Its Thursday evening and you are back at it again staring at the charts. You are sitting there pondering to yourself, why is the price dropping again and why did I go all in at $15,000. At the time of…
Maltese Parliament has officially passed 3 bills into law, establishing the first regulatory framework for blockchain, cryptocurrency and DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology). This makes Malta the first country in the world to provide an official set of regulations for operators in the blockchain, cryptocurrency and DLT space.“I think that blockchain technology, DLT and cryptocurrency is where innovation is happening right now and we are very glad that Malta can offer the first jurisdiction in the world to regulate this sector. We are excited about what this will lead to in the future,” Joseph Muscat, Malta’s Prime Minister, told me.Just last week, the Maltese Parliament voted unanimously to approve 3 cryptocurrency and blockchain bills, which were designed to make Malta one of the most desirable locations to set up shop in the blockchain space. As these bills have now been passed into laws, Malta is sure to become an early pioneer in economic innovation. In turn, this will strengthen the country’s economy with the creation of a new economic niche.
In other news, state securities regulators in the U.S. and Canada have announced that they’re cracking down on crypto scams, Reuters reported. Regulators are looking into initial coin offerings (ICOs) and unregistered securities offerings in an operation dubbed “Operation Crypto-Sweep.” Through a task force, regulators have opened 70 investigations in the operation, as 35 investigations enforcement actions are pending or have already occurred. In some cases, regulators have issued cease and desist letters to alleged scams.
The South African Reserve Bank (SARS) recently announced its position on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, confirming that they will be subject to tax in South Africa.
While this may feel like the taxman has just found another way to target your wealth, general regulation may not ultimately be bad thing, according to Christine Rodrigues, partner at Hogan Lovells.
Rodrigues notes that some jurisdictions that have taken active steps to regulate cryptocurrency.
Huo Xuewen, director of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Financial Work has fired 9 acute questions toward Bitcoin, blockchain and ICO in a Fintech meetup recently. He tried to explore the fundamentals and values of this technology.
Mr. Huo said that now that investors care only for making profits in ICO and nobody cares about the values behind this innovative mechanism. And since most of the trades of cryptocurrency rely on centralized exchanges, the digital assets are still threatened by traditional risks.
“The Australian approach treats exchanges more or less as money services business, in-line with many other jurisdictions in the world. Cryptocurrency exchanges, like fiat currency exchanges, are deputized to help law enforcement identify money launderers. They have a risk-based approach for transaction reports under the standard $10k threshold, and automatic reports for transactions above $10k. So, standard practice for most currency exchanges. The aspect that is important to monitor going forward will be the performance of the agency the cryptocurrency exchanges report to, AUSTRAC. This agency will now have even more information and data to track, store, and secure. Agencies like them around the world — FinCEN in America for example — already have poor track records when it comes to prosecutions based on the data they gather. With the cryptographic sophistication and global, borderless infrastructure around cryptocurrency trading, we’ll have to wait and see if this is just more agencies gathering more data that serves no purpose other than to provide a talking point that they are ‘doing something’ to fight terrorism financing and money laundering.”
The Republic of Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC), the country’s regulatory authority for economic competition, “ordered 12 cryptocurrency exchanges to revise their adhesion contracts, which largely fail to provide adequate protection for consumers,” according to Yonhap.
The Government of Ireland’s Department of Finance released, on March 22, a discussion paper on virtual currencies and blockchain technology. The paper was partly a response to parliamentary questions, but also a first step toward inter-agency talks on formulating Ireland’s government policy on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
While no recommendations were made regarding cryptocurrencies themselves, the discussion paper does give a sense of how the Department of Finance sees cryptocurrencies within the Irish context.
The House Financial Services Committee has scheduled a Hearing on “Examining the Cryptocurrencies and ICO Markets.” The Hearing will take place on March 14th at 10AM and should be live streamed on the Committee website. Details are thin for the moment but as soon as we receive the names of individuals testifying on
The world’s big financial institutions are wrestling with a cryptocurrency dilemma: whether to stand by and denounce a technology many distrust but also fear — or join those investing in it.
After a surge in the combined market value of cryptocurrencies from less than $20bn to more than $540bn, the phenomenon — and the blockchain technology that underpins it — has become impossible for the financial establishment to ignore, despite its denunciations of bitcoin in p