In Soviet Russia, crypto bans you

MinComSvyaz, the Russian Ministry of Telecommunications, prepared a guide for ICOs. In it they lay out rules for investing which state that investors should be accredited by MinComSvyaz for at least 5 years and that the ICO should be registered in Russia with a minimal capital of 1.7 million USD. They should also be licensed for development, production and distribution of cryptocurrency, and should be collecting the funds into a Russian bank account exclusively in rubles.

The document does not mention pre-ICO sales or locking investor funds for certain periods of time. Investors are fearful that such measures might drive ICOs and startups away from Russia. The Russian cryptocurrency and blockchain organization said that the document uses wrong terminology which can result in conflicts, and that the new regulations do not match the current ones.

Crypto hungry Japan – 14% of youth already in crypto!

The Japanese center for rule making strategies of the Tama University published guidelines on regulating and legalizing ICOs in Japan. In it are rules for KYC and AML as well as asset and debt protection guidelines.

In the paper, ICOs are declared as bonds. They say that with the appropriate laws and rules, the technology ICOs are based on could be a new way of financing projects.

As far as adoption is concerned, new research has shown that 14% of young males between 25 and 30 years of age own some cryptocurrency. The poll was voted on by 4734 men of which over 25% said that investing in crypto is their first investment ever, while a little over 10% say they invested over 10 million yen (around $10k).

25% of them said they bought in at the peak – end of last year – while 15% did this after the major dip which followed the rapid rise in December last year. This is probably why a third of them say they won't be investing again.

Thailand wants a piece of the cake

Thailand seems to be adamant in adding an additional 7% tax on crypto on top of the 15% for capital gains. They say this is in place to prevent money laundering and tax evasion.

The suggestion is still under consideration and not final. Investors will likely be immune to this if they use exchanges to just convert from one to another cryptocurrency, but will still have to pay the full amount on capital gains when cashing out, said the Bangkok post.

Kazakhstan and India banning cryptocurrency

Kazakhstan's national bank decided to “protect” its citizens by banning cryptocurrency, despite a high level of corruption, rigged elections and blatant disregard of basic human rights prevalent in the country. The bank's Governor, Akishey, said that they're planning to ban crypto exchanges working with fiat, and that mining cryptocurrency will be banned there too.

It looks like the central bank of the openly corrupt country of Kazakhstan feels threatened by this new technology and will attempt to fight it with bans and regulations.

A similar situation is unfolding in India where the Reserve Bank of India announced that it will no longer deal with cryptocurrency in any shape or form, whether it's an individual or a company doing business with them. Like in Kazakhstan, India claims it's for “protection” of the public from fraud and money laundering.

Sweden: cash-less going fiat-less?

It looks like Sweden might be ready to take its cashless society to the next level. The Twitter account IOTANews briefly published a rumor that Sweden might become the first country to implement eKrona, their version of the dKuna, on top of the IOTA cryptocurrency. According to that tweet, Riskbank – the Swedish National Bank – expressed some opinions on which problematic areas of current finance a national cryptocurrency might be able to solve.

While we at Bitfalls remain highly skeptical of such claims given how broken and unusable IOTA is, Sweden has always been rather independent from the EU despite being its member and might not pay much heed to bans from the ECB since it doesn't use the Euro. Remember – last year Estonia was forbidden from issuing its own national cryptocurrency by the ECB.

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