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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.