Crypto Regulation News: The SEC Crypto Token Guidance, G20 to Establish Crypto Regulations in June, Hong Kong’s STO Guidelines, SEC Postpones Bitwise And VanEck ETF Decisions
25th March — 8th April
- The SEC Released Its Long-Awaited Crypto Token Guidance
- SEC Postpones Bitwise And VanEck ETF Decisions
- Japan Set to Address New Crypto Regulations at the G20 Summit in June
- South Korean Officials Consider Revision of Existing Crypto Regulations
- Pakistan Introduces Crypto Regulation
- Hong Kong’s Securities And Futures Commission Releases STO Guidelines
- Over 40 Central Banks Are Considering Blockchain Applications
- 14% of Major Crypto Exchanges Are Licensed by Regulators
G20 to Establish Crypto AML and Counter-Terrorism Financing Regulations in June: Report: G20 member countries will meet to discuss international cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulation on June 8 and 9 in Fukuoka, Japan. G20 central bank governors and finance ministers will take part in the meeting. The event will be focused on establishing a framework to combat crypto-enabled money laundering and terrorism financing.
Over 40 Central Banks Are Considering Blockchain Applications: Davos Report: More than 40 central banks worldwide are experimenting with blockchain technology, says a new report by the World Economic Forum. The report analyzes how different central banks are either examining what blockchain can be used for or are outright experimenting with central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
Most Crypto Exchanges Still Don’t Have Clear KYC Policies: Report: The crypto exchange industry may be far less compliant than it appears. As revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, a global study of 216 exchanges by the reg-tech startup Coinfirm found 69 percent of these businesses do not have “complete and transparent” know-your-customer (KYC) procedures. The study also found that only 26 percent of exchanges had a “high” level of anti-money laundering (AML) procedures, such as ongoing transaction monitoring and in-house compliance staff with experience in AML.
Study: 14% of Major Crypto Exchanges Are Licensed by Regulators: Only 14 percent of 216 global crypto exchanges were confirmed as being licensed by regulators, regulatory technology (regtech) startup Coinfirm found in its crypto exchange risk report released on March 27. Coinfirm, а London-based regulatory tech firm for digital currencies and blockchain, studied 216 global cryptocurrency exchanges to outline the key risks that can be associated with each platform, as well as to assist monitors in developing necessary regulatory frameworks. The analyzed exchanges reportedly represent more than 90 percent of global crypto market activity. In the study, Coinfirm evaluated the exchanges into seven categories of risk, including license and authorization, Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance, sanctions, senior public figures, jurisdiction, and negative and adverse media.
Report: ICOs Raised $118 Million in Q1 2019, Over 58 Times Less Than in Q1 2018: About $118 million has been raised via initial coin offerings (ICOs) in Q1 of 2019, over 58 times less than $6.9 billion, the amount raised during the same period in 2018, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports on March 31. The report cites data provided by ICO analytics website TokenData. The WSJ argues that investors have been scared off by regulators’ actions against non-compliant ICOs, as well as by the general bear market over the past year.
Cryptocurrencies Not Currently Viable for Terrorism Financing: Think Tank: Cryptocurrencies are not well-suited for the needs of terrorist groups, United States nonprofit think tank RAND Corporation states in a report. The report, dubbed “Terrorist Use of Cryptocurrencies: Technical and Organizational Barriers and Future Threats,” is focused on two main angles — how terrorists use cryptocurrencies in their current state and how could they possibly use them in the future as the industry evolves. The authors believe that cryptocurrencies currently pose no significant threat as a means of terrorism financing. However, if cryptocurrencies started providing anonymity and improved security, combined with the lack of relevant state regulations, the risk of their potential use by terrorists would increase, per the report.
Binance Partners With Risk Management Firm IdentityMind for KYC and AML Compliance: The world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, has partnered with risk management and compliance firm IdentityMind. The companies have teamed up to address data security and compliance measures for Binance’s global operations by enabling IdentityMind’s tools for Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance.
Swiss President Says Regulation for Blockchain Firms Should be ‘Fast and Clear’: The president of the Swiss Confederation, Ueli Maurer, has stressed that establishing regulation for the blockchain sector should be fast and clear. Maurer made his remarks at the CV Crypto Valley Summit in Zug. Maurer — who is also the country’s Minister of Finance — addressed the summit just days after the country’s Federal Council launched its consultation process with the Swiss parliament over prospective amendments to federal law that would improve the legal status of blockchain firms.
Austrian Economics Minister: ‘We Do Not Need Regulation for Blockchain’: Austrian Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs, Margarete Schramboeck said that “we do not need regulation for blockchain”. Schramboeck — who previously served as CEO of major Austrian fixed and mobile network operator A1 Telekom Austria — delivered her comments during the ANON Blockchain Summit discussion panel dedicated to “The role of government in the age of blockchain”. Speaking about the development of appropriate regulations towards blockchain, the Minister said that “Europe has a strong tendency to overregulate. […] And then we are surprised that there are no European companies in the top 10 worldwide.”
ICO token didn’t entitle buyers to profits: U.S. Judge says it sounds like a security anyway: Court denies motion to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds noting, among other things, defendants’ attendance at NY conferences in May 2017. Howey Test satisfied for purposes of a Motion to Dismiss. Relying on 2017 Consent Order in In Re Munchee, Court says fact that token holders not entitled to corporate profits wasn’t fatal to a securities act claim.
US CFTC Chair Says Agency Has Resisted Calls to Suppress Development of Crypto Sector: United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo has emphasized the agency’s commitment is to monitor, but not impede, the development of the crypto asset sector. Giancarlo made his remarks during a speech devoted to EU-U.S. regulatory cooperation for derivatives markets, delivered at the Eurofi Financial Forum in Bucharest, Romania on April 4th. The chairman expressed his agency’s support of international efforts to review the effectiveness of the G20’s derivatives reform agenda and to ensure they enhance, rather than stifle, derivatives markets. He noted that the CFTC is itself committed to making its own rules and regulations simpler, less cumbersome and less costly for market participants.
CME Group CEO Terry Duffy: No Bitcoin Deficit a Problem for Regulators: Terry Duffy, CEO of leading United States derivative market CME Group, told Business Insider that Bitcoin’s finite amount is a challenge for regulators. According to Duffy, the inability to run Bitcoin (BTC) on a deficit is challenging for regulation.
Central Banks See ‘No Value’ in Issuing Digital Currency: BIS Chief: The general manager of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has again warned that caution is needed when considering central bank digital currencies. In a speech at the Central Bank of Ireland on Friday, Agustin Carstens said that central banks today “are not seeing the value” of venturing into the unknown when it comes to issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC), as such a move could bring fundamental changes to both financial stability and the monetary system.
HSBC Exec Urges CFTC to Make More ‘Positive Noise’ About Blockchain: A banker from HSBC urged the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to make more “positive noise” about distributed ledger technology (DLT), in order to encourage adoption by hesitant businesses. Among other recommendations for the agency, “it would also be beneficial if the CFTC would give some positive words around DLT and DLT adoption,” HSBC senior vice president Jesse Drennan said during the regulator’s Technology Advisory Committee meeting. Adoption of the tech is not exactly “being hindered right now,” Drennan explained, but firms looking to either go live with a DLT platform or otherwise bring the tech into production typically review how regulators are looking at the technology.
Tech Expert Gives Spectacular Crash Course on Crypto and Blockchain to US Regulators: Speaking before the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Technology Advisory Committee, Peter Van Valkenburgh, director of research at Coin Center, an advocacy group to protect open blockchain networks, laid out the reasons why cryptocurrencies exist — and how they work. The CFTC is in charge of regulating the futures market including Bitcoin futures, which first launched in December 2017 by CME and Cboe.
Are Governments Too Addicted to Deficits to Adopt Bitcoin and Crypto? on Daily Hodl: CME Group chairman and CEO Terry Duffy tells Business Insider that Bitcoin is lacking fundamental features that would make it attractive to governments. Namely, it’s not backed by fiat, and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin that operate on finite supplies ultimately prevent monetary policymakers from running it on a deficit.
The SEC Released Its Long-Awaited Crypto Token Guidance: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has published fresh regulatory guidance for token issuers, nearly half a year in the making. The guidance focuses on tokens and outlines how and when these cryptocurrencies may fall under a securities classification, according to the document. The guidance includes examples of both networks and tokens that fall under securities laws, as well as a project which does not. While the guidance discusses securities classifications, other questions remain unanswered. In particular, the SEC has yet to provide clarity around the idea of custody for broker-dealers holding cryptocurrencies.
SEC’s Crypto Token Framework Falls Short of Clear and Actionable Guidance: The SEC’s new guidance outlines how it will apply the decades-old Howey test to crypto assets. However, there remain a number of unanswered questions, including how the broad definition of “active participants” might impact projects; how startups based overseas are impacted and when and how a token might no longer be a security. While legal experts and industry participants see this as a positive first step, the consensus appears to be that there are still many issues still to be discussed.
A Brief History of the SEC’s Reviews of Bitcoin ETF Proposals on Cointelegraph.
SEC Issues First ‘No-Action’ Letter Clearing ICO to Sell Tokens in US: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has issued a “no-action” letter to TurnKey Jet, Inc., agreeing that tokens used by the business-travel startup are not securities. The regulatory stamp of approval is contingent upon the company using its tokens under certain conditions.
SEC’s First Crypto ‘No-Action’ Letter Took 11 Months to Secure: SEC cleared TurnKey Jet, Inc to raise money via the sale of a custom cryptocurrency in the form of a “no-action” letter, it’s first to address blockchain-based fundraising. The letter means the Florida-based startup can sell TKJ tokens to customers with the sole purpose of helping them book travel on private jets. James Prescott Curry is the lawyer who worked with TurnKey Jet to get the SEC’s assurance that it won’t take regulatory action against the startup.
SEC Postpones Bitwise And VanEck ETF Decisions: The folks at Bitwise and VanEck/SolidX will have to wait a little longer before the US Securities and Exchange Commission reaches a decision on each company’s respective proposals to list bitcoin-based (ETF) on US stock exchanges. True to form, on March 29th, the SEC decided to postpone the VanEck/SolidX decision to either “approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove, the proposed rule change” until May 21st of this year. Likewise, the SEC has delayed its Bitwise decision until May 16th.
The SEC Wants to Hire a ‘Crypto Securities’ Advisor: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seeking to hire yet another “crypto specialist.” According to a job posting on USAJobs, an official government jobs portal, the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets plans to hire the new legal expert in order to help develop a “comprehensive plan” to address crypto and digital asset securities. One of the key responsibilities of the new hire would be to apply their “knowledge of federal securities laws to digital asset securities and crypto matters, i.e., broker-dealer, exchange, clearing agency and transfer registrations, exchange product applications, sales and trading practices, etc.”
Montana County Adopts Regulation Requiring Crypto Miners to Use Renewable Energy: The United States county of Missoula, in the state of Montana, has adopted regulation for cryptocurrency mining. Per the report, the Missoula County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to impose new rules for local cryptocurrency mining operations. As Cointelegraph reported last month, when the regulation was first proposed, the draft of the rules stated that they aim “to protect the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare of county residents.” The focus of the new law is seemingly on the possible effects of cryptocurrency mining on global warming and electronic waste. Also, from now on, crypto miners in the county will be able to establish their operations only in light industrial and heavy industrial districts and only after they have been reviewed and approved as a conditional use.
Nevada Senator Wants To Establish State FinTech Sandbox: A recently introduced Nevada Senate bill calls for a regulatory experimentation program. The Committee on Commerce and Labor of the Nevada Senate heard SB161, a bill to establish the Regulatory Experimentation Program for Product Innovation in the state. This bill seeks to create a kind of FinTech sandbox to enable businesses developing innovative products in the state to obtain certain regulatory waivers and receive limited access to Nevada’s marketplace. These waivers would be in effect for as long as the companies were in the program.
SEC’s Latest Crypto Hire is Just a Bitcoin Smokescreen: U.S. regulators may appear to have finally come to terms with the fact that the crypto industry isn’t going anywhere, but they are stalling nonetheless. The Securities and Exchange Commission is on the hunt for a crypto specialist attorney, one who will seemingly provide yet more clarity as the agency navigates the choppy market terrain. While it’s good to see the agency dedicating resources to the future of bitcoin and blockchain, these developments have yet to result in any real progress toward regulatory clarity.
FBI And Other US Agencies Seize Crypto In Latest Darkweb Operation: The US Federal Bureau of Investigation released the results of a joint investigation involving more than half a dozen US agencies that targeted opioid dealers selling drugs via the Darkweb. The operation lasted from January 11th to March 12th of this year and was intended to target high-volume opioid dealers on the Darknet and make a “global impact” on the opioid crisis. Thanks to this collaboration, agents of Operation SaboTor seized $4.5 million in cryptocurrency, $2.48 million in fiat, and $40,000 in gold. In addition to seized funds, agents issued 65 search warrants, arrested 61 individuals, and confiscated 299.5 kilograms of various drugs, and 51 firearms.
Crypto Tax Software CryptoTrader.Tax Integrates With TurboTax: Cryptocurrency-focused tax software CryptoTrader.Tax has integrated with leading American tax software Intuit TurboTax, according to a press release on April 4th. The integration will purportedly allow users to export tax calculations from CryptoTrader.Tax to the TurboTax filing software, which will supposedly make the filing process easier.
Privacy Service for XMR-Enabled Bitcoin Transfers Removes Support for US Residents: XMR.to — a service that allows users to increase the privacy of their Bitcoin (BTC) transactions by using Monero (XMR) as an intermediary currency — has announced it will not be serving United States-based clients for the time being. The news was revealed in a post from a member of the site’s core team to a Reddit thread on March 30.
New York Grants Its 18th BitLicense to Crypto ‘Prime Broker’ Tagomi: The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has awarded its latest BitLicense to crypto brokerage startup Tagomi Trading LLC. This is the 18th such license issued since the NYDFS finalized its controversial regulatory regime for virtual currency businesses in 2015. Tagomi has also been granted a traditional state money transmission license, according to an NYDFS press release. CEO Greg Tusar said in a statement that the approval means Tagomi will be “New York’s first agency brokerage for virtual currencies,” meaning it will place trades on clients’ behalf in bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash and litecoin and look to fill their orders at the best prices available as quickly as possible.
Short-Term Crypto Losses Surged Fivefold in 1st Month of 2019: Credit Karma Tax: The amount of Credit Karma Tax filers that reported short-term crypto losses in the first month of 2019 surged more than fivefold over the same period in 2018. Credit Karma Tax, a tool launched by San Francisco-based personal finance firm Credit Karma back in 2016, offers a free tax filing service that can be used to report gains or losses from trading cryptocurrency. According to the report, the number of Credit Karma Tax filers who reported short-term capital crypto losses in the first month of the 2019 filing season soared by 521%.
CabbageTech CEO Indicted in New York for Defrauding Crypto Investors: The 46-year-old owner of a firm called CabbageTech has been charged in New York with duping investors out of over $200,000 in cryptocurrency and cash. The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York announced Tuesday that it has unsealed a nine-count indictment charging Patrick McDonnell, also known as “Jason Flack,” with wire fraud and has arrested him.
EU Blockchain Group Launches With SWIFT, Ripple Onboard: SWIFT, IBM, Ripple and around 100 other firms and organizations have joined a new blockchain association to promote adoption of the technology across the EU. A European Commission initiative, the new group — the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA) — is launching in Brussels, Belgium. INATBA has been set up as a “global multi-stakeholder forum” aimed to bring together developers and users of blockchain technology to promote mainstream adoption across multiple sectors. The association plans to build a framework to encourage public and private sector collaboration, dialogue with regulators and policymakers and “legal predictability,” as well as ensure “integrity and transparency” in blockchain infrastructures. It will also develop guidelines and specifications for blockchain and distributed ledger-based applications. A number blockchain startups are on board too, such as ethereum development studio ConsenSys AG, blockchain tech firm Bitfury, enterprise blockchain firm R3, cryptocurrency hardware wallet maker Ledger and cryptocurrency protocol developer IOTA.
FINMA Says Envion’s ICO ‘Seriously Violated’ Supervisory Laws: There’s not being able to catch a break, and then there’s the Swiss cryptocurrency mining firm Envion AG. In late November 2018, its founders, Michael Luckow and Matthias Woestmann, were ordered by a court in Zug, Switzerland, to shut down the firm and liquidate its assets. On March 27th, 2019 the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), Switzerland’s financial watchdog, reported its finding that Envion’s initial coin offering unlawfully accepted up to 90 million Swiss francs from at least 37,000 investors.
Belgium’s Financial Watchdog Updates Crypto-Related Blacklist to Total of 120 Websites: Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has updated a blacklist of crypto-related websites associated with fraud. Following a previous crypto-related scam blacklist update in December 2018, the FSMA has added seven new crypto trading platforms where it has found signs of fraud. The blacklist now includes a total of 120 websites. In the statement, the financial authority noted that it continued to receive new complaints of consumers who invested in cryptocurrencies on those trading platforms, adding that crypto fraud is still taking place in Belgium.
Malta: Financial Regulator Approves First 14 Crypto Assets Agents: The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has approved its first 14 crypto assets agents that previously sought for a license. The approval comes five months after the Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFA), adopted by Maltese government last year, came into power. Over 250 applications were initially filed by lawyers, accounts and auditors. However, nearly two thirds of them failed to pass the official assessment process.
A Small Bank in Germany Is Now Nearly 30% Owned by Crypto Companies: Almost 30 percent of the equity in WEG Bank AG, a previously obscure German bank focused on the real estate industry, is now owned by companies in the cryptocurrency industry. By purchasing 9.9 percent of the bank, blockchain startup Nimiq now joins TokenPay and the Litecoin Foundation as part owners of the Munich-area financial institution. (Under German law, foreign ownership stakes of 10 percent or greater require additional regulatory approval.) TokenPay became the first crypto company to acquire the bank’s equity in 2018, with the Litecoin Foundation joining the bank’s stakeholders in a related move. Then WEG Bank partnered with Nimiq to help develop infrastructure for external crypto-to-fiat conversions for banking clients.
Spain’s Securities Regulator Says It Has Not Authorized Any Entities to Operate ICOs: The Spanish National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) has affirmed that it has not authorized any entity to operate an initial coin offering (ICO) with the agency’s official sanction. The regulator issued an official announcement, which underscored that the agency had to date neither approved nor exercised any power of authorization or vetting of any project in the ICO sector. CNMV thus stressed that any white paper or other documentation sent to prospective ICO investors should include a disclaimer clarifying that it has not “been subject to any type of review by the CNMV or any other administrative authority,” or similar phrasing to that effect.
Bitpanda Receives Payment License from the European Union: In an official blog post published on April 4th, 2019, the Viennese cryptocurrency brokerage platform Bitpanda confirmed that it has received a license to operate as a payment service provider in Austria. Specifically, Bitpanda received the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) license, an order that provides oversight into the operation of service providers in both the European Economic Area (EEA) and the European Union.
Japan Set to Address New Crypto Regulations at the G20 Summit in June: According to local news outlet Sankei, the upcoming G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, from June 28th to 29th, lists cryptocurrencies as a leading topic on the agenda. Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s government will address recent amendments to the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law and the Fund Settlement Act regarding virtual currencies and the digital economy. There will be a special focus on security. In the wake of the Coincheck hack, which drained $532 million worth of NEM last year from the Japanese crypto exchange, policymakers are aiming to intensify crypto trading restrictions.
Hong Kong’s Securities And Futures Commission Releases STO Guidelines: Hong Kong’s securities regulator, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), has released a statement outlining and clarifying the regulatory requirements for those looking to hold or invest in a STO. The SFC provides a walkthrough of the necessary steps to be taken before holding an STO and also reminds investors “to be wary of the risks associated with virtual assets.” According to the SFC, security tokens are “likely” to be considered securities under Hong Kong’s securities and futures ordinance (SFO), which makes them subject to securities laws. Under the SFO, any person who markets or distributes security tokens is required to be licensed for “Type 1 regulated activity,” which allows for legal dealings in securities. The license is required for any STO taking place in Hong Kong or targeting Hong Kong investors.
Hong Kong: Illicit Crypto Mining Operations Are Punishable by Fine or Imprisonment: The secretary of Hong Kong’s Financial Services and the Treasury has stated that crypto mining operations are regulated by local trading law. The Council has solicited information about the risks and fraudulent activities related to cryptocurrencies and underlying activity, such as mining. Moreover, the officials are interested whether mining is regulated under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (TDO) — a bill passed in 2012 that prescribes penalties for unfair trading practices in Hong Kong. Secretary James Lau has responded that the sale of mining equipment and any other products related to virtual assets falls under the TDO. The unfair practices he mentions in this regard include false trade descriptions, misleading omissions, aggressive commercial practices and wrongly accepting payment, among others.
South Korean Officials Consider Revision of Existing Crypto Regulations: South Korean officials are considering a revision of existing regulatory frameworks regarding digital currencies. Speaking at the Deconomy conference in Seoul, top government officials reportedly stated that the country has to re-evaluate cryptocurrency policies in order to facilitate the growth and maturity of the cryptocurrency market. One official outlined the importance of creating a place where the industry, financial institutions, and government-related organizations could communicate and jointly develop relevant guidelines.
Singapore-Based Crypto Exchange DragonEx Has Been Hacked: Singapore-based exchange DragonEx says it has been hacked for an undisclosed amount in a number of cryptocurrencies. DragonEx announced the news on its official Telegram channel, it had suffered a cyberattack that saw cryptocurrency funds owned by users and the exchange “transferred and stolen.” No information has yet been provided on the value of the losses.
E-Commerce Giant Rakuten Wins License for New Crypto Exchange: Japan’s top financial watchdog has granted a license to a cryptocurrency exchange being relaunched by e-commerce giant Rakuten. The country’s Financial Service Agency (FSA) announced the news Monday, stating that the new exchange, Rakuten Wallet, is now registered with the Kanto Local Financial Bureau as a virtual currency exchange service provider under the country’s Payment Service Act. Rakuten also confirmed the news in a separate statement.
Rest of the World
Innisfil Becomes First City in Canada to Accept Bitcoin for Municipal Taxes: Ohio might have made history as the first state to accept cryptocurrency for corporate taxes, but one Canadian town is adding its name to the books by becoming the first in North America to permit its citizens to pay their personal taxes in bitcoin. The tiny town of Innisfil (with a population of 36,500), situated about 45 minutes north of Toronto, just approved an initiative that will allow its residents to satisfy their municipal taxes (income taxes and property taxes) in bitcoin, beginning in April 2019.
Canadian Court Rules Drug Dealer Must Hand Over $1.4 Million in Bitcoin: A court in Toronto, Canada, has ruled that a 30-year old drug dealer must forfeit CA$1.88 million (US$1.41 million) in bitcoin used in illegal activities on the dark web. Superior Court Justice Jane Kelly ordered Matthew Phan to hand over 281.41 bitcoins to the Ministry of the Attorney General, according to a report from The Toronto Star. The funds will go to the province of Toronto. Phan reportedly pleaded guilty last December to attempting to import a gun and possessing cocaine and other drugs for trafficking that prosecutors said were brought on dark web sites.
Pakistan Introduces Crypto Regulation: The Pakistani government will now regulate local cryptocurrency firms under new legislation. Local news outlet The Express Tribune reported that the government of Pakistan will introduce Electronic Money Institutions (EMI) regulations based on the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Pakistan Central Bank Eyes Digital Currency Launch by 2025: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the country’s central bank, is considering the launch of a digital currency by 2025. SBP deputy governor Jameel Ahmad said that the central bank is currently working on the digital currency concept in order to “promote financial inclusion and reduce inefficiency and corruption.” The central bank is also reportedly planning to make its services “fully digitized and technology equipped” by the year 2030. In light of the proposed digitization efforts, Pakistan’s finance minister Asad Umar asked the central bank and the country’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to ensure cybersecurity in the banking system, the report adds, as a failure here could cause damage to confidence in the system and the economy.
Vietnam to Get Its First Ever Cryptocurrency Exchange — But Is It Legal?: Kronn Ventures AG, a Switzerland-based blockchain firm, is going to launch a cryptocurrency exchange in Vietnam. The company signed a memorandum of understanding with Linh Thanh Group, a Vietnam-based distribution company, for the establishment of the country’s first crypto trading platform. The two further agreed to create a cryptocurrency for their exchange, without revealing how it would serve the platform.
Indian Crypto Exchange Coindelta Shutters Services, Citing Adverse Regulatory Conditions: Indian cryptocurrency exchange Coindelta is terminating its services in light of the adverse operating climate for crypto businesses in the country. Eighteen months after its first launch, Coindelta has told users that severe restrictions on banking services for crypto-related firms in India has caused its operating costs to escalate, and that therefore it is not economically viable to continue operations.
Wine, Mountains, and Mining Rigs: Georgia as a Crypto Powerhouse: The former Soviet republic of Georgia, which occupies picturesque mountain valleys and rugged ridges of the Southern Caucasus, has roughly the same population as the state of Connecticut. It is renowned as the birthplace of Joseph Stalin, as well as for being one of the oldest wine regions in the world, its rich and eclectic cuisine, and, more recently, for hosting the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency mining operation. Additionally, an estimated 5% of the nation’s households are engaged in mining crypto or invested in it.