US Disagreement, Thai Taxes and G7’s Warning

Steve Mnuchin Cryptocurrency Regulations Coinfirm

French Ministries Look to Take Out Anonymous Crypto Accounts

On Tuesday, three French ministries jointly issued an order to ban the use of cryptocurrency accounts employing enhanced privacy techniques to anonymize users. The move aims to take on money laundering through cryptocurrencies and tokenized assets.

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire, overseas minister Sébastien Lecornu and junior economy minister Olivier Dussopt together issued the document that referenced the dismantling of a terror organization in September this year that used bitcoin in an attempt to evade law enforcement.

However, it was not all negative. The order noted the PACTE law or “Action Plan for Business Growth and Transformation” which aims to enhance the adoption of the crypto economy. – READ MORE

G7 Call For Regulation of ‘Digital Currencies’

The United States Treasury released a statement on a recent G7 meeting which “discussed ongoing responses to the evolving landscape of crypto assets and other digital assets and national authorities’ work to prevent their use for malign purposes and illicit activities.  There is strong support across the G7 on the need to regulate digital currencies.  Ministers and Governors reiterated support for the G7 joint statement on digital payments issued in October.”

Although German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz issued a more serious statement – aimed at the concerns of Facebook’s upcoming ‘Diem’ stablecoin (recently rebranded from Libra) in Europe. Scholz noted that “a wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf,” adding “It is clear to me that Germany and Europe cannot and will not accept its entry into the market while the regulatory risks are not adequately addressed.”

The United States Treasury is currently holding the G7 presidency before handing over next month to the United Kingdom. – READ MORE 

US Politicians Go Toe-to-Toe with Treasury

Three United States politicians issued a letter to the Treasury on Wednesday urging the authority to rethink widely reported incoming burdensome regulations on self-hosted wallets. 

The letter offers an argument that “such a regulation could actually undermine the Treasury department from stopping illicit actors from exploiting the financial system, both within the traditional banking system and the digital asset ecosystem” as it would “not meaningfully support law enforcement, while it would raise privacy concerns and place impractical regulatory burdens on digital asset users and companies.”

The lawmakers voiced their wish to protect “freedom [that] stands in stark contrast to China’s digital yuan, where citizen’s transactions are surveilled and transactions involving disfavored individuals or activities can be censored”. – READ MORE

Thai Taxes Authority Will Deploy Blockchain Next Year

The tax authorities of Thailand are looking to streamline excise duties in 2021 by deploying blockchain technology next year, the Bangkok Post reported Monday.

Thailand’s SEC Director-General Lavaron Sangsnit has stated that “with blockchain, tax evasion should be difficult because the three departments will conduct tax audits in coordination with each other” – in reference to the Excise, Customs and Revenue departments of the Ministry of Finance.

In addition, Sangsnit noted that “A blockchain-integrated procedure in assessing the tax returns of oil exports is already in progress and it is expected to be implemented in next year’s first quarter.” – READ MORE

US House of Representatives Pen Letter to SEC on Broker-Dealer Digital Asset Custody

In a letter Wednesday to Securities Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton, nine members of the House of Representatives said the agency should lay out how broker-dealers can have custody of cryptocurrencies and tokenized assets.

They noted that in July, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency clarified that banks can provide custody of such cryptographic assets. They added that the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. last year issued a joint statement on digital assets but haven’t set out custody policies, which has left broker-dealers in limbo.

“Yet, to date, the SEC has not provided any guidance that would allow for FINRA to grant broker-dealer applications involving the custody of digital securities, a position that threatens to stymie the progress of the digital security industry in the United States,” wrote Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., who led the letter. “Failing to approve broker-dealer applications involving the custody of digital securities leaves the industry without the infrastructure to operate in a regulated way.” – READ MORE