Hong Kong officials have confirmed that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority is not currently considering any plans to issue a central bank digital currency, or CBDC. Acting secretary for financial services and the treasure Joseph Chan told legislators that the Monetary Authority’s research of the issue concluded that the technology would not be a clear improvement over Hong Kong’s existing payment infrastructure:
Polish cryptocurrency exchange BitBay is preparing to close down operations in Poland and take their business to Malta, according to a company announcement published earlier this week. The company has confirmed that the move was due to a lack of cooperation from Poland’s banking institutions.
South Korean legislators have formally proposed an end to the country’s ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs), according to a report from BusinessKorea. The National Assembly has reportedly suggested that ICOs be allowed as long as the country takes steps to provide stronger protection for investors.
South African financial services group Sygnia has revealed plans to introduce its own domestic digital currency exchange later this year, according to a report from Bloomberg. The plans were included within the company’s recent interim financial report, which suggested that the exchange is one of Sygnia’s top priorities for 2018 and 2019.
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed that it has launched 24 investigations of “unauthorized” cryptocurrency companies, to assess whether they are engaged in activities that are subject to FCA regulatory authority, according to a May 25 report from news outlet CityWire. The regulators also reportedly confirmed that they have opened seven whistleblower cases since the beginning of the year.
The United States Department of Justice has launched a criminal probe to determine whether digital currency prices have been manipulated by crypto traders, according to reports from Bloomberg and other media outlets. The probe reportedly involves an investigation into possible spoofing and wash trading, both of which are considered illicit trading activities that could influence trading prices.
Cryptocurrency exchange CryptalDash, which describes itself as “the world’s first integrated cryptocurrency exchange,” announced on Wednesday that its platform will soon list the DNotes (NOTE) digital currency. The company has confirmed that its customers will be able to begin trading DNotes on the exchange on June 19, 2018.
While many crypto investors are keeping an anxious eye on the blockchain bubble, there is another area of concern that they should also be watching: the regulatory front. Even now, state and national governments around the world are stepping up their efforts to bring some sense of regulatory order to the cryptocurrency ecosystem. And while it’s true that digital currencies were originally developed as a way of getting around invasive financial controls, there should be little doubt that the industry must eventually make peace with the idea of sound regulation if it wants to ever achieve true mass acceptance and adoption.
There has been an ongoing debate in the Muslim community about whether digital currencies can ever be compliant with Islamic law. Recently, Islamic experts from the Masjid Ramadan mosque in east London declared that cryptocurrency is permissible if its users utilize it “in a lawful manner.” The mosque, commonly known as the Shacklewell Lane Mosque, will now be accepting crypto from Muslim users who want to use digital currencies for their zakat donations during Ramadan.
More than one thousand Australians were victimized by various cryptocurrency scams in 2017, according to a recently released report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Victims lost a total of AU $2.1 million to scams involving fake ICOs, assorted pyramid schemes, and even non-crypto schemes where the scammers simply required victims to use crypto as payment.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Coinbase met with regulatory officials early in 2018 to discuss possible acquisition of a banking license. The meeting was reportedly conducted with the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, according to an unnamed “person familiar with the matter.”
A week before the Consensus cryptocurrency conference got underway in Manhattan, Fundstrat Global Advisors research head Tom Lee predicted that the gathering in Manhattan would spark a rally in Bitcoin’s price. Instead, cryptocurrency prices declined throughout the event, falling roughly ten percent.
Cryptocurrency is about more than just fundamental value, it’s about consumer trends too.
In a recent Fox Business interview, Warren Buffet was critical of Bitcoin, describing it as ‘rat poison squared’ in reference to the cryptocurrency’s rocketing growth in the last five years.
Switzerland’s Federal Council has formally requested that the Finance Ministry conduct a study of the risks and potential benefits of a government-backed cryptocurrency, according to a Thursday report from Reuters. The request was made at the urging of the vice president of Switzerland’s Social Democratic Party, Cedric Wermuth, and now moves to the lower house of parliament for approval.
Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey told attendees at the Consensus blockchain conference on Wednesday that the internet will eventually have its own currency, and that he hopes it will be Bitcoin. He also said that he expects Square to fill a leadership role in achieving global acceptance of digital currency as a payment option.
Microsoft Advertiser Policy Manager Melissa Alsoszatei-Petheo has announced that cryptocurrency-related advertising will no longer be welcome on the company’s Bing search engine. Bing Ads plans to enact the policy on a global basis next month and will begin to enforce the ban later in June or July.
Coinbase announced on Tuesday that it plans to launch a new suite of institutional product offerings to facilitate their cryptocurrency investment and trading needs. In a press release announcing the news, the company also confirmed the addition of a new Chicago office tasked with enhancing the development of the Coinbase Markets product offering.
The New York Department of Financial Services has granted approval to the Gemini Trust Co to begin providing support for Zcash trading. The exchange, founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, will also receive approval to provide custody and trade services for Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, according to a report from Reuters.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has reportedly ordered the nation’s financial institutions to stop all transactions related to cryptocurrencies, according to local media reports. NewsDay reported this weekend that RBZ Director and Registrar of Banking Institutions Norman Mataruka issued the directive on May 11 and has given Zimbabwe’s banks 60 days to comply.
There is a blockchain “solution” for everything these days — from value exchange to asset registration. There are even coins devoted to praising garlic bread or paying tribute to Vladimir Putin. Even the porn industry, where privacy and anonymity are at a premium, has produced a range of crypto tokens. An enormous diversity of blockchain businesses and startups have risen on the coattails of Bitcoin and Ethereum.