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US SEC Solicits Feedback on Crypto Assets and Custody Rules

The US SEC is soliciting industry input as it potentially reconsiders existing custody rules for investment advisers regarding crypto. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is soliciting industry input as it potentially reconsiders existing custody rules in specific cases of digital asset trading and settlement. The SEC launched its information gathering initiative in an open letter to Karen Barr, president and CEO of the Investment Adviser Association, on March 12. Currently, the Custody Rule (Rule 206(4)-2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 determines rules that aim to protect investors who delegate custody of their funds or securities to professional investment advisors. As the letter outlines, such custodial authority carries an ”increased risk of misappropriation or misuse of [investors’] assets,” and investment advisors are thus legally bound to register with the SEC and to comply with a series of rules for sound custodial practices. The SEC states that..

Brazilian Court Rules Santander to Return $350,000 to Crypto Exchange Mercado...

A São Paulo court has dismissed the appeal made by Banco Santander against crypto exchange Mercado Bitcoin. The Court of Justice in the Brazilian state of São Paulo has dismissed the appeal made by Banco Santander against cryptocurrency exchange Mercado Bitcoin, and ruled that the bank should return funds to the company, local crypto media CriptomoedasFacil reports on March 8. Previously, the bank reportedly closed the exchange’s account, claiming that its activity was incompatible with its policy and froze the funds. According to the article, the Brazilian exchange took action through the courts against the closing of its account, claiming that the freeze of its funds was unjustified. Per the report, the funds to be returned amount to R$1,350,733 (equivalent to nearly $350,000). The March 6 ruling on official government portal Impresa Oficial further specifies that the appeal has been dismissed by unanimous vote. The report further explains that the exchange already won the case, wit..

Report: Ripple Violates Coinbase’s Listing Rules

Per Diar’s recent report, Ripple is breaking one of Coinbase’s listing rules specified in the exchange’s “Digital Asset Framework.” Ripple (XRP) is reportedly violating one of Coinbase's listing rules, even though the cryptocurrency exchange added support for the altcoin on the its Pro platform. A Feb. 26 report by blockchain research firm Diar states that XRP breaks one of Coinbase’s requirements to be listed on the platform. Specifically, in its “Digital Asset Framework,” Coinbase states that "the ownership stake retained by the team is a minority stake," while, according to Diar, Ripple holds around 60 percent of the supply in escrow with a release schedule. Coinbase Pro, the professional offering of United States-based crypto trading platform and wallet service Coinbase, added support for XRP token yesterday, Feb. 25. In the announcement, Coinbase stated that full trading of XRP will be available to customers in the U.S., Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Singap..

US: Pennsylvania Rules That Crypto Exchanges, ATMs Are Not Money Transmitters

The Department of Banking and Securities in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania has clarified that cryptocurrency exchanges do not fall subject to the Money Transmitter Act. The American state of Pennsylvania has clarified that cryptocurrency exchanges do not fall subject to the Money Transmitter Act (MTA), according to a Department of Banking and Securities (DoBS) document published today, Jan. 23. The document clarifies crypto exchanges thus do not require a license to offer their services to Pennsylvania residents. The MTA — otherwise referred to as the Money Transmission Business Licensing Law — provides that “[n]o person shall engage in the business of transmitting money by means of a transmittal instrument for a fee or other consideration with or on behalf of an individual without first having obtained a license from the [DoBS].” While the definition of a “person” pertains to both individuals and organizations, the DoBs underscores that the transmission of money under the MTA necessa..

‘Crypto Needs Rules’ Says New Gemini Ad Campaign

The Gemini cryptocurrency exchange has launched a new ad campaign, in which it calls for better regulation of the crypto space. The Gemini cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins in 2014 is calling for better regulation of the crypto space in a new ad campaign, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports on Jan. 4. Placards on taxis and in the New York City subway contain slogans like “crypto needs rules” while simultaneously suggesting that Gemini already provides a regulatory compliant exchange for investors. Other slogans include “money has a future” and “crypto without chaos.” Chris Roan, head of marketing at Gemini, told the WSJ: “We believe that investors coming into cryptocurrency deserve the exact same protections as investors in more traditional markets, adhering to the same standards, practices, regulations and compliance protocols.” Some in the crypto space have criticized the ads, saying that the introduction of anti-money laundering (AML), Know Your Customer (KY..

Chile: Anti-monopoly Court Rules to Keep Crypto Exchanges’ Bank Accounts Open

Chile’s anti-monopoly court rules to oblige local banks to keep the accounts of local crypto exchanges open, despite Supreme Court decision. The Chilean anti-monopoly court has again granted protection to local cryptocurrency exchanges by forcing banks to keep their accounts open, financial news outlet Diario Financiero reported Jan. 2. According to a recent statement from Buda.com — one of the crypto exchanges affected by previously upheld banking restrictions — the anit-monopoly court known as the Tribunal de Defensa de la Libre Competencia (TDLC) has held a poll, and most of its members voted in favor of the crypto firms. The next few hearings are scheduled for February, when the TDLC will hear the testimony of both parties. The hearings will be attended by Chilean top officials, including the country’s Minister of Finance, Felipe Larrain, Minister of Economy, Jose Ramon Valente, and the president of the country's banks association, Segismundo Schulin-Zeuthen. The TDLC has res..

British Regulators Ruminate on Crypto Rules While Standing Firm on Crypto...

British regulators are taking more time over crypto, but this won’t make U.K. legislation more permissive. A significant crypto market slump has brought concern and alarm, but also some unexpected side benefits. One such benefit comes from how financial regulators in the United Kingdom now appear sufficiently relaxed about crypto and its growth that they can take their time to carefully consider fair regulation. Without the pressures of a rapidly climbing crypto market, statements from officials have suggested that they will now avoid hastily implementing legislation — and as a result, the cryptocurrency industry in Britain will ultimately benefit from rules that protect customers and innovation alike. However, while U.K. regulators now have more time to consider and consult on balanced regulations, this doesn't necessarily mean that Britain will soon be home to a lenient regime for cryptocurrencies and relevant businesses. Because of the massive 2017 surge that crypto enjoyed, t..

Thailand Regulator on Relaxing ICO Rules: We Want to ‘Find Greater...

Thailand has signalled it plans to take the rare step of simplifying procedures through which ICOs can raise money. Thailand’s securities regulator is planning a public hearing with the aim of loosening rules that form a “barrier” to initial coin offerings (ICOs), local English-language news outlet Bangkok Post reported Dec. 20. Thailand — which issued a royal decree to regulate its domestic cryptocurrency markets in May — had revealed its intention to license its first ICO portal in November and an ICO itself this month. Now, rules for issuers to begin fundraising may become less strict, although there will be caps on participation. “The proposed guideline is an attempt to find greater equilibrium in the regulatory process and reduce regulatory impediments, while taking risk management and investor protection into account,” the Post quotes Tipsuda Thavaramara, general secretary of the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as saying: “The proposed criteria may not be fully com..

Greek Supreme Court Rules in Support of Extraditing Alleged Bitcoin Launderer...

The Supreme Court of Greece has ruled in support of a decision to extradite the alleged former operator of now-defunct crypto exchange BTC-e to France. The Supreme Court of Greece has ruled in support of a decision to extradite the alleged former operator of now-defunct crypto exchange BTC-e Alexander Vinnik to France. A “correspondent at the scene” from major Russian state-owned news agency TASS reported the news Dec. 19. As previously reported, 39-year old Russian national Vinnik, a.k.a “Mr. Bitcoin,” was first indicted by United States authorities and detained in Greece on July 25, 2017, on criminal charges of fraud and allegedly laundering up to $4 billion in Bitcoin (BTC) via BTC-e. Russia and France have since both sought the defendant’s extradition in regard to a further series of fraud allegations. When a Thessaloniki court ruled in support of Vinnik’s extradition to France this summer, the defendant had appealed against the decision at the country’s highest judiciary. TASS to..

Canadian Court Rules to Return Mistakenly Sent Ethereum to Rightful Owner

A superior trial court of British Columbia decided that mistakenly transferred Ethereum should be returned to the rightful owner. A Canadian court has decided that a sum of mistakenly transferred cryptocurrency should be returned to its rightful owner, according to a report from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law published Dec. 12. A superior trial court of British Columbia found that Ethereum (ETH) tokens, which were mistakenly sent by the plaintiff, blockchain startup Copytrack, to the defendant, Brian Wall, must be returned to Copytrack. According to the report, the defendant mistakenly received 530 Ethereum coins from Copytrack instead of 530 Copytrack (CPY) tokens that he was supposed to get after participating in Copytrack’s Initial Coin Offering (ICO). At the time of the incorrect transaction to his private crypto wallet, the amount of acquired Ethereum amounted to 495,000 Canadian dollars ($370,482), while the value of CPY tokens he intended to purchase was worth 780 Cana..
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