Crypto regulation in the world: weekly digest #67
On October 16, 2023, a false report of BlackRock's spot Bitcoin ETF approval led to a brief 10% rally in Bitcoin, which was quickly reversed after the world's largest money manager confirmed that its application was still under review. The incident highlights the challenge of protecting investors in an unregulated space that attracts shady players.
The approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF is something of a holy grail for the crypto industry, despite the fact that these stock market-traded financial funds are not yet approved by the SEC. The SEC has delayed its decision on all seven applicants, and analysts predict that the SEC may not decide on an ETF until early 2024 when the final deadlines approach.
Another reason for the rally on a market is that the SEC has finally dropped claims against two Ripple Labs executives, CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Chris Larsen, in its lawsuit alleging the blockchain company violated U.S. securities law. The SEC accused Ripple of illegally raising more than $1.3 billion in an unregistered securities offering by selling XRP.
Meanwhile, the SEC's withdrawal from the case preserves its resources for bigger lawsuits it has filed against crypto giants Coinbase and Binance.
The European Central Bank (ECB) has announced that it is moving its digital euro project to a preparation phase, which could pave the way for a potential future decision to its issue. The preparation phase will start on November 1, 2023, and will initially last two years. It will involve finalizing the digital euro rulebook and selecting providers that could develop a digital euro platform and infrastructure.
The ECB has designed a CBDC that would be widely accessible to citizens and businesses through distribution by supervised intermediaries, such as banks. The digital euro would be a digital form of cash, issued by the central bank and available to everyone in the euro area. It aims to be a widely accessible, digital cash alternative for all euro area digital transactions, offering features like broad accessibility, free basic usage, offline capability, privacy safeguards, and immediate settlement in central bank currency.
The ECB has not yet taken a decision on whether to issue the CBDC until relevant EU legislation has been completed. In June the European Commission published legislative proposals for a digital euro, but that's only the first step of a complex process that could take years to complete.
In the USA, meanwhile, the lawmakers and some state governors are proposing legislative measures to ban the digital dollar.
On October 21, 2023, Pan Gongsheng, Governor of the People's Bank of China, delivered a «Report on the Financial Work of the State Council». The document is a comprehensive overview of China's financial work and includes information on topics such as monetary policy, financial regulation, and economic development. The report highlights China's commitment to financial reform and opening up, promoting the digital transformation of the financial industry, improving the level of digital and intelligent supervision, enhancing digital supervision capabilities, and strengthening the construction of financial infrastructure.
Governor Pan Gongsheng also emphasized the importance of operating all financial activities under a licensed framework, signaling a renewed focus on regulatory compliance. The report also mentions the promotion of the research and development of digital CNY and the pilot research and development of digital CNY.
Furthermore, Governor Pan Gongsheng reiterated China's stance on cryptocurrency trading and mining activities, which are considered illegal by authorities. He stated that China will resolutely stop speculation about cryptocurrency transactions and seriously crack down on illegal fund raising and money laundering. The central bank will implement a prudent monetary policy, maintain a reasonable and sufficient liquidity, and guide the growth of money and credit and social financing to be basically in line with nominal economic growth.
We have already mentioned that China plans to set up a new financial watchdog that will also carry out supervision on cryptocurrency industry - the National Financial Regulatory Administration that will assume the powers of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.
News from other countries:
The U.S. Treasury OFAC is proposing to designate crypto mixers as a primary money laundering concern in its effort to combat illicit crypto finance, highlighting the terrorist groups that have benefited from anonymous crypto funds. If the mixers are declared to be a threat for the U.S. national security, financial firms all around the world could face restrictions in their interactions with them.
Central Bank of Russia once again pointed out that it preserves the intention to ban all cryptocurrency activities except mining.
We continue to highlight the news of the world of crypto regulation worldwide. Please stay with us!