Global crypto regulatory round-up (Feb 26 to March 11)

Govt should establish robust regulatory mechanism for cryptocurrency ecosystem: IAMAI

Industry body IAMAI appealed to the Indian government to not ban cryptocurrency and develop a robust mechanism to regulate the related ecosystem in the country. IAMAI noted that cryptocurrency has been generating jobs across a variety of functions – legal, compliance, tech, marketing, business development, finance, etc – in India and abroad.

As per IAMAI, the crypto community consists of over 10 million crypto holders having over USD 1 billion worth of crypto assets, over 300 startups generating tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and taxes. “There”s a daily trading volume of USD 350 million – USD 500 million,” it added, reported a news website.

Japan’s Mizuho suffers problems at ATMs, preventing use of some services

Japan’s Mizuho Bank is suffering problems at its ATMs, preventing customers from accessing some services, the lender said on its website.

Customers are unable to make withdrawals at some machines, national broadcaster NHK reported. ATMs in Tokyo are among those affected, a spokeswoman said. She declined to say which services were affected as the lender is still investigating the matter.

Bitcoin: Japanese-style regulations called for as ‘cryptos’ become cash ‘alternative’

According to reports, Bitcoin is at the forefront of mainstream financial news thanks to an unprecedented price rise it has seen in recent months. Many experts expect demand for digital assets like Bitcoin to rise in the coming months but before this happens, heightened regulation will likely be needed.

Ripple CEO calls for clearer crypto regulations following SEC lawsuit

According to reports, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse tells “Axios on HBO” that if his company loses a lawsuit brought by the SEC, it would put the U.S. cryptocurrency industry at a competitive disadvantage.

South Korea to Impose Heavy Penalty on Cryptocurrency Violations

The Financial Services Commission of Korea (FSC) introduced new penalty standards for cryptocurrency service providers. The financial regulator is planning to impose heavy penalties on digital exchanges in the country if they fail to report suspicious transactions.

According to the official announcement, FSC has asked local crypto exchanges to keep a separate record of the cryptocurrency transactions of the customers. The regulator instructed virtual assets service providers (VASPs) to verify the identity of their clients.

South Korea’s K Bank aims for digital currency-fueled IPO in 2022

South Korean bank startup K Bank has said it is aiming at an IPO in 2022, amid a surge in customer demand driven by increased use of digital currency.

The bank, which is the primary fiat onramp for cryptocurrency exchange Upbit, is said to be experiencing rapid growth from its services, which senior executives think could see the bank turning a profit in 2022.

According to CEO Lee Mun-whan, this would pave the way for a public listing for the Internet-only bank, Korea Times reported.

South Korean Shinhan Bank pilots digital currency platform with LG CNS

Major South Korean commercial bank Shinhan Bank is looking to collaborate with the country’s central bank on developing a national digital currency.

Shinhan Bank has developed a blockchain-based pilot platform for a central bank digital currency, or CBDC, in partnership with LG Corporation’s services arm LG CNS, South Korean news agency Yonhap reports.

Huobi Said to Be Launching Bitcoin, Ether Funds After Being Granted Hong Kong License

Cryptocurrency exchange operator Huobi has been granted a license from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission. British Virgin Islands-incorporated Huobi Technology Holdings announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Huobi Asset Management, had received approval to manage portfolios investing in virtual assets.

German Private Bank to Offer Cryptocurrency Services

Donner & Reuschel, a Hamburg-headquartered private bank, is to offer cryptocurrency buying and custody to its clients. According to the institution, the decision to move forward with the launch – planned “as soon as possible” – was prompted by high market demand for digital asset custody.

DLC Distributed Ledger Consulting GmbH has been brought in as consultant partner for the bank’s new direction. Donner & Reuschel next plans “to intensively address” tokenization of assets to maximize its chances of benefitting from an anticipated shift in the finance industry, reported a crypto news site.

Hong Kong could see more instances of ‘tokenisation’ in real estate, as market embraces fintech, says law firm DLA Piper

According to reports, Hong Kong could see more instances of “tokenisation” in real estate transactions as the market embraces financial technology to make illiquid and expensive assets more accessible to a wider pool of investors.

Clients in the property development sector are looking at tokenising illiquid assets such as real estate as a form of fundraising, according to Susheela Rivers, head of Asia-Pacific real estate at global law firm DLA Piper. The efforts should materialise within the year, she added.

“Hong Kong is a city that understands real estate. It has a high point of entry,” Rivers said. Digital tokens can “create a marketplace that makes this a little bit more tradeable, an exciting new way of holding real estate”.

The Philippines Ushers in Crypto Innovation With New Regulatory Framework

The Philippines has updated its regulation that was originally crafted in 2017 on what it describes as virtual assets, aka cryptocurrencies. The Monetary Board reflects on a ramp-up in the use of virtual currency exchanges (cryptocurrency exchanges) in the past three years, in response to which they have decided to revisit the existing regulation to make sure that the risk management procedures are sufficient for the “evolving nature” of financial innovation, in step with the central bank. There are 16 cryptocurrency exchanges registered with the BSP, according to Messari research.

Thailand Regulator Withdraws Proposal of Harsh Crypto Investment Rules

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has scrapped its new crypto regulations draft after it received massive backlash from the local community for setting a high bar for investors.

According to a Bangkok Post report, the proposal wanted the crypto investor’s minimum annual income to be 1 million baht (around $33,000), which is too high compared to Thailand’s per capita GDP of around $7,800, as per World Bank data.The draft rules proposed a mandatory income verification of all Thai citizens willing to invest in cryptocurrencies, which received public backlash within hours of being published.

Pakistan: Arrests made in Bitcoin extortion case

A recent case has been reported in Pakistan, where the police have arrested several people part of the country’s first extortion case via crypto. According to reports, the police arrested the owner of an outhouse where the complainants, two foreign nationals, were held hostage along with two other suspects.

China’s Plan for Digital Yuan Imperils Bitcoin’s Biggest Markets

Trouble may be brewing in China for Bitcoin’s raucous and divisive rally as the nation pushes ahead with a world-leading effort to create a digital version of its currency. That’s because the eventual rollout of the virtual yuan could roil cryptocurrency markets if Chinese officials tighten regulations at the same time, according to Phillip Gillespie, chief executive of crypto market maker and liquidity provider B2C2 Japan, which mainly works with institutional investors.

“Once a digital yuan is introduced, that’s going to be one of the biggest risks in crypto,” Gillespie, who previously worked in currency markets for Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said in an interview. “Panic selling” is possible if the new rules end up sucking liquidity from trading platforms for digital coins, he said, reported Bloomberg.

China’s bitcoin miners flee Inner Mongolia ahead of crypto mining ban

China’s Inner Mongolia, once a hotbed of bitcoin mining, is now planning to ban all cryptocurrency mining farms and has asked them to shut down operations by the end of next month, forcing miners to move their equipment elsewhere in China or even overseas.

The provincial government of Inner Mongolia says it needs to end crypto mining to achieve new carbon-reduction goals set by the national government. Unlike other regions in China that can provide an abundance of clean hydroelectricity for powering crypto mining machines, Inner Mongolia’s crypto farms are run on coal-powered electricity, reported a crypto news site.

Chinese Publicly Listed Company Meitu Buys Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) worth $40 Million

In an announcement made on March 7, Siming District-headquartered Chinese technology company Meitu announced that it had bought BTC and ETH worth $40 million. For the uninitiated, Meitu has been listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange since December 2016.

Around Rs 3 Lakh Crore Cryptocurrency Market In India Wants Regulation, Not Ban

The government’s decision to table a bill in the Parliament to ban cryptocurrencies during the Budget session left the future of the estimated Rs 3 lakh crore cryptocurrency market with about 80 lakh participants in the dark. However, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s comments last week that the government will take a “calibrated position” on cryptocurrency bring cheers to the industry, still at a nascent stage compared globally.

“We want to make sure that there is a window available for all kinds of experiments which will have to take place in the crypto world,” the Finance Minister said during a TV interview last week. “We are not closing our minds”, reported a news website.

Binance CEO assertively advocates countries to embrace crypto

According to reports,Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the CEO at Binance, stated that the countries that feel endangered by cryptocurrencies should begin embracing them

He stated that large countries are becoming more open to the idea of this technology

Recently, the Indian government gave indications that they are not planning a blanket ban anytime soon

Turkish finance ministry is working on crypto regulations.

Turkey is preparing to end its “wait and see” policy towards cryptocurrency regulation. It is being reported that the country’s finance ministry is working with regulators to devise a more substantial policy response for digital currency. The Turkish Ministry of Treasury and Finance tweeted that it was beginning work with a number of regulatory bodies to assess the risks posed by cryptocurrency and devise a government solution.

Crypto Exchange Bybit To End Trading for UK Customers

Crypto derivatives exchange Bybit will stop serving UK clients on March 31, it said in an announcement. The exchange cited new regulations for crypto-based derivatives as the reason behind the move.

“To comply with the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) ban of crypto derivatives, Bybit will cease to provide services to customers from the United Kingdom,” the exchange said in its release, requesting clients to close any positions and withdraw all funds before the end of this month.

UK aims to diverge from EU data rules to drive growth, minister says

According to reports, Britain is planning to reform data protection law to allow information to flow more freely and drive growth in the digital economy now it has left the European Union’s orbit, Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said.

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force in 2018, was mirrored in British law following Brexit. The EU has provisionally recognised British law as adequate.

Iran imposes indefinite ban on platforms trading cryprocurrency

According to reports, Iran’s state-run regulator for online payment platforms has imposed an indefinite ban on websites that offer cryprocurrency trading services.

Shaparak, a Central Bank of Iran (CBI) agency, said on Wednesday that all payment processing applications and websites in the country should immediately ban transactions involving selling and buying of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin.

The decree came a day after Iran’s National Virtual Space Center announced that cryptocurrency trading platforms had no legal permission to operate in the country.

Crypto derivates platform ByBit shuts down in the U.K. after new regulations.

Crypto derivative platform Bybit announced in an update to its customers that it had ceased to provide all services to U.K. customers. These users have until March 31 to close all their positions and withdraw all their balances. Thereafter, users in the U.K. “will be restricted from accessing or performing any trading activities on the crypto platform. The Finance Conduct Authority had earlier banned crypto derivatives in the country.

European Regulations Could Stifle Crypto Innovation and DeFi: Survey

According to reports, a survey has suggested that proposed European regulations could undermine innovation in the crypto space. In particular, respondents suggested the DeFi industry is at risk.

Blockchain group INATBA reiterates concerns over proposed European regulations

Six months after its first response to the European Commission’s crypto legislative proposal, the International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications, or INATBA, has released a detailed report on key issues regarding the planned regulations.

According to the recently published document, INATBA argued that the commission’s Markets in Crypto Assets regulations do not favor emerging cryptocurrency and blockchain firms. Instead, the blockchain group backed by Ripple and ConsenSys argued that the EC’s legislative proposal offers a significant advantage to incumbents in the legacy financial ecosystem.

JP Morgan looks to introduce a crypto exposure basket product

JP Morgan filed paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for a crypto exposure basket yesterday

According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by the multinational investment bank, JP Morgan is preparing to launch a debt instrument involving crypto-related stocks. The basket product features a total of 11 unequally weighted reference stocks linked directly or indirectly to digital assets, as per the bank’s fact sheet, reported a news website.

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