Cryptocurrency

Busan is Ready to Welcome a Functional Digital Assets Exchange By Then End of 2023

Did you hear? The first meeting of the Busan Digital Asset Exchange Establishment Promotion Committee took place on January 19, according to a local news source. As per this meeting, a decentralized exchange is set to debut in the South Korean city by the end of the year, as was mentioned at the conference.

Busan’s Plan for this Exchange:

The statement states that the purpose of the exchange is to utilize digital tokens to support Busan’s multiple advantages, such as its cultural significance, agricultural production, real estate, and precious metals. The Committee seeks to establish Busan’s exchange into a fine structure unique from those now in South Korea at other virtual asset exchanges.

In addition, the Committee intends to collaborate with the national government to work toward the establishment of a more effective regulatory framework. According to reports, the effort has two distinct objectives in mind. Busan aspires to be fully competitive with hubs like Abu Dhabi and Singapore while simultaneously providing comprehensive protections for investors. Additionally, the Committee is working toward initiating system tests for the exchange as early as February.

Busan’s Partnership Approaches for this Exchange: 

Busan has been working on a city-backed cryptocurrency exchange since last August, when it formed collaborations with Binance, Gate.io, Huobi Global, Crypto.com, and FTX.com (before the latter went bankrupt). A representative for the city of Busan assured Forkast over the phone that the relationships remain strong. 

However, Busan Ilbo, a regional publication, reported on Wednesday that the exchange delayed plans to provide services connected to cryptocurrencies and security token offerings last year to avoid potential conflicts with local regulators.

Adding more to that, only Huobi, through its South Korean subsidiary, was represented among the foreign exchange partners when the steering committee was announced in December.

Stay tuned for more crypto-related news!

National Australia Bank Creates AUDN Stablecoin

According to an article in the Australian Financial Review (AFR), the National Australia Bank (NAB), one of the four largest Australian banks, has developed a stablecoin dubbed AUDN, which it plans to release in the middle of 2023.

In a statement, NAB explained that AUDN would help its clientele settle blockchain-based transactions in real-time using Australian dollars. “Carbon credit trading, overseas money transfers, and purchases agreements,” NAB’s Chief Innovation officer Howard Silby told AFR, are some of the other potential uses for AUDN.

The stablecoin AUDN will be available on the Ethereum and Algorand blockchains, the latter being a smart contract platform comparable to Ethereum.

Australia’s History of Launching Stablecoin:

The National Australia Bank (NAB) is the second major Australian bank after Westpac to get involved in developing a stable cryptocurrency. Earlier, ANZ Banking Group and the cryptocurrency custodian Fireblocks collaborated to issue a stablecoin tethered to the Australian dollar.

Token mapping has been implemented in Australia to identify the characteristics of all crypto tokens and how they are managed. Additionally, Australia’s central bank has begun a pilot test to explore potential use cases for Australia’s own CBDC; this test is expected to be finished by the middle of 2023.
The government of Australia committed one month ago to increase the level of security surrounding cryptocurrencies by establishing a framework for the licensing and regulation of cryptocurrency service providers in the year 2023.

Lithuania Central Bank Updates Position on Distribution of and Primary Virtual Assets

Almost two years ago, the Bank of Lithuania released a blog post announcing its position on virtual currencies and ICOs.

According to the announcement, financial market participants were barred from engaging in the sale of virtual currencies and also from linking their services to virtual currencies. Otherwise, those that provide such services will have to ensure very strict compliance with the requirements for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.

Today, the Board of the Bank of Lithuania is responding to ‘dynamic market developments, changing foreign positions on virtual assets and seeking to ensure a level playing field for all financial market participants.

The board has updated its position on the distribution of virtual assets as well as primary virtual assets. This position targets the already established financial market participants and also the ones seeking to distribute the virtual tokens of virtual assets in Lithuania.

The Concept of Virtual Assets Replaces the Term Virtual Currency

In as much as the two terms relate to the same thing, they are entirely different. Frequently, the term virtual currency is used to define a type of digital currency that is only available in electronic form and not physical. A virtual asset, on the other hand, is a representation of currency in some environment or situation. It can either be in the form of virtual currency or property that has value in a specific environment.

According to Lithuania’s update, the document states how and when investment funds investing in virtual assets can be created and also defines other vital issues related to virtual assets investments. It is indicated in the update that;

‘’Financial market participants should not be involved or provide services related to virtual assets, the activities should be clearly separated from the activities related to virtual assets.’’ 

Although financial market participants are still banned from receiving payments from virtual assets, the update has paved way for crypto payments.

This new position also provides for the creation of investment funds for professional investors looking to invest in virtual assets. Thus it ensures a level playing field for financial participants.

Also, due to the current change in market patterns, the update bans financial market participants from accepting virtual assets by committing them either with or without interest. These participants cannot provide loans or take out collateral with virtual assets.

Crypto Is Coming!

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Regulatory Authorities Issue Warning on Use of Digital Currencies

With the increasing demand for virtual transactions and virtual assets such as cryptocurrencies, regulators are taking a keen eye on the industry. The developments has brought varied responses from regulators across the globe in a lot of different areas including exchanges, trading and mining of crypto currencies, crowd funding, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), and financial products.

Global regulators are divided on how to keep up with the fast growing cryptocurrency industry. Because most virtual currencies are not backed by any central government, each country has varying standards. While other countries have open heartedly welcomed the use of virtual currencies, others have really come hard on it.

A Warning Issue to the Trinidad and Tobago Nationals

Just recently, the regulatory authorities issued a warning to the Trinidad and Tobago nationals who are conducting transactions in virtual currencies or are investors in the same, urging them to be careful of various schemes promising high returns. The Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT), the Tobago and Trinidad Securities (TTSE) and the Financial Intelligence Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (FIU) clearly stated that virtual currencies do not have legal tender status in Trinidad and Tobago, this is despite the fact that the authorities recognize that investing in digital currencies can promise a lot of benefits.

According to a publication from TV 6, the authorities said that;

‘’Providers of virtual currencies are neither regulated nor supervised by the authorities at present and there are currently no legislative provisions under the authorities’ purview that provide protection to consumer for losses arising from the usual of virtual currencies.’’

A Positive Outlook

This seems to be a good thing as the authorities are additionally warning users about the risks that come along with unregulated virtual currency companies. They warn that; ‘’ unregulated virtual currency companies may lack appropriate internal control and may be more susceptible to fraud and theft than regulated financial institutions.” Also, the authorities warn users that because of the currency’s high volatility, they can be unsuitable for most investors especially those looking for long term invesrments.

According to the authorities, transactions involving virtual currencies are usually anonymous and can therefore quite easily be associated with money laundering, terrorism financing or other criminal activities. The authorities however promise to continue monitoring activities that involve the use of these currencies.

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Interested in more crypto content? Check out Britain opposes U.S’s take on utility tokens and Venezuela to Become a Bitcoin Haven?

South African Finance minister announces push for cryptocurrency regulation

The cryptocurrency industry has seen major advancements despite prices taking a dip in 2018. The advancements majorly revolved around increased acceptance of Altcoins which, consequently, led to an increased need for formal recognition of cryptocurrencies in economies across the world. The unique nature of digital currencies in comparison to fiat currency has slowed down the process of legislative regulations the world over. On January 2nd, South Africa hopped onto the push for a regulated space for cryptocurrency in her economy. This is because for any currency to be regarded as legal tender, it has to get some form of green light or backing from the state.

Cohesive and Comprehensive regulatory response

The drive, led by the Minister for Finance-Tito Mboweni, wants a cohesive as well as a comprehensive regulatory response to cryptocurrency in the country. In a letter dated January 2, the government announced that it had created a regulatory working group to steer the matter. The group comprises of thought leaders and representatives drawn from various South African agencies.

The letter from the minister was addressed to parliament. It implored parliament to come up with the substantive legislation from the ministerial directives in the letter. The directive included among others: The formation of a regulatory group towards government response to cryptocurrencies and the underlying technology. Also, parliament would have the working group’s detailed research on a unified cryptocurrency regulatory standard throughout South Africa.

Growing Digital assets economy

As with other regions around the world, the cryptocurrency industry in South Africa is growing rapidly every day. Multiple studies conducted last year indicate that 70% of South African consumers define cryptocurrency along the same lines as investments. The respondents also registered positive investor sentiments with regard to holding onto their cryptocurrency investments in the long run – despite price fluctuations.

2018 alone saw the industry grow by 25% in the country. In terms of market activity, Bitcoin traders Local Bitcoins saw its volumes swell. All these indicate a growing market that called for immediate regulation to ease trade in cryptocurrency and to also ensure that it is safe.

Informed by these developments, the South African Revenue Service (Sars), South African Reserve Bank, Treasury, Financial Sector Conduct Authority, and Financial Intelligence Centre came together under the umbrella of a cryptocurrency working group to better arrest the situation. CRYPTO IS COMING!