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Regulation

French Stock Market Watchdog Blacklists Four Crypto-Related Websites

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The Financial Markets Regulator (AMF) of France has decided to put four crypto-related websites on its blacklist and in today’s crypto regulation news we find out more.

The French stock market watchdog blacklisted these four websites for alleged unauthorized investment offerings according to an official statement.

The financial markets regulator noted nine other companies that are also operating without the much needed regulatory approval including these four crypto-related websites. In the announcement, the regulator makes a clear warning to investors about the increasing number of investment projects that go unregistered by saying that ‘’new unauthorized actors appear regularly’’.

The websites which found themselves on the blacklist of the financial market regulator are iminage.com, elos-patrimoine.com, infoconso.info, and live-crypto.com.net. Elos-Patrimoine offers a ‘’risk-free’’ crypto investment while promising professional collaboration and support since they have a ‘’long experience’’ in all of the investments areas.

The other websites were related to the wine industry and one even offering investments in diamonds.

The French stock market watchdog is an independent institution that offers protection to investors and maintains the order of the financial market. This institution cooperated with the French Central Bank so they can warn the people of France about the risks associated with speculative crypto assets.

Back in November, the Financial Market Regulator released a report about the initial coin offering industry claiming that this industry represents a tiny part of the entire ICO market. According to the report, France is accounted for almost $100 million raised in 15 ICO projects.

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Regulation

SEC Commissioner: BTC ETF Will Be Approved When The Industry Matures

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SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson who is a bitcoin skeptic, says that the agency will approve Bitcoin ETFs once the industry matures. According to him, the agency has some disagreements over how to regulate crypto but in the altcoin news below we will find out how the issues can be solved. The SEC Commissioner is suspicious of bitcoin but did mention that the agency will look into cryptocurrency more favourable only when the market becomes more liquid and transparent but also once the big players join. He noted:
 “When the markets reach that stage, I fully believe we’ll have an SEC that’s ready to move forward with approving [a bitcoin ETF].”
The SEC rejected a bitcoin ETF application twice which was submitted by the Winklevoss Twins who own the New York-based crypto exchange Gemini. Both of the rejections stated that the failure to demonstrate how their Bitcoin ETF could prevent fraud is one of the reasons for it. In May 2019, the SEC denied a VanEck Bitcoin ETF once again and it seems that it won’t be accepting any soon. Jackson claims that the regulator is considering whether to approve crypto proposals mainly because it wants to protect the consumers from scams. Also, he noted that the crypto industry has not yet fulfilled the ‘’basic market requirements’’ in order to enable mass trading. However, the SEC Commissioner will step down from the agency in order to teach at NYU Law School this year. While Jackson is the crypto skeptic in the company, his friend and colleague Hester Peirce is among the bitcoin-friendly people and was named the Crypto Mom on one occasion. Jackson pointed out:
 “We have to take principles that are 80 years old and 90 years old and apply them to [brand-new] technology. And we often disagree about exactly how to do that.”
Pierce was the only one of the five commissioners who wanted to approve the Bitcoin ETF application submitted by the Winklevoss twins in 2018. She said that the rejection would stifle innovation in this industry and the SEC will be in a very weird position for the investors. The agency launched a major crackdown on fraudulent ICOs and Jackson blamed the law companies as noted in the latest cryptocurrency news, for the many ICOs that rolled out in the industry and turned out to be fraudulent.
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Regulation

South Korean Exchanges Increase Liability Following Demands From Regulators

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Five South Korean exchanges have taken on new responsibilities for user losses, going in line with the regulators' demands. According to the local English-language news outlet The Korea Herald and its reports on June 17 (citing Yonhap News Agency), the reported situation in the altcoin news is very important in the country. Also, it comes a year after the Fair Trade Commission requested Bithumb as well as four other platforms to adapt their policies. All of the South Korean exchanges will now hold themselves accountable if user funds are being stolen. Moreover, the latest cryptocurrency news show that the onus for paying out will be in line with the exchanges - even if no willful or gross negligence occurs on their part, as Korea Herald stated. Before this, South Korean exchanges only reimbursed users if it was proven that their own systems were at fault and were responsible for the mistakes. However, the changes come after a lot of new regulations in the domestic exchange sector. This is especially applicable to Bithumb, which suffered a hack of user funds over the past year.
“The overstatement of trading volumes by cryptocurrency exchanges, and by implication the understatement of the importance of listed futures, suggests that market structure has likely changed considerably since the previous spike in Bitcoin prices in end-2017 with a greater influence from institutional investors,” JPMorgan wrote in a piece that speaks about Bitcoin futures and regulations.
As we reported earlier this year, increasing security for South Korean platforms is also important due to the increased risk of cyberattacks from the neighboring North Korea. Last month, for example, there was a phishing scam that targeted users of the South Korean exchange Upbit - and was later confirmed to be work of North Korean state actors. At the same time, the coming altcoin news reported that a lot of South Korean exchanges were reporting gross losses for 2018 mostly because of the bear market. Data showed that only the Upbit crypto exchange made profits. Coinnest, for example, has shut down altogether in May this year. All in all, South Korean crypto exchanges have always been a hot topic reported by many best cryptocurrency news sites - especially because of the tight regulation and variety of users.
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Regulation

Indian Central Bank Denies Knowledge Of Proposed Crypto Ban Bill

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Indian Central bank denied the allegations of the proposed crypto ban bill that would make the use and ownership of crypto in the country entirely illegal. The reports that we have in our coming altcoin news, give us a broader picture of the issue. According to the reports that surfaced last week, the Indian lawmakers are working on legislation that could impose a 10-year prison sentence for anyone that is caught holding, using or owning cryptocurrency. During the research, the Indian Central Bank responded to a Right to Information request that was initially filed on June 4 by a blockchain-specialized lawyer. The bank noted that it was not communicating with the governmental agencies during the entire process and it didn’t even receive a copy of the bill. The regulating of Bitcoin and blockchain in India has been going on and off over the past period with multiple threats of bans being introduced by government initiatives as well as the regulatory sandbox from the RBI itself. Although the Indian Central Bank denied the knowledge of the crypto bill ban, it did not necessitate that the reports are false. However, it is worth mentioning that the high level of participation from the bank itself in previous crypto matters. The bill outlines this harsh punishment for anyone involved in any way with cryptocurrencies. The Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill noted that the offenders will be sentenced with a non-bailable sentence as mentioned previously in the latest cryptocurrency news. The bill also noted that the degree of punishment will be appropriate to the portfolio of the user. The harsh nature of the bill continues to state that the fines are decided by the courts which also state that they will be three times as much harsh as the profit that the person made from crypto in the first place:
 “The penalty imposed on the accused, according to the bill, shall be either thrice the loss caused to the system, or three-fold the gains made by him/her, whichever is higher. If the loss or gain can’t be reasonably determined, the maximum fine that can be imposed may be notified by the government.’’
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Regulation

Financial Action Task Force Wants To Turn BTC Exchanges Into Banks

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Financial Action Task Force or the FATF aims to make about 200 countries around the world to treat bitcoin exchanges like banks. The latest cryptocurrency news comes today after the reports published on June 11. The intergovernmental body reported that it wants to change how national regulators should treat all of the business which are dealing with cryptocurrencies and that the update will go public on the 21st of the month. It’s not really clear all the way but experts believe that anyone who deals with cryptocurrencies and who exchanges more than 1000 EUR worth of bitcoin will have to provide personal information. For the business who act as exchanges and asset managers, the requirements are that the recipient of the funds must be identified which is a thing that many have insisted on doing but it is impossible with decentralized cryptocurrencies. The financial action task force can only make ‘’recommendations’’ and their applications will vary depending on the jurisdiction of the authorities. For the countries that are not compliant, they can expect to be blacklisted or removed from the entire financial system. Eric Turner, the director of research at crypto research firm Messari noted:
 “Their recommendation could have a much larger impact than the SEC or any other regulator has had to date.”
He also added that the problem was ‘’one of the biggest threats to crypto today.’’ Also, the FATF announced previously an incremental approach to crypto management in 2018:
 “As part of a staged approach, the FATF will prepare updated guidance on a risk-based approach to regulating virtual asset service providers, including their supervision and monitoring; and guidance for operational and law enforcement authorities on identifying and investigating illicit activity involving virtual assets.“
As reported previously in the coming altcoin news, the G20 members pledged to implement the suggestions by the FATF in full and as the deadline approaches, crypto entities are now sounding the alarm noting that an apparent ineptitude on the FATF side will get them.  However, crypto users are not sure what this means. Many stay strong on the stance that Bitcoin is not a bank and is not SWIFT. Bitcoin is also not considered as money and it is just a database. Many want to make sure they keep Bitcoin that way.
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