Digital Currency Weekly Recap 1-24-2016
Russian Duma Could Review New Crytpo-Encompassing Law Soon
According to reports, a new law that could potentially legalize cryptocurrency in Russia is awaiting review by the Russian Duma, and could be acted upon early this year. Currently in draft form, the proposed change to the Administrative Violations Code would, for all practical purposes, result in a repudiation of the Ministry of Finance’s ongoing threats to ban all digital currencies.
Though an original draft was expected to begin the process of banning cryptocurrencies, the new proposal would more closely mirror the positions held by the UK and European regulatory agencies. That would result in most money surrogates still being outlawed, but could possibly leave the door open for digital currencies that have received some level of acceptance from European governments.
China Preparing to Launch Its Own Cryptocurrency
According to the People’s Bank of China, that country is currently looking at launching its own digital currency. The Bank has indicated that the move would be designed to reinforce the government’s monetary control, while reducing the costs associated with fiat currency circulation. The PBOC is also banking on digital currency increasing transparency in the economy, and helping China to more effectively combat tax evasion and other criminal activities.
Wyoming Bill Would Define Crypto as Acceptable Investment
In Wyoming, there is a bipartisan move in the state legislature to redefine digital currency in the state. The lawmakers are seeking to amend the Wyoming Money Transmitter Act in a way that would result in the state treating cryptocurrencies the same way it treats dollars and other fiat money when it comes to money transfers. Republican Representative Tyler Lindholm, the primary sponsor for House Bill 26, asserts that the current state of the law in Wyoming discourages digital currency companies from investing and doing business in Wyoming. His bill is designed to change that dynamic.
New IMF Paper Recommends that Regulators Not Hinder Cryptocurrency Innovation
A new staff paper from the international Monetary Fund (IMF) recently presented at Davos’ World Economic Forum offered attendees some insight into digital currencies, as well as some sage advice with respect to any potential regulation of the industry. The report, titled Virtual Currencies and Beyond: Initial Considerations, analyzes the technology, examines its potential uses in the marketplace, and outlines the benefits it can provide. It also puts the IMF on record as not viewing these currencies as actual money in a legal sense of the word.
On the regulatory front, the document notes that there are challenges presented by these new technologies - including problems related to consumer protection, potential criminal activity, capital controls, and tax concerns. However, the paper also recommends that regulators carefully consider any regulatory action’s impact on innovation in this area, to ensure that the world is able to reap the benefits crypto can provide.
Kraken Buys Out Canadian Cavirtex Exchange
The San Francisco-based Kraken Bitcoin exchange has closed a deal that will see it purchase Canadian exchange Cavirtex, as well as Coinsetter. Kraken, and exchange that operates on a global scale, intends to consolidate the new acquisitions and operate them under the Kraken brand. Cavirtex customers will have their accounts migrated to the planned new platform on the 26th of January. According to Kyle Kemper, senior VP of global business development at Coinsetter, the announced deal will provide Cavirtex customers in Canada with greater access to foreign currency trades, and improved liquidity.
And in Case You Missed Them…
Our own Nick Marinoff had a couple of thought-provoking offerings this week, both of which are worth a look for anyone who might have missed them. The first, Do You REALLY Own Your Coins, explores the relationship between you, your digital currency holdings, and the currency exchanges that hold your deposits. The second, Can Cryptocurrency Really Help Unbanked Populations, examines the issue of financial exclusion, and how digital currency could help the world’s poor and unbanked gain greater access to the ladder of economic opportunity.