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Digital Currency and Blockchain Weekly Round-Up – December 27th, 2019

Fri, 27 Dec 2019, 11:56 am UTC

8 U.S. Congress members sent a letter to the IRS asking for clearer guidelines about crypto tax
Members of the U.S. Congress have sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) urging the agency to provide more clarity about crypto tax. In October, the IRS published tax guidance for anyone operating in the crypto industry, addressing multiple concerns of the cryptorati. In the letter, the congressmen pointed out that the IRS used hypothetical scenarios that don’t mirror what’s been unfolding in the crypto scene.

French financial regulator AMF publishes new rules for crypto firms
France’s Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) (or Financial Markets Authority) has published new rules regarding the licensing of digital asset service providers (DASPs) and the cybersecurity requirements to be met by them. CoinDesk reported that the new rules and guidelines build upon the PACTE law, meant to be an action plan for business growth and transformation, passed in May this year.

European Central Bank announces CBDC proof-of-concept using R3’s Corda DLT platform
On Dec. 17, the ECB published a paper “Exploring anonymity in central bank digital currencies,” which detailed a CBDC proof-of-concept (PoC), called “EUROchain,” established by the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) under the coordination of the central bank itself. The PoC has been developed in cooperation with Accenture and R3 with the IT infrastructure built on the functionalities of the Corda platform.

Bank of Korea to form central bank digital currency research task force
The Bank of Korea (BoK), the central bank of South Korea, has announced its plans to form a task force focused on central bank digital currency (CBDC) research. “The Bank will continue to build on the research into new innovations such as distributed ledger technology, crypto assets, and CBDC, and play an active role as overseer to enhance the security of the settlement systems. The Bank will organize a task force dedicated to CBDC research and recruit additional experts,” the BoK said in its “Monetary Policy for 2020” brief.

Central Bank of The Bahamas to launch digital currency pilot today
The Central Bank of The Bahamas has announced that it will be launching the pilot phase of the “Project Sand Dollar” today, Dec. 27. The pilot will be launched in Exuma with plans to extend to Abaco in the first half of 2020. The central bank clarified that “Sand Dollar” is essentially a “digital fiat currency” and not a cryptocurrency in any sense.

Bank of Russia head confirms stablecoin trial in central bank’s regulatory sandbox
The Bank of Russia has started testing stablecoins – cryptocurrencies pegged to real assets – in its regulatory sandbox, central bank head Elvira Nabiullina told Interfax. Nabiullina clarified that they are only exploring how stablecoins work and do not assume them to function as a means of payment or become an alternative to money.

China to look into foreign exchange reforms to deal with cryptocurrencies: SAFE
The government of China is planning to undertake a study on foreign exchange reforms in order to deal with cryptocurrencies, an official at the country’s foreign exchange regulator was quoted saying by Reuters. Speaking at a forum in Beijing, Lu Lei, deputy head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) – an administrative agency under the State Council, revealed the government’s plans with blockchain technology, fintech, and foreign exchange regulation.

Insights

  • Securities regulator NASAA includes crypto investments among top investor threats for 2020

Company News

Digital Currency and Blockchain Initiatives

  • Rakuten allows customers to convert loyalty points into crypto
  • SBI, Boerse Stuttgart partner to foster digital asset ecosystem in Europe and Asia
  • Shenzhen Stock Exchange announces new index to track performance of blockchain companies
  • Thomson Reuters to launch crypto tax tool in partnership with Verady
  • Spanish banks Santander, BBVA and others test blockchain-based smart payments
  • JCB partners with blockchain-based firm Paystand to replace Japan’s legacy payment system
  • CipherTrace partners with anti-human trafficking organization to address modern-day slavery

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