Crypto Legal Digest: July 2018

From the earliest days of crypto euphoria, to the latest regulators weighting in, more and more countries are recognizing blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies as the next wave of technological, business and social progress potential. Stay updated with our monthly blockchain industry news and regulation overview.

Blockchain industry is seeing new positive development from regulators and countries in efforts to bring more transparency, adoption and clear rules to all the stakeholders in blockchain business.

Europe

In recent months, Malta and Switzerland introduced new regulatory views that not only embrace, but also put blockchain and cryptocurrencies as the strategic technologies.

  1. Maltese Parliament passed 3 bills into law, establishing the first regulatory framework for blockchain, cryptocurrency and DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology). “I think that blockchain technology, DLT and cryptocurrency is where innovation is happening right now”, said Joseph Muscat, Malta’s Prime Minister. With this new regulatory update Malta has earned a reputation for being known as “the world’s first blockchain island.”
  2. Switzerland launched a fully regulated cryptocurrency exchange. With this introduction they showed increasing institutional interest in crypto economy and enabling more investors and entrepreneurs to join the wave. “This is the beginning of a new era for capital markets infrastructures”, said Jos Dijsselhof, the CEO of SIX.
  3. EU directive for more transparency: Few days ago EU Commission published a new Directive of rules to bring “more transparency on the real owners of companies and tackle risks of terrorist financing”. Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said: “This is another important step to strengthen the EU framework to combat financial crime and terrorist financing. The 5th Anti-Money laundering directive will make the fight against money laundering more efficient.

Rest of the World

  1. Who would win the world cup of blockchain: On a global scale beyond EU, there’s a lot of interesting development in blockchain economy. Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott analysed which cities or regions could take leadership in the race of becoming the Silicon Valley of this new era. With a few qualifying criteria, the list contains Shanghai, Tokyo, London, Seoul, Beijing, Toronto-Waterloo corridor, Zug/Zurich, Silicon Valley, Singapore and New York City.
  2. India may not ban cryptocurrency after all: India is working on crypto regulations, putting together suggestions for know-your-customer and anti-money laundering guidelines. Previous sentiment was more about banning cryptocurrencies, but with more research and setting up discussion panels, government officials and industry speakers recognized the potential in commodities with better trade regulations.
  3. Russia to reclassify cryptocurrencies as “digital rights”: In an attempt to regulate cryptocurrencies, Russia is preparing new legislation that would abandon the existing terms “cryptocurrency, “digital money” and “digital currency”. They would instead be called “digital rights”. Drafts could be adopted by the end of the month.
  4. Digital Currency Research Lab at the People’s Bank of China filed more than 40 patent applications as part of an aim to create a digital currency combining the core features of cryptocurrency and the existing monetary system. The ultimate goal, according to PBoC’s patents, is to “break the silo between blockchain-based cryptocurrency and the existing monetary system”.
  5. Facebook is reversing its ban on some cryptocurrency ads: Facebook says it will now allow some preapproved advertisers to promote crypto businesses and services, like exchanges. In a previous setting, all crypto related ads were banned in a decision from January, with the aim to “prevent people from promoting financial products and services frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”

From Shanghai to New York City, from London to Malta, blockchain innovation is well on the way to disrupt and improve the ways we do business, and with enthusiast all around the globe, we are excited to be in the first row of the next era of internet.


This monthly update is the first installation of Update series we’ll post every month.


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