Crypto Regulation Minute #7: Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies Face Financial Police

On the occasion of this monthly article, we will provide an overview of legislative projects or new regulatory trends related to Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies. In this seventh opus of the Crypto Regulation Minute, we go to the United Statesuntil Qatar before ending up under the coconut palms ofHawaii

United States: Bitcoin, Ethereum and Business Are Commodities

On May 16, 2022, the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) of the United States, Rostin Behnamtalked about the topic regulation of cryptocurrencies in an interview with CNBC. In this regard, the chairman of the CFTC claimed that Bitcoin, like Ether, Services which fall under the contract as such.

He further explained that the CFTC was collaborating with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to regulate the cryptocurrency industry to ensure: protection efficiency of customers of this market.

When asked in Congress about the bill, Rostin Behnam insisted on stating the following:

“It’s kind of an age-old issue between the CFTC and the SEC. Historically we have a great relationship. In this room [celui de la crypto], it makes sense to me that commodities are regulated by the CFTC and securities are regulated by the SEC. †

Finally, when asked about SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s claim that: most digital tokens are financial securitiesRostin Behnam reiterated that: the biggest cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin and Ether) are Services† Paradoxically, the chairman of the CFTC said he did not think there was a disagreement between the 2 regulators.

He concludes the interview by saying that the CFTC and the SEC want regulate the area “thoughtful”Everything in to protect customers and financial stability.

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Qatar: Home of the First-Ever Crypto Exchange (or Not)

According to a press release dated May 19, 2022, the exchange Coinmena based in Bahrain would be the first to be entry into the territory of Qatar† This announcement was made by Coinmena which claims that residents of Qatar can now link their bank accounts to crypto wallets.

Indeed, Coinmena’s co-founders said:

“We are excited to become the first crypto exchange to offer our services in Qatar. Investors have long questioned our plans to enter the country. This news therefore represents a major step in our plans for geographic expansion (…). †

However, there are reasons to ask Coinmena’s announcement. Indeed, according to a statement issued the same day, the Central Bank of Qatar (BCQ) warned Qatari residents against ” unlicensed financial institutions and service providers”

In addition, the Central Bank claimed in this warning that:

“No financial institution is authorized to offer digital currency exchange, transfer and trading services.”

Finally, the BCQ stated that it is a lawsuit against any entity providing digital asset services without a license issued by it. To be continued !

Hawaii: in the midst of crypto regulation

On the Hawaiian side, the month of May 2022 is more than ever dominated by the regulation of cryptos. indeed, the 2 main regulatory committeesthose of Trade and Consumer Protection (CPN) and those of Ways and Means (WAM), have agreed to the start of a working group.

Voting Registration CPN and WAM Committee – Source: Hawaii State Legislature

This group is called “Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Task Force” has as main goal: monitor the local ecosystem digital assets and explore the potential uses of cryptocurrencies. Therefore, the working group “create a master plan to explore usage and regulation” digital assets and blockchain technology.

With regard to blockchain technology, the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Task Force will focus on developing a plan to extend this technology to a adoption in the private and public sector

The creation of such a working group is not unprecedented in the cryptosphere. A few months ago, the SEC of Nigeria unveiled a FinTech unit for the regulation of the local ecosystem digital assets.

Have a nice week at the Journal du Coin!

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