Russia to tighten grip on cryptocurrency laws by adding criminal liabilities to crypto-assets

Russia to tighten grip on cryptocurrency laws by adding criminal liabilities to crypto-assets

According to local news reports, Russia’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) circulated new bills to relevant departments intending to pass a new regulation regarding the non-disclosure of transactions involving cryptocurrency. These new regulations obligate citizens to declare all their cryptocurrency operations, as well as the contents of their crypto wallets. 

It has been Russia’s character to hold an iron grip over its resources, and its regulatory stance over cryptocurrency is no different. While the country was the pioneer of using blockchain tech in voting procedure, its MoF is not very excited by the prospect of blockchain’s scion  – cryptocurrency. 

The new MoF regulations also enforce crypto exchanges and exchangers to inform tax authorities about crypto transfers. The Ministry also decided to slap criminal charges for non-compliance to these regulations. 

To successfully execute this new policy, the Ministry is proposing amendments to the country’s Criminal Code, Administrative Code, Tax Code, and the law against money laundering. The implementation of this policy is expected to begin in 2021. 

According to the new legislation, citizens who have received more than 100 thousand Rubles in digital currency have to report the same to their tax authorities. The first such tax filing would take place in April 2021, and failure to comply would result in fines of up to 30% of crypto assets, with a minimum 50 thousand Rubles limit. 

However, Moscow is not limiting punishment to monetary compensations. If the state discovers non-declaration of a crypto wallet with dealings of more than a million Rubles in cryptocurrency, then the punishment can be forced labour or imprisonment up to 3 years. 

The altered regulations set by Russia’s MoF are expected to receive a backlash from political and legal experts. The amended criminal code considers the use of cryptocurrency in the commission of crime to be an aggravating circumstance. However, according to legal expert Dmitry Zakharov, this is not reasonable because the use of any other currency is not considered an aggravating circumstance.


Author: News Bureau

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A Deep Dive Into Polkadot and How DOT Became a Top Ten Crypto Contender

A Deep Dive Into Polkadot and How DOT Became a Top Ten Crypto Contender


Just recently a new project called Polkadot joined the top ten crypto coin list almost immediately after the project officially launched. Today, the Polkadot network is the sixth-largest blockchain in terms of market capitalization. The blockchain is considered an Ethereum competitor by a few individuals, and some crypto proponents speculate it will be amongst the top three market caps in the near future.

Crypto proponents have noticed a new top ten crypto-challenger in the world of digital assets, as the Polkadot (DOT) blockchain has recently joined the leading ranks. A number of people never heard of Polkadot and wonder how this coin made it into the top ten so quickly.

The project was conceived by Ethereum cofounder Dr. Gavin Wood and the developer has worked on the protocol for the last four years. The project also stemmed from the initial coin offering (ICO) period and was one of three blockchain protocols (Dfinity, Filecoin) with a lot of hype behind them.

The Polkadot project’s light paper notes that the protocol is a heterogeneous blockchain.

“Polkadot is a next-generation blockchain protocol that unites an entire network of purpose-built blockchains, allowing them to operate seamlessly together at scale,” the light paper further details. “It connects several chains together in a single network, allowing them to process transactions in parallel and exchange data between chains with security guarantees.”

Essentially, any type of arbitrary data can traverse across Polkadot’s multi-chain application environment like real-world assets and tokens. Any blockchain can join the Polkadot infrastructure, which is basically an aggregated set of validators that leverage heterogeneous shards.

Heterogeneous sharding has been discussed within the blockchain development community for quite some time. Sharding is basically breaking up the workload (data) peer-to-peer nodes deal with and so nodes essentially hold their own shards of data. Every shard is shared amongst the network of nodes. Like traditional sharding techniques, the network offers interoperability between multiple chains, but heterogenous sharding allows every chain to remain unique.

There are three main parts to the Polkadot network, which include the main relay chain (Polkadot blockchain), parachains, and bridges. The parachains are made up of the heterogeneous blockchain shards and everything is secured by the main Polkadot Relay Chain.

What future awaits cryptocurrencies?

The parachains can mint native tokens, transfer tokens, and connect to external chains via bridges. Bridges leverage Polkadot shards in order to communicate with blockchains like Ethereum (ETH) or Bitcoin (BTC). For instance, a startup called Interlay plans to create tokenized BTC product called “PolkaBTC” on the Polkadot blockchain.

“Interlay has released the proof-of-concept for a trustless bridge from Bitcoin to Polkadot: the BTC Parachain,” the Interlay team details. “Once online, users will be able to mint 1:1 Bitcoin-backed assets onto Polkadot, so-called PolkaBTC, and use these across a wide range of applications, including decentralized exchanges, stablecoins, and lending protocols.”

The Interlay team further adds:

Under the hood, the BTC-Parachain implements XCLAIM, the only cross-chain framework that is financially trustless, permissionless, and censorship-resistant — and backed by top-tier research.

Since Polkadot was first announced a great number of people have been waiting for the project to unfold. The Asia-based digital asset fund, Spartan Black, thinks that Polkadot (DOT) will someday be a top-three market cap contender in the future.

“Within a year DOT will be top 3 market cap on Coingecko/CMC,” Spartan Black recently tweeted. The fund manager continued by saying that Polkadot was “arguably the most important crypto project since the launch of Ethereum in 2016.”

Spartan Block wrote:

Think of it as ETH2.0 without all of the activity that Ethereum currently has yet.

With all the hype swept aside, there have been a number of criticisms against the Polkadot project as well. Tom Shaughnessy the cofounder of Delphi Digital has written about Polkadot’s promises, but also some of the project’s problems as well.

Shaughnessy highlights how Polkadot has a “rocky history” and was born from members of Ethereum, particularly Gavin Wood, itching to implement sharding right away.

The Delphi Digital executive also notes how Polkadot’s parent, the firm Parity, also had a “rocky history.” Shaughnessy also details how “voting on Polkadot could face hurdles” and “Polkadot’s council of 6–24 people (could be less or more over time) could be a centralization risk for the entire network.” reported on a number of Parity’s blunders during the last few years.

At the time of publication, Polkadot (DOT) is the sixth-largest blockchain in terms of market cap as the native currency trades for a touch over $4 per coin. Market data shows there is over 852 million DOT in circulation giving the project an overall valuation of $3.6 billion today.

Over 80% of the DOT being traded on September 23 is swapped with tether (USDT). This is followed by pairs such as BTC (13.4%), USD (1.9%), TWD (1.2%), EUR (1.2%) and BUSD (0.7%). Ethereum (ETH) trades only represent 0.65% of DOT trades on Wednesday.

People find value in DOT because it promises to provide significant interoperability between a number of blockchains, while also highlighting the benefits of sharding. Despite the Polkadot project being worked on for years, it was just launched and still has a long way to go to catch up with a number of cross-chain competitors. A number of crypto proponents are also not fans of sharding and they believe the process can ultimately lead to vulnerabilities.

For instance, a research paper published by Cornell University explains that the chain can be manipulated by “shard takeovers.” This means a node can be corrupted and the compromised data can lead to severe and permanent losses.

“Existing sharding proposals achieve efficiency scaling by compromising on trust,” the paper highlights.

What do you think about the Polkadot (DOT) project and how it effortlessly joined the top ten crypto coin list? Let us know what you think about this project in the comments section below.

The post A Deep Dive Into Polkadot and How DOT Became a Top Ten Crypto Contender appeared first on Bitcoin News.

The post A Deep Dive Into Polkadot and How DOT Became a Top Ten Crypto Contender appeared first on BTC Ethereum Crypto Currency Blog.


Author: By TeamMMG

Bill Proposes National Crypto Regulatory Framework

Bill Proposes National Crypto Regulatory Framework

A new bill could bring cryptocurrency exchanges under a single federal framework.

The Digital Commodity Exchange Act of 2020, introduced Thursday by Rep. Michael Conaway (R-Texas), seeks to create a federal definition of “digital commodity exchanges,” putting them in their own legal category and charging the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) with oversight.

The bill outlines a new framework for digital currencies, treating them similarly to commodities under the Commodities Exchange Act, which governs that asset class. Under the framework, crypto exchanges would enjoy a federal jurisdiction, allowing them to operate in the entire U.S. rather than applying for 49 different state money transmission licenses. The DCEA also allows for certain types of initial coin offerings.

If passed, the act would streamline a number of disparate cryptocurrency regulations in the U.S., creating legal clarity for token issuers and lowering the barrier to entry for exchanges hoping to operate in a compliant manner.

“The proposed legislation builds on the existing commodity market practices required of Futures Commission Merchants (FCMs) to protect customer assets. DCEs would be required to segregate customer assets and hold them in separately regulated entities which are licensed to custody digital assets,” a summary of the bill said. 

Conaway is the ranking member on the House Committee on Agriculture, which oversees commodity exchanges in the U.S. The committee’s Senate counterpart, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, oversees the CFTC.

The DCEA wouldn’t create prescriptive rules on how exchanges can comply with the new law. Rather, it would describe the requirements and let the exchanges themselves figure out the best way to meet those requirements.

The idea of regulating cryptocurrencies under a single, nationwide regime has attracted renewed interest this summer. The Conference of State Bank Supervisors announced earlier this month that it was consolidating its supervision exams for certain crypto exchanges, and there may be plans in the works to streamline the application process for startups to avoid needing more than 50 state and territory licenses in order to operate nationally.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a federal banking regulator, wants to bypass the state-by-state regime entirely, instead creating a national payment charter that would let exchanges operate across state lines. 

The DCEA follows the latter path, but shifts crypto assets into a familiar framework and grants the CFTC primary supervisory authority over the space.

If enacted, the bill would preempt the state money transmitter licensing regime entirely. 

“What we’re proposing is first, a simplification of the multi-state money transmitter license regime but, second, a more appropriate regime which addresses all the aspects of the business of operating a trading venue,” Conaway said through a spokesperson.

The DCEA would essentially mimic existing regulations around futures commission merchants, creating similar rules around customer fund protection, cybersecurity, capital requirements, public reporting requirements, governance standards, conflict of information reporting and other issues. 

“This should also help to better define the line between SEC and CFTC jurisdiction: pre-sale agreements will continue to be regulated by the SEC, but there will be less need for continued SEC wariness once the tokens are delivered and the network is live because the CFTC will be picking up the regulatory slack and supervising sales to the public upon network launch,” said Peter Van Valkenburgh, director of research at industry think tank Coin Center.

State regulators might not have the same authority over order books or matching engines the way federal markets regulators do. In other words, a national regulator like the CFTC might have an easier time finding or stopping wash trading and similarly deceptive practices.

Companies could voluntarily register but would not be required to shift from the state-level regime if they didn’t want to.

“If a company has gone through the work of getting individual state money transmitter licenses and it likes the regime it is operating under, we’re not going to require that it give those up and come into a federal regime,” the aide said. “But, if it does come into a federal regime, with regulations which cover more aspects of its business, it will have the opportunity to innovate and serve customers with more complex products.”

Perhaps the more daring aspect of the DCEA is a carve-out for token creation and sales. At present, initial coin offerings fall under the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) remit. The federal securities regulator has treated almost all such token sales as securities sales, either bringing enforcement actions against unregistered offerings or allowing registered sales. 

Under the DCEA, companies would be able to raise funds by selling tokens to investors, and remain subject to the SEC during this period. However, if the companies then deliver a token which meets the definition of a digital commodity under the new bill, “transactions involving that asset would be subject to the regulatory regime provided in the DCEA,” the document said. 

The bill also provides for token presales. This restricts the initial trading or secondary market sales of the tokens to either individuals who could have participated in the original securities sales or under specific conditions.

This changes if and when a regulated exchange believes the token cannot be easily manipulated and lists it for public trading.

The summary likened the process to the one existing designated contract markets follow when listing new derivatives contracts, but noted it will depend on the specific purpose of a digital commodity.

The bill is unlikely to pass before the upcoming election, but with its introduction, the general public can begin providing feedback or suggestions on how to improve it for a future Congressional term.

“The introduction of this bill in this Congress is an important step in a process that is likely to play out more fully when the new Congress convenes in January,” Van Valkenburgh said. “At that point we expect to see the bill re-introduced which would then allow for the process including possibly hearings and then committee consideration.”

Read the full draft of the bill below:


Author: News Bureau

World’s first crypto bank gets green light

World’s first crypto bank gets green light

cryptocurrency image

The mainstream adoption of crypto may soon be accelerated by the establishment of a pioneering bank dedicated to providing comprehensive deposit-taking, custody and fiduciary services for digital assets.

The Kraken crypto exchange has announced that the American state of Wyoming has approved its application to form the world’s first Special Purpose Depository Institution (SPDI), tentatively called Kraken Financial.

Headquartered in Cheyenne, Kraken Financial is the first digital asset company in US history to receive a bank charter recognized under federal and state law.

“From paying bills and receiving salaries in cryptocurrency to incorporating digital assets into investment and trading portfolios, Kraken Financial will enable Kraken clients in the US to bank seamlessly between digital assets and national currencies,” the company said in a statement.

David Kinitsky, CEO of Kraken Financial, added: “We’re thrilled to work in a state so aligned with our philosophy and values. Wyoming is a rare and shining example of how thoughtful regulation can drive innovation for FinTech companies.”

This new institution will be regulated in largely the same manner as other American banks. It will initially offer services to US residents only, but it aims to expand globally.

Marco Santori, Kraken’s chief legal officer, told Forbes, “It’s the natural evolution. Banks were created for people who wanted to hand over trust elements of their financial lives. They still serve that role today.

“As crypto grows to include more and more of the mainstream and starts to touch more and more of our everyday lives, we are going to see that phenomenon occur in crypto as well. There are going to be people who come into the tent who want the kind of services that banks can provide. We want to service those people. We want to be good stewards of their trust.”


Author: OneStopBrokers

Russia to tighten grip on cryptocurrency laws by adding criminal liabilities to crypto-assets

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