Weekly Crypto #6

Stay ahead of the game with weekly industry updates, aimed to capture all important crypto and blockchain news of the week.

This week’s timeline went like this: China-BAN, SEC-ETF, China-BAN, SEC-ETF, China-BAN. And it was occasionally flavored with some additional excursions into other regulatory and business-wise stories: Australia’s largest bank issued a bond exclusively through DLT, Singapore Stock Exchange taps blockchain, Wirex got license, UK government will try to use DLT for securing digital evidence and eToro payed the football sponsorship in Bitcoin.

Regulations & Finance

  1. SEC Rejects 9 Bitcoin ETF Applications from ProShares, Direxion and GraniteShares: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected nine applications to list and trade various Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) from three different applicants. The SEC has however notably stated that: “[The agency] emphasizes that its disapproval does not rest on an evaluation of whether bitcoin, or blockchain technology more generally, has utility or value as an innovation or an investment.
  2. US SEC to Review Rejection of Nine Bitcoin ETF Applications: Just one day after the rejection of nine ETF’s the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it will review its decision.
  3. Japan’s Financial Regulator Wants Crypto Industry to ‘Grow Under Appropriate Regulation’: Toshihide Endo, commissioner of Japan’s FSA, told to Reuters that agency wants to find the balance between consumers protection and technological innovation.
  4. China Prohibits Crypto-Related Promotion in Beijing’s Chaoyang District: China is prohibiting all commercial venues (shopping malls, hotels and office buildings) from hosting any cryptocurrency-related events in Beijing’s Chaoyang district. It is still not clear if this order will apply to other areas in Beijing.
  5. China’s Social Media Giant WeChat Blocks a Number of Crypto Media Accounts: Chinese 1-billion user social media platform WeChat was ordered to block all content and permanently block all accounts that are publishing ICO and crypto trading content.
  6. China Seeks to Block Access to 124 Foreign Crypto Exchanges: China National Fintech Risk Rectification Office has identified 124 trading platforms with overseas IP addresses and now plans to step up its efforts in monitoring the space and to block internet access to these trading platforms.
  7. ESMA DEFINES DISCLOSURE STANDARDS UNDER SECURITISATION REGULATION: The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued a set of draft regulatory and implementing standards (RTS/ITS) under the Securitisation Regulation, which concern the details of a securitisation to be made available by the originator, sponsor and SSPE, as well as the format and templates for doing so.

Industry & Technology

  1. World Bank and Australia’s Largest Bank Issue Bond Exclusively Through Blockchain: The World Bank and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the country’s largest bank, have issued a public bond exclusively through blockchain technology.
  2. Singapore Stock Exchange Taps Blockchain for Faster Settlements: Singapore’s stock exchange (SGX) is working with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the city-state’s de facto central bank, to utilize blockchain in a bid to improve the efficiency of securities settlements. Tinku Gupta, the project chair and SGX’s head of technology said: “This initiative will deploy blockchain technology to efficiently link up funds transfer and securities transfer, eliminating both buyers’ and sellers’ risk in the DvP process.”
  3. UK Watchdog Grants Third E-Money Licence to Cryptocurrency Company, Wirex: The Financial Conduct Authority, the UK’s financial regulation authority, has granted an operating licence to another crypotocurrency company. The new license has been issued to the Wirex, whose main product is a prepaid debit card that converts crypto into fiat currency for everyday use.
  4. UK Gov’t Researching Distributed Ledger Technology for Securing Digital Evidence: Balaji Anbil, Head of the Digital Architecture and Cyber Security team at Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), says that the Service is looking to apply new technology to traditional procedures like evidence sharing, identity management, and providing more control over individual’s identity data.
  5. eToro to Pay for Major UK Soccer Sponsorship Deal With Bitcoin: Online investment platform eToro has inked a deal that will see it pay with bitcoin to sponsor teams within the UK’s top soccer league and claims it is “the first brand to pay for a Premier League partnership in bitcoin.

Are you interested into regulatory aspects of blockchain and crypto industry? Check our latest CRYPTO LEGAL DIGEST to stay ahead!

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