Biweekly crypto regulatory round-up (Nov 13-November 26)

Crypto Regulations:

 

Has India’s approach to cryptocurrencies changed amid bitcoin’s record high?

From a ban to a boom, is India coming around on bitcoin? With the famous (some would say ‘infamous’) cryptocurrency on a never-before-seen rally and seemingly on the verge of breaking its all-time peak, that is the big bucks question on the minds of many in India’s financial scene.

Big bucks worth nearly Rs 14 lakh a piece, that is. For, that is the value – a three-year high – that Bitcoin attained as of 21st November morning India time., reported a crypto news site.

OKEx to Resume Withdrawals Before Nov. 27, Offers New Compensation Programs 

According to reports, OKEx, likely trying to forestall a mass exodus of funds when its five-weeks-long freeze on withdrawals lifts this week, on Tuesday said it will offer a mix of compensation and rewards to users who’ve suffered because of the suspension.

Return of ZebPay: how the crypto trading startup is making the most of India’s bitcoin boom

ZebPay relaunched in India after a two-year hiatus post RBI’s cryptocurrency ban. Now, it is reaping the benefits of Bitcoin’s rising popularity during an economic slowdown, reported a news website.

30 Japan Firms to Collaborate on Private Digital Yen: Reuters

Reuters reported that about 30 firms from sectors such as telecoms, utilities and retail will carry out the trials in 2021. The digital yen would be built on a common settlement platform and issued by banks during the trials, later possibly being issued by other entities.

“We don’t want to create another silo-type platform. What we want to do is to create a framework that can make various platforms mutually compatible,” Hiromi Yamaoka, chair of the group and formerly an executive at the Bank of Japan, told Reuters. The overarching aim would be to encourage people in the cash-loving country to use a digital form of money, the group said.

Japan’s Rakuten Introduces Retail Tool For Digital Transformation   

Rakuten, a Japanese tech company specializing in digital eCommerce solutions for retailers, is introducing a new subsidiary to bolster physical stores. Tentatively called Rakuten DX, the new unit will launch schemes for digital transformation at retailers’ physical shops, Rakuten said in a statement on Monday (Nov. 16).The subsidiary is tracking to launch in January of next year to meet the accelerating demand for online shopping and digital payments, reported a crypto news site.

Japanese financial giant SBI debuts Bitcoin lending service

Japanese financial giant SBI Group is introducing a cryptocurrency lending service through its crypto-related subsidiary, SBI VC Trade. According to an official announcement on Nov. 24, the new crypto lending platform will allow users to lend their crypto to SBI and earn interest at a rate of 1% with taxes included.

Japan CBDC has various hurdles to clear before launch

The Bank of Japan [BoJ] had prioritized the development of a central bank digital currency [CBDC] in July, however, as per a former executive the issuance may take several years.

Hiromi Yamaoka, who formerly headed BOJ’s division of overseeing payment and settlement systems, told Reuters that the main hurdle in from the of the bank was to prevent huge outflows from private banks deposit.

South Korea’s New Crypto AML Law Bans Trading of “Privacy Coins” (Monero,Zcash)

The “privacy coins” that add an extra layer of anonymity to crypto transactions are no longer welcome in South Korea. Coin brands such as Monero, ZCash and Dash will soon be unavailable at the country’s exchanges, with the government citing crypto anti-money laundering (crypto AML) measures as the reason for the ban, reported a crypto news site.

South Korean watchdog fines Facebook $6.1 million for sharing user info without consent

According to reports, a South Korean agency for protecting personal information was fined Facebook Inc 6.7 billion won ($6.06 million) and sought a criminal investigation for providing users’ personal information to other operators without consent.

New securities regulations in Thailand help boost crypto businesses.

The Securities Exchange Commission of Thailand has announced new rules that will allow digital currency businesses to take advantage of crypto assets to determine net capital funds, in a move expected to increase liquidity in the sector. The regulator announced that firms will now be able to factor in any crypto asset holdings following a surge of activity on local exchanges. The new rules have been introduced to support the increase in trading volumes by allowing brokers more flexibility with managing their liquidity.

Hacking group Lazarus targets South Korean supply chains

According to reports, hackers associated with the infamous Lazarus group, which is suspected of being tied to North Korea, are now targeting South Korean supply chains, cybersecurity researchers from ESET warned.

The attackers abused legitimate South Korean security software and digital certificates stolen from two different companies to deploy their malware, the researchers said.

U.S. Treasury issues fresh North Korea-related sanctions -website

The U.S. Treasury Department issued new sanctions related to North Korea, according to the department’s website.The sanctions target two new entities, one North Korean and one Russian: the Korea Cholsan General Trading Corp and Mokran LLC, it said. (Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Lisa Lambert), reported a news website.

Crypto.com Joins the International Digital Asset Exchange Association

According to reports, crypto.com has become a member of the International Digital Asset Exchange Association (IDAXA). The organization sets industry standards and plays a major role in advancing dialogue regarding proposed regulations.

Merkel says Germans will face restrictions for foreseeable future

Germans will face restrictions on public life for the foreseeable future as the country tries to suppress the spread of the coronavirus and prevent the health system becoming overburdened, Chancellor Angela Merkel said, reported a news site.

Luno aims for crypto Savings Wallet on demand

LUNO Malaysia Sdn Bhd is looking to establish a cryptocurrency Savings Wallet that could offer an interest return of 3%-4% per annum subject to market conditions. Malaysia’s first licensed digital asset exchange (DAX) country manager Aaron Tang said the new digital asset feature is expected to attract investors. The feature has been rolled out in other markets worldwide by Luno, but it’s availability in Malaysia is currently under review by Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) — the regulator for digital assets investment, reported a crypto news site.

Canadian accusations on China being cyber-crime threat are groundless, says China

According to reports, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on accusations by Canada are groundless, when asked about Canada naming China and Russia among main cyber-crime threats.

Canada identified state-sponsored programs in China, Russia, Iran and North Korea as major cyber-crime threats for the first time, and said it feared foreign actors could try to disrupt power supplies.

US Regulator Clears Way For Crypto ETFs

Cryptocurrency exchange traded funds could be on the way as hard line financial watchdogs warm to a more mainstream approach to digital currencies. Exchange traded funds (ETFs) tend to track an underlying index, like the value of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Investors buy and sell shares in ETF funds listed on stock exchanges rather than taking a stake in a cryptocurrency. The news of the change of attitude by regulators at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) comes as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies soar in value in the wake of Joe Biden’s presidential election outcome and disclosure of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, reported a crypto news site.

Should you be worried about the US banning private ownership of Bitcoin?

Bitcoin has gathered more criticism than any other asset class in the past decade. However, one of the most popular and oldest arguments is that “Bitcoin could fail if it becomes a threat to national currencies it will simply get banned”. If you have heard this a bunch of times, let’s dive into why Bitcoin isn’t a threat to fiat currencies, at least not yet.

Bitcoin’s current market capitalization is about $314 Billion. That’s bigger than the M1 money supply of Brazil, Turkey, or Denmark. However, to put it in perspective, consider the fact that it is 3 times smaller than the M1 money supply of South Korea, 10 times smaller than the M1 money supply of the UK, and 30 times smaller than the M1 money supply of China or the Euro Area, reported a crypto news site.

Rwanda smelter uses blockchain to comply with EU Conflict Mineral Regulation

According to reports, Minespider, a blockchain protocol for responsible mineral tracking and LuNa Smelter, a tin producer in Kigali, Rwanda, announced that they have partnered to implement Minespider’s OreSource tool, a blockchain-based due diligence tool for mines and smelters.

France’s Le Maire to push digital tax in first contact with Biden officials

According to reports, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said he would press the new Biden administration in his first contacts with them to quickly back an overhaul of international taxation of digital companies.

“I really hope that this new Biden administration will mean a new start in the relationship between Europe and the United states,” he said in an online Bloomberg event. “One possibility of marking this new start would be to get a consensus at the OECD level by the beginning of 2021,” Le Maire said, adding he would also discuss the global economy and trade during first contacts with the administration later on Monday.

Ireland’s Coveney says EU-UK talks proving ‘very, very difficult’

The final outstanding issues in talks on a trade deal between Britain and the European Union are proving “very, very difficult”, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told parliament on Thursday.

“The outstanding issues around fair competition and fisheries, and indeed governance in relation to the level-playing-field issue, are proving very, very difficult issues to make progress on, if the truth be told,” Coveney said, reported a crypto news site.

Luxembourg’s CSSF Warns against Unregulated OTC Markets Broker

The regulator of Luxembourg’s financial markets, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), has warned that a firm claiming to be authorized under the name OTC Markets or Brokerhouse OTC is in fact not licensed to carry out business from within its jurisdiction, reported a crypto news site.

Crypto.com Bags Major Regulatory Approvals from Malta’s Financial Regulators

In a blog post published, major cryptocurrency trading platform Crypto.com announced it had become of the first digital currency platforms to successfully bag in-principle approvals for a Financial Institution License and a Class 3 Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) License from the Maltese financial regulator – the Malta Financial Services Authority.

The Netherlands Central Bank Becomes Registers BLOX Crypto Exchange As the First Consumer-Facing Platform

BLOX cryptocurrency exchange has received approval to operate in the Netherlands. The exchange becomes the first consumer-facing platform to receive approval since the implementation of the EU 5th Anti Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5), reported a crypto news site.

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