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Regulation

European Asset Manager Encourages Regulators To Outlaw Crypto

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The head of Allianz Global Investors (GI) Andreas Utermann is in the latest crypto news, mainly because of his recent call for a Bitcoin/crypto ban that occurred during a conference held in London.

The CEO of Allianz GI directed his thoughts towards Andrew Bailey who is the head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, stating:

“You should outlaw it [crypto]. I am personally surprised that regulators haven’t stepped in harder.”

Recently, the G20, which is a global forum that hosts government officials from 20 of the largest world economies, came to a consensus to regulate the crypto space primarily and ensure that digital assets are not used to fund criminal activities or launder money. As a declaration released by the G20 stated:

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

With this initiative to regulate crypto, many governments could refrain from imposing a blanket ban on this industry. Doing so could leave governments in the dark while individuals and institutions continue to use consensus currencies for different use cases.

So, the need for building a sustainable crypto ecosystem is bigger than ever. Some smaller economies such as Malta, Singapore and Switzerland have recently brought multi-billion dollar businesses and fast-growing startups by doing so.

Still, the risk of money laundering and crime financing is still big – mainly seen through two banks (Danske and Deutsche Bank) which suffered two big scandals that surpass the entire market cap of cryptocurrencies.

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Regulation

Korean Government Will Impose Crypto Capital Gains Tax In 2020

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The Korean Government will impose crypto capital gains tax starting in 2020 after the country prepared the legal tools to tax from the very sale of crypto assets as we are reading further in the coming crypto news.Until recently, the Korean Government was one of the most active markets for crypto speculation but there was still not a completed framework to tax capital gains from the sale of digital assets as per the Korea Times. The Ministry of Economy and Finance also started working on creating a measure that will become a tax bill from 2020. An official from the Economic Ministry said:
 “Related discussions have been taking place. The revised bill will be drawn up by the first half of next year.”
The Korean national assembly also worked on a crypto taxation bill and the bill was aiming to increase the transparency on all parts of the process of trading digital coins. However, Korea will not try to tax capital gains from the sale of digital assets. If the new legislation follows the usual approach to taxing capital gains, the people of Korea will have to supply a detailed history of crypto trading deals. The virtual currency exchange will also have to keep separate records for each user as well as detailed personal information.Most of the crypto exchanges already have a KYC procedure for the number of coins traded. The Korean trades also will link the accounts to bank accounts and trade directly in Korean won and also the decentralized exchanges or obscure markets and it is impossible to trade anonymously this year. The taxing of Bitcoin and other digital coins will counter to the crypto spirit which is seen as existing beyond the national-backed fiat. However, the sale of virtual coin generates the fiat gains and is deemed taxable. But the idea of collecting a database of transactions and ownership which looks likes another attempt to try and control Bitcoin.The Korean Government will boost the interest in crypto trading after it got low in 2019 and a part of the slide comes from the lowered activity on the markets. Bitcoin however still remains attractive and remains one of the chief sources of gains for this year. Korea joined the long list of countries that have turned to track crypto transactions.
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Regulation

SEC Asks The English High Court To Force Telegram’s Advisor To Testify

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SEC Asks
SEC asks the High Court in England and Wales to put pressure on the Telegram former chief investment advisor John Hyman in order for him to testify in the case over the company’s Gram tokens offering. Let’s see further in the blockchain news below.As per the reports by the crypto news media reported today, the SEC requested from the court and that could be seen by the documents filed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission at first with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York Yesterday. The SEC truly believes that the Telegram Gram tokens were and still are unregistered securities. According to the regulator, Telegram claimed that the Grams Purchase agreements didn’t claim the same about the tokens at all as it was mentioned in the agreement and it even stated that ‘’in any event, the exemption from registration under Regulation D is not available for Telegram.’’As per the filing, the SEC asks the court to obtain Hyman’s testimony because of his involvement in the fundraising efforts of the company. He reportedly communicated with more than a dozen investors in the Telegram Open Network. According to the documents, Telegram’s CEO Pavel Durov defined him in January last year as the person who ‘’runs the distribution of the grams tokens.’’The US regulator then requested the UK authorities to issue a letter of request for Hyman’s deposition since he is a United Kingdom citizen and lives there as well. According to the filing as well, the SEC attorney contacted Hyman’s counsel and he even agreed to appear for a voluntary deposition. However, Hyman’s counsel later ‘’refused to return multiple phone calls and emails regarding the deposition.’’  Aside from his testimony, the SEC is also looking to obtain copies of Hyman’s written communications with investors and leaders of the company as well as documents about the employments there and the investment in grams.At the end of November, the United States federal judge preserved the SEC’s move to strike Telegram’s defense ‘’for vagueness/lack of notice.’’ The documents also contained email communication between Durov and the potential Grams token buyers which includes communications with Kleiner Perkin’s partner Mamoon Hamid who was introduced to Durov by a person named Jared Leto (still uncertain whether it was the singer and actor himself).
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Regulation

Ukraine Passed Crypto Law On Money Laundering Per FATF Guidelines

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Ukraine passed a new law that will combat money laundering and will also handle virtual assets and service providers as per the FATF guidelines. Let’s find out more about the latest cryptocurrency news.Only yesterday, the Rada, the legislative body of Ukraine passed the new, final version of the law that considers virtual assets to be a store of wealth while also making sure to recognize the potential use in financial crimes such as money laundering, financing of terrorists and fraud. The new law includes some of the new FATF guidelines on how the government aims to regulate and monitor closely the trading of cryptocurrencies. One of the rules mostly focuses on individual crypto transactions worth less than 30,000 hryvnyas from which the government will collect the public key of the sender just so they can monitor closely.However, once the transactions surpass that amount, the government will apply verification for both the sender and the receiver. The process will also include identity verification as well as the verification of the nature of the business relationship itself. For VASP’s the threshold is standing above the 40,000 hryvnya which is about $1,600 in USD. In this case, VASP’s should provide information to the authorities when traders are registered in a jurisdiction that they don’t comply with the anti-money laundering recommendations or when the traders are family members or foreigners.As per the previous reports, Konstantin Yarmolenko of Blockchain4Ukraine commented about the Ukrainian law. Also, one of the biggest crypto exchanges Binance is now collaborating with Ukranian authorities to establish cryptocurrency-related legislations. Binance even signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine just so they can work together on the legal status of cryptocurrencies.The CEO and co-founder of Binance, Changpeng Zhao commented that the legalization of cryptocurrencies and the adoption of progressive legislation will play the most important role in bringing positive growth in the economy as well as attract more investments. As a part of the agreement, Binance along with the Ministry will form a working group that will focus on the strategy to implement blockchain as well as to create a new virtual asset class and virtual currencies market in the country.
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Regulation

Central Banks May Be “Bluffing” The Issue Of Their Coins: Report

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The recent headlines in the cryptocurrency news show that central banks around the world are planning to or in the process of creating their own digital currencies. These coins, by their disruptive nature, are seen as something big and something that would attract the attention for people. With Facebook's plans to launch the Libra coin, there are even more challenges to their monetary authority and uncertainty about how the money will be used in the years to come. One report from the Financial Times shows that despite all the good talks, central banks may be in a state of "elaborate bluff" about the launch of their own coins.It was Christine Lagarde as the member of the European Central Bank (ECB) who gave a contradictory position this week, telling the European Parliament that central bank-issued digital currencies (CBDCs) were "an area where we don't have to rush slowly" (in her own words).“There is clearly a demand and there is clearly a technology that would support it, but clearly there are also risks for the international monetary system and financial stability at large,” she added.According to Lagarde, central banks may be bluffing their moves about this. Even though the Libra news recently showed that the stablecoin can make payments quicker, cheaper and easier for the 2.5 plus billion users that Facebook has, reports show that the main concern around Libra is that it may dilute the main power of central banks - which is their ability to control the supply of money.Benoît Cœuré, who is the ECB director leading the G7 working group on the Libra, recently likened Facebook's digital currency to an "elephant in the sandbox" and the French finance minister Bruno Le Maire also added that the country could ban the Libra soon.In a speech earlier this year, Benoît Cœuré touched on the possibility of the ECB issuing its own digital currency and said  that “potential central bank initiatives should not discourage or crowd out private market-led solutions for fast and efficient retail payments in the euro area.”Still, central banks may be bluffing this and with all the contradictions being apparent, this could just be a distraction as they secretly hope for the private sector to come up with solutions that make issuing a CBDC unnecessary altogether.
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