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Category Archive: Regulation

Europe Bitcoin report published by the EU Parliament. Read it here.

Below you can read the full Europe Bitcoin research published by the European Parliament a few days ago.

It is related to the blockchain technology and digital currencies, exploring distributed ledger use cases including digital payments, patent protection, smart contracts and online voting.

This research provides an educational point of view for EU’s legislative members, so probably we will experience a new Bitcoin regulation in the next future.

Researchers who works at the EU Parliament have studied several aspects of the distributed ledger in the past.

For example, a working group sponsored by the Parliament studied how the blockchain’s power to secure data could provide transparency during elections.

“Although blockchains are not the solution for every problem, and even if they will not revolutionize every aspect of our lives, they could have a substantial impact in many areas, and it is necessary to be prepared for the challenges and opportunities they present.”

“Europe Bitcoin” paper

The research suggests a few possible approaches for the European lawmakers, who recently approved the creation for a new task force focused on blockchain and digital currencies.

Also, the paper suggests more future explorations by saying that regulators could regulate and yield legal legitimacy to digital currencies transactions. More and more countries are regulating bitcoin and other virtual currencies during the last few monts, as you can read by clicking here.

The document’s authors explained also that this revolutionary techbology could provide many benefits to European citizens, even if it seems to be applicable only in a few cases.

“While the most idealistic and revolutionary visions of blockchain development will probably remain no more than visions, even moderate implementation of blockchain may still promote some degree of redistribution and transparency,” explained the authors in the document.

Click here to read the full Europe Bitcoin document for free.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Bitcoin regulation is necessary for its success, said Bank of Canada

According to a recent paper published by Bank of Canada, researches explain that Bitcoin regulation is necessary for it to reach worldwide success.

A paper published this week, in fact, suggests that digital currencies like bitcoin won’t succeed in the long-term without any government support.

To write this research, experts examinated the viability of virtual currency, looking to previous examples of Canadian currency such as the so-called “Dominion” as a guide.

This is not the first time Bank of Canada is involved in blockchain and bitcoin-related projects.

A few months ago, in fact, we saw Bank of Canada involved in the so-called “Project Jasper” to develop a prototype system for issuing a bank-backed digital currency and a payment system using the technology.

While we are still waiting to know more details about Project Jasper, the just released paper explains a common thinking among central banks on the topic of cryptocurrencies: bitcoin and other private digital currencies need goverment support to succeed.

“We conclude that well designed and managed private digital currencies could circulate widely but only with appropriate government regulation to ensure their safety, soundness, and uniformity.”

Bank of Canada has already expressed its concern about digital currency, saying a few years ago that digital money popularity could reduce the effectiveness of monetary policy.

“A central bank can always get its digital currency into circulation, but its digital currency will not necessarily drive out existing private digital currencies,” wrote the authors of the paper.

Bitcoin regulation worldwide

From Poland to Denmark, from Switzerland and Japan, several countries all around the world are working on Bitcoin regulation projects.

Recently European Commission created also a task force to study and regulate digital currencies and the blockchain within the whole country.

Click here to read more about Bitcoin regulation in Europe and beyond.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Blockchain Regulation in Europe: everything you need to know

Today I want to explain you everything you need to know about the Blockchain Regulation in Europe.

Recently, in fact, the executive arm of the European Union government revealed that is working on the blockchain to “support” distributed ledger-based projects.

According to this new official press release published on February 7th, the Commission is looking for growing its efforts on supporting more projects related to the distributed ledger technology (DLT).

The European Commission is “actively monitoring Blockchain and DLT developments” and is working on exploring “DLT benefits and challenges as well as fields for application in financial services”.

Also, the official press release explained that the Commission wants to “pilot projects to foster decentralised innovation ecosystems and help reshape interactions between consumers, producers, creators and among citizens, businesses and administrations to the end benefit of society”.

A task force for Blockchain Regulation

Last year, the European Parliament also created a new task force led by the Commission, to study the blockchain.

This task force has not only the goal of studying the blockchain but also to support projects related to the ledger and studying a way for a blockchain regulation.

The European Commissioner for Digital Single Market and Vice President of the European Commission, explained:

 

“The Commission is already supporting distributed ledger tech-enabled projects (DECODE, D-Cent, MyHealth MyData). Support activities are going to increase in the coming months (e.g. Decentralised Data Management). A study will be launched to investigate how DLT can help in reshaping public services and preparing for EU specific DLT actions to address relevant EU challenges.”

Ansip also said that the Commission will collaborate with the Parliament to organize blockchain events and workshops.

“The Commission will organise a kick-off conference with the European Parliament on Demystifying Blockchain and a series of workshops to look at Blockchain developments and use case applications”.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
polish_bitcoin

Polish Bitcoin regulators recognized it within the country

Polish Bitcoin regulators decided to recognize the digital currency within the country.

In fact, the country’s Central Statistical Office (GUS) revealed its decision to recognize the trading and mining of digital currencies as an official economic business in Poland.

This is the reason why from now on companies active in the Polish industry are be able to register themselves with the agency.

Businesses who are involved in cryptocurrency trade and production activities can now apply to obtain an official PKD 64.19.Z registration, the GUS explained in a press release.

This news highlights a significant step forward for industry workers in Poland where currently there isn’t an official regulation or legislation about neither bitcoin or other digital currencies.

Earlier this year the Polish Ministry of Finance released a few documents that expressed the status of legality for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general.

Also, in a statement published back in November, the finance ministry commented what follows:

“there is a lack of a general, legal definition of virtual currency in international, European and national law”.

This explains that digital currencies are subjected to income tax, even if they are not subject to any separate regulation according to the Polish legislation.

Polish ministry also commented:

“It should also be stressed here that their use in Poland is fully legal.”

Polish Bitcoin studies

To explore the legal and financial implications of the use of the Polish Bitcoin use, government of Poland has created a new group of blockchain and virtual currencies experts.

This Polish Bitcoin task force was established under the surveilance of the Polish Ministry of Digital Affairs, and according to thePolish government’s program titled From Paper To Digital Poland that was written by the Cabinet back in June 2016.

This task force will be responsible to prepare analyses for use by other government agencies in their legislative work and the possible chance of a Polish Bitcoin and digital currencies regulation is one of its goals and interests.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
blockchain_cybersecurity

Blockchain Cybersecurity: read the full report

As explained by a major IT agency for the European Union, financial companies should be careful  to blockchain cybersecurity issues if they want to implement the blockchain.

The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), in fact, published a new report on the distributed ledger, highlighting the security issues that large companies might experience if they decide to adopt blockchain tech.

Key management, data privacy and smart contracts are some of the most important topics discussed in the ENISA report.

This is the first time the agency, created back in 2004, published a report on the technology. Last year, ENISA published a glossary on its official website.

On the page there was an overview of blockchain, saying “it is too soon to tell whether blockchain will live up to its promise”.

According to this newest report, financial businesses should give high attention to security issues.

Udo Helmbrecht, executive director of ENISA, explained in an official statement:

“Cybersecurity should be considered as a key element in the blockchain implementation by financial institutions.”

Code review and mechanisms for accessing to distributed networks should be important, commented the report. Also it highlights that banks and financial institutions should think about the blockchain cybersecurity challenges of handling digital asset wallets.

Click on the link below to read the full copy of the report:

WP2016 3-1 4 Blockchain Security by CoinDesk.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

France Bitcoin Tests by the Central Bank

France Bitcoin tests have been revealed by the French Central Bank last week.

The Banque de France published a press release on Friday where it talks about its technology tests for  use in the management of SEPA Credit Identifiers.

According to the French central bank, one of the key participants in this project is the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, and the Paris-based startup called Labo Blockchain.

The project began in July 2016 and culminated in October with the creation of prototypes for creating and managing SEPA Credit Identifiers.

The central bank also explained how meetings were held with stakeholders as the project moved forward, indicating that more details about the project will be revealed in 2017.

France Bitcoin project and more central bank efforts

This is not the first time a  central bank test the distributed ledger.

A few months ago, in fact, central banks in Japan, Sweden and Singapore launched similar projects.

Also, earlier this month, the US Federal Reserve published its first major research paper on the ledger you can read here.

Credits: Coindesk.com

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Denmark Bitcoin: Digitalizing National Currency

Today I want to talk about the Denmark Bitcoin position and regulation.

Denmark is a place where its citizens relie on cash less than most other European countries, so it is thinking about digitalizing its national currency.

To do so, the Danish central bank wants to release its own digital currency based on a blockchain and it will be called e-krone.

Governor of the Danish central bank, Lars Rohde. commented that the government doesn’t want to print its own fiat currency in the future.

So Rohde is looking for outsourcing the production of Danish krone and wants to replace it with its independent financial system based on the distributed ledger technology: the e-krone.

In an interview conducted by Bloomberg, Rohde explained that the Danish central bank effort is not related to the blockchain technology or alternative fintech technologies:

“We’re not preoccupied with the technology because we know that issue well. Cash and notes are not an alternative to electronic payments. We went beyond that many years ago.”

Also, the most important problem the central bank is worried about is the anonymity of the e-krone.

At the moment, the Danish bank believes that the e-krone will have a serial number embedded onto its Blockchain, so the government will be able to track the currency thanks to a transparent ledger.

However, another issue about the anonymity of a currency are the predictable complaints by the Danish citizens who expect to be provided with financial freedom and privacy.

“All money held by Danes will eventually end up in the central bank in the event of a financial crisis, and we will indirectly end up doing a bailout because we become a creditor to all the banks.”

But the distributed ledger tech is not applicable to the concept of the Danish central bank, as structurally it cannot be established for the central bank as network moderator.

To read more news about Denmark Bitcoin position, click here.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Japan Bitcoin Regulation for 2017

Japan Bitcoin Regulation

Japan Bitcoin Regulation will take place in 2017 and it wants to drop an 8% sales tax on Bitcoin purchases.

This move will take effect in July 2017, according to a document published by CoinDesk.

Although the proposal has yet to be approved by senior Japanese government, an annual tax document written by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito party was revealed today. Thanks to this document now we know more details on the proposal suggested back in October by the Ministry of Finance and the Financial Services Agency.

The tax remains in place today.

If approved by the Cabinet, the plan will institute a period of grace in June 2017, with the tax exemption becoming official the following month.

The document just released is the result of discussions among government stakeholders first reported by the regional news service called Nikkei.

Local startups have already responded positively to this Japan Bitcoin regulation.

CEO of exchange service Quoine, Mike Kayamori, commented that the plan to drop the sales tax was expected, but it represents a good message to the cryptocurrency community.

Kayamori explained to CoinDesk:

“It’s a huge relief for us. Customers don’t have to pay tax for each transaction. Hope this becomes standard practice.”

This move follows a very busy year for Japan on the exchange front, as the government decided to request registration for all the companies that handle bitcoin sales within the Japanese country.

Discussions around exchange regulation began last year when government ministers tried to obtain information from exchange services.

Also, a deliberations took place last year because of the collapse of Mt Gox, a bitcoin exchange imploded in 2014, causing hundreds of millions of dollars lost by the exchange users.

Document originally shared by CoinDesk.com on Scribd. Unfortunately it is available only in Japanese language.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
russia_bitcoin

Russia Bitcoin recognized by tax authorities

The uncertainties about the relationship Russia Bitcoin were finally disappeared.

In an official document published a few days ago on November 29th Russia’s federal tax service expressed its new position regarding the legality of Bitcoin use and transactions.

In fact, the document finally explained that there is no legal prohibition of digital currencies in Russia.

Russia Bitcoin and uncertainty

For almost three years it was not clear if the Russian authorities  wanted to ban or accept Bitcoin and introduce several penalties.

Somewhere during this period, the Russian ministry of finance commented about the possibility of a four years imprisonment introduction for people involved in the Bitcoin use.

Also, even bank officials sentenced to seven years in prison and banned from holding certain positions.

However, Russian authorities changed their idea and gave the ministry of finance a new directive to write a law on Bitcoin.

For Russia Bitcoin is a foreign currency

The federal tax service’s document affirms the legality of Bitcoin and indicates that all trading operations related to Bitcoin and any other digital currency are to be considered as foreign and external securities.

In fact, this document essentially defines the buying and selling of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies a monetary transaction.

Bitcoin for Money laundering and terrorism

However, the document also explained that Russian authorities will investigate about people who use Bitcoin for money laundering and terrorism.

Even if this calls for KYC and AML from exchanges is yet to be clarified by the Russian government as there are more interpretations that are yet to be communicated.

Source: Coindesk.com

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Ernst and Young Bitcoin accepted in Switzerland

Ernst and Young Bitcoin:  the Swiss branch of global professional services firm will accept the cryptocurrency-kind of payment next year.

Starting in January, Ernst and Young Switzerland will allow bitcoin for invoice payments, as the company explained in a new press release.

Switzerland, Ernst and Young Bitcoin: a profitable relationship

The Swiss firm will also open a new BTM (or Bitcoin ATM) at its office in Zurich, as well as a wallet option for its employees.

This Ernst and Young project is part of the bigger cultural experiment on bitcoin and the distributed ledger conducted in Switzerland.

Late last month, in fact, Swiss railway service announced that it will sell bitcoin on its nationwide network of ticket kiosks; also the Swiss town called Zug will accept Bitcoin for public services payments, as its major explained back in May.

According to Ernst and Young, this launch fits perfectly with this experimental context created in the Swiss country.

Switzerland’s CEO, Marcel Stalder, commented that the company wants its employees to know digital currencies and the blockchain.  This project is to provide ways to access a hands-on education, he said.

Stalder explained:

“We don’t only want to talk about digitalization, but also actively drive this process together with our employees and our clients. It is important to us that everybody gets on board and prepares themselves for the revolution set to take place in the business world through blockchains, smart contracts and digital currencies.”

Ernst and Young is just one of the “Big Four” accounting firms involved in the blockchain sector at the moment.

Recently, the company also decided to open a blockchain-related contest for startups with the goal of “exploring how blockchain technology can tackle challenges in digital rights management and energy trading.”

Learn more about Switzerland and Ernst and Young involvemet in the bitcoin field, by clicking on the links above.

 

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio