UK Pension and Welfare Agency Examining Blockchain and DLT

The United Kingdom pension and welfare agency has identified blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) as technologies that could disrupt the payments industry. In an Aug. 9 blog post, Richard Laycock, the deputy director of digital payments and banking systems at the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) — an agency that manages the U.K.’s welfare and pension policies — said that the DWP is looking to transform its payments infrastructure. In a bid to make its payment system “efficient, modern, fast, scalable, flexible, innovative and available 24/7,” the DWP…

Estate agency fined £80,000 for failing to keep tenants’ data safe

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined a London estate agency £80,000 for leaving 18,610 customers’ personal data exposed for almost two years. The security breach happened when Life at Parliament View Ltd (LPVL) transferred personal data from its server to a partner organisation and failed to switch off an ‘Anonymous Authentication’ function. This failure meant access restrictions were not implemented and allowed anyone going online to have full access to all the data stored between March 2015 and February 2017. The exposed details included personal data such as bank…

Singapore’s Tax Agency Bids to End Value-Added Tax on Cryptocurrencies

Singapore’s tax agency is thinking of removing goods and services tax (GST), also known as value-added tax (VAT), from cryptocurrency transactions that function or are meant to function as a medium of exchange. Last Friday, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) published a document detailing what the Authority refers to as “Digital Payment Tokens.” The IRAS proposed to exempt entities that deal with such digital assets from GST liabilities. Under the current existing rules, cryptocurrency users are charged twice when they pay for goods or services using the various…

Japanese Gov’t Agency Reports 170% Increase in Consumer Inquiries About Crypto in 2018

Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency has reported that 2018 saw a 170% uptick in the number of consumer queries about cryptocurrencies as compared with the previous year. The news was reported by Cointelegraph Japan on June 18. The Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) is an administrative agency of Japan’s Cabinet Office — the office responsible for the day-to-day affairs of the government’s executive branch (the Diet). The CAA submits its report on the consumer sector and matters of consumer protection to the Diet each year: last year’s is accessible in English, while…

Japanese Financial Services Agency Approaches Crypto ETFs With Caution, Cites Volatility

The Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) showed a cautious approach towards cryptocurrency-based exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in comments at the finance committee of the upper house of the National Diet on May 30. Cointelegraph Japan reported on the comments earlier today. Per the report, local politician Takeshi Fujimaki noted during the meeting that he expects a crypto-based ETF to be approved in the United States, citing both positive and negative statements released by United States Securities and Exchange Commission commissioner Hester Peirce. He then noted that such a product would be…

French Regulatory Agency Sees 14,000% Surge in Crypto-Related Scam Enquiries Since 2016

The French stock markets regulator AMF has seen over a 14,000% surge in enquiries related to fraudulent crypto offers in 2018 as opposed to 2016, the agency wrote in a new annual report released May 7. In the report, the Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF) specified that the number of enquiries associated with crypto-related scams online has surged to over 2,600 in 2018 from only 18 similar enquiries back in 2016. With that, the amount of fraudulent online offers in other industries such as foreign exchange (forex) and binary options…

Australian Tax Agency Goes After Cryptocurrency Traders in Exchange Data Push

Australia’s tax agency, the Australian Tax Office (ATO), will seek to contact cryptocurrency traders personally about tax issues as part of a new data collection scheme, officials confirmed in a statement on April 30. The ATO, which is working in conjunction with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), says it will demand information on operations from local cryptocurrency exchanges. That data will then be used to contact traders involved, who will get a minimum of 28 days to explain their…

China’s State Macroeconomic Planning Agency Mulls Ban on Crypto Mining

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), a state planning agency charged with spearheading macroeconomic policies, has revealed it is considering the elimination of crypto mining in the country. The news was reported by Reuters on April 9. The NDRC has reportedly now included crypto mining as part of its draft for a revised list of industrial activities the agency intends to curtail. The list — which reportedly runs at over 450 points long — identifies activities the state deems to be in violation of relevant laws and regulations, pose…

US CFTC Chair Says Agency Has Resisted Calls to Suppress Development of Crypto Sector

United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo has emphasized the agency’s commitment is to monitor, but not impede, the development of the crypto asset sector. Giancarlo made his remarks during a speech devoted to EU-U.S. regulatory cooperation for derivatives markets, delivered at the Eurofi Financial Forum in Bucharest, Romania on April 4. The chairman expressed his agency’s support of international efforts to review the effectiveness of the G20’s derivatives reform agenda and to ensure they enhance, rather than stifle, derivatives markets. He noted that the CFTC…

French Cybersecurity Agency Grants Security Certificate to Ledger Nano S Hardware Wallet

The Ledger Nano S from French crypto hardware wallet firm Ledger has received a First Level Security Certificate (CPSN) from France’s national cybersecurity agency, ANSSI. The development was shared with Cointelegraph on March 18. The National Cybersecurity Agency of France (ANSSI) reports to the Secretariat-General for National Defence and Security (SGDSN) in order to assist the French Prime Minister in matters of defence and national security. According to their list of certified products, 122 out of 261 products that ANSSI has started evaluating since June 1, 2018, have been certified.…