Today on Bitcoin This Week we discuss Donald Trump’s latest SEC pick gives hope to future ETF, top Chinese court rules evidence on blockchain admissible and more.
Iceland Launches First Bitcoin Trading Pair
Iceland has launched a new crypto trading platform known as Skiptimynt which offers a Bitcoin trading pairs for the first time since the launch of another exchange known as ISX in 2016. The Skiptimynt exchange will feature two trading pairs; the Icelandic Krona(ISK)/Bitcoin(BTC) and the Icelandic Krona(ISK)/Aurora coin(AUR). Aurora coin is the country’s alternative to Bitcoin, created in 2014. At the time AUR was launched, it got the cryptocurrency community, the media and even politicians interested in the potential of a Bitcoin alternative. Due to very little adoption of AUR in Iceland, the coin has since been neglected.
Iceland is not known as a cryptocurrency trading destination but known as a cryptocurrency mining hub seeing as there is abundant renewable energy sources and cold climate. The climatic conditions of Iceland makes it suitable for mining operations as it means low cost of electricity and cooling. KPMG recently reported that last year alone, crypto mining consumed about 90% power of Iceland’s data centers. The Icelandic finance minister Bjarni Benediktsson expressed his concerns about the risk attributed to cryptos, to which Styrmir Hafliðason -Skiptimynt’s security and quality manager disagreed. Hafliðason stated that crypto assets are simply held as zeros and ones in private centers, and therefore are not part of Iceland’s economy.
South Korea Calls for Global Unity Over Crypto Regulation
South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) governor, Yoon Suk-Huen has urged regulators in 14 other countries to create a multinational system for dealing with cryptocurrency risk and regulation enforcement. During the 20th Integrated Financial Supervisors Conference held on September 6-7 in Seoul, Yoon told delegates that “The authorities are in a difficult situation to minimize the side effects while encouraging financial innovation…The aim is to calm overheated speculation and prevent illegal activities against new risks associated with virtual currency or initial coin offerings (ICOs)…We need to create an international discipline system, which can only generate regulatory gains between countries.”
The FSS chief also further explained to the officials from the 14 countries, including the UK, Japan, Germany, Canada, Australia, and Singapore about the ways he thinks countermeasures can tackle new digital financial tech such as cryptocurrencies and ICOs. The countermeasures include a “supervision method for effective internal control and compliance of financial companies, the direction of financial consumer protection system and financial inclusion policy, and the effective anti-money laundering system and how to operate it.”
Top Chinese Court Rules Evidence on Blockchain is Admissible
The Supreme People’s Court of China has ruled that evidence gathered using blockchain is admissible in court, provided that parties involved can prove the legitimacy of the technology being used in the process. Just over a year ago, China opened, what is regarded as ‘the world’s first internet court’ which specializes in handling internet-linked cases.
The Supreme Court, in an official announcement, stated; “Internet courts shall recognize digital data that are submitted as evidence if relevant parties collected and stored these data via blockchain with digital signatures, reliable timestamps and hash value verification or via a digital deposition platform, and can prove the authenticity of such technology used.”
The incorruptible digital ledger behind Blockchain technology is used increasingly to help companies comply with complex regulatory requirements – and the record of financial activities and anything else of value could prove vital in any court case.
Donald Trump’s Latest SEC Pick Gives Hope to Future ETF
Elad Roisman, the newly-appointed pro-crypto member of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by Donald Trump is already in hot water regarding bitcoin ETF approvals. Roisman becomes the 4th Trump appointee to the SEC, following Michael Piwowar, who stepped down in July. Also in July, Roisman told the Senate Banking Committee that ‘’… the SEC must examine and re-examine its rules, regulations and guidelines to ensure that they are still working as intended to accomplish the SEC’s mission. This is most recently manifested in areas such as data protection and cybersecurity, as well as the emergence of new investments and technologies such as initial coin offerings and blockchain.’’
He went onto say it was “essential the SEC approach these new challenges in a fair and transparent manner, provide clarity and certainty to the markets and investors, and enforce the laws and regulations that hold market participants accountable.”
With Roisman’s confirmation, three out of the five SEC commissioners now have favorable views on cryptocurrencies. However, there’s no timeframe for the approval of any future Bitcoin ETF. Nine proposals from three different issuers were rejected as recently as late August, partly due to fears of market manipulation and the lack of future trading volume.