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Fintech A.M.: 24-11-17

The perpetual regulatory debate around cryptocurrencies, European vs Bermudan examples

This week, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi asserted that cryptocurrencies are still too low-impact to be regulated, and that the technology would not be a threat to the Central Bank’s control over Euro. According to him, these currencies do not present any threat at the moment to the Central Banks. The views of the ECB’s head on the matter is quite moderate, as he does not oppose innovation in the field.

Some other parties are not to stay inactive regarding the issue, and Bermuda’s government launched yesterday a regulatory initiative to attract cryptocurrencies, utility tokens and tokenised securities. The Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) will develop strategies to make the island a cryptocurrency sanctuary.

So far known off-shore financial centres such as Gibraltar, the Cayman Islands and the Isle of Man have adopted a welcoming demeanor towards cryptocurrencies and ICOs. In Europe, Switzerland has the lead, even if its position remains prudent as we saw warnings issued recently by its financial authorities. The same goes for Singapore in Asia, a continent where cryptocurrencies are frowned upon or banned in several countries, including China, South Korea and Vietnam.

Progress in payments: instantaneous is the new trend

The DLT technology is being heard as well in the payments field, and blockchain-based instant payments solutions are globally hatching since the launch of a new instant payment system last week by American Express, Santander UK and Ripple. Last exemple, Standard Chartered and Axis Bank launched a blockchain-enabled B2B payments bridge linking Singapore to India.

Still in payments, the European Payments Council announced the launch of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), which is poised to facilitate instant payment solutions across 8 countries. Spanish CaixaBank and Italian UniCredit are amongst the first to make use of this new transfer framework.

By Jean Leguy, Research Coordinator at Holland Fintech]]>

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