The internet “should be a place where government makes every effort … not to stand in the way, to do no harm,” said former President Clinton in 1997.

That was a precursor statement to the release of a seminal report by the U.S. government, called Global Framework for Electronic Commerce. Its central thesis was known as the “Do no harm” policy. It consisted of specific recommendations for not taxing, regulating, or restricting the (then) embryonic and key promise of the internet: global electronic commerce.

The report did not just prescribe a U.S. policy, but also called for all countries of the world to consider the same approach, because it was understood that electronic commerce had no boundaries, therefore its success was inter-dependent on global cooperation.

Historical precedent

Although more than 20 years old, that report is a fascinating read as context for the regulatory drama that is unraveling around the blockchain, today.

Had it not been for that policy, the U.S. could have created new taxes for e-commerce, limited it with new regulations, imposed duties, restricted the type of information transmitted, controlled standards of developments and imposed licensing requirements on service providers. Rightfully, none of that happened.

Without a doubt, that position was the right call. What followed this period was a massive explosion of growth in the U.S. around internet infrastructure, technologies and applications, arguably a significant contributing factor to why the U.S. spurted to super-power in internet related businesses, ahead of other countries.

For context, here are some noteworthy highlights from the report.

Fast forward to 2019. Enter the blockchain.

Do or do not harm?

The analogies are striking, but the U.S. government and key regulatory bodies are lagging in decisive actions. They are not acknowledging that the blockchain shares similar characteristics to the internet and e-commerce of the mid-’90s.

Today, blockchain technology is still immature, so it needs to spread its wings further before being prematurely confined to a lower scope of impact.

Two years ago, in April 2016, then CFTC commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo (now he is the chairman) gave an enlightening speech at the DTCC 2016 Symposium where he challenged regulators to heed the lessons of the internet and adopt a similar stance to the policy enumerated in the Global Framework for Electronic Commerce of 1997. He even suggested that regulators of all sides come together and agree on “uniform principles”, a brilliant idea.

Here are key passages from that speech:

Unfortunately, judging by what actually happened since that speech, Chairman Giancarlo’s calls either fell on deaf ears or were not taken seriously; and not from a lack of goodwill on his part.

Unsurprisingly, the largest headwinds have come from the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), which has taken it upon itself to be the Grinch of blockchain regulation. They have stolen the lion’s share of the regulatory thunder, while throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Blockchain regulation is at risk of a “Do Harm” outcome, primarily based the SEC’s approach.

Ray of hope?

More recently, on Dec. 20, 2018, Congressmen Davidson and Soto introduced a new bill, the Token Taxonomy Act (H.R. 7356), “To amend the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to exclude digital tokens from the definition of a security, to direct the Securities and Exchange Commission to enact certain regulatory changes regarding digital units secured through public key cryptography…”

That bill introduces a ray of hope that could potentially put a stick in the spokes of the SEC’s foolish trajectory.

Instead of leading with hope, optimism and open-mindedness, the SEC has been instilling fear into the markets by issuing a series of mixed actions, publishing unclear statements and sending cryptic messages via occasional speeches. They have divided and conquered the blockchain industry by stringing its participants along, without sharing any form of original thinking.

The SEC is stuck in the old paradigm of trying to classify all special-purpose cryptocurrencies (aka tokens, and a key blockchain invention) as securities by default, while being nebulous on what actually is a non-security.

At the macro level, the opposite of what took place in 1997 is actually unraveling today. In 1997, the U.S. led the world in thought and in practice, pertaining to electronic commerce regulation. Today, other nations are taking the lead at adopting progressive policies and regulatory implementations for blockchain technologies.

For example, the Japanese Financial Services Authority (FSA) has already received 190 cryptocurrency exchange licenses applications, and is currently reviewing them. Switzerland has published a well-defined token classification framework and continues to be a friendly jurisdiction for the “foundation” model to govern ICOs, having cracked the code on how to manage the process. Singapore, Gibraltar, Malta and Cayman Islands, although being smaller jurisdictions have also made positive strides, and are welcoming entrepreneurs with open arms.

This outburst of international activity is sending U.S. innovation overseas. Sadly, the U.S., known for the best tech startup ecosystem, finds itself handicapped and suffocated by unfriendly regulatory actions. These other jurisdictions have a legal advantage, but they cannot replicate the vibrancy and experience depths of the U.S. entrepreneurial environment.

The SEC could use a history lesson by reviewing the Global Framework for Electronic Commerce and its impact. By his own admission, incoming chairman Clayton noted he wasn’t asked about the blockchain during his confirmation hearings in March 2017, using that point to remind us of the topic’s novelty as the excuse for the SEC’s slow inertia with it. Meanwhile, the SEC continues to paint the sector with a broad brush, while not showing flexibility for change.

In contrast, the CFTC, which has had a markedly more advanced knowledge of the topic, is still trying to learn more, and recently published an RFI asking 25 questions about ethereum, the second most significant cryptocurrency after bitcoin.

When will the U.S. assert its global leadership in blockchain? Time is running out.

*This post is credited to CoinDesk

The Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has decided to explain how already existing laws could be applied to crypto securities. Another thing to mention is that Thai companies that are planning to issue securities tokens abroad need to follow specific regulations. The information was released a few days ago by the Bangkok Post.

According to the Bangkok Post, regulators are still not sure how to deal with securities token offerings (STO). To be clear, these STOs are crypto tokens that are backed by real assets, including gold or real estate. While IPOs are regulated under the Securities Act, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) follow the Digital Asset Act.

However, the SEC has to issue licenses for ICOs if they want to raise money in Thailand. And this regulatory framework has barely got off the ground.

According to Tipsuda Thavaramara, the deputy secretary of the SEC explained that the regulator has to consider how to deal with STOs. The share of ownership, voting rights and dividends are some of the issues to take into account.

Apparently, if STOs share the same conditions to other securities, they would have to follow a similar process that IPOs follow. That means that they will be regulated by the SEC Act. Additionally, STO trading would fall under the Digital Asset Act just in case the fund-raising is carried out in the same way as for Initial Coin Offerings.

Tipsuda commented about these regulations:

“At the moment, we have not decided whether STOs fall under the SEC Act of the Digital Asset Act, but it depends on the STO’s conditions and the details in its white paper. The SEC will have to consider carefully how to respond to each STO.”

At the same time, Prinn Panichpakdi, the managing director of CLSA Securities Thailand, explained that STOs are popular and trendy in overseas markets and they would reach the Thai market in the near future. However, regulators in the country are not ready to issue digital asset licenses.

Prinn said that the environment is changing and that the SEC would have to see how to deal with companies that launch these products in other markets.

Regulatory issues around the world related to virtual currencies are not clear and are generating troubles among crypto companies and investors. Nevertheless, there are some countries such as Malta or Japan that are trying to be ahead of the market creating clear regulations and protecting investors from fraudulent activities.

*This post is credited to Bitcoin Exchange Guide

Considering there are well over 2,000 cryptocurrencies on today’s market, the average blockchain investor faces being veritably overwhelmed by choice.

That certainly sounds like a lot, but pretty much all cryptocurrency falls into one of three token categories: currency, utility, or investment.

Depending on the country, cryptocurrency startups may have to register their business with regulators depending on the token issued.

Each group requires different rules and regulations to ensure their issuance and exchange is above board with government regulators.

So, let’s take a look at what each of the classifications mean, quickly.

Currency tokens

This is the original (and most straight-forward) form a blockchain-derived token can take.

Tokens can be classified as currencies if (and only if) they were created entirely as a means of payment for goods and services external to the platform running the token.

For example, Bitcoin is seen as a currency as it was created with the intention of replacing fiat money. As such, Bitcoin holders are able to use their Bitcoin to purchase goods and services from shops, online retailers, and other merchants.

It’s worth noting that the SEC has deemed both Bitcoin and Ethereum to be currencies, after both were found to be too decentralized to be anything but.

Utility tokens

These digital assets are built to provide investors with something other than a means of payment.

This typically comes in the form of access to a particular product or platform. For example, many cryptocurrency exchanges have issued their own native cryptocurrencies for customers to use to reduce trading fees.

The primary difference between a currency and a utility lies in the fact that holding a utility token gives access to a function provided directly by the businesses who issued it.

In our cryptocurrency exchange example, the holder is only granted access to reduced trading fees through the use of that token.

Most tokens created on blockchains (like EOS and Ethereum) are essentially utility tokens, as each one is intended to be used natively on a single platform, such as a decentralized app (dApp).

Investment/asset tokens

Investment tokens are perhaps the most complicated to classify. Inevitably, most become securities in the eyes of financial regulators like the SEC and FINMA.

Tokens found in in this group are the assets that promise a positive return on their investment (besides profits generated from rising market prices).

Such returns are usually distributed by the platform itself or the company that created it.

The most famous example is the MakerDAO – an autonomous, smart-contract powered blockchain organization that reinvested profits from its ICO to generate more profit for holders.

This was deemed to be the critical factor that allowed the SEC to retroactively classify the digital assets issued by MakerDAO as investment tokens (and by extension, securities).

Well, there you have it! The three major types of cryptocurrency assets. It’s worth mentioning that they can also come in hybrid forms, such as utility/investment tokens, but that’s for another day.

*This post is credited to Thenextweb

Companies have only recently begun taking advantage of recent SEC regulations that allow projects to raise funds. The two regulations, Reg. Crowdfunding (C.F.) and Reg. A, allow companies to secure between $1 million and $50 million. These avenues for fundraising are compliant, cost-effective, and synergistic with ICOs.

A controversy in the cryptocurrency space revolves around crypto securities classification. Many projects attempt to avoid regulation by claiming that their coin is a ‘utility token,’ rather than a ‘security token.’

These classifications result in a gray space where some cryptocurrencies attempt to avoid regulation, some are uncertain but may be penalized in the future, and some that are securities that the SEC has not yet acted upon.

However, if the SEC rules that a particular project is a security and that project has failed to register as such, then the project will, at a minimum, be penalized, required to return funds to investors, and forced to go through precise disclosure and reporting requirements.

This kind of activity was seen in the SEC’s recent string of enforcement actions. Just this month there were a series of high profile investigations.

The founder of decentralized exchange EtherDelta, Zachary Coburn, was charged with operating an unregistered securities exchange. Two ICOs, Paragon and AirFox, were penalised for failing to register their tokens as securities with the SEC.

The Previous State of Affairs

Prior to 2015, in order to raise funds, companies had to go through the lengthy initial public offering (IPO) process, which requires an enormous amount of accounting and legal legwork.

According to a report from PwC, an IPO costs on average $4.2 million, plus a hefty 4-7% of gross proceeds raised from the offering.

The oft-opted alternative, a Regulation D (Reg. D)exemption, allows companies to raise funds strictly from accredited investors. Accredited investors are individuals who earn more than $200,000 or have a net worth of at least $1 million.

In aggregate, these regulations have limited investment opportunities in startups and small companies to the wealthy, and only made effective fundraising easily accessible to large corporations.

The Remedy to Fundraising

However, a new piece of legislation has changed the current state of affairs. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act was signed into law in April 2012, and mandated that the SEC implement new regulations that make it easier for companies to raise funds, especially from distributed pools of investors.

Two additions to the fundraising regulations were added to the Securities Act of 1933. Regulation Crowdfunding (C.F.) and Regulation A(+). These regulations allow projects to raise between $1 million and $50 million without going through the costly requirements of a traditional public offering.

The most exciting of the two regulations, Regulation C.F., was implemented in May 2016. This regulation allows projects to raise over a million dollars to small-time investors. The regulation allows individuals to invest $2,200 and up, depending on income, through a registered broker-dealer or funding portal.

Meanwhile, Regulation A was implemented in March of 2015. Regulation A allows a company to raise up to $50 million without going through the strict IPO process or the narrow Reg. D exemption.

Regulation A is split into two tiers. Tier 1 offerings allow a company to raise up to $20 million over 12 months, and a Tier 2 offering up to $50 million. Tier 2 offerings require additional investor screening and disclosures.

How the Crypto Market Is Responding

One fascinating observation is that broker-dealer and crowdfunding portals have been slow to crop up in response to these regulations. Even though these regulations were implemented over three years ago, it is only now starting to have an impact.

At the moment, only 30 companies are registered as broker-dealers or funding portals. Many of these portals are only raising limited amounts of funds, in-operational, or do not service the crypto markets.

In all, there are only three competitive crypto funding portals taking advantage of these regulations. The most notable of the crowdfunding platforms, StartEngine, is one of the portals that stand out; The company launched the first Regulation C.F. and Regulation ICOs, and has since helped cryptocurrency companies raise millions.

Another popular crowdfunding platform, Republic, received the backing of Binance and has helped ICOs raise millions in compliance with the SEC.

These regulations have the potential to unlock a swath of investors who were previously too reluctant to invest in wildcat ICOs.

With the potential to save ICOs millions in penalties and legal costs, these regulations could improve investor confidence as compliance becomes more streamlined.

*This post is credited to Cryposlate 

The SEC in the United States has finally offered some parameters on cryptocurrencies and ICOs.

As it continues to turn its deliberations into actions where cryptocurrencies are concerned, the American Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has now issued some firm guidance on crypo.

Under the header ‘Statement on digital asset securities issuance and trading’, there’s not an awful lot of surprise to be found in its words. The statement comes in the light of recent rulings on firms such as Paragon, Crypto Asset and AirFox, with remedies agreed with some of those organisations.

Those are detailed in the statement, and boil down to – for example – AirFox and Paragon having to register their tokens as securities, rather than them be allowed to exist as decentralised entities. Furthermore, those who have invested in both must now contact investors to give them the information they would have had, had the tokens concerned been registered as securities from the start.

“These two matters demonstrate that there is a path to compliance with the federal securities laws going forward, even where issuers have conducted an illegal unregistered offering of digital asset securities”, the SEC writes.

It now requires that any platform trading “in digital asset securities and operates as an ‘exchange” must register with the SEC as a national securities exchange. That, or be exempt for some reason from registration.

Furthermore, anyone providing a marketplace for bringing together buyers and sellers of securities must work out if, under US law, they are falling under the definition of an exchange. If they are, they also have to register. Irrespective of technology, the SEC declares that it’ll be taking a “functional approach” – specifically giving itself leeway to include circumstances – when identifying what it regards as an exchange.

ICOs don’t escape, either. Any entity issuing ICOs or undertaking secondary trading in digital asset securities will need to register with the SEC. Furthermore, they have to become part of a self-regulatory group as well.

The SEC statement ends with declaring that its divisions are looking to “encourage and support innovation”. The 19 footnotes that follow that assertion suggest it’s not that straightforward.

*This post is credited to CryptoNewsReview

The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a warning about investing in nine digital tokens and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), which have not been accredited by the regulator, news outlet Bangkok Post reported Oct. 26.

The SEC reportedly initiated an investigation into digital tokens and ICOs being promoted on social media platforms for investment, and found nine cases wherein promoted digital assets had not been authorized by the market regulator.

Per the SEC, the alleged digital assets and ICOs have neither filed an application for the SEC’s approval, nor have they met the necessary qualifications and had smart contracts assessed by ICO portals. The SEC said that those who have invested in the alleged assets should be wary of associated investment risks.

The SEC reportedly reiterated a warning about Ponzi schemes that persuade people to invest in digital assets by promising investment returns generated from tokens. “Information disclosure for investment decision-making is also inadequate, while these digital assets might not have sufficient liquidity to trade and cannot be converted into cash,” the regulator added.

In August, the SEC said that almost 50 ICO projects expressed interest in becoming certified following the Finance Ministry’s announcement to introduce ICO regulations. The authorization process takes up to five months as upon submission of an application, the SEC will transfer the document to the Finance Ministry within 90 days. After that, the Ministry has 60 days to make a decision whether to approve a license.

Later that month, the SEC approved seven businesses to conduct cryptocurrency operations as part of the formalization of the country’s domestic market. The move forms part of a package of “transitional” rules governing crypto businesses operating in Thailand prior to the first tranche of regulations that came into force May 14.

The 100-section law defines cryptocurrencies as “digital assets and digital tokens,” and brought them under the regulatory jurisdiction of the SEC. Thai Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong reportedly assured that the new measures are not intended to prohibit cryptocurrencies or ICOs.

*This post is credited to CoinTelegraph

Bakkt confirms the first contacts to be physically delivered Bitcoin futures contracts against fiat currencies like USD, GBP, and EUR. With the focus on regulated institutions, Bakkt has the crypto community excited.

Physically delivered Bitcoin futures contract: Bakkt

Bakkt is less than two months away from launching its platform and it is leaving no stone unturned to ensure this step is seamless and progressive one at that. According to the latest developments, Bakkt has announced that the first of its contracts will be physically delivered ones as stated:

“Our first contracts will be physically delivered Bitcoin futures contracts versus fiat currencies, including USD, GBP, and EUR. For example, buying one USD/BTC futures contract will result in daily delivery of one Bitcoin into the customer’s account.”

Just to reiterate,

Bakkt

@Bakkt

Bakkt is designed to serve as a scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant, and consumer participation in digital assets by promoting greater efficiency, security, and utility

Bakkt has previously stated that physical bitcoin futures would be involved:

“Bakkt uses the existing, time-tested, regulated futures market infrastructure to introduce physically delivered Bitcoin and warehousing to global markets.

All aspects of the existing futures market will, for the first time, be part of physical delivery and warehousing of Bitcoin.”

This came onto the heels of Bakkt’s previous statement that they won’t be offering any marginal trading or allow any leverage with regards to Bitcoin. Moreover, the focus here by Nasdaq’s parent company Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is on regulated institutions as shared by Bakkt on twitter a few days back,

“While there are many aspects of Bakkt that we’ll continue to develop and share, our initial focus is supporting regulated institutions in serving customers in this emerging asset class.”

Bakkt has only emphasized this point time and again as it has shared:

Bakkt

@Bakkt

Bakkt is working to address the unique requirements of regulated institutions, their clients and stakeholders, such as merchants and consumers. Our goal is to make digital assets more liquid, trusted and accessible; allowing meaningful innovation to follow.

Excited community, bullish on Bitcoin & crypto market

For the time being, crypto and bitcoin enthusiasts are excited and anticipating Bitcoin ETF approval by SEC which will not involve any physical bitcoins like Bakkt’s futures contracts.

People and market are getting extremely excited on the prospect of new money coming into the market as one Redditor shared,

“If you’re a holder, you would be a fool to sell at any point over the next 3-5 years. No way in hell I am selling in that time period. Lots of new money is coming in.”

Another Redditor shared,

“Let the market digest this one. Things are still moving as planned.”

Moreover, a giant from the mainstream financial market involved in the crypto market is a step in the right direction apparently as this Redditor shared in part,

“This is a good way to get physical bitcoin pretty quickly (1-day) while falling into a well known regulatory regime. Future contracts are regulated by the CFTC and have clear rules. Also, BAKKT is owned by ICE and they have tons of futures trading already so it’s something they’re skilled in. And finally, institutions trust ICE and the CFTC.”

With scheduled to release in November, the entire crypto market is looking forward to this launch and its impact on Bitcoin and crypto market.

*This post is credited to Coingape

Supported with proceeding with adoption, crypto holidays have turned into a reality. Now, flights and lodgings all around the globe can be reserved with Bitcoin (BTC). All things considered, a few urban areas are more prepared to acknowledge your BTC — and major altcoins — than others, contingent upon the neighborhood framework and crypto-related strategies.

As per information from Coinmap, at present there are around 13,150 settings, shops and ATMs supporting Bitcoin on the planet, and that number has been unhesitatingly developing since late 2013.

Nonetheless, as Gili Gershonok, a crypto wanderer who purposely decides not to have a bank account, disregarding fiat cash while voyaging turns out to be more troublesome, as the majority of the crypto prepaid cards she vigorously depended on were dropped in mid 2018.

“I feel like an ever increasing number of hindrances are being set against people who set out to have a way of life that is off the financial framework… The way toward going crypto-to-money is getting more confounded, particularly for the individuals who want to keep their protection and dodge high expenses — both exceptionally organized qualities over the crypto network.”

The majority of that being stated, Gershonok consoled that going with BTC is as yet conceivable, drawing a parallel among crypto and easygoing tourists:

“I don’t believe there’s an immense contrast in the financial practices of [the two]. In Prague, I for the most part keep to money, which I can without much of a stretch pull back out of one of numerous crypto ATMs over the city. I endeavor to discover crypto installment alternatives for online transactions and as the banality goes, for everything else — there’s plastic.”

Gershonok prompts the individuals who need to have a go at voyaging without fiat for themselves to begin with their present area, and remember security:

“Go crypto for seven days in the place where you grew up and see what inquiries and difficulties you run over. It would likewise be prudent to think about some security situations, similar to, what you would do if your telephone, PC, baggage are lost or stolen — and have possibilities set up.”

As the finish of the late spring nears, here are probably the most crypto-accommodating goals that may be worth attempting.

Prague, Czech Republic

Home to SatoshiLabs, the producer of the Trezor hardware wallet, Prague has the most BTC-tolerating settings in the world, according to Coinmap information. There, Bitcoin can be utilized for leasing lofts, paying for nourishment and beverages in different bars and eateries, or notwithstanding visiting a crypto-accommodating film. Gershonok confirms that Prague is a standout amongst the most agreeable urban communities for virtual monetary forms, naming it her undisputed top choice:

“Businesses with crypto POS and ATMs are not everything [there]. Prague likewise has an extremely very much educated, all around associated and dynamic crypto network. I feel like there’s more individuals here who calmly think about cryptocurrencies and blockchain nuts and bolts than in different spots I’ve visited.”

Approaches

At state level, the Czech Republic inclines toward a liberal way to deal with cryptocurrencies. In 2017, the nearby central bank proclaimed that virtual monetary forms don’t speak to a danger to the customary banking framework through a declaration named “Don’t fear Bitcoin.” In it, the guard dog contended that fiat monetary forms are still most reasonable for business, and the conventional financial framework can’t be underestimated by cryptocurrencies in view of crypto’s unpredictability.

In any case, before the finish of 2017, the Back Service presented an Anti Money Laundering (AML) law incompletely limiting BTC. The bill requires neighborhood crypto exchanges to uncover the personality of clients so they will never again have the capacity to “hole up behind phony names or epithets.”

 

Ljubljana, Slovenia

While Ljubljana does not really ring a bell when considering most crypto-propelled urban communities, the capital of Slovenia has a ‘Bitcoin city‘, apropos named BTC city, inside itself — a complex with 500 retail locations spread crosswise over 475,000 square meters. An exceptional cryptocurrency exchange framework called Elipay is set to be coordinated into BTC City after a testing round. In any case, various bistros, a water stop, shoe shops, and so on., have just started accepting cryptocurrencies. The executive of Slovenia, Dr. Miro Cerar, has apparently visited and empowered the idea of BTC City, which additionally has the country’s biggest mining rig. Furthermore, there are around 20 BTC-tolerating scenes in Ljubljana’s downtown area, as indicated by Coinmap.

Approaches

There’s no unmistakable regulation for cryptocurrencies in Slovenia right now. In 2017, nonetheless, the Slovenian Financial Steadiness Board issued a notice to Slovenians, encouraging them to be careful when putting resources into ICOs and advanced monetary forms, as there are no laws policing those zones.

In any case, neighborhood government is obviously inspired by blockchain. In October 2017, the government of Slovenia declared its intends to position the nation as the main goal of blockchain innovation in the European Association, while additionally contemplating the potential uses of the innovation in broad daylight organization.

 

The Caribbean

In April 2018, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) collaborated with Barbados-based blockchain startup Bitt Inc. to encourage “the execution of more proficient installment forms for tourism-related items and administrations.” Basically, CTO needs to investigate how cryptocurrencies can enhance the neighborhood tourist industry, which is one of the fundamental wellsprings of salary in the Caribbean, particularly after extensive U.S. banks began to pull back capital from the locale due to the ‘de-gambling’ strategy. Hugh Riley, the CTO’s secretary general, told nearby media:

“The Caribbean means to completely look at the favorable circumstances offered by new financial innovation… specifically, blockchain financial administrations can possibly propel the targets of particular projects and exercises inside the tourism division. The CTO has an obligation for our individuals to completely investigate those conceivable outcomes.”

While the real result of that cooperation is as yet impalpable, if the Caribbean keeps on moving toward that path, neighborhood shorelines may pull in a variety of cryptobusiness people willing to spend their funds there.

Approaches

Caribbean nations are moving toward crypto adoption at the state level also. In Spring, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) declared a national cryptocurrency called the Advanced Eastern Caribbean Dollar (DXCD), which is intended to be presented close by fiat cash in eight Eastern Caribbean nations. Donaldson Romeo, chief of Montserrat, announced not long ago:

“The choice to draw nearer to a cashless society is with regards to our general improvement methodology, and furthermore that of the ECCB.”

 

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is one of the spearheading urban areas as far as virtual monetary standards. It broadly houses the Bitcoin International safe haven, a network center close-by the nearby sex exhibition hall where crypto fans accumulate to go to and sort out workshops or do informal communication in the neighborhood bistro. Moreover, there are around 40 more BTC-accommodating scenes, including a bicycle rental, among others. The yearly Bitfilm celebration committed to all things crypto has likewise been facilitated there.

Approaches

In Walk, a Dutch court arranged Bitcoin as a “transferable esteem” after the court decided for an offended party who was owed 0.591 BTC.

In May, the government issued a report which viewed cryptocurrency as comprehensively “generally safe” in connection to financial steadiness. Be that as it may, before long, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) addressed whether substances managing in cryptocurrency had adjusted to authorizing laws, because of the high dangers being included.

 

Tokyo, Japan

Coinmap demonstrates that there are around 80 crypto-accommodating businesses in Tokyo, one of the biggest sums on the planet. For example, prominent transport line sushi eatery Numazuko acknowledges cryptocurrencies, and also Programmers Bar which has live programming sessions, not to tally various crypto ATMs.

Approaches

Such transparency with respect to cryptocurrencies does not shock anyone considering that Bitcoin and altcoins can be utilized as a lawfully acknowledged methods for installment in Japan. Neighborhood guard dogs manage the business through careful AML and Know Your Client (KYC) consistence checks, while the Japan’s self-administrative crypto trade body tries to participate with the state.

 

Berlin, Germany

Bitcoin’s prominence in Germany’s capital was featured by The Watchman in 2013, back when standard culture was rejecting the computerized money as exclusively a crypto-anarchic apparatus. In Berlin, Bitcoin can be utilized not exclusively to drink and eat at neighborhood bars and eateries (more than 50 inside the downtown area region acknowledge crypto), yet for more complex things also — for example, the European School of Administration and Innovation situated in Berlin has been tolerating BTC as a methods for installment since December 2016.

Approaches

Cryptocurrencies are not lawful delicate in Germany, but rather they have been perceived as ‘private cash’ by the German Back Service since 2013. Strangely, as indicated by the German Wage Duty Act, if speculators hold their assets (cryptos) for over one year, their coins turn out to be completely assess absolved, making Germany additional alluring to hodlers.

 

Zug, Switzerland

While Zug might be not also prepared for normal BTC-financed tourist exercises as different urban communities on the rundown, it in any case speaks to a chronicled city for crypto devotees. Gladly supporting the title of “Crypto Valley,” Zug is home to various blockchain new companies. Cryptocurrencies can be utilized for city related exercises, for example, paying rent or notwithstanding enrolling an organization.

Approaches

In Switzerland, “cryptocurrencies are neither cash nor an outside money, nor a financial supply for products and ventures assess (GST) purposes.” Its misty legitimate status, in any case, does not keep the government from trying different things with blockchain, such as utilizing the innovation for city voting, for example.

 

Malta

When you get to Malta, make a beeline for the Bitcoin and Auto Dealer situated in Qormi to guarantee your compulsory Lambo with your crypto funds — without a doubt, expecting that you have enough coins, clearly. From that point forward, you can drive to a crypto-accommodating sushi eatery to praise the new buy. While the neighborhood foundation for BTC utilize is still to some degree youthful, the circumstance may change not long after more positive regulations are presented — and there are motivations to presume they are coming.

Approaches

In Spring, the biggest crypto trade in the world, Binance, reported it was moving its base camp to Malta. Accordingly, Malta’s head administrator, Joseph Muscat, uncovered the island’s intend to wind up the “worldwide pioneers in the regulation of blockchain-based businesses.”

On July 4, the nearby government passed three laws that enable companies to issue new cryptocurrencies and exchange the current ones. Above all, on that day, Malta turned into the principal nation in the world to give a lucid administrative system in the field of blockchain. This week, it proceeded with its way to wind up the ‘blockchain island,’ as the College of Malta declared a €300,000 blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) grant support related to the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA).

 

San Francisco, U.S.

San Francisco brags around 120 crypto-accommodating settings, being a globally perceived center for crypto evangelists. There’s the popular Crypto Château, a central hub for crypto brokers imagining to duplicate their speculations and join the positions of crypto tycoons, and also various BTC-tolerating businesses. Actually, San Francisco is so best in class as far as crypto that even a nearby government court acknowledges bail bonds paid in BTC.

Approaches

Cryptocurrencies are still in an indistinct administrative zone in the U.S., regardless of being viewed by different controllers like the Securities and Trade Commission (SEC)and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), who characterize computerized monetary standards relying upon their domain. In any case, the U.S. has been creating a plan for crypto regulations, giving the rights to exchange BTC prospects and issuing an uncommon exchanging permit in New York.

 

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires has been informally named the capital of Bitcoin in Latin America. It flaunts an amazing measure of crypto businesses — around 140, according to Coinmap — being up in the main three along San Francisco and Prague. As indicated by a neighborhood crypto-related media outlet, Buenos Aires has a Bitcoin distributing house and a taxi benefit among businesses tolerating BTC. Additionally, singular experts like picture takers, educators, originators, specialists and clinicians have supposedly been tolerating cryptofor their administrations there.

Approaches

Bitcoin’s achievement in Argentina could be credited to the swelling of the national cash and controlled trade rates — those financial issues drove a few subjects to decentralized monetary forms.

The legislative leader of Argentina’s central bank was in charge of proposing the July 2018 due date for administrative recommendations at the G20 summit in Spring — in any case, the date has been delayed until in any event October.

*This post is credited to Coinnounce

The former CEO of a cryptocurrency company has been sentenced to prison time and ordered to pay $9 million in restitution due to his company’s role in a major Ponzi scheme that cost hundreds of investors millions of dollars. The hearing comes as the U.S. government and regulatory agencies step up their crackdown on cryptocurrency-related fraud.

A District Court Judge in Connecticut sentenced 33-year-old Josh Garza to a 21-month prison sentence followed by six months of house arrest for his role in a Ponzi scheme based around the issuance of a cryptocurrency – called PayCoin – which entitled investors to a portion of another company’s mining profits.

The scheme was conducted between May of 2014 and January of 2015 through four companies owned by Garza. These companies sold the rights and access to cryptocurrency mining operations and allowed investors to buy a portion of these operations through “PayCoin “and “Hashlets,” which claimed to give investors the rights to a portion of the profits from the mining operations.

John Durham, the U.S. District Attorney for Connecticut, spoke about the scheme, saying that “hashlet customers, or investors, were buying the rights to profit from a slice of the computing power owned by the companies.”

Although the operation seems legitimate on the surface, Garza made multiple claims that should have raised red flags for investors, including the guarantee that the price of the virtual currency wouldn’t drop below $20 per unit, because the company would prop the price using their $100 million digital currency reserve.

After pleading guilty for defrauding investors and committing wire fraud, Garza was ordered to pay full restitution to all the investors that had lost their entire investments after the operations were found to be illegitimate. The judge required that Garza pay all the investors a total of $9,182,000 in restitution and was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

Garza’s Sentencing Comes as the US Government Increases Its Crackdown on Cryptocurrency Scams

This past week, a New York federal judge ruled that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) fall under the umbrella of securities offerings, opening up the gates for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to move to shut down fraudulent, or potentially fraudulent, ICO operations.

The ruling came about in a case regarding a man who has defrauded ICO investors by claiming, and providing falsified evidence, that the virtual currency was physically backed by diamonds and real estate.

Judge Raymond Dearie, the judge handling the case, commented on his ruling, saying that:

“Congress’ purpose in enacting the securities laws was to regulate investments, in whatever form they are made and by whatever name they are called… Stripped of the 21st-century jargon, including the defendant’s own characterization of the offered investment opportunities, the challenged indictment charges a straightforward scam, replete with the common characteristics of many financial frauds.”

Following this ruling, the SEC immediately moved to shut down and charge two cryptocurrency scams that were defrauding investors. The first company charged was TokenLot, a self-described ICO superstore, that was charged with operating as an unregistered broker-dealer. The TokenLot team cooperated fully with the SEC, which led to light charges.

The second company that was shut down by the SEC was a cryptocurrency hedge fund, called Crypto Asset Management LP, that had falsely claimed to investors that it was the first fully regulatory compliant crypto hedge fund. The operator of this fund, Timothy Enneking, had taken over $3 million from investors, and more than 40% of his fund’s investments were considered as securities by the SEC.

It is likely that the SEC and other regulatory authorities in the U.S. will continue to crackdown on cryptocurrency-related scams in the near future.

*This post is credited to News BTC

The Philippines’ market regulator said it would release a draft rule on cryptocurrency exchanges with the aim of creating a healthy business environment for digital currencies.

The Philippine market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), announced on Monday that a new draft regulation on digital currency exchange operations would be out this month, as the government seeks to limit the number of companies willing to offer virtual currency trading platforms in the country.

Speaking to reporters after an en banc meeting, SEC Commissioner Ephyro Luis B. Amatong said they hope to come out with final rules before the end of this year.

“We will put out a draft rule for the virtual currency exchanges hopefully within the first half of September,” he said. “Virtual currency exchanges (VCEs) have licenses similar to that of money changers. They can exchange from cryptocurrency to fiat currency. But many of the VCEs, all of the VCEs are applying to allow them to act as trading platforms. When the trading platforms come in, this is a concern of SEC that we will discuss with BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) we will have a joint cooperative oversight.”

At the same time, the SEC commissioner said his agency is in talks with BSP to create a joint cooperative oversight over the cryptocurrency exchanges.

The BSP defines digital currencies as a “type of digital currency created by a community of online users, stored in electronic wallets, and generally transacted online.” As such, the bank said the government and the central bank do not guarantee cryptocurrencies. The BSP noted that VCEs are businesses engaged in the trading and converting cryptocurrencies into fiat currency or vice versa.

In a circular, the BSP said VCEs are required to have security measures and safeguards to address the risks associated with digital currency exchanges, such as basic controls on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing, consumer protection, and technology risk management.

According to Amatong, the proposed regulations on digital currency exchanges seek to promote investor protection while allowing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) an alternative means to raise capital.

He added that the government aims to create a business climate that provides investors’ confidence where they can invest in securities that have a digital form. “Instead of paper or securities that are housed within PDTC (Philippine Depository & Trust Corp.), the depository they’re being proposed to be accommodated on a blockchain.

“Previously you had to go through all of the infrastructures of the PSE (Philippine Stock Exchange) or a PDEx (Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp.), a traditional stock to raise funds but what the fintech promises are you can achieve that through technology at a lower cost,” Amatong added.

*This post is credited to Cryptovest