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Cryptocurrency and blockchain associations from Russia, China and South Korea plan to file a class action against internet corporations banning crypto ads. The lawsuit will challenge restrictions imposed by Facebook, Google, Twitter and Yandex. An agreement to take the matter to court in the US has been reached at a crypto conference in Moscow.
Cartel Collusion and Abuse of Power
The lawsuit will be filed in a US jurisdiction in May by the newly founded Eurasian Blockchain Association (EBA). Representatives of the Russian Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Association (RACIB), the Korea Venture Business Association (KOVA) and the Chinese Association of Cryptocurrency Investors (LBTC) have signed the agreement to create EBA during the BlockchainRF-2018 congress in Moscow (27-28 March). A special cryptofund will be created to finance the legal action, which can be supported through donations.
The most popular social network Facebook and the largest global search engine Google banned crypto ads in January and in March respectively. Russian media have reported about a similar decision by the biggest search engine in the country “Яндекс” (Yandex). The company has not official confirmed the measure.
Reports that Twitter is going to also impose restrictions surfaced about 10 days ago. According to Reuters, the microblogging platform has confirmed the policy change which will take effect on Tuesday March 27. The ban will cover advertising of initial coin offerings and token sales, Twitter told the agency this Monday. It has been reported that another social media platform, Snapchat, has also banned advertisements of ICOs.
Shareholders to Be Held Accountable
The simultaneous refusal to advertise cryptocurrencies could testify that there was a cartel collusion, said RACIB’s president Yuri Pripachkin, quoted by Tass and Interfax. “We think these four companies are using their monopoly power and have colluded to manipulate the market,” he added. Pripachkin pointed out that the bans led to significant market drops in the last months.
The matter will be taken to a US-based court, the official said. Lawyers will have the final say about the jurisdiction where the lawsuit will be filed. “You know, every state has different laws. Some states, like Wyoming for example, have been fair towards cryptocurrencies,” Yuri Pripachkin commented, quoted by RIA Novosti.
Pripachkin added that EBA can also sue the companies in the states where they are registered. Legal actions can be taken against their managers and shareholders, if it’s proved that they have and use cryptocurrency wallets, he said.
Russia Losing Money on ICOs Held Abroad
Last week RACIB warned that the Russian economy could lose up to 1.5 billion USD from ICOs conducted by Russians in more favorable jurisdictions. Coin offerings with Russian participation account for 10% of the global ICO market. Russian projects have attracted $ 310 million dollars in 2017, according to a report that will be presented to President Putin.
Two laws legalizing blockchain technologies, mining, cryptocurrencies and coin offerings have been introduced in the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament. They will be adopted in June or July this year, Anatoliy Aksakov, head of the parliamentary Financial Market Committee, said during the BlockchainRF-2018 congress.
Cryptocurrency miners will be obliged to register as individual entrepreneurs or legal entities under the new regulations, Aksakov told participants at the conference. He also revealed that mining businesses will enjoy tax breaks for a period of two years after the adoption of the digital economy legislation.
Do you think the US justice system will strike down the bans on crypto ads imposed by leading global internet corporations? Tell us in the comments section below.
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A small lakeside town in upstate New York is fed up with bitcoin miners using up so much of its low-cost electricity.
Plattsburgh, whose residents are a quick jaunt from the Canadian border, has put an 18-month moratorium on cryptocurrency mining to preserve natural resources, the health of its…
Paul Flowers, the former chairman of Co-operative Bank PLC, has been banned from the financial services industry in the U.K. for misconduct that included discussing drug deals over work email, the Financial Conduct Authority said.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe
The South Korean government has reportedly de facto banned all government officials from holding and trading cryptocurrencies. Even if their crypto activities are not related to their jobs, public officials can still be subject to disciplinary actions.
Public Officials De Facto Banned from Crypto
South Korea has reportedly “issued a ban on virtual currency holdings and transactions to all government officials,” Maeil Business Newspaper reported.
According to the document entitled “Virtual currency holdings and transaction-related information for civil servants,” the publication elaborated:
The personnel department requested that they [civil servants] refrain from holding and trading virtual currency even if there is no job relevance…This is the first time the government has formulated a virtual currency ban for all public officials.
Disciplinary Actions Encouraged but Not Defined
The publication quoted the personnel affairs department explaining that if employees trade digital currencies for their personal benefit, they “are in violation of the prohibition of forbearance obligations under the civil servants’ law,” especially if trading is done during work hours. “Even if there is no job relevance,” the officials “could be subject to discipline,” the news outlet conveyed and quoted a high-ranking official explaining:
The disciplinary issue is not a quantitative cut, but a problem of interpretation of the law. Each ministry should judge the possibility of discipline.
The Korean Financial Services Commission (FSC), the Fair Trade Commission, and other related departments have already warned their employees “to refrain from investing in virtual currency,” the news outlet added. Furthermore, the head of the Office of Policy Coordinator, Hong Nam, told all public officials to do the same in January.
Last month, the Korean Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission issued the “Code of Conduct Guide to Cryptocurrency” to all government departments and public agencies.
This document adds cryptocurrency to Article 12 of the Civil Servant Code of Conduct, prohibiting public officials from using “the information learned during their duties to assist in trading or investing” in cryptocurrency. In addition, the FSS, which is an independent agency, said that it will review its own code of conduct.
Earlier this year, a bill was introduced to require public officials to declare their cryptocurrency investments. It followed accusations that some government employees were involved in insider trading using undisclosed knowledge of future regulations as well as market manipulation.
Do you think Korean government officials should be banned from holding and trading crypto? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Days after another mass shooting sparked a nationwide debate on gun control, President Trump is taking action.
Paul Nehlen is vying for Paul Ryan’s Wisconsin House seat, and he won’t have Twitter to help him in his quest. The man described by the Washington Post as a “fringe challenger” who lost to Ryan 16% to 84% in 2016 had his account permanently suspended in a move he…
Charles Oakley is officially off the hook in his criminal assault case stemming from his altercation with NY Knicks owner Jimmy Dolan at Madison Square Garden last year … TMZ Sports has learned. Oakley was arrested back in February 2017 for…
It made no mention of his name, but Twitter appears to have offered an explanation Friday for refusing to ban President Trump despite outcry from some users of the social media service.
In a short blog post, the company said blocking a world leader would undermine its role as a service advancing…
A San Diego man banned from Alaska Airlines for touching a flight attendant says he’s a victim of discrimination against men. Mike Timon, angry over his treatment by the airline, tells the San Diego Union-Tribune that he was banned for touching the female flight attendant on the buttocks as he…
The United Nations brought down the hammer and that was it for the Hao Fan 6.
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