Speculation, crime and national security concerns

Regulatory ECHO: Speculation and crime fuel bitcoin scepticism

While the Bitcoin price keeps scratching the all-time high at the moment, regulators around the world remain sceptical. All the while, criminality in the crypto space continues to be highlighted. Prominent suspicions such as that of controversial entrepreneur John McAfee reinforce such prejudices.

„Bitcoin will never replace cash“: Bundesbank with the crypto rejection

Bitcoin reserves for the state – for some observers, this makes more than sense in view of rising exchange rates. The German Bundesbank, on the other hand, vehemently disagrees. In an interview on its website, board member Burkhard Balz criticises Bitcoin Code cryptocurrencies as „highly speculative assets“. According to him, they are neither suitable as a means of payment nor as a store of value. Balz is more open about the ECB’s plans for an e-euro, but emphasises that it will „not be a cryptocurrency“.

Regulation – May merchants accept Bitcoin as a means of payment?

Not every merchant is as sceptical as the Bundesbanker. On the contrary, numerous shops in Germany and worldwide have already been accepting cryptocurrencies as a means of exchange for their goods for years. But when, how and under what conditions is this allowed at all? Specialist lawyer Lutz Auffenberg has tackled this question. For BTC-ECHO, he takes a closer look at the legal situation.

Meanwhile, the ongoing legal battle between Ripple and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to go blow for blow. After the latest request for the termination of the proceedings on the part of the payment service provider, the authorities have now promptly rejected it. Last week, the SEC filed a motion with the competent court to deny such a request. The brief glimmer of hope provided by the change in leadership at the top of the agency has now been replaced by disillusionment.

Fine-tuning: US Congress wants to adapt crypto laws

Meanwhile, US lawmakers and regulators often have to put up with harsh criticism from the crypto industry. The US Congress now wants to react to this. Together with experts from the two major authorities, the SEC and CTFC, a working group is to be set up with members of parliament to fine-tune existing laws. Specifically, it will deal with responsibilities – i.e. the question of when which authority is obliged to act.

Meanwhile, the latest announcement by South Korea’s Shinhan Bank testifies to the ambition of state blockchain adoption in Southeast Asia. Last week, the bank announced that it had developed a CBDC pilot for the country’s central bank. How and under what circumstances the central bank currency will be used, however, is still open. Meanwhile, in the shadow of such success stories, regulators in the country continue to crack down on crime in the crypto space. In a press release, the Financial Services Commission FSC announced its intention to enforce the current guidelines for crypto exchanges with fines.

To ban or not to ban – Hanging game in India continues

Meanwhile, the standoff in India continues. For some time now, the possibility of a rigorous crypto ban has been on the table. Now the Indian government has announced that it will further consider its position on the issue. Specifically, Finance Minister Anurag Thakur recently announced that the „national security risks“ of cryptocurrencies would be considered before a decision was made. Only then will a corresponding law be introduced in the Indian parliament. Meanwhile, more and more voices are advising against a ban. The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) recently argued that only prudent regulation can realise the vision of a digital India that Prime Minister Modi has set out to achieve.