A draft bill on crypto regulation presented to Colombia’s Congress has been heavily criticized by the local tech sector, Colombian financial journal Dinero reports Tuesday, September 24.The draft was introduced in late July by senator Carlos Abraham Jimenez from Cambio Radical, the second largest party in the lower house of Colombia’s Congress.The bill, called “On cryptocurrencies, or digital currencies,” gave definitions for various crypto-related terms and suggested the issuance of licenses for trading coins. The bill also proposed a five percent tax on all crypto transactions, both internal and international, of which 1 percent should be sent to an organization protecting crypto users from fraudulent activity.Congress has since opened debate on the bill, while the experts gave first comments. According to professional lawyers cited by local legal outlet Ambito Juridico, the draft lacked an assessment and understanding of crypto processes. For instance, the experts took issue with the fact that the bill placed coins under the Ministry of IT and Communications jurisdiction, whereas in other countries monitoring is conducted by financial institutions.Colombian Software Federation (Fedesoft) and local Fintech Association and Blockchain Foundation Colombia have released their own critique, noting that the bill has “inconsistencies and weaknesses” and adding:”Some proposals that are included in the draft go against the very use of cryptocurrencies, with taxes on transactions, and limitation of actors that can participate in crypto trading, among others.”The experts also paid attention to the non-existent currency Trickle mentioned in a bill, which seems to be a project of Fenix Premium — a Colombian platform suspended earlier by Colombian financial watchdog. Moreover, they urged that the proposed regulatory approach could provoke different illicit activities.Cointelegraph has previously reported on a legal battle for Buda.com, a South American crypto exchange whose accounts were closed without explanation by all Colombian banks in June 2018. Buda later asked new Colombian president Ivan Duque for help, signing a petition on behalf of all its users.Duque, who took office August 2018, is quite enthusiastic on crypto-related technologies. When he first touched on the theme, he promised to cut taxes for cryptocurrency and blockchain startups, confessing that he was “obsessed” with the technology.
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The city of Dublin, Ohio, is quietly experimenting with block chains focused on individual identity.
Dublin, a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, announced its work through a Request For Proposal (RFP) document released last month. Through the trial, Dublin seeks the possibility of applying this technology to the public sector as the newest public institution.
The city government announced its intention to test the block chain by developing a database that allows local officials to collect and store personal information and preferences as well as create a secure, private system that generates internal "value tokens."
Suggested use cases: The RFP allows registered users to submit votes on the network and aggregate voting results.
"To get started, the city hopes to prove the tokens of identity feasibility, basic voting, opinion research and arbitrary value." The RFP explains:
"As more powerful applications of block-chain technology become commonplace, cities want to build a basic technology base for building additional functionality, and this city can develop skills and expertise around emerging cities."
The appendix to the RFP, which updated its deadline to September 14, 2018, added that the city does not require a specific budget. Rather, due to the experimental nature of the proposal, Dublin officials are expected to pay court costs as proposals are submitted.
"We expect this solution to be one of the only decentralized ledger applications run by the municipality of Ohio and we look forward to leveraging our reputation as the center of innovation to spread the solution and to promote it widely. And widely, "the document stated.
Requests for comments on the proposed trial were not responded to by the media.
Dublin, Ohio Map Images – Shutterstock
CoinDesk, a leader in block-chain news, is a media outlet that pursues the highest standards of journalism and adheres to strict editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of the Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and block-chain startups.
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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has approved a draft of regulations governing Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), local media outlet WAM reported Sunday, September 9 citing government sources.The reported move comes in addition to lawmakers in the country adopting plans for a regulatory sandbox aimed at attracting greater fintech activity.“The sandbox will act as an environment that attracts innovators to test innovative products, services, solutions and business models in a controlled space,” a report from the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) published September 4 reads, adding:“This can be achieved by adopting an approach of relaxing and / or waving regulatory requirements for participants in the sandbox, while at the same time, ensuring that appropriate consumer protection safeguards are in place.”The regulatory proposals regarding ICOs gained approval from the SCA in July, while WAM now reports the agreement will enter into law upon its imminent publication in the UAE’s Official Gazette, an official periodical containing all the country’s legislation.“The SCA Board of Directors has approved the SCA plan to regulate the ICOs and recognise them as securities,” WAM stated, noting:“The Board of Directors, having reviewed a study on the best international practices in this regard, has issued a directive that the procedures for trading digital token are to be regulated. The plan developed by the SCA includes a set of mechanisms as part of an integrated project to regulate digital securities and commodities.”The UAE has pursued an in-depth policy of fintech integration in recent years, with a particular emphasis on blockchain at both municipal and state level. window.fbAsyncInit = function() FB.init( appId : ‘1922752334671725’, xfbml : true, version : ‘v2.9’ ); FB.AppEvents.logPageView(); ; (function(d, s, id) var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s); if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); (document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s) if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function()n.callMethod? n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments); if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n;n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version=’2.0′; n.queue=;t=b.createElement(e);t.async=!0; t.src=v;s=b.getElementsByTagName(e); s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)(window,document,’script’, ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbevents.js’); fbq(‘init’, ‘1922752334671725’); fbq(‘track’, ‘PageView’);
An eastern South Korean province plans to issue its own cryptocurrency to replace the local currencies of its nine cities, according to local media. An exchange will be established for the new crypto. The coins can be used for payments within the province and merchants can accept them using smartphone QR codes.
Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space
Korean Province to Issue Own Crypto
The South Korean province of Gyeongsangbuk-do has revealed that the effort to replace local currencies with a cryptocurrency has begun, Joongang Ilbo reported this week.
Also known as Gyeongbuk, the eastern South Korean province has been attempting to replace city-issued gift certificates with a cryptocurrency. Currently, nine cities of Gyeongsangbuk-do separately issue their own gift certificates, which are local currencies that can be used in selected areas of the province, the publication explained.
According to Naver, 60 municipalities nationwide, including nine cities in Gyeongsangbuk-do, currently use gift certificates as local currencies aimed at revitalizing local economies and preventing capital flight.
Pohang, one of the largest cities in the province with over half a million inhabitants, is the nation’s largest issuer of these gift certificates, according to Kyongbuk daily newspaper. In May, the news outlet reported that the city had sold 100 billion won (~US$ 90 million) worth of the Pohang gift certificates since January last year.
According to Joongang Ilbo, the province’s Science and Technology Policy Department announced on August 27:
10 banks, mobile communication companies, a university research team and government officials of Gyeongsangbuk-do will gather for the first time for the issuance of the cryptocurrency.
The tentative name of the cryptocurrency that Gyeongsangbuk-do is planning to issue is Gyeongbuk coin, the publication noted, adding that the first of the 100 billion won (~$90 million) annual issuance is expected in the first half of next year.
The province plans to create an exchange where Gyeongbuk coins can be purchased and sold. The coins can be used for payments and merchants can accept them using smartphone QR codes, the news outlet detailed.
Chung Sung-hyun, head of the province’s Science and Technology Policy Department, was quoted saying:
There are still many issues to be resolved…[such as] notifying merchants of the way they can use [the] coins, creating separate programs and issuing [the] coins (cryptocurrencies).
Canton of Zug, Switzerland.
Gyeongsangbuk-do recently sent a benchmarking team to the canton of Zug in Switzerland, which is home to many crypto startups such as Shapeshift, Xapo, and the Ethereum Foundation. The team, consisting of 10 members including some outside experts, met with a number of government officials and local businesses.
Following a series of meetings, a Gyeongsangbuk-do official was quoted by Sedaily saying “I think we can utilize the experience gained through benchmarking by making the identity cards for 5,000 Gyeongbuk provincial government employees like Zug as blockchain-based digital ID cards.”
What do you think of this Korean province planning to replace local currencies with its own crypto? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Gyeonggi News Communication, Wikipedia, and Yonhap News Agency.
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South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, UpBit, was raided by ten investigators and local police for alleged fraud this morning. Chosun, a local news source, was the first to report on the incident. Upbit is currently the fourth largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by 24-hour trade volume.
The company has responded saying that all customers’ assets kept on their platform are safe, and all trades and withdrawals are running normally. UpBit has released the following statement on its website:
“Upbit is currently under investigation by the prosecution, and we are working diligently. Upbit services …
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