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Japan Unveils Plans to Regulate Initial Coin Offerings

December 3, 2018 |

Japan Unveils Plans to Regulate Initial Coin Offerings

Japan’s Financial Services Agency has held several meetings to discuss how to best regulate initial coin offerings. In addition to registration requirements, the regulator reportedly plans to amend two existing laws that can be applied to token sales.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Registrations and Law Changes

The Financial Services Agency (FSA), Japan’s top financial regulator, “is set to launch regulations on initial coin offerings [ICOs],” Jiji Press wrote on Saturday. Sources told the news outlet:

The FSA will require business operators that issue their own
cryptocurrencies to be registered with the agency.

Japan Unveils Plans to Regulate Initial Coin OfferingsJapan’s amended Payment Services Act requires cryptocurrency operators to register with the FSA. However, ICOs are currently not covered within the scope of this act.

Jiji Press also reported that, in order to “introduce the [ICO] regulations,” the agency “plans to submit bills to revise the financial instruments and exchange law and the payment services law to next year’s ordinary parliamentary session starting in January.”

FSA’s ICO Discussions

The FSA has been holding study group meetings to discuss how to best regulate token sales. The agency has stated that ICOs are not prohibited but acknowledged that many of them are fraudulent. In March, Satis Group published a report which claims that 78 percent of ICOs are scams.

Sources told Jiji Press:

In view of a number of possibly fraudulent ICO cases abroad, the financial regulator plans to limit individuals’ investment in ICOs for better protecting them.

Japan Unveils Plans to Regulate Initial Coin OfferingsWhile Japan currently does not have a specific law for ICOs, two existing laws may apply to them based on how they are structured, the FSA previously explained. The first applicable law is the Payment Services Act. The other is the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act which provides a regulatory framework for securities and securities companies in Japan.

At the latest meeting on ICO regulation held on Nov. 28, the FSA discussed additional areas it plans to regulate.

Japan Unveils Plans to Regulate Initial Coin OfferingsSome ICOs will be regulated under the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act.
“If an ICO has the characteristics of an investment, and the purchase of a token by a virtual currency is practically deemed equivalent to that of legal tender, the ICO becomes subject to regulations under the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act,” the regulator previously explained.

The regulation will also include disclosure requirements and measures for unfair trades. In addition, distribution channels will be regulated and token issuers will be screened to ensure adequate financial health.

What do you think of the FSA’s plans to regulate ICOs? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The post Japan Unveils Plans to Regulate Initial Coin Offerings appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Pfizer Unveils New Drug Prices Despite Trump Slam

November 18, 2018 |

Give it to Pfizer—they waited a while. The pharmaceutical giant is raising the price of 41 prescription drugs after hitting the pause button this summer when President Trump opposed a price hike, reports CNBC . Most prices are slated to rise 5%, while Stocks Beat says the pain drug Lyrica…
Newser

Japanese Regulator Unveils Plan to Regulate Cryptocurrency Wallet Services

November 16, 2018 |

Japanese Regulator Unveils Plan to Regulate Cryptocurrency Wallet Services

Japan’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency, has unveiled a plan to regulate cryptocurrency wallet services. The regulator has put forward a number of regulatory measures as well as proposing how to implement them.

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

The Plan

Japanese Regulator Unveils Plan to Regulate Cryptocurrency Wallet ServicesThe Financial Services Agency (FSA) held its ninth cryptocurrency study group meeting on Monday. According to the agency’s published meeting materials, one of the main topics on the agenda was a plan to regulate crypto wallet services and their providers.

Currently, Japan’s fund settlement law requires businesses conducting cryptocurrency-related activities in the country, such as buying and selling, to register as crypto exchanges with the FSA.

“Wallets are like bank accounts that store virtual currencies,” Itmedia publication elaborated. While wallet service providers “handle large amounts of virtual currencies like exchange companies,” the publication noted that “they are not targeted by laws and regulations.”

The FSA explained that the current law does not apply to wallet service providers since they do not buy or sell cryptocurrencies — they merely manage and transfer them for customers. However, since they manage payments, the agency believes that financial regulation is necessary.

Japanese Regulator Unveils Plan to Regulate Cryptocurrency Wallet ServicesThe plan unveiled at the meeting focuses on service providers — not software wallet developers or hardware wallet manufacturers. Many wallets exist only as code and are without identified leadership or companies behind them.

The regulations for wallet services will be in line with the international standards for preventing money laundering and terrorism financing set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the FSA detailed. The agency wrote that the “revised FATF standards” must be imposed, including their recommendations relating to crypto exchanges, wallet service providers, and initial coin offering issuers.

The Implementation

The group proceeded to discuss the risks associated with wallet services, such as stolen funds during cyber attacks, wallet failures, money laundering, and other risks shared by crypto exchanges.

Japanese Regulator Unveils Plan to Regulate Cryptocurrency Wallet ServicesPossible regulatory measures include the maintenance of internal control systems, separate management of cryptocurrencies belonging to the service providers and customers, audits of financial statements, publication of policies in the event of stolen funds in a hack and retaining funds to repay customers.

The transition period for introducing wallet regulations was also discussed. During this time, service providers would not be able to add new businesses, customers, or coins supported. In addition, they must post notices on their websites regarding their registration status. Those refusing to register must declare on their websites and “indicate that the business will be abolished,” according to the meeting document.

What do you think of Japan planning to regulate crypto wallet services? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The post Japanese Regulator Unveils Plan to Regulate Cryptocurrency Wallet Services appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Trump Unveils Plan to Lower Drug Prices

October 25, 2018 |

Less than two weeks before the midterm elections, in which health care has been a major issue, President Donald Trump on Thursday announced a plan to lower prices for some prescription drugs, the AP reports, saying it would stop unfair practices that force Americans to pay higher prices than people…
Newser

The Daily: Huobi Unveils HUSD, New Cryptocurrency Loans Launch

October 20, 2018 |

It’s been a week for stablecoin stories in the crypto sphere, and while we’d like to have started the weekend on a different tack, Huobi’s effort was too intriguing not to share. We’ll also detail the latest cryptocurrency lending options in Saturday’s edition of The Daily and consider a topical Halloween costume for bitcoiners.

Also read: Bitcoin Cash Merchant Directory Marco Coino Surpasses 500 Listings

Stablecoins Get Meta With HUSD

Stablecoin mania is spreading, and now it’s starting to get meta. Huobi, the world’s second-largest exchange by trading volume, has announced the launch of HUSD. This isn’t technically a stablecoin though: it’s an integrated solution that contains multiple stablecoins. The aim is to save traders from having to choose between multiple pegged coins. Many exchanges, Huobi included, now list numerous stablecoins which are often paired against one another.

The Daily: Huobi Introduces HUSD, New Cryptocurrency Loans Launch

Huobi explained: “When you deposit any kind of stablecoins, they will be shown as HUSD in your account. You may withdraw any kind of stablecoin … For example, when you deposit 1 PAX, it will show as 1 HUSD in your account, and you can withdraw 1 TUSD.” Given that stablecoins can generally be relied on to adhere to the U.S. dollar, the solution ought to save hassle for Huobi and its customers alike. Initially, PAX, TUSD, USDC, and GUSD will be incorporated under the HUSD umbrella. The Singapore-based exchange finished:

We look forward to more stablecoins being involved in the HUSD system. Concurrently, we will evaluate the existing stablecoins in the HUSD system on a real time basis, if the stablecoin doesn’t meet the corresponding risk control standard, we will remove it.

Salt Expands Cryptocurrency Loans

The number of cryptocurrencies that can be used as collateral is growing. “Very Lending, Much Liquidity,” read the email Salt used to introduce its latest altcoin lending option. Cryptocurrency users can now deploy DOGE as collateral, along with BTC, ETH and LTC, and obtain a loan starting from $ 5,000. Crypto-fiat loans can be obtained for between one and 36 months, with an APR that starts at around six percent.

The Daily: Huobi Introduces HUSD, New Cryptocurrency Loans Launch

Crypto Twitter Goes NPC

The non-player character (NPC) meme has been inescapable this week, and it only seems fitting to sign off with crypto Twitter’s take. Cryptocurrency factions never need much prompting to dehumanize and goad one another, and it was inevitable that the NPC meme, which depicts opponents as programmatic non-entities, would catch on. One Twitter user has proposed a bitcoin-themed Halloween costume, accompanied by the sort of stock insult that an NPC might utter:

The Daily: Huobi Introduces HUSD, New Cryptocurrency Loans Launch

Meanwhile, a visitor to Ripple’s headquarters joked that some NPC programming may have been taking place:

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits as featured in The Daily? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Huobi, Salt, and Twitter.


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The post The Daily: Huobi Unveils HUSD, New Cryptocurrency Loans Launch appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

30 Crypto ATMs Launching in India — Unocoin Unveils Solution to RBI Banking Ban

October 14, 2018 |

30 Crypto ATMs Launching in India — Unocoin Unveils Solution to RBI Banking Ban

A major crypto exchange in India, Unocoin, has officially announced the launch of its crypto ATMs. CEO Sathvik Vishwanath told news.Bitcoin.com that, initially, the company plans to deploy 30 machines in three Indian cities. “These ATMs help people to cash in and cash out which was not possible before” due to the crypto banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank.

Also read: RBI Argues Supreme Court Should Not Interfere With Its Crypto Decision

30 Crypto ATMs in 3 Cities

30 Crypto ATMs Launching in India — Unocoin Unveils Solution to RBI Banking BanUnocoin has officially announced the launch of its cryptocurrency automated teller machines (ATMs). Last week, the exchange confirmed the existence of the project after someone spotted one of the machines and posted a picture of it on social media.

Sathvik Vishwanath, Unocoin’s CEO, revealed to news.Bitcoin.com on Sunday:

The first ATM will be operational in Bangalore tomorrow…In the first phase we plan to deploy 30 machines…The first one is in Bangalore followed by Mumbai and New Delhi in the upcoming week.

30 Crypto ATMs Launching in India — Unocoin Unveils Solution to RBI Banking Ban
Unocoin’s ATM. Photo credit: Twitter.

The company explained that all customers of Unocoin and its crypto-to-crypto trading platform, Unodax, can deposit and withdraw rupees using the ATMs. “Users are subject to some limits on deposits and withdrawals per transaction and per day subject to cash handling restrictions in India,” the exchange clarified. The minimum amount for deposits and withdrawals is 1,000 rupees (~$ 13.57) and must be in multiples of 500 rupees.

Vishwanath emphasized, “All coins on Unocoin and Unodax can be bought using the money deposited through ATM machines. We presently have 30 coins that can be bought.”

Established in 2013, the Bangalore-based crypto exchange now has 120 full-time employees. The exchange claims that it has processed transactions worth more than 2 billion rupees for over 1.3 million customers.

Solution to RBI Crypto Banking Ban

30 Crypto ATMs Launching in India — Unocoin Unveils Solution to RBI Banking BanIndia’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), issued a circular in April banning financial institutions under its control from providing services to crypto businesses. The ban went into effect in July and all crypto exchanges in India subsequently lost their ability to provide rupee deposit and withdrawal services. Unocoin announced the suspension of its fiat support on July 13. The company has been looking for new mechanisms to allow its users to deposit and withdraw rupees ever since.

Vishwanath clarified to news.Bitcoin.com that “The ATMs deployed by us do not need any banking partnerships. These are stand-alone machines that can accept and dispense cash,” elaborating:

These ATMs help people to cash in and cash out which was not possible before due to RBI restriction on banks to not provide bank accounts. The gap is now completely filled by these ATMs except that physical access is required to deposit and withdraw money.

How to Deposit and Withdraw INR Using Unocoin ATMs

In its Sunday announcement, Unocoin detailed how users can deposit and withdraw rupees using its ATMs.

30 Crypto ATMs Launching in India — Unocoin Unveils Solution to RBI Banking BanTo deposit INR, a user needs to “enter his user ID and the OTP [one-time password] that he just received as SMS on his registered mobile number,” the company explained. After confirming account details and depositing funds into the machine, the user’s account will be updated and funds credited for use on both Unocoin and Unodax.

To withdraw INR, “users have to make a request by visiting Unocoin.com or through Unocoin mobile app where he would specify [the] desired amount for withdrawal.” A 12-digit reference number from Unocoin will then be sent to the user to enter into the ATM, along with the OTP sent to the user’s registered mobile number.

What do you think of Unocoin launching 30 crypto ATMs in three Indian cities? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, and Unocoin.


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The post 30 Crypto ATMs Launching in India — Unocoin Unveils Solution to RBI Banking Ban appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Exchanges Roundup: Yobit Unveils Random Coin Pump, Okcoin USA Plans Stablecoin

October 11, 2018 |

In recent news pertaining to crypto exchanges, Yobit has announced a “random coin” pump for Oct. 11, the founder of Okgroup has announced Okcoin USA’s plan to launch a stablecoin, and Coinbase’s chief policy officer has predicted that the exchange will attain Japanese regulatory approval by 2019.

Also Read: A Bitcoin Rat Is Occupying Wall Street

Skepticism on Twitter over
Aggressive Yobit Campaign

Yobit, the shadowy Russian cryptocurrency exchange, has announced an upcoming “Yobit Pump” scheduled for 9 a.m. EDT on Oct. 11. According to Yobit’s Twitter, the pump will see Yobit purchase one random coin for 1 BTC every one to two minutes, 10 times.

The comments section beneath the tweet shows a predominantly critical reaction to an aggressive promotional campaign premeditated by an exchange that’s already mired in controversy. Last year, Forbes Ukraine reported that Roskomnadzor, the Russian telecommunications regulator, had launched juridical proceedings against Yobit, with Roskomnadzor seeking to block Russian IP addresses from accessing the exchange.

In 2016, Waves also published a warning pertaining to Yobit after the exchange listed a waves/BTC pairing, even though users were unable to withdraw the cryptocurrency from private Waves wallets at the time.

Okgroup Founder Vows Full Compliance
with Planned Stablecoin

Exchanges Roundup: Yobit Random Coin Pump, Okcoin USA StablecoinStar Xu, the founder of Okgroup, has announced that Okcoin USA is planning on entering the stablecoin market.

In a recent tweet, Mr. Xu posted: “Embracing the tide of technology, the launch of a #CNY backed #stablecoin is an inevitable trend, and it will significantly improve the internationalization of the RMB. OKCoin USA will launch a fully compliant stablecoin.” Xu added that “the dollar-pegged #stablecoin regulated by the U.S. government will strengthen the penetration of the U.S. dollar 100 fold.”

Xu also spoke in favor of stablecoins, stating: “Stablecoins are in essence electronic cash. They have the same attributes. The central bank issues the currency and then it is distributed peer-to-peer. The difference is it’s electronic. Today, the amount of cash in China’s domestic monetary system is not small.”

Coinbase Executive Optimistic About Securing Regulatory Approval in Japan

Exchanges Roundup: Yobit Random Coin Pump, Okcoin USA StablecoinIn a recent interview with Nikkei Asian Review, Mike Lempres, the chief policy officer of Coinbase, optimistically discussed the exchange’s desire to obtain regulatory approval to operate in Japan.

Lempres stated that talks are “going well” with Japan’s Financial Services Authority, adding: “We are … committed to getting it done. It will certainly be in 2019.”

Lempres also spoke favorably of the Japanese regulatory system relating to cryptocurrencies. “The Japanese government is more focused on security,” he explained. “That is good for us … Japan has been an active large market from the very beginning, and has proved resilient as it bounces back from several bad experiences. We think there is great demand for a trusted provider of services here.”

Despite his praise for Japan’s crypto regulations, Lempres noted that there are still several issues to be resolved, including whether or not the regulator would require Coinbase to manage its systems from within Japan in order to obtain a license. “We have everything built to protect our storage … in the U.S,” he stated. “We won’t do anything to even raise (the) possibility of a hack. It would be hard for us to duplicate what we do in the U.S. today in Japan and other countries.”

What is your response to Yobit’s random coin pump? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter


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The post Exchanges Roundup: Yobit Unveils Random Coin Pump, Okcoin USA Plans Stablecoin appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

France Unveils Billions in Tax Cuts as Support for Macron Ebbs

September 25, 2018 |

The French government unveiled billions in tax cuts as it seeks to revive flagging public support for President Emmanuel Macron and his efforts to overhaul France’s economy.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe

Japanese Regulator Unveils Crypto Regulation Updates

September 17, 2018 |

Japanese Regulator Unveils Crypto Regulation Updates

Japan’s financial regulator has recently unveiled the current state of the crypto regulations in the country. Three crypto operators are currently being reviewed. With 160 companies wanting to enter the space, the regulator plans to add more personnel to help review new applicants. In addition, a self-regulatory plan for crypto exchanges has also been submitted to the regulator.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Current State of Crypto Regulations

Japan’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), published several documents from its fifth crypto study group meeting on Wednesday, September 12. The current state of crypto regulations and exchange registrations were discussed.

Japanese Regulator Unveils Crypto Regulation UpdatesThe agency confirmed that out of the 16 companies that have been allowed to operate crypto exchanges while their applications are being reviewed, only three have survived the agency’s recent inspections. Coincheck, Lastroots, and Everybody’s Bitcoin are currently being reviewed. The FSA reiterated that it is “currently reviewing the work improvement report” of Coincheck and, going forward, it will periodically conduct on-site inspections of registered exchanges.

Out of the 16 companies, one was rejected by the agency and 12 others have withdrawn their applications. In addition, approximately 160 companies have expressed their intention to register crypto exchanges, as previously reported by news.Bitcoin.com.

FSA Expanding Crypto Team

The FSA’s vice commissioner for policy coordination, Kiyotaka Sasaki, said at the meeting that “The biggest problem is how to deal with new operators,” Reuters reported on Wednesday.

Japanese Regulator Unveils Current State of Crypto RegulationsHe noted that the agency currently has 30 personnel whose jobs include monitoring crypto exchanges and traders, supervising unregistered operators, and reviewing registration applications.

However, with over 160 companies wanting to enter the market, the FSA is seeking additional workforce to help with reviewing applicants. The agency is requesting 12 more personnel in the financial year 2019 to swiftly respond to crypto exchange operators, the publication conveyed.

Plan for Self-Regulation

Also discussed at the meeting are self-regulatory rules established by the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (Jvcea).

Japanese Regulator Unveils Current State of Crypto Regulations
Yasunori Okuyama.

Currently, the members of the association are the 16 government-approved crypto exchanges: Money Partners, Quoine, Bitflyer, Bitbank, SBI Virtual Currency, GMO Coin, Bittrade, Btcbox, Bitpoint Japan, DMM Bitcoin, Bitarg Exchange Tokyo, Bitgate, Bitocean, Fisco Virtual Currency, Tech Bureau, and Xtheta.

The president of both the association and Money Partners, Yasunori Okuyama, explained to the meeting attendees the long list of self-regulatory rules, Impress Corporation reported. One of the rules relates to the handling of cryptocurrencies at exchanges, which states:

When handling a new virtual currency, after conducting an internal review by the member, it is necessary to notify the association beforehand, and if the association gives an objection, it will not be handled.

Another rule concerns the management of customer assets. The association explained that extra restrictions have been added such as “measures concerning margin trading using virtual currency” in compliance with the fund settlement law and the administrative guidelines.

Japanese Regulator Unveils Current State of Crypto RegulationsThe leverage limit designated by the association is four times but members can choose their own limit under certain circumstances. The margin trading rule aims to “suppress the risk of loss of users and excessive speculative transactions in leverage transactions using virtual currency,” the association explained.

Furthermore, exchanges must have anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) measures as well as rules regarding anti-social forces. Among other rules are ones covering basic transactions, dispute resolution, solicitation and advertising, trading guidelines, ethics and how to handle initial coin offerings (ICOs).

While the association says that “the self-regulatory rules will generally be enforced “at an early stage in order to acquire the accreditation of our association,” it acknowledges that some rules may take longer to comply.

What do you think of the Japanese crypto regulation and self-regulation? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the FSA.


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The post Japanese Regulator Unveils Crypto Regulation Updates appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

U.S. Unveils Charges Against North Korean Operative in Sony Hack

September 7, 2018 |

The Justice Department announced charges against a North Korean operative in connection with the 2014 Sony Pictures hack, the first such case to target the country’s cyber army.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia