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group will launch a digitalized stock exchange in Osaka in the spring of 2022 to compete against the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Nikkei has learned.

The move comes amid growing calls for alternatives to the TSE, which in the fall suffered a computer glitch that halted trading for a day. The joint venture also aims to be the first Japanese exchange to handle digital securities using blockchain technology.

Korean Investors Prefer XRP Over ETH

According to the crypto money report published by Messari, investors in South Korea prefer to trade with XRP instead of Ethereum. In Korea, where the DeFi market is less popular than in Western countries, XRP has the highest volume after Bitcoin.

India’s Proposed Crypto Ban Has Investors Nervous, May Feed Anti-Bitcoin Narrative

India’s cryptocurrency investors were caught off-guard and left confused after news broke Friday that the country’s Parliament will be considering a government-backed bill that would ban “private” cryptocurrencies. Given the ruling party controls both houses of Parliament, the bill’s chances of becoming law are good, reported a crypto news site.

Apple positioned to offer cryptocurrencies: RBC Capital Markets report

Apple Inc has a “clear opportunity” to offer a buying and selling mechanism for cryptocurrencies, a move that would allow the company to immediately gain market share, according to a research report on Monday from RBC Capital Markets.

With its access to world-class software and a secure ecosystem, Apple could tackle the problem individuals face acquiring crypto assets due to know-your-customer laws and other regulations with the company offering a closed system that prevents nefarious activity, improves asset security, and has instant access to buyers and sellers, the report said.

Bitcoin powers to new high as Tesla takes it mainstream

According to reports, Bitcoin has more than doubled over two months as institutional investors search for alternative wealth stores and retail traders ride the wave.

China tech firms look to bolster legal defence amid regulatory crackdown-sources

China’s big technology firms are stepping up hiring of legal and compliance experts and setting aside funds for potential fines, according to sources and job postings, amid an unprecedented anti-trust and data privacy crackdown by regulators.

CrossTower Launches Bitcoin Fund to Compete With Grayscale’s GBTC

According to reports, crypto capital markets firm CrossTower, based in Bermuda, is launching a hedge fund at the end of the month in a bid to compete with Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) and other bitcoin funds for accredited investors.

Blockchain brings unicorns to millennials

Privately held firms with at least $1 billion in value come with daunting price tags that freeze out ordinary investors. Banks that help unicorns raise money are glad to chalk up a few bulky subscriptions — $1 million and more — from top clients. It works fine with regulators who don’t want the general public to lose their life savings on risky bets.

Were the ticket, say, $1,000, even affluent millennials might want to take a punt on the next Facebook Inc. or Uber Technologies Inc. without having to wait for a stock market debut. That wait is only getting longer. A sizable chunk of $2.5 trillion of uncalled private equity — dry powder — is with venture capital funds that promising companies can use to delay going public and spread the wealth more evenly, reported by a news site.

Jack Ma’s Ant Group Agrees to Restructure After Pressure From China’s Regulators: Report

Chinese regulators have agreed on a restructuring plan with Ant Group that will combine all its business segments, including its blockchain arm, into a financial holding company.

As a financial holding company, Ant would be subject to capital requirements like those for banks, according to a Bloomberg report citing people familiar with the matter.

Central Bank Digital Currencies Not a ‘Fad,’ MetLife Investment Says

Institutional investor MetLife Investment Management (MIM) has released a new macro strategy primer outlining the forthcoming role of blockchain-based assets, particularly central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The investments giant also notes that a “true CBDC launch among Western countries seems unlikely to occur anytime soon” as key technical questions have yet to be addressed, reported a news portal.

Ex-Goldman Sachs CEO Issues Serious Bitcoin Warning Amid Price Crash Fears

Now, as the bitcoin price struggles to hold above $30,000 per bitcoin, former Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein has warned that regulators could move against bitcoin if it continues to grow, reported Forbes.

Regulation and bitcoin surge raise crypto adoption in Malaysia

GLOBAL cryptocurrency prices appreciated in 2020 driven by an influx of growing interest from large-scale institutional investors and Malaysia is fortunate to ride on the trend as local participation in digital currencies also grew, said digital asset exchange (DAX) Luno Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Luno Malaysia country manager Aaron Tang said regulators participation in the industry has also allowed the asset to thrive, reported a local news site.

Nigeria’s Central Bank Orders Banks to Close Accounts of All Crypto Users

According to reports, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ordered all banks to close any accounts transacting with cryptocurrencies.

The CBN said it was reminding regulated banking institutions that “dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited.” As such, all banks should “identify persons and/or entities” transacting with cryptocurrency or operating crypto exchanges on their platforms and “ensure that such accounts are closed immediately.”

Crypto regulations: Indian Parliament to give accelerated hearing

India’s government wants to fast-track its crypto regulation bill.

President Kovind could sign an ordinance that would ban crypto assets in the country by March.

The mind of the Indian Authorities appears made up already as they look to take a short-cut towards enacting their recently proposed bill to ban all cryptocurrencies in the country. A report from CNBC has said that the authorities want to take the “ordinance route” which would fast track the implementation of the bill by the country’s government.

China’s national blockchain network embraces global developers

According to reports, Last year, an ambitious, government-backed blockchain infrastructure network launched in China. The Blockchain-based Service Network, or BSN, acts as an operating system for blockchain programs so developers won’t have to design a framework from the ground up. The brains behind BNS are the State Information Center, an affiliate to China’s top economic and reform planner, the country’s credit card processing giant UnionPay, telecoms carrier China Mobile and a little-known Beijing-based startup called Red Date, which cut its teeth building smart city technology in China.

There are two main types of blockchains: permissionless, which is public, decentralized and transparent; and permissioned, which is operated by one or multiple stakeholders of a given industry, respectively called private and consortium blockchains. BSN is designed as a global infrastructure to support both consortium and public blockchains, it says in a white paper published last March. “Just as with the internet, the BSN is also a cross-cloud, cross-portal, cross-framework global infrastructure network.”

An English version of the website is available for dApp developers, and major public chains like Ethereum, EOS, Tezos and NEO already have nodes on the network.

India proposes banning Bitcoin and developing a digital rupee

According to reports, India’s digital currency industry faces an uncertain future, with a proposed draft bill threatening to impose a blanket ban on the entire industry. It further paves the way for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to issue a digital rupee. The newest threat to digital currencies in India comes months after a similar effort to outlaw the industry.

Known as the “Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Digital Currency Bill 2021,” it will be considered in the ongoing Budget session of Parliament. In its Lok Sabha bulletin, the government claimed that the bill intends to “prohibit all cryptocurrencies in India.”

China’s BSN will add CasperLabs’s proof-of-stake blockchain to its network

China’s ambitious national blockchain infrastructure initiative, Blockchain Service Network (BSN) will add Casper Network, a proof-of-stake blockchain into both its international and China portals for developers after Casper’s mainnet launch in Q1 2020, CasperLab’s chief executive said, reported a crypto news site.

Italian Banking Association Embraces Need For Speed For Future Of Real-Time Payment

To get a sense of the present state — and future — of instant payments, look to Italy. It has pulled ahead of its EU neighbors in developing real-time payments technology and in recruiting banks to adopt it.

It’s a trend that has been encouraged by the Italian Banking Association, whose official role is to “represent, safeguard and promote the common and legitimate interests of its members, undertaking initiatives for the orderly, stable and efficient growth of the banking and financial sector in a competitive framework, consistent with the national and European regulation”, reported a crypto news site.

Iranian power outages may be caused by Chinese bitcoin farms – report 

According to reports, power outages that have plagued Iran in the past month may have been caused by bitcoin farms run by foreign companies.

Bitcoin “farming” or “mining” is a way for people to earn the virtual currency Bitcoin without paying for it. “Farmers” are essentially getting paid to work as auditors, verifying the legitimacy of Bitcoin transactions in order to ensure that people aren’t trying to “double-spend” Bitcoin currency, according to Investopedia. Double-spending is when someone makes a copy of a bitcoin and essentially attempts to spend the same bitcoin twice. Farming also creates new bitcoins for circulation.

German Finance Minister Says OECD Digital Tax Deal Likely By Summer

According to reports, Germany’s finance minister sees OECD member states reaching a deal by this summer on imposing a tax on major digital firms. OECD member states have until this summer to agree on a tax. If they fail to do so, some states may move to impose their own taxes.The OECD failed to reach an agreement last summer after the Trump administration pulled out of negotiations. The Biden administration, however, has signaled it is game to rejoin the talks.

French regulator seeks changes in EU’s supervision of crypto sector

Chairman of French regulator Autorité des Marchés Financiers has proposed that authorities must find a new approach to crypto regulations in order to guarantee a level playing field in the EU. During the 5th Annual Conference on FinTech and Regulation, the official, Robert Ophèle believed that European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) would be the competent authority for regulating cryptocurrency, reported a crypto news site.

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