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Category Archive: Regulation

bitcoin demand

Bitcoin demand in Asia is more active than in the US

Back on May 31st, one the major Bitcoin exchanges in China called OKCoin returned to help improving the Bitcoin demand withing the Chinese exchanges after a period of suspension of transactions.

As a result, more bitcoin investors are recovering their interest in bitcoin and they are driving the demand for the digital currency.

So, thanks to the activation of withdrawals, bitcoin is now trading at a premium rate in China.

Also, the Chinese press that talks about bitcoin as digital gold is pushing the recent growth of the bitcoin demand for local traders.

On Friday, bitcoin price was about $2,340 in China. A value that was $50 higher than the US rate.

Of course, there are several other major factors that are driving bitcoin price. For example the legalization of the digital currency in Japan, and the use of ICOs in raising funds.

Experts believe that the increasing demand in Asia is pushing the recent growth in the bitcoin price.

South Korea

In South Korea, Bitcoin price increases up to $3,100 when the price on the US exchanges was about $2,400, so $300 higher than the US.

A few startups are also using bitcoin for sending remittances since it works better and faster than traditional money.

For example, one of these startups is called Bluepan, located in South Korea. This company provides an easy way to send money from overseas workers to their families.

In 2 years, Bluepan has processed payments worth $65 mln and for the past year, they recorded a five-time increase in transactions.

Why in Asia?

That said, it is clear that Bitcoin demand in Asia is increasing and its driving prices, while North America shares only a small amount of all users in any sector.

For example, there are fewer customers in North America who use money transfers than in Asia.

This is maybe due to the fact that the worldwide financial system is based on the US dollar, so remittance transactions are easier between dollars and non-dollar currencies compared with transactions that involve two non-dollar currencies.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
bitcoin regulation

Bitcoin regulation: EU to oversee digital currencies

Bitcoin regulation in Europe is moving forward after the decision of EU to fund a new tool.
This initiative about digital currencies surveillance is backed by $5m in funding from the EU and it involves a few government agencies and academic researchers including Interpol, Interior Ministries from Spain and Austria, Finland’s National Bureau of Investigation, and University College London.

In an official statement, members explained that the idea came because of the recent events of ransomware attacks all arount the world.

At the same time, those involved in the project argue not to violate user privacy rights.

“The consortium will analyse legal and ethical requirements and define guidelines for storing and processing data, information, and knowledge involved in criminal investigations without compromising citizen privacy,” said Ross King, senior scientist for the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) that is one of the research institutions involved in this project.

That the EU would take this approach is not surprising as they previously pushed aggressively for greater control on cryptocurrency users back in 2016, with the European Parliament following suit earlier this year.

Read more about bitcoin regulation in Europe by clicking here.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
bitcoin russia

Bitcoin Russia: a new law proposition by Russia’s Central Bank

The Bitcoin Russia saga is continuing to move on, as the Russia’s Central Bank is writing a new law focused on digital currencies.

Reports suggest that the Bank of Russia is looking to recognize digital currencies as digital goods, so they will be subjected to regular taxation.

Also, this law will include info on how the government will keep an eye on and regulate domestic marketplaces.

According to Bloomberg and RBC, in fact, deputy governor of the Bank of Russia, Olga Skorobogatova discussed her institution’s work on new legislation.

On May 25th, Skorobogatova explained that legislation could be introduced in the Russia’s national legislature – or the so- called Duma – in June.

Digital currencies “should be regulated, because volumes are increasing compared to the previous year. If people are engaged in this, they have to pay money for it, and we have to have a clear understanding of how to control this activity”, explained Skorobogatova, according to a recent report published by Bloomberg.

So, Russia is moving ever closer toward some kind of legislative framework for bitcoin and other digital currencies.

Initially, the government seemed to want to take a contrary stance on the creation of issuance of the money surrogates and Russian officials revealed their idea to ban bitcoin as illegal.

That position has changed during the recent months, and the enthusiasm on the blockchain started to increase among both officials from the Bank of Russia as well as the Russian government.

For example, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev pushed for research into public applications of the distributed ledger tech.

Read more about Bitcoin Russia regulation here.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
bitcoin regulation

Bitcoin Regulation might be pushed by Apple and PayPal

When the digital currency industry has Apple and PayPal as competitors, those two firms might be the reason for a Bitcoin regulation in the US.

Apple and PayPal joined a group together with Google, Amazon and Intuit in Washington in order to push for more reforms related to the financial system innovation. As we know, in fact, a core subject on their agenda is the creation of a federal money transmission license that would supplant the current state-by-state regime.

Also, last month Financial Innovation Now (FIN), the group that represents these five companies, sent a letter to the Senate Banking Committee proposing new recommendations that ask for the creation of a national money transmission requirement that would be managed by the Treasury Department.

“Consumer protection is a critical part of payments regulation, but it makes no sense for different states to regulate digital money differently from one state to another,” they explained.

The executive director of FIN, Brian Peters, said to CoinDesk the group is taking the money transmission problem very seriously and is looking for a legislative solution.

“This is a top priority for us. We’re proactive pushing for it and we are serious about legislating this.”

Bitcoin regulation benefits

FIN argues that it has no interest in supporting Bitcoin regulation or its industry, but it knows that the development of a transmitter issue is a common benefit.

“None of our priorities really actually delve into bitcoin or the other cryptocurrencies specifically. However, a lot of what we are pushing for does connect to the work many in that community are doing. The main reason we are pursuing it is because our companies have encountered a significant amount of friction and delay in the state-by-state money transmission licensing process. It’s the delay and the friction that’s really a hindrance to the ability to deliver products and services to the market in a way that is consistent with the pace of innovation in the modern economy.”

In addition to the costs to comply regulations, there are a few issues in states where government hasn’t still decide whether digital currencies should be considered as money or be exempted from regulation itself.

A federal licensing system would allow digital currency- related companies to elude state regimes and this could have an exponential growth effect on Bitcoin industry, as explained by the director of research at Coin Center, Peter Van Valkenburgh.

“For people in the US who want to build a business using these technologies, by far the biggest impediment they face is state-by-state transmission regulations. There’s pretty much no question about that. Anything that [FIN] is going to ask for – assuming it’s in line with a federal money transmission license – is exactly what our industry needs.”

So, having a federal option would provide a few benefits related, for example, to the cut of compliance costs for companies and new startups.

“For startups, it’s the biggest thing,” he said. “Right now, you can’t start your business unless you have millions to spend on compliance. And to get venture capital financing, you need to convince your venture capitalists that it’s OK that the majority of their funding is going to lawyers.”

While there have been a lot of efforts with the aim of creating a federal money transmission framework, they have fallen due to a lack of money, leadership, political clout, etc.

But, FIN shouldn’t face these problems, commented Carol Van Cleef, a digital currency attorney with BakerHostetler in Washington.

“I have long said that we’ll get a national money transmitter license when these companies come together. They’re the ones that have the resources necessary to launch the kind of legislative campaign that’s essential to get this through Congress. This kind of initiative requires money and lots of it, solid executive branch and congressional relationships and experience working legislative issues.”

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
bitcoin regulation

Bitcoin regulation in Europe: “it’s too early”

bitcoin regulation

During a recent event held by the European Parliament, members talked about new technologies including the Blockchain and Ethereum and Bitcoin Regulation.

According to them, the European Parliament will have to regulate and monitor the new tech but “it’s too early to intervene at this stage, because we as legislators don’t yet see sufficiently clearly to know what the main issues are going to be – so in order to not to stifle innovation, we don’t want it to be now.””, said MEP Jakob von Weizsäcker.

So, the EU wants just to monitor blockchain and smart contracts in order to allow developers doing their job.

Also, MEP Eva Kaili from Greece explained that regulation is necessary to protect citizens, but EU doesn’t want to suffocate innovations.

“[In] 2008 when the crisis started in the European Union, especially in my country [Greece], people lost trust in banks and in the politicians. I woundn’t blame them because we didn’t protect them and the reaction was that some young people that we don’t really know discover this technology that actually makes unnecessary to have banks, politicians and intermediaries. So the potential is there, but it is still under progress”.

Also, she continues by saying the following:

“Blockchain is not just bitcoin and bitcoin is not just blockckhain. We need to understand how to protect citizens because if we help them trust this technology, they will actually start to using it. I do believe that banks will outsource a lot of their services,” she said.

Bitcoin regulation to regain trust by citizens

“We’ll have to educate citizens on how to use it […] Hopefully, [bitcoin regulation] will come and we’re going to try to protect the technology and not to stop it. I know that usually politicians and banks don’t want to change and they want to keep control, but I think this technology is unstoppable and we have to give control back to the citizens and maybe this way we can regain some trust,” Kaili argues.

Watch the full conference video here.

 

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
bitcoin in russia

Bitcoin in Russia: regulation will take place in 2019

Russia’s Ministry of Communications (Minkomsvyaz) has revealed it is looking for legalizing Bitcoin in Russia and the blockchain technology by 2019.

The local news agency called TASS talks about a document about the Russia’s Digital Economy of the Russian Federation project, which lays out a timeframe for creating and passing the blockchain regulation.

The document quoted the following:

“bringing into effect regulatory acts governing the possible use of technology for decentralized registers and legal certificates.”

Back in March, prime minister Dmitry Medvedev instructed Minkomsvyaz and its counterpart Ministry of Economic Growth (Minekonomrazvitie) to “study to what extent Blockchain would be applicable to our system of government.”

During the last year, Bitcoin in Russia has solidified from a rhetoric point of view also because the Russian Central Bank decided not to ban digital currencies including Bitcoin and this news was useful to calm businesses and users’ after a few years of uncertainty when Russia stated it would ban cryptocurrencies within the country.

Then, back in April, 2017, Russia announced it would recognize Bitcoin by 2018, but monitoring each transaction.

Read more about Bitcoin in Russia here.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
bitcoin in russia

Bitcoin in Russia: transactions will be monitored

Bitcoin in Russia will be officially “recognized” by 2018, but each transaction will be subjected to monitoring.

In a recent statement by the Russian central bank, Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev explains – in an interview quoted by Bloomberg – that a legal position about Bitcoin in Russia will be taken in the next future.

Recently, bitcoin and altcoins had been put aside regarding regulation, with users and companies operating in Russia threatened with takedowns and jail.

In October, Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor blocked access to a peer-to-peer marketplace called LocalBitcoins, but developers responded by setting up a new mirror site, LocalBitcoins.net.

“The state needs to know who at every moment of time stands on both sides of the financial chain. If there’s a transaction, the people who facilitate it should understand from whom they bought and to whom they were selling, just like with bank operations,” said Moiseev about the Russian government position.

While digital currencies are still yet to receive an official status, Bloomberg reports that they will be treated as assets, cash or security by mid-2017.

Back in January, Deputy Olga Skorobogatova (Bank of Russia) commented that authorities “would not like to concretely block anything” instead of “understanding how to approach cryptocurrency and from this generating a basis for regulation.”

Read more about Bitcoin in Russia by clicking on the blog post titles below.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
bitcoin sweden

Bitcoin Sweden regulation: the blockchain to record property deals

A new project for Bitcoin Sweden regulation has moved to its second phase. In fact, the Sweden’s land registry authority, the so- called Lantmäteriet, wants to use the distributed ledger tech with the main goal of recording property deals.

This project was conducted by the blockchain startup called ChromaWay and the consultancy group Kairos Future, that are also working in partnership with two banks: SBAB and Landshypotek.

Talking about the project’s potential, ChromaWay CEO Henrik Hjelte commented:

“It could be a great benefit for economic growth”.

Also, he said that Sweden is the ideal country to test a distributed ledger system for land titles, because trust in public authorities is higher than elsewhere and it could influence other countries to do the same in the next future.

Thanks to this system, a buyer and seller would open a contract where banks and the land registry can view the workflow of the deal, such as due dates for payments.

“In the blockchain confirmation of each step in the workflow is made with a hash, like the blockchain normally. Everyone has the same information and you can check it yourself,” said Magnus Kempe of Kairos Future.

Another use case for this project is the potential verification of an IOU issued by the bank to its property buyer.

“That part is going to be hidden for the others in the contract. You will only have the hash confirming from the bank that the IOU has been signed,” commented Kempe.

That said, SBAB Bank explaind it has no imminent plans to implement the blockchain:

“Our reason to participate in the project has not been to actually implement the solution in our current processes. But rather an opportunity for us to get a better understanding of the blockchain technology and how it might possibly fit in our future products/offerings.”

Bitcoin Sweden regulation: what is the EU doing?

Recently, the EU passed a directive that puts more weight behind digital signatures; a similar bill has been proposed in Arizona too.

Click here to read more about EU regulation related to bitcoin and blockchain.

A the moment, this land registry project is looking at new ways for working at this issue.

“Actually, the land registry today, they don’t receive much physical paper, they get PDFs of the contracts which are signed electronically so they don’t store the physical contracts. What we are thinking of is, you can actually sign the contract digitally in the blockchain to the land registry, they can award the land titles and then you can throw away the paper so you’re not dependent on the physical archive.”

 

According to ChromaWay’s Henrik Hjelte, the use of blockchain could be disruprive in order to manage ownership of property and improving transparency in real estate sales.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
blockchain regulation

Blockchain regulation: Arizona recognizes it under state law

Another move has been made in Arizona in order to make Blockchain regulation more effective.

In fact, a legislature has creared a bill that would recognize the distributed ledger signature and smart contracts under state law.

At the moment the bill has been sent to the governor’s desk for a final approval.

As previously reported, this bill would make data tied to a blockchain “considered to be in an electronic format and to be an electronic record” in the US State of Arizona.

Also, the bill quotes specifically the Ethereum smart contracts, so there is a specific effort with the main goal of capturing new kinds of delivering information – the distributed ledger– under existing laws.

The bill explains:

“‘Smart contract’ means an event-driven program, with state, that runs on a distributed, decentralized, shared and replicated ledger and that can take custody over and instruct transfer of assets on that ledger.”

This bill was sent to sent to Governator Doug Ducey’s office on March 27th,  after clearing the Senate by a 28-1 vote on the 23rd.

Even if it’s not so clear if or when the governor will sign the bill, its support suggests that this measure will see the light soon.

A few members of the legislature’s lower chamber, in fact, approved this bill unanimously previously this year.

This Arizona bill is similar to a legislation passed and signed in Vermont last year. There, lawmakers proposed to allow data embedded on a blockchain to be used in a court of law.

Click here to read more about Blockchain regulation worldwide.

 

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Nevada stops blockchain transactions taxes

A new bill has been proposed to the Nevada Senate and, if it pass, will stop local taxes and fees on the use of a blockchain ledger, both for payments and contracts.

Nevada Senate Bill 398 was filed yesterday and presented by Senator Ben Kieckhefer, who wants to create a legal level for the use of blockchain-based networks.

Notably, this bill will also stop local governments asking for taxes on the use of the distributed ledger or to require a special licensure in order to use it.

This new proposed bill explains:

“A local governmental entity shall not: Impose any tax or fee on the use of a blockchain or smart contract by any person or entity; Require any person or entity to obtain from the local governmental entity any certificate, license or permit to use a blockchain or smart contract; or Impose any other requirement relating to the use of a blockchain or smart contract by any person or entity.”

If this bill pass, its benefits won’t be applied only to these potential economic expenses.

Kieckhefer’s suggestion, in fact, will allow blockchain records to be used in proceedings, noting that “if a law requires a record to be in writing, submission of a blockchain which electronically contains the record satisfies the law”.

“A smart contract, record or signature may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because a blockchain was used to create, store or verify the smart contract, record or signature. In a proceeding, evidence of a smart contract, record or signature must not be excluded solely because a blockchain was used to create, store or verify the smart contract, record or signature,”the proposed bill states.

Last month a similar proposal was made in Arizona, or a further move to legitimize the use of blockchain distributed ledger; a previous effort was also proposed in Vermont back in 2016.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio