EU votes against bitcoin ban for now
On March 14, European hodlers had to take another deep breath. Because contrary to expectations, the prohibition of services based on the proof-of-work mechanism did not disappear from the MiCA draft. Only a narrow majority of 32 to 24 committee members was able to prevent a de facto ban on Bitcoin across Europe. The draft of the European crypto regulations is now put to a vote in parliament without the paragraph in question. The vote was preceded by several weeks of discussion about the ecological impact of Bitcoin and Co. In the meantime, the matter has not been fully resolved, because it is at least conceivable that the Greens, the Left and the Social Democrats decide to block the parliamentary vote. Then the fight for possible changes in the draft would start again, but as a result, the introduction of MiCA would be postponed. With unpleasant consequences for the European crypto industry.
US Senator Fears Bitcoin Loopholes for Russia
This week, too, the Ukraine war did not let the world go. As Western sanctions began to take effect, the debate over cryptocurrencies as a vehicle for sanctions evasion intensified in the US. At a US Senate hearing on March 17, Democratic Senator Elisabeth Warren introduced a bill intended to plug any loopholes. The law would not only allow the US government to prevent transactions from domestic Bitcoin exchanges with Russian wallets. Measures against foreign services that help Russia in the crypto space to circumvent sanctions would also be possible. Finally, the law also establishes a reporting obligation for transactions with offshore companies for an amount greater than 10,000 US dollars. Not least for this, it does not have much approval in crypto circles. Experts also assume that Russia’s crypto opportunities are not particularly pronounced in the current situation anyway. More crypto news about the Ukraine war can also be found on the BTC-ECHO live ticker.
Criticism of SEC chief Gensler
In addition to the sanctions debate, the official handling of Bitcoin and Co. in the US was also an issue last week. Because seven congressmen from both parties turned themselves in an open letter to Gary Gensler, director of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. In it, he urges you to reconsider the kinds of information requests the SEC makes about crypto service providers. The letter also contains a number of questions about the SEC’s information policy. Gensler has until April 29 to respond. Republican Tom Emmer, one of the letter’s signatories, explained in another tweet that he had received “numerous tips from crypto and blockchain companies” that the SEC’s inquiries to crypto firms were “overwhelming.” Ripple was able to achieve partial success in the legal dispute with the SEC last week.
Kazakhstan Continues Fight Against Illegal Bitcoin Mining
Kazakh authorities also cracked down on unlicensed Bitcoin mining last week. Since then, they have seized more than $200 million worth of mining equipment. According to the national financial market supervisory authority, 55 companies had voluntarily ceased their activities. In the wake of the Chinese mining ban, Kazakhstan has become a mecca for the mining industry. Since then, the country has been struggling with power shortages. The government is trying to link mining to a legally compatible framework. Illegal activities, on the other hand, are combated.
Edward Snowden Warns Against CBDCs
Whistleblower Edward Snowden has once again spoken out against central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). In an interview with Marta Belcher, president of the Filecoin Foundation, Snowden underscored his rejection of Bitcoin and Co’s centralized, state-owned counterpart. “The danger is very easy to recognize,” said Snowden, who is primarily concerned about the potential danger to financial independence stressed the citizens. Finally, CBDCs are digital, which makes them much easier to monitor and seize than cash. For Snowden, we must not lose sight of the fact that CBDCs are giving governments the ability to “get our money out of our wallets at the push of a button.”
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