Week of Crypto-Regulations: Governments in the US, China and India Take Heed

The past week saw a lot of progress made by the authorities in relation to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Libra announcement by Facebook last month gave the impetus to Governments all around the world to finally take immediate notice of the matter.
Cryptocurrencies could be regulated as an asset, commodity, currency or even financial security in some cases. Bitcoin began a new age of digital asset which is not yet defined by the laws of Governments. Subsequently, after Bitcoin’s popularity began to increase a lot of ‘other Bitcoin’ or altcoins were released. This made matters worse for the authorities trying to regulate these new asset types.
The total market capitalization of the cryptocurrency markets is close to $290 billion. Over the past decade, it has been exploited for a number of illicit activities. However, the benefits and the belief around cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin, is starting to outweigh the flaws.
The United States of America and China are two of the world’s biggest economies and the biggest contributors to the crypto-market. China with its mining ecosystem, and the US with its projects and investors.
The Governments of both these countries including India for long have tried to curb the illicit activities around cryptocurrencies through warnings. However, this week they made progress in promoting it.
The US Senate Holds Discussions on Libra, Bitcoin, and Crypto
The US Senate Hearing on the 16th and 17th of July marked a historic moment for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Two Houses of the US Senate – The Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee and the Financial Committee addressed the issue profoundly.
While it did not end well for Facebook’s plans, it was a big win for Bitcoin and some cryptocurrencies. Both the committees ‘grilled’ Facebook’s head over their plans were in agreement to disapprove it.
David Marcus, Head of Libra Association
Nevertheless, David Marcus, the head of the Libra Association and Facebook’s representative at the hearing was still optimistic. He suggested that the announcement was made prior to the launch to address these concerns at their very best.
Some of the positives for crypto-markets involved a strong understanding of cryptocurrencies. Also, a number of US Congressmen and women who were recognized were actually in favor of cryptocurrency. Senator Patrick McHenry concluded the session by saying,
Due to the nature of the technology of Bitcoin, Governments cannot kill it, nor should they and you can’t kill digital currencies broadly.
Anthony Pompliano, the founder of Morgan Creek digital noted about the politics of the country, he tweeted,
Facebook is forcing the Bitcoiners in positions of government power to self-identify themselves. Don’t be surprised if this becomes one of the hottest topics for 2020 elections.
China Recognizes Bitcoin Legally
China has been so strict with cryptocurrencies, that many around the world believe that Bitcoin is illegal in China. China for long has cracked down on cryptocurrency by banning online Exchanges. Recently, it also planned to prohibit the mining activities in the country.
Hangzhou Court of the Internet (China)
Many reports over the years have suggested that China dominates the mining industry in the world. Moreover, OTC desks have also prevalent in the country along with peer-to-peer exchange on WeChat since the Exchange ban was imposed.
In the first-ever property infringement case relating to Bitcoin in the country. China’s Hangzhou Internet Court recognized Bitcoin as a legal ‘virtual property.‘ Therefore, it confirms that investing in Bitcoin is not illegal in China.
India: Ban or no Ban?
The case is similar to India. In India, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency Exchanges are practically non-existent and there is a strong dislike for it in the higher-ups. However, recent revelations suggest otherwise.
India, for long, has opposed the idea of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Reports of complete ban and imprisonment up to 10 years have created a lot of apprehensions in the citizen. Moreover, apparently, the Government is also trying to implement its own central bank digital currency on the blockchain.
Indian Finance Ministry
Nevertheless, the recent parliamentary Q and A session with the members of the Finance Minister and other lawmakers, it was revealed that ‘work is still in progress.’ Hence, it confirmed that no ban has been imposed for now.
Also Read: German Central Bank President Shows Support For Libra, Calls It “Attractive” To Customers
Last but not least, G7 Cryptocurrency Task Force, currently headed by France is broadly assessing the laws pertaining to cryptocurrencies. The Task Force is specifically looking at the possible impacts and implications of Libra. However, such discussions provide a platform for discussion and clarity around things.
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Source: CoinGape

Warren Buffett is not, and won’t ever be into Bitcoin, claims Litecoin’s Charlie Lee

Out of all the promises made over the last decade, the crypto-ecosystem delivered two of them: a volatile market and persistent leadership. Although entrepreneurs have rooted for their own personal agenda, the cryptoverse has witnessed a new era of mutual inclusion. Highlighting this development, a recent podcast featured Litecoin’s Charlie Lee and Blockstream’s Samson Mow. Touching upon […]
The post Warren Buffett is not, and won’t ever be into Bitcoin, claims Litecoin’s Charlie Lee appeared first on AMBCrypto.
Source: AMB Crypto

Mainstream media has misled vulnerable users on the environmental impact of crypto-mining

Crypto’s mainstream adoption has not only unleashed a new paradigm for global finance, but also raised a fresh set of concerns for its sub-ecosystem, crypto-mining. In order to uncover the truth behind the impact of digital mining, Peter McCormack interviewed University of Cambridge’s Michel Rauchs to discuss the institution’s research on Bitcoin’s power consumption and carbon […]
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Source: AMB Crypto

Binance Singapore lists Litecoin as the CZ-led exchange works towards strengthening its global dominance

Keeping its users and the general cryptocurrency community informed has been Binance’s strong suit and has contributed to people associating the exchange with transparency. Binance is in the news yet again after Binance Singapore listed Litecoin [LTC], the fourth largest cryptocurrency in the world. LTC, popularly known as the silver to the Bitcoin’s gold, was […]
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Source: AMB Crypto

France’s Autorité des marchés financiers gives green signal for ICOs

Recently, Malta and Belarus accepted and legalized ICOs. It now seems that France will be joining the bandwagon too. According to reports, the French government is exploring the realms of ICO and other related services in the country. France’s Autorité des marchés financiers is now prepared to license crypto-firms to raise initial coin offerings. However, […]
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Source: AMB Crypto

Libra Hearing: “We Need to Bring Mark Zuckerberg here”, demands Senator Sherman

The second phase of the Senate Hearing for Libra with David Marcus began with his testimony. The first phase with the Housing, Banking, and Urban Affairs Committee focused on the privacy and security issues of the proposed cryptocurrency by Libra.
Today, the Committee on Financial Services headed the hearing titled, ‘Examining Facebook’s Proposed Cryptocurrency and Its Impact on Consumers, Investors, and the American Financial System.’ 
Their concerns were focused around the nature of the business, their plans, degree of autonomy, and most importantly, its vision in the Financial Service Industry. The Senators were evidently concerned about the challenge that Libra is currently posing to the Federal Reserve. Senator Meeks noted that,
“[it could bring] down the entire Federal Reserve and affect the Financial Services industry”
Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the Committee, headed the meeting. She began with the fact that even though David emphasizes that Facebook will be one in a hundred members of the association, it is currently leading the Association. She said,
“No money has been invested by other members of the Association”
David Marcus Accepted the fact, however, noted that the code is open source and they will not control the codebase.
Is it an ETF, Commodity, or a Currency?
Senator Foster raised the questions around the volatility and the fact that they need to clear the 1940 act, which is designed to protect rent payers from paying excessive rent on different months. He said, “this looks like an ETF to me.”
David replied by saying,
“No will buy Libra as an investment because of its stability… You cannot use an ETF for payments.”
Similar doubts were raised in the beginning by other regulators as well. David noted that,
“Libra is not a security, not an ETF, maybe a commodity. Designed to be a payment tool.”
Chairwoman Waters noted, “That is not a commitment.”
Congresswoman Moloney was firmly against the idea and noted that currencies and economic stability are issues that must be managed by the Government. He also put a healthy condition over the release. She asked for a recorded commitment for a pilot program to be released on a small scale before the actual launch. She said,
“Creation of a currency is the work of the Government… Will you commit to a small pilot program with 1 million users with the permission of regulators… Are you willing to make that commitment right now?”
Marcus deferred in making any commitment apart from the fact that they will be dedicated in their efforts to impose KYC and AML regulations and complying with the rules.
It seemed like David Marcus has mastered the art of diplomatic replies. He refuses to make any commitment and has also deferred many questions with a strong statement that underlines the following statement,
We will take the time to get this right
“Zuckerberg can’t print money.”
Senator Sherman had the most influential views among all the others as he warned David Marcus and the Libra Association of the ramifications that they would be faced within this project. He said,
“A hundred lawyers will tell him [Mark Zuckerberg] what he is doing is legal and he, therefore, is safe. But someone within the polictic of this country needs to explain to Zuckerberg, that if cryptocurrency is used to finance the next terrific terrorist attack against Americans. A hundred lawyers standing in a row charging $200 an hour are not gonna protect his rear end from the wrath of the American People.”
Furthermore, he firmly asked for Mark Zuckerberg’s attendance before the committee. According to him, in the end, Mark is the sole orchestrator of this plan, and that could make him a higher security risk that he currently posses with privacy issues.
The senators do not feel comfortable with handling the approval to this project given that Facebook’s role in it. However, some of them have praised the initiative and innovative insight. Nevertheless, delay and a lot of regulatory hurdles are projected in the future for the Libra Associations.
The Senators continued to question about Libra and Calibra. Currently, at press time, the meeting is in a recess. Bitcoin price has reacted positively given its decentralized nature.
BTC/USD 15-minute chart on Bitstamp (TradingView)
Bitcoin touched a low around $9000 earlier today. However, it has been on the rise since then. The price of Bitcoin rose from $9577 when the meeting began to touch a high above $9800 momentarily.
Do you think Libra will eventually be given a green signal? Please share your views with us. 
 
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Source: CoinGape

Ethereum Classic presents roadmap to improve DApp development and overall infrastructure

Experts of the cryptospace are making use of DApp services to simplify the entire blockchain process. Along these lines, Ethereum Classic’s [ETC] core development team has put forth an initiative to revamp its existing ecosystem. Moving forward with an aspiration for refinement, ETC’s team is developing fresh features over blockchain technology, a development that will […]
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Source: AMB Crypto

Facebook Says it Will Use Swiss Agency to Oversee its Cryptocurrency’s Privacy, But is Yet to Even Contact Them

Facebook has been grilled today at a Senate Banking Committee hearing over its cryptocurrency project Libra. As part of the hearing, a representative for the social media giant claims the firm has been in contact with a Swiss agency to oversea data protection and user privacy.
However, it has emerged that the firm has not been in contact with the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) at all.
Senate Hearing Casts Doubt on Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Efforts
The head of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, Libra, stated during today’s US Senate Committee hearing that the firm had secured a partnership with Swiss authorities to help deal with issues relating to data protection and privacy:
“For the purposes of data and privacy protections, the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) will be the Libra Association’s privacy regulator.”
However, according to a report in CNBC, the FDPIC has had no contact whatsoever with the social media company. The publication reportedly contacted the agency for comment on their work with Libra. Hugo Wyler, the FDPIC’s head of communication, responded:
“We have taken note of the statements made by David Marcus, Chief of Calibra, on our potential role as data protection supervisory authority in the Libra context. Until today we have not been contacted by the promoters of Libra.”
He went on to state that the agency is expecting contact from Facebook soon with the “concrete information” necessary for the agency to provide legal advice and supervision. Wyler added that the FDPIC was following the ongoing public debate into the social media company’s financial ambitions.
CNBC reports that, when contacted, a Facebook spokesperson said the company was yet to contact the Swiss agency. The publication also took the liberty of contacting the other Swiss agency named by Marcus earlier today. The Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority (FINMA) confirmed that the company was indeed in contact with them with regards its cryptocurrency project.
Facebook’s Libra has dragged issues surrounding Bitcoin and other crypto assets right to the front of policymakers’ discourse since it was detailed in June. Last week, President Donald Trump expressed his distaste for the the cryptocurrency  industry via Twitter and also warned Facebook that it would need to seek out relevant banking licences if it wanted to offer the kind of services it detailed last month.
A common critique that has reemerged since the likes of Trump and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently started commenting on cryptocurrencies is that all they do is enable crimes such as money laundering and drug dealing. However, some more astute lawmakers finally seem to realise that the technology could represent a threat to US global hegemony.
Facebook currently plans to launch Libra in 2020. However, given the amount of regulatory backlash Facebook has been faced with since it was first detailed, this date seems overly optimistic now.
 
Related Reading: US Committee Plans to Ban Facebook Cryptocurrency Libra
Featured Image from Shutterstock.
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Fear-1, FOMO-0: Cryptoverse exhibits telltale signs of an investment hiccup

The cryptoverse has again found itself at the crossroads of falling market capitalization and sideways price movements, giving birth to a new wave of mixed emotions across the cryptocurrency community. This is also in light of many arguing that the cryptocurrency ecosystem is going through a cleansing process by removing money-hungry players. Mati Greenspan, Senior Analyst […]
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin’s long-term sentiment bullish, despite present market scenario screaming bearish struggles

If a newbie without any prior information about Bitcoin enters the cryptospace right now, he would probably take one step back, turn and sprint away from the community. While Bitcoin has been recording a fairly successful 2019, the mood has dampened over the past few weeks. Since peaking on June 26th, Bitcoin’s price movement has […]
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Source: AMB Crypto

Canadian town partners with Coinberry to provide residents the option of paying municipal taxes in Bitcoin

Canadian digital currency platform, Coinberry, has partnered with the city of Richmond Hill to provide residents a choice of paying their municipal taxes in Bitcoin. On July 10, Richmond Hill’s City Council had voted in favor of the agreement, citing the provision of an option for property tax payment in Bitcoin for businesses and residents […]
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Source: AMB Crypto

Banks, financial institutions unlikely to disappear despite disruption by digital assets

The cryptocurrency landscape has always been closely scrutinized, with its cons highlighted by several lawmakers across the world. While conceptualized as a decentralized alternative to mainstream banking and financial institutions, cryptocurrencies today have emerged to become more than just a payment option. In fact, many view cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, as a better store of value […]
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Source: AMB Crypto

‘Investigate Google’, Billionaire Tech Entrepreneur Peter Thiel Tells the FEDs

Coinspeaker
‘Investigate Google’, Billionaire Tech Entrepreneur Peter Thiel Tells the FEDs
Peter Thiel, a Renegade Venture Capitalist billionaire tech entrepreneur and advisor to President Trump wants Google investigated for their allegedly treasonous actions in China.
‘Investigate Google’, Billionaire Tech Entrepreneur Peter Thiel Tells the FEDs

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Bitcoin, altcoins continue to struggle as correction wave hits vital cryptocurrency market metrics

While the cryptocurrency market’s rollercoaster ride comes as no surprise to its users, the ongoing correction streak, in tandem with U.S. government’s resistance, has fueled the depletion of the cumulative market capitalization. It is in light of all these developments that Altcoin Magazine released its latest edition of the Altcoin Review, tracking the growth and […]
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Source: AMB Crypto

Vitalik Buterin weighs Bitcoin Cash Vs. Ethereum for network scalability

With the rise in crypto adoption, heavyweights of the crypto ecosystem are moving forward with the aim to improve the existing security standards and speed, in order to gain an edge over others. One of the major influencers in the crypto ecosystem, Vitalik Buterin shared his view to infuse a scalable data layer for detecting […]
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Source: AMB Crypto