Global cryptocurrency regulatory roundup (November 27 – December 11)

Japanese City to Trial Blockchain Voting System 

According to an announcement, Tokyo-based blockchain firm LayerX and digital ID solutions provider xID have teamed up to build a “safe and convenient” voting platform for the city of Kaga in Ishikawa Prefecture.

US Lawmakers Tell Mnuchin to Back Off From Potential Crypto Wallet Regs

Four U.S. lawmakers want Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to rethink his rumored crypto wallet regulations.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong tweeted last month that Mnuchin was “planning to rush out” these new regulations, which would apparently require crypto exchanges to verify know-your-customer (KYC) data for self-hosted wallets before they could send cryptocurrencies off of their platforms and into the wallets, reported a crypto news site.

Spain’s Second-Largest Bank Will Soon Launch Crypto Services: Sources

BBVA, the second-largest bank in Spain, with about $840 billion in assets, is poised to enter the cryptocurrency trading and custody space, according to two people familiar with the plans.The Spanish bank will begin its crypto offering out of Switzerland, said a source. Switzerland has relatively comprehensive rules around digital assets, set out by the country’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), reported a crypto news site.

Thai Excise Department Will Deploy Blockchain Tech to Boost Tax Collection

According to a report by the Bangkok Post, the department will implement a system to make tax receipt collection more efficient rather than raising taxes.

The Excise Department, which falls under the purview of the country’s Ministry of Finance, is responsible for taxes on sales of certain goods and commodities manufactured or sold in the country.

Bitbank leads consortium of 12 Japanese exchanges to support Spark airdrop

After much uncertainty around the issue, an announcement today from Japanese crypto exchange Bitbank, declared that Flare networks will be able to distribute the spark token to Japanese exchange’s XRP holders.

G7 Seeks Crypto Regulation, German Finance Minister Blasts Libra Yet Again

While Scholz and his anti-Libra arguments are nothing new, there was merit in the G7 meeting: The central banks of the UK, US, Japan, Francy, Italy, Germany, and Canada all agree about one thing: The need to regulate digital assets.

The latest coverage when it comes to the global regulation of cryptocurrencies made it clear that the G7 nations’ central bankers and finance officials are all in agreement with their desire to regulate crypto. The US Treasury Department said as much after the virtual meeting, revealing in a statement that the G7 is showing “strong support” when it comes to the need for crypto regulation at large, reported a crypto news site.

Ukraine’s Draft Bill on Digital Currencies Undergoes First Parliamentary Hearing

Ukraine’s push for the regulation of cryptocurrencies has successfully undergone its first hearing while it awaits the second and third hearing before it can evolve into a law. Should the cryptocurrency regulation bill finally be passed by lawmakers, Ukraine will rank as one of the countries that have enacted laws that favor cryptocurrencies worldwide.

During the parliamentary hearing, some lawmakers expressed displeasure in the attention given to virtual assets. The lawmakers said there are more pressing matters that concern the Ukrainian economy that needs to be addressed. Even with this argument, the bill still moved to the next stage after it received 229 “yes” votes out of 340, reported a crypto news website.

Singapore United Overseas Bank seeks VP for ‘crypto security’: report

According to reports, one of Singapore’s largest banks is looking into offering digital currency solutions, a new report claims. United Overseas Bank (UOB) is hiring a vice president – crypto security administrator.

UOB is the third-largest bank in the Southeast Asian country, with $235 billion worth of assets. With over 500 offices in 19 countries, the bank has a presence in Asia Pacific, Western Europe and North American regions.

Standard Chartered, Philippines Bank Issue $187M Blockchain Bond

Standard Chartered Bank and UnionBank of the Philippines said they have completed a proof-of-concept issuance of a 9 billion Philippines peso (US$187 million) tokenized retail bond on a blockchain-backed platform, reported a crypto news site.

South Korea to delay new tax regime on cryptocurrencies until 2022

The South Korean government has officially postponed a new tax regime on cryptocurrency gains until 2022.

According to Yonhap on Dec. 1, the planning and finance committee of South Korea’s national assembly passed amendments to the country’s tax laws wherein a new cryptocurrency tax regime will come into effect in January 2022, reported a crypto news outlet.

$9M Blockchain R&D Fund Approved by Singapore Government

According to reports, the $9 million blockchain research and development (R&D) fund is under the aegis of the government’s Enterprise Singapore statutory board and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), with further participation from the National Research Foundation (NRF).

Dubbed the Singapore Blockchain Innovation Program (SBIP), the project will seek to engage up to 75 companies working on decentralized ledger technology (DLT) applications. The SBIP hopes to help in conceptualizing 17 different blockchain projects targeting use-cases like supply chain management (SCM).

Singapore’s DBS bank to launch digital currency exchange featuring Bitcoin, Ether, XRP and Bitcoin cash

According to reports, DBS Digital Exchange will be the world’s first cryptocurrency exchange backed by a traditional bank, says DBS chief Piyush Gupta

It will allow Bitcoin, Ether, XRP and Bitcoin cash to be traded against the Yen, US, Singapore and Hong Kong dollars and may be in business from next week.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak’s crypto token takes off—but you can’t buy it in the US

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is going crypto.

On Friday, Wozniak launched his new company Efforce, a blockchain-based “energy efficiency market” for crowdfunding eco-friendly business projects. (“We created Efforce to be the first decentralized platform that allows everyone to participate and benefit financially from worldwide energy efficiency projects, and create meaningful environmental change,” Wozniak, who is cofounder but not CEO of Efforce, said in a press release.

CCB-backed Blockchain-powered Bond Issuance Saga Takes a New Turn

There appears to have been another twist in the tale of the China Construction Bank (CCB)’s Malaysian branch and its aborted launch of blockchain-powered bonds that were set to be tradeable for bitcoin (BTC) via a Hong Kong-based exchange.

Just weeks after CCB pulled the plug on the issuance at the eleventh hour – seemingly in a move to distance itself from crypto, which is all but illegal in China – the bank’s Malaysian operation appears to be gearing up to back a new, similar launch.

According to Chinese media outlet Caixin, CCB Malaysia is now working on a digital bond issuance with the Bursa Malaysia exchange and Singapore-based fintech firm Hashstacs (STACS).

Report: US Intelligence Asks SEC to Support Bitcoin and Crypto Companies

According to a report by The Washington Examiner, the US intelligence community is worried about the increasing Chinese influence in the digital currency industry. To that effect, the US intelligence has raised concerns about the Chinese Communist Party’s influence over crypto with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Mass Adoption of a Digital Euro Could Be a ‘Clear Negative’ for Europe’s Banks: BofA

A digital euro may still be far off but Bank of America is warning it could be bad news for the region’s banking industry if there is mass public acceptance.

In a report, BofA analysts said digital euro accounts to individuals, if they are seen as a popular alternative, would cut into commercial bank deposits and possibly harm the region’s banking sector.

Russian central bank opposes ruble-pegged stablecoins

According to reports, senior officials at the Bank of Russia have come out against the issuance of private stablecoins pegged to the Russian ruble.

Sergei Shvetsov, a first deputy governor of the Russian central bank, said that the bank aims to ban private firms from offering stablecoins backed by the country’s fiat currency. Russian crypto developers will only be able to use the Bank of Russia’s digital ruble, Shvetsov said. According to a Nov. 30 report by local news agency Prime, the he said that this approach follows the “philosophy of the means of payment’s uniqueness.”

China’s Digital Yuan Launch Could Threaten Macau’s Gambling Industry

According to reports, gambling companies in Macau are exiting the industry or have already started diversifying their operations away from the city. They say that the gambling industry is in danger if China’s digital yuan is fully implemented across the nation. The industry’s revenues have already been affected by stricter regulations and the COVID-19 pandemic over the past few years. The city of Macau has experienced a drop of revenues by $27 billion this year as COVID travel curbs kept lucrative Chinese gamblers away.

European Regulations Lead Crypto Startups to Choose the EU over the US

According to the data by Crunchbase, there are around 877 registered organizations and startups operating in the cryptocurrency industry in the United States. Most of these are dealing in providing activities such as financial services, payments and software. Some of the popular organizations, startups and companies in the USA include ShowPay, Axelar, 3 commas, LunarCRUSH, GX Blocks, Chainalysis, Blue Fire Capital, Lolli, Figment, Curv, Notabene, and many others, reported a crypto news site.

Blockstack’s digital currency ‘Stacks’ to be tradable in U.S. once new blockchain arrives

Tech company Blockstack PBC’s digital currency “Stacks” can become tradable by U.S. investors with the launch of its new blockchain early next year, Muneeb Ali, the company’s co-founder and chief executive told Reuters in an interview late last week.

Under U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regulations, some cryptocurrencies or digital tokens have been classed as securities as part of efforts to enforce rules against entities failing to register digital currencies or assets sold to investors, reported Reuters.

How cryptocurrencies and blockchain prevent digital frauds in the gaming industry

Blockchain technology has recently become a phenomenon in various areas of the economy, driving innovation, growth and bringing added value. Among the most remarkable of these sectors is the gaming industry.

Gaming is a use case that drives the actual adoption of blockchain technology by taking the incentive for the user and transforming it as a unique platform transaction. This drives innovation in development as well as consumer adoption, reported a crypto news site.

Germany Launches A Euro Stablecoin On Stellar

According to reports, Bankhaus von der Heydt (BVDH), one of the oldest banks in Europe has announced that recently it collaborated with Bitbond, a German blockchain technology provider, and launched a Euro stablecoin on the Stellar network. The news is exciting for everyone interested in trading with digital assets because this form of cryptocurrency is already available for trading.

Vodafone and Block Gemini collaborate on blockchain solution

According to reports, Dubai-based start-up Block Gemini is collaborating with the Vodafone Procurement Company (VPC) to deliver a blockchain solution that supports Vodafone’s transformation into a digital procurement company. The solution replaces traditional manual procurement processes, with a single source of accurate real-time pricing information, and can generate valuable data insights into pricing trends and market comparisons.

Singapore Blockchain Ecosystem Report 2020 Unveiled At Singapore Fintech Festival

According to reports, the Singapore Blockchain Ecosystem Report 2020 was launched at this year’s Singapore FinTech Festival x Singapore Week of Innovation and TeCHnology (SFF x SWITCH). The report highlights the impactful developments and trends in Singapore’s blockchain ecosystem over the past year.

The report was co-presented by OpenNodes, Temasek, IBM, PwC Singapore, EY, and SGTech, and supported by the Infocomm Media Development Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. It highlights Singapore’s blockchain research landscape with active contributions from both academic institutions and private sector.

France Preparing to Roll Out Strict Regulations for All Crypto Transactions: Report

According to reports, France is reportedly preparing to regulate all crypto-to-crypto transactions and roll out stricter know-your-customer (KYC) rules.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, The Block reports that the French Finance Ministry will publish a decree this week that will mandate full KYC for all customers of crypto exchanges and firms regardless of transaction size.

Facebook’s cryptocurrency, Libra, on track for launch in 2021

Facebook’s long-awaited cryptocurrency, Libra, can launch as soon as January 2021 despite setbacks. Libra is seeking approval from Switzerland’s Financial Markets Supervisory Authority to operate as a payments service, reported a news site.

US Lawmakers Tell Mnuchin to Back Off From Potential Crypto Wallet Regs

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