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Regulation

G20 Countries Sign A Declaration To Regulate Cryptocurrencies (Under FATF Standards)

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In the latest cryptocurrency news, we have the G20 Countries recently signed a joint declaration in Buenos Aires in order to regulate cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and combat their use for money laundering and financing of terrorism in line with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards.

The report was first published by Saudi Gazette, which cited the Section 25 of the declaration reading the following:

“We will regulate crypto-assets for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism in line with FATF standards, and we will consider other responses as needed.”

Meanwhile, FAFT is a set of standards created by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as a policy-making organisation that fights money laundering and the financing of terrorists. The organisation began to discuss ways to introduce binding rules that would govern the cryptocurrency exchanges around the world in a bid to accommodate new market realities.

As the G20 declaration reads, “other responses” were also considered, adding that it would seek “a consensus-based solution to address the impacts of the digitization of the economy on the international tax system with an update in 2019 and a final report in 2020.”

“The objective of the framework is to identify any emerging financial stability concerns in a timely manner. To this end, it includes risk metrics that are most likely to highlight suck risks, using data from public sources where available,” the FSB framework concludes.

The forum initially issued a communique in July and also has a regulator which is the Financial Stability Board (FSB) headed by Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England who is a fan of strict monitoring in the crypto sector and recently published a set of metrics that it would use to monitor and bring sanity to the crypto markets.

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Blockchain News

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

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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Regulation

CFTC Commissioner Believes In Creating A Self-Regulatory Crypto Structure

The United States Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Commissioner Brian Quintenz is in today’s crypto news after he suggested that all of the crypto industry participants should create a self-regulatory organization of some kind while he was speaking on the Bipartisan Policy Center Panel a week ago. To be more precise, Quintenz explained that CFTC has a lack of crypto statutory oversight and therefore suggested that all of the crypto platforms should form a type or an organization of some sort that will be self-regulatory where all of the participants can discuss, agree or disagree to implement rules or to audit. According to the commissioner, he believes that an organization of that type could carry out the audits concerning conflicts of interest, insider trading, custody, liquidity and business conduct. However, the CFTC commissioner also says that a self-regulatory organization is charted by Congress and saying that the organization would only be a mutual association between private companies in the crypto industry. A commissioner from the Securities and Exchange Commission, on the other hand, Hester Peirce, was also attending the panel and explained how confusing the current regulation is right now. Peirce said that the lack of regulation of the crypto market and especially bitcoin could be a reason not to approve a BTC ETF:
 “There are lots of markets that aren’t regulated, but we nevertheless build [derivative] products on top of them.”
Hester Peirce also pointed out that the delay in creating a crypto regulatory framework could mean more freedom for the industry to continue on its own.
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Regulation

SEC’s ‘ICO Guide’ With A Gloomy Outlook For Cryptocurrency In 2019

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is in the crypto news today after tweeting out the guidelines for the people launching and investing in ICOs. Named the 'ICO Guide' - SEC's paper comes a little too late of the cryptocurrency boom market. However, the document still focuses on Bitcoin, altcoins and cryptocurrencies, mimicking a gloomy outlook with at least one possible violation of the First Amendment on the part of the SEC. According to the SEC, a security is:
“A token or offering that promotes the likelihood for future returns based on the entrepreneurship or efforts of others.”
That said, it is no surprise that some prominent crypto executives have already begun declaring themselves as part of a "protocol" rather than a company over the recent months. One of them is Tron's Justin Sun who recently said:
“We can see that Tron is also more like a protocol rather than a company. I think that’s also introduced like a brand new concept of the protocol rather than a company institution or profit or entity.”
Sun also took the opportunity to promote his own projects, TRON and BitTorrent. According to the SEC, however, a crypto exchange would be in violation of securities laws even if it unknowingly facilitates the trade of security coins and tokens.
“If a platform offers trading of digital assets that are securities and operates as an “exchange,” as defined by the federal securities laws, then the platform must register with the SEC as a national securities exchange or be exempt from registration," an excerpt from the document reads.
As SEC also noted, it doesn't matter whether an exchange is centralized, proprietary or decentralized and autonomous - what matters is that unregistered buying and selling happens here.
“The activity that actually occurs between the buyers and sellers—and not the kind of technology or the terminology used by the entity operating or promoting the system—determines whether the system operates as a marketplace and meets the criteria of an exchange under Rule 3b-16(a).”
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Ethereum News

Crypto Exchange ErisX Files A Letter To CFTC To Regulate ETH Futures

Crypto exchange ErisX based in Chicago, filed a letter with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission of the United States that we take a closer look into our crypto news today as a response to the request of the agency for ETH mechanics and market feedback. The letter was submitted yesterday and focuses on the introduction of a regulated futures contract on Ether and how they will positively impact the growth of the market. ErisX is a traditional futures market reboot and will provide full support for BTC trading, eth and litecoin as well as futures contracts in the second half of 2019. The CFTC determined that Bitcoin is a commodity rather than security which makes it falls under the Securities and Exchange Commission rules. However, Ether was cleared of the securities classification in June 2018. ErisX pointed out:
‘’The difference between Ethereum and its predecessor saying that ‘’Ethereum built some of the architectural principles of Bitcoin to extend its functionality of a distributed, secured, record-keeping system to include new computational capabilities for the execution of arbitrary code.’’
The analysis from ErisX on the state of the ethereum market shows that there is lack of regulatory clarity that prevents regulated enterprises from entering the sector which will end up in a preponderance of ‘’unregulated or lightly regulated exchanges.’’ ErisX continued:
 “Not unique to Ether, but [may be exacerbated by] the current fragmented global market structure of trading platforms and ‘exchanges’ with significantly varying degrees of regulatory oversight and operational transparency and integrity.”
The exchange has appointed three veterans from YouTube, Barclays and the Chicago Board Options Exchange for the executive places in the company and is also expecting from Joseph Lubin of ConsenSys to join the board of directors.
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