Digital Currency and Blockchain Weekly Round-Up – January 11th, 2019

European regulators EBA and ESMA call for EU-level response on crypto-assets

Two European regulatory authorities – the European Banking Authority and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) – have called for an EU-level response to the risks posed by cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs). Both ESMA and the EBA said that the crypto-related activity is currently relatively limited in the common currency area and do not raise financial stability issues.

New York City Economic Development Corporation opens blockchain center

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has opened a blockchain center in Manhattan, Bloomberg reported. The newly-launched 4,000-square-foot center is located in the Flatiron District. With blockchain education as one of the primary focus areas, it will offer coding and software development classes.

China’s internet regulator to implement new rules for blockchain firms next month

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has approved new regulations for blockchain companies operating in the country. In an online post dated January 10, the CAC said that the new regulations will go into effect on February 15, 2019.

Thai Ministry of Finance approves digital asset business license applications of four operators

The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that four cryptocurrency businesses have been granted digital asset business licenses. The licenses have been granted by the Ministry of Finance, under the recommendation of the SEC Board.

South Korea to offer tax relief to companies working on blockchain technology

The government of South Korea has added 16 fields such as blockchain and fine dust reduction technology to R&D tax credit in a bid to boost innovation. The Ministry of Strategy and Finance has announced proposed amendments to the enforcement decree of the 2018 tax law, which is to be enforced in February.

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Reserve Bank of India calls for constant monitoring of cryptocurrencies

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has called for “constant monitoring” of cryptocurrencies due to financial stability concerns and their rapidly growing use. The central bank has published its “Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India” for the year ended June 30, 2018.

Venezuela files complaint with WTO to fight U.S. sanctions against its cryptocurrency ‘Petro’

In a bid to challenge the sanctions imposed by the United States, Venezuela has approached the World Trade Organisation (WTO). In its WTO complaint filed on December 28, Venezuela addresses a number of actions taken by the U.S. government in the past couple of years, CoinDesk reported.

Japan’s self-regulatory crypto exchange body JVCEA adds five more exchanges

The Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) has announced the addition of five more crypto exchanges as Type II members. Formed in April 2018, the JVCEA is a self-regulating organization that aims to protect investor interests.

Coinbase, Poloniex, Kraken disable Ethereum Classic deposits and withdrawals following chain reorganisation

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has announced that it has suspended all ethereum classic (ETC) transactions, withdrawals and deposits after detecting a deep chain reorganization of the blockchain, CoinDesk reported. According to block explorers – Bitfly (Etherchain) and Blockscout, ETC saw reorganization of over 100 blocks during a potential 51 percent attack late Sunday.

Company News

  • Crypto exchange Huobi re-launches in Japan
  • Crypto exchange ShapeShift lays off 37 employees following a rough 2018
  • Parity Technologies receives $5M grant from Ethereum Foundation
  • Crypto exchange Coinbase’s venture arm invested in over a dozen companies in Q4 2018

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