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the filter: the five most important stories in crypto [1 july – 8 july 2020]

The FATF travel rule rears its ugly head again, but perhaps with better results on the horizon for cryptocurrency than ever before. Germany has just taken over the presidency of the global financial taskforce, a country that has shown significant forward-thinking in allowing its banks to custody and trade cryptocurrencies. So crypto has a friend in Germany at the highest level. Near neighbour Switzerland, too is opening up blockchain regulation to loosen restrictions and bring down barriers for crypto firms. Further east, China begins its first real-world trial of its historic digital yuan, while forgotten continent Africa is heating up with interest for cryptocurrencies.

switzerland opens blockchain regulation to encourage sector boom [1 july 2020]

The Swiss National Council has unanimously passed amendments to 12 financial laws to ease regulations on the blockchain industry while keeping favourable tax requirements in play. The moves, put forward by Switzerland’s Federal Council in June, lower legal barriers to encourage more blockchain and distributed ledger technology businesses to open in the central European financial hub.  Read more here.

germany takes over FATF as travel rule debate re-ignites [4 july 2020]

Germany has been handed the presidency of the Financial Action Task Force, a global leadership body whose financial diktats are followed in more than 200 countries. The FATF will meet in October to discuss ways to create a stronger global regulatory framework for cryptocurrency. In a report to G20 finance ministers and central bank governors, the international financial watchdog said more cross-border co-operation was needed to make the much-discussed Travel Rule more effective. Read more here.

nigeria, uganda lead explosion in africa cryptocurrency interest [7 july 2020]

Africa has been the forgotten continent for cryptocurrency with most central banks barring or ignoring the technology. That’s changing now, as populations in some of the world’s most populated countries, including Nigeria and Uganda lead a surge in interest in cryptocurrencies, according to a new research paper by Luno. Read more here.

china’s CBDC gets first major real world test with rideshare giant didi[8 july 2020]

China wants to be first to the punch with its central bank digital currency and will test its digital yuan with the country’s Uber-alike ridesharing giant Didi Chuxing. It’s the first major real-world trial for the digital currency, with a company that has 550 million users worldwide and a market valuation of $53bn. Read more here.

two years on, arca finally registers ETH-based US bond fund with SEC[6 july 2020]

It took nine submissions over the course of two years but institutional investment giant Arca has finally registered its ETH-based US Treasury fund with the SEC. The fund is invested in short-term US government bonds. Nothing particularly new there. What is different here is that investors hold their shares in ‘ArCoins’, an ERC-1404 token that can trade on the Ethereum blockchain. Arca promises that this is the first in a coming portfolio of SEC-compliant products aimed at US institutional investors with a blockchain backing. Read more here.