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Regulation

Officials From India Arrived In Japan & UK To Study Crypto Policies

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In the newest edition of our cryptocurrency expert analysis, we are talking about regulation. Specifically, India’s plans to officially regulate the crypto market.

Apparently India is ready to regulate the cryptocurrency trading market – and a proof of this is the fact that a group of officials recently visited the countries of Japan, Switzerland and UK all in order to study cryptocurrency regulations in the overseas markets – specifically the markets with major digital asset exchange activity and well-developed crypto communities.

It seems like businesses and associations in the cryptocurrency and blockchain sector are expected to participate in the hearing alongside the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in order to discuss the future of the cryptocurrency market in India.

We can all remember India’s activities regarding crypto in July this year – when the supreme court of India declined to reverse the ban on cryptocurrency trading that was imposed by the Central Bank of India, requesting banks to maintain their strict ban on providing any financial services to the businesses active in the crypto world.

However, the entrance of large-scale investment firms in the crypto market has led to an increase in the stability of India’s economy, mostly seen in the price movement of Bitcoin throughout August when it recorded the most stable month since June last year.

This increase, along with the fact that cryptocurrency exchanges are gaining more and more recognition, could give India a chance in this market. However, it would certainly take time, capital and resources to put such regulation in place.

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Regulation

State Of Wyoming Introduces New Bill That Aims To Define Cryptocurrencies As Money

A new bill that is meant to clarify the process of classification of cryptocurrencies is in the crypto news today, introduced in the US state of Wyoming on January 18th, as the official state legislature website first reported. The bill will place crypto assets in three categories:
  • digital consumer assets
  • digital securities and
  • virtual currencies
It will also define assets falling in any of these three categories as intangible personal property while granting cryptocurrencies the same treatment as fiat money. Aside from it, it authorises banks to "provide custodial services for digital assets consistent with this section upon providing sixty (60) days written notice to the commissioner.” The legislation will also allow banks to serve as qualified custodians in accordance with the regulations put in place by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). What's interesting is the fact that the state of Wyoming recently saw a surge in blockchain and crypto related legislation entering its legal system. According to some recent reports, a bill allowing corporations to issue blockchain-based tokens that represent stocks was introduced a couple of days ago. On a wider note, the state of Wyoming has passed two new house bills that aim to foster a new regulatory environment that is geared towards cryptocurrency and blockchain innovation.
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Regulation

South Africa Doesn’t Intend On Banning Crypto Trading

A consultation paper was issued by the South African Reserve Bank, showing the potential risks and benefits of cryptocurrencies and according to the official statement reaching in our crypto news, the paper was developed with the help of multiple government agencies. The document is titled ‘’Consultation Paper on Policy Proposals For Crypto Assets’’ and there you can see that the South African government makes clear that it doesn’t have a plan to ban cryptocurrencies or crypto trading for that matter. The paper proposes that all of the crypto trading platforms and payment service providers including crypto ATMs should register with the Intergovernmental FinTech Working Group that was established by the South African Government in order to foster fintech innovation. All of the crypto-related businesses will be obliged to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing requirements. Also, major state agencies such as the Financial Intelligence Center, Nationa Treasury, South African Revenue Service and the Central Bank of South Africa worked together to develop the consultation paper. The document will be opened to the public by the middle of February 2019. Back in January, the South African government launched a regulatory group that was only dedicated to blockchain and cryptocurrencies. We are waiting for the group to release a final research paper somewhere in the middle of 2019 according to the Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni. The Reserve Bank of South Africa also pointed out that it tested successfully the Proof-of-Concept that they are going to use in their interbank payment system using an Ethereum-based private blockchain.
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Regulation

Crypto Exchanges In Bulgaria Are Investigated: Government Asks For 10% On Profits

In today's crypto news, the government of Bulgaria is starting to investigate crypto exchanges to demand taxes from the profits that investors generated from trading digital assets such as Bitcoin and other altcoins. The National Revenue Agency (NRA) of Bulgaria has categorized cryptocurrencies as financial assets which incur a 10% tax on profit that individuals have to disclose on an annual basis. The main problem, however, with NRA's regulation of cryptocurrencies using the same policies is that it does not take into account the volatility of the emerging class. Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies are still in their infancy stage and the dominant digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum still demonstrate daily moves from 5% to 15%. Obviously, if an investor in Bulgaria is required to declare his profits on taxes on an annual basis, the decreasing price of Bitcoin could turn in a large negative return for the investor. Bulgarian authorities are now considering crypto assets to be anonymous and have already said that by doing that, it will be easy for investors to evade taxes in the crypto market. With the Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems integrated by all the local exchanges, however, it will be difficult to hide or confine any transactions from the authorities.
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Blockchain News

Accounts Of The First Digital Bank In India Closed After Involving In Crypto-Related Activity

Digibank, India’s first digital bank started closing accounts that allegedly were involved in crypto-related activities after a claim made on Twitter reached our crypto news today. The Twitter user ‘’IndianCryptoGirl’’ posted about this on January 14 but has also taken to the social media platform plenty details of the anti-crypto restrictions that were imposed on all of the account holders in India’s second largest bank Kotak Mahindra Bank. Both banks imposed strict measures related to the prohibition on domestic banks dealing with crypto businesses which were first announced by the central bank of India last July. According to the IndianCryptoGirl tweet, Digibank is a multinational financial services company which froze multiple accounts on its platform after it detected transactions from entities identified to be virtual currency traders or brokers. The Twitter user clarified:
 “I've been a user of DBS' Digibank for a year. Although I regularly used Kotak Mahindra Bank for my cryptocurrency transactions, I used Digibank only 7 times throughout the year. On January 14th, I received multiple messages from my twitter [sic] followers regarding an account closure notice by Digibank. I checked my mailbox and found the mail myself.”
However, Digibank stated:
 “Reserve Bank of India through their public notices have warned/advised the public regarding risks associated with virtual currencies. We reiterated the same vide our emails dated 4th May 2018 and 2nd Aug 2019, cautioning our account holders [against] the risks associated [...] and that DBS accounts and debit cards should not be used for their purchase or any kind of dealings.”
Many other users responded to the allegations that not only Digibank but many other banks are doing the same as well.
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