Regulators across the globe are exerting more influence over the young cryptocurrency industry.
In the U.S., the Securities and Exchange Commission appointed its first-ever crypto czar. Valerie Szczepanik, long the agency’s unofficial point person on cryptocurrency and token sales, will take on the new role as associate director of the Division of Corporation Finance and senior advisor for digital assets and innovation.
On the other side of the Pacific, Japan for the first time officially denied an application to register a cryptocurrency exchange, in large part because the firm was uncooperative with government requests.
Meanwhile, South Korean police recommended charging cryptocurrency exchange Coinone for offering illegal gambling that could be used to launder criminal proceeds.
… while opening their arms
At the same time, though, governments continue to embrace the innovations of the blockchain sector.
For example, New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim hopes to introduce cryptocurrencies to local communities. He’s proposed legislation that aims to launch 10 pilot programs creating local community currencies, which would be cryptocurrencies or other alternative, digital forms of money.
Elsewhere, China’s central bank has finished work on a blockchain-based system to digitize checks issued by domestic businesses. With that, the government aims to solve the issue of check fraud in the Chinese market.
And South Africa’s central bank has published the results for a trial of its blockchain-based system for interbank clearance and settlement. It claimed success for the system, which managed to settle the country’s typical 70,000 daily payment transactions within two hours.