Crypto Regulation News: U.S. Treasury Secretary’s Press Briefing on Cryptocurrencies, Canada Updates AML Rules and Sets New Standards For Exchanges, UK’s Economic Crime Plan Includes Action On Crypto, Indian Leaked Draft Bill Would Ban All Crypto Except ‘Digital Rupee’
1st July — 15th July
- U.S. Treasury Secretary says bad actors utilizing crypto is “national security issue”
- President Trump’s New Federal Reserve Pick Digs Crypto
- U.S. Senate approves Blockchain Promotion Act to formally explore opportunities for the technology
- IRS Expected To Update Crypto Tax Guidelines
- UK’s new economic crime plan includes action on cryptocurrencies
- Singapore Releases New Draft on Tax Guidelines for Crypto: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Monero, Ripple and Zcash
- Canada considers developing a regulatory regime for crypto exchanges
- Police in Spain Say Bitcoin ATMs Expose Problems in Europe’s AML Laws
- Russian Ministry Slams Breaks on Legal Status of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency
- Facebook Says It Won’t Launch Crypto in India Due to Regulatory Issues
- Iran Plans to Allow Crypto Mining, Central Bank of Iran Governor Says
G20 Leaders Reaffirm Position on Cryptocurrencies in Statement: G20 leaders reaffirmed their previous stance towards cryptocurrencies in a declaration following the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 29th. In the declaration, the G20 leaders state that cryptocurrencies do not currently constitute a threat to monetary stability, and that technological innovation can deliver significant benefit to the economy. The participants also welcome the ongoing work on those assets by the Financial Stability Board and other standard setting bodies, and encourages multilateral responses when needed. The authors of the declaration also reaffirm their determination to comply with the updated Financial Action Task Force anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing standards for cryptocurrencies. The document notes that the co-signers are also continuing to step up their commitments to enhance cybersecurity. The contents of the declaration mostly reaffirm those in a joint communiqué published on the website of Japan’s Ministry of Finance on June 9th, following the G20 meeting held in Fukuoka, Japan. Additionally, the declaration contained statements on various other critical global topics, such as tackling corruption, addressing inequality and providing more equitable labor conditions.
Trump Banning Bitcoin Is Feasible But Highly Unlikely, Says Economist: United States president Donald Trump would cause a Bitcoin price crash if he banned it, but the law would likely prevent him, economist and trader Alex Krueger concluded on Twitter July 15th. Trump, who announced his distaste for cryptocurrency in general last week, initially failed to impact market sentiment. A subsequent breakdown over the weekend sent Bitcoin below $10,000. Publishing a dedicated thread on the chances of Trump banning the cryptocurrency, Krueger argued he could theoretically have some success. By targeting entry and exit points for retail and institutional investors, the president would turn Bitcoin into an isolated, more illiquid asset as it is used by lay consumers. “Trump could also go after fiat onramps, by simply forbidding banks to service crypto exchanges, or by requiring banks to not service exchanges unless conditions XYZ are fulfilled (and make that practically impossible),” Krueger summarized.
Mnuchin holds briefing on regulating cryptocurrency: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin gives a briefing to discuss regulatory issues associated with cryptocurrency.
Here’s What Mnuchin Just Said About Libra & Bitcoin: Steven Mnuchin, the United States Secretary of the Treasury, just concluded an official briefing on crypto regulation and various security issues related to assets like bitcoin and Libra. Echoing the statement released by U.S. President Donald Trump a few days ago, Mnuchin reaffirmed the speculative nature of crypto assets.
Crypto Twitter: Mnuchin’s BTC Remarks Are ‘Complete & Total Validation’: Whether they admit it or not, the crypto community has been on pins and needles since President Trump tweeted his dislike for bitcoin. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held a press conference at the White House dedicated entirely to cryptocurrencies today, and crypto Twitter was on the edge of its proverbial seat.
Crypto Mom Bemoans ‘Regulatory Escape Room’ Feel for Crypto: U.S. regulators FINRA and the SEC have put out a joint statement explaining why they have yet to approve applications from crypto exchanges such as Coinbase and Gemini requesting to receive licenses to operate as broker-dealers alongside their custody services. The statement comes in the wake of fraying patience and grumblings among key players in the crypto industry who have been stuck in an apparent pool of red tape holding up their license approvals. Even SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, who is affectionately known as Crypto Mom, found the humor in the SEC’s explanation for stalling, saying:
CFTC’s New Chairman: Who Is Heath Tarbert, What He Thinks of Crypto?: July 15th will mark the first day in the office for the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s new chairman, Heath Tarbert. As the crypto community is bidding farewell to the regulator’s outgoing head, J. Christopher Giancarlo, his successor’s stance on digital assets remains unknown. Turning to Tarbert’s record as a civil servant and attorney in the financial markets field could shed some light on the direction that the agency might take under his leadership. Giancarlo’s five-year tenure saw the rise of cryptocurrency derivatives as an object of regulatory oversight. Widely regarded as the crypto industry’s ally, “Crypto Dad” superintended the historic launch of regulated Bitcoin futures and advocated for a “do no harm” approach to blockchain regulation in his testimony before the U.S. Congress. At the same time, as some observers have pointed out, Giancarlo has stepped up enforcement efforts, turning the CFTC into an agency with teeth.
Drafted ‘Keep Big Tech out of Finance’ Act Surfaces Days Before Libra Hearings: A drafted bill entitled “Keep Big Tech out of Finance” has surfaced online, allegedly deriving from within the United States House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. The bill’s provenance is unconfirmed, but crypto news site The Block quotes an inside source as saying it is with the Financial Services Committee. The document reads: “A large platform utility may not establish, maintain, or operate a digital asset that is intended to be widely used as medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function, as defined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.” The alleged bill goes on to define “a large platform utility” as a tech company that earns annual global revenues in excess of $25 billion.
ТrueDigital Plans to Launch CFTC-Regulated Crypto Derivatives Exchange: New York-based financial technology firm trueDigital Holdings LLC is aiming to acquire the registrations of trueEX LLC in a bid to launch a fully-regulated crypto derivatives exchange. Per the release, trueDigital has concluded an agreement in principle to acquire the Designated Contract Market (DCM) and Swaps Execution Facility registrations of CFTC-regulated exchange trueEX LLC. The deal thus is subject to CFTC approval.Upon approval, trueDigital will roll out a crypto derivatives exchange fully-regulated by the CFTC, where it will list physically-deliverable Bitcoin derivatives for institutional investors. TrueDigital CEO Thomas Kim said that “adding the exchange to our ecosystem delivers a complete end-to-end offering, currently unavailable today, that encompasses tokenization, payments, market data and settlement for the benefit of our clients and partners.”
Circle CEO Hopes Libra’s Unique Needs Trigger Positive Regulation: Jeremy Allaire, co-founder and CEO of payments company Circle, said that Facebook’s Libra will run in a closed-loop permission scheme that has its own requirements for regulation during an interview with Bloomberg. During the interview, Allaire pointed out that there are different stablecoin implementations distinct in their regulatory approach. He explained: “There’s a really key difference between stablecoins that run on kind of closed-loop permission schemes — which is how Libra is being proposed today, at least in its initial incarnation — versus stablecoins that can run on the public internet.”
UK Finance Chief Ready to Engage with ‘Potentially Transformative’ Libra: The UK is studying the properties of Libra in-depth to prevent the digital currency from damaging the economy. This is what Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom, said in a recent interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box. Hammond explained that regulators must fully understand how Libra works to counter the risks associated with a project of this magnitude before it happens, saying: “It’s potentially a positive, transformative step, but it also has the potential to deliver great risk into the system.”
Nouriel Roubini Gloats Over UK Push to Ban Crypto Derivatives: Economics professor and renowned crypto basher Nouriel ‘Dr. Doom’ Roubini is extending his rivalry with BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes beyond the debate stage. Hours after debating Hayes in Taipei during the 2019 Asia Blockchain Summit, Dr. Doom hailed the proposal by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority to ban crypto derivatives in the region, saying the tide had turned from “buy, buy to bye-bye.” This was in a jab at BitMEX and Hayes.
Millionaire Tycoon Kevin O’Leary Blasts Crypto As ‘Rogue Currency’ in Showdown With Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire: Kevin O’Leary, aka “Mr. Wonderful,” a Canadian businessman and television personality, says cryptocurrencies are “rogue.” His latest remarks are a swift doubling down on earlier comments when he characterized Bitcoin as “garbage” and “a digital game”. In a recent segment on CNBC, O’Leary dukes it out with Jeremy Allaire, the co-founder and CEO of peer-to-peer payments fintech Circle, over the validity of the crypto industry.
Facebook’s blockchain lead says ‘no intention’ for Libra to influence global monetary policy: Facebook’s head of blockchain, David Marcus, is slated to address U.S. lawmakers in the House and Senate this week. Ahead of his testimony, Marcus provided written testimony in an effort to answer some questions surrounding Facebook’s Libra. Marcus said Libra won’t launch without regulatory approval.
Congressman Reintroduces Hard Fork Tax Clarity Bill: U.S. Representative Tom Emmer has reintroduced a bill that benefits taxpayers who hold forked cryptocurrencies. The bill is called the “Safe Harbor for Taxpayers with Forked Assets” and it seeks to create clarity around the taxation of assets that results from hard forks. “Taxpayers suffering from the uncertainty of tax guidance are being unfairly punished for investing in an emerging technology. This safe harbor will protect the taxpayers until the IRS addresses this important issue,” the press release explains.
Avoid State Taxes on Crypto With US Supreme Court’s Recent Trust Decision? by Robert W. Wood, a tax lawyer representing clients worldwide from the offices at Wood LLP in San Francisco. He is the author of numerous tax books and writes frequently about taxes for Forbes, Tax Notes and other publications.
US a Crypto Exchange Scarecrow — What Needs to Change? by Simon Chandler, Cointelegraph.
Bitcoin Still ‘Wildly Bullish’ Despite Sharp Recent Retreat, Experts Say: Despite the recent fall of Bitcoin, experts have not yet abandoned their bullish sentiment. In fact, it seems that current events have only served to reinforce this perception. While it is true that bitcoin experienced a sharp drop, breaking essential supports for swing and day traders, in a long term vision it is possible that this is only an exception or even a shadow in long-term candles, which could serve to provide further stability to trends.
SEC Launches Search for Blockchain Data Service to Help ‘Monitor Risk’: The U.S. SEC has taken some steps to provide clarity to blockchain companies, but it’s widely believed that the agency has not been active enough with respect to providing regulation. Now the securities regulator is apparently interested in engaging an “enterprise-wide data subscription for blockchain ledger data.” According to the notice on FedBizOpps.gov: “The United States Securities and Exchange Commission…intends to procure a commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) enterprise-wide data subscription for blockchain ledger data to support its efforts to monitor risk, improve compliance, and inform Commission policy with respect to digital assets.” The SEC is interested in data on the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains, among other leading chains, according to the Request for Quote: “At a minimum, the subscription shall include the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains…In addition, the subscription shall include as many as possible of the following blockchains: Bitcoin Cash, Stellar, Zcash, EOS, NEO, and XRP Ledger.”
Senate Releases Opening Statements on Libra Ahead of Senate Hearing: The United States Senate Banking Committee has released the opening statements of David Marcus, head of Facebook’s crypto wallet Calibra on July 15th. The statements come ahead of a hearing on the Libra cryptocurrency project tomorrow in the Senate, in which Marcus will testify. In his testimony, Marcus raised the issue of Facebook’s upcoming stablecoin Libra and its associated digital wallet Calibra, which have previously drawn criticism from both community members, lawmakers and leading industry players. Specifically, Marcus delivered comments on the structure and management of Libra and Calibra and their implications for commerce and consumers.
New US House Bill Would Fine Facebook’s Libra $1 Million Per Day: A proposed bill to fine major tech firms such as Facebook $1 million per day if they issue cryptocurrencies is being circulated by Democrats. Reuters cites a copy of draft legislation — reported on by Cointelegraph when it first surfaced online last week — and notes that it proposes to impose a $1 million fine daily upon any firm that violates its proposed rules. Per Reuters, the bill is being put forward for discussion by the Democratic majority leading the United States House Financial Services Committee, and reportedly states that: “A large platform utility may not establish, maintain, or operate a digital asset that is intended to be widely used as medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function, as defined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.”
IRS Allegedly Hopes to Make Tech Giants Release User Crypto Activity: The United States’ Internal Revenue Service is allegedly considering requiring tech giants to report on crypto activity by users. According to the documents shared, the IRS hopes to use Grand Jury subpoenas on firms such as Apple, Google and Microsoft to check taxpayers’ download history for crypto-related applications. Known as Crypto Tax Girl, Laura Walter, certified public accountant and crypto tax specialist, tweeted the presentation, which was allegedly for agents in the IRS’s Criminal Investigation division. Citing the document, Walter concluded that the tax authority is conducting exhaustive research into detection of criminal tax evasion cases involving crypto. As such, the IRS is considering carrying out interviews, open-source and social media searches, as well as electronic surveillance, the expert noted.
Seed CX Subsidiaries Receive Bitlicenses From New York Regulator: New York state financial regulators have issued virtual currency licenses to two subsidiaries of crypto derivatives firm Seed CX: Seed Digital Commodities Market LLC (SCXM) and Zero Hash LLC. In a press release published on July 15th, Financial Services Superintendent Linda A. Lacewell announced that the New York State Department of Financial Services has approved the applications of SCXM and Zero Hash for virtual currency licenses. SCXM operates as a spot exchange for digital asset commodities while Zero Hash is a calculation and settlement agent for digital assets. With the license, SCXM will now be able to provide a matching engine service for buyers and sellers of digital currencies, as well as block trades for financial institutions and trading firms.
New York Attorney General Fights Dismissal Motion in Bitfinex, Tether Case: The office of the New York Attorney General (OAG) has claimed that crypto exchange Bitfinex and stablecoin firm Tether have been operating in New York into 2019. The OAG has submitted these documents to fight Bitfinex and Tether’s motion to dismiss the case, a motion filed in May. The defendants argued that the case should be thrown out because they were not operating their businesses in New York. They noted that the OAG had appealed to the Martin Act in bringing their case against the defendants, which is a securities and commodities law specific to New York State.
North Carolina’s Lt. Governor Launches Blockchain Initiative: North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest has launched an initiative to study the “unique attributes and use-cases” of blockchain tech. The North Carolina Blockchain Initiative will be a non-partisan initiative aimed to develop recommendations on how the tech can be used to boost opportunities for economic growth and cost efficiencies in the state. It’s also hoped the results of the work could boost North Carolina as a “leader in technological innovation.” Alongside blockchain technology, the initiative will examine the potential of “virtual assets, smart contracts and digital tokens.”
Spanish Police: Bitcoin ATMs a Blind Spot for Money Laundering Laws: Spanish law enforcement pointed out that Bitcoin ATMs show a gap in European Union’s Anti-Money Laundering regulations, Bloomberg reports. Per the report, Spanish police uncovered a local gang that used Bitcoin ATMs to transfer more than 9 million euros ($10 million) for drug traffickers in Colombia and other countries. Bloomberg cites anonymous representatives of Guardia Civil (a type of Spanish law enforcement) alleging that the group hired two machines from trading platforms and installed them in an office in Madrid.
French Regulators Notice Uptick in Crypto-Related Complaints: French financial regulators have observed an increase in complaints regarding cryptocurrencies this year.
Investors in the country are increasingly filing complaints about digital currencies with France’s Financial Markets Authority (AMF) since January 2019, according to the AMF’s 2019 Risk Map report.
The Risk Map analyzes the major factors that have an impact on the country’s financial markets along with associated risks. At the same time, 2019 has reportedly seen a drop in the number of enquiries received by the AMF’s consumer contact center in regard to digital currency. The document further notes that investors continue to express interest in speculative products like binary options, foreign exchange, contracts for difference and crypto, despite the AMF’s efforts to limit the marketing of such products. From 2016 to 2018, the AMF issued 118 warnings against crypto-related bad actors out of 154 warnings overall.
British Regulator FCA Prepares a Potential Ban of Crypto CFDs for Retail Investors: British financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), is preparing a potential ban on the sale of crypto derivatives to retail investors. In the document, titled “Restricting contract for difference products sold to retail clients,” the FCA revealed that the regulator will soon publish a consultation paper on a potential ban on crypto derivatives such as bitcoin futures and other crypto-related trading products. The FCA wrote: “We will shortly publish a CP on a potential ban on the sale to retail clients of derivatives and certain transferable securities that reference cryptoassets.”
UK Financial Watchdog Grants License to London-Based Crypto Asset Firm: London-based crypto asset management firm Prime Factor Capital has obtained a license from the Financial Conduct Authority to operate as a full-scope Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM). Being FCA-authorized gives Prime Factor Capital the right to operate as a full-scope AIFM under the European Union’s AIFM Directive (AIFMD). The Directive is a regulation applied to private equity funds, hedge funds, and real estate funds, which sets standards for marketing in regards to raising private capital, risk monitoring and reporting, among other issues. As required by AIFMD, Prime Factor Capital has ostensibly appointed a depository that provide additional layer of protection to investors. Adam Grimsley, COO of Prime Factor, said that “full-scope AIFMs are subject to heightened transparency, disclosure and reporting requirements, in addition to a number of other obligations.”
Dutch Ministers Call for Cryptocurrency, Cash Use Regulations: Dutch ministers have urged the government to regulate cryptocurrencies and certain cash payments over money laundering concerns. The officials said that the government should ban cash payments over 3,000 euros, regulate cryptocurrencies and ban 500 euro banknotes, as these instruments can purportedly facilitate money laundering. The Netherlands do not recognize cryptocurrency as a legal currency, although last year a Dutch court found bitcoin to be a legitimate “transferable value” in a penalty payment case. Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra and Minister of Justice and Security Ferdinand Grapperhaus sent the “approach to money laundering” proposal to the parliament. The draft also asks to increase the enforcement capacities of financial regulators and relevant authorities and watchdogs groups such as the Financial Intelligence Unit, the police, the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service and the Public Prosecution Service.
Blockchain in Europe: A Case Study in ConsenSys blog: How the EU Blockchain Observatory & Forum supports governments, policymakers, and blockchain businesses.
Chinese Police Seize 4,000 Crypto Mining Units After Energy Spike: Police in China arrested 22 suspects allegedly involved in illegal crypto mining activity that led to energy loss worth of about $3 million. Police in Jiangsu, China’s eastern-central coastal province, have reportedly seized 4,000 hardware units that were illegally used to mine cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin at nine factories. According to the report, Jiangsu police launched a criminal investigation after a local power firm reported an abnormal spike in electricity consumption. After almost two months of investigation, the police in the city of Zhenjiang in Jiangsu detected a group of criminals allegedly involved in the case.
Singapore Wants to Drop VAT for Transacting in Cryptocurrencies: Singapore plans to exempt cryptocurrencies that are intended to function as a medium of exchange from Goods and Services Tax (GST) — the local equivalent of Value-Added Tax (VAT). The proposed exemption, if accepted, is set to take effect on January 1, 2020, and will overhaul the current system wherein the supply of digital payment tokens is treated as a taxable supply of services. IRAS outlines that until now, cryptocurrencies that function — or are intended to do so — as a medium of exchange have been treated as a barter trade that results in two separate supplies: namely a taxable token supply and a supply of the relevant goods and services.
Major Korean Bank Clamps Down on Accounts Linked to Crypto Exchanges: One of South Korea’s biggest banks is planning to intensify regulations on accounts linked to crypto exchanges. The “special measures” Shinhan Bank are proposing would reportedly involve dedicating staff to analyzing account transactions. It is believed the bank is hoping to distance itself from claims that it is helping financial criminals, amid a rise in the number of fraud cases involving exchanges. Later in July, the bank is also hoping to launch an artificial intelligence monitoring system that uses deep learning to identify fraudulent transactions more quickly and accurately. Shinhan Bank spokesperson as saying: “We have set up a comprehensive plan for the elimination of telecommunication and financial fraud… We will continue to implement preventive measures so that customers will not be harmed in the future.”
Major Chinese Financial News Provider Quietly Adds Crypto Index: Sina Finance, a finance-focused website owned by China’s major tech company Sina Corp, has added crypto index into its mobile app. The new index on China’s major financial news channel provides data on prices and performance of major cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), litecoin (LTC), XRP, and ether (ETH), according to a mobile app screenshot provided by Cnledger.
Japan Creates Working Group to Discuss Facebook Libra Ahead of G7 Meeting: Japan has set up a working group to examine the issues raised by the potential launch of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project. The group, which started meeting last week, comprises the nation’s central bank, the Ministry of Finance and the Financial Services Agency, a top finance regulator. The agencies will use the opportunity to discuss the potential ramifications of Libra on fiscal policy, financial regulation, tax and payments ahead of a meeting of the G7 nations’ finance chiefs on July 17–18 in Chantilly, France, the report said.
Rest of the World
Brazil: Member of Former Royal Family Speaks Out Against Crypto Regulation: Luiz Philippe de Orleans-Braganza, a descendant of the former royal family of Brazil, has spoken out against cryptocurrency regulation in the country. Orleans-Braganza, who is also a federal deputy in the Brazilian National Congress, spoke out during a special commission meeting wherein lawmakers discussed a bill that proposes a legal framework for digital currencies. Orleans-Braganza said the bill should only be discussed in the Congress if there is high consumer demand for it. Otherwise, according to Orleans-Braganza, it is merely an example of the state intervening in something which is not its business: “Good regulation is one that comes from the consumer’s demand for something for which he felt injured and calls for state protection. I question this adventure of wanting to regulate something which consumers and companies organized to receive Bitcoin do not demand.”
Canadian Securities Regulators Include DLT in 2019–2020 Business Plan: The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) are focusing on understanding and regulating distributed ledger technology and its related components. The Canadian securities regulatory agency included a section on DLT and crypto assets in its Business Plan 2019–2022 that was published on July 13th. The CSA’s business plan for 2018–2022 was approved on May 28th, and represents a collaborative effort by the CSA to define its priorities over the next several years. Among a range of priorities such as fair and efficient markets, regulatory advancement and reduction of risks, the CSA also pointed out the need to consider the implications of DLT, including blockchain technology.
India: Leaked Draft Bill Would Ban All Crypto Except ‘Digital Rupee’: Draft legislation that would allegedly impose a ban on the use of cryptocurrencies in India is being circulated by local blockchain legal experts on social media. An unverified document published to Scribd by tech lawyer Varun Sethi on July 15th appears to reveal a draft bill entitled “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currencies.” Even if authentic, the bill will not allegedly be debated during the 2019 Monsoon session of the Indian parliament. Running at 18 pages, the document proposes a definition of cryptocurrencies as “any information or code or number or token not being part of any Official Digital Currency, generated through cryptographic means or otherwise, providing a digital representation of value.” The definition then further notes such currencies’ use in exchange, as a store of account or value, and includes their use in financial transactions as well as investment schemes.
Facebook Cancels Calibra Launch in India, Thanks to Govt’s Crypto Loathing: Days after an Indian government official expressed discomfort with Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans, the social media giant has indicated that it has ‘no plans to offer’ Libra, or its digital wallet Calibra, in its largest market. According to the Economic Times, a Facebook spokesperson cited India’s harsh anti-cryptocurrency stance as its reason to stay away from the world’s second-most populous country: As you may know, there are local restrictions within India that made a launch of Calibra not possible at this time.
Iran Plans to Allow Crypto Mining, Central Bank of Iran Governor Says: Iranian authorities are planning to authorize cryptocurrency mining, as the governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) declared. CBI governor Abdol Hemmati reportedly claimed that the Iranian government has approved some parts of an executive law that would authorize mining of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin in Iran. Hemmati’s claim follows a lengthy back-and-forth on the legal status of cryptocurrencies in Iran. As Hemmati explained, the planned law will require crypto mining in Iran to abide with the price of electricity for export, rather than allowing miners to use the heavily subsidized internal energy grid. According to the report, Iran exports power to neighboring countries at prices from 40–100% higher than it provides internally.
Official: Russia to Postpone Adoption of Bill on Digital Currencies: Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, may defer the adoption of the country’s major crypto bill “On Digital Financial Assets” (DFA) until the autumn session. The Duma is considering shifting the adoption of the DFA bill to the autumn session, while the representatives have largely agreed on a bill on crowdfunding, according to the chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, Anatoly Aksakov. Aksakov further explained that officials have not been able to reach a common position on the fate of digital currencies in Russia, saying: “The law on the DFA is set to decide whether we will prohibit cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange in Russian legislation, meaning that there will be no exchange points nor exchanges that work with cryptocurrencies. We have not yet reached consensus on the issue. We need to define what cryptocurrency is at the legislative level. Then there is a fork in the road: we either prohibit organizing infrastructure for the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies in Russia, or allow it.”
Cuba ‘Studying Cryptocurrency’ to Dodge US Sanctions, Says Gov’t: Cuba is the latest country to consider using cryptocurrency to skirt U.S. sanctions. In a public address on local television, the country’s president, Migual Diaz-Canel, said the plan would raise capital for around one quarter of the population, helping to pay for reforms. Cuba has felt a severe knock-on effect from the crisis in Venezuela, which was previously a major source of aid. “We are studying the potential use of cryptocurrency… in our national and international commercial transactions, and we are working on that together with academics,” Reuters quoted economy minister Alejandro Gil Fernandez as saying.