Category Archives: Christine Lagarde

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HSBC Whistleblower Is Developing His Own Cryptocurrency

Hervé Falciani, the French-Italian whistleblower who helped track down tax evaders with 130,00 Swiss bank accounts in the 2008 Valencia Polytechnic University crash, is to launch a new cryptocurrency.

Falciani became renowned as the HSBC ex-employee turned whistleblower who provided several European countries classified information on thousands of Swiss bank clients who were evading taxes, most of which were managed by a subsidiary of his employers at the time, HSBC Private Bank.

He created what became known as the “Lagarde list” of HSBC account holders who allegedly used the financial institution’s services for money laundering and tax evasion, leaking the list to the current International Monetary Fund (IMF) head, Christine Lagarde, who was French finance minister at the time.

Continuing his anti-banking crusade, Falciani has now fallen back on crypto to clean up the financial space, by creating his own cryptocurrency – Tabu, which has been developed by ‘Tactical Whistleblowers’, a non-profit organization founded by Falciani.

To date, the Tabu token project has raised €1.3 million (appr. $1.47 million), however, an additional €2 million of capital is required in order to ensure adequate funding for the project’s ongoing development. Falciani’s mission is to cut corruption caused by what he sees as inefficiencies of the traditional banking documentation system, by also developing a blockchain powered registration system.

Tactical Whistleblowers, with its HQ in Valencia, is comprised of several academics with a strong background in Mathematics from the Valencia Polytechnic University.

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French Regulator Tightens Controls on Unauthorized Crypto Firms

Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the body responsible for regulating financial markets in France has noted in its last update that four cryptocurrency websites have been blacklisted.

This follows the regulators blacklisting 20 new investment websites, mostly cryptocurrency-related ventures, back in September. At the time, AMF advised French citizens investing in these new projects that “no advertising materials should make you overlook the fact that high returns always involve high risk”.

Now, nine more websites have been listed as “proposing atypical investments without being authorized to do so,” on the AMF website on December 14th. The blacklisted websites contain four crypto websites which reportedly centre on unauthorized investment offerings.

According to the AMF, websites such as one of the blacklisted sites elos-patrimoine.com were accused of offering monthly returns to investors between 3% and 5% without the authorization to offer guarantees. The other cryptocurrency websites were live-crypto.com.net, iminage.com, and infoconso.info.

French investors were warned that many new cryptocurrency projects are still awaiting AMF’s approval to offer services, and unfamiliar websites should be treated with caution by the public, particularly given the current wave of new crypto websites coming online.

The move by the AMF is part of an increased focus in ensuring that new ICO’s are fulfilling regulator’s legal registration and operating requirements. In September, the French Parliament passed the Autorité des marchés financiers framework drafted early in the year, designed to protect those investing in ICOs.

Earlier this year, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire described cryptocurrency as a “revolution”. Another prominent national, former French finance minister Christine Lagarde, now IMF head, described future international digital currency regulation as “inevitable”.

In September, France’s Minister for the Economy and Finance announced that the government had accepted an article of the Business Growth and Transformation bill (PACTE) dedicated to Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) which stipulates that prior to any ICO, a firm must apply for a license from the AMF providing detailed information on the offer and issuer.

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Crypto to Come Under Microscope at Vienna EU Talks

The EU is ready for its next round of talks with the 28 member states ready to discuss digital assets and whether further legislation is needed.

The next round is scheduled to be held in the Austrian capital Vienna on 7 September and is said to include certain issues surrounding cryptocurrencies such as money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist financing, all subjects which have been of concern to EU legislators over recent years.

It’s thought that the focus on money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist financing planned for Vienna has been motivated in part by concerns that EU laws don’t provide enough protection to investors, particularly in light of Asian moves to tighten regulation following hacking incidents this year. Also, the fact that unregulated exchanges fall outside of global financial regulations has caused some extra concern.

It should be acknowledged that while these concerns continue to dominate EU discussions, it has been noted by the both the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that both digital currencies and blockchain technology can bring great benefits to capital markets and commerce in general.

Regulators in Europe are also keen on harnessing the new technologies unleashed by digital currencies, according to the updated document. Initial coin offerings “have established an effective and efficient way to raise capital”, it said, adding that this development could also help integrate capital markets in the bloc.

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire recently described cryptocurrency as a “revolution”. Income tax on crypto has been axed by the French government and former French finance minister Christine Lagarde, now IMF head, described future international digital currency regulation as “inevitable”.

Lagarde said that not only could Bitcoin enable fast and inexpensive transactions but that the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies, blockchain, could make financial markets safer.

Other states have made positive comments with the German federal government stating that cryptocurrencies don’t pose any threat to financial stability and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announcing the launch of a collaborative entity, the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN).

An EU document obtained by Bloomberg says that ICOs “have established an effective and efficient way to raise capital”. The document reportedly also states that ICOs could help integrate capital markets in the EU.

 

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Germany Says Bitcoin No Threat to Financial Stability

The German Federal Government has stated that cryptocurrencies do not pose a threat to financial stability, reports Cointelegraph.

The government stated on 12 June that the volume of cryptocurrencies, when juxtaposed to the overall size of the German financial system, is comparatively low and, therefore, simply needs careful monitoring and regulatory measures put in place in order to control the space. This assessment is a view generally shared by the G20, of which Germany is a significant member state.

The statement was made in reaction to a parliamentary inquiry from the Euroskeptic right-wing Alternative for Germany Party who cited alleged problems including money laundering, illegal revenue, use of such currencies in online gambling and terrorist financing. It backs the government’s national risk analysis scheduled for next year. The government stated:

“In order to address the risks of Bitcoin and other “cryptocurrencies”, there are already important regulations in Germany: for example, German-based crypto traders must follow the same anti-money laundering regulations as other financial service providers – especially when it comes to identifying customers.”

Once again, the German government has expressed the necessity for careful international controls on cryptocurrency, noting that the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) will oversee any new legislation:

“… there is a need for coordinated action at European and international level. The Federal Government is, therefore, pressing for a harmonized handling of crypto-tokens at this both levels.”

The federal government’s current view reflects the recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) position on cryptocurrencies, which is that it also considers that cryptocurrency is no threat to global financial stability, providing that it is carefully monitored to protect users.

In March this year, IMF chief Christine Lagarde expressed positive outcomes for the crypto space, stating: “Just as a few technologies that emerged from the dot-com era have transformed our lives, the crypto assets that survive could have a significant impact on how we save, invest and pay our bills.”

Lagarde calls for an even-handed approach which will both exploit the benefits of the new technology and minimize the risks in using and trading cryptocurrency, clearly a view shared by German legislators.

 

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IMF: Fiat Needs New Ideas to Compete with Crypto

Fiat currencies need work, according to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) official, suggesting that they need new ideas to make them more of an attractive proposition for users in the “digital age”, according to Cointelegraph.

Dong He, IMF’s Deputy Director of the Monetary and Capital Markets Department, has published an article suggesting that the way to make fiat currencies “more attractive”, and, thereby, more competitive in the light of potential competition from cryptocurrencies, require three main areas needing improvement.

Dong said that fiat currencies, in the hands of central banks, need to become “more stable units of account” with fresh ideas, referring back to an earlier statement by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde who claimed that “…the best response by central banks [to crypto] is to continue running effective monetary policy while being open to fresh ideas and new demands, as economies evolve.”

IMF boss Lagarde has developed a positive, if not guarded, approach to cryptocurrency development in past months, according to an earlier report by Bitcoin News. In the last weeks, the French lawyer commented in an official IMF blog post that both “crypto-condemnation” and “crypto-euphoria” should be substituted by taking a clear-minded and rational approach to the regulation of cryptocurrencies. She wrote:

“Just as a few technologies that emerged from the dot-com era have transformed our lives, the crypto-assets that survive could have a significant impact on how we save, invest and pay our bills. That is why policymakers should keep an open mind and work toward an even-handed regulatory framework that minimizes risks while allowing the creative process to bear fruit.”

Dong echoed Lagarde’s view that regulation is necessary but added that it necessitates a way of ensuring that a soft- handed regulation of cryptocurrencies would give them an “unfair competitive advantage” and that this should be avoided. He said, “That means ri