Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands Regulate VASPs While Brazil and ECB go for CBDCs

LONDON, 6th November – Coinfirm takes a look at the week’s moves by global regulators and the compliance efforts of jurisdictions that affect our stakeholders.

Hong Kong Looking to Regulate All Exchanges

Hong Kong is looking to make a change to their outlines of cryptocurrency regulations according to comments made by the head of the SFC (Securities and Futures Commission) made on the 2nd day of the Hong Kong Fintech Week. 

The SFC’s CEO, Ashley Alder, was quoted as saying that “the government will propose a new licensing regime under the Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance for platforms which trade any type of crypto asset even if not classified as securities”. 

This is due to the fact that the current regulations are an opt-in system based on the assets traded on the exchange. Alder continued by noting that “if a platform operator is really determined to remain completely off the regulatory radar, it can do so simply by ensuring that its traded crypto assets are not within the legal definition of a security”. 

Once this new regime is in place, all virtual asset trading platforms in Hong Kong would be regulated, supervised and monitored.”- READ MORE

Cayman Islands Targets VASPs

The Cayman Islands appear to be cracking down on Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) and their lax AML, KYC and CTF policies. In a recently published note, the Ministry of Financial Services for the Cayman Islands Government said it had commenced a regulatory framework for VASPs that means “The Cayman Islands’ ability to regulate and attract persons and entities that deal with virtual assets as a business is now strengthened.” – READ MORE

South Korea Bans Privacy Coins 

The South Korean financial watchdog, FSC (Financial Services Commission), has effectively banned privacy coins from exchanges in a note published Tuesday. 

The updated regulation to the Special Payment Act (a set of regulations specifically on cryptocurrencies due to come into force March 2021) notes any coin that has a high-level risk of money laundering can no longer be traded. The statement singled out “dark coins” – privacy coins that are more difficult to trace due to in-built privacy-centric protocols. 

As well as now not processing privacy coins, under the Special Payment Act VASPs will be required to confirm the real names of their customers by verifying them against personal data and have stringent AML and KYC policies.- READ MORE

ECB Seeks Public Comments on a Digital Euro

Christine Lagarde, the head of the European Central Bank (ECB) has asked the public for comments regarding a possible digital Euro. “As Europeans are increasingly turning to digital in the ways they spend, save and invest, we should be prepared to issue a digital euro, if needed. I’m also keen to hear your views on it,” Lagarde said in a tweet announcing the survey.

In a year that has seen China widely test its Digital Yuan, the Bahamas fully launch the Sand Dollar (Central Bank Digital Currency) CBDC and a plethora of central banks beginning research and trials of CBDCs – it appears the ECB is not looking to be left behind. – READ MORE

Brazlian Economic Minister Hints at CBDC 

Brazilian Economy Minister Paulo Guedes has said that Brazil will issue its own CBDC.

Guedes made the comments at a ceremony announcing the 100 millionth digital savings account at Caixa Economica Federal, a 100% government-owned financial institution.

“Now that the central bank is autonomous again, it’s also amazing in the digital dimension: Pix, OpenBank, fintechs and digital currency. Brazil will have its own digital currency. Brazil is ahead of many countries.” – READ MORE

About Coinfirm

Coinfirm is a global leader in AML and regulatory technology for blockchain and cryptocurrencies. It offers the industry’s largest blockchain coverage, supporting over 1,500 cryptocurrencies and protocols including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger, and many more. Coinfirm’s solutions are used by market leaders globally, ranging from crypto exchanges such as Binance, and protocols like XRP, to major financial institutions like PKO BP. The company’s services also include Reclaim Crypto, as well as Trudatum, a standalone regtech platform that allows any file to be registered, signed, and verified with 100% accuracy.