Crypto regulation minute #7: Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies facing financial police

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

United States: Bitcoin, Ethereum and company are commodities

On May 16, 2022, the Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) of the United States, Rostin Behnamspoke on the subject of cryptocurrency regulation in an interview with CNBC. In this regard, the chairman of the CFTC asserted that Bitcoin, like Ether, are amenities which, as such, fall within the scope of the commission.

Furthermore, he explained that the CFTC was working in collaboration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to regulate the cryptocurrency industry to ensure protection efficiency of clients of this market.

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

“It’s a bit of an age-old issue between the CFTC and the SEC. Historically, we have a great relationship. In this space [celui de la crypto], in my view, it makes sense for commodities to be regulated by the CFTC and for securities to be regulated by the SEC. »

Finally, when asked about SEC Chairman Gary Gensler’s assertion that most digital tokens are financial securitiesRostin Behnam reiterated that the biggest cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin and Ether) are amenities. Paradoxically, the chairman of the CFTC said that 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 “thoughtfully”all in protecting customers and financial stability.

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Qatar: Home of the very first crypto exchange (or not)

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

Indeed, the co-founders of Coinmena said:

“We are delighted to become the first crypto exchange to offer our services in Qatar. Investors have been questioning our plans to enter the country for some time now. Thus, this news represents a major step in our plans for geographic expansion (…). »

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

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

“No financial institution has been authorized to provide digital currency exchange, transfer and trading services.”

Finally, the BCQ declared that it would bring 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 placed under the sign of the regulation of cryptos. Indeed, the 2 main regulatory committeeswhich are that of Trade and Consumer Protection (CPN) and that of Ways and Means (WAM), have consented to the launch of a working group.

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

This group called “Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Task Force” will have the main objective of oversee the local ecosystem digital assets and explore the potential use of cryptocurrencies. Therefore, the working group should “create a master plan to explore use and regulation” digital assets and blockchain technology.

With regard to blockchain technology, the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Task Force will focus on developing a plan for extending this technology to achieve a private and public sector adoption.

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 on the Journal du Coin!

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