• A draft decree on the Belarusian High-Tech Park which would legalize cryptocurrencies is awaiting the president of Belarus to sign into law.
  • In addition, exchanges can trade rubles for cryptocurrency, ICOs can be used for financing, and mining will also be allowed by law in Belarus.
  • This draft decree, which has already been presented to Lukashenko to sign into law, includes provisions for cryptocurrencies and ICOs at the legislative level.
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  • The government of Bermuda has launched a blockchain task force to foster cryptocurrency commerce in the British overseas territory.
  • The task force comprises two groups – the Blockchain Legal and Regulatory Working Group, and the Blockchain Business Development Working Group – which will work to assist development of the technology, a press release states.
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  • Regulators in the Philippines are considering new rules for cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
  • According to Aquino, the move is in line with regulations passed by the U.S. SEC, and other regulators in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand.
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  • A senior official for Zimbabwe’s central bank is casting doubt on the legality of bitcoin in the country.
  • As quoted by local news source Chronicle, Norman Mataruka, director and registrar for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, said that “bitcoin … is not actually legal” for use within the country.
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  • Morocco’s foreign exchange authority has stated that the use of cryptocurrencies within the country can lead to penalties under existing rules.
  • The Office des Changes says that transactions made using cryptocurrencies within Morocco constitute an “infringement of the exchange regulations” that are punishable by penalties set out in current laws, a translated press release said.
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  • On Tuesday it was announced that the Israeli Ministry of Finance will establish a working team on digital currencies together with the heads of the big accounting firms and relevant professional chambers.
  • As mentioned above, the current lack of official regulations on bitcoin has created a lot of trouble in Israel for both end users and businesses in the field.
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  • While most governments seek regulation, others have gone further, passing laws that ban the use of bitcoin altogether.
  • Governments that ‘get’ bitcoin, such as Japan, have passed legislation that protects its citizens whilst facilitating the free trade of the digital currency.
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  • New guidelines from MAS explain how it will classify some tokens as securities, and outline the compliance criteria required by entities seeking to crowdfund.
  • As it continues to navigate the waters of regulation in the unpredictable ocean of cryptocurrency enterprise and development, on November 14, 2017, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a guide explaining its classification of certain tokens as securities.
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  • The Supreme Court of India issued a notice on 13 November 2017 to the nation’s central bank and related financial ministries to hasten their regulatory mechanisms with regard to bitcoin.
  • Government fear of bitcoin is palpable, and the petition speaks to how an “emerging trend of crypto money if unchecked and unregulated is threat to exchequers money and financial sovereignty of the country.”
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  • Regulators have issued a new warning to investors in the Netherlands about putting money into initial coin offerings (ICOs).
  • The release is the latest from a national-level securities regulator, adding to the growing chorus of concern from agencies in countries like Canada, Singapore and the U.S.
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  • Germany’s top finance regulator has issued an investor warning on initial coin offerings (ICOs), becoming the latest markets watchdog to comment on the blockchain use case.
  • The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) said today that investors should be wary of the “numerous risks” involved in token sales, including “the possibility of losing their investment completely.”
  • “Before any consumer decides to participate in an ICO, they should make certain that they have fully understood the benefits and risks of the project or investment,” the regulator warned.
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  • The chairman of the Israel Securities Authority (ISA), Professor Schmuel Hauser, has recently outlined a number of the regulator’s concerns regarding cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
  • Professor Hauser stated that only ICOs determined to comprise securities will fall under the regulatory jurisdiction of the ISA.
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  • The respective financial regulators for Sweden and New Zealand have recently issued statements addressing initial coin offerings (ICOs).
  • The FSA compares initial coins offerings to “grassroots” financing activities, stating “the purpose of an ICO is to raise funding from the public to develop a business idea for a completed business, not different from grassroots financing.”
  • New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority recently issued a statement that seeks to encourage entities within the ICO and cryptocurrency industries to consult with the regulatory body regarding their legal obligations.
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  • The New Zealand Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has claimed that the cryptocurrencies or any initial coin offering (ICO)-derived token will be considered as a security in the country.
  • Under its issued guidance, the FMA stated that the ICO tokens could be considered as one of the four financial product categories, namely, debt securities, managed investment products, equity securities and derivatives.
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  • India’s central bank, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has previously announced its plan to ban the use of virtual currencies as a form of payment across the country.
  • At a conference held in Mumbai, India on Nov. 6, 2017, RBI executive director, S Ganesh Kumar, has hinted that the digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum will not be allowed to be legally used across the country.
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  • Four days have passed since the State Bank of Vietnam had announced that cryptocurrencies are illegal means of payment in the country.
  • Following Indonesia, Vietnam is the second country that officially banned digital currencies and their use as payment methods.
  • However, since both Vietnam and Indonesia didn’t contribute too much to the overall trading volumes, their bans are expected to cause little effect in Bitcoin’s price.
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  • Research has shown that the Russian economy has been deprived of 18 billion (approx $300 million) rubles so far this year due to a lack of initial coin offering (ICO) regulation.
  • While the central bank has warned about the risks of ICOs, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov has stated that regulations will not kill token sales in Russia.
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  • A bill has been submitted to the Ukrainian parliament to amend the country’s tax code to exempt cryptocurrency income and profits from taxation, including from buying, selling, transacting, and mining.
  • This third bill is meant to be a follow up to the second bill and provides provisions for crypto derivatives as well as cryptocurrencies themselves.
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  • During a speech given at a Securities Enforcement Forum on Thursday, the co-director of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Enforcement Division, Stephanie Avakian made it clear that the commission sees the need for strict digital enforcement when it comes to ICOs.
  • While the SEC sees and affirms the power of Blockchain technology, they are nevertheless fully aware of the danger that such digital technologies pose as a vehicle for fraud.
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  • According to local news media reports, a Michigan man named Bradley Anthony Stetkiw has been charged by local authorities for operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.
  • Per the report, Stetkiw had been brokering Bitcoin transactions worth hundreds of thousands of dollars without the proper licensing required for monetary brokering.
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