The Central Bank Of Philippines Legalizes 10 Cryptocurrency Exchanges

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The Central Bank Of Philippines Legalizes 10 Cryptocurrency Exchanges
The Central Bank Of Philippines has reportedly allowed three more crypto exchanges to start functioning in the country. With this addition, the total number of Bitcoin exchanges in this Pacific Ocean republic to 10.
The Central Bank Of Philippines Legalizes 10 Cryptocurrency Exchanges

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Russian Federation Passes a Law on Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts

The Lower House of the Russian Federation has voted to enact a law on ‘digital economy’ which will come to effect from October 2019. President Putin had asked the Federation to draft a bill related to digital assets so that they can be regulated in Russia. The Federation recognized the widespread use of Blockchain and cryptocurrency in Russia, and have hence, included it in the Russian Law.
The law is passed to regulate the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets in Russia while providing conditions for introduction and transaction of the same. The Russian senate has also envisioned the ‘tax regime’ is a relation to such digital assets.
However, the bill is introduced as a series of norms for the citizens rather than a direction to the executives; regarding the responsibilities of the citizens while using such ‘digital assets.’
Vyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of the Russian State Duma, said the digital rights law “forms the basis for the development of the digital economy. This is a new area for our rights, thus it is important for us to consolidate the basic concepts.”
Cryptocurrencies are Digital Rights, Not Money
According to the Senate, the law on digital rights will apply to ‘digital money’ as well. The bill specifies that: the creation of digital rights, the scope of their use and turnover will be determined by federal laws containing regulations public law and developed with the participation of the Bank of Russia, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Development and other departments.
According to the new law, ‘digital rights’ rules will apply to ‘digital money (or cryptocurrencies).’
The law also established that ‘digital money’ or more commonly cryptocurrencies are not legal means of payments. Nevertheless, individuals and entities can accept it as a means of payment in controlled quantities.
Moreover, it also hinted at the requirement of KYC and AML compliances and called for technical recording mechanism to retain transparency with the Government.
Smart Contracts Too Get A Partial Approval
The law also defined the concept of ‘smart contracts’ being an automated process and confirmed that the same rules of digital rights apply to smart contracts as well. Hence, identity verification and record transaction are essential for its use in Russia.
The Russian Federation confirmed that post its implementation, the unregulated ‘tokens market’ will cease to exist. The Federation is concerned about the use of cryptocurrencies in financing terrorism and money laundering. Hence, the inclusion of ‘digital rights’ law into the Russian civil code will provide for a legal framework for establishing a tax regime on it as well.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies being regulation in Russia will set an example for other smaller neighboring countries and create a positive impact on the cryptocurrency markets.
Which countries do you think will regulate Bitcoin next? Will it be a positive regulation? 
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Source: CoinGape

Legislators in Wyoming Set to Legalize Crypto Custody at Banks

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Legislators in Wyoming Set to Legalize Crypto Custody at Banks

With the new legislation, Wyoming may become the first state in the U.S. where banks are allowed to provide custodial services for digital assets.

Legislators in Wyoming Set to Legalize Crypto Custody at Banks

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Blockchain Under Threat in China, Govt. Enforcing “New Regulations on Blockchain Management’ From February 15

Chinese media reports that last year, netizens in China have used Blockchain technology to record the ‘open rape letter of North university student’ as the evidence (which had happened 20 years ago). So to preserve the national security and public interest, Chinese officials on Jan 10, 2019, have released ‘new regulations on the management of blockchain technology’ which will come into effect from February 15, 2019.
Blockchain seen as a threat by China
A note from the official announcement said;
The Regulations on the Management of Blockchain Information Services has been reviewed and approved by the Office of the Internet Information Office of the State Council and is hereby promulgated and will be implemented as of February 15, 2019.
Since any record or transactions entered via blockchain cannot be altered, officials reviewed that people in China are employing blockchain to spread the illegal information. As such, they’re exploiting the public interest. With this in consideration, China’s National Internet Information is stepping up with new frameworks for blockchain application within the country. Consequently, the new regulations will be enforced from Feb 15 and any person violating the rules will be punishable by fines or prison. These regulations impose responsibilities on the ‘main body’ that help operate blockchain technology or the platform providing blockchain services.
The registrations of new service launch have to be made with the ‘the Cyberspace Administration within 10 days’. In case of changing the service, it has to be informed to administrations within 5 days. Lastly, if a service provider intends to stop blockchain service, they’ve to report to the authorities within 30 before the termination of such service.
Note: The violation of any rules would result in blockchain operators to pay at least 30,000 yuan ($4450) or responsible for the crime (as per the law).
 
Regulations on the Management of Blockchain in China
Chinese regulators have been scrutinizing the ‘crypto-related matters’, forming the effective frameworks since quite long. However, the draft of latest blockchain management release came into light first in October last year but the version released on Jan. 10 seems the final report. Accordingly, the blockchain service providers of China have to register with their information, including ‘company’s organization code, company’s name, type of the service, application area, server IP address and the ID proof of their legal representatives.
The official announcement reads it as follows;
The new regulations stipulate responsibility for the main body of the blockchain information service provider, including formulating platform conventions and management rules; implementing the real identity information authentication system; and not using blockchain information services to engage in activities prohibited by laws and administrative regulations or to produce, copy, and publish And disseminate the information content prohibited by laws and administrative regulations; the violators shall take measures to deal with them according to law, and the criminals shall also be investigated for criminal responsibility.
 
What do you think of China’s latest regulation on restricting blockchain? Share your thoughts.
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Source: CoinGape

News Flash: UK’s Financial Authority FCA Investigating 18 Cryptocurrency Companies

UK’s financial authority acts as a nanny when it comes to businesses that are employing Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Enclosing this, the legal watchdogs are keenly stepping up to draft the most effective approach on how cryptocurrencies and Blockchain tech can be employed.
Key Highlights:

May 2018 – 24 firms were investigated
November 2018 – FCA opened inquiries for 67 firms
December 2018 – FCA investigates 18 businesses, targets Bitcoin activities

18 cryptocurrency firms under scanner
The latest report released by UK media unveiled that the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) is currently investigating 18 companies which are working with the decentralized mechanism. However, the name of these 18 firms is out of sight but the investigation is a result of increasing concern for customer’s financial soundness.
Following Nov 12, FCA counted almost 67 firms in connection with cryptocurrency wherein 2/3rd of such investigations have been launched since May. The strategic lead at FCA, Christopher Woolard urged that ‘cryptoassest posed potential harm’ across the UK. With this, he also highlights the upcoming measures that the FCA, Bank of England and HM Treasury will conduct to encourage beneficial innovation by eradicating threats.
UK regulators on the hunt
Moreover while detailing the coming year plan, FCA notes that;
“We will work with the Bank of England and the Treasury as part of a task force to develop thinking and publish a Discussion Paper later this year outlining our policy thinking on cryptocurrencies,”
The official report revealed during April 2018 notes that FCA isn’t intended to regulate cryptocurrencies in case if such crypto assets fall under regulated products or services. The increasing concern over businesses in connection with cryptocurrencies comes with the escalating ICO approaches with unregulated loopholes that happened last year. Though 2018 wasn’t as significant as 2017 for cryptocurrency prices and the increasing threats, ICO scams, threatening Bitcoin bomb emails and illicit activities are no exception.
What do you think about FCA’s finding? What would be the best fit solution to address?
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Source: CoinGape

India Likely to Legalize Cryptocurrencies Under Strong Regulations

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India Likely to Legalize Cryptocurrencies Under Strong Regulations

India is likely to soften its stand on cryptocurrencies while giving them legal status but under strict regulatory measures.

India Likely to Legalize Cryptocurrencies Under Strong Regulations

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G20 Leaders Arrive At a Common Consensus of Having International Crypto Tax

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G20 Leaders Arrive At a Common Consensus of Having International Crypto Tax

The G20 countries will work towards establishing international taxation for cross-border payments as well as handling issues with money-laundering.

G20 Leaders Arrive At a Common Consensus of Having International Crypto Tax

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Indian Government to Draft Cryptocurrency Regulation Next Month

The Indian government is reportedly getting ready with draft regulations on cryptocurrencies next month.
The finance ministry set up a panel in November 2017 for the purpose of preparing a regulatory framework on the issue, but the central bank has created a hostile environment for digital currency trading platforms in 2018.
After a multitude of petitions filed by operators against the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) anti-crypto circular, the Supreme Court of India has ordered Narendra Modi’s government to clarify its policy in November.
India to Clarify Policy on Cryptocurrency Trading in December
A counter-affidavit produced by the Indian government and filed in the supreme court on November 19 says the finance ministry is about to draft cryptocurrency regulations next month, according to news website Quartz.
“…currently, serious efforts are going on for preparation of the draft report and the draft bill on virtual currencies, use of distributed ledger technology in (the) financial system and framework for digital currency in India. The draft report and bill will be circulated to members of IMC (inter-ministerial committee). Thereafter the next meeting of IMC will be held so that discussion can take place on the draft report and bill. It is expected that the draft report will be placed before the IMC by next month.”
The finance ministry panel is headed by Subhash Chandra Garg, a secretary in the department of economic affairs, and includes RBI deputy governor BP Kanungo and the chairman of India’s market regulator Ajay Tyagi.
The latter has said that virtual currency so far has not posed any systemic risk and is adept of distributed ledger technology. Kanungo, on the other hand, is a leading figure in the fight against cryptocurrency exchanges and is responsible for pushing many of them towards crypto-friendly countries such as Singapore.
“In view of the associated risks, it has been decided that, with immediate effect, entities regulated by RBI shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or business entities dealing with or settling VCs [virtual currencies.] Regulated entities which already provide such services shall exit the relationship within a specified time,” Kanungo said in July.
Subhash Chandra Garg, the head of the panel, took to Twitter in December 2017 to issue a statement with a somewhat unfriendly tone towards the cryptocurrency space as he likened trading in digital currencies to classical Ponzi schemes.
“Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins are neither currency nor coin. Not legal tender in India at all. Trade in these currencies has assumed character of classical Ponzi schemes. Limited supply and uninformed demand makes every new investor assume higher risk. No underlying real value.”
A previous task force, which was set up in March 2017, recommended that consumers should stop trading cryptocurrencies and operators should be choked instead of banned. The document was attached to the government’s counter-affidavit submitted to court, but in a sealed envelope, according to Quartz, which indicates the intention of making its content unknown to the public.
Related Reading: Major Indian Crypto Exchange CEO Openly Asks Gov’t to Regulate Crypto
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India Ready to Announce Its Stance on Cryptocurrencies

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India Ready to Announce Its Stance on Cryptocurrencies

After years of ambiguity, the Indian government might finally reveal a regulatory draft for the cryptocurrency sector in the country before the turn of the year.

India Ready to Announce Its Stance on Cryptocurrencies

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Survey Finds That 88% of Crypto Exchanges Are Crying Out for Regulation

A survey conducted by crypto-friendly payment company Mistertango has found that almost 9 out of 10 digital currency exchange platforms want to see the industry regulated. However, there are also some fears that said regulation could stifle crypto innovation.
Cryptocurrency Companies Crave the Stability that Regulation can Create
The survey conducted by Mistertango targeted 24 different cryptocurrency exchanges from around the world. These included platforms based in Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. Each of the participants has a trading volume of over $100 million per day.
The goal of the survey was to get a feeling for exchange’s attitudes towards regulation and how to move forward to a more mature cryptocurrency market. Some of the most interesting findings of the study are listed below:

88% of digital asset exchange platforms are in favour of regulation
A market crash represents the largest threat to the current crypto market according to 30% of respondents
40% believe that more mainstream acceptance can be achieved if banks reduce the imposed barriers to crypto activity
Over half of those responding said that users of crypto should adhere to KYC and AML checks like those using traditional banking services do
17% of Mistertango’s clients believe that too aggressive regulation represents the largest threat to the future of crypto.

According to a report by Finextra, the business manager of Mistertango stated that the crypto space needs regulation to help the industry achieve the level of stability necessary for the market to mature. Gabrielius Bilkštys continued:
“Unfortunately, there is no regulatory consensus – worldwide or otherwise. For cryptocurrencies to move towards the scale and ubiquity possessed by fiat currency, it needs cohesive, considered and comprehensive regulation. Thus, regulation will be a catalyst, not an inhibitor to the crypto market’s development.”
Meanwhile, the CEO of one of the exchanges responding to the survey also told the publication about the industry’s take on regulation. Oleksandr Lutskevych of CEX.io stated that contrary to popular opinion, those operating some of the services required by the industry want regulation. He continued:
“The industry is all too aware that regulation will lead to the maturity of the market and ensure businesses remain free from suspicion of involvement with illegitimate uses of cryptocurrency.”
It appears that  some of the industry’s leading players are organising to ensure that the space is regulated as quickly as possible.
Just this week the NASDAQ stock exchange held closed door meetings with other high-profile exchange platforms and legacy financial firms to discuss cryptocurrency-related regulation. Whilst the conclusions of this specific meeting are currently unknown, the dialogue between the companies present is believed to be ongoing and could bring about the kind of safeguards that those companies surveyed by Mistertango are craving.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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