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Inaugural Southeast Asia Blockchain Convention (SEABC) Concludes Successfully

The Southeast Asia Blockchain Convention (SEABC) recently wrapped up its inaugural event on March 10, 2024, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. This convention, the first of its kind in the Southeast Asia region, drew over 5,000 attendees, including investors, enthusiasts, media outlets, and industry leaders. The event featured more than 80 speakers from prominent organizations such as Polygon Labs, Animoca Brands, Solana Foundation, and Sandbox, who shared insights on blockchain technology's transformative potential across various sectors. Mai Ngo, representing Gate Web3, praised SEABC as a platform for meaningful dialogue and discovery, shows the importance of partnership and community in shaping the blockchain landscape. Sponsored primarily by Gate Web3 and Cointelegraph, SEABC 2024 received support from numerous projects and communities, including Three Kingdoms Projects, Sakai Vault, and Multi Universe Central. The event also garnered extensive media coverage from over 50 regional and...

Netherlands Fines Crypto.com $3 Million for Operating Without Registration

The Netherlands’ central bank, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), has levied a hefty $3 million fine against Crypto.com for operating without registration for over two years. Crypto.com, also known as Foris DAX MT, provided crypto services from May 2020 to November 2022 without adhering to Dutch Anti-Money Laundering laws, allowing them to evade supervisory fees and compliance costs. However, this failure to register prevented them from reporting unusual transactions, a crucial aspect in combating money laundering and terrorist financing. Despite Crypto.com's subsequent registration in July 2023, the incident highlights the challenges and consequences of disregarding regulatory requirements. Additionally, the comparison with Binance's similar fines and subsequent exit from the Dutch market emphasizes the competitive landscape and regulatory scrutiny facing crypto service providers. Kraken's recent expansion into the Dutch market, backed by regulatory approval, further intensifies...

NYSE Advances Proposal for 7RCC’s Eco Bitcoin ETF

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has taken a big step towards introducing an eco-friendly Bitcoin investment fund in the United States. They've submitted an important application to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that allows for listing and trading of shares of the proposed 7RCC spot Bitcoin and Carbon Credit Futures ETF on the NYSE. 7RCC, the company behind the ETF, wants to offer investors a way to invest in Bitcoin while also helping the environment. Their fund will invest most of its money in Bitcoin and some in carbon credits, which are good for the environment. This is a big deal because it's part of a growing trend of investing in things that are good for the planet. The CEO of 7RCC is hopeful about Bitcoin's future value and thinks it could go up a lot by the end of the year. They've also partnered with Gemini, a trusted company, to keep the investors' money safe. If approved, this eco-friendly Bitcoin investment fund could attract a lot of investors who care...

Google’s Election-Related Query Restrictions: A Move to Mitigate Misinformation

Google has announced measures to restrict election-related queries on its Gemini chatbot, initially implemented in the U.S. and India ahead of their respective polls. This decision reflects Google's commitment to avoiding potential missteps in deploying AI technology, following controversies surrounding its AI image generation tool last month. The move aims to address concerns about misinformation and fake news, particularly in light of advancements in generative AI, which governments are considering regulating to curb potential misuse. Countries like India have mandated government approval for the public release of AI tools, emphasizing the need for accountability and accuracy. Similarly, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee has expressed concerns about election fraud in the context of deepfakes and misinformation. In Europe, regulatory bodies like the European Commission have issued guidelines to combat AI-driven misinformation, prompting tech giants like Meta to devise...

EU Set to Pass Comprehensive AI Legislation: Balancing Innovation and Regulation

The European Union (EU) is poised to enact the most comprehensive legislation on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to date, with the AI Act aimed at harmonizing innovation and protecting fundamental human rights. This landmark legislation, scheduled for approval today, represents a significant step forward in global AI governance. Crafted since 2021, the Act gains significance amid the rise of powerful AI models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, backed by industry giants such as Microsoft. European officials emphasize the Act's role in positioning Europe as a global leader in trustworthy AI, with a risk-based approach focusing on stringent requirements for high-risk AI systems while fostering compliance and innovation. While hailed as a milestone, the AI Act faces scrutiny over potential loopholes and industry influence, particularly from tech giants like Google and Microsoft. Despite assurances from EU executive Breton, concerns linger over potential weakening through corporate lobbying,...

South Korea to Launch Virtual Asset Tax System: Curbing Cryptocurrency Tax Evasion

The National Tax Service of South Korea is gearing up to introduce a virtual asset tax system to effectively monitor cryptocurrency transactions and prevent tax evasion. With the assistance of consulting firm GTIC, the agency aims to develop a platform capable of analyzing data received from cryptocurrency holders to ensure compliance with tax regulations. This move comes amidst the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies as investment assets, prompting authorities to bolster efforts in regulating and taxing virtual assets. The implementation of the virtual asset tax system is expected to enhance the National Tax Service's ability to detect and prevent cryptocurrency tax evasion. By leveraging automated analysis of transaction data, the agency established fair tax practices and combat illegal activities such as money laundering and irregular inheritance gifting. The initiative aligns with broader efforts in South Korea to strengthen regulation on virtual asset service providers...

USPTO and US Copyright Office Report Highlights NFT Advantages and Challenges

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the U.S. Copyright Office jointly released a report acknowledging both the benefits and obstacles present in the non-fungible token (NFT) space. After analyzing public comments and key details, the Offices concluded that existing statutory enforcement mechanisms are adequate to address prevalent infringement concerns in the NFT arena. They cautioned against making any amendments to intellectual property (IP) laws at the present time, stating it is not advisable. The report was commissioned following a request from former Senator Patrick Leahy and Ranking Member Thom Tillis. Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for IP and Director of the USPTO, highlighted the unique opportunities NFTs offer creators to leverage their IP rights while addressing the new challenges in keeping their work secure. Vidal assured continued efforts to identify and address these issues in collaboration with industry and government collaborators. Similarly,...

SEC Declares First Trust SkyBridge Bitcoin ETF Application “Abandoned”

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that the spot Bitcoin ETF application submitted by First Trust Advisors and SkyBridge Capital has been deemed "abandoned." The decision was based on the failure of the applicants to respond to prior communications from the regulatory body. The joint registration statement, filed under the Securities Act of 1933, had been pending for nine months without becoming effective, prompting the SEC to issue a notification indicating potential abandonment if no action was taken. Despite warnings, no response was received from First Trust SkyBridge, leading to the abandonment of the ETF application. Had the First Trust SkyBridge Bitcoin ETF been launched, it could have significantly impacted fund flows, potentially resulting in a 15% increase. However, the abandonment of the application reflects ongoing challenges faced by applicants seeking approval for Bitcoin ETFs in the US market. This development contrasts with the recent success of...

Coinbase Challenges SEC’s Regulatory Ambiguity

Coinbase, a leading U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, has taken legal action against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), filing its opening brief in a lawsuit over the lack of clear regulatory guidelines for the crypto industry. The exchange argues that the SEC's refusal to consider its rulemaking petition violates administrative norms, leaving the industry in a state of uncertainty due to undefined definitions and regulations. This legal battle highlights the pressing need for transparent and collaborative rulemaking to address the complexities of the rapidly evolving crypto landscape. The outcome of this legal battle could significantly impact the regulatory landscape for digital assets in the U.S., shaping the future direction of crypto regulations and enforcement practices. As the debate over crypto regulation continues, finding a balance between fostering innovation and maintaining regulatory oversight remains a critical challenge for policymakers and industry stakeholders.

Bank of Israel Unveils Vision for Digital Shekel

The Bank of Israel has announced plans to introduce a central bank digital currency (CBDC), dubbed the digital shekel, with innovative features such as the potential for interest accrual. Set to revolutionize payment systems, the digital shekel will operate on a two-tier model, offering instant transactions, support for multiple payments, and offline functionality, while also incorporating limitations on balances. The introduction of the digital shekel is a significant step towards modernizing Israel's financial infrastructure, offering both efficiency and privacy. By prioritizing user privacy and introducing interest-bearing capabilities, the Bank of Israel aims to strike a balance between transparency and user-centric design. However, the cautious approach to implementation underscores the complexities involved in launching a CBDC, highlighting the need for careful planning and consideration of various factors before full-scale adoption.

UK Regulator Approves Crypto ETNs for Professional Investors

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom has announced its approval of crypto-based exchange-traded notes (ETNs) for professional investors. These ETNs, defined as bonds tracking the performance of underlying assets, will be available exclusively for professional investors due to concerns about their suitability and potential risks for retail investors. The FCA's decision to allow crypto ETNs for professional investors reflects the growing interest in digital assets within institutional circles. However, the regulator maintains its stance against offering such products to retail consumers, citing concerns about their high risk and lack of regulation. This move underscores the ongoing efforts to balance innovation and investor protection in the evolving crypto landscape, highlighting the importance of comprehensive regulatory frameworks to safeguard market participants.

Bitcoin Developers Form Layer 1 Foundation to Standardize BRC-20 Protocol

A coalition of Bitcoin developers has established the Layer 1 Foundation to formalize the BRC-20 fungible token standard, responding to the surge in popularity of Bitcoin Ordinals and meme coins on the blockchain. Led by pseudonymous BRC-20 creator Domo, the foundation aims to ensure transparency and trust in the protocol's governance, emphasizing simplicity in technical architecture and a safety-first approach to protocol changes. With key industry players like Unisat and Ordinals aggregator Best in Slot onboard, the foundation seeks to prevent potential conflicts and hard forks by fostering mutual discussions and open-source protocol-level changes. By uniting major players under a common set of operating principles, the foundation aims to mitigate risks associated with protocol updates and ensure the interests of users remain paramount. While disputes over protocol changes are inevitable, the foundation's commitment to transparency and community involvement sets a positive...

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