Last week, several significant international developments in regulation occurred, signaling the ongoing interest and challenges faced by governments worldwide in tackling cryptocurrency adoption. In Argentina, the central bank has banned payment providers from offering cryptocurrency transactions, citing its intention to reduce the country’s payment system exposure to digital assets. This decision has been met with opposition from the fintech chamber, which argues that this move limits access to a technology that offers numerous benefits and opportunities for society.
Over in France, the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs approved an amendment allowing registered cryptocurrency companies to hire social media influencers for advertising and promotional purposes. The new wording states that companies registered with France’s Financial Markets Authority can hire product influencers, embracing the promotional aspect of the industry.
Nigeria is also making strides in industry regulations for digital asset platforms. The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering allowing licensed exchanges to list tokens backed by assets such as equity, debt, and property. The SEC aims to register various fintech firms as digital sub-brokers, crowdfunding intermediaries, fund managers, and tokenized coin issuers. However, crypto exchanges will not be registered until the central bank provides clear regulations for the market.
In the United States, the government recently released a national standards strategy for key and emerging technologies, including blockchain. This strategy highlights the growing influence of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and digital infrastructure in the economic sector, emphasizing the importance of addressing these areas in future policy decisions. Areas of focus for testing these technologies include automated and connected infrastructure such as smart communities and the Internet of Things.
On the other hand, the North Carolina House of Representatives has unanimously passed legislation prohibiting payments to the state using a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The latest version of this legislation aims to prevent individuals from using CBDCs for any payments to the state, effectively barring the Federal Reserve from using North Carolina as a potential testing ground for its own CBDC pilot. The bill will now move to the Senate, where it must pass before being signed into law or vetoed by Governor Roy Cooper.
Lastly, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte has signed a bill into law that prevents local governments in the state from passing laws prohibiting cryptocurrency mining. This legislation essentially enshrines crypto miners’ rights in the state by revising existing laws, prohibiting discriminatory electrical rates for mining firms, and disallowing taxation for crypto used as a payment method. This bill was introduced partly as a preventive measure in response to certain proposals in other states.
Considering the diverse regulatory stances taken by governments worldwide, the future of the cryptocurrency industry remains unpredictable. However, these recent developments demonstrate the growing awareness and necessity for nations to address the challenges and opportunities presented by blockchain and crypto technologies.