Europe

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here, we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news, continent by continent and country by country.

United Kingdom

74% of British Startups Wary of GDPR Concerns: Almost three-quarters of British blockchain companies are worried because of GDPR regulations according to a recent survey by Digital Catapult Innovation Agency.

According to the study, the regulatory concerns pose a greater threat than even technical, business and legal issues. The GDRP was a comprehensive data legislation passed by the European Union earlier this year. Some of the measures are contradictory for blockchain companies because of the immutability of blockchain technology.

Malta

Government Halts Operation of Unlicensed Cryptocurrency Exchange: The Maltese government’s financial arm Malta Financial Service Authority (MFSA) has issued a cease and desist order against a cryptocurrency exchange operating in the country without a proper license.

According to the regulator’s official website, OriginalCrypto was an exchange operating illegally in the country and was therefore given the show cause notice.

Switzerland

Swiss Post and Telecom Company Announce Partnership to Develop Blockchain Infrastructure: National Postal Service of Switzerland has announced a partnership with Telecom company Swisscom for the launch of a 100% blockchain-based infrastructure that can be used by both companies. The new system is being developed on top of the Hyperledger Fabric 2.0 software.

This is the first-of-its-kind partnership in Switzerland between partnering government entities for a private blockchain project. Switzerland remains one of the most progressive countries when it comes to cryptocurrency adoption.

Swiss FINMA License Boost for Exchanges: Swiss Financial Supervisory Authority (FINMA) is working on a new framework that will essentially allow cryptocurrency exchanges to behave like banks in the country and allow them to hold up to CHF 100 million in deposits. The new option will be available under a banking license next year.

A proposed amendment in the Banking Act will pave the way for this move and will force other countries to do the same, especially the ones where cryptocurrency exchanges and banks are constantly at loggerheads with each other.

Estonia

Government to Amend AML Law to Include Cryptocurrencies: The government of Estonia has amended financial bills to include cryptocurrency related clauses according to local newspaper Airpaev.

The latest version of the AML and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act will see new changes within a week of passing. The move is in accordance with EU’s policies despite Estonia not being a regular member.

Russia

Gazprom Bank to Launch Crypto Service: Russian national bank Gazprombank, has announced that it is working on suggestions to provide cryptocurrency asset related services to millions of its clients.

While the Russian government is still overviewing cryptocurrency regulation in the country, the bank’s progressive mindset may point to bigger and better things in the future.

In other news, the Intellectual Property Court has successfully integrated a blockchain-based solution for storing copyright data according to news Agency TASS.

The immutable characteristic of blockchain has long been considered a perfect match for storing IP rights and this project is the first in Eastern Europe.

Belarus

Cryptocurrency Regulatory Legislation Completed in Belarus: A new document shows that the Eastern European country has finished with devising rules for the cryptocurrency market. The document was published by Belarus High-Technologies Park (HTP) and shows the regulatory future in the country.

The document is being hailed as the second stage of cryptocurrency regulation in the country as it contains details of regulations for coin-related activities, a sequel to the first policy which was signed last year, containing general operational guidelines for the industry.

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