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Spanish Judge Drops Extradition Requests for Six Catalan Separatists

July 21, 2018 |

A Spanish Supreme Court judge dropped extradition requests for six Catalan separatist politicians, including ex-regional leader Carles Puigdemont.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe

Spanish King’s Brother-in-Law Begins Prison Sentence

June 18, 2018 |

Spanish prison authorities say that the brother-in-law of Spain’s King Felipe VI has begun serving a nearly six-year sentence for fraud and tax evasion . An official with the Interior Ministry’s prison management division says Inaki Urdangarin arrived Monday morning at a prison near Avila, about 100 kilometers north of Madrid,…
Newser

Spanish Princess’s Husband Ordered to Head to Prison

June 13, 2018 |

Judicial authorities on Wednesday told the brother-in-law of Spain’s King Felipe VI that he must report to a prison within five days to serve five years and 10 months for fraud and tax evasion, among other crimes. Inaki Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball medal winner who has been married for…
Newser

How knife-wielding prostitutes turned hot Spanish vacation destination into nightmare for travelers

June 6, 2018 |

Knife-wielding African sex workers robbing European tourists are turning a town located in the southwest of the island of Mallorca, known for its beaches and Roman ruins, into a tourist no-go zone.
FOX News

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Spanish Parties Back Crypto Draft, Slovenia Adopts Crypto Action Plan

June 2, 2018 |

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Spanish Parties Back Crypto Draft, Slovenia Adopts Crypto Action Plan

All parties represented in the Spanish Congress have voiced support for a new draft legislation introducing favorable crypto regulations in the country. We’ve covered the details in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief. Also, Slovenia adopts a crypto action plan, Estonia drops plans to issue a national cryptocurrency, and Hungary claims it’s ready to join the global blockchain market.  

Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Friday: Expanding Horizons in a Bearish Month

Spanish Parties Call for Favorable Crypto Regulations

Lawmakers in Spain, who have earlier this year reviewed proposals to introduce incentives for crypto companies, have now issued a unanimous call for adopting regulations that favor the implementation of crypto and blockchain technologies. These should be introduced to the market “through controlled testing environments.” A draft legislation aimed at achieving the goal, proposed again by the ruling People’s Party, has just won support from all parliamentary groups in the Finance and Public Function Committee of the Spanish Congress.

The legislative initiative calls for promoting the advantages of the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, including cost savings through the elimination of intermediaries in payments and transfers and the benefits it offers when it comes to raising capital, especially for startups. Its sponsors urge support for projects to build authorized blockchain technology networks, Europa Press reported.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Spanish Parties Back Crypto Draft, Slovenia Adopts Crypto Action Plan

The draft approved by Spain’s leading parties also turns attention to the perils associated with crypto-related operations, calling for “adequate dissemination of information about the risks” assumed by investors, as well as their rights and the guarantees they can rely on. According to Spanish deputies, the approach will help to avoid “economic damages that are impossible to repair”, such as those linked to high-risk financial products.

Lawmakers call on the government in Madrid to support the initiative and join the efforts of the National Securities Market Commission and the Bank of Spain in that direction. They also insist on reaching a common position in regards to the use and the regulation of cryptocurrencies on European level and ask the executive branch of power to work with other EU countries and institutions to achieve that.

Slovenia Adopts Crypto and Blockchain Action Plan

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Spanish Parties Back Crypto Draft, Slovenia Adopts Crypto Action PlanThe government in Ljubljana has adopted an action plan to underpin the implementation of blockchain technology in Slovenia and create a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. According to the Economy Ministry, the plan entails a series of measures designed to also regulate Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). Slovenian authorities hope to establish a safe and stable legal environment to help the creation, growth and development of blockchain technology-based projects and startups.

Another goal is to transpose in the national legislation the legal provisions adopted by European and other relevant institutions, STA reported. Local officials believe that the application of blockchain technologies can improve the competitiveness of the Slovenian economy. The government also backed the creation of a European Blockchain Hub as a link between public and private stakeholders in the field, both in Slovenia and within the EU. On Thursday, the Slovenian Ministry of Economy was tasked to get actively involved in the hub.

Estonia Backpedals on Plans for National Crypto

Estonian officials have scaled down plans to issue a national cryptocurrency, which were criticized some time ago by both the European Central Bank and local banking authorities. According to Siim Sikkut, who is in charge of the country’s IT strategy, Estonia has dropped its intentions to peg the Estcoin to the common European currency and offer it to all citizens. The digital tokens will instead be distributed as an incentive to e-residents of the Baltic country, Sikkut said in an interview, Bloomberg reported. These are foreign nationals who use Estonia’s electronic identification system to remotely sign documents and set up companies.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Spanish Parties Back Crypto Draft, Slovenia Adopts Crypto Action Plan

The tech-savvy former Soviet republic was one of the first European nations to come up with plans for a national cryptocurrency. Similar initiatives have been discussed in Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, the UK, and other countries. The idea, however, was not appreciated by the ECB management. In September, the bank’s president, Mario Draghi, criticized the proposal declaring that “No member state can introduce its own currency. The currency of the Eurozone is the euro.”

“We agreed in discussions with politicians that Estcoin will proceed as a means for transactions inside the e-resident community. Other options aren’t on the table. We’re not building a new currency,” Siim Sikkut said. This was confirmed by the author of the Estcoin plan, Kaspar Korjus, who also noted that the details are still being analyzed for potential benefits. Estcoin “would definitely not be a national ‘cryptocurrency’,” he emphasized. Estonia’s e-residency program has so far issued ID cards to more than 35,000 foreigners. The majority of the participants are from Finland, the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

Hungary Prepared to Join the Global Blockchain Market

Blockchaineum 2.0, arguably the largest blockchain summit in Central and Eastern Europe, recently gathered major stakeholders in Budapest to discuss blockchain-based solutions and other hot topics related to the implementation of the technology around the world. While many in Europe are just starting to take blockchain seriously, Hungary has been preparing for some time and now claims it’s ready to join the global blockchain market.

Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Spanish Parties Back Crypto Draft, Slovenia Adopts Crypto Action Plan“Many regulatory rules have been laid down recently on European level, and it is in Hungary’s best interest to make use of them in order to become a regional center. Although, this won’t happen because of regulation, but rather on purely market basis,” said Tamás Czeglédi, quoted by the Budapest Business Journal. He is one of the organizers of the event and is working to put his country on the European blockchain map.

Hungarian business wants to jump on the blockchain bandwagon ahead of regional competitors and it has created a Blockchain Competence Center (BCC) earlier this year to prove its intentions. “Whereas the EU had been focusing on regulation until around a year ago, the past few months saw a shift towards a more practical approach,” said Péter Benedek, the CEO of BCC. “The newly established Ministry for Innovation and Technology, along with the enhanced national digital wellbeing strategy, can help local blockchain players embrace innovative solutions and improve their fundraising potential,” he added.

What are your thoughts on today’s Bitcoin in Brief topics? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The post Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Spanish Parties Back Crypto Draft, Slovenia Adopts Crypto Action Plan appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Lawyer Who Ranted Against Spanish Speakers Apologizes

May 23, 2018 |

A lawyer whose rant against Spanish speakers in a New York City eatery went viral posted an apology online on Tuesday, saying that how he expressed himself was “unacceptable.” “To the people I insulted, I apologize,” Aaron Schlossberg said in a post to his Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. “Seeing myself…
Newser

Spanish Regulator Open to Approving Funds Investing Directly in Cryptocurrencies

May 22, 2018 |

Spanish Regulator Open to Approving Funds Investing Directly in Cryptocurrencies

Spain’s financial regulator has clarified its position on regulated investment funds investing directly in cryptocurrencies. These type of funds are legal under Law 22/2014, and investments can be made through three types of legal entities.

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

Funds Directly Investing in Cryptocurrencies

Spanish Regulator Open to Approving Funds Investing Directly in CryptocurrenciesSpain’s National Securities Market Commission (CNMV – Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores) recently clarified its position on registered funds investing in cryptocurrencies directly. The CNMV is the Spanish government agency responsible for regulating the securities markets.

In a Questions and Answers document addressed to fintech companies on activities and services that can have a relationship with the Commission, one of the questions was “Can a fund registered by the CNMV directly invest in cryptocurrencies?” The Commission replied:

This type of funds would have a legal place in Law 22/2014, which regulates, in addition to venture capital entities, other collective investment entities of closed type and their management entities.

Law 22/2014 establishes, among others, closed-end collective investment entities (EICC), closed-end investment funds (FICC), and closed-end investment companies (SICC), Iclg describes.

EICC, FICC, or SICC

The CNMV explained that the investments could be made through EICC, FICC, or SICC.

Spanish Regulator Open to Approving Funds Investing Directly in Cryptocurrencies
CNMV building.

For EICC, Article 2.1 of the above law mandates that “the divestment policy of its participants or partners” must meet two requirements. Firstly, the fund’s “disinvestments [must] occur simultaneously for all investors or participants,” the Commission detailed. Secondly, “what is received by each investor or participant is based on the rights that correspond to each one of them, according to the established terms in its bylaws or regulations for each class of shares or participations.”

Both FICC and SICC have their own “numerous requirements and conditions,” the CNMV noted. For example, an FICC registered with the Commission must be “managed by a management company of closed-end type collective investment entities (SGEIC) or by a collective investment institution management company (SGIIC) that is authorized to manage this type of funds.” The Commission also noted that “the FICC and the SICC are not subject to the supervision of the CNMV (except [for] self-managed SICC)” based on the provisions of article 85 of Law 22/2014.

While registered funds can theoretically invest in cryptocurrencies directly, the Commission emphasized that there are many factors to consider, reiterating:

The investment of FICC and SICC in cryptocurrencies raises a series of practical problems on how to comply with the regulations regarding the valuation of assets, the management of liquidity and the custody guarantee.

European Regulation

Europa Press reported earlier this month that the CNMV “will apply [its] securities regulations to cryptocurrencies until there is European regulation.” The news outlet quoted CNMV’s general director of Strategic Policy and International Affairs, Víctor Rodríguez, saying:

The approach adopted by the CNMV is to try to apply the existing securities regulations as long as we do not have an international or European reference standard.

What do you think of the CNMV’s approach to cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The post Spanish Regulator Open to Approving Funds Investing Directly in Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

2 US Citizens Spoke Spanish at a Gas Station. Enter Border Patrol

May 21, 2018 |

First a lawyer took issue with two women speaking Spanish in a New York City eatery. Now two US citizens in the Montana town of Havre have had the same experience—but this time the person with the issue was a Border Patrol agent. Ana Suda, 37, tells the Washington…
Newser

Spanish police bust hashish smuggling gang, arrest 14

May 5, 2018 |

Spanish police say they have arrested 14 suspected drug smugglers and confiscated 3,700 kilos of hashish in a drug bust in southern Spain.
FOX News

Regulators sue Albertsons, saying it violated Latino workers’ rights by banning Spanish

May 5, 2018 |

Albertsons grocery stores violated the rights of Latino employees with a policy forbidding workers to speak Spanish around non-Spanish speakers — even when conversing with one another during breaks or helping Spanish-speaking customers, according to a new lawsuit.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity…


L.A. Times – Business