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China, Iran And Venezuela Are Developing Crypto To Dethrone US: Study

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The latest cryptocurrency news show that the American geopolitical adversaries are banking on blockchain technology in order to help and skirt the sanctions while countering the U.S. financial power. A report shows that China, Iran and Venezuela are among the countries which are developing cryptocurrency in order to dethrone US.

Governments in Iran, China, Venezuela and Russia are all experimenting with the technology which underpins the crypto market, as the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) wrote in a comprehensive analysis released on Thursday.

The study on China, Iran and Venezuela’s plans notes:

“Blockchain technology may be the innovation that enables U.S. adversaries for the first time to operate entire economies outside the U.S.-led financial system,” the organization wrote. “These governments, therefore, are prioritizing blockchain technology as a key component of their efforts to counter U.S. financial power.”

Even though they are extremely volatile and not fully accepted as payments everywhere, cryptocurrencies are a booming market. Many best cryptocurrency news sites noted that Bitcoin (BTC) prices have soared up by over 200% so far this year, ramping up a lot of expectations of even more gains heading as the year ends.

In the altcoin news, the initiatives are welcomed. Even though most of the cryptocurrencies are still in their infancy and haven’t been adopted for widespread usage, the development of blockchain protocol has serious future implications – especially for China, Iran and Venezuela.

“Technology has created a potential pathway to alternative financial value transfer systems outside of U.S. control. The target timeline may be two to three decades, but these actors are developing the building blocks now,” the FDD said in the report.

“They envision a world in which cryptocurrency technology helps them eclipse U.S. financial power, much the way that the dollar once eclipsed the British pound,” FDD also added.

As the FDD concluded:

“A U.S. adversary has enough success with blockchain technology in its domestic banking system that it exports its platform to other nations to integrate into their financial sectors.”

Earlier this week, the South China Morning Post reported that Facebook’s plans for Libra are becoming a force multiplier for Beijing’s efforts to create its own digital unit.

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Libra coin news

US Treasury Agrees That Libra Has To Be Observed

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The US treasury department agreed that the Libra crypto project has to be observed since the need for an investigation into Facebook’s forthcoming stablecoin is growing according to the letter from the Representative Emanuel Cleaver as we are about to find out more in the Libra coin news today.According to a press release published by the Congressman Cleaver, the US Treasury provided an affirmative response to Cleaver’s appeal to examine Libra and the wallet Calibra for potential systemic risk. Cleaver sent the letter to the social media giant- Facebook, Calibra, the Office of Financial Research and the Financial Stability Oversight Council. In September, Facebook stated that it would postpone the launch of the cryptocurrency until the regulators approve it.The Department of Treasury responded to Cleaver’s request and noted that Libra has to be compliant with Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism guidelines as well as Bank secrecy act requirements. The US Treasury questioned the ability of both US and foreign regulators to oversee Libra and require corrective action because the issues have to be addressed before Libra is launched.The agency added that it will monitor Libra and the cryptocurrency market in order to address the possible regulatory gaps. Cleaver stated:
 “It is absolutely critical that any effort to launch a cryptocurrency be met with the most stringent of examinations to ensure such an endeavor does not pose a systemic risk to the global economy. I appreciate Facebook’s willingness to work with federal regulators as the company seeks to launch Libra, which has the potential to update—or upend—our financial system. As Facebook works down this regulatory road, it is imperative that we affirm that terror financing and money laundering is not advanced through Libra, and, according to FSOC, significant concerns remain.”
Cleaver received the letter one day before the Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the House Financial Services Committee regarding Libra. At the hearing, the representative Tim Mahoney asked Zuckerberg to commit to keeping libra from all of the wallets that maintain lower standards of Know Your Customer and AML Controls than those Facebook is promising for its wallets. It's important that the US Treasury agrees to monitor Libra so we will see what the other agencies will think.
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Regulation

Governments Should Regulate Stablecoins – Not Destroy Them: Research

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Governments should regulate stablecoins since the recent developments with blockchain-based payment systems and stablecoins have been long under scrutiny from the regulators and policymakers. Let’s read more in the altcoin news today.Some of the projects do hit the headlines such as the People’s Bank of China proposal for a digital currency backed yuan which could be used across major payment platforms such as WeChat and Alipay. The global competition for the next wave of financial innovation is also on fire as China, Japan and much of Europe have moved to embrace mobile wallets and contactless payments via credit cards and other smart devices.The consumers see financial innovation while trying to break down legacy inefficiencies and to also increase access and lower the cost of financial services. While many of the cryptocurrencies have been vehicles for financial speculation because of their volatility, the new stablecoins move closer to meeting the consumer demands for improved security and faster transaction options. However, people are still concerned with protecting their funds and controlling their data and this is why governments should regulate the sector.In such cases, the major developed economies of the world to help shape the regulatory framework around the financial innovations to address consumer protection concerns and also compliance. This is what the international regulators and entities such as the IMF, G20, and FATF. The G7 working group report on stablecoins published last week made it clear that consumer participation in financial services is dramatically changing and innovation will still continue to expand.The reports also show that the financial regulators understand the need for a viable framework for the new stablecoin projects that seek to transform digitally native interactions with value and money. They have a very strong role for the public and private sectors in innovation to reduce friction and recognize the network effects that the mobile networks have already achieved to do.  The reports also argue that the biggest concern that will need to be satisfied with regard to the potential for market manipulation is the risk that the coins pose to legacy systems and the lack of a clear global regulatory framework.The fear is that the stablecoins while still decentralized could undermine the entire banking system and strengthen money launderers or cause cracks in the global monetary system.
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800 South Korean Companies Work With Crypto: Report

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Despite the "dead market" which is a major topic in the cryptocurrency news these days as analysts suggest, a report shows that over 800 South Korean companies are doing business in cryptocurrencies. The figures were compiled by the regulatory Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).According to reports by Aju News, a parliamentary committee asked the FSS to reveal how many companies in the country had corporate cryptocurrency exchange-linked accounts with domestic banks.The FSS surveyed 19 commercial banks in South Korea, discovering that there are now over 800 South Korean corporate cryptocurrency accounts in operation. This marks a huge increase from the last time FSS surveyed banks. As a reminder, back in 2015 there were only 156 banks.
“Banks are managing cryptocurrency transactions despite the fact that the government does not officially recognize cryptocurrencies as having value. The government has been flip-flopping on its cryptocurrency policy for two years – it’s high time it made up its mind about where it stands on cryptocurrencies,” the report showed.
The data also shows that the overwhelming majority of corporate cryptocurrency exchange account customers are banking with Shinhan Bank, which right now has 257 business clients.On the second place we can see the IBK Bank with 136 clients, followed by Kookmin Bank with 120, Woori Bank with 115 and KEB Hana Bank with 75 clients, respectively. All of the banks have alunched crypto and/or blockchain business arms in recent years. At one point, Shinhan was hoping to introduce a cryptocurrency custody service - which is a plan that it has but is shelved due to the Moon Jae-in government's cryptocurrency crackdown which occurred in 2017 and 2018.Right now, the reports show that over 800 South Korean companies  deal with crypto. However, pundits in the East Asian region claimed that business in South Korea is "dead" with high saturation and what they call "low volatility."According to Dovey Wan who is a founding partner at the California-based investment company Primitive Ventures, while the market leader Bithumb has been keeping a relatively low profile in its home country, it is definitely pushing ahead with its planned overseas expansion.https://twitter.com/DoveyWan/status/1186285865326141441In contrast, there were some Twitter users who agreed that South Koran speculators "have their hands in their pockets."
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Regulation

FinCEN Chief: Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Laws Apply To Crypto Too

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The United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and its director Kenneth Blanco spoke at the University of Georgetown recently where he made it clear that the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws directly apply to everyone. The FinCEN chief said that fintech firms offering cryptocurrency users anonymity must comply with AML "just like everyone else."As reported in the banking trade publication American Banker, Blanco seemed confident towards anonymous crypto payment systems that could conceal the criminal activity and/or enable users to anonymously engage in any type of criminal behaviour.The FinCEN chief was also in the cryptonews for stating that the key objective of the AML policy is to obtain information about who is involved in a payment transaction. As he noted:
"There is a reason you want to know ... the person on the other side of that transaction — they might be dealing in some kind of illicit activity. Whether it’s opioids ... or human smuggling on the other side ... you want to know who that person is.”
Blanco also told the audience that it is not hard to obtain this type of information. “All we’re asking for is name, address, account number, transaction, recipient, and amount,” the FinCEN chief pointed, adding:
“So when you tell me you don’t know who’s on the other side, you’ve got a big problem. Because you are required to know, and that is what our expectation is going to be."
Earlier this month, the chairmen of three primary financial regulators in the US released a joint statement in which they warned crypto users of AML and combating the Financing of Terrorism obligations. Led by the FinCEN chief, they reminded that crypto companies that they are subject to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). As Blanco said in this regard:
"Your BSA obligations are still going to be there [...] Whether you're stablecoin, centralized, decentralized — [it] doesn’t matter. You’ll still have to be able to comply."
Even though Blanco did not say anything worth mentioning in the Libra coin news, he did make it clear that as far as FinCEN is concerned, there is no distinction between stablecoins and other types of cryptocurrency.As of recently, US House of Representatives has passed a bill that calls for FinCEN to study blockchain technology in its fight against financial crime.
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