Daily Archives: March 3, 2019

South America: Crypto and Blockchain News Roundup 23rd February to 2nd March 2019

South America

South America

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news continent by continent and country by country.

Brazil

 Brazil Can Regulate Exchanges Using the Same Rules Applied to Banks: Cryptocurrency exchanges in Brazil can face a new setback in case their government decides to respond to the latest Financial Action Task Force (GAFIT/FAFT) requests.

GAFIT finalized the supervision requirements for monitoring cryptocurrency services this week, followed by the G20 group binding 35 countries involved to adopt same rules for active crypto platforms as regular banking systems instead of having specific legislation for the segment. The task force insists that these measures are required to prevent misuse of cryptocurrency for illegal transactions.

TrueUSD Creator Attends an Event in São Paulo; Praises Brazilian Startup: Tory Reiss, creator of TrueUSD (TUSD) met with the Atlas Quantum management in São Paulo this Monday and expressed how impressed he was by the Brazilian platform’s potential. He termed the platform as “the future of investments” courtesy its open model that allows investors around the world unlimited access to almost all features. He also pointed out that the future of money lies in the digital markets with stablecoins as the perfect solution for all kinds of transactions.

Reiss elaborated on the pitfalls of using the current credit cards as it involves a plethora of agents and rates, whereas a stablecoin removes all the unnecessary bureaucracy. He also revealed that unlike a lot of market analysts, he welcomes JP Morgan’s move to launch their own stablecoin known as the JPM Coin.

Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency Aims at Blockchain: The National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC), an organization in Brazil responsible for overseeing economic and technical aspects of civil aviation activities, has expressed interest in exploring the opportunities blockchain technology can offer for their operations. The agency has also authorized a civil servant in a commissioned position to visit the upcoming ICAO Blockchain Aviation Summit and Exhibition, to be held on 3 – 4 April 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The event offers aviation industry stakeholders an opportunity “to explore innovations in blockchain technology that enhance safety and economic viability of civil aviation systems.” The event also aims to bring “consensus” among aviation stakeholders on the deployment of blockchain while “promoting a global governance structure to accelerate the adoption of blockchain technology in aviation.”

Venezuela

Venezuela to Raise USD 1 Million in Bitcoin for Aid: Amidst all the chaos in Venezuela, it is again the cryptocurrency which is stirring up the headlines. Recently cryptocurrency wallet platform AirTM and artist cryptograffiti announced their initiative to raise $1 million to aid Venezuelans in tough economic times using a “legitimate” Bitcoin installation. This move is seen as a way to delegitimize President Maduro’s own oil backed cryptocurrency, Petro.

The initiative “Airdrop Venezuela” is led by Steve H. Hanke and aims to inject financial aid into the Venezuelan economy through cryptocurrencies using the Bitcoin blockchain network to add real-world usage for the digital currencies. The campaign accepts donations in many cryptocurrencies and claims that 100% of the donations will be sent to Venezuelan recipients.

Argentina

There’s No Crypto Winter in Argentina, Where Startups Ramp Up to Meet Demand: Argentina has been slowly but surely making a mark in the cryptocurrency world, where the country recorded an all-time high usage of peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins, transacting 9.4 million Argentine pesos in weekly volume in December 2018. And the gains were largely unaffected by the crypto crisis across the globe, with the Bitcoin exchange steadily growing since the 2017 token boom.

Local cryptocurrency entrepreneurs also admitted that despite the recent crypto volatility, the local demand has been consistently increasing. This can also be attributed to the fact that a large number of Venezuelans have immigrated into the country, and hence the demand for banking services, financial tools, and remittance services have also increased.

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IMF Suggets That Malta Has Insufficient AML and CFT Regulation

Malta

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recommended immediate action on some critical gaps in Malta’s supervision for combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML). Times of Malta reported the news on 28 February 2019.

The IMF issued a comprehensive report (Financial System Stability Assessment Report) summarizing the quality of regulatory and supervisory framework in Malta, an assessment of its financial system and its ability to overcome the financial crisis.

IMF maintained that in order to address AML/CFT deficiencies, a multipronged approach is required. Moreover, financial stability can be affected by financial integrity risks. An efficient AML/CFT system is needed to safeguard the financial sector and broader economy against potential terrorist financing or money laundering threats.

Screening processes for beneficiary owner information are required according to the report. Moreover, monitoring risk-sensitive accounts such as digital assets, IIP-related funds, and e-gaming is the need of the hour.

In order to supervise blockchain related service providers, employment of more resources was recommended by the IMF.  The report stated that the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) needs to upgrade its operational capacity to face the challenges of monitoring the increasing number of licensed financial institutions in an evolving regulatory setup.

Due to its crypto friendly and blockchain supportive environment, Malta is renowned all over the world. However, the IMF has raised concerns over possible AML compliance violations. In January, IMF maintained that due to the rapid growth of Malta’s financial sector, MFSA is under “considerable strain”. The IMF may have become wary of the success of Malta in the cryptocurrency field and might look to tighten its control in order to slow down the crypto adoption process.

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Specific Tokens to Be Exempted from Securities Law in Rhode Island

Rhode Island

A new bill tabled in Rhode Island suggests that specific tokens will be excluded from Securities Law currently enforced in the state. The said bill was introduced in the state legislature on 27 February 2019.

According to the bipartisan bill H5595, various amendments to the Rhode Island Securities Act have been suggested. If certain conditions are met, a seller or developer of a cryptocurrency token will not be considered as the issuer of a security.

However, tokens are allowed to be used only for consumptive purposes such as the receipt of services, content or goods. It may also include rights of access to content, goods or services.

Furthermore, the said bill explains that tokens are not allowed to be used as an investment. Buyers must refrain from reselling the tokens if they are not usable for a “consumptive purpose” during a trade. The entities facilitating the exchange of token from broker-dealer will also be excluded, given that they file a notification with the Secretary of State.

The bill defined blockchain token as a mathematically verified, decentralized and digitally recorded entity which can be traded or transferred without a custodian or intermediary of value.

Following the bill’s introduction, it was referred to the House Finance Committee, noted Legiscan (legislation info portal). However, information regarding further votes has not been reported yet.

Recently, a similar bill (SB023) was passed by the Colorado General Assembly, offering limited extra freedom to cryptocurrencies. However, their governor is yet to sign the bill in order for it to become a law.

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Ripple Lawsuit to Remain in Federal Court

Ripple

According to a recent ruling, the securities lawsuit against Ripple will stay in federal court, lawyer Jake Chervinsky announced in a recent tweet on 1 March 2019.

Chervinsky maintained that the plaintiffs’ motions to remand have been denied by the court, therefore, the case will stay in federal court. He added that although it is a minor victory, it can be meaningful in the long run.

The ruling declared that the class action suit against Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple Labs and its subsidiary XRP II for allegedly selling unregistered securities should stay in federal court

Moreover, the court’s previous explanation regarding the lawsuit has also been mentioned in the ruling. According to the previous explanation, the court noted that as typically more people, more money, and more interstate commerce ramifications are involved in interstate class actions, such cases belong to the federal court.

Furthermore, 14 days have been granted to the parties to conduct a meeting and determine the procedures for litigation. The plaintiffs have been ordered to file an amended consolidated complaint (a revision of original complaint), within 30 days.

In November 2018, an application to move the case to federal court was filed by Ripple’s lawyers. If Ripple manages to prove that its XRP token does not come under US law as a security, it will win the case.

Law firm Taylor-Copeland filed the said class-action lawsuit back in May 2018. They noted that Ryan Coffey (plaintiff) sustained a loss of nearly 32% ($551.89) between Jan. 5 and Jan. 18 due to XRP trading. They claimed that the Securities Act and the California Corporations Code was breached by the defendants.

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