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Crypto Regulation News: Visa partners with USDC, Libra rebrands to Diem and launches in January 2021 as USD stablecoin, US Representatives has unveiled the STABLE Act, Biden announces nomination of Janet Yellen to lead Treasury Department, South Korea to delay new tax regime on crypto until 2022

Vol. 56, 18th November — 3rd December

TL;DR

  • Credit card giant Visa announced it is connecting its global payments network of 60 million merchants to the U.S. Dollar Coin (USDC) developed by Circle Internet Financial on the ethereum blockchain. The digital currency is now valued at $2.9 billion.
  • A group of U.S. Representatives has unveiled a new piece of stablecoin-focused legislation called the Stablecoin Tethering and Bank Licensing Enforcement (STABLE) Act.
  • Alongside other actions, the CFTC was pleased with its seven enforcement actions in the crypto market.
  • President-elect Joe Biden has confirmed the nomination of former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as the next Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department.
  • The IRS is weighing different approaches to crypto taxation, says the Treasury official.
  • The head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, is giving Bitcoin a final boost as he prepares to leave the agency.
  • Biden should integrate Bitcoin into US financial system, says Niall Ferguson.
  • John Ratcliffe, the US Director of National Intelligence, has reportedly penned a letter to the SEC expressing concern about China’s control over Bitcoin and crypto.
  • Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong is warning crypto asset owners about legislation cracking down on self-hosted crypto wallets that may be hastily introduced in the Trump administration’s final days.
  • US senator-elect and former Wyoming state treasurer Cynthia Lummis says states should lead the way in creating policies that allow Bitcoin to function the way it was designed.
  • US government labels Virgil Griffith’s argument to dismiss sanctions charges ‘absurd’.
  • OECD tax director says international crypto tax standards are coming in 2021.
  • Facebook’s Libra rebrands to Diem, hoping to shake off associations.
  • Libra cryptocurrency is finally nearing its launch date, which could be as soon as January 2021, according to the Financial Times.
  • BIS report suggests ‘embedded‘ monitoring tool for stablecoins.
  • Coinbase to discontinue margin trading services due to regulatory concerns.
  • European central bankers predict that the digital euro is at least five years away.
  • After January 10, UK crypto firms not registered with the FCA won’t be able to operate. Only three firms have made it on the list so far.
  • The Lithuanian State Tax Inspectorate exchanged Bitcoin, Ether and Monero for 6.4 million euro.
  • The Block Research analyses of the current regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrency businesses and taxation relating to cryptocurrencies in Japan.
  • South Korea to delay new tax regime on cryptocurrencies until 2022.
  • Authorities shut off electricity to Bitcoin miners in China’s Yunnan province.
  • Russia’s Sberbank plans release of its own crypto token, the ‘Sbercoin’.
  • Russia wants to follow China’s approach of banning private stablecoins pegged to its national fiat currency.
  • UAE, Saudi Arabian central banks release report on Project Aber CBDC trial.
  • Nigeria is establishing a framework for widescale crypto adoption.
  • The Venezuelan army turns to crypto mining as the country’s economy collapses.
  • Justice Department extradites alleged BTC mining Ponzi operator from Panama.
  • Australian government embraces blockchain with a new trial and public servants’ network.
  • New, small-scale research from Xangle takes a look at investors’ reflections on their initial coin offering investments between 2017 and fall 2020.
  • And more!

Reports

Visa Partners With Ethereum Digital-Dollar Startup That Raised $271 Million: Credit card giant Visa announced it is connecting its global payments network of 60 million merchants to the U.S. Dollar Coin (USDC) developed by Circle Internet Financial on the ethereum blockchain. The digital currency is now valued at $2.9 billion.

Libra rebrands to Diem, hoping to shake off associations: The project is hoping that a new name will help people forget the mass regulatory panic that drowned out Libra’s initial announcement. The new name makes use of the Latin word for “day,” best known in the saying, “Carpe diem.” The Association’s press release upon the announcement alludes obliquely to the need to change the narrative on the project:

“Now transitioning to the name ‘Diem,’ which denotes a new day for the project, the Diem Association will continue to pursue a mission of building a safe, secure and compliant payment system that empowers people and businesses around the world.”

Long-Awaited Launch of Facebook’s Libra Incoming After Major Revisions: Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency is finally nearing its launch date, which could be as soon as January 2021, according to the Financial Times.

BIS report suggests ‘embedded‘ monitoring tool for stablecoins: After proposing automated ways to monitor global stablecoins like Libra, a new report from BIS argues that a better solution may ultimately be central bank digital currencies.

Report: ICOs left retail investors in the dark: New, small-scale research from Xangle takes a look at investors’ reflections on their initial coin offering investments between 2017 and fall 2020.

Coinbase to discontinue margin trading services due to regulatory concerns: Coinbase is discontinuing its margin trading product due to regulatory concerns.The exchange announced the product will be fully offline in December, when all existing margin positions have expired, in a blog post Tuesday.

Friendliest of them all? These could be the best places for crypto: The level of freedoms that the U.S. has provides an argument for the country as the most crypto-friendly location, although Puerto Rico also has its benefits.

Opinions

OECD tax director says international crypto tax standards are coming in 2021: The director of the OECD’s tax center has revealed that the organization expects to release a tax reporting standard for crypto assets by the end of next year.

IMF lawyers argue that central banks need reform before they can issue CBDCs: New and developing research from the International Monetary Fund suggests that central banks around the world need new legal definitions for tokenized currencies.

Jay Clayton Calls Bitcoin a Store of Value Beyond Regulatory Reach of SEC: The head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, is giving Bitcoin a final boost as he prepares to leave the agency. In an exit interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, the SEC chief confirms that the SEC does not view Bitcoin as a security and says he personally perceives the top cryptocurrency as a store of value option.

“We did not regulate Bitcoin as a security… We determined that Bitcoin was not a security. It was much more a payment mechanism and stored value.”

US Director of National Intelligence Urges SEC to Support Bitcoin and Crypto Companies: John Ratcliffe, the US Director of National Intelligence, has reportedly penned a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) expressing concern about China’s control over Bitcoin and crypto. Ratcliffe reportedly wants the SEC to implement a regulatory framework to make it easier for US-owned cryptocurrency companies to operate and compete with Chinese firms.

US Senator-Elect Cynthia Lummis Wants Congress to Leave Bitcoin Alone: US senator-elect and former Wyoming state treasurer Cynthia Lummis says states should lead the way in creating policies that allow Bitcoin to function the way it was designed. In an interview with Bitcoin Magazine’s Peter Chawaga, Lummis explains why she believes the federal government should take a back seat and give states free rein to innovate in the Bitcoin and crypto markets.

Bitcoin lacks market integrity, says former Trump economic adviser: “For all the reasons it’s a strong developing asset class, it may fail,” said the former Goldman Sachs president.

Biden should integrate Bitcoin into US financial system, says Niall Ferguson: The economic historian said that President-elect Biden’s administration should consider Bitcoin as an alternative to a “Chinese-style digital dollar.”

US Fed researcher says CBDCs should beat Big Tech payments on privacy protection: The paper also put forward CBDCs as solutions to high transaction fees and the energy use of mining cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Coinbase CEO Says US Treasury May ‘Rush Out’ Rules on Private Crypto Wallets: Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong is warning crypto asset owners about legislation cracking down on self-hosted crypto wallets that may be hastily introduced in the Trump administration’s final days.

What would Commerce Secretary Andrew Yang mean for crypto? A CNN report suggests Yang may be on the short list for a position in Joe Biden’s cabinet.

Economic justice doesn’t need the blockchain, say advisors to ‘The Squad’: Making digital cash work efficiently for public stimulus payments doesn’t require a detour through blockchain technology, in the view of U.S. progressives.

Why institutions suddenly give a damn about Bitcoin: As big players continue to enter the crypto space, institutions are becoming mega HODLers.

The long arm of justice: How far can the DoJ really go in prosecuting foreign actors? DoJ is now determined to hold the crypto industry to cross-border enforcement standards that have long applied to other sectors of finance.

USA

Tlaib, García and Lynch Introduce Legislation Protecting Consumers from Cryptocurrency-Related Financial Threats: A group of U.S. Representatives has unveiled a new piece of stablecoin-focused legislation called the Stablecoin Tethering and Bank Licensing Enforcement (STABLE) Act, which would protect consumers from the risks posed by emerging digital payment instruments, such as Facebook’s Libra and other Stablecoins currently offered in the market, by regulating their issuance and related commercial activities. Digital currencies, whose value is permanently pegged to or stabilized against a conventional currency like the dollar, pose new regulatory challenges while also represent a growing source of the market, liquidity, and credit risk.

“Digital currencies, whose value is permanently pegged to or stabilized against a conventional currency like the dollar, pose new regulatory challenges while also represent a growing source of the market, liquidity, and credit risk,” the press release said.

Beyond BitMEX: CFTC sets a new record for lawsuits in crypto this year: Alongside other actions, the CFTC was pleased with its seven enforcement actions in the crypto market.

Biden announces nomination of Janet Yellen to lead Treasury Department: President-elect Joe Biden has confirmed the nomination of former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as the next Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department, the Biden transition team announced Monday.

The IRS is weighing different approaches to crypto taxation, says Treasury official: The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is assessing different approaches to rules on cryptocurrency taxation, a government official said during an event last Thursday.

Crypto users speak out on proposed change to FinCEN Travel Rule: “This proposal, if adopted, would prove to be an invasion of privacy.”

US government labels Virgil Griffith’s argument to dismiss sanctions charges ‘absurd’: Government lawyers implied that citizens could legally pass along nuclear secrets to North Korea if held to the same standards as Griffith.

SEC seeks judgement after ‘no show’ in $9M Meta 1 Coin fraud case: The SEC is seeking a default judgment against three companies and four individuals for their roles in an allegedly fraudulent ICO that duped $9 million from 500 investors.

SEC gives OK to social media platform to issue stablecoin without registering as a security: The letter states the regulatory agency “will not recommend enforcement action” against a platform issuing a digital currency capable of being converted to fiat.

Europe

More than 150 UK crypto firms are stuck in regulatory limbo as a crucial deadline approaches: After January 10, UK crypto firms not registered with the FCA won’t be able to operate. Only three firms have made it on the list so far.

European central bankers predict that the digital euro is at least five years away: Nobody seems to be in a rush to digitize the euro, but that could change given increasing global competition.

Lithuanian tax service’s first confiscated crypto sale nets $7.6M: The Lithuanian State Tax Inspectorate exchanged Bitcoin, Ether and Monero for 6.4 million euro.

Crypto.com secures regulatory approvals from Maltese authorities: The MFSA is finally issuing the first licenses formed under the crypto laws introduced in 2018.

Asia

South Korea to delay new tax regime on cryptocurrencies until 2022: The postponement follows a successful lobbying campaign by local crypto advocates.

Authorities shut off electricity to Bitcoin miners in China’s Yunnan province: Local media reports indicate electricity producers in Yunnan, China’s fourth-largest province by Bitcoin hash rate, have been ordered not to provide power to crypto mines.

Chinese police seized crypto assets worth $4.2B from PlusToken Ponzi: Court filings from Nov. 19 show that a large volume of crypto assets, including Bitcoin and Ether, was seized from seven convicts in the PlusToken case.

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

Singapore is exploring wholesale CBDC, local exec says: The chief fintech officer at Singapore’s central bank told Cointelegraph about his thoughts about Singapore’s wholesale CBDC.

Rest of the World

Australian government embraces blockchain with new trial and public servants’ network: Following the launch of a nationwide APS blockchain network for federal, state and local staff, Australia has launched an international blockchain trial with Singapore.

Crypto.com secures an Australian Financial Service License: The mandatory license will allow Crypto.com to issue crypto debit cards in Australia.

Russian central bank opposes ruble-pegged stablecoins: Russia wants to follow China’s approach of banning private stablecoins pegged to its national fiat currency.

Russia’s Sberbank plans release of its own crypto token, the ‘Sbercoin’: With new legislation on digital assets coming into effect in a month, Russian financial institutions are looking to act.

Russia’s Gazprombank debuts Bitcoin trading in Switzerland: The Switzerland-based branch of a major Russian bank has also joined OpenVASP.

Russian prime minister proposes legal steps to bring order to crypto market: Russia’s prime minister proposed recognizing crypto as property under the nation’s tax code.

Ukrainian government sponsors educational web show about cryptocurrencies: The course teaches citizens the basic concepts and ideals of cryptocurrencies.

UAE, Saudi Arabian central banks release report on Project Aber CBDC trial: The joint report is among the most promising CBDC studies conducted by central bank authorities

Venezuelan army starts mining Bitcoin to make ends meet: The Venezuelan army turns to crypto mining as the country’s economy collapses.

Justice Department extradites alleged BTC mining Ponzi operator from Panama: AirBit Club’s leadership has been gathered in New York City and will face charges for stealing “membership dues” to finance massive marketing events and lavish personal lifestyles.

Majority of Indian investors see ‘no easy way to enter’ crypto: Most mainstream Indian investors still do not see an easy way to enter the crypto markets despite recent regulatory liberalization regarding virtual currencies.

Nigeria is establishing a framework for widescale crypto adoption: Africa’s largest economy has become a bastion for crypto adoption.

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Main sources

Crypto and blockchain regulation in news

The Block

Daily Hodl

Coindesk

Cointelegraph

Bitcoin Magazine

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