Treasury Committee Criticizes UK Regulators’ “Unsustainable” Crypto Stance

Treasury Committee Criticizes U.K. Regulators’ “Unsustainable” Crypto Stance

The parliamentary report published by the UK Treasury Committee has advocated for regulation of the “wild west” crypto-assets sector. The report criticizes the “ambiguity” of the current stance of UK regulators, arguing that with effective regulations, the United Kingdom could become a “global center” for the emerging cryptocurrency sector.

Also Read: Brazil’s Biggest Banks Under Investigation For Monopoly In Cryptocurrency Trade

Treasury Committee Criticizes UK Regulators’ “Unsustainable” Crypto Stance

U.K. Treasury Committee Calls for Regulation of "Wild West" Crypto-AssetsThe recent UK parliamentary report into cryptocurrencies has found the current “ambiguity of the UK Government and regulators’ position [regarding crypto-assets] is clearly not sustainable.”

The report states that “Crypto-assets, and most Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), are currently not within the scope of Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulation,” and as such, “Crypto-asset investors are currently afforded very little protection from the litany of risks, namely there are no formal mechanisms for consumer redress, nor compensation.”

The Treasury Committee advocates “strongly” that “regulation should be introduced,” proposing, “At a minimum, regulation…address[ing] consumer protection and Anti-Money Laundering (AML).”

U.K. Has Potential to Become “Global Center” for Crypto-Assets

U.K. Treasury Committee Calls for Regulation of "Wild West" Crypto-AssetsThe report asserts that “In deciding the regulatory approach, the Government and regulators should evaluate the risks of crypto-assets, and assess whether their growth should be encouraged.”

“If growth is favored,” the Committee continues, “regulation could lead to positive outcomes for the crypto-asset market, including the move toward a more mature business model and increased liquidity.”

The report emphasizes that “If the UK develops a proportionate regulatory environment for crypto-assets, the UK could be well placed to become a global center for this activity.”

“Consumer Warnings” Comprise “Feeble Corrective” to Misleading ICO Adverts

U.K. Treasury Committee Calls for Regulation of "Wild West" Crypto-AssetsThe parliamentary report also argues that the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has insufficiently responded to “misleading adverts” for initial coin offerings (ICOs).

The Committee asserts that “The advertisements of both ICO issuers and crypto-asset exchanges are not regulated by the FCA. One-sided adverts imply that the crypto-asset market will only go up, and that anyone can make a lot of money easily.”

The report describes “The FCA’s consumer warnings” as comprising “a feeble corrective to such misleading adverts,” concluding that “The regulator needs more power to control how crypto-asset exchanges and ICOs market their services.”

What do you make of the UK parliamentary report’s findings? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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“Someone’s Got to Be the Voice of Reason” — Kraken Responds to NY AG Report

“Someone’s Got to Be the Voice of Reason” — Kraken Responds to NY AG Report

The New York Attorney General’s office has pointed a finger at cryptocurrency exchange Kraken for “potential” violation of state regulations. Now, the San Francisco–based exchange is firing back, saying it does not appreciate what it sees as implications of illegality.

“Someone has to be the voice of reason,” Jesse Powell, Kraken’s outspoken co-founder and CEO, told Bitcoin Magazine. “If we all accept corrupt practices as the norm, without saying anything out of fear of unlawful retaliation, what the hell are we doing this for?”

In April 2018, as part of its Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative, the New York Attorney General’s office sent out a voluntary questionnaire to 13 exchanges as part of a “fact-finding inquiry.” Kraken and three other exchanges chose not to respond.

“If you want to talk to us, ask us for a phone call, fly yourself out to San Francisco, invite us for lunch at your office,” Powell said.

Fast-forward five months and the New York Attorney General’s office has now issued its report on the results of the questionnaire. Within the report is a paragraph stating that the office has “referred Binance,, and Kraken to the Department of Financial Services for potential violation of New York’s virtual currency regulations.” The implication was that Kraken could still be allowing New York residents to trade on its platform without a proper license.

Three years ago, New York instituted a requirement that any company dealing with cryptocurrency in the state must have a BitLicense. Rather than apply for one, Kraken, based in New York at the time, hit the road, calling the law “a creature so foul, so cruel that not even Kraken possesses the courage or strength to face its nasty, big, pointy teeth.”

Now, safely tucked 3,000 miles away in the Bay State, Kraken still feels haunted by the Big Apple.

After reading the New York Attorney General’s entire 42-page report, Powell asserts that there isn’t “any mention of evidence that we are still doing business with NY residents.” (In fact, the report mentions Kraken only twice, both times on page 2.) Instead, it appears that the New York Attorney General is tossing the matter over the wall to the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to see if they can come up with anything.

Powell doubts they will. “We recently spoke to NYDFS; they are aware we are not serving New York,” he said.

Kraken uses a five-tiered system to identify clients. Tier 0, verified by email only, lets clients enter the site and poke around. If clients want to trade cryptocurrency, per Tier 1 requirements, they have to supply “full name, date of birth, country and phone number.”

At Tier 1, the exchange “does not collect identity documents,” Powell says, but it does do other checks, like look up a person’s IP address to deduce their location and verify phone and address. “If any of our checks fail or our info indicates that the user is in a prohibited geo, they are required to provide identity documents and undergo enhanced scrutiny,” he said.

Powell think the Attorney General’s report was good in that it highlighted important questions consumers should be asking exchanges. However, he thinks calling out the exchanges who chose not to respond to the questionnaire unnecessary.

“After all,” he said, “there are hundreds more exchanges which were never asked and are not named.”

Regulatory clarity in the U.S. is important to the growth of the cryptocurrency industry — as long as that regulation is reasonable, he said. “We operate in a global market and regulators must be careful not to stifle domestic business while giving foreign businesses a competitive advantage.”

As for Kraken, Powell claims his exchange operates with high standards. “Much of what the regulators imagine should be done is already being done voluntarily,” he said. “We push back only where we have a strong view that the regulator is getting the issue wrong, and where the consumer might actually be put in a worse position, or where a government agency is dramatically overstepping bounds.”

Powell summed up: Although Kraken is happy to work with regulators and law enforcement, “we will not stand by silently while rights are trampled on.”

Regardless, calling out regulators, who tend to wield a lot of power in the space, is a bold move for an exchange contemplating listing 1,600 new coins.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Kraken Trolls NY Regulators, Accuses OAG of Manipulating Bitcoin Futures

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is not backing down from its standoff with the New York attorney general’s office (OAG). Crypto Exchange Asks Whether OAG Employees Manipulated Bitcoin Futures In a series of tweets published over the last two days, the San Francisco-based company, which operates the world’s largest 16th-largest cryptocurrency exchange as measured by daily volume, … Continued

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Switzerland and Israel Collaborate on Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Regulation

The Swiss Minister for Finance Ueli Maurer recently visited Israel along with State Secretary for International Financial Matters Joerg Gasser, citing their goal as gaining bank access to Israeli markets to allow Swiss banks to trade there. Reuters reports that the two nations have now agreed to collaborate on financial technology, cryptocurrency, and blockchain regulation following their discussion

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Australia’s Financial Watchdog Cracks Down on ‘Misleading’ ICOs & Crypto Funds

Australia’s financial regulator and watchdog is ramping up its scrutiny into ‘misleading or deceptive’ initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto-asset funds targeting retail investors. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has confirmed it has identified “consistent problems” to ultimately shut down several initial coin offerings aimed at soliciting funds from retail investors. A radical … Continued

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Russian Law Won’t Mention ‘Cryptocurrency’, Russians Won’t Stop Trading

Russian Law Won’t Mention ‘Cryptocurrency’, Russians Won’t Stop Trading

Russia is preparing for the long-awaited legislation tailored to regulate its crypto space. According to the latest reports from Moscow, the term “cryptocurrency” has been taken out of the legal texts. Nevertheless, Russians have no reasons to doubt the existence of the decentralized electronic cash. They have many options to get involved in cryptocurrency, regardless of what the law says about it.

Also read: Iran to Allow Mining Hardware Imports, Cyprus Creates Fintech Hub

Report: Revamped Law on Digital Assets Drops ‘Cryptocurrency’

The Russian crypto regulatory framework has been delayed for months. In May, three bills were filed in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, and were scheduled for adoption in July, as ordered by President Putin himself. However, deputies found it hard to synchronize and compile the drafts into a single legislation – after the first reading this spring, they postponed the second reading and the final voting for the fall session.

The revised law “On digital financial assets” will be presented for public discussions in October and hopefully adopted by the end of the year. The word cryptocurrency has created a lot of headaches for Russian lawmakers. They’ve been trying to come up with legal definitions for a number of new terms associated with the fintech industry without contradicting the current law which regards the ruble as the only legal tender and bans all money surrogates. It turns out they have decided to get rid of “cryptocurrency” altogether, according to Izvestia – the outlet claims to have seen the latest version of the draft.

Russian Law Won’t Mention ‘Cryptocurrency’, Russians Won’t Stop Trading

Another significant update concerns crypto mining. Initially, the law defined the activity as the process of creating cryptocurrency. Now Izvestia writes that the document describes it as the issuance of tokens for the purpose of attracting capital investments – a definition that better suits ICOs in fact. In any case, tokens will represent property rights and ownership stakes. Registered local and foreign companies and private individuals will be allowed to issue digital coins, provided they are secured with other assets.

It’s also worth noting that an alternative bill has been proposed by an industry organization uniting some of the largest business enterprises in the country. Unlike the state-sponsored law, this draft authored by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE) stipulates granting a special status to cryptocurrencies.

The Dogs Bark but the Caravan Moves On

Russian Law Won’t Mention ‘Cryptocurrency’, Russians Won’t Stop TradingIt’s highly unlikely that the Russians will suddenly stop buying, selling and using cryptocurrency, just because the term does not appear in the legal lexicon of their deputies. A great number of trading platforms offer them the opportunity to enter the crypto ecosystem. Payment processors and banks continue to work with exchanges and exchangers, despite the legal uncertainty at the present moment and the upcoming ambiguous legislation.

Local crypto media listed some of the most popular platforms in Russia – Exmo, Livecoin, Yobit, Hitbtc, C-cex, and Spectrocoin. Another article rated the platforms according to their trading volume – Binance, Exmo, Livecoin, Yobit, Hitbtc, Poloniex, and others. Some of them, like the UK-based Exmo, support crypto-ruble trades and are popular not only in the Russian Federation, but also in the former Soviet space, including Ukraine where it is one of the three leading exchanges, along with Kuna and BTC Trade UA.

Russian Law Won’t Mention ‘Cryptocurrency’, Russians Won’t Stop TradingThere are plenty of options to trade and no law is going to take them away from Russian citizens who want to get involved in cryptocurrency. A third post published recently detailed how crypto enthusiasts in Russia can exchange coins with rubles and get their money sent to their bank accounts, crypto and fiat wallets. A plethora of platforms process both crypto-to-crypto and crypto-to-fiat transactions, whether members of the State Duma realize that or not.

A useful service called Best Change offers Russians the opportunity to get the most favorable exchange rate for their currency, digital or fiat. Just pick a pair – BCH or BTC to a Qiwi rubles wallet, Yandex Money to Ethereum, or a number of other combinations with bank transfers and card payments – and the website will spit back dozens of verified online exchangers supporting the desired transaction. Traders can check the digital reserves of each platform, use statistical market data, and even get email notifications when someone is ready to meet their price.

Do you think the future of cryptocurrencies depends on the regulations adopted by governments? Tell us in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Best Change.

At there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

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Texas Regulators Shut Down Three Cryptocurrency Scams

The Texas State Securities Board has issued an emergency action to halt the deceitful offerings of investments in three cryptocurrency related schemes. The agency entered a cease and desist order against Coins Miner Investment Ltd, DigitalBank Ltd, as well as Ultimate Assets, who is charged for offering Texans misleading ROIs and promising to grow an

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NY Crypto Exchange Report Bearish for Bitcoin ETF Plans

A new report drafted by the New York attorney general’s office (OAG) alleges that a significant number of cryptocurrency exchanges may be vulnerable to market manipulation, a finding that could prove ominous for hopes among investors that federal regulators will approve a bitcoin ETF or other exchange-traded crypto products in the near-term. 3 CME-Partnered Exchanges … Continued

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New York Like an ‘Abusive, Controlling Ex’: Kraken CEO Jesse Powell

Jesse Powell, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, has lobbed another bomb at the state of New York in regard to the latter’s stance toward the crypto industry and Kraken in particular. Writing on Twitter, Powell compared New York’s crypto regulators to an abusive ex-partner who continues to stalk the company even though it left the … Continued

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8 Surprising Findings from New York’s Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative

8 Surprising Findings from New York’s Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative

A lot of cryptocurrency traders are sick of hearing about “manipulation”. They just want to buy and sell bitcoin in peace, without Twitter accounts such as Bitfinexed banging on about unnatural market movements. It was thus with some dismay that New York’s Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative was greeted. The report, which dropped yesterday, predictably contains allegations of market manipulation. But it also contains some fascinating ancillary insights.

Also read: US Confiscates Millions in Cryptocurrencies in Alphabay Forfeiture Case

New York’s Fact-Finding Mission Throws Up Some Surprises

In April 2018, the New York State Office of the Attorney General (OAG) sent an extraordinarily detailed questionnaire to every cryptocurrency exchange that traded in the state. Some platforms, such as Kraken, rebuffed it, rightly interpreting the initiative as a fishing exercise designed to further regulate an already tightly regulated industry. Other exchanges, such as Coinbase, predictably bent over backwards to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’.

The results of that survey are now in, and while the headlines can largely be ignored – “Bitstamp, Itbit and Kraken raise red flags on manipulation” wrote Bloomberg – the report is an impressive body of work. Even if one takes aversion to the intent behind its commission, it’s hard not to be swayed by the level of detail and quality of presentation to be found within its 42 pages. Here are eight interesting tidbits that the OAG’s Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative reveals.

10 Surprising Findings from New York’s Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative
The OAG report includes a handy table detailing fee policies for the exchanges featured.

20% of All Trades on Coinbase Are Filled by Coinbase Themselves

While Coinbase isn’t the only exchange to trade against its customers, it fulfills more orders than any of the other platforms profiled, serving as a market maker and liquidity provider.  In comparison, the OAG report found that “Circle reported that it accounted for less than one percent of the executed volume on its platform Poloniex during the most recent time period reviewed. Bitflyer USA indicated that its own activity accounted for approximately ten percent of the executed volume on its platform.”

No One Knows Where Is Located

The OAG wrote: “The location of the operator of – which transacts tens of millions of dollars’ worth of virtual currency per day – is unclear from public sources. The company, however, represented in writing to the OAG that the platform is based primarily in China.”

10 Surprising Findings from New York’s Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative

Bitstamp and Poloniex Block VPN Access

VPNs are a legitimate and recommended tool for increasing security, particularly when logging into a cryptocurrency exchange from public wifi. While they also have the potential for abuse, the fact that Bitstamp and Poloniex block VPN access, according to the OAG, is baffling.

Darknet Markets: Learning How to Get There is Half the Battle

Bittrex Staff Are Allowed to Trade Two Days Each Quarter

Some cryptocurrency exchanges allow their employees to trade on their platform; others don’t. Bittrex takes an usual stance, allowing them to trade a total of just eight days a year. In addition, “Gemini and Bittrex require regular disclosures from each employee concerning their trading history and current virtual asset holdings…Bitfinex, Itbit, and Tidex [don’t] provide any restrictions on employee trading.”

10 Surprising Findings from New York’s Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative

Some Exchanges Don’t Use Pen Testing

Penetration testing involves enlisting a third party security team to probe your platform for weaknesses. Most of the platforms surveyed by the New York State Office of the Attorney General claimed to use pen testing as a means of fortifying their defenses, but two don’t:  Bittrex and Tidex.

If You Value Your Privacy, Trade On HBUS or Tidex

Huobi’s US Partner Exchange HBUS

The OAG’s report predictably presented exchanges that didn’t enforce full KYC as bad apples. Purveyors of privacy, however, may wish to take a reverse approach, singling these platforms out for their willingness to facilitate trading with few questions asked. HBUS requires only a name, address and email, while Tidex requests name, email and phone number.

High Volume Traders May Receive Secret Discounts

It’s no secret that many exchanges single out high volume traders for higher discounts on trading fees. The OAG report reveals, however, that several exchanges offer valuable traders off-the-record deals, writing: “Bitflyer USA, Bitstamp, Gemini, HBUS, and Itbit disclosed to the OAG that certain traders may receive different, and presumably preferential, pricing according to the terms of confidential bilateral agreements.”

Just One Exchange Claims to Charge Coin Listing Fees

Exchange listing fees can run into the millions of dollars, and yet just one of the exchanges surveyed – HBUS – conceded to having done so. It admits that it “charges a fee tied to the market capitalization of the virtual asset”. It is already known that exchanges such as Coinbase don’t charge listing fees; hence Ripple’s attempt to secure a listing with the aid of a $100 million sweetener failing. It is unclear, however, whether all of the other exchanges surveyed were being entirely frank in claiming not to levy listing fees.

Finally, one exchange the OAG spoke to – Tidex – gave an ambiguous answer when pressed over whether it uses cold storage to minimize losses in the event of a hack.

New York’s Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative fails to reveal anything new about market manipulation that wasn’t already known, and it does not create a compelling case for greater oversight of exchanges. The tidbits uncovered by its meticulous research, however, make fine morsels for cryptocurrency traders to lap up.

What do you think of the OAG’s report? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of OAG.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

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Proper Regulations Will Boost Confidence in Cryptocurrency Sector: Abu Dhabi Regulator

The regulatory chief of Abu Dhabi’s international financial center and free zone has called for tighter regulations for cryptocurrency trading and ICOs while recognizing the growing global industry. Nearly a year after issuing its guidelines for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs), effectively regulating the industry, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) is sharing its

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PBOC Provides Update on Its Crypto Prevention Efforts

PBOC Provides Update on Its Crypto Prevention Efforts

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has issued a statement detailing its efforts to stop and prevent crypto and initial coin offering activities in the country. The bank outlines measures against the widespread of overseas exchanges servicing domestic users such as blocking trading platforms and closing down 3,000 trading accounts.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Servicing Domestic Users From Overseas

PBOC Provides Update on Its Crypto Prevention EffortsThe Shanghai Head Office of the People’s Bank of China provided an update on the bank’s risk prevention measures for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

PBOC Provides Update on Its Crypto Prevention Efforts“In recent years, speculation related to virtual currency has prevailed, prices have skyrocketed, and risks have accumulated rapidly, seriously disrupting economic, financial and social order,” the bank proclaimed. “In order to maintain financial stability,” the central bank referred to the announcement in September last year which shut down all crypto exchanges in the country.

Consequently, the bank emphasized that the country’s “global share of domestic virtual currency transactions has dropped from the initial 90% to less than 5%.” However, through tracking and monitoring the activities of crypto exchanges that left the country, the bank found:

Some virtual currency trading platforms originally set up in China have left, registered overseas and continue to provide [service] to domestic users.

In addition, the bank noted that other methods of token issuance have emerged. “Another issue is initial coin, fork and exchange offerings (ICOs, IFOs and IEOs) and cyber currencies that are hyped up under the guise of a sharing economy,” Yical Global quoted the bank.

PBOC’s Responses

PBOC Provides Update on Its Crypto Prevention EffortsIn response to the consequences of shutting down crypto exchanges in the country, the PBOC has deployed the National Internet Financial Risk Special Remediation Leading Group and adopted a series of targeted measures.

The first is to “strengthen the monitoring of virtual currency trading platforms” that provide trading services to domestic users from abroad. The publication detailed:

China’s central bank has blocked 124 cryptocurrency trading platforms that targeted Chinese residents while using overseas servers to sidestep local laws.

PBOC Provides Update on Its Crypto Prevention EffortsThe second is to strengthen the clean up of crypto-related payment and settlement services, including efforts to “guide the relevant payment institutions to strengthen payment channel management, identify customers and provide risk warnings, establish a monitoring and inspection mechanism, and stop providing payment services for suspicious transactions.” The bank disclosed:

Currently, the relevant payment channels have been checked and about 3,000 accounts engaged in virtual currency transactions have been closed.

Fighting ICOs

PBOC Provides Update on Its Crypto Prevention EffortsThe third measure the PBOC described relates to ICOs and similar products. The bank aims to strengthen the research and evaluation of these instruments in order to “fight early…prevent problems…and transmit clearer regulatory signals to the market.” As part of this plan, the bank wants to ramp up censorship efforts, including “the disposal of domestic ICOs and virtual currency transaction related websites.”

In conclusion, the central bank reminds consumers and investors to increase awareness of the risks of ICOs, their issuers, and individuals and organizations that facilitate crypto transactions “for domestic residents through the deployment of overseas servers.” The bank also urges citizens to report suspicious activities relating to cryptocurrencies and ICOs to the authorities.

What do you think of the PBOC’s efforts to stop domestic crypto and ICO activities so far? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and PBOC.

Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

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The Daily: Iran to Allow Mining Hardware Imports, Cyprus Creates Fintech Hub

The Daily: Iran to Allow Mining Hardware Imports, Cyprus Creates Fintech Hub to Catch Up

Following a decision to recognize mining as an industry, the Islamic Republic of Iran is about to legalize the import of mining equipment. Also in The Daily, an executive at a leading Spanish bank insists cryptocurrencies are “perfect” and must be understood; trying to better understand the crypto space, Cyprus has set up a fintech innovation hub; and in Zimbabwe, the new finance minister is pushing the country’s central bank in a similar direction, calling on the RBZ to create a crypto unit.

Also read: Ethfinex Gets DEX, Cloudflare Goes Interplanetary

Iran to Legalize the Import of Mining Equipment, Considers Exchange

The Daily: Iran to Allow Mining Hardware Imports, Cyprus Creates Fintech Hub to Catch UpJust two weeks after Iranian authorities announced a decision to recognize cryptocurrency mining as an economic activity, the government in Tehran is preparing to officially endorse the import of hardware equipment used to mint digital coins.

The move is aimed at supporting the new industry in times when the country’s economy is under heavy pressure exacerbated by reintroduced US sanctions. It also comes after in August Iran stepped up plans to issue a national cryptocurrency.

This week, the Secretary of the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace, Abolhassan Firouzabadi, was quoted by Iranian media saying: “Necessary coordination has been done with related entities to allow the flow of hardware needed to mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.” The high-ranking official also noted that besides legalizing crypto mining, the Council is also considering the establishment of an online digital assets exchange.

Cryptocurrencies Must Be Understood, Says Chair of Major Spanish Bank

The Daily: Iran to Allow Mining Hardware Imports, Cyprus Creates Fintech Hub to Catch UpCryptocurrencies are “perfect” but are used for “bad purposes” today, so we have to be careful, according to Francisco Gonzalez, Group Executive Chairman of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Spain’s second largest bank.

In an interview with CNBC, BBVA’s representative also noted that blockchain, the distributed ledger technology underpinning digital currencies, is a “big, big tool”, but warned about the insufficient understanding of it too. Gonzalez, whose bank is actively investing in the fintech space, also pointed out:

We are in the middle of an incredible digital revolution. And in fact, a new world order is in the making, both social and economic…Something must be done in order to spread the wealth of this revolution to everybody…There are some ripple effects which must be understood in the case of cryptocurrencies.

Cyprus Creates Fintech Hub to Catch Up With Competition in the Crypto Space

The Daily: Iran to Allow Mining Hardware Imports, Cyprus Creates Fintech Hub to Catch UpProbably as part of its efforts to better understand cryptocurrencies and the underlying technology, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) has established a Fintech Innovation Hub on the island. The Mediterranean nation, where financial services are a significant contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP), has to catch up with countries like Estonia, Malta and Lichtenstein which are definitely ahead in the race to attract businesses from the crypto space.

CySEC Chair Demetra Kalogerou believes regulation has to ensure the transfer of financial goods and services in a fair way. However, she also says that it’s not just about supervision of persons but the very technology that’s being used.

“We don’t want our regulatory framework to be static. We want it to progress in line with the demands of today’s and tomorrow’s investor,” Kalogerou stressed in an interview with Finance Magnates. That’s why, she pointed out, a dedicated hub would allow the Cypriots to experiment with the new technology in a safe environment and understand the risks and benefits before potential investors are exposed to new investment products.

New Finance Minister in Harare Pushing for a Crypto Unit at RBZ

The Daily: Iran to Allow Mining Hardware Imports, Cyprus Creates Fintech Hub to Catch Up
Mthuli Ncube

Mthuli Ncube, Zimbabwe’s newly appointed finance minister, revealed he is trying to convince the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), the central bank of the economically hurting country, to establish a “cryptocurrency unit”, African media reported. The push is part of his plans to mitigate the nation’s ongoing cash shortage and position it better for new investments.

“Zimbabwe should be investing in understanding innovations and often central banks are too slow in investing in these technologies. But there are other countries which are moving faster. If you look at the Swiss central bank, they are investing in and understanding bitcoin,” Ncube said, quoted by IT Web Africa. The minister believes that if countries like Switzerland see value in cryptocurrencies, Zimbabwe should also pay attention.

“We have innovative youngsters, so the idea shouldn’t be to stop it and say don’t do this, but rather the regulators should invest in catching up with them and find ways to understand it. Then you regulate it because you now understand it,” added the representative of the current executive power in Harare.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Mthuli Ncube (Twitter).

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Enough ‘Feeble Warnings’, Regulate ‘Wild West’ Crypto Market: UK Lawmakers

British lawmakers called for the regulation of the domestic cryptocurrency market which they claimed to be the “Wild West”, whilst insisting rules could help the UK become a “global centre for crypto-assets”. In a report published by the British Parliament’s Treasury Committee on Wednesday, lawmakers claimed investors are “afforded very little protection” from a number

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