So, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was sworn in for his second term on May 30, and with an ailing Arun Jaitley having opted out of the new government, Modi has chosen former defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman as the Union Minister of Finance.
While Sitharaman is all set to present the full-fledged budget on July 5, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international body that monitors/controls financial policies against global financial systems against money laundering, terrorist financing has announced plans to update risk-based approach guidance on cryptocurrencies.
Will Sitharaman also introduce the crypto-related Bill as part of the Finance Bill 2019? “Yes,” a department of economic affairs senior official earlier told Inc42. Depending on the government’s will, the draft bill pertaining to cryptocurrencies can be expected to be introduced in June. However, the process might take three to six months further, said the officer.
FATF recommendations has been more subtle in its approach towards cryptocurrencies, can India despite being one of the members of the G20 Group could go against the recommendations? “Why not! Those are mere recommendations and India having participated and presented its part at the FATF meetings, is free to take decisions that suits it best”, RBI executive director S Ganesh had earlier told Inc42.
Chart Of The Week: Bitcoin Sharks On The Rise
The number of addresses holding between 1000 and 10K Bitcoins each has seen a steep rise with a whopping accumulation of 450,000 Bitcoins in less than 9-months, according to a report by Diar. In 2019 alone, around 100K Bitcoins has been added to these addresses.
Over 26% of circulating supply, $36Bn worth of Bitcoin, now sit in addresses that have a balance of 1000-10k BTC. In August 2018 when Bitcoin was also at $8000, these ‘Firm Size’ addresses held under 20% of the circulating supply showing a sharp accumulation of nearly 7% in less than a year. – Diar
FATF To Further Update On Crypto Risks
FATF in its recent Report to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors has said that October 2019 amendments require cryptocurrency service providers regulated for AML/CFT purposes, licenced or registered and subject to effective systems for monitoring and ensuring compliance with the relevant measures called for in the FATF Recommendations.
As pointed out by some of the member countries including India, the FATF said that it will also address the challenges in investigations and confiscation of cases where criminals exploit virtual assets for money laundering and terrorist financing purposes by June 2019.
According to the report, as part of the preventive mechanism, FATF said countries should ensure that they have a range of sanctions, whether criminal, civil or administrative, to deal with virtual asset service providers that fail to comply with AML/CFT requirements; and
Is Zuckerberg Seeking Winklevoss Twins’ Help For Facebook’s Mega Crypto Project Libra?
Interestingly, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has now reached out to crypto exchange Gemini founders Winklevoss twins for his one of the most ambitious projects Libra, according to Financial Times’ report.
For the last 15 months, Facebook has been working on the project to roll out a stablecoin, paving fast and easy payments services to its 2.37 Bn users.
Winklevoss twins — Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss — once famous for winning $65 Mn in a lawsuit against Mark Zuckerberg, have often been ‘the Kingsmen’ of the golden game of cryptocurrencies. Back in 2007, the duo along with their Harvard colleague Divya Narendra had accused that Zuckerberg had founded by stealing their site’s software code (Harvardconnect.com) while he was working for them as a Harvard student.
Russian Sberbank Scraps Crypto Project, Govt May Consider Gold-Backed Cryptocurrency
The largest bank of Russia, Sberbank has now announced plans to suspend its cryptocurrency-related projects citing unfavourable regulatory circumstances, reported Russian news agency TASS.
Regarding cryptocurrency, we waited for legislation that allows you to trade cryptocurrency. Since the regulator is currently looking negative, we decided to suspend this cryptocurrency plan. – Andrey Shemetov, VP-Sberbank
Meanwhile, the Russian central bank Bank of Russia is now considering to use gold-backed cryptocurrencies for international payments and settlement purposes.
Maintaining the current stance that the Bank of Russia opposes the use of cryptocurrency in the country’s monetary system, Elvira Nabiullina, governor of the Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiullina, governor of the Bank of Russia said that the Bank of Russia might look into the proposal of gold-backed cryptocurrency. “But, in my opinion, it is more important to develop settlements in national currencies,” she said at the State Duma.