Banking and Finance

Mastercard May Accept Non-Anonymous, State Cryptocurrencies

Mastercard May Accept Non-Anonymous, State Cryptocurrencies

Mastercard executive Ari Sarker said this week that the payments company may eventually consider regulator-supported, non-anonymous digital currencies. Sarker also mentioned that they are currently running a pilot program in Japan and Singapore that would allow investors to cash out their Bitcoin cryptocurrency onto a MasterCard. Even though the program involves KYC and AML components, Sarker said they will not be operating Bitcoin trading through the Mastercard network. A spokesperson also revealed previously that the company already had over 30 “patents related to blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. Source: Coin Telegraph

Sen. Pacquiao to Launch Own Cryptocurrency

Sen. Pacquiao to Launch Own Cryptocurrency

Sources reported this month that Sen. Manny Pacquiao has invested in cryptocurrency through blockchain startup Global Crypto Offering Exchange (GCOX). Claiming to be the first exchange of its kind, the Singapore-based firm allows celebrities to offer their own “Celebrity Tokens” which can be used to purchase celebrity-related goods and services on GCOX’s platform. The senator is set to launch his own digital coin called PAC Coin, which will be the first celebrity token on the platform. Pacquiao currently has a net worth of 3 billion, making him the second richest senator next to Manny Villar. Source: Inquirer Business

Google to Ban Cryptocurrency Ads Starting June

Google to Ban Cryptocurrency Ads Starting June

Google recently announced that it will be banning all cryptocurrency-related advertisements from its platforms. The policy change will affect all promotional campaigns covering initial coin offerings, Bitcoin exchanges, digital wallets, and trading advice. The new rule will take effect this June. Google did not provide an explanation for the move, but observers believe that the firm seeks to protect consumers from the risks that accompany such highly speculative forms of investment. Facebook had already made similar changes in January, saying that a lot of companies in the sector are acting in bad faith. Source: BBC

Thailand SEC to Launch Crypto Regulations This March

Thailand SEC to Launch Crypto Regulations This March

Spokesman Nathporn Chatusripitak said this week that the Thai government will be drafting legislation for the regulation of cryptocurrency in the country. Chatusripitak added that the Thai Ministry of Finance proposed the regulatory framework to prevent money laundering and fraud through cryptocurrencies. The new cryptocurrency rules may be ready as soon as next month. The Thai SEC previously said in September of last year that it would support the implementation of regulations for initial coin offerings, while last month the Central Bank of Thailand issued a circular asking banks not to engage in cryptocurrency trading and investment. Source: Coin Telegraph

Bitcoin Startups Target Asian Remittances Market

Bitcoin Startups Target Asian Remittances Market

Even with the volatility and bubble-like appreciation of Bitcoin, observers are noting that there is an increasing number of startups in Asia leveraging the cryptocurrency as a business model. Startups like Bitspark in Hong Kong, and Bloom, Payphil, coins.ph and Satoshi Citadel Industries’ (SCI) remittance unit Rebit in Philippines are using Bitcoin as a transfer mechanism, rather than a currency, to capitalize on the millions of dollars sent monthly to and from countries such as Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Nigeria and Ghana. Some remittance shops say that they are able to charge customers 25-75% less without the banking […]

China Wants Blockchain Standard System ‘As Soon as Possible’

China Wants Blockchain Standard System ‘As Soon as Possible’

In a press release last March 12, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (IT) announced that it is seeking to complete a blockchain system at the soonest possible time. The country, which has already conducted a study on blockchain technology, will be setting up a committee for the promotion of a national blockchain and distributed ledger technology thru the Information and Software Services Division of the Ministry of Industry and IT and the China Electronics Standardization Institute. Observers note that China seems to be supporting blockchain technology even though it has banned initial coin offerings (ICO) and domestic and […]

Hacked Cryptocurrency Exchange Coincheck to Repay Customers This Week

Hacked Cryptocurrency Exchange Coincheck to Repay Customers This Week

Coincheck announced last week that it will be repaying Monday this week customers who lost funds in the hack that had hit the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange last January. In the face of sanctions from the government, Coincheck will be repaying around 46 billion yen ($431.6 million) to investors affected by one of the biggest cryptocurrency hack ever. It has also resumed normal trading and withdrawal last Monday. Japan watchdog, the Financial Services Agency, also took action against six other exchanges and ordered them to improve measures against risk and use of cryptocurrency by criminals. Source: Reuters

PBOC: Digital Cryptocurrencies Not Legitimate Form of Payment

PBOC: Digital Cryptocurrencies Not Legitimate Form of Payment

China’s central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said last Friday that the country does not recognize digital currencies such as Bitcoin as legitimate forms of payment. Zhou added that China is paying close attention to blockchain technology, but some of its applications are growing too quickly and may have a negative impact on consumers. According to him, it may bring unpredictable effects on monetary policy transmission and financial stability. The country is seen to be maintaining its strong stance against Bitcoin and had clamped down on token-based fundraising rounds in the past few months.     Source: Reuters

EU Banking Watchdog Launches Roadmap for Fintech Regulation

EU Banking Watchdog Launches Roadmap for Fintech Regulation

Andrea Enria, head of the European Banking Authority, recently said that they will be evaluating services provided by fintech firms to ensure that these are regulated in a consistent way across the bloc. In a speech at Copenhagen Business School, Enria said that firms must be able to participate in the internal market for financial services on equal footing while maintaining a high standard of consumer protection. The EBA head also said that they will be reviewing regulatory sandboxes set up by national regulators to allow fintechs to try their apps on users. Source: Reuters

Japan Financial Watchdog to Punish Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Japan Financial Watchdog to Punish Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Sources revealed last Wednesday that Japan’s Financial Services Agency will be handing administrative punishment notices to several cryptocurrency exchanges and may even issue suspensions for several businesses. It was not revealed which exchanges would be included, but it is said that the FSA will ask Coincheck Inc., GMO Coin and Zaif to raise their standards. Japan is the first country to implement regulation on cryptocurrency exchanges at the national level, with 16 exchanges currently registered with authorities. The FSA is currently investigating security shortcomings on all cryptocurrency exchanges after the Coincheck cyber-heist where hackers stole $530 million in NEM.   […]

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