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EL SALVADOR’S DEVELOPMENT BANK DENIED PUBLIC ACCESS TO INFORMATION RELATED TO BITCOIN TRUST|1300 HKT | 0600 UKT | 2 November 2022

BANDESAL, a state development bank of El Salvador, has reportedly refused to disclose information regarding the Bitcoin acquisition in the country to ALAC El Salvador, which is a non-governmental anti-corruption bureau. A $150 million Bitcoin Trust (FIDEBITCOIN) was created by the bank to guarantee the convertibility to dollars. BANDESAL said the trustee or the board of directors of the trust could not share any information related to the trust due to the protection of national interests.

MONEYGRAM NOW ALLOWS USERS TO TRADE AND STORE CRYPTO ON ITS APP|1300 HKT | 0600 UKT | 2 November 2022

Global digital peer-to-peer (P2P) payments company MoneyGram has reportedly allowed the users in nearly all U.S. states and the District of Columbia to buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC) on its mobile app. The company said the new service was launched through its existing partnership with Coinme, a licensed crypto exchange and API-driven crypto-as-a-service provider.

SFC ISSUES GUIDELINES ON VIRTUAL ASSET FUTURES ETFS|1300 HKT | 0600 UKT | 1 November 2022|1300 HKT | 0600 UKT | 1 November 2022

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has published a circular setting out the requirements for the authorization of the public offering of the exchange traded funds (ETFs) that obtain exposure to virtual assets (VAs) primarily through futures contracts (VA Futures ETFs) in Hong Kong on 31 October. The regulator said in addition to the existing regulatory requirements applicable to VA Futures ETFs, the application should meet the additional requirements set out in the circular. The management company shall have a good track record of regulatory compliance and demonstrate at least three years’ proven track record in managing ETFs. SFC said only VA futures traded on conventional regulated futures exchanges are allowed, subject to certain exceptions and it initially only allowed Bitcoin futures and Ether futures traded on Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

INDIA’S CENTRAL BANK LAUNCHES DIGITAL RUPEE PILOT FOR THE WHOLESALE SEGMENT |1300 HKT | 0600 UKT | 1 November 2022

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, has reportedly launched the pilot for the digital rupee for the wholesale segment on 1 November. The pilot will include nine banks, including the State Bank of India, the biggest bank in the country. The use case will be to settle secondary market transactions in government securities at lower transaction costs. The digital rupee is expected to increase efficiency in the interbank market. The central bank also plans to launch digital rupee for the retail segment within a month in select locations.

SINGAPORE’S CENTRAL BANK REMINDS THE CRYPTO EXCHANGES IN THE COUNTRY TO COMPLY WITH THE SANCTION AGAINST RUSSIA |1300 HKT | 0600 UKT | 1 November 2022

The Monetary Exchange of Singapore (MAS) has reminded all authorized cryptocurrency exchanges in the country to conform to financial sanctions against Russia, following the research finding showing that pro-Russia groups raised funds through crypto donations and more countries’ financial authorities have imposed sanctions on Russia. The statement makes Singapore align with the international response to Russia. The latest European Union sanctions prohibited cross-border crypto payments between Russians and the EU, which included a total ban on all crypto-asset wallet, account, or custody services, irrespective of the amount of the wallet.

KAZAKHSTAN’S CENTRAL BANK TO INTEGRATE CBDC ON BNB CHAIN |1300 HKT | 0600 UKT | 28 OCTOBER 2022

Changpeng Zhao, the founder and CEO of Binance said on Twitter that the National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK) would integrate its central bank digital currency (CBDC) into its distributed blockchain network BNB Chain. The country is reportedly being the world’s top three destinations for Bitcoin mining. Zhao said he looked forward to further development of use cases by the bank to “bridge the gap between traditional banking and the crypto ecosystem.” The crypto exchange has been granted a permanent license from the Kazakh Financial Services Authority early this month.

BITCOIN WOULD CONTINUE TO BE TREATED AS DIGITAL ASSET FOR TAX PURPOSES IN AUSTRALIA |1300 HKT | 0600 UKT | 28 OCTOBER 2022

Australian Federal Budget 2022 has been released on 25 October. It states that Bitcoin would continue to be classified as digital asset rather than foreign currency for tax purposes, which would remove uncertainty following the Government of El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as a legal tender. Therefore, Bitcoin investors are subject to capital gains tax treatment when they profit from selling the asset. However, the central bank digital currency (CBDC) would be treated as foreign currency.

DUBAI’S VARA GRANTED PROVISIONAL VIRTUAL ASSET APPROVAL TO Q9 CAPITAL |1300 HKT | 0600 UKT | 28 OCTOBER 2022

Hong Kong-based crypto investment platform Q9 Capital has reportedly obtained provisional virtual asset approval from Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA). The provisional approval allows Q9 Capital to set up offices in Dubai and offer digital asset exchange services to pre-qualified investors and financial companies. After obtaining a full operating license, it could provide services to qualified investors and financial service providers. James Quinn, a managing partner of the crypto platform, said the company will comply with the regulatory framework in Dubai and continue building partnerships to expand the firm’s presence in the region.

BLOCKCHAIN.COM LAUNCHES A CRYPTO DEBIT CARD WITH VISA |1300 HKT | 0600 UKT | 28 OCTOBER 2022

Luxembourg-based crypto exchange Blockchain.com has reportedly partnered with Visa to launch a crypto debit card that enables users to use their crypto as a form of payment in shop that accepts Visa debit cards. The card is only issued to US residents at this stage. The news comes after Visa’s recent partnership with crypto exchange FTX to roll out a debit card to 40 countries worldwide. The crypto exchange announced on 26 October that there would be no sign-up or annual fee. The users could also earn a 1% rebate for all payments using crypto. Blockchain.com CEO Peter Smith revealed in an interview that the card already had 50,000 signed on a waiting list.

SPAIN PASSES EL SALVADOR TO BECOME WORLD’S THIRD-LARGEST NETWORK OF CRYPTO ATM |1300 HKT | 0600 UKT | 25 OCTOBER 2022

Spain has reportedly had more crypto ATMs than El Salvador currently, making it the third-largest crypto ATM hub that accounts for 0.6% of the world’s total crypto ATMs. The figure is also the highest in Europe, which represents 14.65% of the crypto ATM installed in the continent. However, global crypto ATM installations have recorded negative growth since September 2022, with an average of around seven crypto ATMs being installed daily.

YELLOW CARD BECOMES THE FIRST CRYPTO EXCHANGE FOR OBTAINING VASP LICENSE IN AFRICA |1300 HKT | 0600 UKT | 25 OCTOBER 2022

The Non-Bank Financial Institution Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) of Botswana, has reportedly granted a virtual asset service provider (VASP) license to the African crypto exchange Yellow Card on 29 September, making it the first crypto exchange to obtain a VASP license in Africa. The exchange is authorized to enable its customer to buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether and the Tether with the country’s fiat currency. Chris Maurice, the CEO and co-founder of Yellow Card, believes that the license could provide a greater opportunity for the company to expand its client base across Africa.

UK PARLIAMENT TO CONSIDER AN AMENDMENT TO FINANCIAL SERVICES BILL FOR REGULATING CRYPTO ACTIVITIES |1300 HKT | 0600 UKT | 25 OCTOBER 2022

The amendment to the Financial Services and Markets Bill which was proposed to expand the law’s power to regulate the financial promotion and other activities of crypto assets has had its second reading in the House of Commons on 7 September. It is believed that the new bill could clarify the powers relating to financial promotion and regulated activities that can be relied on to regulate crypto assets and their related activities. Most crypto-related businesses currently fall outside of the UK’s regulatory perimeter, though they are required to apply for a license starting next year.

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