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Digital Currency and Blockchain Weekly Round-up – February 23rd, 2018

UK Treasury launches inquiry into cryptocurrencies and DLT

The U.K. Treasury on Thursday announced that it is launching an inquiry into digital currencies and distributed ledger technology (DLT). The inquiry has been launched by Treasury Select Committee and will look into the role of digital currencies in the UK, including the opportunities and risks that digital currencies may bring to consumers, businesses, and the government. It will also assess the potential impact of DLT on financial institutions and infrastructure.

Wyoming House unanimously passes bill on utility token securities exemptions

In a unanimous decision, the Wyoming House of Representatives has passed a bill that seeks to exempt some utility tokens from securities regulations, CoinDesk reported. House Bill 70 is “An ACT relating to securities; providing that a person who develops, sells or facilitates the exchange of an open blockchain token is not subject to specified securities and money transmission laws; making conforming amendments; and providing for an effective date,” according to the bill text.

Indian PM Narendra Modi talks blockchain

The Indian government is gradually warming up to the blockchain revolution that has already engulfed major economies of the world. Now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also come out in support for the technology at the 22nd Edition of the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT), BTCManager reported.

Germany’s BaFin clarifies stance on ICOs

Germany's Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) has issued a letter on the regulatory classification of tokens issued via Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) or token sales. The regulator said that it has been increasingly receiving inquiries from investors as to whether the tokens distributed via ICOs should be considered as financial instruments.

Government of Kaliningrad to trial blockchain technology in social payments

The Government of Kaliningrad region is collaborating with Vnesheconombank (VEB) on a blockchain pilot project in the field of social payments. The government and VEB have inked an agreement on cooperation in a number of areas. This includes implementation of modern IT solutions in the Kaliningrad region, including blockchain technology in social payments, as well as projects to introduce e-services to improve the efficiency of public and corporate governance.

Montserrat to trial Digital Eastern Caribbean Dollars with blockchain startup Bitt

Montserrat Premier and Minister of Finance Donaldson Romeo has inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Barbados based blockchain startup Bitt to create a digital payments ecosystem. According to an announcement posted on Facebook, the agreement has an initial period of three years and provides a framework for Bitt to collaborate with the government and other domestic stakeholders, such as the private sector, commercial banks, and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).

Swiss financial regulator publishes guidance on ICOs

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA has published its guidance on how it intends to apply financial market legislation to the field on initial coin offerings (ICOs). The regulator said that currently there is no ICO-specific regulation and as all ICOs may not fall under the scope of the financial market legislation, they need to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Malta launches public consultation on blockchain and cryptocurrency bills

Malta has launched a public consultation on three proposed laws that aim to position the country a world leader in economic innovation, according to Malta Today. Speaking at the launch of the public consultation, Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri said that the bills will be presented to the parliament following the three-week consultation period.

Crypto Events and Competitions:

Deutsche Bourse to hold crypto asset competition in March

Inaugural TOKEN2049 conference in March to pool crypto experts

Research Studies:

Cryptocurrencies need some regulation to influence financial markets: S&P

Investments/Acquisitions/ Fund-raising:

Venezuelan president claims Petro cryptocurrency pre-sale raises $735M

Citi and Credit Agricole buy stakes in blockchain startup SETL

Digital money platform Uphold acquires Cortex MCP

Partnerships/Consortiums:

Blockchain in Transport Alliance welcomes new members

R3 sets up blockchain-focused Legal Centre of Excellence

Croatia gets self-regulating blockchain and cryptocurrency organization ‘UBIK’

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December 13 02:30 UTC Released

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