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All eyes have been on China for the past month or so, not many people have been paying attention to other Asian countries! Just yesterday, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) announced that it has approved 11 cryptocurrency exchanges to operate within the country.
The Japanese government recognized bitcoin as legal tender back in April and required cryptocurrency exchange operators to register with it. The move was aimed at avoiding a repeat of the failure in 2014 of Mt Gox, the world’s largest bitcoin exchange at the time.
There are various requirements in order to be a licensed exchange in Japan, including: building a strong computer system, segregation of customer accounts, and checking the identity of customers (a key issue given concerns cryptocurrency could be used for money-laundering).
Since China has recently cracked down on cryptocurrencies (although, I feel the end is near), Japan has quickly taken their position as the biggest Bitcoin trading hub. Notably, bitFlyer–whose BTC/JPY trading pair regularly ranks as one of bitcoin’s top three highest trading volumes – was one of the exchanges licensed during this first round of approval.
The list of licensed exchanges also includes: QUOINE, Bit Bank Corporation, SBI Virtual Currencies, Bit Trade, BTC Box, Bit point Japan, Fiscal Virtual Currency Exchange, and Tech Bureau.
With the new regulation, Tokyo aims to balance the need to protect investors with the need to support fintech innovations, FSA officials said. Officials this month said they have no plan to ban initial coin offerings (ICOs), although there have been few launches of token-based digital currencies in Japan to date.
A lot has changed and we have moved into a complex technological age with the new trend, “Bitcoin”. Bitcoin is starting to infiltrate Wall Street. It is much less of a technology that hackers use, it is a technology that major institutions are starting to use.
The movement from the public into institutions is complex, but not for Bitcoin. Bitcoin is able to stay decentralized no matter who uses it. The various governments around the world will never be able to change that. The only thing that major institutions can do is scare the public.
Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan, recently made statements against Bitcoin. Following the statement, Bitcoin’s price reacted negatively.So can it really be just a trend? I do not think so. Bitcoin is here to stay and institutions know that.
Look at all of the major companies that are releasing ICO’s. Recently we had the Kin ICO, which was creating by the popular application company, Kik. We also have recently seen CEO’s, like Patrick Byrne (the CEO of Overstock.com), strongly support Bitcoin.
“The guys who belong to this financial world of debt-based, fiat-money, central-banking Keynesian spending – this magic money tree they all grew up in – they don’t like a form of currency that cannot be controlled by a government. What a surprise.” – Patrick Byrne
So what do you think? Is Bitcoin just a trend like the dotcom bubble? Let me hear your thoughts below…
The partnership is between Emcredit, a subsidiary of Dubai Economy, and the UK-based Object Tech Group Ltd together under the Dubai Economy Accelerators umbrella to develop and implement emCash. emCash will be the digital currency in emPay wallet, launched by Emcredit to support contactless payments. emPay will allow the UAE residents to make varied payments through the near field communication (NFC) option on their phones. With emCash, emPay users will have the option of a secure digital currency, and merchants can receive such payments in real time without going through intermediaries.
Deputy Director General of Dubai Economy, Ali Ibrahim said, the token will be considered legal tender:
He then goes on to say,
A digital currency has varied advantages faster processing, improved delivery time, and less complexity and cost. It will change the way people live and do business in Dubai, and mark a giant leap for the city in harnessing game-changing innovations to improve the ease of business and quality of life. We are delighted to have Object Tech as our partner in this initiative and the Dubai Economy Accelerators programme. Obtaining the approval of other UAE authorities will be considered if required,
Muna Al Qassab, CEO, Emcredit Limited, added that emCash also reduces fraud, as well as inflation, since the currency is issued in real time, based on actual demand.
Customers can choose between two payment options on the emPay platform the existing dirham payment or emCash. While the dirham payment goes through normal settlement procedures, intermediaries and costs, emCash payments are settled directly between the user and merchant. emCash thus gives real-time value movement and merchants can pass the cost benefit to the emCash holder. It also reduces fraud, as well as inflation, since the currency is issued in real time, based on actual demand.
There has been no mention on when emCash will be released. We’ll keep you in the loop!
“Goldman’s effort involves both its currency-trading division and the bank’s strategic investment group, the people said. That suggests the firm believes bitcoin’s future is more as a payment method rather than a store of value, like gold” – Wall Street Journal
Earlier this year, Goldman’s chief technician, Sheba Jafari, predicted that Bitcoin would climb to about $4,800 (just like it did). I would be willing to bet that they have an entire team that has been studying Bitcoin for a long time.
Past Acceptance of Bitcoin
Goldman Sachs has already invested in startup Bitcoin companies. They specifically have invested in a company called Axoni. Axoni focuses on bringing Bitcoin technology into the professional financial sector. Investments like this prove that Goldman believes in Bitcoin for the long term.
The acceptance of Bitcoin by financial institutions is what could take Bitcoin to the next level. The cash flow into cryptocurrency would explode when financial institutions start trading it for their clients. As long as the US Government does not try and put strict regulations on the technology, this event is a major step forward for cryptocurrencies.
This plan would focus on teaching younger students about cryptocurrencies at school, so they can be better prepared for the future. Recently, news.Bitcoin.com reported on five top educational establishments incorporating cryptocurrency into their traditional banking and finance courses. Moscow State University, Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg State University of Economics are among them.
In the strategy to increase the financial literacy of Russians, it is necessary to include the topic of cryptocurrency. The question of investing in instruments such as cryptocurrencies will, of course, be discussed, and we now see more risks than recommendations on investing in such instruments. So, explaining the possible consequences of investing in unregulated instruments will be one of the issues with which we will speak for the current year and until 2023.
As of now, cryptocurrencies are not legally regulated yet in Russia. Although the National Settlement Depository (NSD) of the Moscow Stock Exchange is working on building the infrastructure to allow for bitcoin and other digital currency trading on the exchange someday, Russia’s central bankers still think it’s a bad idea.
“Crypto-currencies are issued by an unlimited circle of anonymous entities. Due to the anonymous nature of the issuance of crypto-currency, citizens and legal entities can be involved in illegal activities, including legalization (laundering) of proceeds from crime and financing of terrorism,”
“Given the high risks of circulation and use of crypto-currency, the Bank of Russia considers it premature to admit crypto-currencies, as well as any financial instruments nominated or associated with crypto-currencies, to circulation and use at organized trades and in clearing and settlement infrastructure on the territory of the Russian Federation for servicing transactions with crypto-currencies and derivative financial instruments on them.
I think this could go either way. Russia is divided on what they should do about cryptocurrencies. On the one hand, the Bank of Russia is against them, and on the other hand, the ministry of finance wants to add cryptocurrencies into school curriculum. Do you think it’s a good idea to do this? Let us know in the comment box below!