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Crypto Regulation News: UK drafting stablecoin regulations and researching a CBDC, Netherlands registers first consumer-facing crypto platform since AMLD5, Biden taps crypto-savvy former CFTC chair for transition team, New Jersey moves closer to crypto license with introduction of Senate bill, Lebanon to launch digital currency

Vol. 55, 4th November — 18th November

TL;DR

  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has brought 56 court cases related to cryptocurrencies and ICOs since 2017, according to a new statement.
  • A group of Congressional Democrats has issued a public letter to acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks in which they criticize his office’s “unilateral actions in the digital activities space” including those focused on crypto custody and stablecoins.
  • A U.S. agency focused on information technology and cybersecurity published a wide-ranging report on lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic — including one way in which blockchain could help resolve logistics problems.
  • Jay Clayton, chairman of the U.S. SEC, is stepping down from the agency at the end of this year.
  • Trump nominates Brian Brooks for full five-year term as U.S. Comptroller of the Currency.
  • The addition of former CFTC chair Gary Gensler to Joe Biden’s transition team seems like good news for fans of cryptocurrency technology.
  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation — a U.S. government agency that provides insurance to banks — is looking to hire a legal counsel with expertise in the area of financial technology and blockchain, per a job ad.
  • Lawmakers in the state of New Jersey are analyzing a bill that would regulate businesses involved in blockchain technology and digital assets, such as the flagship cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
  • Anthony Scaramucci’s investment firm, SkyBridge, seeks approval from the SEC to invest in crypto.
  • Justice Department seizes $1 billion in recently moved Silk Road crypto.
  • SEC and CFTC — have hit crypto firms and founders with at least $198 million in penalties to date, according to The Block Research.
  • Speaking before Congress, OCC head Brian Brooks describes the importance of digital asset innovation and the private sector.
  • David Lewis, executive secretary and G20 deputy at the Financial Action Task Force, says crypto firms still have a long way to go before they’re compliant.
  • Ripple’s Garlinghouse disses Bitcoin’s energy use in advance of Biden administration.
  • Ray Dalio, the founder of hedge fund firm Bridgewater Associates, says he believes governments will outlaw Bitcoin (BTC) if its success is too great.
  • Binance has begun to block U.S. users from accessing its exchange platform.
  • EU will decide on digital euro in January 2021: ECB president.
  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak has put stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) front and center of the U.K.’s efforts to remain a financial services hub post-Brexit.
  • Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) will require all cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the city to be regulated.
  • Miners in China have reportedly been struggling to pay for electricity after authorities started cracking down on OTC brokers in the country.
  • A comprehensive regulatory overview of Singapore.
  • Argentina’s Parliament will see a new bill presenting a framework for crypto.
  • Brazilian gov’t gets help from US Justice Department to seize $24M in crypto.
  • Lebanon to launch digital currency in face of economic and financial turmoil.
  • Russia’s central bank says the pandemic has accelerated regulators’ interest in CBDCs.
  • Pakistan’s securities regulator mulls new legal framework for crypto.
  • Kyrgyzstan’s central bank developing draft law for cryptocurrency industry.
  • And more!

Opinions

Crypto firms still not widely adopting ‘travel rule,’ says FATF deputy: David Lewis, executive secretary and G20 deputy at the Financial Action Task Force, says crypto firms still have a long way to go before they’re compliant.

Before Congress, federal regulators dispute US pace on national digital currency: Speaking before Congress, OCC head Brian Brooks describes the importance of digital asset innovation and the private sector.

Ripple’s Garlinghouse disses Bitcoin’s energy use in advance of Biden administration: With Joe Biden being declared the next President of the United States, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse is making sure his company’s messaging aligns with the new administration.

Billionaire Investor Ray Dalio Believes Governments Will Ban Bitcoin Before BTC Reaches Full Potential: Ray Dalio, the founder of hedge fund firm Bridgewater Associates, says he believes governments will outlaw Bitcoin (BTC) if its success is too great. In a new interview with Yahoo Finance’s Julia LaRoche, the billionaire investor explains why he prefers gold over Bitcoin and doubts governments will ever allow BTC to become a useful currency.

MIT cybersecurity experts do not trust blockchain-based voting systems: “I haven’t yet seen a blockchain system that I would trust with a county-fair jellybean count, much less a presidential election.”

Banks will have to adjust’ to crypto, says Bank of England leader: Jon Cunliffe, one of the leaders of England’s central bank, said banks must adapt to the changes brought on by digital assets.

Privacy should be at the core of CBDCs, says Boston Fed research director: Privacy should be a key talking point from the beginning of CBDC development.

BIS head says physical cash still important, even if CBDCs take over: BIS Innovation Hub head Benoît Cœuré stressed the importance of maintaining multiple payment options beyond just CBDCs.

CZ: Binance traders find ‘intelligent’ ways to circumvent US block: CZ admits it’s not always easy weeding out US traders from the global Binance exchange.

OCC is too caught up in crypto under former Coinbase exec, congresspeople say: Multiple United States congresspersons recently expressed their displeasure at the OCC’s focus on crypto this year.

Is the US Government Quietly Hoarding Bitcoin? Analyst Explores America’s Crypto ‘Black Hole’: Crypto analyst and influencer Tyler Swope suspects the US government is accumulating Bitcoin seized from some of the world’s most notorious darkweb criminals. Swope cites a story covered by Fortune magazine on the death of Alexandre Cazes, who is allegedly behind the world’s largest dark web marketplace, AlphaBay.

Top Banking Regulator Explains Benefits of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency to US Senate: A top regulator is explaining the significance of cryptocurrency in the current economic climate and in the future of banking to the US Senate. As part of his testimony during a hearing held by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, chief officer of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Brian Brooks provided details on the efforts the OCC is taking to ensure the federal banking system continues to be a source of strength and relief to consumers, businesses and underserved communities during the pandemic.

USA

The SEC says it has brought 56 court cases on crypto since 2017’s DAO report: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has brought 56 court cases related to cryptocurrencies and ICOs since 2017, according to a new statement.

Congressional Democrats rebuke OCC chief’s ‘unilateral’ focus on fintech and crypto issues: A group of Congressional Democrats has issued a public letter to acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks in which they criticize his office’s “unilateral actions in the digital activities space” including those focused on crypto custody and stablecoins.

U.S. agency’s COVID-19 report cites blockchain as tool for resolving logistics issues during crises: A U.S. agency focused on information technology and cybersecurity published a wide-ranging report on lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic — including one way in which blockchain could help resolve logistics problems.

U.S. regulators have hit crypto firms with at least $198 million in financial penalties to date: The top two U.S. market regulators — the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) — have hit crypto firms and founders with at least $198 million in penalties to date, according to The Block Research.

Another mainstream company is seeking approval to invest in crypto: Anthony Scaramucci’s investment firm, SkyBridge, seeks approval from the SEC to invest in crypto.

SEC chairman Jay Clayton is stepping down, months ahead of his scheduled departure : Jay Clayton, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is stepping down from the agency at the end of this year.

Trump nominates Brian Brooks for full five-year term as U.S. Comptroller of the Currency: Donald Trump nominated Brian Brooks, who currently serves as the acting Comptroller of the Currency, to a full five-year term last Tuesday.

The Biden transition team just added one of the country’s most serious thinkers on the future of payments: The addition of former CFTC chair Gary Gensler to Joe Biden’s transition team seems like good news for fans of cryptocurrency technology.

The FDIC wants to hire a legal counsel with fintech and blockchain expertise: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation — a U.S. government agency that provides insurance to banks — is looking to hire a legal counsel with expertise in the area of financial technology and blockchain, per a job ad.

New Jersey Lawmakers Considering Sweeping Legislation to Regulate Bitcoin, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency: Lawmakers in the state of New Jersey are analyzing a bill that would regulate businesses involved in blockchain technology and digital assets, such as the flagship cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The Digital Asset and Blockchain Technology Act, introduced by state Senate Democrat Nellie Pou, proposes strict licensing requirements for businesses in the crypto industry.

Binance has begun to block U.S. users from accessing its exchange platform: Crypto exchange Binance has begun to block U.S. users from accessing its exchange platform, The Block has learned.

Blockchain lending startup Figure seeks national bank charter: Figure Technologies, the blockchain lending startup founded by former SoFi CEO Mark Cagney, has applied for a national bank charter, according to a report by Bloomberg.

U.S. law firm says IRS is coming after Coinbase users who evade taxes: Once an IRS investigation or audit is opened, it’s too late to make amends, warn tax lawyers.

CFTC allows ErisX to clear commodities beyond crypto: A recent license amendment from the CFTC greenlit ErisX’s expansion into trading product offerings on other commodities.

Justice Department seizes $1 billion in recently moved Silk Road crypto: The move follows widespread crackdowns by the DoJ on crypto.

Justice Department files antitrust lawsuit against Visa’s acquisition of Plaid: Monopolizing a market is legal in some instances, but not others.

What do SEC and CFTC press releases reveal about crypto regulation efforts? The Block analyzed press releases from the CFTC and SEC to gauge the growth in enforcement actions that involve cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

Europe

EU will decide on digital euro in January 2021: ECB president: “At that point in time we will make the decision as to whether or not we go forward with the digital euro.”

UK Treasury to publish draft stablecoin regulations: Chancellor Rishi Sunak has put stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) front and center of the U.K.’s efforts to remain a financial services hub post-Brexit.

The UK financial watchdog’s new crypto register is surprisingly empty as crucial deadline looms: The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority’s slow-walk to approve crypto firm registrations has some in the space worried about the looming January deadline.

Netherlands registers first consumer-facing crypto platform since AMLD5: Everyday investors in the Netherlands can now invest in crypto, thanks to company’s new registration.

Only 4% of Norway uses cash as country evaluates CBDC, Norges Bank exec says: Cash usage has declined in Norway since COVID-19, but physical currency also carries strengths that CBDCs may lack.

Asia

A comprehensive regulatory overview of Singapore: The Block Research analyses of the current regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrency businesses and taxation relating to cryptocurrencies in Singapore.

Hong Kong’s SFC will require all crypto exchanges to be regulated: Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) will require all cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the city to be regulated.

China’s Crypto Miners Struggle to Pay Power Bills as Regulators Clamp Down on OTC Desks: Miners in China have reportedly been struggling to pay for electricity after authorities started cracking down on OTC brokers in the country.

South Korean financial watchdog will ban privacy coins from exchanges: Virtual asset service providers in the country will not be allowed to handle “dark coins.”

Rest of the World

Canadian tax officials are seeking info on crypto exchange Coinsquare’s customer base: report: Canadian news outlet National Post reports that the country’s tax authority has gone to court in an effort to press crypto exchange Coinsquare to divulge information about its clients.

Charged Aussie Bitconnect promoter faces up to 47 years in prison: The Australian could be 99-years old by the time he is released if he’s sentenced to the maximum penalty.

Ukraine is prepared to lead Eastern Europe’s crypto space: The Ukrainian government is making serious steps toward crypto to make the country a leader in Eastern Europe.

Russia’s central bank says the pandemic has accelerated regulators’ interest in CBDCs: The pandemic-induced crisis is galvanizing new trends across all aspects of the global economy, including digital currencies.

Russia’s proposed crypto amendments have a major blind spot: The Ministry of Finance is proposing harsh prison sentences for crypto holders, but what about shadow exchanges and darknet criminals?

Cuba’s exploding crypto interest comes amid an absence of regulation: Monetary reforms and a lack of regulation mean crypto is booming in Cuba.

Argentina’s Parliament will see a new bill presenting a framework for crypto: One of Argentina’s youngest deputies is prepping new legislation to provide a national framework for crypto, which will reportedly hit the parliament this week.

Brazilian gov’t gets help from US Justice Department to seize $24M in crypto: The government of Brazil requested assistance from US authorities regarding a crypto fraud scheme called “Operation Egypto.”

Economy minister says Brazil will have its own CBDC: Paulo Guedes said that the Brazilian real will have a digital counterpart and also highlighted the autonomy of its central bank.

Lebanon to launch digital currency in face of economic and financial turmoil: Lebanon’s central bank governor says the country, whose lira has been in freefall, is preparing to launch a digital currency in 2021.

Pakistan’s securities regulator mulls new legal framework for crypto: Pakistan wants to unlock a new era of digital finance with crypto.

Kyrgyzstan’s central bank developing draft law for cryptocurrency industry: Solid crypto regulations would be a long time coming for Kyrgyzstan.

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Main sources

Crypto and blockchain regulation in news

The Block

Daily Hodl

Coindesk

Cointelegraph

Bitcoin Magazine

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Paradigm is an ecosystem that incorporates a venture fund, a research agency and an accelerator focused on crypto, DLT, neuroscience, space technologies, robotics, and biometrics — technologies that combined together will alter how we perceive reality.

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