The South Korean government reportedly plans to soften its crypto regulations in line with the policies set by the G20 nations in an effort to create “unified regulations.” The Korean regulators have also agreed to apply the standards set by the Financial Action Task Force to its crypto policies.
G20’s Unified Crypto Regulations
South Korea is reportedly planning to follow the policies set by the G-20 nations and soften its crypto regulations, the Korea Times reported.
The G20 is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors. Its members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union.
The top financial policymakers of these countries have agreed to acknowledge and regulate cryptocurrencies as financial assets, the news outlet noted, elaborating:
Financial policymakers of G-20 nations have set a July deadline for the first step toward ‘unified regulations’ of cryptocurrencies. One reason for the move by the G-20 is that they see cryptocurrencies as ‘too small to jeopardize’ financial markets. The combined market value of cryptocurrencies is less than 1 percent of the global GDP.
Financial Action Task Force Standards
While the G-20 classifies cryptocurrencies as financial assets, the Korean government has earlier classified them as non-financial products due to their speculative nature. Acknowledging the differences, the country’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) was quoted expressing:
It’s almost certain that cryptocurrencies will be classified as assets and the main issue will be centered on how to regulate them properly under the unified frame that will be agreed upon between G-20 nations. Given the current stance, this isn’t good, but we will step up efforts to improve things.
South Korea has also agreed to apply to cryptocurrencies the standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body formed to fight money laundering and terrorism financing, the publication conveyed.
Softening Crypto Policies
Recently, the new FSS chief indicated that he will ease the country’s cryptocurrency regulations. Governor Yoon Suk-heun said there are many positive aspects of cryptocurrencies, promising to release updates on this issue in the near future.
Meanwhile, the country’s National Tax Agency has been collaborating with the finance ministry to collect tax data in order to establish crypto tax policies. While cryptocurrency transactions are currently tax-free in Korea, crypto operators are required to pay income taxes, the news outlet detailed.
Despite the new FSS chief suggesting an easing of crypto regulations, his department has launched an investigation into crypto exchanges, in collaboration with other related authorities. In March, the prosecution arrested four employees of crypto exchanges including the CEO of Coinnest. Last week, they started investigating the country’s largest crypto exchange, Upbit. This week, three people were arrested from HTS Coin exchange for alleged fraud and embezzlement charges.
Opera’s Browser With Built-In Crypto Wallet Launches for iPhones
Users of Android phones and desktop computers have had the option to use Opera’s blockchain-friendly browser for months now, but iPhone owners have been left out of the fun.
That’s now changed with the launch of the latest version of Opera Touch for iOS.
As per a blog post from the firm, the new browser option is largely identical to the above-mentioned offerings, providing a built-in cryptocurrency wallet and the ability to run Web 3.0 and decentralized apps (dapps) without a third-party plugin.
“We believe that the Web of today will be the interface to the decentralized web of tomorrow (Web 3). With built-in Crypto Wallet, the browser has the potential to renew and extend its important role as a tool to access information, make transactions online and manage users’ online identities in a way that gives them more control.”
The wallet currently allows users to hold, transact and make payments in ethereum and all ERC-20 standard tokens and stablecoins, as well as collectibles such as CryptoKitties via the ERC-721 standard.
The Opera website says the wallet can automatically detect and list any ERC-20 tokens used in ethereum dapps, such as in-game currencies.
Dapps can be accessed by typing their address directly in the browser, avoiding the need to use third-party extensions
In order to start using dapps, users will need to purchase ethereum (ETH) and store it in the Opera wallet. Once there, a selection of dapps will be listed in the store in the app, the post says.
JPMorgan to Start Customer Trials of Its ‘JPM Coin’ Crypto
JPMorgan Chase is to start trials of its “JPM Coin” cryptocurrency in conjunction with corporate clients.
According to a report from Bloomberg Japan on Tuesday, Umar Farooq, the investment bank’s head of digital treasury services and blockchain, said that customers would trial the technology with the ultimate aim of speeding up transactions, such as payments between firms and bond transactions.
The trials are being conducted on the assumption regulatory permission will ultimately be granted, according to Bloomberg.
First revealed in February, JPM Coin initially runs on top of Quorum, a private version of ethereum developed by the bank.
JPM Coin will function as a stablecoin, with fiat cash being deposited at the bank in exchange for the token, which can then be transferred via a permissioned distributed ledger. The recipient can later redeem the token for cash from JPMorgan.
Initially linked to the U.S. dollar, the coin is expected to be extended to other fiat currencies in time. Real-world trials were expected in “a few months,” according to a report at the time.
Discussing JPM Coin’s state of development, Farooq told Bloomberg in today’s report: “The technology is very good, but it takes time in terms of licensing and approval. It must be explained.”
As well as inter-firm remittances, he said that the cryptocurrency could be used to settle bonds and commodities transactions. Clients in regions including Europe, the US and Japan have already shown interest, according to Farooq. He would not name any companies involved in the upcoming trials, the report states.
Russia May Allow Crypto Trading in Upcoming Legislation: Official
As Russia’s cryptocurrency bill slowly inches forward, a government official has hinted at what may lie ahead when the legislation is finally passed.
According to a report from local news source Interfax.ru, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev told journalists on Friday that among the options currently being discussed is to allow the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies. Crypto payments are not on the table, however.
Worryingly for the country’s crypto community, the bill could still see cryptocurrency use banned outright.
Moiseyev said that the finance ministry had met with the Russian central bank and the Federal Security Service, the nation’s security agency, to discuss the bill.
“There is a range [of possibilities] from prohibition to the possibility of purchase,” he explained. “Like with foreign currency, it would be possible to buy and sell [cryptocurrencies], but impossible to use them for payments. After a political decision is made on this issue, we will have the responsibility.”
Russia’s bill on digital financial assets was expected to be considered at the plenary session of the State Duma on March 19, but was postponed.
According to the report, Anatoly Aksakov, head of the Duma Financial Market Committee, has said that Russia must adopt a bill on cryptocurrency before the end of this year in order to comply with recommendations from international watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
In related news, FATF announced new standards on Friday that include a controversial requirement that “virtual asset service providers,” including crypto exchanges, pass information about their customers to one another when transferring funds between firms. Its 37 member nations are not obliged to apply its guidance, but non complying countries can be blacklisted, which would be harmful financially.