Category Archives: G20

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G20 Hands On Crypto Discussions At Washington Today

Global economic leaders are meeting today in Washington DC for the Second G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, with cryptocurrency regulation firmly on the agenda.

As a follow-up to the Buenos Aires G20 meeting in March, where the need for a global plan for cryptocurrency regulation was initially discussed, more talks on the matter are set to take place in Washington.

The previous meeting of the world’s 20 largest economies reached some agreement, in terms of state leaders recognizing the importance of cryptocurrencies and their role in revolutionizing many banking procedures. The G20 has previously stressed the necessity to prevent the crypto industry from being misused by malicious agents, fraudulent schemes and other criminal activity.  However, members also stressed the need to not hinder the development of the technology through regulation.

The IMF and the World Bank Group will also be participating in the meeting that will be attended by 55 delegations, whose heads include 22 finance ministers, 18 central bank governors, and 9 international organization leaders.

The G20 had previously stated that this July was the date set for a package of recommendations to be put forward regarding cryptocurrency regulation, and June when the first practical proposal for crypto regulation must also be presented. In March, Italian central bank governor Ignazio Visco commented that he expected the recommendations would be overseen by the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

Speaking after the Argentina conference, a senior Japanese official said, “Many G20 members didn’t take crypto-assets too positively”. The official acknowledged that “some form of regulation was necessary” and suggested finding agreement between nations with varied interests and circumstances could be difficult.

Brazil’s central bank president Ilan Goldfajn said that cryptocurrencies would not be regulated in his country and Brazil may not agree to any regulations that are outlined by the G20 on crypto assets.

France agrees on the need for regulation and has already banned deposits and loans made in cryptocurrencies. It is likely that not all nations will take such extreme measures in regulating the use and trading of digital currencies.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has been given the task of addressing regulatory issues as the talks progress over the course of 2018.

 

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South Korea Regulators Preparing to Announce Cryptocurrency Taxation Laws

Reports indicate the South Korean ministry of strategy and finance is to begin taxing cryptocurrency in a bid to regulate the crypto sector by 2019.

Since the winter of 2018, South Korea has garnered a great deal of attention as a key crypto-battleground; the rumoured ICO bans, exchange shutdowns and misleading negative press coverage has contributed to making South Korea one of the most misunderstood locations when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

But reports, on the contrary, are emerging at a hastening pace, and now South Korean regulators are reportedly planning to announce placing a capital gains tax and other income taxes on virtual money. In a statement made to Financial News, a ministry official said:

“We do not have a specific time frame, but we are thinking about announcing a virtual money tax in the first half of the year”.

The snowball effect

Negative speculation surrounding cryptocurrency in the country began appearing in January and then very slowly, as the clarity around purported crypto bans came to light, it became apparent that things were, in fact, moving in a positive direction.

As February rolled through, discussions of regulation in South Korea were brewing especially when the chief of South Korea’s Finance Supervisory Service (FSS), Choe Heung-Sik made these comments at a press conference:

“The whole world is now framing the outline (for cryptocurrency) and therefore (the government) should rather work more on normalization than increasing regulation.”.

Remarks such as these have made for a snowball effect in the global discussion of cryptocurrency. Most recently, BitcoinNews reported that Park Won-Soon, Mayor of Seoul is bringing forth new plans to adopt blockchain technologies with remarkable intentions to create Seoul’s very own cryptocurrency.

Government officials in South Korea have conducted direct investigations in several countries around the world, including Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Officials made conclusions that each country has its own approaches on how to categorize cryptocurrencies for taxation purposes:

“Currently, the US and the UK are taxed with capital gains tax, Japan with miscellaneous income, and Germany with other income. It is because the characteristics of virtual money were different in each country, such as payment means, monetary ability, financial assets, and so on. However, these countries have found that there are few cases where actual tax is imposed, as opposed to taxation based on the principle that there is a tax on income.”.

Pioneering efforts

These are very telling moments for the future of the cryptocurrency industry. South Korea’s efforts over the course of the next year could contribute to those of Switzerland, which at present is home of the Crypto Valley Association. Switzerland is beginning to receive increasing enquiries concerning blockchain technologies and is formally investigating the economic purposes and functions of the tokens.

South Korea, the third largest fiat-to-Bitcoin market in the world, is approaching the creation of positive conditions for regulatory frameworks, preparing for its capital to have its own cryptocurrency and is in now preparing for various taxation laws that would begin to normalize the existence of cryptocurrencies in the country. These are several huge steps in the right direction.

 

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G20 Call for Examination of Cryptocurrencies

Following last week’s G20 meeting of member states in Buenos Aires and the declaration that cryptocurrencies need to be “examined”, this revelation was greeted with some media skepticism.

Marc Hochstein, the managing editor of Coindesk, clearly views such statements as simply demonstrating the protracted nature of any decisions proposed by the member states, suggesting their actions amounted to yet another delaying tactic. “Let’s form a committee to explore the formation of an exploratory committee,” he mused.

The G20 did agree that an examination was needed but before this could happen more information about digital currencies and their place in the world was needed before any regulations could be proposed. Notable is the fact that members cannot set policy for sovereign nations, being limited only to making recommendations. A further hurdle to any serious discussions regarding cryptocurrencies is the fact that some of the more outspoken proponents of blockchain technology are not members of the G20 alliance itself.

If a successful global policy to accept blockchain technologies through international cooperation were possible it isn’t helped by the current threat of resurgent nationalism around the globe, argues Hochstein.

John Collins, former head of policy for cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, suggests that another hurdle to overcome is the fact that cryptocurrency is inconsistent with nationalistic ideas as it is clearly a system which is not bound by national borders. He cites the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as at least one system which is actually working towards international cooperation. The body, which is responsible for blacklisting non-cooperative counties involved in sanctioning money-laundering, has been cited by the G20 as a possible way of implementing standards as they might apply to cryptocurrency, but at this time FATF standards do not apply to digital currency.

Collins suggests that there are strong business models around the globe such as the USA and Japan, countries which have boosted user confidence in using cryptocurrencies through developing systems which offer “regulatory clarity”.

It remains to see what developments arise after the G20’s deadline for July of this year where leaders propose to examine recommendations on what data is needed.

 

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G20 Summit: No Global Regulation in Sight As Buenos Aires Bullish on Bitcoin

The G20 summit is well underway in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with financial leaders seemingly staying their hand on specific regulatory actions and a healthy rebound in the crypto market indicating that traders are viewing this development positively.

Financial leaders from across the world have yet to come to agreement on whether or not policies are the right thing to impose on the market right now. The G20 leaders have stated that cryptocurrency is not likely to see any global regulations any time soon.

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney made comments on the eve of the summit, stating that cryptocurrencies were not a pressing issue. Carney, who also holds the position as chairman of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), drew light on the fact that virtual assets counted for less than 1% of the global economic output at the late-2017 all-time highs.

Carney stated:

“As its work to fix the fault lines that caused the financial crisis draws to a close, the FSB is increasingly pivoting away from the design of new policy initiatives towards dynamic implementation and rigorous evaluation of the effects of the agreed G20 reforms.”

Carney also put forward the idea that, instead of regulations on cryptocurrencies, the financial system should adapt and adopt. He suggested a mutual understanding between financial leaders to prevent illicit behavior throughout the market, reducing the risk for investors, traders and big business conglomerates:

“Crypto-assets raise a host of issues around consumer and investor protection.”

Brazil not so confident

Following a recent publication in the Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo, Brazillian Central Bank President Ilan Goldfajn commented that this is a crucial time for blockchain technologies, where cryptocurrencies are still highly volatile and need to be a safe and legitimate store of value.

Goldfajn went on to say that he thought of cryptocurrencies as a store value, a crypto-asset rather than a modern-day currency: “ I don’t refer to them as money because money has to have stability in its value and be able to facilitate payments.

He did go on to state that Brazil and fellow countries were for blockchain technology adoption, but wanted to see it regulated and made secure, reiterating warnings that the technology could be used for disastrous misconduct worldwide.

Market rebound

After these announcements, the market responded accordingly

Ethereum gained a little traction, its price rising over USD 60 in under one hour. Bullish Bitcoin saw an equal spike, with its current price rising over USD 800 in the same hour, a 25% increase from its latest fall. Bitcoin looks to be breaking away from the current bear market and is likely to soon test the USD 9,000 target.

As Bitcoin trading volume has stayed at the monthly medium of around USD 6 billion, concerns remain, but any rise in trading volume will mean that Bitcoin is backed by strong hands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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