Crypto Regulation News: FATF to release new rules for global crypto sector, India proposes 10-year prison sentence for crypto use, U.S. customers to be blocked from trading on Binance, Brazil to adapt cross-sector regulations
3rd June — 17th June
- FATF to Release New Rules for Global Crypto Sector, Impacting Exchanges, Funds, Custodians
- Binance DEX Website Will Geoblock Users From 29 Countries
- US State of Nevada Passes Flurry of Blockchain Bills
- Lithuania to Regulate Cryptocurrency Exchange Sector With Obligatory ID Checks
- India Proposes 10-Year Prison Sentence for Crypto Use
- Brazil Authorities to Adapt Cross-Sector Regulations to React to Digital Transformation
- UAE-Based Crypto Exchange Seals Preliminary Approval From Regulators
- Safe Space: A Guide to Special Economic Zones for Crypto, From China to Switzerland
- DOrg LLC Purports to be First Legally Valid DAO Under US Law
FATF to Release New Rules for Global Crypto Sector, Impacting Exchanges, Funds, Custodians: On June 21, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will reportedly publish a note clarifying how participant nations should exercise oversight for the digital assets sector, according to FATF spokeswoman Alexandra Wijmenga-Daniel. The news was reported by Bloomberg on June 12. Per Bloomberg, the new rules will apply to a wide gamut of businesses dealing with cryptocurrencies and tokens — including crypto exchanges, custodians and crypto hedge funds.
G20 Finance Leaders Ask Global Regulators to Consider Multilateral Response to Crypto: G20 finance ministers and central bank governors have asked the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and global standard-setting organizations to monitor risks around crypto assets. The request was made in a joint communiqué published on the website of Japan’s Ministry of Finance, following the G20 meeting held in Fukuoka, Japan.
Why Lobbying Growth Is a Sign That Crypto Is Maturing: Crypto is on the march, and not just in terms of market price. Not only does data indicate that the number of ID-verified users of cryptocurrency doubled over 2018, but there are various other metrics that suggest that adoption is gaining traction. As many as 84% of companies worldwide are involved with blockchain-based technologies in some way, while cryptocurrency ownership is twice as high among young Americans than among the general United States population. And at a time when there’s plenty of talk about the need for crypto to standardize and regulate itself before adoption can really take off, it would now seem that lobbying on cryptocurrency-related issues is also increasing. This indicator of growth emerged at the end of April, when the U.S. Congress released its latest quarterly data on lobbying on Capitol Hill. Its statistics revealed that the number of companies and organizations lobbying for crypto had increased between Q4 2018 and Q1 2019, with lobbying efforts from the likes of Mastercard, Accenture and EY underlining how the regulatory fate of blockchain and cryptocurrencies isn’t of interest only to Coinbase, Coin Center and other representatives of the crypto industry.
Binance DEX: Navigating Country-Specific Cryptocurrency Trading Restrictions: At the start of June 2019, reports emerged that Binance DEX’s website was blocking users with IP addresses from 29 countries. This news immediately caused confusion with some commentators, using it as an opportunity to reaffirm their stance that Binance DEX is not truly a decentralized exchange (DEX). However, as it turned out, the initial reports were somewhat inaccurate, as the geoblocking only applied to Binance.org — the website for the DEX platform. Traders could still access the DEX via some supported wallet apps, bypassing the need to go through the website to reach the DEX service. Responding to the issue, Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, advocated for the use of VPNs to bypass such restrictions. However, some commentators say using VPNs increases the burden for traders who might prefer to utilize other platforms that do not come with such encumbrances. Also, there is the little matter of VPNs being against the Binance DEX terms of service.
US Congressman Seeks Tax Clarity for Cryptocurrencies: United States Congressman (R-N.C.) Ted Budd testified to the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee on purported issues with current tax laws on cryptocurrencies, as per a video of the testimony. Congressman Budd argued that cryptocurrencies should have a de minimis tax exemption like foreign currencies. Budd commented that he cosponsored bill H.R.3708, or the “Cryptocurrency Tax Fairness Act,” which would extend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to treat personal cryptocurrency purchases like personal transactions in foreign currency, which are not taxed. Budd highlighted the fact that, since the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers cryptocurrency to be a type of property, cryptocurrencies do not currently qualify for a de minimis tax exemption. Instead, since they are properties, the IRS requires persons who use cryptocurrency to buy fiat money, or goods and services, to calculate and then pay the tax liability associated with this “property” transaction.
SEC Chairman: Other Market Protections Needed Before Bitcoin ETF Approval: United States Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton said that the regulator needs to feel comfortable with cryptocurrency custody and ensure no market manipulation can take place before approving a crypto exchange-traded fund (ETF). When Clayton was asked whether an ETF based on a bundle of cryptocurrencies could be released in the U.S., Clayton said that the SEC is currently working on making that possible.
Messari Warns Global Regulatory Threat Could Deal Major Blow to Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency: Crypto exchanges could soon face potentially crippling international regulations that will significantly reduce customer anonymity. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), tasked with developing policies to combat money laundering, plans to provide guidelines on June 21st on how its member countries should regulate digital assets, a FATF spokesperson told Bloomberg. The intergovernmental agency creates recommendations on how governments can fight money laundering and financial terrorism, and past guidelines have been adopted by more than 180 countries. Among the new recommendations, the FATF now reportedly wants to require crypto exchanges and asset managers to gather information on any customer initiating a transaction greater than $1,000. Eric Turner, director of research at crypto insights firm Messari, says the guidelines’ teeth will be dependent on how member countries interpret and apply them, and represent “one of the biggest threats to crypto today.”
Bitcoin Tax Evaders Will Be Criminally Prosecuted, Warns IRS Agent: The IRS will soon hunt down bitcoin users who don’t pay taxes by criminally prosecuting them en masse. That’s the prediction of IRS tax investigator Gary Alford, who says the agency is ready to clamp down on crypto tax evaders. Alford says the IRS has usually been lax about pursuing new tax cases due to the rapidly-evolving tech industry. In other words, the law has often not kept up with technological advances. But Alford says this time, the IRS is “ahead of the curve.” The Internal Revenue Service will release new guidance for cryptocurrencies in late-June or July.
‘The War Has Begun’: McAfee Begs Hackers to Fight India’s Bitcoin Ban: Thus thundered enigmatic crypto celebrity John McAfee as he issued an all-caps rebuke to India’s bombshell proposal to ban bitcoin ownership and slap offenders with draconian 10-year prison sentences.
P2P Bitcoin Exchanges Still Hodl Hodling On: In this episode, Dave and Grahm cover the recent news and developments happening around peer-to-peer bitcoin exchanges. They talk with Hodl Hodl’s Max Keidun about LocalBitcoins, regulatory uncertainty, predictions and different kinds of p2p exchanges.
SEC Sues Kik for Conducting Allegedly Unregistered $100 Million ICO in 2017: The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has sued Canadian startup Kik for an unregistered $100 million token offering. According to the SEC’s complaint, Kik violated the registration requirements of Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933. The agency is seeking a permanent injunction, disgorgement plus interest, and a penalty. Specifically, the securities watchdog alleged that in late 2017, Kik raised $100 million through a digital token sale that was not compliant with U.S. securities laws, as it had not registered the offering with the proper authorities.
FINRA Fines Former Merrill Lynch Employee $5,000 for Not Reporting Crypto Mining Activity: The United States regulatory body, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), has charged one of Merrill Lynch’s staff $5,000 for mining cryptocurrency. Documents dated June 10 confirm the fine. According to the “letter of acceptance, waiver and consent” signed by the employee, Kyung Soo Kim, FINRA took action when it appeared the activities did not comply with its rules associated staff.
California Public Accountants Seek Clarity on Cryptocurrency Holdings: The California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA) is seeking clarity on cryptocurrency holdings from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), according to a recent letter obtained by Cointelegraph. In the letter, CalCPA stated that accounting for digital currencies is not adequately captured under existing United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) established by the FASB, and should be generally aligned with the accounting model for a foreign currency. The organization said that many of the features and risks of cryptocurrencies are similar to those of foreign currency.
US State of Nevada Passes Flurry of Blockchain Bills: Nevada passed regulatory sandbox legislation aimed at continuing blockchain investment and entrepreneurism in the state. Governor Steve Sisolak signed the “blockchain bills”. These are parcel to a number of bills passed in the state that support the continued growth of financial technology and blockchain. In February of this year Nevada legislators introduced a suite of bills designed to promote blockchain adoption.
- SB161 — Creates a regulatory sandbox for emerging technologies companies through a program in the Department of Business and Industry.
- SB162 — Creates a definition for “public blockchain” within Nevada Revised Statutes and requires government agencies to accept electronically certified documents, including those on a blockchain.
- SB163 — Authorizes businesses to store and maintain corporate records on a blockchain.
- SB164 — Defines virtual currencies as intangible personal property and therefore exempts them from personal property taxation.
DOrg LLC Purports to be First Legally Valid DAO Under US Law: Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) developer cooperative dOrg has created a limited liability company (LLC) to grant its native DAO legal status. As its name implies, a DAO is a firm with no centralization or hierarchy, and is instead governed by open source digital rules on a blockchain — a smart contract — and operated publicly by users via a consensus voting mechanism. According to Gravel & Shea, the native DAO of dOrg, underpinned by the DAOstack framework, is now the first legally established entity of its kind in the United States. The DAO rules and implementation are available on the Ethereum blockchain, and the DAO is licensed as a Blockchain-Based LLC firm in Vermont called dOrg LLC.
Iceland’s Financial Regulator Approves Blockchain-Powered E-Money Firm: The Financial Supervisory Authority (FME), Iceland’s sole financial regulator, has approved the first blockchain-powered e-money firm in the country. Reykjavik-based Monerium, backed by blockchain software company ConsenSys, has reportedly been approved by the Icelandic financial watchdog to provide fiat payment services using ethereum (ETH) blockchain. According to the report, Monerium has become the first company to operate under an electronic money framework, a major European regulatory framework that enabled the firm to offer blockchain-powered e-money services across the European Economic Area (EEA).
Lithuania to Regulate Cryptocurrency Exchange Sector With Obligatory ID Checks: Lithuania is preparing new rules to govern cryptocurrency transactions, requiring businesses to prove the identity of clients. As part of its obligations to impose European Union anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, Lithuania’s finance ministry will seek to completely formalize crypto-based exchange operations. Parliament approved the move while a time frame remains uncertain for implementation. Once the rules come into effect, any transactions worth over €1,000 ($1,127) involving cryptocurrency — be it into or out of fiat or from one cryptocurrency to another — will face stringent reporting requirements.
EU Warns Malta of the Dangers of Ignoring Money Laundering: Malta has been advised to step up its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) enforcement just as it’s growing its crypto and gaming sector. The European Union believes the island needs to increase its AML policing meet the demands of its ever-growing fintech industries. European Commission made these comments in its recommendations to member states on the utilization of EU funds. Known as the Blockchain Island, Malta has quickly warmed the hearts of crypto businesses through its favorable crypto laws. The island passed some friendly bills last year and has since seen crypto giants like Binance and OKCoin open shop there. The bills covered the registration and certification of service providers, as well as the regulation of Initial Coin Offerings.
Crypto Advocacy Center Says Proposed UK AML Regulations Violate Privacy Rights: Coin Center — a nonprofit research and advocacy center focused on crypto-related public policy issues — has urged Her Majesty’s Treasury not to over-broaden the scope of the United Kingdom’s anti-money laundering/counter terrorism financing (AML/CFT) regulations. Coin Center’s central concern regards HM Treasury’s plans to ostensibly “impose data collection and reporting requirements on not only cryptocurrency developers, but all open-source software developers and others who facilitate the peer-to-peer exchange of cryptoassets,” as the news release states. The advocacy center outlined its position in detail in a comment letter, submitted to HM Treasury on June 7, which addresses the government’s planned transposition of the European Union (EU)’s Fifth AML Directive (AMLD5) into national law.
UK Financial Watchdog Blacklists Clones of Two Major Financial Firms: The British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned investors of a fraudulent company posing as the Swiss Investment Corporation, an FCA-authorized firm offering crypto investments, and another company that is a clone of Goldman Sachs. The financial regulator has blacklisted a firm operating under the domain swissinvest.biz. According to the announcement, the fraudulent clone firm offers services on its website swiss-investissement.com and is involved in scam activity. On the website, the alleged clone firm divides its proposed investments into the safest — assets such as precious metals, and the most successful — major cryptocurrencies including bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH) and ripple (XRP).
Europol Reveals Gamified Coin Tracing Training for Law Enforcement at Crypto Conference: Europol — the law enforcement agency of the European Union — is hosting its sixth cryptocurrency conference, with over 300 crypto experts from law enforcement and the private sector reportedly in attendance. The conference — organized by Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and hosted June 12–14 at the Europol headquarters in the Hague, Netherlands — is allegedly the largest law enforcement crypto event in Europe. The conference focused on opportunities to strengthen cooperation between law enforcement agencies and the private sector in a bid to better prevent and detect cryptocurrency-enabled crime, and aid asset recovery. Experts in attendance reportedly shared their investigative experience and techniques to combat phishing, thefts of funds and distributed denial-of-service extortion.
LocalBitcoin Loses Traders After Cash Trading Ban: ‘Not Very Local’: Finnish peer-to-peer bitcoin trading platform LocalBitcoins quietly removed in-person cash trading from its service. Three days later, the company publicly confirmed the ban on Twitter. As per the accompanying statement, LocalBitcoins had to renounce local cash trading to “adapt to the current regulatory environment.” The removal of the option has angered users, who seemingly began looking for decentralized platforms with more room for anonymity. However, as the Wild West-like unregulated days of crypto might be coming to an end, the more p2p services might have to apply Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering efforts in order to stay compliant with the watchdogs.
Italy: Securities Regulator Issues Suspension to Crypto Investment Firm, Associated Crypto: Italy’s national securities regulator, La Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB), has issued a notice suspending investment firm Tessline and its cryptocurrency liracoin. In its notice, CONSOB stated that a series of entities and websites affiliated with both Tessline and liracoin are ordered to terminate their violation of Article 18 of Italy’s Consolidated Law of Finance. According to a translation from the European Corporate Governance Institute, Article 18 stipulates statutory requirements for the provision of investment services in Italy, subject to the conditions established by the country’s central bank and CONSOB. The notice continues to state that CONSOB has formally suspended all offerings and promotion of liracoin to the public for a period of 90 days, as well as the public offer of investment plans as promoted by Tessline.
Philippines’ Central Bank Will Continue to Closely Monitor Crypto, Citing Terror Financing: The governor of the Philippines’ central bank, Benjamin Diokno, has warned against the potential use of cryptocurrencies for terrorism financing and underscored that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will continue to closely monitor their use in the country. BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo reportedly provided further insights into the institution’s stance toward cryptocurrencies during the launch of an unnamed book about bitcoin. Diokno ostensibly criticized bitcoin’s potential to function as a unit of account, medium of exchange and store of value, claiming that the top cryptocurrency’s volatility inhibits its usefulness on all three points.
Japanese Tax Authorities Push for New Crypto Regulations: Crypto-related businesses and individuals have failed to report crypto gains valued at 10 billion yen ($93 million). Asahi Shimbun reported that 30 companies and 50 individuals are being investigated for failure to account for astonishing profits made from cryptocurrency trading over a period of several years. This figure is linked to the sharp rise in value of virtual currencies in recent years. One reason individuals avoid reporting their gains is due to concerns regarding the tax rate, which can exceed 50 percent on crypto earnings because they are considered miscellaneous income. Authorities believe that holders of about 7 billion yen have made efforts to conceal their crypto transactions. As such, hey are considering filing criminal complaints over tax evasion against those who have made large transactions or used methods to mask their identities. The Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association reported that transactions involving five major cryptocurrencies at member exchanges totaled 69.147 trillion yen in fiscal 2017. This is a 20-fold increase over fiscal 2016 and a 788-fold increase over fiscal 2015.
NEO Releases Detailed Financials Ahead of Cryptocurrency Relaunch: The technology behind the cryptocurrency NEO, formerly known as Antshares, will be completely reconfigured by this time next year. In April, NEO co-founder Erik Zhang announced that an optimized version of the blockchain network will relaunch as NEO 3.0 in 2020. The underlying infrastructure will be so different that token holders will need to turn in their assets for newly issued tokens. Zhang told CoinDesk this process will not require know-your-customer (KYC) information, as the Singapore-based NEO Foundation will simply destroy the old assets and airdrop new tokens to designated wallets.
Rest of the World
Brazil Authorities to Adapt Cross-Sector Regulations to React to Digital Transformation: Major government and financial authorities in Brazil have teamed up to develop a regulatory sandbox model targeting new technologies such as blockchain. The new regulatory initiative brings together the Central Bank of Brazil, the Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM), the Superintendence of Private Insurance (SUSEP), and the Ministry of Economy’s Special Secretariat for Finance in order to adapt to the digital transformation affecting the financial, capital and insurance sectors in Brazil. Revealed by the CVM, the project implies that emerging technologies such as blockchain, robotics and artificial intelligence have enabled the establishment of new business models that generate new products and services of higher quality and scope. The regulators have expressed their intention to enforce their regulations in corresponding sectors to maintain compliance in accordance with the rules of each industry, regardless of how services or products are delivered.
Reserve Bank of India Denies Knowledge, Involvement in Draft Bill to Ban Crypto Entirely: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has denied having any knowledge or involvement in a draft government bill that would ban cryptocurrencies. Varun Sethi, a lawyer specializing in blockchain, filed a Right to Information request with the RBI following a report by India media outlet the Economic Times in April that suggested several government departments have backed a complete ban on the “sale, purchase and issuance of all types of cryptocurrency.” Although the RBI refused to answer some of Sethi’s questions, the bank confirmed it has had no communication from central government about the proposed law — and said it had not received a copy of the draft bill.
Indian Lawmakers Propose Adoption of 10-Year Jail Term for Crypto Dealings: Indian lawmakers have reportedly proposed to enforce a 10-year jail term for citizens who deal with cryptocurrencies. The new tough crypto regulation is a part of a recently proposed draft bill called “Banning Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019”. The regulation will reportedly relate to those who mine, hold, buy and sell cryptocurrencies, as well as those who deal with cryptocurrencies directly or indirectly in the country. If passed, India’s bill will order cryptocurrency holders to declare their crypto assets within 90 days and to dispose the assets “in accordance with the prescription of central government,” the report notes. The bill includes a penalty system that reportedly envisions fines worth a three-fold amount from the “loss caused to the system” or from the gains of crypto holders.
Skepticism as News of Secretive India Crypto Bill Breaks: Those who mine, trade or own cryptocurrency in India are currently on the edge of their seats, as rumors keep swirling around a draft regulation called the Banning Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019. As its ominous title indicates, the bill allegedly calls for harsh penalties of up to 10 years in jail for those who deal in crypto, clearly intending to rid the country of digital tokens. However, whether the bill will become a law or not remains inconclusive, even after attempts of one of India’s premier blockchain lawyers to discover the truth. April’s unveiling of a promising regulatory sandbox for blockchain by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) contained the first hints of a crypto ban, with the rules making no mention of crypto in a thoroughly tight-lipped manner. This prompted lobbyists to call for the bank’s reconsideration, and likely fanned the flames of rumors about stricter measures inbound. These embers caught fire around the same time, when local publication The Economic Times suggested that several government departments had already agreed to the ban and were merely waiting for the correct time to announce it.
Major Pan-African Insurance Firm Rolls Back Insurance for Crypto Mining Equipment: Pan-African insurance company Old Mutual has opted out of insuring cryptocurrency mining equipment due to the absence of regulation in the industry. Following comprehensive research of the industry, Old Mutual has arrived at a decision not to insure equipment used for digital currency mining because of the unregulated nature of the industry. Among other reasons, the company also named cryptocurrencies’ exposure to fraudulent activity and modified electronic infrastructure of mining equipment that leads to overheating and other malfunctions.
UAE-Based Crypto Exchange Seals Preliminary Approval From Regulators: United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based crypto asset exchange and custodian Arabian Bourse (ABX) — a joint venture from GMEX Group and Arshad Khan — has received initial regulatory approval from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). GMEX Group is a set of firms offering multi-asset exchange trading, post trade infrastructure and business and technology solutions. The Arabian Bourse project — established together with regional exchanges founder Arshad Khan — aims to serve as a compliant, fully-regulated crypto asset exchange and custodian with a focus on international institutional and retail traders. ABX implements technology from GMEX Group’s blockchain business, specifically its suite of “hybrid centralized and blockchain distributed ledger technology solutions,” dubbed GMEX Fusion.
Vancouver Saw the First-Ever Bitcoin ATM. Now Its Mayor Wants to Ban Them: Bitcoin ATMs have become “an ideal money-laundering vehicle,” according to the Vancouver Police Department, prompting a proposed city-wide ban by the mayor, and potential federal legislation. The 76 machines within the city limits have come under police fire twice already this past year due to perceived regulatory issues. Though, most recently in February 2019, Sergeant Alvin Shum took aim not only at Bitcoin ATMs, but also the ideological underpinnings of blockchain generally.
Australia Investigating Major Tax Crimes as Part of Crypto-Focused Tax Enforcement Taskforce: Australia’s tax agency, the Australian Tax Office (ATO), is investigating 12 major international tax avoidance schemes, with a key focus on cryptocurrency-enabled activities. The ATO’s intensified cross-border investigations were reportedly revealed following a meeting of the J5 — also known as “The Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement.” As previously reported, the J5 is an international taskforce of tax enforcement authorities from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. It was established in July 2018 in a bid to tackle cryptocurrency- and cybercrime-related risks, in particular their role in transnational tax crimes and money laundering. The latest J5 meeting revealed the coalition was intensively sharing data to pursue 60 global investigations, with the ATO reportedly directly involved in 12.
Examining Australia’s Updated Regulations for ICOs and Crypto Trading: The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) published an updated guideline for initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency trading. These new guidelines are aimed at helping cryptocurrency-related businesses understand their compliance requirements vis-à-vis existing laws contained in the Australian Corporations and ASIC Acts. The ASIC’s revampled ICO and cryptocurrency trading framework does not, however, cover guidelines for other regulators like the country’s tax agency and consumer protection group. The securities regulator say crypto businesses will have to refer to the published laws by those respective bodies. By updating its ICO regulatory provisions, the ASIC is setting the stage for more robust and comprehensive governance of Australia’s cryptocurrency landscape. It also provides greater clarity to established rules that govern crypto-related businesses in the country.
Russia: Supreme Arbitration Court Judge Urges for Inclusion of Crypto in Civil Law: A judge at Russia’s Supreme Arbitration Court has argued that the term digital assets should be included in the Russian Civil Law. Lyudmila Novoselova, chairman at the Court for Intellectual Rights of Russian Federation and a judge at the Supreme Arbitration Court, has introduced the institution’s plans for the development of legislation for digital rights. The official delivered her testimony at the first retreat of the presidential council in Ekaterinburg devoted to civil law. Novoselova expressed confidence that the Russian Civil Code should include the notion of digital money, pointing out that there is no understanding of the basic aspects of the industry. The judge elaborated that objects associated with the digital assets field require regulation, since the tax system and overall legality of associated operations remain vague. The official has also declared that Russian lawmakers should follow the logic of regulatory risk management in implementing legislation instead of prohibition in regard to the digital assets industry. Specifically, Novoselova touched on the question of the amendments relating to alternative methods of attracting investment such as crowdfunding.
Belarus General Prosecutor Warns About Cryptocurrency’s Use in Tax Evasion: Belarus’ general prosecutor has raised concerns about the role cryptocurrency could be playing in tax evasion. Speaking as Belarus hosted the International Prosecutors Association’s regional conference, Aleksandr Konyuk said the time had come for all attendants’ authorities to study cryptocurrency use. Belarus had become one of the first countries in the area to create formal legislation around bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies, declaring them legal in 2017. “The relevance of cybercrime is obvious,” he told the conference, which saw representation from Russia, Georgia, Moldova, Poland, Kazakhstan and Latvia.
Marshall Islands Sets Up Non-Profit to Oversee National Digital Currency: The Marshall Islands has set up a not-for-profit organization to oversee the Pacific nation’s digital legal tender, the “Sovereign” (SOV). Called the SOV Development Fund, the entity will develop, implement and maintain the infrastructure for the SOV, including the digital currency’s management and upgrade. The government said it expects the fund to promote the use of SOV both domestically and internationally, and to establish an environment in the Marshall Islands that is conducive to the growth of crypto-based industries.
Crypto Exchange Bits of Gold Wins Court Dispute Against Bank: Israel’s Supreme Court has ruled in favor of crypto exchange Bits of Gold in its legal battle with Bank Leumi, the country’s second-largest bank. The ruling means Bank Leumi has to open banking services to the exchange, although the bank has objected to the decision in principle. Bits of Gold CEO Yuval Roash who commented on the ruling and what it meant for the crypto community in Israel. “We worked hard to set up a company which met regulatory requirements, in a new industry, and those efforts paid off. I am proud to be a part of this flourishing industry and push it towards the right regulation,” he said.