Nigeria to Regulate Cryptocurrency Trading; SEC Says Digital Assets Are Securities

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria will start regulating trade in digital currencies to ensure investor protection and that transactions are transparent. The authorities said on Monday,

“The general objective of regulation is not to hinder technology or stifle innovation, but to create standards that encourage ethical practices.”

The agency said it’ is required to regulate “when the character of the investments qualifies as securities transactions.”

In the past, the West African nation declined to recognize digital currencies as legal tender. In 2018, the Central Bank of Nigeria said that cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), XRP, Monero (XMR), and Onecoin, weren’t considered money.

The Abuja-based regulator said in a statement that it views digital currencies as exchangeable securities and that the issuers or sponsors of these virtual assets “shall be guided by the commission’s regulation.”

The country is now coming to acknowledge the growing presence of digital assets, and Ayodeji Ebo, managing director at Afrinvest securities in Lagos, said, “the earlier it is regulated, the less havoc on the economy.”

“It’s another way to provide alternative assets to investors,” he told Bloomberg.

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Author: AnTy

European Countries Support EU Stablecoin Regulation

European countries are in favor of regulating fiat-backed cryptos, stablecoins.

Spain, Italy, France, Germany, and the Netherlands backed the European Commission’s goal to regulate stablecoins.

Until the regulatory, legal, and oversight challenges have been addressed, the five countries said on Friday that stablecoins should not be allowed to operate in the EU.

According to European countries, the regulatory framework of the EU for these coins should address risks to monetary policy and protect customers while maintaining their monetary sovereignty.

All stablecoins should be pegged 1:1 with fiat currency and the reserved assets denominated in the euro or any other currency of EU member states deposited in an EU-approved institution, they said.

Much like the Bank of England Governor said last week, the draft joint statement from these countries seen by Reuters, also wants the entities operating these stablecoins to be registered in the EU.

Facebook’s Libra has pushed stablecoins on policymakers’ agenda. Given that its governance body Libra Association is based in Geneva, it can impact their plans to issue its stablecoin.

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Author: AnTy

Russia Missing the ‘Unique’ Opportunity to Invest in BTC as it Focuses on Hoarding Gold

While on one side, Russia is regulating digital currencies, on the other hand, Roskomnadzor, a federal executive body responsible for overseeing the media, is banning the crypto, fiat, and e-currencies exchange monitoring website Bestchange.

While the site is blocked by RKN, Bestchange advises people to use the blocking bypass tools like VPN, mirror site, and extensions to access the site. Other crypto sites affected include ProstocCoin and CryptoRussia.

The step has been taken by RKN because these sites promote the use of other currencies besides the ruble in the country. This is because the money can only be issued by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, and the introduction of other funds in the Russian Federation is not allowed, states the court document.

The court found these websites guilty of allowing the use of Bitcoin to purchase goods and services which violate Federal Laws. Besides the preventing financing of terrorist activities with Bitcoin, it also states the decentralized nature of bitcoin’s issuance eliminates the “possibility of its regulation.”

Amidst this anti-cryptocurrency move, economist Vladislav Ginko wrote that the country is missing the “unique” chance of stacking bitcoin as Russia focuses on gold hoarding with “the looming severe sanctions from the United States may provoke a cascade selling out of Russia’s debt.”

Ginkgo is a former vice-rector of Moscow-based Jewish University, currently an analyst and lecturer at Russia’s leading state think-tank, Presidential Academy.

He points out how some of Russia’s elite believe new sanctions are almost inevitable while the share of foreign investors plummeted from 34.9% in March this year to 29.8%. Russia’s central bank has also slashed the key rate to 4.25%.

In response, Russia’s state has become the biggest buyer of domestic produced gold. In August, Russia’s banking system accumulated 97.7 tons of gold, up 21% from one month earlier.

However, according to Ginko, the banks should invest in bitcoin instead, as some Russian elites also believe. Some of them reportedly bought BTC in January 2019 when BTC was around $3,500. He said,

“The current price of Bitcoin is not $500,000 yet, but $11,700, which means a 330% return for less than two years. Russia may miss an opportunity to catch a lucky ‘Bitcoin ticket’ to the future, and instead of it falls into the gold trap.”

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Author: AnTy

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Drafting Policy Framework to Regulate Digital Currencies

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is interested in regulating digital currencies and has already started drafting a policy framework.

This move came weeks after India curbed the ban imposed by the reserve bank of India on banks and financial institutions preventing them from dealing with individuals and businesses dealing with cryptos.

Bitcoin has also been recently recognized as money in Germany and France while being officially made legal in South Korea.

Now, Zimbabwe is gearing up to regulate cryptocurrencies. Although the central bank has warned residents of deceitful actions while trading cryptos when using unregulated exchanges in the past, it has conceded that the reality is, this is becoming a trend and there is a need to regulate the space in the country, as per local media reports.

A Regulatory Sandbox

Zimbabwe has been recently witnessing a surge in demand for bitcoin and fintech growth in trading, payments, and insurance. Now, with regulations, the country’s officials want to ensure crypto companies are vetted. RBZ deputy director financial markets and national payment systems, Mr. Josephat Mutepfa, during a Sound Prosperity Economic Forum in Bulawayo on Friday said,

“We have already started to come up with a fintech framework because in regulation everything should be well structured. The framework, which is a regulatory sandbox, will be assessing the crypto-currency companies as to how they are going to operate.”

The sandbox he explained will be an “experimenting zone,” which will involve an application criterion. Entering the sandbox means the company will exist as a legitimate product or will be guided in forming a partnership with a bank, mobile money platform or will need to be licensed.

Helping Fintech Grow

The idea behind establishing the sandbox is the capital challenge the crypto market is facing. Mutepfa said,

“The crypto-currency market is largely tapped by the young generation and in most cases, they are facing challenges of having capital. The challenge is that in the past the currency was a prerogative of central banks although it has been taken over by the digital currency who also operate within the currency of the country, which, therefore, minimises loans coming forward.”

Meanwhile, the government has to deal with the,

“Interpretation of the monetary policy into all the official languages in order for the financial sector to blossom.”

This new development is a positive movement in the current fearful market running red with price losses and fear. These regulations, Brian Maseva, a business advisor at, local crypto-based trading consortium SPURT which has about 50,000 users said will help the crypto market grow. Maseva said,

“Meeting with the central bank will help us grow and attract the public to join the digital currency, which is fast taking over the financial sector. We are now aware that there is a policy, which elaborates more on fintech guidelines that we need to follow.”

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Author: AnTy

Iran’s Ministry of Industries, Mining, and Trade Grant More Than 1,000 Crypto Miners Licenses

Iran is regulating crypto miners after a new licensing regime has been introduced by the country’s government.

According to an official representative from the Iranian ICT Guild Organization (IIG), which is a body that represents Iran’s computing sector, the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade has given more than 1,000 licenses to crypto miners.

The New Regulations Failed to Attract Foreign Investments

Amir Hossein Saeedi Naeini, also an IIG representatives, said that even though the cryptocurrency mining operations are now regulated in the country, this hasn’t attracted too many foreign investments. These are exactly his words, from local media reports:

“Our studies show that the crypto mining industry has the potential to add $8.5 billion to the economy. [But] most potential investors have left for neighboring countries, because they offer incentives for crypto miners.”

Mining Operators Attracted to Iran

The mining industry in Iran has evolved greatly over the past few years, seeing operators are very attracted to the country’s state-subsidized tariffs on electricity. There are thousands of members operating on the most popular Iranian mining channels. Besides, last year, the government of Iran came with new legislation for crypto mining to be recognized as a legitimate business. The draft proposal says operators need to submit details about their mining activity in order to receive a license that they need to renew every year.

Licensing Regime for Big Operators Only

The Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade approved the licensing regime in the summer of 2019. The licenses are being given only to mining farms that use over 30 kilowatts of electricity, meaning small household operators can’t get one. Before licensing, mining was conducted in fear because the non-compliance penalties were very high. Those who were caught not complying had to face big fines and their equipment was confiscated, not to mention some of them even ended up in jail. In June 2019, over 1,000 mining rigs have been confiscated from only 2 operators.

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Author: Oana Ularu

International Organization of Securities Commission Looks to the Public Crypto Regulation Suggestions

International Organization of Securities Commission Looks to the Public Crypto Regulation Suggestions
  • IOSCO requested feedback from public in new paper on the concerns of regulating cryptocurrency around the world.
  • Some considerations that IOSCO requests feedback for include the protection of access, price integrity, and the technology of the crypto market.

Determining the best way to regulate the cryptocurrency industry has been a goal of multiple jurisdictions around the world. Now, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has published a recent consultation paper on the matter, which was published on May 28th. The IOSCO is a standard setter for global securities regulations.

In the news release for this paper, the organization clarifies that they regulate about 95% of the securities markets around the world, while impacts 115 jurisdictions. Within the IOSCO, the organization works towards adherence to a mutual and consistent standard, determining the regulations and how they are enforced in the global securities sector.

The consultation paper is called “Issues, Risks, and Regulatory Considerations Relating to Crypto-Asset Trading Platforms.”

The paper requests feedback from the public that will help the organization understand the risks and other concerns associated with the cryptocurrency industry, as identified by IOSCO. The public will need to submit all of their comments by July 29th this year.

In the report, the company outlines certain considerations, which includes:

  • Access to CTPs
  • Protecting assets
  • Conflicts of interest
  • CTP operation
  • Market integrity
  • Price integrity
  • Technology

This innovative approach follows a G20 2018 communique that was already presented to the various entities that set the standards for regulations. The communique discussed the continuance of regulating cryptocurrencies and addressing their risks, “according to their respective mandates, and asset multilateral responses as needed.”

In some cases, the new release states that the cryptocurrency assets will end up covered by the traditional framework of the securities laws already in place. However, that circumstance will only be implemented if the local regulatory authority in that area has determined that the crypto asset is considered a security that would already be covered by the phrasing in their securities laws.

The fact that CTPs could be regulated brings up another potential issue for the authorities, according to IOSCO. For that reason, the paper states that it may be helpful to use their detailed analysis of considerations as a baseline for regulators, as they determine their revised approach.

The IOSCO established the Initial Coin Offering Consultation Network in January 2018, as a way to learn about the experiences of the ICO market. Some of the issues addressed in the annual conference that year revolved around the challenges associated with this budding asset class. As such, the challenges impacted the approaches that securities regulators worldwide took on in their governance of the industry.

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Author: Krystle M