Indian Government Looks to Ban Cryptocurrency Trading With New Law

India is not new when it comes to harsh and unfriendly cryptocurrency laws. Now, Bloomberg reports that the country is set to introduce a new law which will ban cryptocurrency trading within its borders.

Citing anonymous sources, the report states that India’s federal cabinet is set to discuss the bill prior to being sent to the parliament.

The report states that the Indian government will continue encouraging and supporting the growth of blockchain technology but will discourage crypto trading.

In 2018, Indian central bank instituted a ban on all crypto transactions following numerous cases of frauds prior to the sudden decision to ban about 80% of the country’s currency by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, the decision was rescinded in March this year after a successful filing of a suit in the Supreme Court by various crypto-based firms operating in the country.

The lifting of the ban saw almost a 450% increase in crypto trading in just two months from March. Paxful, a Bitcoin marketplace, registered a staggering 883% growth from January to May this year representing a growth from $2.2 million to about $22.1 million in revenues. Similarly, India’s largest crypto exchange WazirX registered a growth of 400% and 270% in March and April respectively.

The renewed effort to ban crypto trading comes at a time when the Indian Parliament has reopened following a prolonged break due to COVID-19 pandemic. The bill is likely to be introduced to parliament in this monsoon session which kicked off yesterday and is set to affect over 1.7 million Indians who actively trade in digital assets as well as institutions coming up with platforms to ease crypto trading.

Today’s report appears to be in tandem with June’s news where the nation’s finance ministry was reportedly urging for inter-ministerial consultations on how to ban crypto.

In the recent past, India’s federal government has been exploring possible ways of using blockchain technology to enhance service delivery in different sectors like management of land records, enhancement of pharmaceutical drugs supply chains, management of educational certificates, among others but remains adamant against crypto trading.

Read Original/a>
Author: Joseph Kibe

Russia’s New Amendment On Crypto Laws Could See Bitcoin Miners Lose All Their Rewards

  • New reports from Russia confirm amendments in the country’s crypto laws that could ban Bitcoin (BTC) miners from receiving mining rewards.
  • The amendment is yet to be finalized, but experts argue if the law is passed, it could have a drastic impact on the overall use of crypto assets in the country.

As first reported by a Russian news outlet, Izvestia, the Ministry of Finance in Russia, is proposing an amendment to the federal law on digital financial assets (DFA) that could see Bitcoin miners receive no rewards on their efforts. According to the letter, the amendment allows Bitcoin mining using Russian infrastructure, but miners are not allowed to receive rewards in crypto.

The amendment further bans all transactions using virtual currencies in the country with three main exceptions. However, the amendment to DFA is yet to be finalized. The letter has been sent out for interdepartmental coordination and approval across different government departments.

A Closed Mining Cycle

The new amendment raises several questions on the implementation and wording of the document. As stated above, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other crypto miners will be allowed to mine their tokens but will be stripped of its financial value as miners cannot receive BTC or ETH.

Several experts have since condemned the amendment as a “revenue loss” for the country, calling for revisions on the bill. Speaking on the issue, Dmitry Zakharov, CEO of Moscow Digital School, stated the “wording does not bode well for miners” as no other alternative has been offered on how to receive mining rewards. He added,

“Perhaps experts will try to come up with some interesting legal constructions, but all of them will be fraught with significant risks of bringing to administrative and criminal liability.”

If the amendment passes, then Russia could lose a share of its revenues, another expert on the matter said. According to Anton Babenko, partner of the Padva and Epstein law office, prohibiting receiving crypto could lead to more people not reporting their revenues, leading to tax losses.

A Leeway? Or Not?

Russia implemented a total crypto ban last year causing a public outcry that caused the parliament to shut down the ban. The latest amendments stipulate a similar ban – prohibiting any individuals, companies, or entrepreneurs from performing any transactions with virtual money. However, the amendments stipulate three exceptions to the rule – an inheritance of crypto assets, enforcement proceedings, and if a debtor goes bankrupt.

Any use of crypto in the country could lead to legal and criminal liability on the user with a 100 thousand rubles fine on individuals or five to seven years prison time and up to 1 million in fines for legal entities.

The new rules aim at tightening the use of cryptocurrencies in Russia in a bid to stop illicit items and illegal activities using Bitcoin and crypto in Russia. According to a law expert, the new amendment constitutes a “total ban on cryptocurrencies” which could have a severe impact on the countries crypto space.

The country’s policies on crypto could be a missed opportunity for the country, economist, Vladislav Ginko said earlier this month even as Russia extends its efforts in hoarding physical gold.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Irish Govt to Target Cryptocurrencies Use in Money Laundering And Terror Financing

The Irish government aims to implement stricter and more stringent laws to curb money laundering and terrorism financing in its financial system, including digital assets. In a report first published by Irish Examiner, the Cabinet is set to approve Justice Minister Helen McEntee’s bill, Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Amendment Bill 2020, to place more stringent AML/CFT laws within Ireland.

As the only remaining English-speaking state in the EU, Ireland aims to see through the implementation of the proposed EU AMLD 5 directives by including cryptocurrency service providers. The bill also follows the Travel rule, which targets the regulation of virtual asset service providers (VASPs) such as crypto wallets and exchange providers and custodians.

The report further states there will be an introduction of new government ‘designated bodies’ to keep in check money laundering and terrorist financing after the bill is signed into law.

While the bill focuses on cryptocurrencies at length, traditional financial systems will also be under the spotlight, the Justice Minister said. Some provisions in the law state that traditional banking systems will also introduce tougher customer due diligence (CDD) processes to ensure the integrity of the financial transactions.

Moreover, the law prevents banks and financial institutions from creating anonymous safe deposit boxes for their customers in a bid to increase transparency. Corporate entities registered in the country will also be forced to disclose their ownership and funding fully.

The Irish authorities started clamping down on VASPs earlier in the year as these crypto services were denied any services by the banking institutions, slowing down trading processes. Most of the banks blamed the slow process of implementing the EU AMLD5 directive and lack of a clear path to regulate crypto in the country.

Expressing his frustrations at the time, CEO of Irish crypto exchange, Boinnex, Bryan Tierney said,

“Entering into a formal relationship with entities carrying out this type of business activity is outside of our risk appetite at this time.”

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Ripple Submits A Policy Framework To Guide Indian Lawmakers In Regulating Digital Assets

  • The lack of robust laws or policies to guide the growth of crypto in India leaves enthusiasts with frightening thought of the Parliament probably taking steps towards banning crypto altogether.
  • In a bid to prevent this, American startup, Ripple, and largest custodian of XRP released a policy paper to guide digital assets legislation in the country.

India’s blockchain and digital assets industry is currently in limbo as the uncertainty rises from the country’s regulators’ view on crypto assets. Despite the Supreme Court of India ruling in favor of lifting the “unconstitutional” draconian ban on crypto by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the authorities are yet to draft a legal document regulating digital asset ecosystems.

“The Path Forward for Digital Assets Adoption in India”

The paper (titled as above) proposes short and medium-term policy frameworks to lawmakers in India in a bid to boost the overall development of blockchain and digital asset solutions in the country. The paper is filled with Ripple settlement networks and XRP advertisements but still offers a clear path on India coming into the global play in regulating the digital asset taxonomy.

In a statement on the release of the policy framework Sagar Sarbhai, Ripple’s Head of Government & Regulatory Affairs in the APAC region said:

“India is currently presented with an opportunity to develop a regulatory framework for a native digital assets ecosystem. We are optimistic about that after careful deliberation and consultation with industry participants.”

The draft submitted to the Indian legislation employs a “technology-agnostic, principles-based, and risk-adjusted” framework to provide a crisp and clear guidance structure in India.

Short and Medium-Term Plans

Ripple’s paper also offered short and medium-term plans for the Indian legislators, including attracting talent to the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) by drafting a short term digital asset framework for service providers.

The proposal focuses on the development of enterprise use cases for digital assets such as XRP. The paper further touted XRP’s potential in solving the cross border settlement problems across the region.

Furthermore, the paper also calls for the removal of digital assets, cryptocurrencies, and services arising from the “negative listing” in the RBI fintech regulatory sandbox framework. This allows developers the needed freedom to innovate and test their networks within a safe, regulated space. Navin Gupta, Ripple’s managing director in Asia, said:

“Under a clear regulatory framework, individuals and businesses can confidently take full advantage of and operate within a safe environment that encourages the use of innovative technology.”

The digital asset field in India is begging for a regulated platform with exchanges in the country recently approaching the central bank regarding taxation clarity.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Are Lawmakers in the US Allowing Pro-Crypto Bills To Be Written by Insiders?

  • Wyoming is the only crypto hub found in the United States.
  • Companies are still subjected to federal laws, when it comes to launching projects in the states.

With less than 600,000 people in Wyoming, the state has one of the lowest populations in the US. However, the many developments in the cryptocurrency industry locally have made it like a haven for these businesses. So far, there have been 13 separate laws that should help with the development of blockchain technology, introducing businesses from throughout the country.

Unfortunately, this victory comes with a little bit of a downside, as the state pushes quickly to secure their place as a mecca for crypto businesses. The founding member of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition, Robert Jennings, remarked that many cryptocurrency holders with some kind of stake in the market have been bringing forth bills without any resistance from lawmakers that still don’t understand the technology being promoted. Jennings added,

“There is no dissent or questioning of the ramifications of making Wyoming a so-called ‘cryptocurrency haven.’”

Even though it is clear that Wyoming is setting the bar for other states that may be hesitant to get involved with cryptocurrency, the new laws are still not very significant. A Blockchain lawyer at Kobre & Kim, Benjamin Sauter, stated that the permissive laws make it hard for companies to reap the benefits. Furthermore, the firms are required to follow the federal securities laws already in place. With this small progress, the US Securities and Exchange Commission still hasn’t fully gotten on board with cryptocurrency.

Wyoming established itself as the first US state to decide to consider digital assets to be legal property. Caitlin Long, a veteran of Wall Street, is the current leader of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition, and she recently stated that a new crypto-focused bill made it possible for state residents to secure 401k services involving cryptocurrency from Fidelity.

At this point, Wyoming seems to be a loner amongst states, since it is the only cryptocurrency hub in the U.S. Still, that doesn’t mean that there’s no one in positions of power in their corner. Warren Davidson (R-OH), a US Congressman, suggested tokenizing the US dollar in remarks made in September. Davidson is known for creating the Token Taxonomy Act.

Read Original/a>
Author: Krystle M