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Regulators say new EU cryptoasset rules may be needed

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© Reuters. Representations of the Ripple, Bitcoin, Etherum and Litecoin virtual currencies are seen on motherboard in this illustration picture© Reuters. Representations of the Ripple, Bitcoin, Etherum and Litecoin virtual currencies are seen on motherboard in this illustration picture

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – New European Union rules may be needed to better protect consumers from cryptoasset risks, prevent money laundering and stop diverging national regulations from creating unfair competition, EU regulators said on Wednesday.

Regulators have warned investors since 2013 they could lose their shirts by investing in virtual currencies such as and ether, or in initial coin offerings (ICOs) that raise money for companies in return for tokens.

Bitcoin rocketed close to $20,000 in late 2017, sweeping up investors from across the world, but it has since lost three-quarters of its value.

The value of cryptoassets globally peaked at $830 billion a year ago, but fell to $210 billion by October, equivalent to less than 3 percent of the gold market.

The European Banking Authority (EBA) said in a report on cryptoassets that they typically fall outside the scope of EU financial rules, making it harder to build a detailed picture.

EU regulators have identified financial institutions owning cryptoassets directly, making a market in them, lending against cryptoasset collateral, and exchanging cryptoassets for cash, but have little data on these activities.

Market developments also point to the need for a further review of EU anti-money laundering legislation, the EBA said.

A comprehensive cost-benefit analysis would determine what, if any, action is required to regulate “opportunities and risks” from cryptoasset activities and related technologies, EBA said.

The watchdog said a broad approach should be taken, including how high amounts of energy used to mint cryptoassets impact EU climate change and sustainable development goals.

An EU analysis could assess the impact of cryptoasset activities on financial sector resilience, and the links between cryptoassets and traditional banking.

“Given the pace and complexity of change, it would be desirable for a technologically neutral and future-proof approach to be adopted in developing any proposals should it be concluded that EU-level action is needed,” EBA said.

FINDING CONSENSUS

Separately, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) said some cryptoassets fall under EU securities’ trading rules, but that supervisors face challenges in applying them.

“Meanwhile, a number of crypto-assets fall outside the current financial regulatory framework. This poses substantial risks to investors who have limited or no protection when investing in those crypto-assets,” said Steven Maijoor, ESMA chair.

There is no legal definition of cryptoassets, and gaps in rules would be best addressed at the European level, he added.

The EBA and ESMA recommendations mark a step closer to regulating the sector in Europe after attempts to find global consensus for rules have failed so far to go beyond monitoring the industry more closely.

But finding consensus within the EU may not be easy either.

While most national supervisors in the EU agree that cryptoassets should be subject to regulation, ESMA said, there is little consensus on whether new rules should fall within the bloc’s main “MiFID” securities law.

“There were as well diverging views regarding the extent of that regulatory regime,” ESMA said.

ESMA said it would develop a common “monitoring template” that national regulators can require firms to complete in order to obtain better data. It will also study each business model involving cryptoassets to see if they should be complying with any EU rules.

Regulators already have a range of “robust supervisory powers” to mitigate risks, EBA said. They should take a conservative approach in forcing financial firms to hold capital to cover risks until there is a clear set of accounting rules to help value cryptoassets, it added.

Although the crash in cryptocurrencies’ value has put off some investors, French “Tabac” shops are now selling bitcoins alongside cigarettes and lottery tickets.

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New Zealand Police Keeping ‘Open Mind’ on Cryptotopia Hack

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© Reuters.  © Reuters.

New Zealand Police has said the investigation into this week’s hack of crypto exchange Cryptopia is complex and it is keeping an “open mind” on all possibilities.

The police force said in a news update Wednesday that the inquiry is still in its “very early stages” and that they cannot yet tell how much cryptocurrency is involved in the hack, “other than it is a significant amount.”

“We are dealing with a complex situation and we are unable to put a timeframe on how long the investigation may take,” according to the police.

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Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Genesis, BitGo Team Up to Enable High-Frequency Crypto Trading

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Cryptocurrency custodian BitGo and over-the-counter (OTC) specialist Genesis Global Trading have teamed up on a service designed to make Wall Street feel more comfortable dipping a toe in the market.

Announced today, the tie-up means institutional investors storing digital assets with BitGo can use Genesis’ platform to execute trades at the speed they are accustomed to in the traditional financial markets.

For example, if a client holds 100 bitcoin in their BitGo cold storage wallet, they can get a quote via Genesis and sell those bitcoins immediately. The moment the client agrees on the trade, BitGo locks up the 100 bitcoin and holds them to give to Genesis, which initiates a U.S. dollar bank wire to BitGo.

Continue Reading on CoinDesk

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Bitwage Now Lets Firms Pay Salaried Staff in Crypto

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Bitwage is partnering with a payroll company to give more firms the ability to pay their workers in cryptocurrency.

Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, Bitwage CEO Jonathan Chester says the partnership will let more U.S. employers fund payroll, payroll taxes and benefits with bitcoin or ether.

“This is a lifeline for companies to pay their people compliantly,” Chester told CoinDesk.

Continue Reading on CoinDesk

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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New Zealand Police Keeping ‘Open Mind’ on Cryptopia Hack

Nino Team

Published

on

© Reuters.  © Reuters.

New Zealand Police has said the investigation into this week’s hack of crypto exchange Cryptopia is complex and it is keeping an “open mind” on all possibilities.

The police force said in a news update Wednesday that the inquiry is still in its “very early stages” and that they cannot yet tell how much cryptocurrency is involved in the hack, “other than it is a significant amount.”

“We are dealing with a complex situation and we are unable to put a timeframe on how long the investigation may take,” according to the police.

Continue Reading on CoinDesk

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Bitcoin Inches Down as Chevron, Total Join Oil Blockchain Platform

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© Reuters.  © Reuters.

Ninomag.com – Cryptocurrency prices fell slightly on Wednesday, while oil giants Chevron (NYSE:) and Total joined blockchain-based platform Vakt.

The company is one of the first blockchain schemes for commodities, as businesses look for ways to harness the technology behind and other digital coins.

Bitcoin slipped 0.42% to $3,622.40 on the Ninomag.com Index, as of 8:41 AM ET (13:41 GMT).

Cryptocurrencies overall were flat with the total coin market capitalization at $122 billion at the time of writing.

,or Ether, slipped 3.6% to $124.06 and was at $31.51, down 1.6%, while decreased 0.5% to $0.3293.

Vakt, created in 2017, already includes major companies including BP (LON:), Royal Dutch Shell (LON:) and Mercuria Energy Group, among others. The platform os a post-trade processing site for commodities that promises to decrease risk and reduce costs through the elimination of paper contracts.

“Total has been supporting industry initiatives to digitize cargo post-trade processes for some time,” Thomas Waymel, President Trading & Shipping at Total, said in a press release. “We view them as a major step forward towards safer, faster and cheaper logistical operations.”

Meanwhile, global blockchain company The Bitfury Group, is launching an open-source music platform secured using blockchain. While it’s not the first company to venture into the music industry, it’s the first time a major player has aimed to change the music industry.

The platform will streamline the transfer of copyrighted assets, by creating a digital system to share and monetize intellectual property, Bitfury said.

The London-based company was recently valued at $1 billion and sells digital coin mining equipment and develops blockchain technology, including for the Ukrainian government.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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