Bank of England deputy governor Sir John Cunliffe will reportedly co-chair a central bank working group created to explore the potential benefits and risks of central bank digital currencies, The Guardian reports. The group’s efforts are the latest in a series of responses to Facebook’s proposed Libra cryptocurrency project from officials across the globe.
The UK has opened a new contract seeking proposals for a software tool that can track Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies that might be used for illicit purposes. According to a report from The Next Web, HM Revenue and Customs plans to prioritize bids from developers who offer tools that can also track the use of Dash, Zcash, and Monero.
Officials in the Turkish municipality of Konya are reportedly working to develop and launch a municipal digital currency they’re calling City Coin, Uzmancoin reports. The city’s mayor, Uğur İbrahim Altay, confirmed that the government plans to use the new currency for tax collection and trading.
The Reserve Bank of Australia has confirmed that it has been testing a simulated central bank digital currency to determine its usefulness for intrabank settlement of customer payments. While the central bank continues to question the need for a CBDC in Australia, it apparently plans to continue its experiments, Ledger Insight reports.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today announced charges against two individuals and two businesses accused of conducting a fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO). According to the SEC complaint, one of the defendants, convicted felon Boaz Manor, used a disguise and alias to conceal his identity.
U.S. Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA) introduced the Virtual Currency Tax Fairness Act of 2020 in the House of Representatives today, digital asset advocacy group Coin Center reports. The bill is a revised version of a 2017 proposal and would create a de minimis tax exemption for small cryptocurrency transactions.
In recent years, the United Arab Emirates has been aggressively pursuing emerging technologies like blockchain as it works to become a hub for tech innovation. A new whitepaper suggests that the UAE’s efforts to adopt blockchain technology could net as much as $3 billion in savings each year.
WisdomTree is planning to introduce a regulated stablecoin in the United States, according to reports from Financial News. The company will reportedly seek approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as it moves to compete with other financial giants in the emerging digital asset sector.
Cryptocurrency exchange giant Coinbase has reportedly agreed to settle a class action lawsuit brought by former users of the now-defunct Cryptsy exchange, Coindesk reported today. Court documents suggest that the exchange will settle the suit with a $962,500 transfer to an escrow agent charged with handling claims.
Japan’s Financial Services Agency intends to implement a new rule that would place limits on leverage in digital asset margin trading, The Japan Times reports. The Times’ sources confirmed that the rule will be inserted in the language of a new Cabinet Office order related to changes in the country’s Financial Instruments and Exchange Act.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced Friday that it will be supervising the digital asset industry’s compliance with anti-money-laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist-financing (CTF) requirements.
In South Korea, the Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (PCFIR) has come out in support of institutional acceptance of digital assets, urging the government to permit the financial industry to launch crypto-derivatives and other cryptocurrency products, local news outlet Business Korea reports.
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde recently indicated that she’s still open to the idea of an ECB-issued digital currency. During an interview with the French magazine Challenges, Lagarde suggested that the bank would continue to explore cryptocurrency technology’s potential benefits for maintaining citizens’ access to currency as demand for physical cash diminishes over time.
The Securities and Exchange Commission revealed its Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) priorities for 2020, confirming that regulators intend to continue to scrutinize digital assets and cryptocurrency-related services. In a January 7 announcement, the SEC noted that it will continue to review fintech innovations like digital currencies and electronic investment advice services:
The Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority has announced a ban on all virtual asset services, International Investment reports. The ban will reportedly cover all digital asset trading, transfers, payments, and investments, except digital securities and other instruments regulated by the nation’s central bank or Financial Markets Authority.
The National Payment Corporation of India has announced its blockchain-based Vajra platform for automated payment clearing and settlement. The permissioned platform will reportedly be available only to parties who are approved by the Network Administrator, and is expected to provide improved automation, data sharing, transaction speed, and transparency.
While Venezuela’s government remains focused on its Petro digital currency project, one fast-food restaurant in the Sambil area of Caracas is reportedly now accepting other types of cryptocurrency payments. According to a recent twitter announcement, payment platform Cryptobuyer has partnered with Burger King Venezuela to enable customers to pay using bitcoin, dash, litecoin, ethereum, BNB, and tether.
The Jordan Customs Department has reportedly partnered with Maersk GTD to pilot the blockchain-based TradeLens logistics platform. According to The Jordan Times, JCD and Maersk signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will result in the establishment of a pilot zone in Jordan’s Aqaba Customs Center which will utilize the TradeLens platform for international trade.
Starling Bank co-founder and former CTO Mark Hipperson reportedly plans to launch his new digital bank this year, enabling customers to “transfer funds between fiat money and cryptocurrencies,” Fintech Futures reports. The new bank is called Ziglu and will initially limit its services to customers in the UK.
Turkey’s Istanbul Clearing, Settlement, and Custody Bank (Takasbank) has announced the launch of BIGA Digital Gold, a blockchain-based system that enables peer-to-peer transfers of digitizable gold, Turkish news outlet AA reports.