Huobi Resumes Operations in Japan as a Fully Regulated Exchange

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Huobi is back in Japan, this time as a fully regulated exchange under Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA).

Following its merger with BitTrade, Huobi Japan Holding Ltd. is now among the first batch of 17 to receive registration under the FSA and is able to relaunch Huobi Japan.

Leon Li, Huobi Group founder and CEO, called the launch an “important milestone” in a statement, adding that the Japanese market remains important to the group and that working with its “regulators is a longstanding priority for Huobi Group.”

Japan’s financial regulator had directed all cryptocurrency exchanges not registered as a licensed exchange with the agency to cease operations in 2017.

Huobi had left at the time, hoping to merge with SBI Virtual Currency, but that deal fell through.

Following Coincheck’s hack in January 2018, the FSA had ramped up requirements for exchanges, with 160 applicants waiting in line for approval as of October 2018. Unable to get approval, Huobi acquired a majority stake in Japanese-licensed operator BitTrade, as it prepared to stage a comeback into the market.

At the moment, Huobi Japan will offer trading of bitcoin, ripple, ether, bitcoin cash, litecoin and monacoin, traded against the Japanese Yen. The exchange is also offering zero-fee transactions during the launch period.

Livio Weng, CEO of Huobi Global, told Bitcoin Magazine that Huobi Japan would draw on the expertise of the group to operate an exchange that offers better liquidity, with a strong focus on the safety and security of customer’s funds.

“In addition to now offering our users a fully regulated and compliant place to trade digital assets, Huobi Japan also brings with it Huobi Group’s half-decade of experience in cryptocurrency and blockchain.”

Currently ranked as the sixth largest crypto exchange platform in the world, Huobi Group was founded in China back in 2013. The company maintained its headquarters in Singapore after the Chinese government initiated a crackdown on domestic cryptocurrency exchanges in 2017.

Huobi also operates exchanges in Canada, UAE, Australia and Brazil.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

South Africa Wants to Mandate Registration of Crypto Service Providers

South Africa Wants to Mandate Registration of Crypto Service ProvidersA regulatory working group in South Africa, which includes the country’s central bank, has released a consultation paper on crypto assets this week. According to the document, all exchanges, wallet providers, Bitcoin ATMs and payment processors will have to register with the government in 2019.  Also Read: Bitpay Reports Processing Over $1 Billion Transactions in […]

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No Reason to ‘Bury’ Cryptocurrencies, Russian PM Medvedev Says

Last year’s falling prices are not a good enough reason to “bury” cryptocurrencies, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said during a high-level economic conference. He believes Russia should carefully follow the developments around digital coins.   Also read: Clickbait Media Uses Bitcoin and Russia to Pump Headlines Again Russia Should Watch Carefully Medvedev thinks the […]

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Indian Supreme Court Pushes Crypto Case Against RBI to End of February

Indian Supreme Court Pushes Crypto Case Against RBI to End of FebruaryThe case against the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was unexpectedly heard at the country’s supreme court on Thursday. However, senior advocates for the parties were reportedly absent, so a new date has been set and the crypto case will be “top of the list” on that date. Also read: Indian […]

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European Banking Regulators Call for Unity in Crypto Regulations

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Last week, two of the largest banking regulators within the European Union released reports calling for uniformity in the regulations of crypto assets and Initial Coin offerings (ICOs) across the continent.

The EBA Calls for Pan-EU Crypto Regulations

On January 9, 2019, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published its assessment of crypto laws. The document, which examines the sustainability of EU laws to cryptocurrencies, analyzed the use of digital assets within the EU, as well as some of the pan-EU laws that currently govern them.

In the report, the EBA decried the lack of uniformity in crypto laws. It stated that this lack of equilibrium means that companies can move operations to “crypto havens” and face less-stringent regulations.

Essentially, this could create an uneven competitive playing field. Certain countries such as Malta and Gibraltar have been known to enforce crypto-friendly rules. However, the EBA is looking to achieve a uniform regulatory environment in the zone.

Adam Farkas, executive director of the EBA, said, “The EBA calls on the European Commission to assess whether regulatory action is needed to achieve a common EU approach to crypto assets.”

The ESMA Discourages Crypto Legitimization

On the same day, the second regulator, the Europe Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) also published its advice to various EU-based banking institutions on ICOs and crypto assets.

The regulator pointed out that the crypto industry is quite small and presents little threat to traditional financial stability. However, it also expressed some concern over the risks posed to market integrity and the protection of investors.

The ESMA said, “Wider regulation of crypto-assets and related activities may have trade-offs, such as risking legitimizing crypto-assets and encouraging wider adoption.”

In addition, the report recommended that cryptocurrencies shouldn’t be legitimized, while also claiming that all digital assets should be subjected to anti-money laundering legislation.

The regulator warned about the significance of protecting the capital markets. Also, investors should be warned against buying crypto assets that aren’t financial instruments, as excess regulation could bring them “into a similar regulatory remit as the one for crypto-assets that are financial instruments.”

Gemini’s Viral Ad

The sentiments of the two regulators seem to echo those of Gemini Inc., the crypto exchange owed by the Winklevoss twins.

Just last week, the company engaged in a viral, city-wide advertising campaign. Buses, taxi tops and bus stops carried signs with messages such as “Crypto Needs Rules” and “Crypto Without Chaos” being boldly displayed.

At the time, Chris Roan, head of marketing at Gemini, said, “We believe that investors coming into cryptocurrency deserve the exact same protections as investors in more traditional markets, adhering to the same standards, practices, regulations and compliance protocols.”

Also, while speaking about their ad campaign in an interview with Fortune, Tyler Winklevoss added, “The idea is that companies that build on top of things like Bitcoin should have a regulation that’s thoughtful and that doesn’t stifle innovation … People believe in the dream of crypto. They just don’t know how to engage in it without getting burned. We’re here to say Gemini’s a place you can do that.”

The Gemini ad campaign generated some to-be-expected reactions from the Bitcoin community, with many pointing out the folly in its approach to regulation.

In a tweet, Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken, said, “Saying crypto needs rules is like saying the poor need sanctions. Here’s a rule: no more rules.”

Nick Foley, a former support staffer at Coinbase, also stated that the rules required by crypto are already there — and based in mathematics. Foley took to Twitter to downplay the prospect of bringing complex regulations to the crypto space, calling most of these regulations unnecessary.

Rules like mathematics? Sure. Crypto needs that. Rules like “KYC AML licencing taxation Patriot Act bitlicense bullshit?” No. Crypto doesn’t need that. pic.twitter.com/8azzqCKlwa

— Nick Foley (@BookofNick) January 4, 2019

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Venezuela Files Complaint With WTO Regarding US Sanctions Targeting Petro

On Jan. 8, the World Trade Organization (WTO) published a dispute settlement request that was filed by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela with regards to executive orders and sanctions maintained by the United States that target Venezuela and the nation’s cryptocurrency, the petro. The document was filed with the WTO on Dec. 28. Also Read: Malaysia […]

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Venezuela Files Complaint With WTO Regarding US Sanctions Targeting Petro

On Jan. 8, the World Trade Organization (WTO) published a dispute settlement request that was filed by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela with regards to executive orders and sanctions maintained by the United States that target Venezuela and the nation’s cryptocurrency, the petro. The document was filed with the WTO on Dec. 28. Also Read: Malaysia […]

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