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The Cyprus SEC Is Calling For EU Anti-Money Laundering Framework Implementation

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The Securities and Exchange Commission of Cyprus is calling for the implementation of the European Union’s Anti-Money Laundering Directive into the national law that will bring crypto regulation under its provisions according to the CySEC’s announcement that reached our crypto news today.

The EU directive first came into force last year on July 9 and set a new legal framework for the financial regulators in the European Union that monitor the crypto-related businesses in order to be able to protect the users, investors, and citizens from money laundering and financing terrorism.

Further, the directive extends its influence to crypto exchanges and wallet providers in order to enhance their transparency requirements that are conducted by anonymous parties whether that is payments done via exchanges or prepaid cards. All of the EU member states must adopt the directive into their national laws by 2020.

CySEC notes that its innovation hub received multiple reports from crypto-related entities that don’t fall under the existing regulatory framework. The agency is proposing to bring multiple additional areas of crypto-related activity in Cyprus under AML obligations such as:

 “a) exchange between crypto assets, b) transfer of virtual assets, and c) participation in and provision of financial services related to an issuer’s offer and/or sale of a crypto asset.”

Cyprus is one of the seven EU member countries that have already released a declaration that aims to promote the use of DLT in the region. Last fall, the national investment partner in the country, Invest Cyprus, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with VeChain Foundation from Singapore in order to work on multiple national level investment strategies that will be blockchain based.

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Blockchain News

China Outpaces US With 7,600+ Blockchain Patent Applications

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The latest blockchain news show that China outpaces the United States in this technology with more than 7,600 blockchain applications. This was confirmed on November 20 by the Japan-based financial newspaper Nikkei which reported that Chinese companies submitted around 7,600 applications between 2009 and 2018 which is about three times as many as the US-based companies.According to the Tokyo-based research firm Astamuse, the US, China, Japan, South Korea and Germany have together submitted around 12,000 blockchain related patent applications in 2018 - and China outpaces all the countries accounting for over 60% of the five-country total.Meanwhile, South Korea submitted close to 1,150 applications within the same time frame, while Japan submitted fewer than 380 applications. The Chinese retail giant Alibaba Group Holding took the lead amongst the ranking of corporate applicants compiled by Japan and its NGB based on data from Innography. The United Kingdom based nChain followed Alibaba closely with 468 applications, while the technology giant IBM so far has filed 248 applications.China outpaces many countries and is setting records in terms of blockchain tech applications. In November, the Chinese news program Focus Report pointed out that although there are around 32,000 companies in China that claim to use blockchain technology, the real number is not even 10% of that.According to the episode, China's blockchain industry is at the forefront of the world with the total number of blockchain enterprises being second only to the United States.Meanwhile, in October this year, China's President Xi Jinping called for the country to accelerate its adoption of blockchain technologies as central to innovation. Xi also noted that the implementation of integrated blockchain technologies is a key in promoting technological innovation and transforming industries.Another analyst and partner at the blockchain-focused venture capital fund Proof of Capital, Edith Cheung, also talked about how China outpaces US in terms of blockchain applications. Cheung noted that China will "definitely" deploy its new digital currency within the next six months to a year.
“I really think the United States needs to hurry up; to have a strong thinking and policy, at least a direction for virtual USD,” Cheung added and said that China hopes to become the first country worldwide that will issue a digital incarnation of its national currency.
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Blockchain News

LocalBitcoins CEO Reveals Company Adds 135,000 Users Each Month

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LocalBitcoins CRO Sebastian Sonntag stated in a recent interview that the platform is growing at a huge rate by attracting over 135,000 new users each month. In our crypto news today, we find out more about the further growth plan.The advancements of the crypto industry are becoming much more apparent as the years go by. Plenty of new exchanges are emerging and the number of cryptocurrencies is getting bigger and bigger every day. The industry has even made some great technological breakthroughs. The interest in crypto trading and especially in the P2P trading is growing as well according to the LocalBitcoins CEO who admitted that the company is expanding and that the user base is gaining 4,000 to 5,000 users each day.Sonntag answered a few questions about the LocalBitcoins platform and the altcoin market regulations but also the many challenges that the crypto world is facing right now.  When talking about LocalBitcoins, the CEO stated that the company is going through a transitional period and that the company is growing rapidly by working to catch up with the sharp increase in support queries by hiring more staff and investing in the training of the staff as well.However, he did explain that the company’s plans for the near future do not include wallets for altcoins even the ones that are among the top 10 largest coins. The platform does work on improving itself mainly because of the adoption in various regions. Sonntag also noted that his platform enabled multiple simultaneous open trades recently which made the trading more convenient and much faster. The changes were received positively by the users.The LocalBitcoins CEO addressed the topic of crypto regulations and he noted that his platform has always been taking steps to respond to legal requirements for all jurisdictions in which it operates. However, the platform does not serve the US clients right not but it is working on a piece of legal advice on what they can do to change that. Apart from the US and other regions, the platform is one of the exchanges that have the widest reach in the industry. He believes that the platform’s main goal is to boost user education about crypto and cybersecurity as well.
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Bitcoin News

CFTC Chair Is Extremely Bullish On Blockchain And Bitcoin

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CFTC Chair is extremely bullish on blockchain and bitcoin since the last couple of years have seen some of the national governments struggling with how to regulate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Some of the governments even got extremely hostile to virtual currencies while others were more accepting.The United States was among the regulation confusion but the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is one of the agencies that are actually supportive of the leading cryptocurrency and blockchain. This bullish view was reinforced by the CFTC chair when he appeared on the CNBC’s ‘’The Exchange.’’As we are seeing today in the blockchain news, the governments and financial officials across the world have been extremely hostile towards Bitcoin but the CFTC chair is bullish towards both. He expressed the view that the agency is concerned with the regulation regarding anti-money laundering and preserving the integrity of the entire marketplace. The reason for the regulation is to make sure that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can continue innovation.Heath Tarbert answered why the government officials in Washington got scared over Libra but not about Bitcoin since the leading cryptocurrency has been around for ten years and is fully understood how it actually works. On the contrary, Libra is still developing and has a lot of unanswered questions about the overall structure. Tarbert also noted that Bitcoin is not considered as legal tender such as the US dollar but a commodity. Cryptocurrencies are still under the jurisdiction of the CFTC due to the Commodity Exchange ACT and this is why the BTC futures trading is approved by the CFTC.Tarbert noted that Bitcoin could break out if the governments start accepting Bitcoin as a legitimate payment option and the state of Ohio was even the first one to accept BTC for tax payments but the state has since discontinued the program. During the appearance on CNBC, Tarbert stressed that the US should put much more effort to be the world’s leader when it comes to blockchain and he said that blockchain could even overtake the internet or at least be parallel with it. He added:
 “I think whoever ends up leading in this technology will end up writing the rules of the road for the rest of the world. My emphasis is on making sure that the United States is a leader.”
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Blockchain News

Protocol Provider Bison Trails Secures Funds By Blockchain Capital

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Blockchain Protocol provider Bison Trails managed to secure a $25 million Series A funding led by the Blockchain Capital platform that aims to develop the firm’s infrastructure services as we are reading further in the blockchain news.Coinbase Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, ConsenSys, A Capital, Collaborative Fund and Sound Ventures joined as new investors while the early backers including Galaxy Digital and initialized made follow-up investments after the $5.25 million seed round back in March. The protocol provider Bison trails decided to disclose any further financial terms of the deal.The A-series round came after the startup got included as one of the top 21 rounding members for Facebook’s Libra association in October which boosted the reputation as a global infrastructure service provider as the CEO Joe Lallouz said:
 “As the only blockchain infrastructure firm in the Libra project, we'll contribute to building the new system with Facebook.’’
Formed back in 2018, the New York-based startup used the protocols to help the customers deploy the participation nodes on the blockchain, without having to develop their own security, dev ops and new infrastructures and engineering competencies:
"We have become the easiest way to run infrastructure on multiple blockchains, and helped other protocols, companies and builders launch and manage distributed nodes on blockchain network.’’
Bison Trails’ investors stated they were betting on the increased utility of the company’s infrastructure services. Kleiner Perkins’ Monica Desai said:
 “Bison Trails realized early that node infrastructure would become a bottleneck to blockchain adoption, which is why they created a decentralized, user-friendly solution.’’
The COO of Coinbase Ventures Emilie Choi said that the crypto networks will have to continue to move towards the active network participation models such as voting, staking and signaling which will reinforce the need for the solutions such as those that Bison Trails provides. Nervos, on the other hand, completed a $72 million token sale and launched the mainnet earlier this month thus providing the infrastructure for companies to build the projects on the chain. The interchain foundation has dedicated the resources to develop its inter-blockchain communication protocol.Lallouz said that the equity raise will keep the interests in line with the ones of the customers:
 “Without our own blockchain or tokens, we can actually better focus on offering the secured and scalable infrastructure layer for any blockchain platform with the new funding.”
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