Weak Demand for Mining Hardware Impacts TSMC’s Growth Outlook

During a recent Q3 earnings call, the world’s largest producer of semiconductors, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), forecasted weakening growth for the rest of 2018 due to declining demand for cryptocurrency mining hardware. This outlook comes despite anticipating a significant increase in demand for its 7-nanometer processing chips from the high-end smartphone industry.

Also Read: $50 Million Bitcoin Mining Farm Opens in Armenia

TSMC Anticipates Weakened Fourth Quarter Growth

Weak Demand for Mining Hardware Impacts TSMC’s Growth OutlookLora Ho, the chief financial officer and senior vice president of finance for TMSC, predicts that declining demand for cryptocurrency mining hardware will offset much of the growth expected to be generated through sales of its 7-nanometer chips.

Ho stated: “Moving into fourth quarter, despite the current market uncertainties, our business will benefit from the continuous steep ramp of 7-nanometer for several high-end smartphones as well as the demand for 16/12-nanometer for the launches of new-generation GPU and AI. However, this growth will be partially offset by continued weakness in cryptocurrency mining demand and inventory management by our customers.”

C.C. Wei, TSMC’s chief executive officer and vice chairman, reiterated Ho’s predictions, stating: “Our second half of 2018 business will be strongly supported by the 7-nanometer ramp-up, which is mainly driven by a few new smartphone launches. However, our business is also negatively impacted by further weakening of cryptocurrency mining demand.”

TSMC Reduces Annual Growth Forecast

Weak Demand for Mining Hardware Impacts TSMC’s Growth OutlookTaking all factors into account, Wei estimates TSMC’s 2018 growth will be approximately 6.5 percent, falling slightly short of the company’s prediction of between seven percent and nine percent total growth for 2018, as delivered during the company’s previous earnings call.

Ho predicts that TSCM’sl fourth-quarter revenue should reach between $9.35 billion and $9.45 billion – a 10.7 percent sequential increase in the company’s revenue.

Ho also predicts TSMC to post a fourth-quarter gross margin of between 47 percent and 49 percent, and an operating margin of between 36 percent and 38 percent.

Do you think that demand for mining hardware will increase again? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Taiwanese Candidate Accepts Crypto Donations, California Bans Them

Taiwanese Candidate Accepts Crypto Donations, California Bans Them

Using cryptocurrency for political donations has been a hot topic in many societies. Two recent developments demonstrate different views on the matter. A Taiwanese politician who has accepted bitcoin from his supporters believes crypto donations can help keep his country’s political system clean and transparent. At the same time, the California campaign watchdog says cryptocurrency can raise questions about transparency and is hard to track.

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

Bitcoin Donations Help Transparency, Taiwanese Politician Says

Cryptocurrency has entered Taiwanese politics. A candidate for the Taipei City Council announced on social media he had accepted a number of small bitcoin donations – a first, according to local media reports. Hsiao Hsin-chen, a representative of the minority New Power Party, received the digital cash worth NT$10,000 (~US$325) from anonymous supporters. The money was sent after an announcement on Facebook last month that his campaign is ready to accept donations in BTC.

Taiwanese Candidate Accepts Crypto Donations, California Bans ThemIn his call for support, Hsiao said the development has political as well as technological implications. Crypto donations could help keep Taiwan’s political system clean, he stressed, quoted by the Taiwanese Business Next outlet. The nature of the cryptocurrency, the fact that every transition is recorded on a public blockchain, can lead to more transparency, he added. “Accepting bitcoins as a political donation is more symbolic than the act appears,” claimed the politician.

In Taiwan, crypto contributions are currently classified as non-cash political donations – a definition given by the Interior Ministry. According to the country’s recently updated Political Donations Act, candidates can accept up to NT$10,000 from anonymous donors, a limit that applies to the value of donated cryptocurrency as well.

If the sum exceeds the maximum amount, politicians are obliged to return the excess money to the donor or hand it over to the state. However, it’s unclear how the value of crypto donations will be estimated as the prices of digital assets can change significantly in a short period. Control Yuan, a government monitoring agency, has advised candidates to keep full records of their donations.

‘Independent’ Commission Says No to Crypto Donations in California

Officials in the US state of California, however, share a different view of campaign contributions in crypto. A commission charged with overseeing the political process in the Golden State has recently announced that donations cannot be made with cryptocurrency such as bitcoin, according to an Associated Press report. On Thursday, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) voted 3-1 to ban them. The watchdog says it may be hard to track the origin of cryptocurrency contributions which could raise questions about transparency.

According to its website, the FPPC is an “independent, non-partisan” commission responsible for the administration of the state’s Political Reform Act which regulates campaign financing along with other potentially controversial aspects of political campaigns such as conflicts of interest and lobbying. Promoting transparency and fostering public trust in the political system are two of its core objectives.

Taiwanese Candidate Accepts Crypto Donations, California Bans Them

The Commission is composed of five members appointed for four-year terms. The Chair and another member from a different party are appointed by the Governor. The other members are appointed by the State Controller, Secretary of State and the Attorney General. No more than three commissioners may be from the same political party. Currently one of the seats is vacant, which may be interpreted as a positive in terms of finding the balance in the generally bipartisan political landscape of the US.

A similar body on national level, the Federal Elections Commission (FED), allows bitcoin donations to federal candidates. In 2014 the FED decided that every US citizen can donate cryptocurrency worth up to $100. A number of states have already addressed the issue as well – Colorado and Montana allow crypto contributions with certain restrictions, South Carolina and Kansas have banned them. In April, the Wisconsin Ethics Commission discussed a proposal to cap crypto donations with the limit applicable to cash contributions – $100. Larger donations require a credit card or a bank check.

What is your opinion about campaign contributions in cryptocurrency? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

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Candidate Receives First Ever Bitcoin Donation to a Political Campaign in Taiwan

A candidate for a local government seat in the city of Taipei has made history as the first politician in Taiwan to ever receive a campaign donation in bitcoin. According to BusinessNext, the bitcoin donation was made to Hsiao Hsin-chen who is vying for a seat in Taipei City Council on a New Power Party … Continued

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Taiwanese Hospital Launches Blockchain Platform for Record Keeping

As part of efforts to consolidate the government’s Hierarchical Medical system policy, Taipei Medical University Hospital has introduced a blockchain-driven platform for the advancement of medical record-keeping. The Healthcare Blockchain Platform will be used to improve patient referral services and integrates individual healthcare networks for people to access their medical records with relative ease, according to … Continued

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Prolific Bitcoin Dealer ‘Blew a Giant Hole’ Through US Legal Framework

Prolific Bitcoin Dealer 'Blew a Giant Hole' Through US Legal Framework

A Mexico-based “prolific bitcoin dealer” has been indicted and held without bond in the US on a number of international money laundering charges. He used Bitfinex for his exchange needs after Coinbase closed his account. His “activities ‘blew a giant hole’ through the legal framework of U.S. anti-money laundering laws,” the Department of Justice wrote.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Bitcoin Dealer Indicted

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Friday that a bitcoin dealer, Jacob Burrell Campos, was indicted for international money laundering and is being held without bond. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Ciaffa said during Burrell’s bond hearing on August 17 that:

Burrell was a prolific bitcoin dealer who sold approximately $750,000 worth of bitcoin to hundreds of buyers throughout the United States. He conducted 971 separate transactions with over 900 individual customers, and accepted cash in person, through his bank accounts, and through Moneygram.

Prolific Bitcoin Dealer 'Blew a Giant Hole' Through US Legal FrameworkCiaffa told the court that Burrell operated as a “bitcoin exchanger” and his activities constituted a money transmitting business. He was therefore required to register with the Department of Treasury and comply with all anti-money laundering requirements including “reporting suspicious cash transactions.”

However, Ciaffa claimed that Burrell accepted cash “with no questions asked,” adding that he “supplied hundreds of individuals with an easy outlet to avoid the anti-money laundering laws applicable to all financial institutions, including licensed and registered bitcoin exchanges,” for a 5% fee.

The indictment states that Burrell sent 28 wire transfers totaling over $900,000 from his bank accounts in the U.S. to a bank account in the name of Bitfinex in Taiwan. Ciaffa elaborated:

Burrell sent the money from the United States to buy bitcoin and fund his business. With these and other funds, Burrell bought over $3 million worth of bitcoin in over 2,600 transactions. Burrell resorted to buying bitcoin through Bitfinex after his account was closed by Coinbase, a U.S.-based bitcoin exchange, for circumventing its ID verification process.

Blowing Giant Hole Through US Legal Framework

Prolific Bitcoin Dealer 'Blew a Giant Hole' Through US Legal FrameworkBorn in San Diego, Burrell lives in Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico. He was arrested on August 13 while trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico. The 21-year-old “was ordered held without bail today in connection with a 31-count indictment charging him with operating an illegal money transmitting business, failing to maintain an anti-money laundering program, international money laundering and conspiracy to structure monetary transactions,” the DOJ announcement reads.

The indictment also charges him with conspiracy to structure the importation of monetary instruments. Ciaffa told the court that “Burrell agreed with others to smuggle over $1 million in U.S. dollars into the United States from Mexico, in amounts slightly less than $10,000, in order to avoid the currency reporting requirements.”

The Justice Department reported the assistant U.S. attorney saying:

Burrell’s activities ‘blew a giant hole’ through the legal framework of U.S. anti-money laundering laws by soliciting and introducing into the U.S. banking system close to $1 million in unregulated cash.

Prolific Bitcoin Dealer 'Blew a Giant Hole' Through US Legal FrameworkU.S. Magistrate Judge Karen S. Crawford “ordered him held without bail,” citing that he has “significant ties to Mexico, citizenship in three countries, no steady employment in the United States, the ability to access large sums of cash, and a disdain and unwillingness to comply with U.S. laws.” She, therefore, “concluded that Burrell posed a substantial risk of flight.”

According to the DOJ, the 31 counts in the indictment against Burrell carry different prison terms and fines. The first count carries a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The second carries ten years in prison and a $500,000 fine. The third through 30th counts, for the charge of international money laundering, carry “twenty years in prison for each count, [and a] $500,000 fine.” The last count carries five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. However, the Justice Department clarified that the charges and allegations “are merely accusations” and the defendant is “considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

What do you think of this case? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Gaming in Asia may be crypto’s killer dApp

As money and talent flows into the crypto and blockchain worlds, a persistent question keeps coming up: what is going to be the “killer app” that drives adoption for these nascent technologies? The answer may well be quite simple: gaming in Asia.

That’s the theory for Cryptokitties, the notable purveyor of cute cats. The company has started expanding into China, Japan, and Korea as it attempts to capture a large market of gamer and crypto enthusiasts there, and it is building on the playbook pioneered by Uber when it launched in China in 2014.

Back in March, Andreessen and Union Square Ventures led a $12 million Series A round into Cryptokitties. A portion of that money went into Cryptokitties’ ambitions to expand into Asia. In fact, Cryptokitties’ largest user markets have been, and still are, the U.S. and China, followed by Russia.

For those unfamiliar with Cryptokitties, it’s often been alluded to as a digital version of Beanie Babies. Cryptokitties are virtual collectibles in the form of cute cats that can be bought, sold, collected and traded with cryptocurrency, with all the transactions listed on the blockchain. Owners who purchase these kitties can then breed them with other kitties to produce new baby kitties.

The company is part of Axiom Zen, the Vancouver and San Francisco-based design studio that originally built the game. Since its launch in 2017, Cryptokitties has also built a third-party app platform for crypto developers called the Kittyverse, open-sourced their digital asset licensing platform, and started a crypto gaming investment fund. The company currently has about 70 employees and is headquartered in Vancouver.

One of the main purposes why Cryptokitties raised venture capital was for geographical expansion. Having ample capital to not worry about cash flow as the company steps on the gas is certainly quite helpful. But as a business, Cryptokitties was already doing fine. Back in June when I was having a discussion with the company, Cryptokitties was already profitable starting in week three.

The company has successfully differentiated itself from many other crypto decentralized apps (dApps for short) companies out there by proving that they could make money first and have a sustainable user base. Jimmy Song from Blockchain Capital once said, you can make money three ways in crypto, and those are “selling mining machines, starting up Crypto exchanges, and organizing Crypto conferences.” Nonetheless, Cryptokitties was an outlier. With its newly raised money, the team was looking to deploy the capital for hiring, building out it’s Kittyverse, and expanding in Asia.

Asia and China has a Large and Untapped Crypto Gaming Market

Benny Giang, one of the co-founders of Cryptokitties, has been tasked with Cryptokitties Asia expansion since late 2017. Since then, the team has launched Cryptokitties in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. During the launch, in order to avoid another one of Ethereum’s network clogs like what happened in late 2017, the iOS app launch was initially limited to 5,000 new players, based on selected WeChat accounts.

Benny believes blockchain games in Asia are a huge untapped market but with increasing competition. Whereas the intersection of gaming and blockchain users is still pretty limited in the Americas, in Asia, that audience is significantly larger. This is primarily due to three reasons: 1) the awareness of cryptocurrency and blockchain is more prevalent in Asia, 2) the regulatory markets are more developed and sophisticated (for better or worse) in China, Korea, and Japan, and 3) there is a proportionally higher number of gamers in Asia than the U.S.

China is the biggest market in this intersection, but there have been challenges. As Cryptokitties launched and grew in the last year, the company saw competition and copycats (pun intended) from China moving quickly into the market. In the beginning of 2018, just as Cryptokitties was launching in China, Xiaomi, the mobile phone maker that recently IPO-ed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, launched their own crypto collectible called Cryptobunny. Baidu, the large search engine of China, also recently launched Cryptopuppy.

Go to Market Learnings from Uber in China – Identifying the Right Local Partners and Hires

As Benny and team began doing research on the Asia market, they realized that working in a market that’s twelve hours away is not easy. Taking some of its lessons from Uber’s experience in China, they decided that they needed to localize their go-to-market approach.

One of the reasons Uber ended up exiting the Chinese market was that it did not successfully build a product catered to Chinese citizens. Despite the large sum of money it was pouring into the Chinese market, Uber was still losing market share to Didi. Another suggested reason for the failure was that Uber should have gone to market with a local partner like Didi instead of going head to head with them. The Cryptokitties team knew that they wanted to expand correctly, and subsequently identified a local partner in China to target the market there.

In January 2018, Axiom Zen partnered with Animoca Brands to publish the Cryptokitties game on mobile in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Animoca is a Hong Kong-based, privately-held developer and publisher of games, with a number of games using popular IP such as Garfield, Ultraman, and Doraemon. By working with Animoca, Cryptokitties was able to build out a localized website for its Chinese-speaking audience, provide native-speaker support services, and host numerous giveaway events.

In my discussion with him, Benny provided some insightful advice on go to market strategy in Asia. First, he mentioned that for a blockchain gaming company like themselves, it is best to find two local partners – one in blockchain and one in gaming – to help navigate the landscape. This kind of well-thought-out, go-to-market strategy requires hard work and local community understanding that very few cryptocurrency teams have achieved.

Currently, most Western crypto companies do not apply a traditional tech-oriented go-to-market strategy when trying to expand into other regions. Instead, most of them choose to leverage their “global communities.” They would incentivize these regional token holders to do local marketing and encourage them to find more token supporters and buyers in their region. Nonetheless, that type of marketing approach effectively identifies people who want to make a quick buck, rather than users who can sustain a platform.

Secondly, tasteful and culturally-appealing design is also very important when it comes to dApps. Cryptokitties originally differentiated themselves from other dApps by creating beautiful cats on the blockchain that immediately caught people’s attention. They have also decided to apply a similar local strategy in China.

Momo Wang is the creator of the highly popular Tuzki character, a black and white line drawing of a bunny that’s used widely across various instant messaging platforms, particularly WeChat .

The popular character Tuzki (Photo courtesy WeChat)

Cryptokitties hired Momo as a brand ambassador and contributor to the Artist Series to design kitties for them. By doing so, they are able to appeal to an audience who may have a different local taste.

Benny adds that it is essential for dApp companies to create beautiful websites and great user experiences that appeal to local communities. However, there are also cons when building beautiful websites for a blockchain company that is decentralized by nature. Smooth user interfaces in the form of a traditional website or an app fall under the jurisdiction of a traditional tech business. Internet companies in China, for example, require approval and licensing from the government to be able to operate and serve its citizens.

China has become the wild west of crypto and blockchain, and there will continue to be unforeseen obstacles. It certainly isn’t easy for Cryptokitties to be the first western dApp company to venture into China, but in the next five years, we’ll see a significant number of Western companies heading east – and these early learnings will be invaluable.

Huobi Launches Partner Exchanges in Russia, Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, Canada

Huobi Launches Partner Exchanges in Russia, Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, Canada

Chinese exchange Huobi and its partners are launching cryptocurrency exchanges in five regions: the Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Canada. Partners “share Huobi’s order integration system, wallet system, asset management and clearing systems.” The exchange in Manila has launched with trading in three markets with over 40 trading pairs.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Five Partners, Five New Exchanges

Chinese digital asset and service provider Huobi has announced that it has chosen five partners to launch cryptocurrency exchanges in five regions.

Huobi Launches Partner Exchanges in Russia, Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, CanadaHuobi is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, with a 24-hour trading volume of $915,183,234 at the time of this writing, according to Coinmarketcap. With offices in Singapore, the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Australia, Huobi claims to serve millions of users in over 130 countries.

The five partners are Yatai International Holding Group, Vnesheconombank, Chi Fu Group, Asia International Finance Holdings (AIF) and Dbank Group, according to South China Morning Post. Each partner will utilize Huobi Cloud to set up a new cryptocurrency exchange in “the Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Indonesia and Canada, respectively,” the publication added.

Huobi clarified on Thursday:

Corporate partners also share Huobi’s order integration system, wallet system, asset management and clearing systems; in addition to Huobi Global’s world-leading depth, liquidity and market data.

The company officially launched Huobi Cloud on July 20, aimed at “enabling its partners to build secure and stable digital asset exchanges quickly.”

Launch Schedule

Huobi has provided a rough schedule for when the new exchanges will be launched by its partners. The exchange in Bali, Indonesia, will be launched on August 22. The one in Taiwan will be called Shubao Digital Asset Exchange and will be launched on August 26. The one in Moscow will be launched on September 3. The company has not provided the launch date for the exchange in Canada at press time.

The only exchange that has already been launched by one of the above partners is in the Philippines; it is called Huibi. Launched on August 12, it is headquartered in Manila and co-founded by Ya Tai International Holding Group.

Huobi Launches Partner Exchanges in Russia, Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, Canada
Huibi exchange in the Philippines.

Huibi lists three markets on its platform: USDT, BTC, and ETH. Eight trading pairs are available for the USDT market, seven for the BTC market, and 26 for the ETH market. There is no fiat support.

Huobi is also expanding its presence in the U.S. On Wednesday, August 15, the company announced that it “has entered into a strategic partnership, including a significant investment” with Openfinance Network, a US compliant security token trading platform launched earlier this summer. This follows Huobi’s recent attempt to enter the US market with the launch of Hbus exchange.

What do you think of Huobi and its partners launching exchanges in these countries? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Messaging firm Line launches a dedicated crypto fund

Messaging company Line is continuing to burrow deep into the crypto space after it announced the launch of a $10 million investment fund.

The fund will be operated by Line’s Korea-based blockchain subsidiary Unblock Corporation, which is tasked with research, education and other blockchain-related services. The fund will be called Unblock Ventures and it’ll initially have a capital pool of $10 million but Line said that is likely to increase over time.

The company said the fund will be focused on early-stage startup investments, but it didn’t provide further details.

Line is listed in Tokyo and on the NYSE. This fund makes it one of the first publicly traded companies to create a dedicated crypto investment vehicle. The objective, it said, is “to boost the development and adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.”

Line claims nearly 200 million users of its messaging app, which is particularly popular in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia. The company also offers a range of connected services that include payment, social games, ride-hailing, food delivery and more.

This marks Line’s second major crypto move this year following the launch of its BitBox exchange last month. It isn’t available in the U.S. or Japan right now but Line envisages closes ties with its messaging service and other features further down the line.

These moves into crypto come despite some serious downturn in the valuation of the space this year following record highs in January which saw the value of one Bitcoin touch nearly $20,000 and Ethereum, among others, surged. In the months since then, however, many cryptocurrencies have seen their valuations decline. This week, Ethereum dropped below $300 in what is its first major price crisis. Bitcoin has, for many years, risen and fallen although January’s valuations took the extremes to a new level.

Note: The author owns a small amount of cryptocurrency. Enough to gain an understanding, not enough to change a life.

Regulations Round-Up: Central Bank-Issued Digital Currencies, Regulatory Clarity

Regulations Round-Up: Central Bank-Issued Digital Currencies, Regulatory Clarity

In recent regulatory news, Spain’s Central bank has issued a report favoring the development of a central bank-issued digital currency (CBDC), the president of Taiwan’s central bank has advocated caution regarding CBDCs, the Blockchain Research Institute has published a summary of recent roundtable discussions calling for great regulatory clarity, and a Russian court has a warned a publishing company for breaching advertising legislation with an ad pertaining to cryptocurrencies.

Also Read: Brazil’s Pro Bitcoin Presidential Candidate: É Boa Pra Caramba!

Spanish Central Bank Report Favors Central Bank-Issued Digital Currency

Spain’s central bank, Banco de Espana, recently published a report that seeks to consider the potential impacts that cryptocurrency and distributed ledger technology may have upon the Spanish economy.

The report advocates that the introduction of a central bank-issued digital currency would allow Banco de Espana to more efficiently implement monetary policy, stating: “An argument that could be considered at the time of assessing the introduction of CBDC is related to the improvement in the conduction of monetary policy through a better control in the market returns that savers and borrowers have to face. Also, the possibility of eliminating the restrictions associated with the zero level of the interest rate is theoretically attractive, especially in an environment of low interest rates such as the current one.”

Taiwan Central Bank President Advocates Caution Regarding CBDCs

By contrast, the president of Taiwan’s central bank, Yang Jinlong, recently advocated that financial institutions adopt a cautious approach regarding the central bank-issued digital currency.

During the Finance Technology Ecology Summit, Mr. Jinlong stated: “The financial authorities should be cautious about issuing central bank digital currency (CBDC). We will continue to pay attention to this issue, as well as the development of virtual currency, which may also drive out the debating topic of whether the central bank should issue CBDC. At present, the international consensus towards CBDC is that the general CBDC to the general public should be treated with cautious because of the complexity of issues involved, including the technology, security, policies, and user privacy protection issues.”

DLT Think Tank Advocates for Clarity Regarding Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Regulation

Major distributed ledger technology (DLT) think tank, the Blockchain Research Institute, has published a report calling for increased regulatory clarity regarding DLT and cryptocurrencies.

The report, the “2018 Blockchain Regulation Roundtable,” drew upon discussions involving “executives from blockchain start-ups,” “senior representatives of various global banking and securities regulators,” “senior non-regulatory government officials,” “business leaders from various established industries that are experimenting with blockchain in their business models and practices,” and “lawyers, accountants, investment bankers, and other key industry professionals.”

The report emphasized four “core issues” pertaining to regulations that it calls to be addressed: “The lack of regulatory clarity, the obsolescence of statutes and regulations, the lack of a mechanism for meaningful dialogue between regulators and other stakeholders, and the lack of dialogue between financial service providers and blockchain entrepreneurs.”

The report makes six key recommendations, advocating that the roundtable participants “form a multistakeholder action committee, prepare all stakeholders and the public for self-sovereign identities and pass legislation to recognize digital identities as valid, institute a national regulator with oversight of the nascent industry rather than allow individual agencies to create their own regulations piecemeal, agree on distinctions among cryptoassets and regulate accordingly, discourage discrimination against blockchain entrepreneurs and support start-ups in the space, and encourage the formation of special interest groups to move governance issues forward across applications and domains.”

Russian Court Warns Publisher for Breaching Advertising Laws With Crypto Ad

The Eleventh Arbitration Court of Appeal in Moscow has warned a publishing company after one of its newspapers published cryptocurrency-related advertising deemed to be in violation of Russian laws.

The dispute involved Unity NK – the company producing the newspaper Unity Nizhnekamsk, The Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (OFAS) for Tatarstan, and the Volga-Vyatka Central Administration of the Central Bank of Russia. The case arose following the discovery of an advertisement in Unity Nizhnekamsk for “Invest[ment] in cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash” and the “Creation and setting up mining farms” by employees of Russia’s central bank – which then appealed to the Office of the Federal Antimonopoly Service due to concerns that Unity NK had violated advertising legislation.

The Tatarstan OFAS determined that “From the meaning of the content of the above advertising it follows that Blumchen Richard Timurovich [the owner the phone number provided in the advertisement] provided financial services, and not consulting,” and as such, Unity NK should be brought to administrative responsibility due to the ad’s failure to detail the name of the individual offering to provide financial services, as is mandated by Russian advertising legislation.

After initially considering fining Unity NK 50,000 rubles (approximately $738 USD), the court chose just to warn the company instead. “The court of first instance reasonably considered that the application of a fine of 50,000 rubles will be unjustifiably punitive, not corresponding to the gravity of the offense and the degree of guilt of the person brought to justice,” the judge stated. “The warning meets the general constitutional principles of punishment justice, its individualization, proportionality to the constitutionally established goals and protected legitimate interests, and is sufficient to implement the preventive nature of administrative liability measures.”

What is your opinion on central bank-issued digital currencies? Join the discussion in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Wikipedia, Pixabay

At Bitcoin.com 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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