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Swiss Regulator Approves Two Banking Licenses For Blockchain Companies

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Swiss regulator for finance matters FINMA has officially granted two banking licenses for two blockchain companies and we take a closer look today in the coming altcoin news below.

The blockchain projects around the world have been looking for approval from the regulators and they also seek for concrete guidance in the past few years. The Swiss regulator finally granted such permission to two blockchain businesses. The regulatory strides are not likely to impact directly other jurisdictions but they will impact more how regulation is formed everywhere else. Only time will show how these regulations will impact innovation. The FINMA regulator issued banking licenses to both Sygnum AG and SEBA crypto AG with multiple stipulations on their operations. The term Virtual Asset Service Providers refers to blockchain service providers such as exchanges, trading platforms, and wallet providers. The new guidance will require that existing rules on combating money laundering and will also apply to DLT businesses and service providers. One of the representatives stated:

 ‘’ What a great day for Switzerland as a #Blockchain and #Crypto Nation! For the first time, #FINMA has issued banking and securities dealers’ licences to two pure-play blockchain service providers’’

FINMA states that both of the businesses must verify the identity of their customers and have to establish the identity of any beneficial owners and will utilize a risk-based approach to monitoring business relationship. The companies will also have to file a report with the Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland if there are some reasonable reasons to suspect money laundering. Both of the projects are seeking to bridge the gap between functional DLT tech and the more traditional aspects. Many of the projects have expressed a wish to be among the first that will successfully blend these elements but none have yet made it successfully. The two banking licenses will represent a strong precedent for blockchain-based business moving forward.

As per the latest cryptocurrency news, Sygnum AG seeks to provide traditional and wealth management services with the help of the blockchain technology and the distributed ledger technology to back it up. Asset management, brokerage, credit, and tokenization will also fall under their offerings. SEBA Crypto AG is focusing on asset management on the long-term scope that includes transaction banking and storage custody services.

DC Forecasts is a leader in many crypto news categories, striving for the highest journalistic standards and abiding by a strict set of editorial policies. If you are interested to offer your expertise or contribute to our news website, feel free to contact us at editor@dcforecasts.com

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Regulation

Japan’s Plans Include A Digital Yen In ‘2 To 3’ Years

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While China continues to pull ahead and lead the Asian region in terms of cryptocurrency regulation, Japan is apparently inspired by the country and wants to get in the race, too. New reports show that Japan's plans for a new national cryptocurrency are more and more obvious and over the past weeks, many lawmakers expressed their preference for a CBDC controlled by the Bank of Japan. The general idea now, as the cryptocurrency news show, is to counter the digital yuan from neighbouring China which is set to be released soon - and prevent it from disrupting the global economy. A senior ruling party lawmaker confirmed Japan's plans and said that the development of a Japanese CBDC might take "two to three years." The big question many are asking now is - will this come too late as a challenge to Beijing? Anyways, what is important is that the Bank of Japan's relationship with CBDCs can be traced back to April 2018 when the agency's deputy Governor Masayoshi Amamiya first addressed the topic to the public. Japan's plans were then outlined and even though the tone of his comment was predominantly negative, the official did not rule out the possibility of a native cryptocurrency to the bank. Amamiya then argued that issuing a CBDC for general use would undermine the existing financial system. Such cryptocurrency regulation, according to him, would also allow customers to open accounts directly at the central bank and abandon private banks altogether, putting them at a major disadvantage:
“The issuance of central bank digital currencies for general use could be analogous to allowing households and firms to directly have accounts in the central bank. This may have a large impact on the aforementioned two-tiered currency system and private banks' financial intermediation.”
Japan's plans may change in the near future and although the bank was not considering issuing its own digital currency, it certainly realized that the application of emerging technologies was a possibility. Half a year later (October 2018) Amamiya panned the idea of CBDCs and said that Japan's plans may change once interest rates fall to zero - which is when central banks may use these. Then, in February 2019, the Bank of Japan published a report covering CBDCs. And now (January 30 2020) Amamiya continued the discussion, confirming Japan's plans and stating that the central bank must be ready to issue a CBDC if public demand spikes due to rapid technical developments.
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Bitcoin News

Bitcoin Bulls Have To Prepare For Cryptocurrency Regulation Challenges

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The bitcoin bulls have started a wave of gains in the cryptocurrency markets. The positive break of the $10,000 mark with Bitcoin (BTC) it looks like it brought back in life the entire cryptocurrency market as per the latest bitcoin news. The price of Bitcoin (BTC) at 4:30 hours UTC on 13th February is $10,413. Together with considerable gains in altcoins, the total market capitalization of crypto markets is $305 billion. The dominance of Bitcoin (BTC) is at this time around 61.8%. While the technical charts are showing an upward movement, a new threat from regulations it looks like is developing to slow the growth. The United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) bureau plans to make meaningful changes in cryptocurrency regulation. In his recent address before the Senate Finance Committee, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recognizes cryptocurrencies as a ‘safe haven’ for place illegal money similar to Swiss accounts. He said: “We want to make sure that technology moves forward, but on the other hand, we want to make sure that cryptocurrencies aren’t used for the equivalent of old Swiss secret number bank accounts,” The Financial Regulatory bodies in the United States can look to suppress the flow of unsolicited cross-border transactions. It could also try to curb suspect manipulations in trading on exchanges. Nonetheless, most of the cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States already suffered massive changes in the last few months. This includes Binance opening a different unit for the United States. Furthermore, it caused the withdrawal of several exchanges like Poloniex and Bittrex out of the United States. Also, there are thousands of cryptocurrencies in the market at this time. The SEC is watching over the launch of new cryptocurrencies and has also in the past imposed certain fines on sales that were unregulated regarding the crypto regulation laws. Not long ago, Hester Peirce, the commissioner of SEC, proposed a three-year incubation period for new cryptocurrencies to be categorized as a security or a commodity. At this time, Bitcoin (BTC) is the only asset that is accepted as a commodity entirely together from the Bitcoin bulls with the positive recommendations for Ethereum and Litecoin as well. Just as things looked quite good around the regulatory front, strict regulations are a threat, because they can result in a bad blow. They have been the number one cause of many crashes for Bitcoin (BTC).
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Altcoin News

Crypto Lawyer Warned Against Hester Peirce’s ICO Cryptocurrency Plan

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A crypto lawyer warned about the daring proposal from the so-called “crypto mom” of the American Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) Hester Peirce to end the initial coin offering ICO cryptocurrency stalemate that the is experienced in the United States, which can come to nothing. So let’s read more in the cryptocurrency news today. Hester Peirce told attendees at a blockchain event in the previous week, about plans to set up a “safe harbor” for token issues, a three-year grace period in which ICO cryptocurrency operators can prove to the commission that their tokens are not classifiable as securities.  All securities in the United States of America are regulated under regulation crypto legislation that dates back in the early 1930s and is slurred routinely in the crypto community. But Fortune quotes Valerie Dayhia, a crypto lawyer at Perkin Coie, as saying that the four fellow commissioners of Hester Peirce will probably not back this new proposal. The crypto lawyer warned that the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) “has no formal process underway to revise its regulations,” and said:
“This is really one commissioner giving her personal thoughts in a speech.”
Many in the cryptocurrency sector received the comments of Hester Peirce with enthusiasm, including the American Blockchain Association, who wrote:
 “Commissioner Peirce’s proposal is a promising first step […] and the Blockchain Association thanks her for her efforts to address this issue.”
But Valerie Dayhia hinted that instead of placing their focus on the recent comments made by Pierce, who is due to step down from her current Securities and Exchanges Commission in June of 2020, analysts should put their focus on the behavior of the regulator towards Telegram. The ICO of the chat app operator looks like it has been all but derailed by regulatory intervention.  Dayiha said,
“A lot is riding on the Telegram enforcement action. The fact [that] they’re going forward with this litigation speaks clearly to the position of the Commission.”
However, the lawyer added that judicial decisions were likely to have more impact on the industry than the SEC’s stance – adding that observers would do well to focus “on the courts.”
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Regulation

Another US Politician Says Better Regulation Crypto Is Needed

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Despite the large number of cryptocurrency-centric companies which are being founded and more blockchain companies and exchanges in the focus, a brighter regulation crypto is one of the aspects this entire ecosystem is depending on. According to another US politician (after the presidential candidate Andrew Yang last week), the country must "smarten up" on the topic of cryptocurrency regulation. We are talking about the Congressman Warren Davidson who is in the crypto news today for stating that the entire legislature around cryptocurrencies should change - or else the US could begin to give "crypto dominance" to China and Russia. One recent tweet by the Congressman talked about the regulation crypto needs and shows that he is another US politician who vouches for things like these. The tweet was made in reference to an article from the National Review in which the author stated that the American blockchain industry is suffering due to "anchors on the industry's feet" placed by regulators:
“As with other technologies, American innovators should be focused on bringing the very best products and services to market, not worrying about getting entangled in red tape,” the author added.
https://twitter.com/WarrenDavidson/status/1225886838872825857 Davidson is another US politician who talked about the regulation crypto needs in order to prosper. Previously, the Republican Representative of North Carolina named Patrick McHenry told CNBC that his "fear" is that the recent regulatory crusade against Libra is a de-facto "trial" for ”American innovation by policymakers here in Washington because they don’t understand it.” The Republican was in the Libra news then and added that as a large company, Facebook is being "pounced on" - all of which is sending a "chilling signal to innovation in the United States." Before him, Andrew Yang covered the topic of the regulation crypto needs now. The POTUS candidate noted that America needs to have better rules for crypto and blockchain-related ventures.
That would be my priority: clear and transparent rules so everyone knows where they can head in the future and so we can maintain competitiveness [in crypto],” Yang noted.
Unfortunately, the President of the United States Donald Trump says that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin can be a mechanism for crime  and have no inherent value.
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