What’s happening in the world of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies? A summary of exciting news from all over the world…
The world witnesses uncertain days. Various reasons like geopolitical factors, a raging pandemic, and important shifts in the market cause this uncertainty. As governments, businesses, and non-governmental organizations try to bring back a degree of predictability, their gaze turns to technology. Blockchain is making a mark here. Join us, as we review the important recent developments in the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
North America: The focus is on geopolitics and regulatory considerations
The following pieces of news illustrate how the focus is on geopolitics and regulations in North America:
Observers caution about an exodus of money from the USA to China via investments in Bitcoin
The decision of the Chinese government to clamp down on cryptocurrencies has attracted plenty of interest. Many observers believe that it’s only a part of the whole story. They believe that the Chinese government won’t disrupt the flow of money from the USA to China via investments in Bitcoin. Observers caution that the US is seeing a considerable exodus of money via Bitcoin investments.
They state that the USA is investing billions of dollars into the Chinese economy annually via this route. The bulk of the global Bitcoin trade happens in exchange for US dollars. “Bitcoin mining”, a computing and energy-intensive process creates new Bitcoins.
65% of the Bitcoin mining companies operate from China. Miners in China earn rewards that could amount to $7 billion in a year. This massive amount of money circulates in the Chinese economy. Observers don’t believe that the recent crackdown by the Chinese government will impact Bitcoin mining noticeably.
The US Treasury department prioritizes implementing regulations concerning cryptocurrencies
Brian Nelson, a high-ranking US government functionary has stated that implementing cryptocurrencies-related regulations has a high priority. Nelson is the nominee of the US President for under-secretary of the US Treasury departments’ division on terrorism and financial crimes.
He recently clarified that he would focus on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations. Nelson stated that cryptocurrencies are of high priority here. He stressed the innovative nature of cryptocurrencies. However, he believes that the regulators should be able to prevent cryptocurrency businesses from breaking laws.
Binance discontinues operations in Ontario, Canada due to a crackdown from regulators
Binance, the prominent crypto exchange is receiving plenty of attention from regulators in several countries. Regulators in the province of Ontario, Canada have cracked down on it recently.
Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), the regulator in Ontario has implemented new registration requirements for crypto businesses in April 2021. Crypto businesses that don’t comply with these requirements are facing regulatory actions.
Binance doesn’t comply. The company has informed its users in June 2021 that it can’t serve users in Ontario. Binance has asked all Ontario-based users to complete all transactions by 31st December 2021.
Europe: Governments, banks, and bourses take an active interest in crypto
As the following pieces of news illustrate, the European governments, banks, and bourses are showing an interest in crypto:
UK chancellor considers CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) as a financial reform
Rishi Sunak, the chancellor of the Exchequer for the United Kingdom includes CBDC within the list of financial reforms to be undertaken. The UK chancellor is a senior position in the UK government since it’s the equivalent of the finance minister position in other countries.
Sunak recently states in London that the UK government is taking a close look at emerging technologies. He stated that the government will consider creating a CBDC, furthermore, it will look into the adoption of stablecoins. The UK chancellor mentioned the need to manage the impact of new technologies on the society and economy.
BBVA offers Bitcoin trading and custody in Switzerland
BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria), the Spanish banking giant started offering Bitcoin trading and custody services in Switzerland. BBVA Switzerland is offering these services since 21st June.
Initially, BBVA Switzerland is offering these services for Bitcoin only. The bank plans to include other prominent cryptocurrencies later. BBVA Switzerland includes Bitcoin trading in its asset investment catalog for private banking clients, however, it doesn’t provide any digital asset investment advisory services. BBVA Switzerland identified the crypto-friendly policies of Switzerland as enablers.
Deutsche Boerse acquires the majority stake in Crypto Finance AG
Deutsche Boerse, the prominent German stock exchange operator is enhancing its crypto and digital asset offerings in Europe. To do this, the stock exchange has acquired a two-thirds stake in Crypto Finance AG.
Crypto Finance AG is a well-known Swiss digital asset firm. The two companies will conclude the stock purchase agreement in Q4 2021 since they expect to receive all regulatory clearances by then. Deutsche Boerse will utilize the expertise of Crypto Finance AG to work with institutional crypto investors. This will help them to offer direct investment services and custody solutions.
Australia: The Australian government provides grants to boost blockchain innovation
The Australian government has awarded 5.6 million AUD ($4 million) in grants to two blockchain solution providers. It aims to make the mineral sector more competitive with the help of blockchain. The Australian government also intends to use blockchain to improve the competitiveness of the food and beverages industries. It provides these grants as parts of the “Blockchain Pilot Grants” program in the country.
Everledger gets 3 million AUD ($2.2 million) of this grant. The company has built a blockchain-based registry for diamonds. The Australian government expects Everledger to create a blockchain platform to improve the traceability of critical minerals.
Convergence.tech gets 2.6 million AUD ($2 million). The company will build blockchain-powered automatic reporting processes to report tax on beer and other alcoholic beverages.
Asia Pacific: Cracking down on cryptocurrencies and crypto scams
Key countries in the Asia Pacific focus on cracking down on crypto and busting cryptocurrency-related scams.
The Chinese government cracks down on cryptocurrencies
The Chinese government has initiated a crackdown on cryptocurrencies, and observers feel that the impacts will be noticeable. Experts contend that the Chinese government wants to remove competition to its digital Yuan. The digital Yuan is the CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) issued by the Chinese central bank. Bitcoin or other decentralized cryptocurrencies challenge the supremacy of the Chinese CBDC, therefore, the Chinese government is clamping down on it.
Crypto exchanges in China face an imminent shutdown. However, it’s not clear yet about the fate of the crypto mining companies operating in China. Some of them will need to relocate to other countries. Crypto mining brings US dollars into the Chinese economy though, and it’s unclear whether the crackdown will stop crypto mining in China.
Japanese police bust a crypto scam that raised $55 million
The police in the Aichi prefecture in Japan have arrested four scam stars that were running a fraudulent crypto investment scheme. The accused had convinced approximately 20,000 Japanese investors to join their scheme. The scam stars raised 6 billion Yen ($55 million).
Named the “Oz Project”, the crypto investment scheme would supposedly use an AI-based automated system. The scam stars promised that the investors will get assured profits and very high returns within just 4 months of investing.
Multiple investors filed civil lawsuits and criminal complaints in Nagoya and Tokyo. The Japanese police are searching the properties of the accused for evidence.
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies offer transformative potential. Regulatory uncertainties can impact their adoption, however, governments and regulators are trying to close the gaps. Multiple sectors are exploring blockchain and crypto. Many exciting developments take place in this space. Follow us to remain up to date.
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