While it can be hard to move on from a chocolate and movie-fuelled festive period, it’s important to freshen up and embrace the New Year in style. Staying on the ball is a must for the finance sector, so let’s kick off January with our very first regulations roundup: January 2019.
#1 New York Forms Blockchain Study Taskforce
Crypto regulation was at the forefront of our December roundup with both the Indian finance ministry panel and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) both looking to get a firmer grasp of the digital asset sector. Optimal regulatory practices continue to be in the limelight this year with New York announcing a task force specifically designed to learn more about cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
The task force will reportedly be made up of technologists, consumers, institutional and retail investors, representatives of enterprises and academics. The first panel report is due in December 2020 and as well as regulatory steps will cover relevant topics such as mining energy usage.
Actionable top tip: As with all regulatory updates, it’s vital to keep your eyes open to advancements occurring across the globe. Different countries and states are handling crypto-related governance in their own way and therefore being fully-clued up is essential particularly if you operate an international business or work across geographical locations with a tough crypto stance.
#2 Indian Government Updates Progress on Crypto Regulations
The Indian government has been busy piecing together a draft crypto regulation bill and now there has been a progress update. The Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance answered numerous questions including when any guidelines would be issued. To this he replied:
“In absence of a globally acceptable solution and the need to devise [a] technically feasible solution, the department is pursuing the matter with due caution. It is difficult to state a specific timeline to come up with clear recommendations.”
Regarding issues of legality, the Minister said: “The government has not recognised cryptocurrencies as legal tender. The issue of permitting trading in cryptocurrencies is currently under examination by an inter-ministerial committee.” He continued: “No decision on licensing and authorising any entity or company to operate such schemes or deal with Bitcoins or any virtual currency has been made as yet.”
The Minister also confirmed that the committee is: ““examining all issues, including the pros and cons of the introduction of an official digital currency in India.”
Actionable top tip: Watch this space; we’ll keep you in-the-know of any further news. You can also follow the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on social channels such as Twitter.
#3 Japan Publishes Draft Report of Crypto Regulations
While Christmas was celebrated across the world, Japan’ Financial Services Agency (FSA) released a draft report focussing on new crypto and ICO regulations. The report centres largely on issues that are not already covered by previous laws including hacking incidents, self-regulation, deemed dealers, privacy coins and margin trading.
With regards to hacking, the FSA has taken a firmer stance following two major Japanese crypto exchange hacks in 2018, that of Coincheck in January and Zaif in September. The FSA has requested that all exchanges strengthen the “management and maintenance of customer property” and this includes private keys. To keep consumers safe, exchanges must have net assets “equal to or more than the amount equivalent to the currency and repayment funds” in the event of a hack.
Another issue covered in the report included deemed dealers – or crypto exchanges who are allowed to operate while their license is being reviewed. To date, companies of this kind have been heavily advertising and growing their business without notifying consumers that they’re unregistered. New rules, however, will not allow organisations like this to list new coins or expand until they’ve been fully approved. They must also post a notice on their website to say they’re unregistered.
Actionable top tip: Keep an eye on the status and progress of companies that are currently unregistered including Coincheck, Lastroots, and Everybody’s Bitcoin. Stay in the know regarding the rules of each country involved with digital assets.
Crypto and Blockchain Events January 2019
With both crypto and advancing blockchain tech in the limelight, you can expect a wide array of related global summits and events including:
- UNLOCK BLOCKCHAIN – 15th-16th January – Dubai, UAE
- Crypto Investor Show – 18th-19th January – Manchester, UK
- Emerging Technology Conference & Convention – 22nd-23rd January – Singapore
- World Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Summit – 25th January – Moscow, Russia
- Japan Blockchain Conference – 30-31st January – Yokohama, Japan
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