Japanese officials have reportedly prepared a handbook offering guidance on cryptocurrency regulation, and plan to share that advice with central bankers and finance ministers attending the next G20 summit, according to a report from Finance Magnates and local media outlet Sankeibiz. That summit will be held in Osaka, Japan at the end of June.
The Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) reportedly raided two of the nation’s cryptocurrency exchanges last week, according to two sources cited in a Reuters report published on Tuesday. The regulatory body apparently executed the surprise inspections to investigate issues related to anti-money laundering and customer safeguards.
British Virgin Islands Announces LIFELabs Partnership for Blockchain-Based Emergency Transaction System
British Virgin Islands Premier and Minister of Finance Andrew A. Fahie recently announced a partnership with blockchain firm LIFElabs.io to create a digital currency transaction system that can be used in the event of an emergency. According to the press release announcing the news, the goal is to create an alternative financial transaction structure that can be used to deliver money to the territory’s people during hurricanes and other disaster situations.
Chilean Minister of Finance Felipe Larraín announced this week that the government has sent Chile’s Congress a legislative bill that will provide regulation for fintech and cryptocurrencies. Larraín made the announcement during a visit in the United States, and emphasized the government’s cautious and flexible approach to regulating the space:
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced this week that it has penalized an individual cryptocurrency trader for alleged violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). That trader, California resident Eric Powers, reportedly failed to properly register as a money services business, take the necessary steps needed to comply with the Act’s provisions, or properly report suspicious transactions.
Coinbase announced this week that it is expanding its customer base by providing crypto-to-crypto services to an additional 11 countries from Latin America and Southeast Asia. In its blog announcement, the company noted that it will now serve customers in a total of 53 countries on four continents.
In a new study published this week, International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts “healthy four-year growth” for U.S. government blockchain spending. In fact, IDC analysts expect that spending to increase tenfold between 2019 and 2022, from the roughly $11 million spent in 2017 to more than $123 million by the end of that four year period.
Amid ongoing concerns about North Korean attempts to evade international sanctions, security experts are warning that the growing cryptocurrency industry in Southeast Asia could be particularly vulnerable to the regime’s cybercrime activities.
France’s Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, called blockchain technology a “game changer” at the Paris Blockchain Week conference, Phys.org reported today. During his remarks, Le Maire noted the technology’s benefit as a tool to prevent banking institutions from monopolizing financial transactions:
The International Monetary Fund and World Bank have launched their own ‘quasi-cryptocurrency’ called Learning Coin as part of a project designed to explore blockchain and crypto technology, the Financial Times reported this week. The agencies reportedly stressed that their coin is not an actual digital currency, since it has no monetary value and is only for internal use.
A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers have drafted a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig, urging his agency to issue more detailed tax and reporting guidance for taxpayers who use digital currencies. The letter’s 21 co-signers included the co-chairs of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus.
A new paper from Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow John Berlau contends that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has engaged in regulatory overreach with its approach to cryptocurrency innovation.
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has launched Coinbase Card for its customers in the United Kingdom, according to a blog post on the company’s site on Wednesday. The new Visa card will enable those customers to use their Coinbase cryptocurrency balances to make payments in-store and online, just as they would with any other traditional debit card.
Chinese officials have formally proposed sweeping new rules that would end cryptocurrency mining in the country, the South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday. The proposal is part of a series of amendments to the National Development and Reform Commission’s guidance for adjusting the country’s industrial structure.
Despite the South Korean government’s stated commitment to deregulation, a bipartisan group of lawmakers are calling for that deregulatory agenda to be expanded to the cryptocurrency and blockchain space as well, the Korea Herald reported on April 7.
When finance officials and central bank governors from G20 member states meet in Fukuoka, Japan in June, they will reportedly discuss anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulations, Japanese media reported late this week.
Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) recently added another 7 websites to its list of suspicious cryptocurrency sites. The list now includes a total of 120 websites identified by the FSMA as potential scams designed to defraud investors.
Austrian energy provider Wien Energie has partnered with tech company Bosch to develop a blockchain refrigerator. In an announcement on the company’s website, the innovation was described as “a building block to turn households into active participants in the electricity market and to increase consumer interest in consumption and power generation.”
A recent RAND Corporation report suggests that it is unlikely that terrorists are using cryptocurrencies to fund their activities. RAND’s analysis of the issue identified six cryptocurrency properties that necessarily limit their use by these organizations, including anonymity, usability, security, acceptance, reliability, and volume.
The SEC announced the release of detailed digital asset guidance on Wednesday, including a published framework designed to help token issuers and others determine when crypto tokens qualify as securities. In a statement announcing the news, the new framework was described as an “analytical tool to help market participants assess whether the federal securities laws apply” to any given digital asset.