Adviser to President of Russia Proposes Digital Currency in Crimea

An adviser to the President of Russia has proposed to adopt a digital currency in Crimea to attract investors and avoid sanctions, local news agency TASS reports April 19. Sergey Glazyev, advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin on regional economic integration, urged the government to adopt “digital money technologies” to reduce “cross-border barriers,” the official said at the Yalta International Economic Forum (YIEF). According to Glazyev, adoption of digital currencies will “sharply reduce cross-border barriers” and will attract foreign investors who “are afraid of sanctions,” which are “generally carried out…

Bank for International Settlements Exec Advises Against Central Bank Digital Currencies

Bitcoin (BTC) critic and general manager at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Agustin Carstens advised against the issuance of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in a speech in Dublin on March 22. Bloomberg reported on the speech the same day. Per the report, Carstens explained that a CBDC could facilitate a bank run, enabling people to move their funds from commercial banks to central bank accounts faster, thus destabilizing the system. Another issue that Carstens said arises with CBDC use, according to Bloomberg, is the different impact of interest…

Russian State Duma Defers Consideration of Bill on Digital Financial Assets

The State Duma of the Russian Federation has deferred consideration of the bill “On Digital Financial Assets” to April 2019,  local media outlet TASS reported on March 20. The second reading of the draft federal law “On Digital Financial Assets” has reportedly been rescheduled for April, following a decision made at the morning voting on the agenda of the plenary session. The initiative was taken by the Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Market, Anatoly Aksakov, although he did not explain his motives. The bill “On Digital Financial…

Why Some Banks Issue Their Own Digital Tokens, While Others Don’t

This week, a number of banks shed light on their respective crypto-related projects, following the recent expansion of JPMorgan Chase into the field. IBM was the big mover. A joint announcement by IBM and Stellar (XMR) said that as many as six global banks might issue their own stablecoins on IBM’s blockchain-powered payments network, dubbed “Blockchain World Wire” (BWW). The question now is whether this marks a turning point for cryptocurrency’s use, or if it merely continues the experiments that have marked the early stages of digital money. While quite…

Digital Asset Holdings Gets Permanent CEO 3 Months After Blythe Masters Leaves

United States distributed ledger technology (DLT) provider Digital Asset Holdings has appointed a new permanent CEO after Blythe Masters quit the post last year, the company confirmed in a press release on March 19. Digital Asset, which Masters began running in 2015, specializes in building DLT-based solutions for various financial entities. Founded in 2014, the company remained with a temporary CEO — chairman of the firm’s board, AG Gangadhar — for three months after Masters confirmed her departure in December. Now, the slot will be filled by Yuval Rooz, Digital…

SEC’s Senior Advisor for Digital Assets Valerie Szczepanik: Stablecoins May Be Securities

Senior advisor for digital assets at the United States Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) Valerie Szczepanik reportedly noted that stablecoins could experience issues under current securities laws. Blockchain-related news website Decrypt reported her comments on March 16. Szczepanik, also known as the Crypto Czar, was appointed to the new position of associate director of the Division of Corporation Finance and senior advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation for Division Director Bill Hinman in June of 2018. When Szczepanik reportedly made the statement concerning securities at Austin’s SXSW conference on March…

SEC’s Finhub to Host Public Forum on Blockchain, Digital Assets in May

United States regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that it is hosting a public forum on distributed ledger technology (DLT) and digital assets this May. The news was revealed in an SEC press release today, March 15. The commission’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (Finhub) has organized the event — dubbed the Fintech Forum — which will take place on May 31, 2019. The press release reports that the forum will include industry experts as panelists and is “designed to foster greater communication and understanding…

Nasdaq-Powered EU Digital Exchange DX Launches Security Token Trading

Estonia-based Nasdaq–powered digital trading platform DX.Exchange is claiming an industry first with its launch of security token trading and security token offering (STO) listings. The development was shared with Cointelegraph in a press release on March 14. As previously reported, DX.Exchange went live in January, with support for various fiat and cryptocurrency trading pairs and tokenized stocks. In March, the platform added tokenized exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to its supported products. According to the press release, the platform now allows investors to purchase security tokens using both fiat and major cryptocurrencies…

Digital Currency Wallet Abra Adds Direct Support for ETH Instead of as Asset Derivative

Digital currency wallet and exchange Abra has launched native Ethereum (ETH) support, according to an official blog post published on March 12. Users will now be able to receive, hold, sell and buy ETH directly from the Abra wallet, as well as use the altcoin as an on-ramp to invest in other Abra-listed crypto and fiat currencies — over 30 crypto assets and 50 fiat currencies. These include Abra’s recently-listed BIT10 Index token, which tracks the ten largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. As the Abra blog post outlines, up until…

Deutsche Borse, Swisscom and Sygnum Partner to Create Compliant Digital Asset Ecosystem

Global market infrastructure provider Deutsche Borse Group, Swiss state-owned telecoms and ICT firm Swisscom, and Swiss and Singapore-based fintech company Sygnum have entered into a strategic partnership to build out a compliant financial market infrastructure for digital assets. The development was announced in a joint press release published on March 11. The new initiative will reportedly focus on creating a distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based ecosystem to support the nascent tokenized economy, which, the partners contend, “has the potential to reshape global financial markets.” The forthcoming ecosystem will reportedly span compliant…