Israel’s Capital Market, Insurance and Savings Authority wants to expedite the licensing process for blockchain and other fintech firms, according to a report from Israeli business outlet Calcalist. The Authority reportedly hopes to facilitate greater competitiveness and innovation in the sector.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that it has delayed its decision on rule changes that could permit the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust and VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust to begin trading. With the delay, the SEC won’t make a decision about the two funds until October at the earliest, Bloomberg reports.
New Zealand’s tax authority has published new guidelines permitting the use of cryptocurrency to pay worker salaries, effective September 1, 2019. The published guidelines emphasize that digital currencies are still not considered legal tender, and any salary or wage payments that utilize them must comply with the country’s tax laws.
During remarks at the China Finance 40 Forum, People’s Bank of China (PBoC) Payment and Settlement Division deputy director Mu Changchun claimed that the “People’s Bank digital currency can now be said to be ready.” The PBoC has been researching options for a central bank digital currency since 2014, Shanghai Securities News reported Saturday.
A group of roughly 15 nations are reportedly planning to develop a new system that will facilitate collection and sharing of data related to consumers who engage in cryptocurrency transactions, the Nikkei Asian Review reports. The stated objective is to reduce the risk that cryptocurrencies might be used to fund terrorism, launder money, or facilitate other crimes.
Coinbase Custody Trust Company has added two former New York banking regulators to its board of directors. In a blog post, dated August 7, the company confirmed that Robert Easton and Richard Neiman were selected for their solid experience in “financial services, public policy and banking operations.”
North Carolina Republican Representative Ted Budd’s Virtual Value Tax Fix Act of 2019 has been reintroduced in the House of Representatives and referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. The bill seeks to amend the Internal Revenue Code to “allow exclusion of gain or loss on like-kind exchanges of virtual currency.”
At least one official in Thailand wants to amend the country’s Anti-Money Laundering laws to ensure that cryptocurrencies are not used to facilitate crime. According to a report in the BangkokPost today, Thai Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) secretary-general Maj Gen Preecha Charoensahayanon is convinced that money launderers will eventually use digital currencies to further their illicit schemes.
The Iranian Cabinet has released a newly-ratified bill that outlines the government’s position on digital assets and establishes conditions for cryptocurrency miners to operate within the country. According to Iranian media outlet PressTV, the government’s official position is that digital currencies are not recognized as legal tender in Iran, and the country’s central bank cannot ensure their value.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has advised the EU to consider a blockchain regulatory approach that focuses on ensuring that the technology’s potential benefits are accessible to everyone. In a recent EESC report, the committee warned about the potential risk of creating a new digital divide:
Circle co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire will be testifying in a hearing before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on Tuesday. Allaire’s role in the “Examining Regulatory Frameworks for Digital Currencies and Blockchain” hearing will be as a representative for the Blockchain Association advocacy group.
The United States filed a complaint this week against the BTC-e cryptocurrency exchange and its alleged operator Alexander Vinnik, seeking to recover civil monetary penalties assessed by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in July 2017.
The United States Internal Revenue Service announced today that it is now in the process of sending warning letters to more than 10,000 U.S. taxpayers who trade cryptocurrency. The agency revealed that it began sending those letters last week and plans to complete the process by the end of next month, Yahoo Finance reports.
A new report from a government panel in India recommends that the country ban all private digital currencies, Reuters reports. If adopted into law, the panel’s recommendations would not only make such cryptocurrencies illegal in India but would also fine and jail Indians who are caught dealing with them.
The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission has been investigating the BitMEX cryptocurrency exchange for several months, Bloomberg reported Friday. According to the media outlet’s unnamed sources, the regulatory agency has been trying to determine whether the exchange violated rules that prevent Americans from trading on its platform:
U.S Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC) told his fellow lawmakers this week that innovations like cryptocurrency are why the United States has such a vibrant economy. McHenry’s remarks came during a hearing on July 17, in which the Congressman referred to the innovative technology as an “unstoppable force.”
Japanese officials reportedly want to develop an international payment system for digital currencies that would be similar to the global SWIFT network currently used by the world’s financial institutions, Reuters reported on Thursday.
French regulators are getting closer to approving the first group of cryptocurrency companies in accordance with new rules slated to go into effect in late July, Reuters reported on Tuesday. Those new rules will provide regulatory approval for digital asset companies that voluntarily comply with the country’s standards for consumer protections, capital requirements, and payment of French taxes.
Facebook executive David Marcus faced questioning from Senate lawmakers on Tuesday, during a Banking Committee hearing on the company’s Project Libra cryptocurrency. The hearing highlighted the skepticism many public officials have expressed about the company, its trustworthiness, and the potential risk Libra could pose to the world’s financial system.
Reuters: House Dems Circulate Draft Bill That Would Prevent Tech Giants from Issuing Cryptocurrencies
Even as Facebook officials testify before Congress this week, House Democrats have apparently been circulating a draft legislative proposal that would bar big technology firms from creating their own digital currencies or offering financial services without a bank license. Reuters reportedly reviewed a copy of the bill and notes that it proposes a $1 million per day fine for companies that violate the prohibitions.