Friday, 26th October 2018: This week saw updates from all over Europe as both Russia and the European Commission came closer to solid Crypto regulation. An Australian Stablecoin is announced, and plenty of good news for Indian Crypto investors.
2 weeks to Judgement Day:
After 1.5 months of delay, the RBI has exhausted all delays and must reveal the findings of their “crypto-committee” in the next 2 weeks (at press time). On the 25th of October, the Supreme Court, under pressure from Indian crypto-investors, gave the RBI an ultimatum to reveal all findings from this probe into what is deemed by most a revolutionary sector.
It isn't all that bad: Before completely criticizing the RBI’s probe, one must acknowledge that the RBI is, after all, not controlled by the government - and so, completely free of bureaucracy and all for the people. This probe is to understand cryptocurrencies better and formulate macroeconomic regulations for the same, regulations that will affect millions of Indians for years to come. The RBI’s probe is unnecessarily delayed, but not unnecessary by any means.
Russia: Business on the Blockchain
The Russian Govt. recently updated a long-awaited draft bill “On Digital Financial Assets”.
With this draft bill, the Russian State Legislation seeks to allow privately held companies to own and sell so-called “Digital Financial Assets (DFAs). These DFA act as digitized equity for the company that issues them and act as ‘tokens’ similar to the likes of ETH and DNT. The only difference in the DFA token is that these act as proof of share-ownership. DFA data will be verified by the Russian Central Bank and stored on the blockchain.
What's next? This draft, if approved in the upcoming hearing will make the selling of shares more transparent and easily accessible - both things that the current Russian state could do with. Naturally, the issuance of DFAs will only be accessible to limited liability companies and non-public joint stock firms.
EU ICOs: Closer than you think.
A group that advises the European Securities & Markets Authority (ESMA) has suggested that the EU’s securities watchdog use existing EU regulations to regulate most cryptocurrencies and ICO tokens. A report on the 19th of October stated that due to the increasing consideration given to digital assets as investments, the rules that apply to conventional investments should apply to those in the digital realm as well.
What does this tell us? Large organizations like the ESMA and the whole EU Financial system are slowly moving towards greater acceptance of crypto-assets as investments and stores of value. If the ESMA acts upon this suggestion and consults the European Banking Authority, ICOs in the EU might be much sooner than if new regulations altogether were to be devised.
A Stellar Stablecoin:
Money 20/20, Las Vegas: The Novatti Group, an Australian payment processor is announcing the launch of their own Australian Dollar (AUD) pegged stablecoin. The ‘Novatti AUD Utility Token’ will operate on the Stellar Blockchain and has already attracted those from beyond Novatti’s current clientele since it requires a compulsory ‘Know-Your-Client’ (KYC) customer identity check.
Traditionally, Stablecoins like the TUSD and the Winklevoss Twins' Gemini USD are used to move money quickly between exchanges. However, the Managing Director at Novatti, Peter Cook, has a different vision for the Novatti token:
"We think that people will use them [stablecoins] to help purchase goods from Australian enterprises. And we think that will also use them for the payment of bills or for services inside of Australia."
The Big Picture: Novatti is a publicly listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange and is already widely used by both customers and businesses in Australia. This effectively starts the Novatti stablecoin at a pedestal, with brand recognition with businesses, consumers and an added sense of trust, with it being publicly listed. The Aussie Stablecoin could change the way digital assets are perceived and traded across the Australian continent.
Shifting Perspectives: The case of India
In another massive upturn for Indian Crypto-trading, the Securities and Exchanges Board of India (SEBI) has sent officials abroad to study Cryptocurrency trading and ICOs. SEBI has organized these “study trips” to Japan's Financial Services Agency; the UK's Financial Conduct Authority, and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority.
While the Indian Govt has had an unreasonably cautious approach to crypto (with some people very incorrectly believing that trading is illegal) this iron grip seems to be losing out to more rational, liberal and two-sided approach to this sector.
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