Global Regulatory Round-up (Sept 27-Oct 12)

South Korea

South Korea Lawmakers Mull New Crypto Legislation

According to a press release issued by South Korean DeFi lending platform Delio, industry participants recently held a seminar with lawmakers to discuss the establishment of a virtual asset business law.

At the conference, the attendees reportedly agreed that such legislation is pivotal to developing the country’s crypto and blockchain sector.

US

US Lawmakers Just Passed a Crypto Bill. Here’s What’s in It

According to reports, the Digital Taxonomy Act and Blockchain Innovation Act, both introduced by Representative Darren Soto, have been approved by voice vote in the House of Representatives.

The acts were rolled up into the Consumer Safety Technology Act (H.R. 8128), a bill directing the Consumer Product Safety Commission to explore applications for AI, earlier this month. If passed, the bill would take steps toward protecting the public against scammy projects while using blockchain to fight fraud.

The Digital Taxonomy Act directs the Federal Trade Commission, a consumer protection agency, to train up staff and allocate resources to identify and guard against “deceptive acts or practices involving digital tokens.”

UK

UK’s Financial regulator FCA bans the sale of cryptocurrency derivatives.

According to reports, Britain’s financial watchdog, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has banned the sale of cryptocurrency derivatives, saying they have no value for ordinary investors.

United Kingdom’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which first proposed such a ban in July 2019, said prohibition would save 53 million pounds ($69 million) a year in losses for retail investors once it comes into force on Jan. 6. Customers with existing holdings will be allowed to remain invested as long as they wish. Shares of the spread-betting firms that offer the crypto derivatives slid in London trading. CMC Markets Plc declined as much as 6.2%, Plus500 Ltd fell as much as 3.7%, and IG Group Plc dropped as much as 3.7%.

EU

EU Unveils Digital Finance Strategy, Crypto-asset Framework

According to reports, the European Commission has adopted a new ‘Digital Finance Package’, aimed at boosting Europe’s competitiveness and innovation in the financial sector. The package also aimed at giving consumers more choice and opportunities in financial services and modern payments, and ensuring consumer protection and financial stability, the Commission says.

“The future of finance is digital,” said executive vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis. “We saw during the lockdown how people were able to get access to financial services thanks to digital technologies such as online banking and fintech solutions.”

Dutch central bank approves first crypto service under AMLD5 regulations
The central bank of the Netherlands, De Nederlandsche Bank NV (DNB), has granted AMDAX BV the ability to operate under its jurisdiction.

This marks the first time a digital asset company has been approved in the country following the introduction of strict new regulations that saw many crypto related businesses close or leave the Netherlands, reported a crypto news site.

Other News

Ripple Threatens To Move If US Isn’t More Crypto Friendly

Ripple Executive Chairman Chris Larsen has threatened that his company might leave the U.S. if the country’s cryptocurrency regulations aren’t changed, according to Fortune.

Speaking with Fortune’s Jeff John Roberts at the LA Blockchain Summit on Tuesday (Oct. 6), Larsen said he is considering moving to Singapore or the U.K., the report stated.

He called the country’s stance toward cryptocurrency hostile, particularly regarding the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to Fortune. Ripple is currently bogged in legal trouble with the SEC and investors over the security status of digital currency XRP. Ripple manages a large amount of XRP, but the company says its network is decentralized like rivals Bitcoin or Ethereum, reported a crypto news site.

U.S. Courts Halt Bans on Chinese Apps

According to reports, Federal courts have stayed President Trump’s August orders for nationwide bans on two Chinese-owned apps—WeChat, the multipurpose app with more than a billion users worldwide, and TikTok, the video-sharing app that has gone viral among young Americans—moves that  set the stage for protracted litigation.

Clarity for companies struggling with China’s legal reform

According to reports, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) recently issued the Guidelines on Improving Search for Similar Cases to Standardize the Application of Law (Trial), which was implemented from 31 July this year. The guidelines stipulate that, in circumstances including being faced with cases without clear judgment rules or consensus rules, the judges shall search similar cases and compare the present case with precedents with similar facts.

Zhu Xiaodong, the managing partner of Tian Yuan Law Firm in Beijing, says that the guidelines will change the way lawyers work. He says that because China has a statute law regime, the court’s analysis of a case is based on judicial syllogism, orironclad logic, and thus the judgment is relatively short. Under the guidelines, undertaking similar case searches will tremendously increase the workload in terms of available reference documents for court analysis. “We should get acquainted with the case analysis methods adopted in common law systems, which means learning a new methodology,” he says.

China Central Bank Reveals Official Results for First Digital Yuan Trials

At the virtual SIBOS banking meeting, People’s Bank of China (PBC) Deputy Governor Fan Yi Fei shared figures about the digital yuan trials. There have been over 3,000,000 exchanges adding up to RMB 1.1 billion ($160 million) through to late August utilizing the central bank digital currency(CBDC), reported a crypto news site.

Binance unlikely to enter Japan in 2020 after negotiations fail

According to an Oct. 5 update from Tao Tao, the platform stated it had “decided to end negotiations” with Binance after nine months. Binance had been discussing a collaboration with the digital asset trading platform as well Z Holdings’ daughter company Z Corporation — formerly Yahoo Japan — since Jan. 17 as part of its goal to enter the Japanese market. The digital asset trading platform is currently licensed by the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA), while Binance is not.

China’s Central Bank, Major City to Hand Out $1.5M in Digital Yuan

The People’s Bank of China and a district of Shenzhen are to hand out 10 million digital yuan (worth around $1.5 million) as red envelope gifts to citizens.

The initiative comes as another pilot of the in-development digital currency, which has been in trials with commercial entities and state-owned banks. Red envelopes are a traditional way of gifting cash in China on holidays or for special occasions such as weddings.

According to a report from Sina.com.cn, the pilot will see 50,000 successful applicants each receive 200 of the digital yuan.

Microsoft suspends 18 Azure accounts tied to China-based hackers

San Francisco: Microsoft has suspended 18 Azure Active Directory applications on its Cloud infrastructure that were being used by a Chinese nation-state actor to execute their attacks.

The apps were part of the malicious command and control infrastructure by Gadolinium China-based nation-state activity group that has been compromising targets for nearly a decade with a worldwide focus on the maritime and health industries, reported a crypto news site.

Singapore Cryptocurrency Regulations Fuelling Online Gambling In Malaysia

Earlier this year, Singapore became one of the first countries to issue a regulatory law, under which businesses affiliated with cryptocurrency are obliged to follow the rules of AML and CTF. By issuing the new Payment Services Act, Singapore has made a massive step towards acknowledging that with all the benefits that the expansion of the cryptocurrency industry can provide for the state’s economy, it may simultaneously open a gateway for the growth of illegal activities funded by crypto, reported a crypto news outlet.

Cryptocurrency Exchange bitFlyer launches Cross-Border Trading With Japan to Consolidate Global Offering

Cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer announced the launch of cross-border trading on its platform. bitFlyer reported that its users in Europe will be able to have access to bitcoin markets in Japan, while still using a European-regulated platform.

Launched in 2018, bitFlyer describes itself as a Bitcoin exchange and marketplace that is dedicated to providing its customers with convenient and exciting ways to buy, sell, and spend Bitcoins.

Japanese Ruling Party Urges Gov’t to Speed up Digital Yen Issuance

Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party will call upon the government to release a digital currency “as soon as possible” – or risk falling behind other nations, including China. According to Jiji, via the Japan Times, the party, which recently elected Yoshihide Suga to become its leader and the country’s Prime Minister, is set to issue a report “before year’s end,” urging Tokyo to “craft a comprehensive law promoting economic security for all of society, including the private sector.”

75 crypto exchanges have closed down so far in 2020

As least 75 crypto exchanges have closed down due hacks, scams or simply disappeared for unknown reasons so far this year.

According to the Crypto Wisser Exchange Graveyard five of the exchanges were labelled as scams, and four including Altsbit, and Nerae, were flagged as being hacked.

Japanese Crypto Exchange Sues Binance

According to reports, in 2018, Fisco suffered from a hack of $60 million and have now sued Binance in a U.S. court for “aiding and abetting” the process of the laundering scheme. Fisco alleges the laundering led to a loss of over $9 million worth of stolen cryptocurrency.

On September 14, Fisco filed a complaint in the Northern California District Court. The exchange alleges that after nearly 6,000 bitcoins was lost in the 2018 hack, the hackers reportedly sent 1,451 bitcoins to a Binance-owned address. At that time, that amount of Bitcoin was worth $9.4 million.

KPMG Unveils Blockchain-Based Climate Accounting Tool To Help Drive Environmental Sustainability

Multinational professional services firm and one of the Big four auditing firms, KPMG is set to offer a blockchain-based tool dubbed the Climate Accounting Infrastructure (CAI) to help organizations more accurately measure, mitigate, report, and offset their greenhouse gas emissions.

Per the official KPMG announcement, the patent-pending Climate Accounting Infrastructure will be able to analyze climate risks associated with asset valuations and help organizations better assess and employ systems to offset their emissions.

Korea Begins to Establish the Virtual Asset Business Law

According to reports, “The National Assembly Seminar for the Virtual Asset Business Law” was held in the Federation of Korean Industries hall with major commercial banks and members of the National Assembly. They insisted that “the virtual asset business law” is necessary for a huge transformation to digital economy in the post-COVID-19 era and for the development of financial industries. The National Assembly began to work on establishing “virtual asset business law”, following the amendment to the Act on Reporting and Using Specified Financial Transaction Information for regulating money laundering of virtual assets, according to Delio.

Upcoming South Korea KYC Verification May Be in Conflict With Privacy Laws

According to reports, the South Korean government is set to implement mandatory know-your-customer (KYC) verification regulations for cryptocurrency exchanges in March, but the new requirements may be in violation of existing privacy laws.

The new KYC verification scheme would require businesses that are “virtual asset services providers” (primarily crypto markets) to verify the real names of account holders against a piece of information such as the resident registration number (RRN), the country’s rough equivalent of social security numbers. RRNs are issued with national IDs and are used as an identifier for tax and other purposes. The trouble with the new requirements is that they conflict with the terms of the existing Personal Information Protection Act, which stipulates that local businesses cannot legally.

Crypto Singapore dollar aims to diversify landscape dominated by USD

Singapore-based payments company Xfers announced on the official release of its XSGD stablecoin, pegged to the Singapore dollar.

The stablecoin would be one of the first Singapore dollar-denominated tokens, giving Singaporean businesses and individuals a way to transact with crypto backed by their national currency. XSGD is launched on the Zilliqa and Ethereum blockchains. The token is launched as part of Xfers’ StraitsX initiative.

Singapore Banking Regulator Shuts Wirecard

Singapore’s financial regulatory authority announced Wednesday (Sept. 30) it has directed Wirecard AG to end its payment services in the Southeast Asian country and return customers’ funds by Oct. 14.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the nation’s central bank, said it has been monitoring the impact of Wirecard’s insolvency and the ability of the German payments firm to provide services. The MAS has required Wirecard to keep customers’ funds in Singapore banks and help customers find alternative banks.

OKCoin opens doors to crypto traders in Singapore

One of the world’s oldest crypto exchanges now has an office in Singapore.

According to an Oct. 8 announcement from OKCoin, the exchange is opening its doors to crypto traders in Singapore five months after getting the appropriate exemption from the country’s financial watchdog. OKCoin already offers support for the Singapore dollar, and reports its customers can trade SGD pairings for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). The new location will reportedly serve as a new hub, catering to customers in Asia and Oceania.

Wirex Announces Longlist of Inspiring ‘Rising Women in Crypto’

Leading crypto platform, Wirex, in partnership with The Fintech Times, have announced the inspirational longlist of ‘Rising Women in Crypto’. Having closed entries for nominations last week, the ‘Power List’ received an incredible 367 entries, with the top 10 set to be revealed early next month.

The ‘Power List’ was created as part of Wirex’s inaugural ‘Women in Crypto’ campaign, to celebrate women working in the crypto fields that are rarely recognised for their incredible achievements. Being a stereotypically male-dominated industry, Wirex are endeavouring to shine a light on exceptional women, to give others the confidence to get involved themselves in a flourishing sector. For the past month, individuals have had the opportunity to nominate themselves or someone they know who they believe to be advancing the world of crypto, reported a crypto news site.

Malaysian SC Shariah Advisory Council praises crypto’s ‘great potential’

Just three months after a landmark decision declaring digital assets trading is permissible under Islamic law, and religious scholars in Malaysia say crypto is looking bullish as an investment.

The Malaysian Reserve reported Dr. Modh Daud Bakar, the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) Shariah Advisory Council chairman, as saying that crypto has great potential but adoption in the country faced challenges from a lack of understanding about the asset class.

New Zealand’s IRD requests customer details to ‘better understand’ crypto-assets

The Inland Revenue Department of New Zealand has re-ignited its interest in crypto-assets and its investors after it asked companies dealing with them to hand over customer details. The guidelines in question present a set of requirements which include the customer’s personal details, as well as info on the type of crypto-assets they are holding.

Understandably, the development wasn’t exactly welcomed the entities based in the country. Janine Grainger, CEO of New Zealand-based Easy Crypto, was one of them, reported a crypto news website.

The DOJ’s ‘Crypto Enforcement Framework’ Argues Against Privacy Tools and for International Regulation

The DOJ’s “Cryptocurrency: An Enforcement Framework” document, published by the Attorney General’s Cyber-Digital Task Force, outlines what cryptocurrencies are and their potential use cases, including sections on both legitimate and illicit uses (though the “legitimate uses” section was shorter and more skeptical). Crypto has been used to support terrorism, purchase illicit items, conduct blackmail and extortion, cryptojacking and launder funds, according to the document, and the DOJ has spent the last two years determining how best to address these issues, reported a crypto news site.

EU and US Making Potential Moves Towards The Standardization Of Crypto Regulations

According to reports, a draft of a new set of regulations leaked in the EU from the European Commission known as MiCA, short for Markets in Crypto Assets, and was distributed throughout the internet. This leaked proposal appeared to provide a clarification about cryptocurrencies in the EU, including stablecoins and security tokens that are in compliance with MiFID, Europe’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, which is a trading value, securities market, and investment intermediaries framework.

The United States’ Conference of State Bank Supervisors, also known as the CSBS published a set of common rules for huge MSB, (Money Service Businesses) in the US, at the same time as the leaked draft from the European Union. These rules and regulations are aimed to standardize compliance processes throughout the nation across every state, leading to the possibility of money transmitters to be able to accomplish compliance in different states at the same time.

British fintech to expand banking services to Indian crypto customers

According to reports, The London-based online banking platform Cashaa is planning to launch a crypto-friendly neobank — or internet bank — in India.

Kuman Gaurav, the founder of Cashaa, told Cointelegraph that Cashaa India will allow Indian businesses and individuals to open a savings account with them and buy, store and save cryptocurrencies just like any other financial instrument.

“For lending, we will be adding crypto assets class together with gold and real estate as collateral,” he said.

Blockchain enters Polish administration

The European Commission is preparing to implement regulations that will help fully use the potential of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. EU officials are working on legal solutions that will make cryptocurrencies a full-fledged financial instrument accepted in all member states. Blockchain, however, is also waiting for use in many other industries, reported a crypto news site.

Romania’s government is set to auction confiscated cryptocurrency for first time

According to reports, Romania’s National Agency for the Management of Seized Assets will auction off small amounts of Bitcoin and Ether — a first in the country’s history.

The auction’s cryptocurrency was confiscated from a fraud case. In the auction, 0.97 of ETH will start at 1,670 Romanian lei ($403 USD) and 0.6 BTC begins at 30,535 lei ($7,382.56 USD).

Bidders must be a legal entity, company with “know your customer” procedures, and meet Romania’s requirements of financial laws to fight money laundering. The winning bidder must also provide data on addresses associated with cryptocurrency exchange.

 

 

 

 

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