Every second Tuesday of the month, we publish what we believe are the most important legal news of December 2018 – January 2019. Here they are:
TOP LEGAL NEWS OF DECEMBER 2018 – JANUARY 2019
Bahrain’s central bank has issued draft regulations on digital assets, Reuters reports Friday, Dec. 13.
According to Reuters, “the central bank said it had issued for consultation draft rules for crypto asset platform operators, providing regulations for the licensing and supervision of crypto asset services.”
Bahrain’s central bank has reportedly stated that the proposed regulations include “measures to safeguard customer interests, technology standards, and cybersecurity risk management.”
Two United States congressmen introduced a bill in the House of Representatives on Dec. 20 that would exclude digital assets from being defined as securities.
The “Token Taxonomy Act of 2018” was introduced by Reps. Warren Davidson (R) and Darren Soto (D) and seeks to exclude digital currencies from being defined as securities by amending the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Act of 1934.
United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton has said that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) “can be effective” but that “securities law must be followed.” Clayton spoke on the subject during a speech, published in full on the SEC’s official website Dec. 6.
The Malaysian government is reportedly still undecided whether to legalize cryptocurrencies, English-language local media New Straits Times reports on Jan. 12.
A bill exempting companies providing non-custodial crypto services from certain state money transmitting laws has been resubmitted to the United States Congress. Data confirming this was published on the Congress’ official website on Jan. 14. The bill, titled “To provide a safe harbor from licensing and registration for certain non-controlling blockchain developers and providers of blockchain services,” was submitted by U.S. congressman Tom Emmer and co-sponsored by congressman Darren Soto.
A governmental committee in India has reportedly suggested that cryptocurrencies be legalized in the country, English-language local media TheNewIndianExpress (TNIE) reported on Dec. 26.
South Korea’s government has added blockchain to the fields of research and development eligible for a tax credit meant to boost innovation, English-language local media TheNews.Asia reports on Jan. 8.
A crypto assets regulatory working group dedicated to crypto and blockchain has been established by the South African (SA) government. English-language local news outlet BusinessLive reported on the development on Jan. 2.
The Iranian government has taken further steps against Telegram’s cryptocurrency development, the Tehran Times reports Dec. 31. Secretary of the Criminal Content Definition Task Force Javad Javidnia has declared that any cooperation with the encrypted messaging app to launch its Gram token will be considered an act against national security and a disruption to the national economy.
The financial regulator of Italy has barred a cryptocurrency-related project from operations for the provision of allegedly unauthorized investment services, according to an official statement published Dec. 14.