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Latest FCA guidance is prompted by Libra and hints that crypto is here to stay

George Miller

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Latest FCA guidance is prompted by Libra and hints that crypto is here to stay
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The introduction of Facebook Libra has increased the pressure on regulators to take a closer look at cryptocurrencies, according to an industry expert.

The Financial Conduct Authority has moved to “provide clarity” on crypto with the publication of its latest guidelines on cryptoassets.

Nick Wright is a director at SolutionsHub, a company specialising in blockchain regulation and licensing. He said the latest FCA update was a sign that digital technology is increasingly being taken seriously by the authorities.

He said: “My personal opinion is that the recent announcement by Facebook regarding the introduction of Libra is putting pressure on regulators to examine, review and form positions on their own appetite to regulate (or not) digital assets and tokens.

“There is an argument to say that the additional clarity offered by the UK FCA should be considered as an acceptance that digital assets are here to stay and that regulation will at some point try to adapt to market sentiment and new technologies.”

When is a token not a token?

Christopher Woolard, executive director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA, said the guidance “will help clarify which cryptoasset activities fall inside our regulatory perimeter.”

The latest guidance (PS19/22) deems Bitcoin and Etherum ‘exchange’ tokens, meaning they do not fall within the FCA’s remit. However, other forms of tokens do.

Mr Wright said: “Whilst Bitcoin and Ethereum have been classified as ‘exchange tokens’, and therefore outside their remit and scope, other digital tokens/assets have not been so lucky. 

“Security and utility tokens will be captured and regulated in some form with the former considered ‘digital assets that provide rights and obligations akin to shares or debt instruments’.

“The issuance of utility tokens, depending on their nature and structure, may meet the definition of e-money in certain circumstances. These tokens will also likely fall under the umbrella of the European Union’s 5th AML Directive which is being merged into UKL law in the latter stages of 2019.

“PS19/22 also provides recommendations for wallet providers, exchanges and trading platforms and that an updated e-money token category, falling within the E-Money Regulations, should be created.

“Despite the recent publication of PS19/22 the UK FCA have already conceded that further clarity will be required for actors and operators within the sector so as to ensure that regulations are clear and that no laws are being contravened.”

 

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Cryptocurrency

FunFair launches pioneering wallet solution across partner brands

George Miller

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FunFair launches pioneering wallet solution across partner brands
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CasinoFair and CryptoCasino to benefit from ‘any device, any browser’ wallet and updated user interface

FunFair Technologies, the market-leading decentralised casino provider, has launched a pioneering new crypto wallet and updated user interface which now supports any browser and any device.

The new ERC20, non-custodial FunFair Wallet has been developed specifically to provide a seamless user experience for existing and new players gambling with FUN across its CasinoFair and Crypto Casino brands, marking a significant step forward in the name of blockchain mass adoption.

Blockchain projects have so far struggled with onboarding friction due to complicated funding mechanisms, security features which differ significantly to mainstream offerings and a lack of usability on mobile devices and certain browsers.

The FunFair Wallet addresses these issues with the introduction of more identifiable sign-up processes and security features, while most importantly ensuring the wallet can run on any browser and any device without the need for any third-party plug-ins or apps.

CasinoFair and Crypto Casino players will also engage with a far more immersive, social and Guaranteed Fair casino experience with an updated front-end, offering more intuitive access to their favourite casino games coupled with the most generous and varied promotions in blockchain casino.

Jez San, CEO at FunFair Technologies, said: “Since launch, we’ve maintained our position as the most progressive blockchain casino provider and the launch of the bespoke FunFair Wallet and second generation platform interface will confirm this position as we strive for mass adoption.

“Onboarding has been a struggle across the wider decentralised sector but our new wallet, built specifically for use at our partner casinos, will fix this immediately with a seamless, recognisable sign-up process, straightforward security features and simple crypto funding choices.”

FunFair’s first live casino brand, CasinoFair, has also relaunched its brand identity in-line with the new wallet and UI. It now features a more vibrant and progressive aesthetic which is expected to appeal to the millennial blockchain audience, while also staying true to its ‘Famous for Fairness’ foundations which underpin every aspect of its gaming experience.

 

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Asia

Iranian Government Proposes for New Cryptocurrency Mining Regulations

Niji Narayan

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Iranian Government Proposes for New Cryptocurrency Mining Regulations
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The Cabinet of Iran has proposed for new cryptocurrency mining regulations in Iran, which include annual licensing for cryptocurrency miners.

Based on the proposal, licensed and registered cryptocurrency miners will be required to submit information such as their list of business activities, the predicted value of their investments, current employment status, rental agreements for the space itself, value of their mining equipment and the duration of the mining project. The license will need to be renewed every year.

The Iranian mining industry has grown dramatically over the past two years. One anonymous source in Tehran told CoinDesk that most miners he knows are “under the radar” and import equipment through the black market, without paying taxes.

The Central Bank of Iran finally recognised the grassroots industry and promised a lawful licensing procedure in July 2019. The pending proposal was approved by Reza Rahmani, Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade. The Iranian mining licenses would only apply to miners with equipment that requires 30 kilowatts, which might exclude homemade mining equipment or small operations.

“It’s obvious that the power industry here in Iran, it’s not a private business, it’s from the government. They need to figure out how to balance mining [operations] so that they wouldn’t harm the power grid. If there’s a constant, a continuous consumption of electricity you can also make new power plants or assign power plants to this,” an anonymous source said.

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Cryptocurrency

Facebook to Launch Libra Digital Cryptocurrency in 2020

Niji Narayan

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Facebook to Launch Libra Digital Cryptocurrency in 2020
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Facebook is planning to launch its Libra digital cryptocurrency in 2020. A Facebook executive told that the company presses ahead despite authorities around the world pouring cold water on the plans.

Since Facebook unveiled its plans in June, its proposed cryptocurrency has met with regulatory and political scepticism, with France and Germany pledging to block Libra from operating in Europe.

“The goal is still to launch Libra next year. Until then, we’ll need to address all questions adequately, create a suitable regulatory environment,” Facebook’s David Marcus said.

Libra will be backed by a reserve of real-world assets, including bank deposits and short-term government securities and overseen by a 28-member organisation.

Marcus said it was unlikely Libra coins would become a means of payment for regular real-world transactions in countries like Switzerland, Germany or France, but would rather be used for cross-border payments or for settling very small sums.

“It’s unlikely in any case the people will pay for an espresso in Switzerland, Germany or France with Libra in the future,” Marcus said.

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