The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved the Blockchain Promotion Act this week. If it becomes law, the Act would direct the U.S. Department of Commerce to create a working group to establish a consensus definition for the technology and make recommendations to study its potential for improving government efficiency.
On Tuesday, Congressman Tom Emmer reintroduced cryptocurrency legislation that would provide safe harbor protection for taxpayers with digital assets, until the Internal Revenue Service provides more clarity on reporting gains and losses from digital currency forks.
Russia’s State Duma may be unable to pass the “On Digital Financial Assets” (DFA) cryptocurrency legislation until its autumn session, Russian media outlet TASS reported today. According to State Duma Committee on Financial Markets head Anatoly Aksakov, lawmakers have yet to reach agreement on the central question of how Russian law will treat cryptocurrencies.
Since Facebook publicly announced its planned Project Libra digital currency payment system, policymakers around the world have scrambled to address new concerns about the technology’s potential impact. As the South China Morning Post reported today, Chinese officials are also concerned – and may respond by creating their own digital currency.
European Central Bank Executive Board member Benoit Coeure is urging quick action from regulators, as giant tech companies move forward with cryptocurrency projects that could impact the existing financial system. On Sunday, Coeure suggested that innovations like Facebook’s Project Libra only serve to highlight deficiencies in the current regulatory environment.
U.S. lawmakers continued to express concern about Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency payment system this week, officially asking Facebook to agree to an immediate moratorium on all Project Libra development In a letter to Facebook executives, House Financial Services Committee Democrats cited concerns about oversight, consumer protections, and security, as well as the potential risk to financial stability.
House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters announced on Monday that her committee has scheduled a hearing for July 17 to examine issues related to Facebook’s Project Libra. According to an article in The Hill, a Facebook spokesperson said that the company “looks forward” to answering the committee’s questions.
Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau announced this week that France will create a G7 task force to examine regulatory and other issues related to cryptocurrencies, Reuters reports. The move comes as nations around the globe have expressed concerns about Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency.
The Russian State Duma could approve a long-anticipated cryptocurrency bill within the next couple of weeks, according to a Tass media report. In remarks to journalists, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev suggested that the country’s parliament could accept the bill in the second reading:
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg began the rollout of his company’s Libra cryptocurrency project on Tuesday, CNBC reports. Within hours, House Financial Services Committee chair Maxine Waters responded by calling for the company to pause its project to give Congress and regulators an opportunity to react.
Cryptocurrency experts from the worlds of law enforcement and private industry gathered at Europol’s European Cybercrime Center in The Hague from June 12th to the 14th, for Europe’s biggest cryptocurrency law enforcement conference. Europol revealed to the conference attendees that it has partnered with the Centre of Excellence in Terrorism, Resilience, Intelligence and Organised Crime Research (CENTRIC) to develop a “serious game” to train investigators to trace cryptocurrency transactions.
Lithuania’s government is moving closer to initiating regulation of its cryptocurrency space after approving new rules this week, Lithuanian media outlet Delfi reports. The new regulatory measures are part of the country’s effort to reduce the risk of money laundering and terror financing.
The G20 issued a joint communiqué on June 9, after concluding its latest meeting in Fukuoka, Japan, in which it called on the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and international standard-setting bodies to continue to monitor risks related to cryptocurrency.
Some officials in Vancouver have taken aim at the city’s more than five dozen Bitcoin ATMs, with the mayor reportedly calling for a ban on the machines, The Star reports. The largely unregulated cryptocurrency ATMs have been criticized by Vancouver’s police as ideal vehicles for money laundering.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a $100 million lawsuit accusing Canadian startup Kik of selling unregistered securities when it conducted its Kin token offering in 2017, CNBC reports.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is now seeking information from any QuadrigaCX users who have concerns about their accounts or believe that they may be victims. In a publication posted on the FBI website Monday, users are asked to complete a questionnaire to document their concerns or identify themselves as victims.
When central bankers and finance ministers from the Group of 20 (G20) countries meet in Fukuoka, Japan in June, they are reportedly hoping to come to an agreement on cryptocurrency exchange oversight. In fact, a report from Nikkei Asian Review on Friday suggests that they are eyeing the creation of a single registry for all cryptocurrency exchanges around the world.
The Central Bank of the Bahamas (CBOB) will soon sign an agreement with technology solutions provider NZIA Limited to develop The Bahamas’ national digital currency, The Nassau Guardian reports today. The parties are expected to sign the agreement tomorrow, engaging the company to design and develop a national digital currency and payment system that could be ready for testing by 2020.
Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina said Thursday that the central bank will be reviewing a proposal for a gold-backed digital currency, Tass reports. In her remarks at the Duma, she suggested that such a currency could potentially be used to facilitate mutual settlements between Russia and other countries, but noted that existing fiat currency settlements are her current priority:
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced yesterday that it has halted a $30 million cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme that targeted hundreds of U.S. and Canadian investors. In a press release, the SEC confirmed that it has obtained a court order in response to a complaint leveled against Argyle Coin, LLC and the company’s principal, Jose Angel Aman.