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‘It’s Not a Blockchain’ – Why Gov’ts Could Ban Facebook’s Libra

On the day of its unveiling, Facebook’s cryptocurrency has already sparked forecasts that governments worldwide will ban it. Libra Heading For Crypto Blacklist? Libra, the protocol Facebook today revealed to the world via a somewhat clumsy website, will initially host a cryptocurrency of the same name. It will function as a value transfer system – a stablecoin – across Facebook’s family of social media platforms and messengers, and will be “easy” to cash out into fiat, say developers. This utility, however, is leading to worrying prognoses for the cryptocurrency before it has even launched. Governments, seeing Libra as an alternative to central bank monetary control, may well wish to keep citizens away from it. Facebook says it will demand government-issued ID for anyone using its coin, but the idea of the company itself becoming a centralized hub of payments and value for a user base, which could number in the billions, is frightening for the powers that be. One example, as suggested by a Kremlin economist, is that Russia will stop its citizens using Libra – by blocking Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. “Facebook’s Libra will have no alternative but to face being blocked on Russian territory,” Vladislav Glinko tweeted following publication of a dedicated whitepaper. He added that its appearance would nonetheless lead to a surge in demand for Bitcoin, despite the fact that, in his view, Libra “is not a cryptocurrency” at all. Facebook’s Crypto ‘Federal Reserve’ Worries over government reactions meanwhile also came from sources including the mainstream media, the Financial Times describing it as “nothing more than a brazen attempt to override national monetary sovereignty by creating a global-scale Federal Reserve equivalent.” “I would not be surprised if the tech companies involved think they have sufficient power to get away with it this time,” Bitcoin Core developer Peter Todd meanwhile continued. Responding an assertion that Libra would last “three months” before seeing widespread shutdowns, Todd argued it was complacency which was fuelling Facebook’s 100-strong list of corporate partners. “Possibly a cognitive blindspot amongst the execs from being privileged enough to never have been arrested; don’t really understand the power of courts/guns,” he added. ‘Not Actually A Blockchain’ Analysis of the whitepaper casts further doubt on long-term prospects, even if regulatory hurdles disappear. Libra sounds fairly well designed as a permissioned system, but it is facing quite a few long-term challenges. Oh, and it's not a blockchain. https://t.co/B3pRC8860J — Jameson Lopp (@lopp) June 18, 2019 Developers promise a transition to Proof-of-Stake algorithm, but this implies overcoming issues faced by coins such as Ethereum on its journey, Statoshi.info creator, Jameson Lopp, writes. “I’m pretty sure that would be a world first of a distributed network transitioning from permissioned to permissionless,” he summarized, noting that the Libra network is missing obvious characteristics of a blockchain. Todd agreed. “It’s remarkable how dishonest the Facebook Libra technical documents are. They repeatedly describe Libra as decentralized, when it obviously isn’t,” he concluded. Reminds me of how often academics have lied to my clients, claiming their trusted consensus solutions are trustless/decentralized. What do you think about Libra’s chances of regulatory acceptance? Let us know in the comments below! Images via Shutterstock The post ‘It’s Not a Blockchain’ – Why Gov’ts Could Ban Facebook’s Libra appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.
Bitcoinist

India: New RTI response clarifies India’s stand on cryptocurrency regulation

India’s position on crypto has been in the gray owing to a lack of legal clarity on the part of the Indian government and its financial institutions. The latest development in the space was when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) responded to a previously filed RTI (Right to Information) request, clarifying their non-involvement in […] The post India: New RTI response clarifies India’s stand on cryptocurrency regulation appeared first on AMBCrypto.
AMBCrypto

Circle, Coinbase, and Huobi Executives to Meet at G20 for Clarity on Crypto Regulation

Leaders of top crypto ventures including Circle, Coinbase, bitFlyer, Kraken, and Huobi will convene in Osaka, Japan, later this month to interact with policymakers and central bank executives of the countries of the G20 forum. This, according to a report by Financial News published on June 17, 2019. Facing the Stalwarts Head On Representatives ofRead MoreRead More. The post by Aisshwarya Tiwari appeared first on BTCManager, Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency News\
BTC Manager

India Crypto Update: Govt Department Seeks Crypto Ban Whilst Considering it Ponzi

On early June 18, 2019, a crypto news portal from India has leaked out crucial news on Indian Government’s possible decision regarding cryptocurrency within the country. Accordingly, the Govt department wants to ban cryptocurrencies in India besides putting in a basket of Ponzi schemes. Confirmed – Govt Seeking Crypto Ban in India The news comes as confirmed piece after the response received for RTI filed by Mr.Naimish Sanghvi from Coin Crunch India, a crypto news portal from India. Per the report, Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) authority addressed RTI application submitted during April and states that the meeting held on Jan 24, 2019, the IEPF authority with other bodies including DEA (Department of Economic Affairs), CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes, Government of India), CBIC (Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs), and MCA (Ministry Of Corporate Affairs) concluded discussion on implementing the ban on cryptocurrency – for sale, purchase, and issuance of all forms of cryptocurrencies. This means that Govt might soon propose a ban on sale, purchase, and issuance and not necessarily holding a cryptocurrency. However, reports also confirmed that Govt is pulling crypto in a list of Ponzi schemes. RTI addressed 11 key questions concerning crypto ban, wherein the answer to RTI cleared out only questions by citing section 2 (f) of the RTI Act, 2005. The original copy of the RTI reads that; A meeting on this subject was held under the Chairmanship of CEO, IEPF Authority on 24.01.2019 with all concerned i.e. Department of Economic Affairs, CBDT, CBIC, and MCA. It was unanimously decided in the meeting that the Department of Revenue and Department of Economic Affairs may immediately take steps to completely ban sale, purchase, and issuance of all forms and types of cryptocurrencies. In the meeting, it was discussed that it has features of Ponzi schemes. Image Source – CoinCrunchIndia But it’s Not Law Or Approved Bill Yet While Govt stance on crypto seems restrictive, on the other hand, the crypto community is stubborn to influence Govt on the use-cases of cryptocurrency and blockchain in India – if positive regulations come forth. As such, Blockchained India, an independent blockchain community in India stepped out to gather collective voices of Indian blockchain & crypto enthusiasts. Besides that, Varun Sethi who is famously known as Blockchain Lawyer has also begun a new signature campaign when the buzz of 10-year jail bill rolled out. Accordingly, the Signature campaign intends to collect votes from Indian crypto & blockchain enthusiasts to support crypto & form positive regulations around it. Moreover, it is worth to note that the crypto ecosystem in India is still in a state of limbo. Today’s RTI response is merely the official confirmation and the possible decision by Indian Govt. Having said that, this is not the law or bill passed by Govt yet. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court of India is yet to discuss and finalize the aspect of crypto in India on July 23, 2019. And the #IndiaWantsCrypto campaign by Nishchal Shetty, CEO of WazirX exchange still waiting to hear out from finance minister and prime minister. As such, it is 229th day for the campaign. Stay updated with Coingape.com by subscribing or following on Twitter, we’re bringing quick updates as soon as possible. Stay tuned, stay updated.! Image source – Shutterstock The post India Crypto Update: Govt Department Seeks Crypto Ban Whilst Considering it Ponzi appeared first on Coingape.
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Cryptocurrency influencers react to Facebook’s Libra, boon or risk for Bitcoin?

Some of the most prominent figures in the crypto community took to Twitter to share their thoughts on Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency. While some claim that Libra lacks the necessary features to compete with Bitcoin in the race to become the world’s currency, others argue that it could destroy most altcoins and stablecoins in the market. 2/ Libra's mission is to enable a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people. — David Marcus (@davidmarcus) June 18, 2019 Facebook’s Libra Facebook’s highly anticipated cryptocurrency was finally unveiled. “[It] is a new global cryptocurrency, built on an open-source blockchain called the Libra Blockchain featuring its own proof-of-stake protocol,” said the whitepaper. The term “global cryptocurrency” comes from the fact that it nodes will be distributed across the globe and it is not pegged to a single fiat currency, according to the documents. Instead, it will be backed by different real-world assets denominated in the American dollar, British pound, Japanese yen, and the euro and other low-risk securities. The Libra Association, a Switzerland-based non-profit, will release the Libra blockchain in 2020 with a group of 28 founding members that will be in charge of validating transactions in the network. The list of network validators include Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Uber, Lyft, eBay, and others, that have invested around $10 million to be part of the board and operate a node. Facebook also launched a new subsidiary called Calibra, which is a digital wallet designed to “provide financial services that will enable people to access and participate in the Libra network.” With Facebook’s gigantic user base and its ability to leverage WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram, Calibra will instantaneously compete with the world’s most popular existing wallets and exchanges, such as Coinbase, RobinHood, CashApp, and others. Even though this is a massive play for Facebook for entering the financial services industry, the cryptocurrency community expressed a mixture of concern, distrust, and excitement. Many took to Twitter to express their sentiment about the recent move by the social network giant. Crypto Twitter’s reaction Anthony Sassano, the co-founder of EthHub, points out that in order to sign up for Calibra, a government-issued ID is required to “comply with laws and prevent fraud.” 2/ To get started with Calibra, you'll need a government-issued ID to sign up for an account and the website states that "identity verification is important to comply with laws and prevent fraud, so you know people are who they say they are." Well, of course 😅 — Anthony Sassano (@sassal0x) June 18, 2019 According to @AkadoSand, this KYC procedure poses a major security risk for its users since the first time a transaction is made from an account, any future transactions will be linked to it as well as any other sensitive information. $LIBRA will be the best thing that will happen to chain analysis and LE. From the moment you make a single tx, your id will be linked to it and all future txs forever Like BTC but as soon as you use it you're automatically KYC'ed. Profile, location, timestamps, preferences, etc — Akado 'Bitcoin Halving in 339 days' Sang (@AkadoSang) June 16, 2019 With a user base of two billion people, Changpeng Zhao, the founder and CEO of Binance, believes that Facebook will not only have access to its users names, IDs, addresses, phone numbers, family members, friends, real-time and historic location, but with the introduction of Calibra, it will now gain access to their financial data. Facebook Libra coin don't need KYC. They have so much more data on the 2 billion people. Not just name, id, address, phone number. They know your family, friends, real-time/historic location, what you like… They know you more than yourself. And now your wallet too. Best AML! — CZ Binance (@cz_binance) June 18, 2019 Such a vast amount of information under a central authority could lead to a “disaster in slow motion,” as Tamas Blummer, a Bitcoin Core developer, indicates. The VP at CoinTerra suggests that technical features of Libra, such as “account model, generic language, [and] on-chain scaling,” makes it more of an Ethereum competitor than Bitcoin. Libra resembles Ethereum more than Bitcoin. It contains all the features that make Ethereum garbage. account model, generic language, gas, on-chain scaling with sharding, some BFT consenus. In addition it has to implement all KCY and AML. A sure disaster in slow motion. — Tamas Blummer (@TamasBlummer) June 18, 2019 Along the same lines, Pavol Rusnak, CTO at SatoshiLabs, and Ran Neu-Ner, CEO of Onchain Capital,  asserted that Facebook’s new cryptocurrency could have the potential to replace altcoins and stablecoins, but it will fail against Bitcoin. Facebook just gave Bitcoin its biggest boost ever and also rendered 90% of alts useless at the same time. — Ran NeuNer (@cryptomanran) June 18, 2019 The fact that Libra is not decentralized or censorship resistant, while its legal and tax status remains unclear— as Larry Cermak, research director at The Block Crypto pointed out—reduces its chances of becoming “the Bitcoin killer.” Just so we are clear, Libra is:– not decentralized– not censorship resistant– not guaranteed to work technologically – not guaranteed to be cleared by regulators– not clear in regards to tax implications — Larry Cermak (@lawmaster) June 18, 2019 To Peter Todd, a Bitcoin Core developer, Libra is indeed just an “unscalable centralized database,” but to Saifaden Ammous, author of The Bitcoin Standard, it is actually the only cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin that has the potential to succeed. Libra whitepaper initial analysis: The only digital currency other than bitcoin that matters, and it could succeed massively. But it does not compete with bitcoin, it reinforces bitcoin's value proposition, and will likely need to rely on bitcoin if it succeeds. Thread👇 — Saifedean Ammous (@saifedean) June 18, 2019 Libra is still one year away from being launched and its impact on the cryptocurrency market remains to be seen. As Facebook advertises its new project to its 2 billion customers, more people will be exposed to the terms “cryptocurrency” and “blockchain,” which could bring more attention into the market. The overall sentiment across the crypto community can be summed up in one tweet by Alistair Milne, CIO at Atlanta Digital Currency Fund. Sell Libra, buy Bitcoin — Alistair Milne (@alistairmilne) June 18, 2019 The post Cryptocurrency influencers react to Facebook’s Libra, boon or risk for Bitcoin? appeared first on CryptoSlate.
Cryptoslate

Facebook unveils Libra cryptocurrency

Facebook announced its own cryptocurrency Libra that will be backed and controlled by the Libra Association which also includes founding members Uber, Lyft and Spotify. The platform will allow users to buy and send money without racking up as many fees as traditional financial platforms. Users can buy or cash out the cryptocurrency at local exchange points and spend it using interoperable third-party wallet apps, according to a Libra whitepaper. The cryptocurrency also claims to make it easier to send money between countries for less that it would cost with traditional providers. Facebook is also launching a subsidiary called Calibra to handle its crypto dealings and protect user privacy by keeping Libra payments and Facebook data separate so that it won’t be used for targeted advertising. User identities also won’t be tied to publicly visible transactions but Libra association members will earn interest on money that users cash in. That interest will be held in reserve to keep the value of the currency stable. ProPrivacy.com digital privacy expert Ray Walsh expressed doubts about the platform given Facebook’s track record for protecting consumer data. “Considering that Facebook is already the second largest advertiser in the world (second only to Google), this added integration is concerning,” Walsh said. “The idea that social data and financial data could be combined is worrying, and although Facebook claims that it will keep the distinct data sets at arm’s length – it is hard to believe that consumer habits will not be tracked in order to allow Facebook to better serve ads,” he said. Walsh contended because Facebook produces the majority of its revenue through ads and has proven untrustworthy with consumer data on several occasions in the past, it seems unlikely that the company does not plan to exploit as much consumer data as legally permitted. The post Facebook unveils Libra cryptocurrency appeared first on SC Media.
SC Media

CNBC Video: Jim Cramer Calls Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency Coin Brilliant After Reading Whitepaper

Facebook Officially Announces The Creation Of Its Cryptocurrency Libra, CNBC’s Cramer Says the Project Is Brilliant Today, Facebook finally announced its most awaited project, Libra. According to the organization, a new Facebook regulated subsidiary called Calibra was created in order to manage the project and to create a new wallet based on the service. The head of […]
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