European Commission Official Plans to Introduce New Regulations for Crypto
Valdis Dombrovskis, vice president for the euro, social dialogue and financial services at the European Commission, plans to introduce new regulations for the cryptocurrency sector in the region.
“Europe needs a common approach on crypto-assets such as Libra. I intend to propose new legislation on this,” Dombrovskis told EU lawmakers at a hearing on Tuesday.
He further said that the EU should tackle “unfair competition, cybersecurity, and threats to financial stability” in regulating cryptocurrencies.
Interestingly, the European Commission was investigating “potential anti-competitive behavior” with regard to Facebook’s proposed stablecoin Libra. The agency was exploring whether the Libra Association and its proposed payment stack, could prevent peers from being able to compete. (Positive)
UNICEF Launches Cryptocurrency Fund Supported by Ethereum Foundation
UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, has launched a cryptocurrency fund to support open source technology “benefiting children and young people around the world.”
According to the official announcement published on Oct. 8, UNICEF thus became the first U.N. organization “to hold and make transactions in cryptocurrency,” namely Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore added:
“This is a new and exciting venture for UNICEF. If digital economies and currencies have the potential to shape the lives of coming generations, it is important that we explore the opportunities they offer. That’s why the creation of our Cryptocurrency Fund is a significant and welcome step forward in humanitarian and development work.”
Per the announcement, the Ethereum Foundation, a Swiss nonprofit organization, became the first contributor to the new cryptocurrency fund. Aya Miyaguchi, executive director of the Foundation, reportedly said that 100 Ethers — roughly $18,000 at press time — were already sent to the UNICEF via the new partnership.
These funds “will benefit three grantees of the UNICEF Innovation Fund” and “a project coordinated by the GIGA initiative to connect schools across the world to the internet,” according to the announcement. Miyaguchi added:
“We aim to support the research and development of the Ethereum platform, and to grow the community of those that benefit from a technology that will better countless lives and industries in the years to come.” (Positive)
BitGo to Provide Custody for Crypto Assets Under Bitstamp Management
Digital asset financial services firm BitGo will provide secure storage for crypto assets under management at major cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp.
In a press release on Oct. 9, the Luxembourg-based cryptocurrency exchange announced that BitGo will offer custodianship of its digital assets. The Bitcoin (BTC) exchange will start transferring assets to BitGo’s wallets on Oct. 10, 2019. Bitstamp CTO, David Osojnik, said:
“BitGo has been one of our most trusted partners for many years and this is a natural extension of our relationship. Their exclusive focus on institutional services has allowed them to develop the tech and processes necessary for running a robust and compliant cryptocurrency exchange.”
The press release further states that with BitGo Custody, Bitstamp’s assets will be secured completely in cold storage in bank-grade vaults and protected by BitGo’s $100 million insurance policy.
Bitstamp is currently the 11th largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trade volume. (Positive)
US SEC Rejects Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Proposal
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected a proposal to list a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF).
In an announcement on Oct. 9, the Commission stated that the ETF filing from Bitwise Asset Management and NYSE Arca did not meet the necessary requirements.
Specifically, regulators stated that the applicants did not meet the necessary requirements regarding possible market manipulation and illicit activities. The SEC wrote:
“Rather, theCommission is disapproving this proposed rule change because, as discussed below, NYSE Arcahas not met its burden under the Exchange Act and the Commission’s Rules of Practice todemonstrate that its proposal is consistent with the requirements of Exchange Act Section6(b)(5), and, in particular, the requirement that the rules of a national securities exchange be’designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.'”
Today’s decision by the SEC seems to fly in the face of recent comments from Matt Hougan, managing director and global head of research at Bitwise, who on CNBC on Oct. 7 said, “We’re closer than we’ve ever been before to getting a Bitcoin ETF approved.”
Hougan had been optimistic about the firm’s chances to land approval for a physically-held Bitcoin ETF. He noted the significant growth that has transpired in the crypto space in recent years, stating:
“Two years ago, there were no regulated, insured custodians in the Bitcoin market. Today, … there are big names like Fidelity and CoinBase [with] hundreds of millions of dollars of insurance from firms like Lloyd’s of London.”
The rejection of Bitwise’s proposal follows a circuitous series of delays and requests for comment from the SEC. In August, the regulator postponed its decision on the proposal — together with two other crypto ETF applications — until Oct. 13. (Negative)
Crypto Debit Card Firm Cryptopay Launches UK Bank Transfers With British Pound
Crypto wallet and debit card service company Cryptopay now offers transfers with the British pound (GBP) through the Faster Payments Scheme.
Cryptopay revealed the development in a news release with Cointelegraph on Oct. 9, specifying that its United Kingdom-based users can now fund their accounts and make withdrawals with GBP, avoiding euro conversion charges. The release further explains:
“Upon activation users will get their own sort code and account number, which means that the transfers will bear the account holder’s name, not Cryptopay. This is especially important as some banks may block crypto-related transactions resulting in money getting stuck with no way to withdraw.”
Currently, the company is working on its European card program, having already begun issuance of prepaid cards in Russia. By the end of 2019, Cryptopay is planning to launch a range of other services such as an ERC-20 tokens wallet and exchange, Bitcoin (BTC) brokerage, and Bitcoin bank accounts.
Last January, news broke that Visa ended its working relationship with debit card provider WaveCrest, also affecting crypto card products provided by Cryptopay, Bitwala, Wirex and others. The move first appeared to be a company crackdown on crypto services but was later revealed to be due to WaveCrest violating Visa’s policies. (Positive)
Russia Sees no Need to Issue a National Digital Currency
Elvira Nabiullina, head of the Russian Federation central bank, said that the regulator has been studying digital currencies, but sees no obvious need to issue a national digital cryptocurrency.
“Not only for technological reasons, but also because it is (difficult) to really estimate what advantages will the national digital currency give, for example, in comparison with existing electronic non-cash payments. There are many risks, and the advantages may not be obvious enough,” Nabiullina added.
In June she had the opposite attitude, saying that the central bank considers launching a digital currency, though such a project “cannot be realized immediately.” With her stance now, that idea seems to have been put to rest. (Neutral)
Official: Alipay to Ban All Bitcoin-Related Transactions
Alipay, the digital payment arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has declared that it will be banning any transactions related to Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies.
On Oct. 10, Alipay reiterated its anti-crypto stance in a Twitter thread, which warned that the company is closely monitoring over-the-counter transactions to identify irregular behavior and ensure compliance with relevant regulations. Alipay wrote:
“If any transactions are identified as being related to bitcoin or other virtual currencies, @Alipay immediately stops the relevant payment services.”
This move follows various reports that Alipay is being used for BTC transactions.
On Oct. 9, major crypto exchange Binance confirmed on Twitter that it has begun accepting fiat currencies through online payment service Alipay and mobile messaging and payment app WeChat.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ, clarified that the exchange is not working directly with WeChat or Alipay, and users are still able to use them for peer-to-peer transactions.
This announcement followed the implementation of Binance’s peer-to-peer trading for Bitcoin, Ether (ETH) and Tether (USDT) against the Chinese yuan (CNY) earlier. (Negative)
Posjetite našu Mjenjačnicu kriptovaluta
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