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Bitcoin Businesses Denied Banking Services in Ireland

June 21, 2018 |

Bitcoin Businesses Denied Banking Services in Ireland

Leading companies from the crypto sector in Ireland have complained they are being denied services by some of the country’s major financial institutions. Among the affected businesses are bitcoin exchange Bitcove, winner of the bank-sponsored “Best Business Startup” award, and Ireland’s “longest running” bitcoin broker, Eircoin.  

Also read: Swiss Crypto Company Acquires License to Distribute Funds to Investors

Banks Close Accounts of Award-Winning Startup

Several Irish businesses have been forced to either stop trading cryptocurrencies or seek partners abroad after local financial institutions refused to offer them banking services. Some of them have lost their bank accounts, while others have never been allowed to open one in the country, the local press reported.

Bitcoin Businesses Denied Banking Services in Ireland

Bitcoin exchange Bitcove, which has been operating since 2014 and had previously worked with Allied Irish Banks (AIB), Permanent TSB and Bank of Ireland, is one of the affected companies, The Irish Times reported. One of its co-founders, Peter Nagle, told the newspaper the banks closed its accounts stating they do not support companies offering cryptocurrency exchange facilities. The trading platform has since been using the services of “a more progressive banking partner” in Europe.

“Particularly disappointing was Bank of Ireland. We were participants on the Ignite startup program, which is backed by the bank. Our business and its progress were reviewed monthly by a panel which included Bank of Ireland representatives. At the end of the incubator Bitcove won the award, but then just a few months later our accounts were frozen and eventually closed,” Nagle explained.

One of Ireland’s First Bitcoin Brokers Also Hit

Bitcoin Businesses Denied Banking Services in IrelandAnother crypto firm that has suffered from the clampdown is Eircoin, one of Ireland’s oldest bitcoin brokers, which closed a couple of months ago. An affiliated consulting business was also refused banking services. “We are being shuttered due to a negligent and defensive banking system,” Eircoin’s cofounder Dave Fleming said, quoted by the Irish daily. He added that his company, along with other cryptocurrency sellers, had previously consulted with the Central Bank of Ireland which told them that as long as they were abiding by the regulations their operations were in line with the law.

Bank of Ireland, one of the four largest Irish commercial banks, admitted in a statement it was not providing banking services to virtual currency exchange platforms, but noted that its customers were not prevented from transacting cryptocurrency. AIB Group, another “Big Four” bank, denied it was refusing services to companies from the crypto sector. A spokesman was quoted as saying, “We don’t discriminate in relation to providing banking services to cryptocurrency companies nor have we been systematically exiting such companies.” According to the official, some of these businesses are unable to comply with the anti-money laundering and know your customer requirements that the bank is obliged to adhere to.

Bitcoin Businesses Denied Banking Services in IrelandThe Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) stated that it wasn’t aware of any policy to close accounts of companies trading cryptocurrencies. However, the organization presenting 70 traditional financial institutions noted that Irish lenders are expected to take measures to minimize the risk of facilitating “financial crimes which are enabled by cryptocurrencies,” such as money laundering and terrorism financing.

Sharp Contrast

The negative attitude of the legacy financial institutions towards crypto businesses sharply contrasts with the view of Ireland as a crypto-friendly jurisdiction in general. Recently, it was reported that a new government-backed platform will promote the country as a hub for developers of applications based on the technology behind cryptocurrencies. Blockchain Ireland was launched by the Irish Blockchain Expert Group in partnership with a young company called Consensys. The initiative is supported by Enterprise Ireland, the Department of Finance, members of the industry and representatives of academic institutions. The agency promoting foreign investment in the country, IDA Ireland, has also backed blockchain and crypto projects.

Bitcoin Businesses Denied Banking Services in Ireland

Cryptocurrencies and the related economic activities received another recognition by authorities in Dublin with the decision of the Irish revenue service to issue guidelines on the taxation of crypto transactions. The new “Tax and Duty Manual” clarifies related matters and confirms that in most cases the existing tax regulations apply to the crypto sector. According to the advisory, crypto incomes and profits are subject to direct taxes such as corporate tax, income tax, and capital gains tax. Officials have also stated that for VAT purposes bitcoin constitutes a currency. The Irish tax agency regards cryptocurrencies as “negotiable instruments” and exempts them from the value added tax.

Do you think the bank clampdown on crypto businesses in Ireland is temporary? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcove, Eircoin, BPFI.


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Robinhood Reportedly Considering Formal Banking Services

June 21, 2018 |

Robinhood Reportedly Considering Formal Banking Services

Unnamed sources suggest popular free crypto and stock trading application (app), Robinhood, is negotiating with US regulators about prospects for it becoming a bank, complete with traditional services such as savings accounts. It’s still early going, and very preliminary, but such an arrangement could well be the future of banking.

Also read: Bitcoin More Influential in US Politics Than Ever

Robinhood Looking to Provide Banking Services

By all accounts it has been a skyrocketing year for the smartphone trading app Robinhood Markets, Inc. out of Menlo Park, California. Success appears to have emboldened the scrappy firm, according to Bloomberg.Robinhood Reportedly Considering Formal Banking Services

In late January, the company announced it would add bitcoin core (BTC) and ether to their platform, which caused 1 million people to sign up. Only a month after its formal February crypto rollout, by March it boasted a cool $ 5.6 billion valuation after three years of operation. And mid-May saw its services grow from one or two US states to ten.  

Unnamed sources are pointing to the popular free crypto trading app as querying regulators about the possibility of it becoming a full-fledged bank. The company has proven its ability to grow a consumer base, reaching more than 4 million in the United States. That it might be able to offer savings accounts could signal a broader change in the legacy industry, one gearing itself toward the next, more tech savvy, generation.

Banking laws in the US effectively prevent Robinhood from going forward on its own in this regard. Bloomberg insists the company is “in early discussions with regulators to begin offering banking-like products through different licenses or partnerships.” Discussions are between it and “the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which charters and regulates all national banks and federal savings associations.”

Robinhood Reportedly Considering Formal Banking Services

Everyone associated with the matter was careful to stress how nothing concrete has been decided. Still, should things progress, most expect the company would partner up with an existing institution, rather than go it alone. Whatever the case, other startups have moved along similar lines with an eye toward poaching dissatisfied traditional banking customers tired of unfavorable interest rates, a friction filled online experience, and the want to have most/all of their financial dealings in one convenient application.

Is banking a good move for Robinhood? Let us know in the comments. 


Images via the Pixabay, Robinhood.


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North Carolina Banking Bill Passes — Adds Virtual Currency License Requirements

June 20, 2018 |

North Carolina Banking Bill Passes — Adds Virtual Currency License Requirements

The state of North Carolina has pushed the passage of House Bill 86 and some digital currency advocates and firms like Coinbase believe the bill makes the state more friendly towards cryptocurrency businesses. At the moment North Carolina’s House Bill 86 has been presented to Governor Roy Cooper and awaits his signature.

Also read: Major Korean Crypto Exchange: $ 31 Million Vanishes

North Carolina House Bill 86 Includes Money Transmission Changes and Licensure Guidelines in Regard to Virtual Currencies Passes Unanimously

North Carolina Banking Bill Passes — Adds Virtual Currency License Requirements On June 14, 2018, North Carolina’s general assembly unanimously ratified House Bill 86 which adds new language to the state’s permissible investments and statutory trust under the Money Transmitters Act. The bill’s final revision includes legal definitions concerning virtual currencies like bitcoin and other tokens. North Carolina’s legislation also requires the licensure of businesses that work with cryptocurrency activities. Furthermore, the state’s Commissioner of Banks Ray Grace can request data from the licensed cryptocurrency firm at any time. North Carolina House Bill 86 states:   

If the licensee possesses virtual currency as permissible investments under this Article, the Commissioner may at any time request that the licensee verify, in a manner acceptable to the Commissioner, aggregate virtual currency transmission obligations outstanding and virtual currency held as permissible investments, including virtual currency stored offline.

Coinbase Believes North Carolina’s Bill ‘Helps Cryptocurrency Companies Comply With the Letter of the Law’

North Carolina Banking Bill Passes — Adds Virtual Currency License Requirements
Coinbase executive Mike Lempres

Commissioner Grace had also helped write the revised edition which included virtual currency definitions and licensee requirements. The firm Coinbase applauded the passage of House Bill 86 and formally thanked the banking commissioner, representatives Tim Moore, Dan Bishop, Jon Hardister, Bill Rabon, Stephen Ross, Jason Saine, and Jeff Tarte for helping bolster the legislation.

“Passage of House Bill 86 exemplifies how regulators and legislators can work together to foster innovation by either licensing cryptocurrency money transmissions or exempting cryptocurrency from money transmission laws,” the Chief Legal and Compliance Officer at Coinbase, Mike Lempres said last Thursday.

By helping cryptocurrency companies comply with the letter of the law, leaders in both states are paving the way for the economic and social benefits of this new technology to flourish within their communities.           

The firm also complimented the state of Wyoming for recently passing its blockchain and cryptocurrency legislation after it had issues with the state prior to the passage of Wyoming’s guidelines. A while ago Coinbase suspended its services to Wyoming residents and the firm said at the time that the state’s Division of Banking made Coinbase operations impractical. As both North Carolina and Wyoming change their money transmissions laws the state’s look like they may see more business operations due to the legislative changes.

What do you think about North Carolina’s House Bill 86? Do you think more states will adapt virtual currencies into their laws? Or do you think these regulations are bad for cryptocurrencies in general? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.


Images via Pixabay, Wiki Commons, North Carolina Emblem, Coinbase, and Medium. 


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The post North Carolina Banking Bill Passes — Adds Virtual Currency License Requirements appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Regulator to face questions over unauthorized accounts in banking industry

June 13, 2018 |

The nation’s top bank regulator has found evidence that institutions other than Wells Fargo & Co. may have created accounts without customers’ authorization — and a prominent Democrat wants the regulator to name names.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, the ranking Democrat on the Senate banking committee,…


L.A. Times – Business

Crypto Exchange Buda Subject of Sudden Banking Embargo in Colombia

June 13, 2018 |

Crypto Exchange Buda Subject of Sudden Banking Embargo in Colombia

Major Latin American bitcoin exchange, Buda, recently suddenly become the subject of a banking embargo in Colombia, according to local reports. Buda similarly experienced the termination of its Chilean banking services in March of this year.

Also Read: Six Major Banks in Chile Sued by Another Cryptocurrency Exchange

Buda Suffers Termination of Banking Services in Colombia

Crypto Exchange Buda Subject of Sudden Banking Embargo in ColombiaBuda, a Latin American bitcoin exchange formerly known as Surbtc servicing the Argentinian, Chilean, Colombian, and Peruvian markets, suddenly became the subject of a financial blockade from Colombian banking institutions. The sudden termination of the exchange’s Colombian bank accounts has disrupted customer withdrawals, which are expected to be processed as normal from June 13th onward.

The CEO of Buda, Alejandro Beltran, confirmed that Bancolombia, Davivienda, and BBVA have all terminated financial services provided to the exchange via an email sent to customers. Buda also sought to assure customers that despite their funds are safely protected despite the disruptions to exchange’s operations.

No Other Exchanges Appear to Have Been Targeted

Crypto Exchange Buda Subject of Sudden Banking Embargo in ColombiaLocal reports have attributed embargo to a warning issued by the Superintendence in February that encouraged banks to avoid having ties to Buda.com. The embargo does not target other Columbian exchanges, with local media reporting that “other local crypto exchanges remain open and unimpeded,” as neither Panda Exchange nor Bitinka has reported terminations of banking services.

The financial embargo against Buda has come at a time of increasing parliamentary dialogue regarding cryptocurrencies in Colombia.

During a recent debate in the Colombian Senate attended by representatives of the country’s Financial Superintendency, Bank of the Republic, and National Banking Association, Senator Antonio Navarro Wolff asserted that “the State assumed the task of warning about the risks of operations with cryptocurrencies but did not take actions to prevent or hinder these operations.”

“It is necessary to advance the issue of cryptocurrency, to be at the level of the countries that use this technology,” Senator Wolff added.

Buda Faces Banking Hurdles in Chile

Crypto Exchange Buda Subject of Sudden Banking Embargo in ColombiaIn March, Buda, alongside cryptocurrency exchanges Cryptomarket, and Orionx, became the subject of an aggressive banking embargo from Chile’s seven major financial institutions, including state-owned bank, Banco del Estado de Chile.

Buda filed a lawsuit with Chile’s Court for the Defense of Free Competition, leading to the court ordering Banco del Estado de Chile, Scotiabank, and Itau Corpbanca to reopen the accounts of Buda and Cryptomkt. Banco del Estado de Chile has confirmed that it will comply with the court’s wishes, however, neither Scotiabank or Tiau have indicated that their intention to reopen the exchanges’ accounts.

Do you think that Buda will be driven from the Colombian markets? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Buda


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Indian Crypto Exchanges Engage with RBI to Offer Banking Ban Alternatives

June 7, 2018 |

Indian Crypto Exchanges Engage with RBI to Offer Banking Ban Alternatives

Indian cryptocurrency exchanges have followed the Supreme Court’s suggestion for them to present their cases to the Reserve Bank of India. They have sent letters to the central bank, offering alternatives to the RBI’s banking ban.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Supreme Court’s Suggestion

Cryptocurrency exchanges in India have reportedly sent their pleas to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as directed by the Supreme Court’s ruling last month.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Engage with RBI to Offer Banking Ban Alternatives
Indian Supreme Court.

The central bank mandated in April that all financial institutions under its control must stop servicing cryptocurrency exchanges and other crypto-related businesses within three months. Some crypto exchanges subsequently took the RBI to court; their writ petitions were passed to the Supreme Court.

The country’s top court decided to hear all the petitions against the RBI ban on July 20 and ordered concerned parties to engage with the central bank to consider their requests. The Supreme Court “allowed cryptocurrency exchanges, their shareholders, traders and other individuals to present their cases within two weeks to the RBI, which will look into the issue in accordance with the law,” as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. Quartz elaborated:

The supreme court suggested that these exchanges can engage with the RBI. So, last week, a clutch of such firms sent out letters making their case against the banking regulator’s prohibitory order.

Crypto Firms’ Requests

Indian Crypto Exchanges Engage with RBI to Offer Banking Ban AlternativesVarious suggestions were presented to the RBI. According to the news outlet, some of “the bitcoin exchanges have requested the RBI to remove the blanket ban, saying the regulator should instead enforce it only on firms violating the norms.”

A petitioner explained to the publication, “we have also suggested measures that we are ready to take to improve the KYC-AML [Know Your Customer – Anti-Money Laundering] norms, such as including passport details as well. We are also ready to take any suggestion that the regulator has to offer that can address their concerns.”

Anirudh Rastogi, TRA Law’s managing partner who filed the supreme court petition representing four exchanges, told the news outlet:

A ban is counter-productive, therefore, we have suggested that there should be appropriate regulations that can address the government or the central bank’s concerns.

“Other firms have asked for an extension on the deadline,” the publication wrote, adding that it has reviewed an application submitted by Kali Digital Eco-systems Private Limited to the RBI. The document states that “considering the next date of the hearing in the supreme court is after July 06, 2018,” the firm requests the central bank “to extend the time of three months granted in the captioned circular to at least Aug. 31, 2018.”

Coping with RBI Ban

Five writ petitions have been filed, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. Last month, the Supreme Court mandated that no other courts shall accept any more crypto-related petitions and all existing ones were transferred to the Supreme Court.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Engage with RBI to Offer Banking Ban AlternativesIn anticipation of the RBI order taking effect, crypto exchanges in the country are increasingly moving away from fiat, creating crypto-to-crypto trading platforms. Unocoin launched a new trading platform with 15 cryptocurrencies last week. Zebpay and Koinex have both launched crypto-to-crypto exchanges.

Currently, the Indian government is working on the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. It has set up a committee under Subhash Garg, the secretary of economic affairs in the finance ministry, to prepare a draft crypto law.

Do you think the RBI will reconsider the ban and accommodate the requests of crypto exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Circle to Seek Federal Banking Licensing with U.S. OCC

June 6, 2018 |

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

Circle Internet Financial Ltd has revealed that it is currently seeking to obtain a federal banking license with the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in order to expand the services available to the company’s customers. It also hopes to pursue registration with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a brokerage and trading venue, which would allow the company to facilitate the trading of tokens deemed to comprise securities.

Also Read: Markets Update: Leading Cryptocurrencies Break Above Bear Channels

Circle Seeks to Gain Banking License with U.S. Regulator

Office of the Comptroller of the CurrencyCircle has announced its intention to become the first cryptocurrency company to obtain a banking license.

If successful, the move would allow Circle to hold customer funds in the form of digital coins of fiat currency, in addition allowing it to “hold reserves with the Federal Reserve, to natively access the central-banking system without intermediaries, to directly settle with other banks in other markets around the world through those networks – that can improve the efficiency of what we deliver, it can reduce the costs,” according to Circle’s chief executive officer, Jeremy Allaire.

Circle claims to have already conducted preliminary conversations with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency regarding potential banking functions.

Circle to Pursue SEC Licensing

Office of the Comptroller of the CurrencyCircle has indicated that it expects to pursue licensing with the SEC as a brokerage and trading venue before applying with the OCC for a banking license. SEC registration would allow Circle to legitimately facilitate trading in cryptocurrency assets deemed to comprise securities.

The company claims to have engaged SEC staff and officials from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra). As of this writing, the OCC, SEC, and Finra are all yet to comment publicly regarding Circle’s ambitious intentions.

Lack of Norms Surrounding Custodianship of Cryptocurrency Assets

Office of the Comptroller of the CurrencyIn seeking a banking licensing, Circle has expressed that it hopes it can shape the practices and standards surrounding holding cryptocurrency assets.

“The regulators need to figure this out because eventually other banks that they regulate are going to want to hold crypto,” Mr. Allaire said. “They’re going to need to have rules for this. We can be a great guinea pig.”

Do you think that we will see more cryptocurrency companies seeking to obtain federal banking licensing? Join the discussion in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wikipedia, Circle Internet Financial Ltd.


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Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Warren Warned By Billboards, Coinbase Tempted by Banking

May 19, 2018 |

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Warren Warned By Billboards, Coinbase Tempted by Banking

In Bitcoin in Brief today, billionaire Warren Buffett has been reminded that he was wrong about Google and Amazon, and told he might be wrong about bitcoin, too. Billboards have appeared outside his office to convey the message of the crypto community. Also, a report suggests that the US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase may apply for a banking license. Some conflicting views on the future of the Internet and its money complete Saturday’s roundup.  

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Friday: UN Backs Crypto-Solar Project in Moldova, Malta Uses Blockchain in Public Transportation

“Warren: Maybe You’re Wrong About Bitcoin?”

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Warren Warned By Billboards, Coinbase Tempted by BankingBillionaire investor Warren Buffett, known for his negative attitude towards cryptocurrencies, has been targeted in a bitcoin advocacy campaign lead by one of the largest cloud mining companies. Genesis Mining has recently posted billboards in front of Buffett’s office reminding him that he was wrong about Google and Amazon, and telling him that he may very well be wrong about bitcoin, as well.

The initiative has received a lot of support from the crypto community on social media. Genesis co-founder Marco Krohn posted on Twitter photos of the message to the investment guru with a short note saying: “Some new billboards outside of Warren Buffetts office! :)”

Earlier this month, the American business magnate issued another warning in regards to bitcoin and the like. “Cryptocurrencies will come to a bad ending,” he said during the annual Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholder meeting, but he didn’t stop there. “If I could buy a five-year put on every one of the cryptocurrencies, I’d be glad to do it but I would never short a dime’s worth,” he said, concluding that bitcoin is “probably rat poison squared.” Needless to say, Buffett’s comments provoked reactions and even inspired new business ideas. A tokenized marketplace called Ecoinmerce has announced the “Rat Poison Squared clothing line.” Т-shirts and hats are already offered online, but one can also order a mug with the winged phrase.

The Money of the Internet and the Internet of Money

Square CEO Jack Dorsey has recently reiterated his views about bitcoin. “The internet is going to have a native currency, so let’s not wait for it to happen, let’s help it happen,” he said during a blockchain conference, adding: “I don’t know if it will be bitcoin but I hope it will be.” Dorsey, who is also the chief executive of Twitter, wants his payment processing company to be at the forefront of the efforts to achieve adoption of cryptocurrencies as global means of payment. In an interview in March, he predicted that there will be a single world currency in the next ten years. The billionaire believes that will be bitcoin, although he admits the cryptocurrency is still slow and costly.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Warren Warned By Billboards, Coinbase Tempted by Banking

Circle co-founder and President Sean Neville, however, has a different vision of what’s to come for the digital space and the digital currencies. “Very excited about the idea of reimagining what global finance can be,” he says that a dollar token is the future of the Internet of money. “One of the things that’s interesting for us is how we take fiat money and put in on blockchains, how do we get the benefits of a public blockchain infrastructure, which might underpin something like HTTPS of money,” he told Bloomberg.

Neville thinks there is a problem with using existing crypto assets for payments and settlements – they are very volatile. “So, it makes sense to have something like the US dollar represented as a token that can transfer anywhere in the world, to any digital wallet and any exchange that can support it,” he explained. Sean Neville, whose company raised $ 110Mn USD in a fundraising round led by Chinese giant Bitmain, believes that “we need a replacement for SWIFT.” He also predicted that eventually everything of value will be tokenized in a “hybrid world” of centralized and decentralized services. Boston based Circle has announced plans to issue a dollar-backed cryptocurrency called USD-C.

Coinbase May Apply for a Banking License

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Warren Warned By Billboards, Coinbase Tempted by BankingBy attracting some serious investments, Circle has actually joined the club of the most well-funded cryptocurrency companies. Another of its members, Coinbase, seems tempted to expand its financial business to include banking services. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, representatives of the crypto brokerage have met with US regulators to talk about the possibility to apply for a banking license.

A source quoted by the WSJ has revealed, that the company, which operates the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States, has contacted officials from the US Office of the Comptroller of Currency earlier this year to discuss the matter. Beside the opportunity to broaden the types of products it offers, a banking license would allow Coinbase to operate without the need to partner with banks.

What are your thoughts on today’s Bitcoin in Brief stories? Tell us in the comments section below.   


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Marco Krohn (@mkrohn5).


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Japan Banking Giant Mitsubishi Goes Crypto With Own Coin

May 18, 2018 |

Japan’s Banking Giant Mitsubishi Goes Crypto With Own Coin

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc, one of the top five banks in the world, announced its intention of testing a proprietary cryptocurrency by 2019. The idea is to roll out its coin initially to a relative handful of customers, hoping they’ll participate in finding inevitable bugs as they make typical retail purchases. For Japan, it’s yet another indication the country’s business culture is betting on a crypto future.

Also read: Alec Baldwin’s Lambo Movie Backed by Crypto Tech

Japan Banking Behemoth to Test Proprietary Coin

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG; 株式会社三菱UFJフィナンシャル・グループ), after a few years of plotting (since 2015), appears ready to roll out its own crypto token, MUFG Coin by 2019. In doing so, it would become the first major bank on the planet to issue a variation on cryptocurrency. The plan involves testing MUFG Coin in 2019 with 100,000 users, hoping they will shop the token through retail outlets, everything from clothing to food.

In early 2016, Asahi Shimbun, Japanese daily, broke the story of how MUFG bundled a trial-trial with an iteration then of MUFG Coin and a smartphone app. “MUFG coin takes advantage of the new technology that is on a network of multiple smaller computers,” a company report at the time revealed. “It is possible to cheaply build a tamper-resistant transaction record of the ledger, otherwise referred to as the ‘blockchain.’”

MUFG Coin’s users in 2019 would indeed have to download an app, converting fiat deposits. The token is supposedly designed for parity with Japanese yen. When the project was hatched three years ago, one rationale was to bring down transactional frictions with regard to remittances and transfers, using a variation on peer-to-peer platforms to lower costs.

Japan’s largest bank’s crypto appetite was probably wet by participation years ago in private consortium, R3. Dozens of international banks collaborated at the time to study crypto-related solutions. Indeed, close to a dozen of those banks tested distributed ledger tech using Ethereum by way of Azure. That four continent experiment proved to bankers such as Mitsubishi crypto tech was for real.

Better than Bitcoin?

Fall of last year, MUFG president Nobuyuki Hirano insisted the bank was trying to “overcome issues of virtual currencies and create a highly useful currency.” The quote revealed two things: an acknowledgment the bank was monitoring cryptos, and how ubiquitous currencies such as bitcoin core (BTC) were becoming in Japan, which ruled BTC legal tender. 

MUFG president Nobuyuki Hirano

Various reports also claim MUFG is trying to get cooperation from other banks in its digital endeavor. If such is to come about, MUFG Coin will have to compete with J-Coin, a Mizuho bank crypto shooting for roll out during the upcoming Tokyo Olympic games (2020). And while not a bank, Yahoo! Japan has entered the space as well, and e-commerce group DMM (close to 30 million users) has already launched a cryptocurrency exchange.

Mitsubishi United Financial of Japan Group (MUFG) boasts $ 2.5 trillion in assets. It also ranks second in the world as a holding company, and is the largest financial group in Japan. For its part, regulators such as its Financial Services Agency (FSA) initiated a half dozen mandates aimed at squashing sketchier alternative coins while protecting the existing market.

Did you think big banks issuing their own coins is good for the ecosystem? Share your experiences in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, MFUG.


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Another Indian Company Challenges Ban on Crypto Banking

May 5, 2018 |

Another Indian Company Challenges Ban on Crypto Banking

RBI’s ban on crypto-related banking services has been challenged again. Maharashtra-based Flintstone Technologies has turned to the High Court in Delhi to seek withdrawal of the April 6 circular issued by the Reserve Bank of India, calling it “arbitrary, unfair and unconstitutional.” The company points out that the central bank has not provided any reasons for the imposed restrictions.

Also read: Indian Investors Flock to Trade Crypto Ahead of RBI Ban

RBI’s Ban Faces another Challenge

An Indian crypto trading company has raised another challenge to the ban imposed by the Reserve Bank of India on banking services offered to companies and individuals dealing with cryptocurrencies. Flintstone Technologies Private Limited has sought the withdrawal of RBI’s April 6 circular, filing a plea with the Delhi High Court. India’s central bank wants to prohibit commercial banks and other financial institutions from providing crypto-related services.

Another Indian Company Challenges Ban on Crypto BankingOn Friday, the plea was listed for hearing before Justice Rajiv Shakdher, the Business Standard reported. According to the Indian outlet, Shakdher has asked the court’s registry to place it before the bench which is already hearing a similar matter. Earlier this month, Kali Digital Eco-Systems, the company that will be operating the new Coin Recoil exchange, appealed to the High Court against the recent crackdown on banks working with companies from the crypto sector.

In its petition, Flintstone Technologies contends that the central bank’ circular has “fenced” all regulated entities from providing services to any individual or business dealing in virtual currencies, without mentioning any reasons for its decision to impose the restrictions. RBI has given banks three months to comply with the order.

The Maharashtra-based company, which is a provider of online crypto wallet services for Bitcoin and Money trade coin, has also submitted that while central authorities are still studying the effect of cryptocurrencies without banning them completely, the RBI’s circular indirectly restricts their trade. It claims that the prohibition is “arbitrary, unfair and unconstitutional.”

Lack of Regulations Increases Uncertainty

According to the document issued by the central bank of India, the entities regulated by the RBI are prohibited from “providing any service in relation to virtual currencies, including those of transfer or receipt of money in accounts relating to the purchase or sale of virtual currencies.” The other company that has challenged the ban, Kali Digital Ecosystems, has claimed that the lack of crypto regulations has “increased the uncertainty over the treatment of such transactions” and is adversely affecting its proposed business.

Another Indian Company Challenges Ban on Crypto BankingThe Gujarat-based company says that the RBI directive is arbitrary and represents a violation of the Constitution of India. On April 22, the Delhi High Court asked relevant authorities, including the RBI and the Goods and Services Tax Council, for official responses on the plea.

The regulatory uncertainty and the broadening bank clampdown have seriously affected cryptocurrency exchanges in India. In March, representatives of the industry reported that the trading on local platforms had dropped significantly. Some companies have started looking for more favorable jurisdictions, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. Since the announcement of the upcoming restrictions, however, trading volumes in India have spiked again, with investors trying to take advantage of the window before the ban takes effect.

Do you expect the Indian government to eventually legalize crypto-related activities? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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