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Indian Government To Pitch A Bitcoin Ban Bill In January

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The Indian government is all over the latest cryptocurrency news for its apparent plans to introduce a controversial Bitcoin ban bill in December this year or January 2020 during a parliamentary session. The news were first shared from the local crypto news provider Crypto Kanoon.

Even though nothing is official yet, the decision apparently surfaced during an ongoing court hearing between the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on one side and regional cryptocurrency exchanges on another. According to officials representing the Narendra Modi financial ministry, a draft bill was submitted before the Supreme Court judge. With this, the Indian government is probably going to project the basis of the future of cryptocurrencies in the country.

The news source (and many best cryptocurrency news sites after that) claimed that the draft is the same which was prepared by the intergovernmental committee that was led by a former Economic Affairs Secretary named Subhash Chandra Garg. The document also recommended an outright ban on Bitcoin and all types of “private cryptocurrencies” as well as a ten-year jail time for the ones who do not abide by it.

Meanwhile, the Indian government wants the Supreme Court to adjourn the hearing until January next year. They confirmed that the Bitcoin ban bill is planned in the lower house of the Indian parliament during the winter session.

As a reminder, last year in July RBI had banned banks from doing business with companies associated with Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies. Then, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IMAI) took the Indian central bank to the Supreme Court and accused the federal body of being biased towards the emerging crypto sector in India – saying that their circular was unconstitutional.

The case went through a lot of delays in the past 12 months. It was heard by the Indian government and the regulatory officials on August 8 this year, when the IMAI counsel argued that Bitcoin is not a sovereign currency but a commodity – which is why the decision should come from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), and not from the RBI.

All of this shows that Bitcoin is still unknown as a subject and there is lack of regulation around it. Let’s just hope that India will reconsider the Bitcoin ban.

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Regulation

Tax Agencies Level Up Efforts To Hone On Crypto Tax Evasion

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Crypto tax evasion is a big thing in 2020 and people don't expect anything to change, the cryptocurrency news show. The previous year raised expectations that stablecoins would bring a mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. But this year, we can definitely see some movements and are seeing that tax agencies are levelling up their efforts to hone on the crypto tax evasion.2020 seems to be dousing the hopes with ever-tightening regulation that is putting pressure on investors and companies alike. The first complication came only 10 days into the year. In early January, the European Union and its landmark Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) was signed into law.Meanwhile, the law is the latest evolution of EU's response to the Panama Papers scandal in which a leak of over 11 million documents uncovered the opaque financial networks used by the world's richest and most prominent individuals.The tax agencies level up their regulation now and lawmakers are constantly striving to tighten the legal loopholes which would allow for the world's richest companies and individuals to avoid paying their dues. There are still many states which willingly provide less legally restrictive environments.From the 5AMLD initiative to the central bank digital currencies, the Bitcoin and altcoin news show that governments and regulators are acting on their belief that the identities of individuals behind anonymous transactions should be made available to authorities upon request.Regulatory changes are coming and tax agencies level up many things. According to the Dash Core Group Chief Marketing Officer Fernando Gutierrez, “This was all bound to happen.” As he summarized in an email sent to one crypto media outlet:
“All these changes will make anonymity more difficult for the average consumer, as more exchanges comply and implement KYC. Those exchanges who don't will be forced to jump from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, which will impose extra costs that only those committed to anonymity will be willing to pay. For criminals, this will change nothing because they are in that group, among many others who are not criminals, who are willing to pay more.”
Regulation can affect crypto in many different ways and regulators are already preparing new laws now. It is certain that if this happens, an intense debate will also occur among investors, industry leaders and regulatory bodies.
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Bitcoin News

WEF2020 Announces Global Consortium For Regulating Bitcoin

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At the WEF2020 in Davos, Switzerland, there was a significant mark on the crypto market and the World Economic Forum announced the first global consortium focusing on creating a regulatory framework for the governance digital currencies including bitcoin and stablecoins. In our latest bitcoin news today, we find out more about their ideas.The World Economic Forum for 2020 happened the past week in Davos and cryptocurrencies were the center of attention. Yesterday during the last day of the consortium, the forum announced the creating of the first Global consortium for Digital Currency Governance. It will mainly consist of financial institutions, government representatives, international organizations, leading companies, academics, NGOs, technical experts and other members of the Forum’s communities.The report showed that if digital currencies receive proper financial inclusion, they will have to get paired with good governance. Therefore at the WEF2020, the forum discussed whether it is needed to establish a framework of regulations by implementing innovative approaches. In order to do that, the participants will have to use ‘’efficiency, speed, inter-operability, inclusivity, and transparency.’’ The Consortium will work with both the private and public sectors to explore the presented opportunities.According to the founder and Executive Chairman of the WEF, Klaus Schwab, ‘’ digital currency, a cross-cutting topic that requires input across sectors, functions, and geographies, is a key area of interest for the Forum.’’ The Governor of the Bank of England also commented:
 “Governance is the core pillar of any form of digital currency. It is critical that any framework on digital currencies ensures security, efficiency, and legitimacy of payments while ensuring fair and open competition. We welcome the WEF’s platform to help develop a robust governance framework for inclusion through digital currencies.”
As per the recent reports, the efforts of creating a regulatory framework on cryptocurrencies are getting more serious. As of this month, the European Union introduced an updated version of the 5th anti-money laundering directive and had increased regulatory focus. All of the crypto-related businesses are operating from Europe and they have to follow the rules which include a more in-depth know your customer process, filling suspicious activity reports and conduct transaction monitoring with law enforcement.  After the WEF2020, the world watchdogs will try to establish a framework of regulations for crypto so it will be extremely interesting to see whether this will be beneficial for the market.
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Regulation

Germany Increases Costs For (Some) Crypto Firms By $250k

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Germany, a country known for its leading economy in Europe has recently updated its cryptocurrency laws and made it illegal for new firms to launch crypto trading, custody services and issuance of tokens. From January 1, Germany increases the costs for some crypto firms and the German Banking Act stated that crypto assets now qualify as financial instruments.In that manner, crypto exchanges and custodians now require a license from the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). However, the cryptocurrency news reports did not note that if a company is founded in Germany after January 1, it is now illegal for them to issue tokens or offer custody/trading services.
"They have to now set up a new legal entity since January 1 has passed," explains Philipp Sandner, who is a professor at the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center. "But this new legal entity would be illegal for custody, trading and issuing."
The new laws show that Germany increases costs and that all companies founded after January 1 will need a BaFin license to offer these services. Meanwhile, the companies founded before January 1, 2020 will benefit from 'grandfathering' until November 2020.The cost of acquiring a BaFin license could be prohibitive for new startups, both Sandner and one lawyer explained.
"For companies (be it startups or larger companies such as banks), the license induces costs of approx. USD 250,000," they say. "Not every startup will be able to bear these costs. The small startups might be driven out of the market; the larger ones and the incumbents will probably apply for the license."
As Germany increases costs for crypto firms, many wonder why is this the case. The truth is, the government is sought to introduce a law which might end up driving startups "out of the market" as experts noted.Both experts noted that the government had the opposite intention in mind and wants to encourage mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, rather than leaving these sectors open for unregulated firms. However, the costs at this point are big for many crypto firms which is why the crypto climate in Germany is not that good.Meanwhile, the latest Bitcoin price news show that the cryptocurrency has fallen by 6% due to the situation in China.
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Regulation

SEC Went Head To Head With Telegram, Reviewing TON Again

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The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is in the crypto news today for going ahead and filing a brief for the ongoing court hearing which is taking place between Telegram (one of the widely used encrypted messenger services) and the Commission itself. Basically, SEC went head to head with Telegram and issued a brief which was authored on behalf of the CDC by Lilya Tessler, a partner, as well as the New York head of Sidley Austin LLP.Another brief which was filed by the Blockchain Association on January 21 appears to be in clear support of Telegram. This brief opposes the SEC's move to block Telegram from delivering its native crypto tokens, known as Grams, to early investors who were participating in the ICO.The central argument that SEC went with shows that the independent body sees the purchase agreements offered by Telegram which were designed to fully comply with the SEC's existing securities rules.As part of the filing, the arguments as to how the US District Court for Southern New York should view the digital assets. Currently, there is no clarity in regard to the following subjects:
  • Whether or not an investment contract is being offered in a securities transaction
  • Whether an investment contract is a commodity which can be sold in a traditional commercial transaction
As the SEC went forward with the Telegram case, they have been attempting to define the term "securities" just like many other bodies. Gregory Klumo who is the founder and CEO of the euro-backed stablecoin Stasis, was in the Bitcoin and altcoin news recently, referring to this subject in detail:
“If a developer team retains certain assets and sells it to investors, it falls into the definition of security. I think that the U.S. legislation must be shaped to take into regard emerging technologies and new business models that hadn’t been present not only in the days of SEC creation but also during the judicial battles on security definitions.”
The crypto industry has been witnessing an enormous amount of interest around stablecoins, a digital offering which presents users with all of the various advantages of cryptocurrencies all while having their values pegged to a stable fiat asset such as the US dollar, the Euro and others.
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