It seems like the government of China is tightening up its regulation in regards to cryptocurrencies. In the latest news, the government prepares to further block access to more than 120 offshore cryptocurrency exchanges whose websites are still accessible by the Chinese.
The news first appeared on the South China Morning Post, which is a major financial news outlet, the authorities associated with the Leading Group of Internet Financial Risk Remediation – founded in 2016 by central bank officials – are apparently planning to begin blocking the IP addresses of the 124 cryptocurrency trading platforms that still serve the Chinese mainland residents.
Obviously, the goal for the government of China is to only allow access to domestic cryptocurrency exchanges. However, the entire action seems coordinated – starting from the earlier news that the authorities in Beijing raided shopping malls and hotels and stopped them from hosting cryptocurrency-related events.
As a cherry on the cake, the China-based social media giant WeChat also shut down the accounts run by at least eight blockchain and cryptocurrency media outlets for “violating the regulations from official Internet censors.”
Some analysts also said that these actions were made in order to ‘celebrate’ the one year anniversary of China’s initial coin offering (ICO) and crypto trading ban. What’s certain is that the regulation in China is tightening and more similar laws are expected in the future.
As a result of this, the bitcoin price declined by 3% while many other large-cap coins saw decreases of up to 6%.
SEC Shuts Down Two Crypto Startups For Illegal ICOs
“The orders impose $250,000 penalties against each company and include undertakings to compensate harmed investors who purchased tokens in the illegal offerings. The companies also will register their tokens as securities pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and file periodic reports with the Commission for at least one year. Airfox and Paragon consented to the orders without admitting or denying the findings.”The settlement also illustrates one non-fraud ICO case and the point 17 in the Paragon document illustrates a familiarity with token technicalities, reading:
“PRG tokens were distributed to purchasers on October 22, 2017, on the Ethereum blockchain using the ERC-20 protocol.”The Enforcement Co-Director at SEC, Steven Pelkin, also believes that the enforcement actions against Airfox and Paragon will help stimulate the registration of other US-based ICOs in advance of further non-fraud prosecution.
“By providing investors who purchased securities in these ICOs with the opportunity to be reimbursed and having the issuers register their tokens with the SEC, these orders provide a model for companies that have issued tokens in ICOs and seek to comply with the federal securities laws," he stated.
UK Research Shows That Private Blockchains And New EU Privacy Rules Might Go Well Together
“There is a risk that this legal uncertainty will have a chilling effect on innovation, at least in the EU and potentially more broadly. For example, if all nodes and miners of a platform were to be deemed joint controllers, they would have joint and several liability, with potential penalties under the GDPR.”However, blockchain operators could be treated like processors the same way the companies behind cloud technologies control the users’ data. Blockchain networks could store personal data externally to meet the rules of the privacy laws or allow nodes to delete the private key that has encrypted information. GDPR rules are really hard to comply with especially for crypto mining businesses which are why the researches urge the European Data Protection Board to create a guide of the protection law that will be clearer.
Thailand’s Deputy PM Calls For Enhancement Of Cryptocurrency Regulations
“The Revenue Department will waive value-added tax for people trading in cryptocurrencies on exchange markets approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC),” stated an excerpt of a report at the time.With this, the tax proposals of Thailand's Ministry of Finance also generated controversy over the fact that firms raising funds via ICOs would also be required to pay income tax on those funds.
$68 Million Worth Of Illegal ICOs Brought Down By The SEC Last Year
"Given the explosion of ICOs over the last year, we have tried to pursue cases that deliver broad messages and have the market impact beyond their own four corners.’’In the report also, the Division of Enforcement as a part of the SEC formed a new Cyber Unit that helped this agency focus on cyber-related misconduct. For this reason, the Commission managed to bring down more than 20 cases including those involving ICOs and the Division opened more than 200 cyber-related investigations some of which are still ongoing. Further, in the SEC report, we can read that:
"While many of these cases have involved allegations of fraud, the Division also has pursued enforcement actions to ensure compliance with the registration requirements of the federal securities laws. In the past year, the Division has opened dozens of investigations involving ICOs and digital assets, many of which were ongoing at the close of FY 2018."The Securities and Exchange Commission is now going after other crypto-related entities and startups that are unregistered or show up as unregistered brokers that facilitate token sales.
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