1. Home
  2. bitcoin regulation

bitcoin regulation

India misinterpreted private crypto ban, says crypto bill creator

India's former finance minister Subhash Garg clarified that "it is misleading to say that private cryptocurrencies will be banned."

The creator of India’s crypto bill, former Finance Minister Subhash Garg, dismissed the notion of banning “private cryptocurrencies” as a misinterpretation while highlighting the enormous potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

The Parliamentary discussions around a controversial crypto bill sparked fears around the ban on cryptocurrencies, with no clear indication about the ban's scope. As Cointelegraph reported, an episode of panic selling among Indian investors followed the announcement. In an interview with local news channel News 18, Garg clarified:

“[The description of the crypto bill] was perhaps a mistake. It is misleading to say that private cryptocurrencies will be banned and to intimate the government about the same.”

He believes that the Indian government should formulate a bill after discussing it with stakeholders and crypto investors. Furthermore, the bill suggests banning private cryptocurrencies without clarifying what the word “private” stands for.

As a result, the crypto community in India self-interpreted two different versions of the bill’s agenda — one that considers banning all non-government issued cryptocurrencies and the other that excludes cryptocurrencies running on the public blockchains such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

Garg also pointed out a flaw in classifying cryptocurrencies as assets after underscoring the vast ecosystem powered by disruptive technology. He also said that crypto exchanges have limited interests and do not represent the entire community:

“You don’t classify the wheat that you produce, you don’t classify the clothes you produce, as assets. That is too much of oversimplification to treat this as an asset.”

On an end note, Garg added that the central bank digital currency (CBDC) initiatives, especially in countries like India, are complex. According to him, the government first needs to address challenges, including the unavailability of smartphones and digital wallet issuance.

Related: Singaporean crypto exchange enters India amid regulatory uncertainty

The Indian crypto market continues to attract international firms with the latest being Coinstore, a Singaporean crypto exchange. As Cointelegraph reported, Coinstore has allocated a $20-million fund to set up three new offices in the region.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Coinstore spokesperson was hopeful for the development of a positive crypto regulatory framework:

“Strict KYC process, security requirement for exchanges, as well as gradual regulation of certain cryptocurrencies naturally protects the Indian users and would clarify the legality of certain cryptocurrencies.”

Terra Enters Price Discovery Mode

Law Decoded: India ponders going full China on crypto, Nov. 22–29

The world's sixth-largest economy could adopt a hardline stance against decentralized cryptocurrencies as soon as this winter.

Are big emerging economies more likely to gravitate toward blanket crypto bans? China has set a precedent, and now it appears as if India could be weighing a similar policy direction: A bill containing a proposed ban on all “private cryptocurrencies” will go in front of the nation’s parliament sometime this winter. The measure is designed to clear the way for India’s central bank to advance its digital currency agenda. Whether a sovereign central bank digital currency can coexist with a thriving market of “private” cryptos will be one of the central questions of the looming CBDC age, and it is clear that governments will be tempted to use their coercive authority to tilt the playing field in favor of the centralized money that they control.

Below is the concise version of the latest “Law Decoded” newsletter. For the full breakdown of policy developments over the last week, register for the full newsletter below.

Lok Sabha to consider policy options

One of the 26 new bills that the Lok Sabha, the lower chamber of the Indian parliament, will take on during the winter session that kicks off this week is The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill. The document outlines a set of measures meant to facilitate the creation of a CBDC, including a proposed ban on all “private” digital assets, with a few exceptions. The exact implications of the legislation remain a subject of much speculation, with analysts offering diverging interpretations of the scope of the potential ban. The market, however, responded in a more consolidated way, as crypto prices on the major Indian exchange WazirX tanked on the news

Powell to remain, Omarova up in the air

United States President Joe Biden nominated Jerome Powell, the current chair of the Federal Reserve System’s Board of Governors, for another four-year term at the helm of the Fed. During one of his recent appearances in front of Congress, Powell stated that a China-style blanket ban on crypto was not in the cards but said that stablecoins needed greater regulatory oversight. During Powell’s current tenure, which is set to expire in February 2022, the Federal Reserve has been actively exploring the possibility of issuing a CBDC, as well as teaming up with federal regulatory agencies for crypto-focused “policy sprints” aimed at identifying and remedying gaps in digital asset regulation. 

South Korean NFT politics

Crypto taxation remains a hot-button political issue in South Korea, as the government is sending mixed signals on whether new rules, including a 20% tax on crypto income, will go into effect starting Jan. 1, 2022. Which types of digital assets fall under the updated tax code remains murky as well. While the nation’s Financial Services Commission had previously stated that nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, are exempt from taxation, the agency’s chairman stated the exact opposite last week. Furthermore, the regulator has come forward with a set of strict reporting requirements for digital token issuers, with jail time prescribed for those who fail to comply.

Terra Enters Price Discovery Mode

Hillary Clinton Calls on Biden Administration To Implement US Crypto Regulations

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is urging the Biden administration to adopt a sensible regulatory framework for crypto. In a new interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Clinton says that the information age requires new rules to meet the needs of the era. “Our current laws, our framework, is just not adequate for what we’re […]

The post Hillary Clinton Calls on Biden Administration To Implement US Crypto Regulations appeared first on The Daily Hodl.

Terra Enters Price Discovery Mode

Experts divided on how far India’s ‘private crypto’ ban will go

Previous documents from the Indian government indicate that it believes any cryptocurrencies not issued by the government are considered private, and therefore could be banned.

Government documents from 2019 have been cited by an Indian crypto expert to suggest that the proposed ban on all “private cryptocurrencies” could include just about every crypto. 

The Indian government this week announced it would introduce the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 when it convenes at the Winter Session on Nov. 29.

The bill seeks a legislative vote on creating an official digital currency while imposing a ban on “all private cryptocurrencies.” However, there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding what exactly constitutes a “private cryptocurrency," with some users speculating it could refer to "privacy" coins such as Monero or Zcash.

Founder of crypto news website CoinCrunch India, Naimish Sanghvi, explained in a Nov. 25 interview on India Upfront that by the government’s definition, private crypto could mean just about every cryptocurrency there is. He said:

“In the 2019 Department of Economic Affairs report on cryptocurrency, they essentially said that everything that is non-sovereign is designated as a private cryptocurrency.”

“And by that logic, it means that Bitcoin and Ethereum will come into that definition,” he said, adding that “anything issued by the government is public and everything issued by private players is public.”

The 2019 report in question recommended that “all private cryptocurrencies, except any cryptocurrency which may be issued by the government, be banned in India.” It stated:

“All these cryptocurrencies have been created by non-sovereigns and are in this sense entirely private enterprises.”

But marketing manager at Indian crypto exchange WazirX Rohit Kundliwal urged for calm and downplayed fears of an outright ban.

In a Linkedin post yesterday Kundliwal pointed out that crypto cannot be banned, only regulated and that there is no clarity on what constitutes a private cryptocurrency.

He added that “Shri Narendra Modi, Nirmala Sitaraman, Finance Ministry and many prominent and sane politicians have told multiple times that there will not be a blanket ban on crypto.”

Meanwhile, Indian Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Vickram Chaturvedi said in a Nov. 24 interview with India Today that the proposed ban is a “move backward and a little too late.” She said:

“Banning private cryptocurrencies is basically ending the entire idea of a new fintech that can emerge as a huge employment and generator for the new economy.”

She said that the government must “facilitate an environment which is evolving and thriving. The impact of doing this... is that you are killing this entire space.

Related: India set to reduce GST paid on crypto exchange fees from 18% to 1%

The market reacted dramatically to the news of a possible ban, with prices on Indian crypto exchange WazirX plummeting on Wednesday morning at 3:30am UTC as users scrambled to sell their holdings. The panic selling event tanked the price of Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and Cardano (ADA) in double-digit local price depreciation.

On Nov. 18, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on all democratic nations to work together to regulate cryptocurrency, specifically Bitcoin, to “ensure it does not end up in the wrong hands which can spoil our youth.”

Terra Enters Price Discovery Mode

SEC open meeting on Dec. 2 to include crypto panel discussion

The SEC is opening discussion on crypto and blockchain technology with regard to American investors.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, announced Wednesday the title of the upcoming crypto panel for its Dec. 2 Investor Advisory Meeting will be “Helping to Ensure Investor Protection and Market Integrity in the Face of New Technologies.” Previously, on Nov. 15, the Commission announced the meeting would be open to the public. Panelists and moderators will attend remotely.

The crypto panel discussion agenda will focus on the regulatory framework covering digital assets, market structure issues and defining risk in emerging technologies. Additional topics are expected to include blockchain technologies, crypto-based exchange-traded fundsETFs and stablecoins.

Half of the panelists are in blockchain specific roles:

  • Ali Emdad, professor and associate dean, Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management at Morgan State University, and founding director of the Center for the Study of Blockchain and Financial Technology
  • Tyrone Ross, CEO, Onramp Invest
  • Sydney Schaub, chief legal officer, general counsel and corporate secretary, Gemini
  • Kristin Smith, executive director, The Blockchain Association

The remainder of the panel is composed of luminary law professors and financial markets experts.

The portion of the meeting that is dedicated to the crypto panel discussion is slated to run from 10:45 am to 12:45 pm EST. Introductory remarks for the whole meeting begin at 10:00 am EST, and will be webcast on the SEC’s website.

Readers can likely anticipate questions on topics like the SEC’s recent decision to decline approval of Jan VanEck’s spot ETF proposal and the nature of the Commission’s engagement with crypto companies, but the exact questions to be discussed by the panel are not yet known to the public.

Terra Enters Price Discovery Mode

ASIC chair Longo calls the growing demand for crypto ‘impossible to ignore’

He told an audience that the rise of blockchain currencies has been “nothing short of phenomenal.”

Joe Longo, chair of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, or ASIC, spoke at the Australian Financial Review Super and Wealth Summit on Monday at the Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. 

The rise of crypto, he said, has been “nothing short of phenomenal, and impossible to ignore.”

As a corporate and markets regulator, Longo admitted to a certain fascination with decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs. He said that they present certain challenges for national regulators like ASIC:

“To paraphrase a concept familiar to corporate lawyers, to whom does ASIC turn to ascertain the directing mind and will of a DAO? It is not clear who is accountable if things go wrong, or don’t go as intended or anticipated. Nor is it clear how a DAO, itself, can be held accountable in a court of law.”

Longo recognized the high consumer demand for crypto products and services in Australia, and noted that ASIC still has important decisions to make with respect to policy on the crypto space, “Wherever we land from a policy perspective [...] crypto is on our doorstep, here and now, and being driven by extraordinary consumer and investor demand.”

While his comments included caution for investors, the chair saw that the recent entrance of Commonwealth Bank to the crypto market by offering crypto trading functionality to its app users was an important step to recognize in the evolution of crypto markets:

“The fact [that] Australia’s largest bank is already proposing a means of crypto-exposure for its retail customers is telling. Yes, it’s only a pilot project, but the overall direction is clear. This debate is no longer on the fringes of the financial services industry.”

Australia’s interest in the blockchain space seems to have increased over the course of recent months. On Friday, Nov. 19, the CEO of the country’s Commonwealth Bank said that he is more concerned about missing out on the rise of this nascent technology than with any supposed risks relating to adoption. Back on Nov. 2, Australia’s Senate spoke glowingly of the industry, praising the nation’s crypto advocates for their willingness to embrace regulation.

Terra Enters Price Discovery Mode

Law Decoded: Constitutions of the future will be ratified by DAOs, Nov. 15–22

An online initiative to secure a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution shows the power of Web 3.0 collective action.

A haphazardly assembled online group of passionate people who formed a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, and pooled a spectacular amount of Ether (ETH) for a noble cause came tantalizingly close to pulling off an incredible feat of collective action.

While they fell short of reaching their main goal — securing the last privately owned print copy of the United States Constitution’s first edition in order to make it available to the public — the speed, scale and efficiency of the decentralized effort were profoundly impressive. The fact that the group’s objective was to preserve an artifact epitomizing the most successful attempt to date to conceive a rationally structured, rules-based societal order is also freighted with symbolism.

Below is the concise version of the latest “Law Decoded” newsletter. For the full breakdown of policy developments over the last week, register for the full newsletter below.

Chasing the Constitution

The last of the 13 surviving copies of the original print of the U.S. Constitution remaining in private hands went up for auction at art broker Sotheby’s last week. Mere days before the bidding was slated to start, an online initiative to crowdfund buying the document to make it freely available to the public, christened ConstitutionDAO, began to gain traction.

In less than a week, upward of 20,000 people joined the group’s Discord server, and the dollar-denominated amount of ETH collected via Juicebox, a platform for Ethereum-based DAOs, exceeded $49 million. As the bidding unfolded, the group came close to securing the document yet ultimately fell short — reportedly due to failing to raise enough money to establish a reserve fund needed to preserve it.

Infrastructure struggle carries on

The notorious infrastructure bill, which carried several provisions widely believed to be detrimental for crypto users and businesses in the U.S., became law during a pompous signing ceremony last week. Of particular concern is the requirement that digital asset transactions worth more than $10,000 be reported to the Internal Revenue Service.

As expected, the bill’s passage only catalyzed the pushback from crypto-friendly lawmakers. Days after President Joe Biden’s signing of the infrastructure bill into law, a bipartisan group of U.S. Congresspeople, spearheaded by Representatives Patrick McHenry and Tim Ryan, introduced the Keep Innovation in America Act, which would amend the overly broad definition of a broker and push back the enactment of reporting requirements from 2024 to 2026.

Mining troubles

Last week’s news cycle brought several unrelated stories of regulators’ unfriendly actions against crypto miners from vastly different jurisdictions, which, hopefully, do not reflect a rising global trend. China continued to crack down on what remains of the nation’s once-thriving cryptocurrency mining sector by pressuring state-owned organizations and businesses to cease Bitcoin (BTC) mining once and for all. Meanwhile, in the U.S., a mining firm has found itself under Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, leading to the entire sector’s stock prices taking a dip. The president of Kazakhstan — the nation that rose to the No. 2 spot in the world’s hash rate share race thanks to China’s exit — bemoaned the state coffers receiving a very small share of mining revenues, a statement that could be a prologue to intensifying regulatory scrutiny of the booming industry.

Terra Enters Price Discovery Mode

Microstrategy CEO Discusses Bitcoin Becoming $100 Trillion Asset Class — Says BTC Will Grow 100X

Microstrategy CEO Discusses Bitcoin Becoming 0 Trillion Asset Class — Says BTC Will Grow 100XThe CEO of Microstrategy says that bitcoin will emerge as a $100 trillion asset class and will grow 100X from where it is today. He said the cryptocurrency is winning against gold as a store of value and he is not worried about regulation. “I’m not at all troubled with the regulations that’s going on […]

Terra Enters Price Discovery Mode

Bitcoin bulls in City Hall: Meet America’s crypto mayors

A wave of political goodwill and support for Bitcoin is building up. Is this just hype, or will there be long-lasting support for crypto?

As 2021 comes to a close, Bitcoin (BTC) has had a tumultuous ride this year, with wild price swings that have seen the pioneer cryptocurrency hit all-time highs only to retrace to lower prices — including a 50% drop that shook the market. Now, Bitcoin is once again back and stronger than ever, even recently going past its previous all-time high.

Bitcoin’s dizzying market price swings aside, it seems some politicians have recognized Bitcoin’s potential, with a wave of mayors across the United States expressing bullish sentiments.

From Florida to New York, there is a seemingly growing trend of politicians, particularly city mayors, supporting Bitcoin adoption.

Here is a look at some of America’s mayors who have expressed bullish sentiments about the leading cryptocurrency.

New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams

Mayors across the U.S. have been pushing for the adoption of digital assets, including New York City’s newly elected mayor, Eric Adams, who has pledged that he will take his first three paychecks in Bitcoin. The move from Adams was in response to the mayor of Miami’s announcement two days earlier that revealed his plans to accept his next paycheck entirely in Bitcoin.

Adams, a former police officer with a reputation for being tough on crime, said in a tweet that “In New York we always go big, so I’m going to take my first THREE paychecks in Bitcoin.”

Adam further tweeted that “NYC is going to be the center of the cryptocurrency industry and other fast-growing, innovative industries.”

The newly elected mayor also spoke to Bloomberg, saying that he will “look at what’s preventing the growth of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in our city.”

Mayor-elect Adams has been a Bitcoin bull for quite some time, having previously pledged to make New York City the center for Bitcoin. Adams has also suggested that schools add cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to their curriculum.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez

Since his election, Adams has been duking it out with Miami Mayor Francis Suarez over who is the bigger Bitcoin bull. Suarez, who was reelected for another term after serving as Miami’s mayor since 2017, also claimed in a tweet that he would take his next paycheck “100% in Bitcoin.”

As a part of Miami’s plan to become the crypto capital of the U.S., Suarez said that the city plans to issue digital wallets to its citizens that would be used to dole out Bitcoin yields from the city’s crypto stash.

While some reports state that U.S. law prohibits certain states from holding volatile assets, Miami’s mayor remains adamant, claiming that his top priority is to hopefully run the city without taxes. Suarez has previously mentioned that he wants to pay city employees in crypto.

Cool Valley, Missouri Mayor Jayson Stewart 

In the small town of Cool Valley, Missouri, Mayor Jayson Stewart announced that he intended to give each resident up to $1,000 in Bitcoin as a response to the growing adoption of cryptocurrencies.

The environmentalist mayor believes that Bitcoin can lift the town’s fortune through the establishment of Bitcoin mining facilities and other related activities. Stewart also believes that Bitcoin education holds the key to increasing wealth and prosperity in the region, and he hopes to one day see a Bitcoin-friendly bank in the city.

In an interview with Cointelegraph Magazine, Stewart said that “A lot of it is about fixing the wrongs of the past financial system. In the past, we didn’t have access to this amazing technology that we have today when it comes to our financial system and storing our value.”

Similar to Miami’s mayor, Stewart plans to dole out Bitcoin to the people of Cool Valley, with a plan that is funded by private donors who aim to increase the use and adoption of the digital asset. 

The Missouri mayor has been a Bitcoin bull since as far back as 2015, when he used to work for a tech startup that served wealthy clients and earned a salary in Bitcoin.

Jackson, Tennessee Mayor Scott Conger

In the wave of cities across the U.S. edging closer to Bitcoin adoption, the city of Jackson, Tennessee is not one to be left behind. With a belief that Bitcoin is the only solution to fix the devaluation of the U.S. dollar and the inflation that is cutting across the global economy at the moment, the city’s mayor, Scott Conger, announced that a blockchain task force will study potential methods of enabling property tax payments in the city using Bitcoin.

In mid-July, Conger tweeted: “Why do we accept inflation? Why don’t we demand more from our federal government? 6.3% in 2 years. 172.8% in my lifetime. Every year our dollar is worth less. There is no rebound. There is only 1 fix for this.. #Bitcoin.”

Similar to the sentiments of other mayors, Conger has expressed interest in exploring options that will see the city’s employees receive their paychecks in cryptocurrency. The mayor also plans to adopt Bitcoin mining operations and add BTC to the city’s balance sheet. Apart from Bitcoin, Conger has also hinted at Ether (Ether) and Litecoin (LTC) as potential mediums for payments within the city’s financial operations.

Tampa, Florida Mayor Jane Castor

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor has also joined the fray of mayors in cities around the U.S. who are bullish on Bitcoin. A matter of days after Miami Mayor Suarez announced his plans to receive a Bitcoin paycheck, Castor followed suit.

Castor made the announcement on day two of the Florida Bitcoin and Blockchain Summit, which took place at the Amalie Arena in downtown Tampa.

Growing bullish sentiments

Apart from American mayors embracing Bitcoin and blockchain technology, other leaders around the nation and across the globe are starting to realize the benefits of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. For instance, U.S. Representatives Tom Emmer and Darren Soto sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission in a call for the approval of Bitcoin ETFs in the U.S., something that many onlookers believe could set up a bullish trend for Bitcoin and legitimize cryptocurrencies.

Even traditional financial institutions that were bearish on Bitcoin are starting to admit that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are primed to bring about revolutionary changes to the finance industry. The chief operating officer of Bank of America, for instance, recently claimed that blockchain and cryptocurrencies could improve the operations of banks.

In Australia, Commonwealth Bank — one of the largest banks in the country, with nearly 16 million customers — has revealed plans to integrate Bitcoin into its services. All over the crypto space, a wave of bullish news continues to emerge, with Bitcoin appearing primed for upward momentum.

Terra Enters Price Discovery Mode

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi Urges Countries to Collaborate on Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi Urges Countries to Collaborate on Bitcoin, CryptocurrencyThe prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, has urged democratic countries to work together to ensure that cryptocurrency, particularly bitcoin, does not end up in the wrong hands. Meanwhile, the Modi government is working on a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in India. India’s Prime Minister Modi on Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi […]

Terra Enters Price Discovery Mode