UAE Introduces New Law to Combat Crypto Crime, Allows Licensed Cryptocurrency Offering & Promotion

UAE Introduces New Law to Combat Crypto Crime, Allows Licensed Cryptocurrency Offering & Promotion

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is introducing new rules to promote cryptocurrency development while curbing digital currency scams targeting investors in the country.

Under the new rules, crypto scammers will face prison time for up to 5 years and a penalty of up to AED 1 million (just over $272k), starting January 2, 2022.

Previously, the UAE laws banned promoting crypto but didn’t penalize it, but now, in a first for the country, the amendments have been introduced to punish those who promote or encourage a dealing in crypto that is not officially recognized in the UAE or post misleading ads or inaccurate data about any product.

The new law will also punish those raising money from the public without a license from competent authorities.

It was only last month that the new legislation was introduced by the UAE President as part of several legal reforms.

Much like the rest of the world, there has been a rise in crypto scams in the UAE, with the most recent and publicized one being the DubaiCoin scam which claimed to be launched as Dubai’s official cryptocurrency.

It was later discovered that the project was phishing data and money from investors. The Dubai Government then released an official statement in May dismissing claims of the coin being the official crypto of Dubai, but many had fallen prey to the fraud already.

Dispute resolution lawyer at ADG Legal Kostubh Devnani said,

“The positive news is that apart from the new laws, and UAE stepping up efforts to combat financial crime, courts in other (particularly common law) jurisdictions have been willing to grant remedies normally applicable to physical or tangible property to victims of crypto scams, such as freezing orders and orders for production of information.”

The UAE does not recognize crypto as a legal tender, but there are no direct bans on cryptocurrencies either.

In fact, those engaging in crypto-related activities such as offering, issuing, promoting, listing, and trading of cryptocurrencies are required under the new law to be licensed by the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA).

The new Online Security Law that replaces the previous law ‘Concerning Anti-Cybercrimes’ is one of the first comprehensive legal frameworks in the region to address the risks associated with the illegal use of cryptocurrencies and enhance consumer protection.

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Author: AnTy

Loopring Launches L2 Wallet with zKRollup Baked In, Ethereum L2 Developer StarkWare Introduces L3

Loopring Launches L2 Wallet with zKRollup Baked In, Ethereum L2 Developer StarkWare Introduces L3

Loopring also announced direct L2 fiat on-ramps to “onboard the masses” while ZK-rollups focused StarkWare targets applications’ need for specific tailoring with L3.

Ethereum Layer 2 zkRollup protocol, Loopring (LRC), has announced the launch of its L2-exclusive Counterfactual Wallet.

“A major step forward today on our mission to onboard the masses directly onto Ethereum secured Layer 2,” said the team.

Loopring, which is building non-custodial products on top of its Layer 2 that includes Ethereum smart wallet and an AMM DEX, unveiled the iOS version of the wallet on Tuesday, with the Android version coming soon.

According to the Loopring team, this wallet is the first Ethereum wallet with zkRollup scaling baked in. The scaling solution aims to help smaller users who are priced out of Ethereum due to its high gas fees.

Building the wallet on L2 means users don’t have to pay costly creation fees, as they have to on L1.

“One day our goal is to give users a complete L2-only experience, without the need to ever have to withdraw back to L1.”

The Loopring team claims that the Counterfactual Wallet offers 100x cheaper fees while coming with zk-baked in, which ensures the user gets the same security as Ethereum. ETH -0.88% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 3,986.55
-$35.08-0.88%
Volume 13.87 b Change -$35.08 Open $3,986.55 Circulating 118.85 m Market Cap 473.8 b
2 h SEBA Bank Submits A Proposal To Be A Whitelister to Aave Arc 9 h Loopring Launches L2 Wallet with zKRollup Baked In, Ethereum L2 Developer StarkWare Introduces L3 9 h Trump Warns of A Crypto Explosion Bigger Than Big Tech While Appreciating Former First Lady’s NFT Plans

Besides the wallet, the team also announced direct L2 fiat on-ramps, removing a massive barrier to Loopring adoption. Initially, direct deposits on Loopring L2 and Loopring Wallet have been introduced, with withdrawals to come soon too.

In its announcement, the Loopring team urged centralized exchanges to support direct layer 2 deposits and withdrawal as well.

On the back of these developments, Loopring’s native token LRC, a $2.8 billion market cap cryptocurrency, spiked 26% in value. As of writing, LRC is trading around $2.26, down 40% from its all-time high hit just last month.

The same day as Loopring’s announcement, StarkWare, an Ethereum L2 developer using ZK-rollups, introduced L3, the application-specific layer built recursively over L2.

While L2s boost scalability with reduced gas cost per transaction and retain the benefits of decentralization, StarkWare said some applications need specific tailoring, and that’s why it is bringing in L3.

L3 will offer the benefits of hyper-scalability, better control, privacy, cheaper/simpler L2-L3, and L3-L3 interoperability, and acting as a “Canary” network for L2.

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Author: AnTy

LATAM’s Crypto Adoption: Panama Introduces Bill to Regulate Crypto and Recognize BTC and ETH as Payment Methods

LATAM’s Crypto Adoption: Panama Introduces Bill to Regulate Crypto and Recognize BTC and ETH as Payment Methods

With crypto law, the country seeks to become “compatible with the blockchain, crypto assets, and the internet” along with smart contracts and DAOs.

On Tuesday, El Salvador officially adopted Bitcoin as a legal tender, and on the same day, another Central American country Panama joined the crypto revolution.

With this move, the Republic of Panama will regulate the use of cryptocurrencies throughout the country.

Congressman Gabriel Silva announced on Twitter that Panama had drafted a cryptocurrency law that would recognize both Bitcoin and Ethereum as payment methods. The bill will allow individuals and legal entities to freely use digital currencies as a means of payment not prohibited by the law.

“Today we present the Crypto Law. We seek to make Panama a country compatible with the blockchain, crypto assets, and the internet. This has the potential to create thousands of jobs, attract investment and make the government transparent,” reads the translated version of the bill.

Furthermore, the draft proposes that taxes and fees may be paid using crypto. Following the worldwide trend, cryptocurrency will be subject to capital gains tax but excluded from the value-added tax (VAT).

The country’s lawmakers are also supporting the use of the underlying technology blockchain in the public and banking sector.

The project seeks to “expand the digitalization of the state” through the technology by digitizing the entity of individuals and legal entities, according to the draft. This digitization process will make Panama compatible with smart contracts and DAOs, the bill adds.

“The country has all the potential to be a digital identity provider for the rest of the world.”

The proposed legislation will further allow the use of distributed ledger technology, blockchain, or cryptocurrencies by issuers of securities to represent those releases.

The bill talks about Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation and its divisible nature, much like Ethereum and other crypto assets.

According to a local publication, Silva, a member of an independent and opposite party Bancada Independiente, said that the bill does not seek to impose digital currency or forced means of payment but rather goes for the freedom to use them.

Over the last two months, Silva met with public institutions like the National Bank, the Superintendency of Banks, and the Ministry of Finance that would be involved in this operation of crypto and said both the ruling and opposition benches are willing to deal with the bill.

While the use of cryptocurrencies is not illegal in the country, with this bill, lawmakers seek to bring certainties in the fiscal rules.

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Author: AnTy

Uniswap Introduces Token Censorship On its Front-End Due to ‘Regulatory’ Reasons

Uniswap Introduces Token Censorship On its Front-End Due to ‘Regulatory’ Reasons, Protocol Remains Decentralized as Ever

Users can still trade the delisted 129 tokens that include synthetic stocks, currencies, commodities, inverse derivatives, options, and yield-generating tokens; via decentralized interfaces and aggregators.

A total of 129 tokens, synthetic stocks, synthetic currencies, synthetic commodities, inverse derivatives, options, index products, yield-generating tokens; has been removed from the leading decentralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap, announced Uniswap Labs, a software studio that contributes to the protocol.

The delisting has been done in response to “the evolving regulatory landscape.”

These tokens include the likes of Gold Tether (XAUT), Grup Cat, Opyn cDai Insurance, Zelda Spring Nuts Cash, multiple Mirrored stock tokens, and several Synth cryptos and Synth Inverse cryptos.

They represent a “very small” portion of the overall volume on the Uniswap Protocol, it said in the announcement.

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The portal app.uniswap.org is an open-source interface for reliable interaction with the Uniswap Protocol. Unlike the interface, the Uniswap Protocol is a set of autonomous, decentralized, and immutable smart contracts which provide unrestricted access to anyone with an Internet connection, clarified the team.

As Banteg of Yearn Finance noted, “Uniswap has introduced token censorship on the main UI.”

It is the interface that is restricting the access to particular tokens, which is “consistent with actions taken by other DeFi interfaces” and has no impact on Uniswap Interface code or other portals or locally-run instances used to access the Protocol.

Users can basically still trade these affected assets via contracts, decentralized interfaces, or aggregators.

The crypto community didn’t take this news well, calling it a bad move. Some in the community wondered about the lack of UNI governance token holders’ input in the decision and the reason behind removing these particular coins, while others called for its demise.

“People can’t comprehend the difference between http://uniswap.org (a frontend owned by a company) and a protocol (a series of smart contracts hosted on ethereum) and cannot see this is regulator enforced,” commented influencer CryptoCobain who hosts UpOnly podcast.

“There’s no censorship at the contract level that’s the point of DeFi frontends are just a convenience for users. In a couple of years, only community run frontends will be around,” said a DeFi enthusiast.

Moving forward, Uniswap Labs said they would continue to develop products and contribute to the Uniswap Protocol in accordance with the broader DeFi industry’s values, that is, safe, transparent, and robust financial infrastructure to empower users around the world.

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Author: AnTy

Kazakhstan to Capitalize on Crypto Mining Boom; Introduces New Tax on Bitcoin Mining Starting Jan 2022

Kazakhstan to Capitalize on Crypto Mining Boom; Introduces New Tax on Bitcoin Mining Starting Jan 2022

Miners are speaking out against the new law on crypto mining in Kazakhstan, which accounts for 6.17% of Bitcoin’s global hash rate, and are seeing interest following the regulatory crackdown in the neighboring country.

Kazakhstan is becoming a hot spot to mine cryptocurrencies, especially after the crackdown on crypto mining in neighboring country China, and the authorities want to capitalize on this growing trend.

As of April 2020, Kazakhstan accounted for 6.17% of Bitcoin’s global hash rate, according to Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index.

While cryptocurrencies already exist in Kazakhstani legislation as “unsecured digital assets,” their circulation in the country is prohibited. In June 2020, “digital mining” was also introduced into the law.

Amendments to the tax code have been sent to the Senate, whose supporters believe this will become an incentive for the mining sector in Kazakhstan. In 2020, crypto mining brought in almost 10 billion tenges in taxes (over $23 million) and $160 million in export earnings, noted local publication.

According to the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation, and Aerospace Industry, 17 digital mining farms are in the country. Back in Feb, one of the Ministry’s officials announced the plans to “bring” 1% of the world’s crypto turnover to Kazakhstan.

As of now, there are no special taxations for miners, but an amendment was proposed by Majilis deputy Albert Rau which introduces a new tax for mining farms. The new tax proposed will be calculated at the rate of 1 tenge per 1 kilowatt-hour of electrical energy consumed in digital mining.

This bill will come into effect on January 1, 2022, if adopted in its current form.

The bill’s main goal is to “bring this sector out of the shadows,” said Rau.

According to the bill, the amendments will allow the authority to administer the activities of miners.

Information on cryptocurrency miners will be collected by the “authorized body in the field of information security” every quarter, making it possible to find mining farms. If necessary, power engineers can also find them by their stable high daily electricity consumption, Rau said.

Miners, meanwhile, are opposed to the new tax. Back in May, Alan Dordzhiev, President of the Association of Blockchain and Data Center Industry in Kazakhstan, said that miners are already paying several billion tenges in various taxes.

“The urgency in adopting the amendments is alarming investors who may leave the industry” and “cause regulatory risks for foreign investors with a further loss of interest in reinvesting in the industry.”

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Author: AnTy

Digital Assets AG Introduces Free-Floating Tokenized Stocks On Solana Blockchain

Digital Assets AG Introduces Free-Floating Tokenized Stocks On Solana Blockchain

Asset Tokenization firm Digital Assets AG (DAAG) has expanded its tokenized stock services into the Solana blockchain.

Solana-based Tokenized Stocks To Debut On FTX

The firm announced that the new Solana-based offering would now be available for users on the crypto exchange FTX.

Users in permitted jurisdictions will be able to buy, sell and withdraw the 55 Solana-based tokenized stocks 24 hours a day. Popular stocks that would be traded include Facebook, Google, Netflix, Nvidia, PayPal, and Tesla.

It is not surprising that DAAG chose FTX to launch its Solana-based tokens. The exchange and Solana already have a partnership.

FTX operates its decentralized exchange (DEX) called Serum on the Solana blockchain. In addition, the sister company of the Bitcoin exchange, Alameda Research is also an investor in Solana.

The newly launched assets described by DAAG as free-floating security tokens are regulated and approved to trade on tokenized platforms. With this move, centralized and decentralized exchanges built on Solana will be able to add tokenized stock trading to their platforms.

Prior to now, the firm used a private blockchain which only gave users the option to open or close positions. Also, there were restrictions as users could not make withdrawals, or initiate cross-chain transfers.

DAAG already operates tokenized stock trading on crypto exchanges like Binance and Bittrex Global. Binance launched the trading of tokenized versions of stocks on its platform in April in collaboration with DAAG and German-Swiss CM-Equity AG. Brandon Williams, corporate development lead at Digital Assets said,

“The move from operating on a private blockchain to operating on Solana will offer a much more efficient, and cost-effective environment for the trading and utilization of tokenized stocks. We envision the entirety of traditional finance and capital markets being able to operate on the blockchain.”

Digital Assets AG is a Swiss-based firm focused on the design, structure, and issuance of tokenized financial instruments. The firm drives innovation in capital markets and builds bridges between traditional finance and Defi. It has a host of partners such as FTX, Bittrex, and many others.

Solana: The Ethereum Killer

Solana is an advanced open-source blockchain project focused on providing a highly scalable, secure, and maximally decentralized platform.

It is seen as a major competitor to Ethereum because it processes transactions at a higher speed and at lower costs.

The firm has received huge support from investors, venture capitalists, and other market participants recently.

Early this month, the firm raised $314 million from several investors to accelerate the development of its blockchain. The investors included notables like Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain Capital, and others.

According to the firm, the investment would be used to develop the Solana blockchain.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Prohibit Crypto Mining in NY, Pending Environmental Assessments

Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Prohibit Crypto Mining in NY, Pending Environmental Assessments

Bitcoin’s rallies have brought the crypto industry to the fore of financial services, but it has also presented environmental issues. Bitcoin mining has shot up due to increased demand for the world’s oldest cryptocurrency.

But the discourse is gradually turning on the energy consumption of the premier digital asset.

Bill To Prohibit Crypto Mining Introduced

Following energy concerns elicited by Bitcoin mining, a new bill was introduced at the New York State Senate to address the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining centers.

The bill called New York Senate Bill 6486 and introduced by Senator Kevin Parker aims to stop crypto mining plants from working until their environmental impact can be determined.

The bill has been sent to the State Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee for further review.

According to the bill’s provisions, all crypto mining firms would observe a three-year hiatus wherein the state would conduct a comprehensive survey of the environmental impact of the firm’s greenhouse gas emissions from mining cryptocurrencies.

It will also look into the likely impact on water quality, air quality, and the wildlife in the environment.

The inspection would then be concluded with a 120-day public comment period and a public hearing. Mining plants found to be toxic to the environment would not be permitted to operate.

The bill introduced on Monday by Senator Parker noted that this step was necessary given the rising impact of climate change on the health, welfare, and economy of New York. It also said that severe climate conditions have led to flooding, rising sea levels, heat waves, coastal erosion, unpredictable weather conditions, loss of wildlife, increased risk of disease outbreak, and several other causes.

The document also pointed out that crypto transactions, most especially Bitcoin’s, consumed too much energy. It estimates the power needed to process transactions in a month as the same amount used by a country.

BTC Contributing To Global Warming

Previously, the general criticism against crypto and Bitcoin was the volatility surrounding them. Before this issue was solved, Bitcoin’s detractors shifted to the energy needed to process transactions.

Bitcoin uses a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm, which can be energy-consuming. Some groups have argued that Bitcoin transactions require more energy than countries like Argentina and Sweden consume yearly. But others say that this could be good for the world.

Popular fintech Square revealed in its report that Bitcoin could lead the world to cut down on its carbon footprint. The tech giant believes BTC could force the world to look into renewable energy sources to generate power.

According to the report, Bitcoin miners are poised to capitalize on and leverage renewable sources. Per the report,

“Bitcoin miners are unique energy buyers in that they offer highly flexible and easily interruptible load, provide a payout in a globally liquid cryptocurrency, and are completely location agnostic, requiring only an internet connection.”

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Author: Jimmy Aki

TRON Takes Aim at Ethereum’s NFT Market with the Launch of its TRC-721 Standard

TRON Takes Aim at Ethereum’s NFT Market with the Launch of its TRC-721 Standard

Tron introduces its non-fungible token (NFT) standard, TRC-721, to take over the growing NFT market. DApps created on Tron’s TRC-721 will be compatible with Ethereum’s ERC-721 standard.

Tron founder Justin Sun publicly revealed the specifications of the TRC-721 standard in a tweet shared on Tuesday, which will support the in-demand non-fungible token (NFT) market. An accompanying document explains TRC-721 as a set of standard rules that allows the creation and issuing of NFT tokens on the TRON blockchain.

The standard allows full compatibility of Ethereum’s ERC-721 standard, allowing cross-chain transactions. Additionally, every TRC-721 compliant contract must implement the TRC721 and TRC165 interfaces to start issuing tokens on the blockchain.

To start issuing tokens on TRC-721 standard, users need to install a TronLink Chrome extension and launch their account from a previous mnemonic phrase, a hardware wallet or create a new wallet. A minimum of 350 TRX tokens is needed to start issuing tokens.

Developers only need to customize the name and symbol of the token in a provided template and deploy the smart contract to start minting NFT tokens.

Justin Sun has been a rather active member in the rising NFT market, once bidding over $1 million for Jack’s tweet turned to NFT. Notwithstanding, recent reports state the flashy CEO narrowly missed a bid for the Beeple Art sold by Christie’s for over $69.3 million.

With the launch of the TRC-721 standard, Justin expects Tron to compete with and eventually replace Ethereum’s dominance in the NFT market. Despite the market dominance by Ethereum, recent challenges with high gas fees have caused several users to look to other blockchains. TRON aims to offer users a low fee and instant transaction platform in its new quest in the NFT market.

TRON is also witnessing huge adoption rates as the daily transaction volume increases by the week. Growing from 3.2 million transactions to 3.6 million in less than a fortnight, TRX looks to break the 4 million mark soon.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Nvidia’s Latest RTX 3060 Limits Ether Hash Rate by 50%, Introduces CMP for Professional Mining

Nvidia’s Latest RTX 3060 Limits Ether Hash Rate by 50%, Introduces CMP for Professional Mining

Nvidia is limiting the Ethereum hash rate by 50% with its latest RTX 3060 software drivers, shared by the company on Thursday. It noted,

“RTX 3060 software drivers are designed to detect specific attributes of the Ethereum cryptocurrency mining algorithm and limit the hash rate, or cryptocurrency mining efficiency, by around 50 percent.”

The company that designs graphics processing units for the gaming and professional market said they took this decision because GeForce GPUs were designed for gamers and,

“We are gamers, through and through. We obsess about new gaming features, new architectures, new games, and tech.”

As such, to ensure GeForce RTX 3060, to be launched on Feb. 25th ends up in the hands of gamers, their mining efficiency has been limited.

GeForce RTX GPUs introduce RTX real-time ray-tracing, DLSS AI-accelerated image upscaling technology, Reflex super-fast response rendering for the best system latency, and other cutting-edge technology tailored to meet the needs of gamers.

However, it doesn’t mean they won’t cater to the cryptocurrency miners. To meet the specific needs of Ethereum mining, the company has announced NVIDIA CMP or Cryptocurrency Mining Processor, a product line for professional mining.

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CMP products are optimized for the best mining performance and efficiency but don’t do graphics and do not meet the specifications required of a GeForce GPU.

These products lack display outputs and enabling improved airflow while mining means they can be packed more densely. Furthermore, they have a lower peak core voltage and frequency, improving mining power efficiency.

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Author: AnTy

Iowa Senate Introduces Blockchain Bill to Regulate Smart Contracts as Law

Iowa Senate Introduces Blockchain Bill to Regulate Smart Contracts as Law

Iowa is the latest state in the U.S. to introduce a bill targeting blockchain technology and smart contracts. The bill aims to level the playing field between smart contracts and traditional contracts.

The state of Iowa introduced a partisan bill that recognizes and regulates blockchain technology and its smart contracts logic similar to traditional arrangements. Senate Bill 303, presented to the chamber by Republican State Senator Mark Lofgren, states there will be an oversight on smart contracts and anyone using a distributed ledger technology will be liable to similar laws as currently stipulated for traditional record keepers.

“A contract shall not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because an electronic record was used in its formation,” the bill reads, “or because the contract is a smart contract or contains a smart contract provision.”

Additionally, the bill also adds the concept of security through DLTs to define an “electronic record” and “electronic signature.”

The state of Iowa has been experimenting with blockchain technology and DLTs with the Iowa Democratic Party’s Caucus once trying out a mobile voting app built on the blockchain.

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Author: Lujan Odera