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Regulation

IMF Chief: Distributed Ledger Technologies Are Shaking The System

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The managing director and chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde is in the crypto news today because of her statement in which she stated that blockchain innovators are shaking the traditional financial world and having a clear impact on incumbent players.

Lagarde made her comments in an interview that was hosted by CNBC on April 10 following a panel discussion that was focused on “Money and Payments in the Digital Age” which was also part of the 2019 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the IMF in Washington, D.C.

Lagarde moderated the list of contributors to the preceding panel. She invited the co-founder and CEO of the cryptocurrency firm Circle, the CFO of Consumer & Community Banking at JPMorgan Chase named Sarah Youngwood, the European Central Bank’s (SCB) Benoit Coeure and Patrick Njoroge – the governor of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).

According to Lagarde, financial disruptors are now having a clear impact on the incumbents. She said that they are reshaping the system from within, all while pointing to JPMorgan Chase’s move to launch its own digital coin.

“I think the role of the disruptors and anything that uses distributed ledger technology, whether you call it crypto assets, currencies or whatever — and it’s far from the Bitcoins we used to talk about a year ago — that is clearly shaking the system,” she stated.

She also noted that blockchain has a transformative potential and that there are many assets that have so far been embraced by regulators and central banks. According to Lagarde, all of these entities recognize the positive effects that new inventions can offer for the business model of commercial banks. However, she also voiced a word of caution and stated:

“We have to be mindful of two things: trust, and the stability of the system […] we don’t want innovation that would shake the system so much that we would lose the stability that is needed.”

All of this puts the world of cryptocurrencies in the middle of being a fad and a revolution, according to Lagarde’s comments. However, everyone agreed that these markets need to be regulated by the same laws that apply to the traditional sector.

 

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Regulation

Israel Bitcoin Association Wants Local Banks To Disclose Crypto Policies

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The latest cryptocurrency news show that Bitcoiners in Israel are prepared to change a lot of things in their country. According to the Israel Bitcoin Association which is a nonprofit promoting the use of Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto, a freedom of information petition was filed with a Jerusalem court - seeking to require local banks to disclose their policies on money originating from cryptocurrencies. The news first appeared in the local news daily outlet Globes on August 19. As many best cryptocurrency news sites then showed, state banks are required to report reasons for refusing transactions to the central bank of the country, the Bank of Israel. This is why the association previously reached out to the bank, asking for clarification on cryptocurrency policies of commercial banks - but was refused. The association chairman Meni Rosenfeld then told Globes that the Bank of Israel refused the request on the grounds that these were "industry secrets." This is why the Israel Bitcoin Association moved forward with a legal petition to make the disclosure mandatory. As the legal adviser Jonathan Klinger said:
"Under the Banking (Licensing) Law, it is the duty of a bank to state to the Bank of Israel the policy under which it refuses to conduct transactions. We therefore contacted the Bank of Israel and asked for this information, but the Bank of Israel did not agree to disclose this policy to us. We therefore decided to petition the court to force the Bank of Israel to provide us with a copy of the policy submitted to it by the banks.”
Israeli banks have been denying the Israel Bitcoin Association the ability to open accounts in the country, even though the association does not buy or sell cryptocurrency. This, as the report shows, is likely due to the association's name which includes the word Bitcoin. So far, many other traders and crypto related businesses have struggled with difficulties making deposits and remaining tax compliant because of the crypto-averse banking policies in Israel. According to some reports in the altcoin news, cryptocurrency traders in Israel cannot pay taxes and are unable to make deposits of funds obtained through cryptocurrencies.
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Regulation

BitMEX Discounts Services For Three Countries Due To CFTC Probe

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bitmex
BitMEX discounts services in three countries where it actually has offices during the CFTC probe and we find out more about it in the latest cryptocurrency news today. BitMEX stated in a statement that they had issued limited access to users that reside in the Seychelles, Bermuda and Hong Kong and the company stated that it had decided to go ahead with the decision to make sure there is continued compliance. BitMEX explained that it was restricting access to the bitcoin derivatives and exchange services in regions that hosted the headquarters and staffs. Bermuda, Hong Kong, and Seychelles will be added to the list of jurisdiction already restricted from accessing the platform and according to the statement of BitMEX we can read that:
 “This change will have no financial impact on the business and will affect very few people. The BitMEX team will be reaching out to those who are affected.’’
After the announcement, the services of the exchange will not be unavailable for the citizens of eleven regions which also include Canada, Cuba, Crimea, Iran, North Korea, and Sudan. BitMEX discounts the services and banned the users to access the exchange one month after the founder of the exchange and CEO Arthur Hayes debated the renowned economist and skeptic Nouriel Roubini. The debate saw Roubini accusing the BitMEX CEO of running a total scam under the name of BitMEX. He also noted that the exchange officials participated in a line of illegal activities which include insider trading. Roubini:
‘’The guy is a thug that is a public danger to thousands of small clueless investors who have lost their shirt because of his scam. BitMEX should be prosecuted for fraud and banned fully.’’
The debate didn’t end well for the exchange in many ways. The exchange founded itself during a fresh controversy later when Bloomberg reported that the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission began investigating the exchange for illegally offering crypto derivatives services to the US citizens but then BitEX denied the accusations stating that it does not comment on ‘’any media reports about inquiries or investigations by government agencies or regulators.’’ Many traders believed that BitMEX is trying to impress the regulators by keeping local citizens away from the risks of the leveraged bitcoin trading services or simply that the exchange is trying to prove the executives not to trade on the platform. Nevertheless, the services remained geo-blocked which means that the users in the banned regions can still access them without the private network services as noted n the coming altcoin news reports.
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Altcoin News

China’s Digital Fiat Currency Is Not A Real Cryptocurrency

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As the latest cryptocurrency news this month hinted, China may be about to launch a fiat digital currency with which the country will probably compete with Bitcoin. However, the expert analysts found that China's digital fiat is not actually a real cryptocurrency and will only resemble one on the surface. Aside from this, the coin won't use a blockchain, too. Even though it is inspired to some degree by Bitcoin and the like, the effort will be explicitly framed as a strategy in order to beat them back. The altcoin news show that China's digital fiat currency came with a project that was thrust into the spotlight last weekend, when a senior official from the People's Bank of China (PBoC) said at a closed-door conference that the country and its central bank digital currency (CBDC) is ready to launch.
“Since last year, the staff at the Digital Currency Research Lab have been working 996 to develop the system. We can say the CBDC is now ready to launch at one’s call," was his speech, later shared by many best cryptocurrency news sites.
The CBDC with this aims to replace MO, meaning cash in circulation through a two-tier system. The central bank will issue the digital yuan only to commercial banks, who will further issue it to the public. Meanwhile the PBoC and its Digital Currency Research Lab are the ones standing behind China's digital fiat currency - along with more than 50 patent applications which are all either invented or co-invented by Yao Qian. One patent application reads:
“The emergence of digital currency is an inevitable trend. So far, privately issued digital currency bears the features of anonymity and volatility. Central banks must take their impacts on the payments, monetary systems and financial stability seriously. As such, it’s inevitable for central banks to push for digitized fiat currencies to optimize their circulation.”
However, physical cash is still arguably the only form of fiat money inside China that can remain anonymous. We can see that China's digital fiat currency is not close to cryptocurrency - and the only third-party methods which are compared to bank wire can be offered by companies like Alibaba or WeChat - both requiring real-name verification authenticated by users' IDs as well as additional banking information.
“Existing M0 (banknotes and coins) are subject to counterfeit and money laundering risks. … The [CBDC] system should follow the existing rules about anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing imposed on cash, and should report to the PBoC on large amounts and suspicious transactions,” Mu emphasized in a speech.
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Regulation

Crypto Laws In Europe Are About To Tighten Up This Year

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Crypto Laws
The latest cryptocurrency news show that the crypto laws in Europe are about to tighten up. We can see that the European Union is ready to gradually tighten up the guidelines in the crypto space - in a time when Bitcoin and many altcoins are volatile and susceptible to any changes in terms of regulation. All of this will make cryptocurrency users likely to feel the difference in the coming months. These measures stem from obligation of user reports to transpose EU's Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) into the national laws by January. If this happens, we could expect a very changing landscape regarding cryptocurrency regulation. Speaking of, the crypto laws in Europe could start from Germany. As the flagship of EU, this country is just one of the first to really make the modifications. As seen on many best cryptocurrency news sites, brand new anti money laundering (AML) laws entering into force next year will oblige digital asset exchanges including providers of crypto payment and custodian services that will apply for permits from Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bafin). The regulation should wrap up by the end of 2019 in Germany, so that it is becoming implemented starting from January 2020. Starting next year, the German economic authorities will lead the new crypto laws in Europe and start thinking about electronic coins as an economic instrument. Even though some welcome the regulatory quality regarding the status of cryptocurrencies, others believe that a lot more aspects need clarification. In the altcoin news, we can see that Germany is one of the countries that is truly hurting the crypto businesses - especially within the country - but overseas, too. Aside from this country, the Czech Republic has also been focusing on a unique group of rules and pertaining to the initiative of changed crypto laws in Europe. Failure to register utilizing the nationwide Trade Licensing Office, therefore, could lead to massive fines for service providers in the space. Estonia is yet another EU member that has been tuning its crypto laws recently. This small Baltic nation was one of the main in the continent that produced favorable circumstances for businesses dealing with digital assets, attracting many of them to its jurisdiction. AMLD5 went into power on July 9, 2018 as part of the new crypto laws in Europe with a main goal of expanding the scope of anti-money laundering regulations to pay for crypto trade platforms as well as wallet providers.
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