Welcome to our weekly roundup of all important blockchain and cryptocurrency news from around the world. Follow the latest developments in the cryptocurrency space continent by continent, country by country.
The European Union is going to rule on a new legislation called General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that allows citizens from across the EU to request for their personal data to be removed from public databases. Blockchain businesses and startups are wary of this new bill as it mentions “public data” on a broad spectrum and public blockchains could fall under its jurisdiction. So, unless it becomes clear, blockchain businesses are on guard regarding these developments. It has the potential to shake up the crypto outlook for the entire EU.
Government – The UK government has constituted a special task force according to UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond to “look into cryptocurrencies”. The new task force will include Bank of England representatives, treasury officials and the dreaded Financial Conduct Authority, the financial watchdog of the country. So far, the details of its mandate are unknown as the press release was vague. England has previously been lenient towards the use of cryptocurrencies and there is no telltale sign of any bans being implemented in the near future.
Sports – Ex-England football star Michael Owen has announced that he would be launching his own cryptocurrency called “Owen Coin”. The coin will allow fans to buy goods and donate to charities.
Dutch Finance minister Wopke Hoekstra has called for “a concerted effort to regulate cryptocurrencies within the EU”. The tone of the minister is reconciliatory but it is yet to be known what these proposed “concerted efforts” will be.
As part of President Emmanuel Macron’s initiative to bring more blockchain projects to France, the French government is working on framework initiatives to enable funding through cryptocurrencies. This is a really pro-crypto move by the incumbent government while at the same time bringing ICOs into the framework of conventional fintech laws.
Spanish Economy Minister Román Escolano Olivares has said that the EU won’t wait for Global agreement on cryptocurrencies before regulating it. But, at the same time, he offered a conciliatory tone by saying that he doesn’t believe that cryptocurrencies are a threat to the current financial system and only illicit activities and consumer protection in the crypto world need attention. He was of the opinion:
“The general agreement we have reached, is that right now we cannot think that crypto-assets are a risk to global financial stability, but it’s a subject we need to actively monitor.”
Sweden can potentially become the leading country in the cryptocurrency revolution as it has already adapted to a cashless world with digital payments being preferred all around the country, according to Business Insider. Cashless application is at the heart of the cryptocurrency movement and Sweden could be a nice experiment for the future of cryptocurrencies. The government has already deliberated on a national cryptocurrency called E-Krona.
Sweden has seen crypto jacking cases increase by over 100 times. Most cases involve criminals switching to hijacking victims’ computing power and using it to mine cryptocurrencies. While this may not be as serious as hacking into cryptocurrency exchanges, it could lead to personal computers slowing down.
The Russian government reportedly helped Venezuela in launching its new cryptocurrency Petro according to latest findings with some even calling it a joint venture.
But, there is also an internal tussle going on between Bank of Russia and its finance ministry over regulation of cryptocurrencies. A final decision has not been reached yet.