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Fintech and Cryptoassets — January 2019

The European Supervisory Authorities published a report on regulatory sandboxes and innovation hubs

7 January 2019

The European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) — the European Securities and Markets Authority, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority and the European Banking Authority published a joint report on regulatory sandboxes and innovation hubs (innovation facilitators).

The report sets out a comparative analysis of the innovation facilitators established to date within the EU and best practices for the design and operation of innovation facilitators

DIFC’s FinTech Hive Cements Collaboration with Innovate Finance

7 January 2019

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Innovate Finance signed a Memorandum of Understanding which aims to cement cooperation and collaboration between the UK and Dubai Fintech ecosystems. Innovate Finance and DIFC’s FinTech Hive will explore concepts that will help startups in both locations. Concepts range from sharing knowledge and hosting learning initiatives for startups, such as financial technology programmes, in The Academy at DIFC to fostering relationships between their regulatory and financial communities.

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) published a paper looking at central banks’ current work and thinking on new central bank digital currencies and how they could replace traditional money.

8 January 2019

The paper is based on a recent survey which showed that most central banks are collaboratively looking at the implications of a central bank digital currency, but that while many are considering practical issues they seem to be proceeding cautiously and few report plans to issue a digital currency in the short or medium term.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published its advice to the European Union (EU) Institutions — Commission, Council and Parliament — on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto-assets (the Advice).

9 January 2019

ESMA published its advice to the European Union Institutions — Commission, Council and Parliament on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto-assets (the Advice).

The European Banking Authority (EBA) published a report containing the results of its assessment of the applicability and suitability of EU law to crypto-assets.

9 January 2019

The EBA published a report containing the results of its assessment of the applicability and suitability of EU law to crypto-assets. In its 2018 FinTech Action plan, the European Commission requested the ESAs assess the suitability of the EU regulatory framework with regards to ICOs and crypto-assets more generally.

The Investment Association (IA) has opened applications as it seeks its second cohort of cutting-edge FinTech innovators for Velocity, the IA’s specialist FinTech accelerator and innovation hub for the asset management industry

9 January 2019

The Investment Association (IA) opened applications as it seeks its second cohort of cutting-edge FinTech innovators for Velocity, the IA’s specialist FinTech accelerator and innovation hub for the asset management industry. Since the launch of Velocity and the creation of the IA’s FinTech membership category, more than 70 FinTech firms join its ranks in the past six months, with five of these forming the first Velocity cohort in October last year.

Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of the Investment Association, says:

‘The IA has firmly established itself as the natural meeting point between the most cutting-edge FinTech companies and the asset management industry. By taking the lead on attracting innovative FinTech firms, we are ensuring that our industry remains globally competitive to the benefit of savers and investors. More than 30 outstanding FinTech companies applied to join the first cohort and we look forward to receiving a similar high calibre of applicants for the second cohort.

Council of the European Union — ESMA covering letter to report on ICOs and crypto-assets

15 January 2019

The Council of the European Union circulated the advice of ESMA to the European Union institutions on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto-assets (5313/19). Correspondence from the chair of ESMA, Steven Maijoor to Valdis Dombrovskis, the Commission’s vice president for financial stability, financial services and Capital Markets Union, is included. FCA consults on cryptoassets guidance

The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) published a working paper which focuses on how Bitcoin and related crypto-assets verify that payments are final (ie irreversible) once written into the blockchain.

21 January 2019

The BIS published a working paper which focuses on how Bitcoin and related crypto-assets verify that payments are final (ie irreversible) once written into the blockchain. It points to the high costs of achieving such finality via ‘proof-of-work’. It then weighs the outlook for cryptocurrencies based on this kind of algorithm and looks at possible future avenues for progress. The paper discusses the economics of how Bitcoin achieves data immutability, and thus payment finality, via costly computations, ie ‘proof-of-work’. Further, it explores what the future might hold for cryptocurrencies modelled on this type of consensus algorithm.

The Financial Conduct Authority consults on cryptoassets guidance

23 January 2019

The FCA published CP19/3: Guidance on Cryptoassets which contains draft guidance, which, once finalised, will set out the cryptoasset activities the FCA regulates. The guidance will help firms understand whether their cryptoasset activities fall under FCA regulation. Firms should therefore have a better understanding of whether they need to be authorised and can ensure they are compliant and have appropriate consumer safeguards in place. The FCA is asking for comments by Friday 5 April.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) published a working paper on blockchain, FinTechs and their relevance for international financial institutions

25 January 2019

The European Investment Bank (EIB) published a working paper on blockchain, FinTechs and their relevance for international financial institutions. The working paper is intended to be a primer on financial technology and blockchain and to shed light on the impact they may have on the financial industry.

The working paper covers:

  1. the impact of Fintechs and TechFins on the financial sector
  2. blockchain technology and its applications, with a focus on cryptocurrencies
  3. the impact on financial inclusion
  4. risks and challenges, and
  5. applications for international financial institutions and their clients.

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Compliance Tyler

Tyler Woollard is the founder of The Conduct Mind, a compliance consultancy firm. www.theconductmind.com Online shop https://bit.ly/37tDCXO

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