Cryptocurrency Impact ‘Limited’ to Pose Any Threat Yet: ECB Chief

The president of the European Central Bank believes cryptocurrencies like bitcoin do not pose any threat to the central bank-dependent financial system. Speaking to the European Parliament on Monday, ECB President Mario Draghi played down the impact of digital currencies on the traditional centralized banking system, claiming their adoption and impacted are too ‘limited’. Cryptocurrencies do not cause any concerns to the central bank’s control of the money supply in the European Union, Reuters quotes the central banker as stating.

Singapore’s Central Bank Includes Bitcoin in Singular Regulation of Payments Services

The Monetary Authority of Singapore, the country’s central bank, is pressing ahead with regulation that will bring a handful of retail payment services, including bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges, under a single legislation. With an announcement on Tuesday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) launched the second consultation on its Payment Services Bill, a payments regulatory network proposing to streamline the regulation of all payment services under a single legislation.

Central Banks Are Considering Cryptocurrency Regulations: ECB Council Member

Ewald Nowotny, the current president and governor of Austria’s central bank, the National Bank of Austria, and a member of the European Central Bank’s governing council, recently stated that central bankers and legislators are eyeing cryptocurrency regulations, while speaking at a conference in Florence, Italy.

ICOs Have “Huge Potential” for Investments: Russian Central Bank Official

A senior official from Russia’s central bank has pledged support for initial coin offerings, or ICOs, after underlining its “tremendous potential” for financing entrepreneurs and startups. Sergey Shvetsov, the first deputy governor of the Bank of Russia, has said the central bank will “support the development” of ICO fundraising in Russia. According to Russian state news agency TASS, Shvetsov highlighted the “huge investment potential” brought on by ICOs, wherein startups or companies raise finances in cryptocurrencies in exchange for their own cryptographic tokens.

Bitcoin Mining in China is Not Banned Yet, Contrary to Reports

Throughout this week, false reports regarding the legality of bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining have emerged. Local sources have revealed that bitcoin mining is not banned as of yet. Unconfirmed Reports and Rumors Initially, Sichuan Electric Power Company, released an unconfirmed circular which claimed that the use of electricity to produce and mine bitcoin is illegal. Caijing, an independent news publication based in Beijing, first reported on the circular released by Sichuan Electric Power Company, and more media outlets followed.

Singapore’s Central Bank Issues New Guidelines on ICO Securities Laws

Singapore’s central bank has issued new guidelines on initial coin offerings (ICOs) providing guidance on how tokens should be applied under its securities laws. In its 13-page document titled ‘A Guide to Digital Token Offerings,’ the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator, wrote that: Offers or issues of digital tokens may be regulated by MAS if the digital tokens are capital markets products under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA).
European Financial Regulator Warns Investors On ICO Risks

European Financial Regulator Warns Investors On ICO Risks

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) today issued two separate statements that outline what it perceives as the risks initial coin offerings (ICOs) pose for investors and startups, respectively. Striking a concerned tone on the nascent state of the market, ESMA warned investors that the use of custom cryptocurrencies for fundraising comes with a "high risk" of capital loss. Adding to that, the authority alerted that ICOs may fall outside of EU laws and regulations, which in turn does not benefit investors.

German Regulator Issues ICO Warning: Be Prepared to Lose it All

Germany’s primary financial and securities regulator has joined a growing list of global counterparts in warning investors of initial coin offering (ICO) risks. The Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin), German for the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority has warned investors of “substantial risks” in “highly speculative” ICO investments. In a notice published yesterday, the financial authority wrote: ICOs are a highly speculative form of investment.

No Ban? Malaysia’s Securities Watchdog Plans Cryptocurrency Regulation

Malaysia’s statutory securities regulator and watchdog has revealed plans toward regulations for cryptocurrency trading in the country. In a speech on Monday at the SCxSC Digital Finance Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Securities Commission (SC) Malaysia chairman Ranjit Ajit Singh underlined the progress made in fostering and developing financial technologies in digital markets, following the commission’s ‘Digital Markets Strategy’ earlier this year.

Boston Fed Official: Blockchain Can Fundamentally Change Payments

Jim Cunha, senior vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, thinks distributed ledger technology (DLT) will have major implications on the U.S. payment system, in addition to financial regulations and cybersecurity. The Boston Fed posted Cunha’s comments on its website. A 33-year Fed veteran, Cunha said DLT can fundamentally change many areas of financial services, including payments.

SEC: Celebrity ICO Endorsements ‘Potentially Unlawful’

The U.S. Securities and Commission (SEC) has issued a public statement that calls celebrity ICO endorsements “potentially unlawful” and warns that celebrities who improperly promote security tokens may be liable for violating federal securities laws. The statement, which is attributed to the SEC Division of Enforcement and the SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, states that celebrity ICO endorsements potentially violate securities regulations because they do not properly disclose source and amount of any compensation paid in exchange for the endorsement.

All Tokens or Cryptocurrencies are Securities, Says New Zealand’s Financial Regulator

New Zealand’s financial regulator has published its official commentary on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and the use cryptocurrencies. Thenew zea (FMA) of New Zealand has published an explanation of token events, insisting that ‘the extent to which an ICO is regulated depends on whether a “financial product” is being offered to retail investors in New Zealand.

Japan’s Financial Regulator Warns Investors of ICO ‘Risks’

Japan’s financial regulator has published a notice warning users of the risks associated with ICO investments. Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA), the country’s financial regulator and watchdog, published a statement centered on initial coin offerings on October 27 for both users participating in ICOs and businesses offering them.

Is China Planning to Resume Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Trading Soon?

CNLedger, a trusted news source within the Chinese cryptocurrency industry, has revealed that OKEX will soon launch peer-to-peer (P2P) over-the-counter (OTC) bitcoin-to-fiat trading platform. “More OkEx (and likely, Huobi-Pro) will soon launch P2P bitcoin tradings with various fiat currency support,” CNLedger reported.
D3 Unveiled: Russian Platform Would Turn Legacy CSDs into Crypto Custodians

D3 Unveiled: Russian Platform Would Turn Legacy CSDs into Crypto Custodians

Executives of Russia's National Settlement Depository (NSD) have revealed new details about a plan to build a blockchain-based depository platform for safeguarding crypto assets. The platform, separate from the NSD itself, is designed to turn traditional financial market infrastructures into compliant custodians of digital currencies and tokens. Related exclusively to CoinDesk, the newly dubbed Decentralized Digital Depository (D3) is being designed to provide institutional investors with a compliant way to own such assets.
Cyprus Securities Regulator Trials Blockchain Oversight in OTC Markets

Cyprus Securities Regulator Trials Blockchain Oversight in OTC Markets

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, Cysec, has revealed new details about its efforts to explore blockchain technology, hinting live trials might already be underway. According to a report by Cyprus Mail, the agency is particularly interested in the regulatory implications of shared, distributed ledgers, and is testing how the technology could grant it greater oversight of over-the-counter markets.
Singapore Central Bank Chief: No Regulation for Cryptocurrencies

Singapore Central Bank Chief: No Regulation for Cryptocurrencies

The chief of Singapore's central bank has indicated it will not regulate cryptocurrencies, but plans to stay watchful on the risks posed by the technology. In an interview with Bloomberg, Ravi Menon, managing director of Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), said he currently sees "no basis for wanting to regulate cryptocurrencies," adding: "It is a known fact that cryptocurrencies are quite often abused for illicit financing purposes.

“Game Changer”: Australia Goes Easy on FinTech, ICO Regulations with Draft Laws

The Australian government has published draft laws for “an enhanced regulatory sandbox” that will go easy on FinTech startups by letting them operate without a full license. The Australian government has revealed drafts of the new regulatory framework that will relax licensing requirements for innovative new FinTech startups in the country. The new framework will enhance Australia’s sandbox for the testing of a wide range of FinTech products and services without the mandatory requirements to meet all licensing requirements of the Australian Securities and Trade Commission.
Lawsky: ICO Fever Could Bring Cryptocurrency Backlash

Lawsky: ICO Fever Could Bring Cryptocurrency Backlash

The rise in popularity of the initial coin offering (ICO) funding mechanism, and potential for associated fraud, could lead regulators to come down hard on cryptocurrencies broadly. That's according to a former regulator, one who, as the first-ever superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, the state agency that regulates financial services and products, was among the first globally to attempt to regulate bitcoin. "A big open question is, if ICOs get very out of control," it could result in "a backlash against the entire bitcoin and crypto ecosystem," Benjamin Lawsky said Monday at Money2020 in Las Vegas.
Malta Proposes Rules for Cryptocurrency Investment Funds

Malta Proposes Rules for Cryptocurrency Investment Funds

The government of Malta is seeking public feedback on proposed rules for investment funds that focus on cryptocurrencies. The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has published a proposed rulebook, dated Oct. 23, that would govern how professional investment efforts solicit stakeholders, manage risks and govern themselves. The release, subject to further alteration after the consultation period ends next month, represents the latest step by the Maltese government to implement public policy changes in light of the technology.
Vladimir Putin Mandates New Rules for Cryptocurrencies and ICOs

Vladimir Putin Mandates New Rules for Cryptocurrencies and ICOs

Russian President Vladimir Putin has mandated new regulations around cryptocurrencies, including registration requirements for miners and the application of securities laws to initial coin offerings (ICOs). The Kremlin published five orders from Putin over the weekend, representing perhaps the most direct move to date by the Russian government to oversee activities around the tech. Not only do the orders from Putin mandate new legal structures around cryptocurrency within Russia, they ambitiously establish a plan to use the technology to create a "single payment space" within the Eurasian Economic Union, which features Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia as members.
Abu Dhabi Admits 4 Blockchain Startups to Fintech Sandbox

Abu Dhabi Admits 4 Blockchain Startups to Fintech Sandbox

The Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) – the city's international financial free zone within the UAE – has admitted a second batch of fintech startups to its Regulatory Laboratory (RegLab). With the move, the 11 local and international fintech firms will work under the framework of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), one of three independent authorities of the ADGM, to develop and test their products within a controlled "sandbox" environment. The latest batch of startups – including blockchain firms EquiChain and OKLink, both based in the U.
Macroeconomics, Gambling and Crypto: A Perfect Storm?

Macroeconomics, Gambling and Crypto: A Perfect Storm?

Noelle Acheson is a 10-year veteran of company analysis, corporate finance and fund management, and a member of CoinDesk's product team. The following article originally appeared in CoinDesk Weekly, a custom-curated newsletter delivered every Sunday, exclusively to our subscribers.
CFTC Aligns With SEC: ICO Tokens Can Be Commodities

CFTC Aligns With SEC: ICO Tokens Can Be Commodities

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has said that it may consider tokens issued through initial coin offerings (ICOs) may be considered as commodities. The publication was released by LabCFTC, a fintech initiative within the US regulator that was launched in May. A broad-ranging release, it covers the basics of the technology as well as a number of use cases. It also highlights the CFTC's existing regulatory posture toward cryptocurrencies – back in 2015, the agency said that it would classify bitcoin and other cryptographically tied assets as commodities.
Ripple CEO Garlinghouse: Governments’ ICO Regulation is Good

Ripple CEO Garlinghouse: Governments’ ICO Regulation is Good

Several regulators around the world have issued guidelines focusing on ICOs with some prohibiting their operations; however, Ripple’s CEO believes governments are right to regulate them. Speaking to CNBC, Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of blockchain firm Ripple and the XRP token, said that while there are plenty of ICOs, he doesn’t believe that new digital currencies are ‘solving real problems.