TechREG Weekly: Countries Are Attracting Crypto Firms
Regulators lure crypto companies with crypto-friendly regulations, or at least they try to. The UK government has announced new plans to bring stablecoins into a regulatory framework, paving the way for use in the UK as a recognized form of payment. In the United States, a member of the Senate Banking Committee also outlined plans to create a new regulatory framework for stablecoins. Dubai is also adopting bespoke regulations to attract a crypto business to the country.
Global crypto hubs everywhere
According to a UK Treasury statement from the British government, stablecoins will be accepted as a form of payment, and the country is moving ahead with plans to establish an international hub for crypto-asset technology and investment. Stablecoins as a form of payment will be brought into the payments regulatory perimeter by the UK government, which will set the conditions for stablecoin issuers and service providers to operate and invest in the region.
Read more: Stablecoins adopted as a valid form of payment in the UK
In the United States, Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), a senior member of the Senate Banking Committee, introduced a measure to create a new regulatory framework for stablecoins. According to reports, the measure would define a “payment stablecoin”, allow the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to develop a new stablecoin issuer license, and allow insured custodian banks to issue payment stablecoins.
However, this does not mean that crypto companies will have a free pass. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering a number of actions that could result in a more aggressive approach to cryptocurrency regulation, particularly in terms of the oversight and operation of centralized and decentralized exchanges. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has spoken about the need for greater investor protection on crypto asset platforms. He said the commission intends to regulate centralized and decentralized exchanges that deal in cryptocurrency trading and lending by requiring them to register with the agency.
Read also: SEC Chairman Emphasizes Investor Protection in Crypto Regulation
New regulations to protect investors and consumers
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) unveiled a three-year strategic plan on Thursday (April 7th) that will see the regulator prevent companies that don’t meet its criteria from entering UK markets and “improve results for the customers”. The strategic plan focuses on three key areas: reducing and preventing serious harm, for example by combating fraud and scams; create and test higher standards, for example by increasing anti-money laundering (AML) requirements and encouraging competition.
To see: UK financial regulator’s strategic plan includes crypto, AML and big tech
In the United States, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has ended its request for comment on the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) investigation it launched in December. Individuals, consumer groups and trade associations are among the stakeholders who submitted public comments. However, in a letter signed by 21 attorneys general, the CFPB was urged to investigate the BNPL market and, among other things, use its regulatory authority to improve fee transparency, disclosure, credit reports, dispute resolution methods and the use of consumer data. .
Read more: 21 attorneys general have urged the CFPB to regulate BNPL
Big Tech still under surveillance
Google may have to rethink its App Store payment strategy to appease South Korean regulators. On Thursday, the Korea Communications Commission issued legal guidelines stating that Google’s policies on how apps on their platforms sell subscriptions, game items and other online content would violate South Korean law. on app payment by forcing apps to use a single payment method and making it difficult to offer alternatives.
See also: Google’s latest app store payment policy raises concern in Korea
In the United States, Amazon may have raised concerns with another regulator that is not the antitrust regulator. The SEC is reviewing how Amazon disclosed certain details of its business practices, including how it uses third-party seller data for private label businesses. In April 2020, a Wall Street Journal investigation found that Amazon employees routinely used individual data from third-party sellers to develop products for their own brands.
Read here: SEC investigates Amazon over use of third-party seller data
Canada on Tuesday (April 5) announced its bill that would force platforms like Facebook and Google to negotiate with news publishers and pay them for the use of their content. By passing this new legislation, Canada would join other countries, including Australia, France and Spain, in forcing big tech to negotiate with news publishers and pay for their content.
Learn more: Canada will soon force Google and Facebook to pay for news
Data Sharing Act to Build Better AI
On Wednesday, the European Parliament (EP) passed the European Data Governance Act (DGA). This law aims to improve the sharing of data between public institutions and companies and to facilitate the reuse of data stored by the administration. Public sector organizations will be able to share or restrict access for the reuse of specific types of data under this bill, but they will have to make public the criteria for such reuse to avoid exclusivity or bias towards one single company.
Read more: EU Governance Data Act to boost AI and data sharing