If the last year of 2017 can rightly be called the year of the ICO, then the coming 2018 will probably become the year of crypto-currency regulation. Currently, most countries are trying to understand the status of the crypto currency and determine how to behave with them in the future. Some states are friendly, others are wary. There are also those who treat the digital currencies as hostile. Below is a brief overview of the approaches to regulating crypto-currencies in 15 countries in different regions of the world.
United States and Canada
For today in the United States there is no uniform approach to regulation криптовалют. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned investors about the risks associated with investing in the digital currency, banned some ICO and hinted at the need for a more ambitious regulation of the currency.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) became the first US regulator to allow the public trading of crypto-currency derivatives.
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US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin clearly outlined the priority of the currency over the digital currency. During a meeting of the Economic Club of Washington on January 12, 2018, he stated that he and other regulators were considering the possibility of using crypto currency for money laundering. He also said that the US Financial Stability Supervision Council had formed a working group to study the crypto currency market. According to Mnuchin, first of all he “wants to be sure that crypto-currencies are not used for illegal activities.”
On January 26, Deputy Minister of Finance Sigal Mandelker confirmed the minister’s point of view. At a press conference in Tokyo, she praised three Asian countries that established control over the crypto-currency trade, saying: “We are confident that such regulation should be applied throughout the world.”
The Canadian Agency for the Financial Protection of Consumers does not attribute crypto currency to a “legal tender”, excluding from this definition all but Bank of Canada notes and coins. However, with regard to regulation, Canada is not that harsh. In fact, in the matter of the regulation of the digital currency, it turned out to be the most transparent country on our list (apart from Switzerland, which declared its desire to become a “crypto-state”).
After several weeks of hearings that included the arguments of experts in crypto space (Andreas Antonopoulos), the Canadian Parliament approved bill Bill C-31 of June 19, 2014, which is the world’s first national law on digital currencies. Since then, the Canadian government has been paying serious attention to the regulation of crypto-currencies: on August 24, 2017, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) issued a notice that referred to “the possibility of applying the Canadian securities law to crypto-currencies and related trade and market operations “.
On the other hand, in January 2018, the Governor of the Central Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz (Stephen Poloz) said that he “objected to the term” crypto-currencies “, since they are crypto, but they are not currencies … mostly, they are not assets … technically they can be attributed to securities “. It is also worth noting that, as part of the North American Association of Securities Administrators (NASAA), Canada participates in the association’s warning directive on the risks associated with crypto-currencies.
The European Union and the United Kingdom
Despite the fact that thanks to Brexit in March 2019, the UK and the European Union must part with regard to the regulation of the Crypto-currency, their views coincide. December 4, 2017 edition of The Guardian and The Telegraph reported that the Ministry of Finance of Britain and the European Union plan to end the anonymity of crypto-currency traders.
The European Union plans to introduce requirements according to which crypto-exchange platforms will have to perform a comprehensive audit of their customers and report suspicious transactions. The UK Treasury Department follows similar plans, although it clarifies that “at present, there is very little evidence that crypto currency is used for money laundering, although this risk is expected to grow.”
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Calls for increased regulation of crypto-currencies are reflected throughout Europe. On January 15, the French Minister of Economy announced the creation of a working group on the regulation of crypto-currencies, and a representative of the German Federal Bank called for the regulation of digital currencies on a global scale.
Despite the fact that the UK and the European Union have not yet announced final plans, it is expected that this will happen in the spring.
Despite the fact that the use of crypto-currency in Japan is developing at a rapid pace, it can not be called liberal regarding regulation; she simply wins the race, attracting all the best from the Asian crypto industry, while China and South Korea create a hostile or uncertain environment. Undoubtedly, the attitude of the Japanese government to the crypto currency is much more friendly than its Asian neighbors.
On the other hand, in connection with recent events, the enthusiasm of the Japanese can subside. The January attack on the Japanese exchange Coincheck , which resulted in the loss of funds equivalent to $ 530, caused a negative reaction from the community and attracted the attention of the Financial Services Agency (FSA).
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China is taking more measures to prevent the use of crypto currency. After the ICO ban , the government of the country ordered banks to freeze accounts related to crypto-exchange exchanges and imposed a ban on Internet access to everything that is somehow connected with the crypto-currency trade. After that, once the world’s largest Chinese crypto-exchange exchanges lost most of the turnover and were forced to change their jurisdiction, and the miners also began to look for opportunities to move.
Thus, the PRC was the strictest regulator of the Crypto-currency. This is a strange turn of events, because in 2017, Chinese bitcoin miners left more than 70% of all world’s miners, and the popularization of crypto-currency in China passed at a speed much ahead of other countries.
Most likely, the strict measures of the Chinese government are connected with the country’s orientation toward combating capital outflow and corruption.
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Our country has not yet decided how to implement crypto-currency regulation. In September last year, the head of the Central Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina said that the bank opposes the regulation of bitcoin as a currency (as a means of payment for goods and services), as well as against equating them to foreign currency.
In September, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said that the calculations in digital currency are not legal.
President Vladimir Putin accepted the position of the Ministry of Finance, saying that the use of crypto-currency is accompanied by a serious risk and can be used for laundering criminal money, tax evasion, financing terrorism and spreading fraudulent schemes.
In December 2017, the Ministry of Finance proposed to conduct the taxation of the mining of crypto-currency. In January this year, Vladimir Putin once again hinted at the need for future regulation of the digital currency industry:
Two weeks later, on January 25, the Ministry of Finance published a bill entitled “On Digital Financial Assets . ” If this law is adopted, the crypto currency and tokens are recognized as digital financial assets, but they will not be considered legal tender in the territory of the Russian Federation. The Finance Ministry proposed to legislatively fix the crypto currency as property in electronic form and establish a special procedure for making transactions with it on the territory of the country.
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The authorized representative of the President of the Russian Federation for the protection of entrepreneurs’ rights and presidential candidate Boris Titov said that this draft law is too harsh, and it is better not to accept anything than to accept the project in its present form.
Consideration of the proposed versions of bills in the State Duma is already underway, but the choice of one of them will be held only in the spring.
In the past, this country was famous for its significant presence of crypto-currencies and at first it was even considered a saving harbor, in which it was supposed to seek salvation after the bans declared by China.
However, in January 2018, Korean officials expressed disagreement over the future regulation of the digital currency industry. Uncertainty and possible negative consequences of regulation caused a drop in prices on the crypto-currency markets on Red Tuesday, and also on January 30, when the law prohibiting trade in crypto currency from anonymous accounts came into effect . The possible complete ban of the crypto-currency trade was canceled due to active opposition from the community.
In addition, it is reported that regulators of South Korea have requested information about the owners of accounts related to the crypto-currency trade, from the six major Korean banks.
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Until recently, Asia’s financial and banking center was relatively calm about regulating crypto-currencies.The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), just like many regulators, warned of the risks of speculation in the crypto-currency markets amid a dramatic rise in the price of bitcoin in December 2017.
On January 9, 2018, Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Tharman Shanmugaratnam stated that “the country’s legislation does not distinguish between transactions carried out using phyat currency, crypto currency or other new methods of transferring value.”
The head of the Mint department of MAS, Sopnendu Mohanty, explained that regulators will need to take consumer protection measures with respect to crypto-currency.
India, whose attitude to the crypto currency has always been considered quite contradictory, became much more demanding in the coming year. Tightening of the position is connected with the same problems that other countries indicate: money laundering, illegal activities, financing of terrorism, shelter from taxes and the like.
Nevertheless, the participants in the country’s crypto industry do not believe that India can actually prohibit the crypto-currency market, in the same way as China did.
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In the light of the financial scandal of August 2017 around the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the Australian government decided to follow the example of Japan by tightening anti-laundering laws and introducing measures to regulate digital currencies. Prior to this, the authorities preferred to adhere to the policy of non-interference, but the lack of clear regulation presumably had negative consequences, because at the end of 2017, Australian crypto-currency brokers refused to deposit in Australian dollars.At the same time, the Australian Tax Service hinted at the possibility of future regulation of digital currencies.
On the other hand, among the members of the government there are supporters of the crypto currency, which in August last year advocated that the Reserve Bank of Australia accept crypto currency as a kind of money. Thus, further regulation of the Crypto-currency in Australia remains uncertain, but in the future it can be friendly.
Known for its progressive attitude towards the banking sector, Switzerland adheres to a similar point of view in the issue of regulating crypto-currencies. This Western European country is significantly different from the EU countries and demonstrates an open attitude to the crypto-currency industry.
The Minister of Economy of the country recently said that he would like Switzerland to become a “crypto-state”, and the state secretary of the Ministry of Finance stated: “We want the ICO to flourish.”
On January 10, Switzerland set up a working group aimed at “strengthening legal certainty, maintaining the unity of the financial center and providing a technologically neutral regulation of the Crypto-Currency and ICO.”
Venezuela is not a major global economy and does not have a large number of crypto-currency investors. Nevertheless, the state’s views on the crypto currency are noteworthy, as the government of the country, led by President Nicolas Maduro, is going to circumvent the economic sanctions by releasing its own petro- provided crypto currency .
At the beginning of 2017, Venezuela was determined to take rather stringent measures, because as a result of inflation, most of the country’s population turned to the use of digital currencies, ignoring the national currency, the Venezuelan bolivar. At the end of the year, the Maduro government also attempted to apply regulation to the mining sector.
The issuance of its own national crypto currency can lead to the fact that Venezuela will become one of the most progressive states with regard to the regulation of crypto-currencies (even if this is done only for the further use of petro).
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Last year, the least developed economically African country survived the crisis, which led to the collapse of its official currency. Trade bitcoin in Nigeria is gaining popularity, as the population increasingly turns to crypto currency.
At the beginning of last year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was going to ban digital currencies, but then the deputy director of the bank abandoned the original goal, saying that “the Central Bank can not control or regulate bitcoin. Similarly, no one can control or regulate the Internet. They do not belong to us. ” In 2017, bitcoin trade in the country grew 15-fold.
In January 2018, the head of the bank Edwin Emefiele reiterated the need for regulation: “Crypto or bitcoin is analogous to gambling … As a central bank, we can not support situations in which people risk their savings for the sake of” excitement. ”
The manager of the Bank of Ghana, Ernest Addison, said on January 22 that “bitcoin is not yet a legal tender.” Despite the fact that at the moment the parliament is considering a bill permitting the use of crypto currency, while the country prefers to consider bitcoin and other digital currencies to be illegal.Addison’s statement was preceded by the recommendation of the Investment Bank of Ghana Group Ndoum that the Bank of Ghana invested 1% of its reserve funds in bitcoins.
The attitude towards the crypto-currencies of the South African Republic is relatively progressive. In July last year, the government of the country began to cooperate with Bankymoon, a blockbuster company, to create a “balanced” approach to the regulation of bitcoins.
During the last decade, the national currency of the republic, the South African rand, has repeatedly devalued. This year, the country remains silent regarding the regulation of digital currencies. However, it is likely that the dependence of the South African national currency on China can go to its point of view on the regulation of the Crypto-currency.
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