BIS: Coronavirus Pandemic Could Speed Movement Toward Digital Payments, CBDCs
Apr03

BIS: Coronavirus Pandemic Could Speed Movement Toward Digital Payments, CBDCs

The current coronavirus pandemic has the potential to hasten the move toward digital payment options like central bank-issued digital currencies, according to the Bank of International Settlements. In a recent bulletin, the bank noted that there’s increasing public concern about physical cash’s potential for transmitting the virus, despite central banks’ active efforts to dispel those worries.

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Russian Digital Assets Law Delayed Due to Covid-19 Outbreak
Mar31

Russian Digital Assets Law Delayed Due to Covid-19 Outbreak

State Duma Committee on Financial Markets Chair Anatoly Aksakov has confirmed that Russia’s new digital asset legislation is being delayed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, according to Russian media reports. In a recent interview, Aksakov said that the legislation has been finalized, but likely won’t be passed until late spring, as the legislature has turned its attention to measures needed to fight the coronavirus.

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Russian Authorities Break Up Illicit Bitcoin Mining Operation
Mar29

Russian Authorities Break Up Illicit Bitcoin Mining Operation

Russian police this week arrested ten people suspected of operating an illicit cryptocurrency mining operation that stole some 15 million rubles worth of electricity each month. Authorities also seized about 2 million rubles, 1,500 mining devices, smartphones, and 100 electrical meters that the suspects allegedly altered.

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Coinbase, Gemini Trust Among Dozens of Firms Granted Temporary Exemption from Singapore Crypto Licensing Requirement
Mar28

Coinbase, Gemini Trust Among Dozens of Firms Granted Temporary Exemption from Singapore Crypto Licensing Requirement

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced this week that dozens of companies have received temporary exemptions from the recently-enacted Payments Services Act’s new licensing requirements. Among those companies listed in the announcement are major cryptocurrency firms like Coinbase, Binance, and Gemini Trust.

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MT County Extends Zoning Regs for Crypto Mining
Mar27

MT County Extends Zoning Regs for Crypto Mining

In April 2019, the Missoula County Board of Commissioners adopted new interim zoning regulations designed to address issues related to cryptocurrency mining in the country. In a unanimous decision, the board voted on Thursday to extend those regulations for another year beyond their original expiration date of April 3, 2020.

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Court Injunction Blocks Telegram’s Issuance of GRAM Tokens
Mar25

Court Injunction Blocks Telegram’s Issuance of GRAM Tokens

A New York federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction barring Telegram from issuing and distributing its GRAM digital tokens, the Block reports. The Court, applying the Howey test, determined that the distribution would violate the nation’s securities laws.

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Italian Red Cross Sets New BTC Fundraising Goal for Covid-19 Emergency Ops
Mar23

Italian Red Cross Sets New BTC Fundraising Goal for Covid-19 Emergency Ops

After successfully completing a bitcoin fundraising effort to finance a pre-triage post to aid in the fight against Covid-19, the Italian Red Cross has now set a new fundraising goal. This time, the charity is seeking roughly $26,000 in donations to fund its purchase of vital equipment for its coronavirus battle.

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Official: Russian Digital Asset Bill May Include Ban on Cryptocurrency Activities
Mar22

Official: Russian Digital Asset Bill May Include Ban on Cryptocurrency Activities

In a recent interview with Russian news agency Interfax, Bank of Russia legal department director Alexei Guznov addressed his nation’s efforts to complete legislation on digital financial assets. According to him, officials have largely reached a consensus that could result in a ban on cryptocurrency issuance and transactions inside Russia.

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SEC Moves to Halt Alleged Cryptocurrency Scam
Mar20

SEC Moves to Halt Alleged Cryptocurrency Scam

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced Friday that it has halted an alleged cryptocurrency scam and frozen related assets. In a press release, the commission confirmed that one of the accused fraudsters is a former Washington state senator, David Schmidt.

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Argentine Regulator Approves Expansion of Blockchain Gas Distribution Tracking System
Mar19

Argentine Regulator Approves Expansion of Blockchain Gas Distribution Tracking System

Argentinian natural gas regulators have approved an expansion of the blockchain-based Gasnet network to cover the entire nation. The system has previously been used by Gasnor, a local distributor which used Gasnet to track gas distribution to roughly 2 million people in Argentina.

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Washington Federal Judge Rules in Favor of County in Electricity Rate Dispute with Cryptocurrency Miners
Mar14

Washington Federal Judge Rules in Favor of County in Electricity Rate Dispute with Cryptocurrency Miners

A federal judge in Washington has rejected cryptocurrency miners’ claims that Grant County’s new electricity rates for emerging industries violated their rights and federal law. In the ruling, Eastern District of Washington District Court Judge Rosanna Peterson determined that the plaintiff miners failed to show that Grant County violated any provisions of the Federal Power Act.

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NY Demands that Cryptocurrency Firms Provide Coronavirus Preparedness Plans
Mar13

NY Demands that Cryptocurrency Firms Provide Coronavirus Preparedness Plans

On March 10, the New York State Department of Financial Services issued guidance directing digital currency firms to provide the government with their coronavirus (COVID-19) preparedness plans. According to DFS, the move was necessary to ensure that companies have plans in place to deal with any financial or operational risks related to the virus outbreak.

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Japan’s FSA Launches Blockchain Governance Initiative
Mar10

Japan’s FSA Launches Blockchain Governance Initiative

Japan’s Financial Services Agency has reportedly launched a new global network called the Blockchain Governance Initiative Network (BGIN), which will focus on providing an open environment for blockchain stakeholders to facilitate “sustainable development” of the blockchain industry and community.

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Experts at MIT Bitcoin Expo 2020: Blockchain Not Yet ‘Clear Choice’ for CBDCs
Mar08

Experts at MIT Bitcoin Expo 2020: Blockchain Not Yet ‘Clear Choice’ for CBDCs

While arguing that central bank digital currencies can improve the global financial system, three experts at Saturday’s MIT Bitcoin Expo 2020 suggested that it’s not yet clear that blockchain technology is the best option for digitizing central bank-issued currency, The Block reports. According to those experts, cryptocurrencies have certain drawbacks that would need to overcome to make them the clear choice.

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RBI to Seek Repeal of High Court Reversal of Cryptocurrency Ban
Mar07

RBI to Seek Repeal of High Court Reversal of Cryptocurrency Ban

Earlier this week, India’s Supreme Court struck down the central bank’s ban preventing banks from doing business with cryptocurrency exchanges, businesses, and users. The Reserve Bank of India has reportedly confirmed that it will seek a review of that high court decision, in an attempt to appeal the ruling.

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India’s Supreme Court Overturns Ban on Cryptocurrency Trading
Mar05

India’s Supreme Court Overturns Ban on Cryptocurrency Trading

The Supreme Court of India overturned a central bank ban on digital currency trading on Wednesday in a decision that struck down RBI’s 2018 decision barring the country’s banks from doing business with cryptocurrency exchanges. As CNN reports, the ruling is a victory for the digital currency exchanges that had challenged the central bank’s action, many of whom celebrated the high court’s decision.

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U.S. Treasury Conducts Working Meeting with Crypto Industry Leaders
Mar03

U.S. Treasury Conducts Working Meeting with Crypto Industry Leaders

On Monday, the United States Treasury Department held a digital currency working session with compliance experts and industry leaders. In a brief press release, Treasury noted that the goal of the meeting was to engage in a discussion about the oversight and regulatory challenges associated with cryptocurrency and other digital assets.

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U.S. Charges Two Chinese Nationals with Laundering Money from North Korean Crypto Hack
Mar02

U.S. Charges Two Chinese Nationals with Laundering Money from North Korean Crypto Hack

U.S. prosecutors charged two Chinese nationals with aiding a North Korean hacking scheme by laundering more than $100 million of cryptocurrency, according to an AP report in the Star Advertiser. In an indictment unsealed today in Washington, D.C., Li Jiadong and Tian Yinyin were accused of a conspiracy to launder money and operating a money transmission business without a license.

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SEC Settles ICO Promotion Charges Against Actor Steven Seagal
Feb27

SEC Settles ICO Promotion Charges Against Actor Steven Seagal

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that it reached a settlement with long-time action movie star Steven Seagal in charges related to his promotion of the Bitcoin2Gen (B2G) initial coin offering.

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Bank of Canada Preparing for Future Where CBDC Might Be Necessary
Feb25

Bank of Canada Preparing for Future Where CBDC Might Be Necessary

In remarks at the CFA Montreal FinTech RDV 2020, Bank of Canada deputy governor Timothy Lane confirmed that the central bank is preparing for a possible future in which it might have to issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC). While he claimed that there is no current need to issue a CBDC, he acknowledged that it was important to be prepared in case evolving circumstances make it necessary to do so in the future.

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