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Last month, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi made news in the cryptocurrency community when he told the European Parliament that the bank had no legal authority to regulate digital currencies. Draghi went a step further at a press conference last week when he declared that the technology has not yet matured to a level that would warrant regulatory consideration:
CNBC today reported the results of a recent online survey which found that 49% of respondents believe that the price of Bitcoin will eventually top the $10,000 mark. The unscientific online poll ran this week, and received 23,118 responses to the survey question, “Where does Bitcoin go from here?” Respondents were provided with three possible answers:
For months, Australia’s government has promised to end the double taxation of Bitcoin and other digital currencies. The nation’s parliament moved to fulfill that promise on Thursday, as it passed new laws designed to ensure that digital currency users will no longer be subject to Australia’s goods and services tax (GST) when they buy cryptocurrency.
Despite recent pushback from countries like China, Bitcoin has continued to enjoy increased acceptance in many places around the world. Its price has proved resilient as well, as it has reached new highs in the last week. However, that resilience and growing interest hasn’t deterred political and financial leaders from attempting to downplay Bitcoin’s potential. Former Federal Reserve head Ben Bernanke offered his own criticism on Monday, when he predicted that Bitcoin will never replace fiat currency.
Reports suggest that Russia may be getting more serious about issuing its own national cryptocurrency, the CryptoRuble. CoinTelegraph today cited unidentified ‘local news sources’ which apparently reported that President Vladimir Putin declared the government’s intent to issue the CryptoRuble during a meeting in Moscow.
JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon today vowed that he would no longer talk about Bitcoin. That vow came after Dimon once again criticized Bitcoin, this time during a meeting of the Institute of International Finance in Washington. According to a report from Bloomberg, Dimon’s Friday criticism covered familiar terrain.
Accused Bitcoin money launderer Alexander Vinnik has scored a temporary victory in his effort to avoid extradition to the United States. Last week, a Greek court ruled in favor of the U.S. extradition request. That decision was countered by the Greek Council of Judges in Thessaloniki yesterday, when the court chose to uphold a competing extradition request from the government of Vinnik’s home country, Russia.
Russian officials have spent many months trying to decide how the government should deal with Bitcoin and other digital currencies. That debate has included everything from proposals that would criminalize Bitcoin ownership to suggestions that cryptocurrencies should be embraced and regulated. An announcement from Russian Central Bank First Deputy Governor Sergei Shvetsov could signal that the debate is over, as he said that officials will soon block access to websites that enable Russians to buy, sell, or trade digital currencies.
Nepal’s Bitsewa digital currency exchange announced this week that it would be shutting down its operations, after the Nepal Rastra Bank issued a Bitcoin Ban Notice. The company made the announcement on its website and in a lengthy Facebook post to its customers. Bitsewa cited the NRB ban and the recent arrest of seven Bitcoin exchange operators, while asserting that the company had always been committed to following all relevant laws.
Like government authorities and financial entities around the world, European officials have been struggling to develop a sensible policy on Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Though some officials have openly praised digital currency technology for its innovative potential, others have decried it as a potential tool for criminals and terrorists. Many, including Austrian National Bank Governor and European Central Bank member Ewald Nowotny, have viewed cryptocurrency as a risk and called for strict regulations.