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Ghana’s SEC Cogitates over Regulation of Cryptocurrency Frame Work

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering licensing cryptocurrency in Ghana to enable all forms of crypto to be considered as a legal tender –that is to say, legit money for use within the nation’s borders. This has always been the aim of cryptocurrency everywhere in the world, digital assets like bitcoin were invented to give people direct access and control over their finances.

According to News Ghana, Ghana may sooner or later receive a regulatory framework as touching cryptocurrency that would enable bitcoin startups and exchanges operate legally without the threat of a potential regulatory stern.

The Regulation and State Of Cryptocurrency in Ghana

2019 is turning out to be a year of crackdown for the SEC. Since late 2018, the organization has been stern on crypto companies that refuse to appropriately register their operations.

Just like many central banks in Africa, the central bank of Ghana has warned citizen against transacting in crypto due to the risk of being scammed involved. The Secretary to the Bank of Ghana – Frances Van-Hein Sackey in response to the GCCH scam, said: “Anyone who does business with these entities does so at his or her own risk and the Bank of Ghana will not be liable for the refund of any deposit lost by a depositor.”

The recent state of cryptocurrency in Ghana, however, could change if the SEC regulates the sector, according to a report by GhanaWeb. SEC ‘Ababio in a statement said that Ghana’s Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) is probing three cryptocurrency companies whose operators are currently missing in action.

What Does This Step By SEC Mean For Ghana?

According to Richard Gardner – CEO of Modulus, the step taken by Ghana’s SEC is meritorious since regulation of the cryptocurrency will provide standard rules for exchanges to operate by. In his opinion, this will make the industry viable while also protecting the people from exchanges that engage in, abusive trading, market manipulation, and money laundering.

Gardner further stated that the public and private sectors should combine forces towards creating these regulations.

The best way to regulate an industry, especially one which is so technical, is to bring together those involved in the private sector, along with those from the public policy side. Together, we can usually find a way to encourage industry growth while protecting consumers,” – says Richard Gardner.

Cryptocurrency Adoption in Africa

Fascinatingly, there has been a lot of progress occurring in the Africa crypto space. There are reports that South Africa’s central bank is actively studying cryptocurrency and may institute guidelines to foster innovation. Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency are also embraced in Eastern Kenya, Zimbabwe and the Western state of Nigeria.

 

 Picture Credit: Coinjournal

 

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Regulation News

Outlaw Cryptocurrencies, It Whittles Down Our Powers, US Congressman Proposes

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Outlaw Cryptocurrencies, It Whittles Down Our Powers, US Congressman Proposes

Ben Sherman a member of the United Congress yesterday sought to propose a bill to totally outlaw cryptocurrencies citing sanctions evasion as his top of several reasons.

In a session on Congress, the Congressman from California, a Democrat member seeks to propose a bill and asked for support from his colleagues in the house stating

I look for colleagues to join with me in introducing a bill to outlaw cryptocurrency purchases by Americans, so that we nip this in the bud, in part because an awful lot of our international power comes from the fact that the dollar is the standard unit of international finance and transactions. It is the announced purpose of the supporters of cryptocurrency to take that power away from us, to put us in a position where the most significant sanctions we have on Iran, for example, would become irrelevant.

Already being shredded across social media by the vast community of crypto enthusiasts, with evidence flying around on how the US Congressman has a credit card processing company as his largest campaign donor that has been indicted and fined millions of dollars for facilitating illegal gambling, hence his open stance on the matter.  Ben Sherman’s grounds for proposing such anti-crypto law is not totally out of place especially when the premise of international sanctions is the crux of the matter.

It’s important to note how swift the Donald Trump-led administration of the United States moved so fast to ban Venezuela’s Petro. The national cryptocurrency pushed forth by Maduro and known to be backed by oil, 1 Petro price equals 1 barrel of crude outlawing it and forbidding any US citizen or its allies from buying or transacting in it. This was created by the failed Socialist government of Venezuela to evade crippling sanctions and in a bid to redeem itself for its nations worthless currency already stampeded by hyper galloping inflation.

Iran also has been rumored to be working on plans of launching its national digital currency solely for the aim to bypass the biting sanctions the United States placed for pursuing its nuclear power ambition tagging it  a rogue and terrorist regime led by the Ayatollah of the 1973 Islamic Revolution that toppled the Shah of Iran.

Will this ever become a reality where an international power like the United States comes fully to ban Cryptocurrencies putting the likes of Coinbase, Kraken, the Gemini Exchange which are all US-based entities clearly doing well in the industry, out of business? Let’s see!

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Finland’s Financial Regulators Assume Supervisory Role Over Crypto Exchanges

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Finland's Financial Regulators Assume Supervisory Role Over Crypto Exchanges
Picture Credit: 21Cryptos

Reports reaching us suggests that Finland’s Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) is making plans to assume the supervisory role as an authority in registration for the crypto industry participants. This is due to commence this week. The update came on April 27 as a press release by FIN-FSA.

On may 1, Finland’s Act on Virtual Currency Service Provider will come into effect and with this, the supervisory body has made it clear that in line with statutory laws, all crypto exchanges. custodian crypto wallet providers and cryptocurrency issuers operating in the country are required to register with the body.

In a related post, FIN-FSA points out that the Finnish legislation was prepared on the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering AML directive from the European Union
which came into full operation in 2018 establishing a revised legal framework for the watchdog to put cryptocurrency under active regulation and check the increasing rate of money laundering and terrorism financing.

According to the FIN-FSA, registration of exchanges will be needed to ensure compliance with multiple rules, rules that concerning the storage and protection of clients funds, segregation of service provider and client assets, rules associated with the marketing of services and heeding ANL/CFT laws.

Furthermore, the Supervisory watchdog announced a meetup for all Stakeholders in the blockchain industry scheduled for May 15 at Bank of Finland Helsinki. This briefing will make bare FIN-FSA’s registration timeline and what registration would entail and how to go about it. Also, issues around guidelines that apply to Industry participants and formal regulations will be attended to.

In as much as the new regulatory framework would go along way to restoring client security to some extent, it is however not a penultimate solution:

“The risks related to virtual currency investments remain unchanged. The risks include sudden major fluctuations in value, data security threats pertaining to exchange services and custodian wallet providers, and the nature of several virtual currencies as speculative investments not involving any inherent source of return.”

Earlier this March, LocalBitcoins a crypto peer-to-peer exchange based in Helsinki announced that it is now under supervision by FIN-FSA in compliance with Finland’s new legislation.

Similar findings suggest that France has asked other EU member states to follow suit in initiating regulations for the fast-growing technology and its digital assets.

 

 

Elsewhere In Europe, Belgium Updates 120 crypto scam websites in FSMA’s Blacklist.

Do you know that Jack Dorsey the CEO of Social Media Giant Twitter has joined the Lightning Network? 

Blockchain to be applied in Transportation in Japan? Find out more

 

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South Korea Is Set to Review its Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Regulations

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At the Deconomy conference which was held in Seoul between April 4 and April 5, 2019, a resolution was made by a government representative which would enable the government of South Korea to review its digital currency regulations with a view to making them more favorable for the development of digital currency in the country.[tps_footer][/tps_footer]

The 4th Industry Forum was formed by the Koran government to look into innovative technologies like machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and Blockchain.

As known, South Korea is one of the countries that has accepted digital currency and all that it entails. As a positive landmark then, the country’s regulators introduced firm cryptocurrency regulations in order to protect residents from certain risks which are  said to be associated with cryptocurrency, the country’s regulators introduced firm cryptocurrency regulations. One of such firm regulations which indeed hindered the development of digital currency in the country is the requirement of digital currency exchanges to partner with local banks which would open corresponding fiat-based bank accounts for its cryptocurrency customers.

Song Hee-Kyong, the co-president of the 4th Industry Forum of the National Assembly, at the Deconomy conference, pointed  at softer regulations for the cryptocurrency hinting that the government “misunderstood” digital currency at the time the laws were made. He made it clear when he said that:

“The government has misunderstood the virtual currency and tried to meet the real currency standards, so there are various problems. The industry does not stand still while waiting for the regulatory sandbox authorization, so it is just like keeping it in the box.”

In addition to what Song Hee-Kyong, the chairman of Korea’s National Policy Committee, , Min Byung-doo,said that the  initial regulations were forced by the risks linked with digital currency as at the time it was still new. In accordance with what he said, “the idea was to protect the economy of the nation by ‘vaccinating’ it against the first major run-up of cryptocurrencies.” Hence in defense to the need for re-evaluation of South Korea’s stringent cryptocurrency regulations, he explains that the crypto market has grown and does not need the kind of regulations it was forced to in its infancy.  He also admonished against limiting Blockchain and cryptocurrency when other emerging technologies were enjoying policies that created a regulatory sandbox to ensure their growth.

In reaction to the words of Song Hee-Kyong, the chairman of the Special Committee on the 4th Industrial Revolution of the National Assembly, Choung Byoung-gug, assured the people that some changes would be made to the current regulations very soon. He noted, however, that the government is hesitant to make wholesale change as so as not to negatively impact the cryptocurrency market.

 

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Belgium Updates120 Crypto Scam Websites in FSMA’s Blacklist

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The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA), the regulatory watchdog in Belgium, has recently  updated its crypto-website blacklist. And hence by adding a few websites to the already existing list, total number of identified crypto scam websites are now within the region of 120 sites.

FSMA’s recent action suggested that it seems as if they want to keep the list up-to-date all the time because they have previously updated the list of crypto scams back in December 2018. Through the update, FSMA was able  to add a few new crypto trading platforms that could be closely linked to fraudulent activities.

As a matter of credibility, FSMA explained that several consumers were complaining after they have invested in virtual currencies or in these trading platforms they have listed. Moreover, some of the customers said that some of these sites were conducting fraudulent activities in Belgium.

The  list is not exhaustive as it does not include all the illegal companies operating in the country. Instead, it provides a catalogue  of some of the most popular sites that are involved in illegal activities and that work so as to steal users investors funds in an easy way.

These sites were not just blacklisted blindly rather the sites were listed based on the information the agency gathered which were provided by the users of the said sites. reported

The FPS, that is, the financial authority of the country, released a website last year in which they raise awareness of the risks associated with cryptocurrency investment.

FPS claimed in their site that “the absence of [a] warning about a company” after checking does not necessarily mean that the crypto project has a “valid license,” and that it may require further consideration.”

The site says that companies will sometimes change their names in order to avoid appearing on lists of fraudulent or scammy projects.

The FPS claims that Belgum investors lost over $2.5 million in cryptocurrency scams just in 2017, the year in which Bitcoin (BTC) reached its all-time high in the market.

Following this, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)  launches new guidelines for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to abide by in other  to understand whether they are launching securities or not. The main intention is to improve compliance in the crypto market and protect investors.

According to a news outlet, “yesterday, the European Union launched the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA) in Brussels, Belgium. The new blockchain alliance’s charter was signed by more than 100 members including global tech giant IBM, Accenture and Deutsche Telekom, as well as blockchain-related firms such as Ripple, Iota and ConsenSys.”

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