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Regulation

Russian Crypto Bill Draft Returned To First Reading Stage For ‘’Significant Changes’’

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The Russian draft bill ‘’On Digital Financial Assets’’ has been returned to the first reading stage for ‘’significant changes’’ according to our latest crypto news coming from Russia.

According to the Russian daily newspaper Kommersant, the chairman of the Duma State Pavel Krasheninnikov explained that the draft bill has no real connection to cryptocurrencies or tokens and that the lawyers noticed that the word construction is conflicted with the Russian legislation norms for corporations.

The draft bill is a part of the three projects that were designed originally to regulate crypto in the country. Part of the bill was replacing the crypto-related terminology with the term ‘’digital rights’’ which created a massive confusion between the term digital rights and digital financial assets. Also, back in October, the definition of crypto mining was removed from the bill.

Experts around the world believe that the legislation is a disappointment since all of the three bills were created independently. The head of research and development at law firm Infralex Olga Pleshanova explained that the lawyers think that the bill in this current form will push back the Russian economy back in the 1990s.

Back in October, a lobby group of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs sent proposals for crypto regulation to the prime minister of the country Dmitry Medvedev where they asked for the bill hearing to be postponed until 2019 so the bill will be more favorable to the regulators but also to the entrepreneurs.

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Regulation

French Stock Market Watchdog Blacklists Four Crypto-Related Websites

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

New Regulatory Framework From Bahrain Set To Regulate Virtual Currencies

More information on regulation floods the crypto news space today when Bahrain’s Central Bank announced its regulatory framework on trading cryptocurrencies and regulation virtual currencies overall. The Executive Director of Banking Supervision Khalid Hamad pointed out:
 “This regulatory framework will address the demand from the market for these services and the need to also recognize this innovation in financial services. The CBB’s (Central Bank of Bahrain) experience with the participants within the Regulatory Sandbox was insightful in shaping these rules.”
If you are wondering what the sandbox part means, Hamad refers to Bahrain FinTech regulation framework for companies to test their ideas while under stricter regulations. The guidelines come as a boost to the companies that wanted to be a part of reducing government spending through the blockchain technology. The draft bill that was introduced by the Central Bank of Bahrain will cover all of the requirements for financial resources and licensing as well as protecting customers’ interests and precautious cybersecurity measures. The draft paper is available on the website of the Central Bank and the Bank is even open to feedback and opinions about the draft until the year ends. Bahrain is currently starting a fintech revolution in the country starting with the creation of the Fintech Bay which is a home to more than 30 companies that work with the blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and digital payments. The entire Middle East is now becoming slowly an attractive destination for crypto startups mostly because of the easy access to great infrastructure and great geographical position.
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Regulation

European Asset Manager Encourages Regulators To Outlaw Crypto

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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Altcoin News

CEO Of Allianz: Regulators Should Step In Harder And Outlaw Cryptocurrencies

While speaking at a panel discussion in London, CEO of Allianz Andreas Utermann urged market watchdogs to ‘’outlaw’’ cryptocurrencies and in today's crypto news we read more about his opinions. Utermann believed that a direct ban was actually preferable and he said to the regulators that they should outlaw cryptocurrencies by saying:
 “I am personally surprised that regulators haven’t stepped in harder.”
He was especially addressing the head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority Andrew Bailey who was sitting right next to him at the panel discussion. Bailey noted that Utermann’s opinions were ‘’quite strong’’ but he did agree that cryptocurrencies don’t have intrinsic value. Bailey made sure that the FCA is watching closely and that they have the initial coin offering sector under surveillance. Utermann’s stance doesn’t leave any room for negotiation but some of his colleagues at Allianz are more optimistic about the use of blockchain technology. The chief economist at Allianz Mohamed El-Erian said that he also doesn’t believe that cryptocurrency will ever be able to replace fiat money but they will become more widespread. He said:
 “Cryptocurrencies will exist. They will become more and more widespread, but they will be part of an ecosystem. They will not be dominant, as some of the early adopters believed them to be.”
El-Erian explained that crypto is not dead and the technology isn’t dead also. He is sure that we are about to see more widespread adoption by the private sector but also from the public one. El-Erian concluded that the last year’s frenzy was ‘’unwarranted’’.
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