BAR global bi-weekly crypto regulatory round-up

Report: JCB Developing Blockchain B2B Payment Product

 JCB, a Japanese card provider, is developing a blockchain B2B payment offering specifically for netting trades between two parties. JCB is teaming with LayerX, a local company, on the offering, Ledger Insights reported.

Most companies have a one-way partner relationship, but firms that have two-way trade encompass commodity traders, investment companies and maybe the big Japanese firms. Not many particulars of the effort were available, according to the report.

UK Regulator Makes Temporary Register for Crypto Firms Awaiting Permits

 The British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a temporary program for registering crypto companies that are waiting to obtain approval permits. The move from the financial regulator will enable a large number of crypto businesses to continue their operations beyond the January 10, 2021, deadline for registrations until at least July 9 of next year, reported a crypto news site.

Estonia Has Withdrawn Licenses From Over 1,000 Crypto Companies This Year

According to reports, Estonia has withdrawn more than 1,000 licenses from cryptocurrency companies in 2020, apparently due to the burden of monitoring compliance.

Crypto China: Construction Bank in China Launches First Insurance Policy Paid in Digital Currency

According to reports, China Construction Bank, one of the largest banks in China has started a new use case for the country’s much talked about digital yuan by issuing the first insurance policy completely paid in the national digital currency. The digital yuan settled insurance policy was launched in association with ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance.

Cryptocurrency Tries to Fill in During Zimbabwe’s Cash Shortages

Since the coronavirus hit the country in March, COVID-19 restrictions have forced depositors to queue early to withdraw only 1,000 ZWL (Zimbabwe dollars) weekly, per central bank regulations, which translated to $3.11 US on Dec. 7. With hyperinflation in the country, that amount goes less and less far each week, reported a crypto news site.

Binance Korea is shutting down just eight months after its launch

According to reports, Binance Korea, a crypto-to-crypto exchange of Binance for Korean users, is shutting down next month. The closure comes just eight months after the platform’s launch in April 2020.

India’s Uttar Pradesh State Starts India’s First Blockchain-Enabled Rooftop Solar Trading Platform

Uttar Pradesh has launched India and South-Asia’s first blockchain-enabled ‘peer to peer’ (P2P) trading platform for rooftop solar power. The Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation (UPPCL), Madhyanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (MVVNL), and Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA) are hosting the first-of-its-kind pilot project, involving energy generated from solar rooftop systems installed on buildings in Lucknow, reported a crypto news site.

South Korean Province to Create Youth Blockchain Jobs with New Fund

South Korea’s South Jeolla Province has announced plans to spend USD 14m on a job creation project that will see the region develop new roles in the industry 4.0 sector, blockchain including, for promising youngsters. According to a report from Jeonnam Maeil, funding for the project has been secured from central government resources and is part of the wider, Ministry of Public Administration and Security-run, post-coronavirus pandemic economic revival project.

US Floats Long-Dreaded Plan to Make Crypto Exchanges Identify Personal Wallets

According to reports, U.S. cryptocurrency users hoping to transfer their holdings from an exchange to their own personal wallets may need to comply with new know-your-customer (KYC) requirements under a rule proposed by the Treasury Department.

European Union unveils revamp of cybersecurity rules days after hack

According to reports, the European Union unveiled Wednesday plans to revamp the 27-nation bloc’s dated cybersecurity rules, just days after data on a new coronavirus vaccine was unlawfully accessed in a hack attack on the European Medicines Agency.

The EU last year recorded around 450 cyber incidents involving European infrastructure, notably in the financial and energy sectors, and the pandemic has highlighted Europe’s deep dependence on the internet and exposed security weaknesses.

Hong Kong Grants First License to Cryptocurrency Trading Platform

Hong Kong now has its first regulated cryptocurrency trading platform. The Securities and Futures Commission has just given out the first-ever crypto license to OSL Digital Securities which will soon commence trading for several cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, reported a crypto news site.

Hong Kong ATMs Must Be Excluded From Coming AML Regulations, Group Says

New anti-money-laundering (AML) regulations need to exclude Hong Kong’s bitcoin automated teller machines (ATMs) in order to sustain innovation, according to the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong, reports the South China Morning Post (SCMP), reported a crypto news site.

US Lawmakers Caution Against Regulations Restricting Use of Self-Hosted Crypto Wallets

Four U.S. lawmakers have sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, warning of the risks of restricting the use of self-hosted cryptocurrency wallets. Their concerns follow reports that the Treasury Department may be on the verge of imposing such strict cryptocurrency regulations aimed at self-hosted crypto wallets, reported a crypto news site.

US Treasury Proposes Sweeping New Disclosure Rules On Bitcoin, Other Cryptos

The U.S. Treasury Department proposed sweeping new rules late Friday (Dec. 18) that the government says would make convertible digital currencies like bitcoin less attractive to criminals engaging in crimes such as ransomware attacks, reported a crypto news site.

Electronic Frontier Foundation: US Government Will Expand Financial Surveillance Through FinCEN’s Proposed Crypto Wallet Rules

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) raised concerns about the strengthening financial surveillance through the proposed crypto regulations announced by the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), reported a crypto news site.

Germany Legalizes Blockchain-Based Securities

According to reports, new legislation passed by Germany allows all-electronic securities to be recorded on a blockchain. Securities issuers and holders no longer need paper certificates.

While Germany is bullish on blockchain tech, the administration looks less kindly upon crypto and stablecoins.

UK Crypto Businesses Get Reprieve as FCA Extends Consideration Period Until mid-2021

According to reports, UK financial regulators will allow crypto firms with pending registration applications to continue to operate until the middle of 2021. The agency plans to use the extension to clear the applicant backlog as its operations have been hamstrung by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Pro-crypto Elad Roisman appointed new chairman of United States SEC

According to reports, Elad Roisman was earlier appointed by incumbent President Donald Trump as commissioner to the US SEC. He has been with the federal agency since 2018. Many believe the new chair is friendly towards the crypto community. As commissioner Roisman supported Peirce’s earlier initiative to include crypto markets in regulatory decisions.

EU rights watchdog warns of pitfalls in use of artificial intelligence

The Vienna-based EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) urged policymakers in a report issued on Monday to provide more guidance on how existing rules apply to AI and ensure that future AI laws protect fundamental rights, reported a crypto news site.

France to extend digital currency KYC with new regulations

France is introducing a raft of new legislation governing the digital currency sector, including tougher Know-Your-Customer rules for digital currency transactions.

The French finance ministry has reportedly been working on proposals for a stronger regulatory regime, which will see crypto-to-crypto exchanges regulated for the first time, as well as more stringent measures for crypto-to-fiat exchanges and other service providers, reported a crypto news site.

Major Latin American University Launches Specialization Featuring Crypto-Related Topics

One of the biggest and most laureate universities in Latin America approved the launch of a Financial Engineering specialization course, whose modules cover crypto and blockchain-related subjects, marking it a historic landmark across the region’s educational sector, reported a crypto news site.

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