Iran Releases New Cryptocurrency Regulations
The Central Bank of Iran recently released a draft of crypto laws, dismantling its earlier crypto ban. The regulations were announced during the Electronic Banking and Payment Systems conference in Tehran. The regulations map out guidelines for trader and crypto businesses. The draft recognizes Bitcoin and Ethereum; however, Iranians are not yet able to spend them in retail outlets or online. That is currently in development. Moreover, the Iranian state intends on creating its own crypto that will run on a private blockchain. The digital asset will be used to facilitate payments between Iranian banks and other financial institutions. Eventually, it may be adopted by Iranian locals for buying goods and services.
Fidelity to Launch its Crypto Custody Service in March
Fidelity revealed last fall that it was in talks to build a crypto trading and storage platform. Recent news confirms that the storage component of Fidelity Digital Asset Services LLC (FDAS) is already live. Some assets are already under management. Fidelity Investments is aiming for a March launch for the product. According to a Bloomberg article, they are expected to begin Bitcoin storage first and then shortly after, Ether will follow. There are rumors that Fidelity aims to offer services for the top five cryptos by market cap, but that is yet to be confirmed. It remains unclear whether other parts of FDAS will launch as well. Stay tuned!
Intense Bear Market Forcing Crypto Exchanges to Shut Down
The recent shutdown of crypto exchange Liqui has led to the crypto community to speculate about the start of the end of crypto exchanges. Ran Neuner of CNBC predicts that more exchanges will shut down in 2019. He noted that during the bull run, most people rushed to launch exchanges without factoring in the costs of maintaining their infrastructures. For this reason, most exchanges may be forced to shut down. Already, miners admit that mining is becoming increasingly uneconomical, especially in the face of growing taxes and high electricity bills. The same is happening to small crypto exchanges. The chances are that large exchanges such Binance and Coinbase will take up the customer base of smaller exchanges once they close.
UK’s FCA Warns on SMS Crypto Limited’s Legitimacy in the Industry
SMS Crypto Ltd has been making false claims of receiving official authorization from the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) to operate in the region. However, the regulator has issued a warning stating that that is not true. It has not given any authorization for the company to provide any financial services to traders or crypto investors in the UK. The FCA suspects that the company is out to scam unsuspecting British consumers. The probability that this is a scam is quite high since a legitimate company would not need to lie about receiving authorization to provide services. Moreover, a legitimate concern would not trick its customers to get them to join its platform.
U.S. Congress Passes Bill that Allows Study into How Crypto can be Used to Facilitate Sex and Drug Trafficking
The U.S. Congress has passed a bill that allows the study of how crypto can be used to facilitate sex and drug trafficking. The law, known as the Fight Illicit Networks and Detect Act of 2019 (H.R. 502) was passed on January 28. This bill requires an investigation be made into how online marketplaces and cryptos are directly or indirectly involved in the above-mentioned vices. Furthermore, the study will also recommend legislative and regulatory actions to impede such activities. While it may be that cryptos are used to facilitate these vices, the true scope of the problem remains unknown.