Regulations Roundup December 2019

We’re getting ready to deck the halls and stock up on mince pies. In fact some of you started in November #eyeroll. But we’ve not forgotten to keep you updated with our Regulations Roundup December 2019. As always, we’re on top of the latest finance and crypto news and updates.  Put the advent calendar down and let’s do this.

South Korea Takes Steps to Regulate the Crypto Space

After months of debate, South Korea finally passed a bill that paves the way to crypto regulation. The new bill essentially categorises cryptocurrencies as digital assets and recognises crypto exchanges as financial businesses. This is huge news from a country that has long been at the forefront of cryptocurrency adoption and is likely to have far-reaching implications.

The specifics of the bill require crypto exchanges to report and register with the Financial Services Commission (FSC) – a South Korean regulatory body. They will also have to comply with strict know-your-customer (KYC) rules, anti-money laundering regulations (AML) and customer verification policies. The security systems of exchanges will be in the spotlight too and need to be tightened if companies want to stay in operation.

Existing trading platforms will be required to report to the FSC’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), with those failing to be certified under the Information Security Management System (ISMS) set to not be approved. Regulating the crypto space has proven to be notoriously difficult over the past few years, but such measures are significant for the industry.

Top tip for marketers: Keep an eye on regulation updates in 2020. The space is likely to change considerably with updates effecting business practices.

UK Release New Report Over Crypto’s Legal Status

While the UK still lacks a concrete framework for crypto regulation, a legal statement report has been made to lay down the foundations for robust regulations for crypto, blockchain and smart contracts. The legal statement most notably outlines crypto assets as tradeable property and smart contracts as enforceable agreements under local law. This shows that progress is slowly bubbling under the surface, despite the ongoing Brexit saga and economic instability.

A statement from the Chancellor of the High Court and Chair of the U.K. Jurisdiction Taskforce, Geoffrey Vos, kicks off the report. It reads:

“In legal terms, crypto assets and smart contracts undoubtedly represent the future. I hope that the Legal Statement will go a long way towards providing much needed market confidence, legal certainty and predictability in areas that are of great importance to the technological and legal communities and to the global financial services industry.”

Top tip for marketers: Follow CryptoUK – the first self-regulatory trade association for the UK crypto asset industry.

The FCA Proposes Huge Changes to the UK’s Regulation System

As Brexit continues to whirr, it can be easy to miss other significant updates, including proposals from the FCA. In order to ensure the UK remains a competitive financial hub post-Brexit, radical changes could be in the pipelines for the regulatory system in Britain.

Christopher Woolard, for instance, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition, announced that the FCA is looking at a major review of all of the UK’s financial services regulations. As we move forward, the FCA wants to tackle problems holistically, be clearer in its principles and expectations on businesses and work with fellow regulators to focus on outcomes, not narrow individual mandates.

Top tip for marketers: Follow the FCA on Twitter to stay abreast of any updates.

Top Finance Events for December

It’s holiday season for many, but that doesn’t mean the events calendar is coming to a slowdown in the finance space. There are plenty of finance events to look forward to including:

  • 3-4 December – Fintech Connect – London
  • 4-5 December – Global Open Finance Summit – Edinburgh
  • 10-11 December – CryptoBlockCon – Las Vegas
  • 15 December – Blockchain Day – Dubai

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