Where Bitcoin and Banking Collide

Where Bitcoin and Banking Collide

Noelle Acheson is a 10-year veteran of company analysis, corporate finance and fund management, and is a member of CoinDesk’s product team. The following article originally appeared in CoinDesk Weekly, a custom-curated newsletter delivered exclusively to our subscribers. A relatively quiet and traditionally isolated market is about to set a precedent that could change the blockchain sector. Last week, CoinDesk met with a group of representatives from some of Japan’s blockchain startups and enterprise players. Conversation revolved around the upcoming regulation of cryptocurrencies, and the impact it would have on industry business models. The consensus seemed to be that the new rules (a requirement to get a license from the Financial Services Agency,...

EU Lawmakers Propose to Ban Geo-Blocking of Digital Currency Users

A European Parliament committee has proposed new measures that would prevent location-based discrimination against consumers in the economic bloc, including users of digital currencies. The proposal, authored by the European Union Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection, targets so-called ‘geo-blocking’, or prejudice against consumers on the internet based on their location. According to the lawmakers, geo-blocking is seen of the last obstacles to obtaining a cohesive European digital common market, known as the Digital Single Market. The draft document states: “The Commission should assess whether to provide the legal framework that allows, subject to the freedom of contract principle, the protection of undertakings and consumers when...

Bank of Canada: Digital Currencies Need Regulation to Succeed

Researchers from Canada’s central bank argue that private digital currencies like bitcoin won’t succeed in the long-term without some kind of government involvement. A paper published this week by researchers at the Bank of Canada examines the viability of digital currency, looking to past examples of Canadian currency – public “Dominion” notes and private bank notes from the 19th-to-20th centuries – as a guide. The report’s release follows work within the Canadian central bank on a prototype system for issuing a central bank-backed digital currency. Dubbed Project Jasper, the initiative saw the Bank of Canada explore building a payments system using the tech, but signs indicate that further work is needed before it might one day...

NH Lawmakers Advance Proposed Bitcoin MSB Exemption

Legislators in New Hampshire have advanced a bill aimed at carving out regulatory exceptions for certain bitcoin businesses, public records show. As reported by CoinDesk last month, New Hampshire’s HB 436 seeks to create a regulatory exception for persons “using transactions conducted in whole or in part in virtual currency” who may otherwise be considered money transmitters under current laws. Sponsored by state rep Barbara Biggie – with Representative Keith Ammon as a co-sponsor – the bill was passed along to the NH House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee. On 16th February, according to LegiScan, an 11-9 majority of the committee approved the bill to advance to the House floor for a vote, the date of which is not immediately apparent....

North Dakota’s Bitcoin Regulation Hits Roadblock in New Hearing

A proposal to study bitcoin regulation in North Dakota has reportedly run into some opposition. As reported last week by CoinDesk, North Dakota’s legislature has taken up a measure that, if passed, would mandate a study into how the state could approach putting together a legislative framework for the tech. Bill 2100 was submitted at the request of financial regulators at the end of last year, passing unanimously in the State Senate on 12th February. From there, it advanced to the North Dakota House of Representatives, the state legislature’s lower chamber, being taken up by the Industry, Business and Labor Committee. Lawmakers convened a hearing on the bill yesterday, and while a video of the hearing was not immediately available at press time, local reports...