Just before the year ends, we have a last round of important news that you might have missed, especially if you have been busy watching Bitcoin trading sideways through the holidays. We are ready to follow up on these and other stories in 2020. We wish you all a happy new year!
Uneasy Times for Crypto in China
This year has seen the government and bank of China come out against crypto trading, miners, and exchanges. Although the government stated at the end of November that it would not seek to ban crypto, its actions still have the community on its toes. This week authorities targeted mining operations that were allegedly stealing energy to power their computers. About 7,000 mining machines were seized by the authorities. Maybe the government will now take advantage of certain provisions to get the electricity for itself and mine Bitcoin with those machines.
US Congress is Working on the “Crypto-Currency Act of 2020”
US congress is working on a bill that will provide definitions on the types of digital assets to be regulated by the US government agencies. It will establish the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) as the Federal Crypto Regulator. Each of the agencies will have the authority over a specific type of crypto asset: crypto-securities will be regulated by the SEC, crypto-currencies by FinCEN, and crypto-commodities by CTFC. Maybe this will put an end to the confusion regarding Bitcoin and cryptocurrency regulation in the US, or maybe it will just reaffirm what we already know – the CFTC already declared that Bitcoin was a commodity.
Binance Takes a Stake in Derivatives
Binance became the first outside stakeholder in FTX, a futures and derivatives trading platform for crypto. CEO Zhao gave a statement saying “the derivatives space for crypto is very new, and we want to support multiple initiatives to grow the industry.”
The Global Trend to Regulate Reaches Paraguay
With rampant informal markets and corruption, one may not expect crypto regulation to be at the top of Paraguay’s list. However, the country became the latest to embark in an audit effort in order to follow the Financial Action Task Force’s recommendations on dealing with crypto. The country’s central bank had already published a statement establishing its national currency as the only legal tender, however these latest actions will seek to register all actors engaged in the crypto market. Paraguay faces tremendous challenges from smugglers on its border with Brazil and Argentina, and drug trafficking in the north of the country on the border with Brazil. Given that the country has cheap electricity – thanks to the Itaipu dam, one of the biggest in the world – and a very friendly immigration and tax regime – 0% on income generated abroad – it is easy to see how the perfect crypto storm is something that the local authorities would like to control, if they can.
The US Government’s Nod to CoinMarketCap
In a 2019 report issued by the DOJ, the long-time crypto information website was cited as one of the sources used by the US government to estimate the value of seized crypto assets.