Are you ready for more questions about cryptocurrency than answers? It’s time to update your nomenclature, friends. Cryptocurrency is a hot topic these days, but some people have questions that others don’t. It’s due to the fact that there are so many new terms being thrown around. It’s not surprising, considering that this was a completely new concept when Satoshi launched Bitcoin back in 2009.
Regulation is one of those questions that crop up when talking about cryptocurrencies. There is a lot of confusion about what the term even means, and whether countries will regulate or restrict the use of cryptocurrencies. It’s time for an answer. Here’s what the current status of bitcoin regulation is.
The world of cryptocurrency has been shrouded in mystery and secrecy for many years. It’s only recently that governments have begun to take notice of this new phenomenon. Many governments have even gone as far as to create regulations specifically for cryptocurrency. In some cases, like Japan, these regulations have been extremely positive for the industry. In other cases, like the U.S., they’ve been restrictive and stifle innovation. The world of cryptocurrency is still trying to find its footing, and the regulations being implemented at the moment are only going to help it along in the right direction.
While there is no shortage of discussion around Bitcoin regulation, it is fair to say that there is no definitive consensus on how best to proceed. The first regulatory bodies to respond to the emergence of the cryptocurrency have been the governments of the various countries in which it has emerged. While some have taken a relatively hands-off approach, others have sought to ban or restrict access to the currency to prevent criminal activity or tax evasion. It is against this backdrop of regulatory uncertainty that we look at the current status of Bitcoin regulation.
What’s The Current Status Of Bitcoin Regulation?
The price of a single bitcoin skyrocketed to more than $1,200 this past weekend before falling to around $800 on Monday. While the digital currency has experienced volatility in recent weeks, it’s largely because of regulatory scrutiny. Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that operates independent of any government or central bank. The digital currency has gained traction in recent years and is now accepted by more than 100,000 merchants worldwide. Many people have been wondering what the future holds for regulation of bitcoin. Will it continue to be regulated as it is now? Let’s take a look at the current status of bitcoin regulation.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a type of digital currency that isn’t issued or controlled by any government. It’s exchanged digitally between users and could be stored in a “ wallet ” on a smartphone or computer. The currency can be transferred electronically without any need for a financial institution, such as a bank, to verify the transaction. The decentralized nature of bitcoin means no single authority effectively controls it. This has both positive and negative aspects; it means no single person or government can seize control of it, but it also means it can’t be regulated by any central authority. Bitcoin and other digital currencies operate outside of traditional banking and financial institutions. They’re created and exchanged solely online, without the involvement of third parties like banks or governments.
Bitcoin Regulation in Japan
On Jan. 30, Japan recognized bitcoin as a legal payment method, marking the first time a country has done so. The decision came after the country’s financial watchdog, the Financial Services Agency, announced that it had concluded that bitcoin isn’t a security because it doesn’t give rise to investment returns. This means that starting Jan. 30, bitcoin can be used as a method of payment in Japan. However, the recognition of bitcoin as a legal payment method in Japan doesn’t mean that the country’s financial institutions are obligated to provide bitcoin exchange services. Also, bitcoin isn’t yet a part of Japan’s countrywide legal tender, so laws aren’t applied to bitcoin transactions.
Bitcoin Regulation in America
On Feb. 26, news broke that the Department of Homeland Security had seized money from a seizure-dismissed bitcoin investment fund called Shaolin Capital. The fund was founded by Erik Voorhees, who’s known for his work on the cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift. Shortly after the news broke, the price of bitcoin dropped $300, or 11%, to $13,000. This was likely due to a few factors: the drop in the price of bitcoin and the fact that the news broke just as people were thinking about buying bitcoin on Black Friday. Shaolin Capital had been operating as an unlicensed investment fund. The DHS seized more than $900,000 in assets from the fund as a result. However, the DHS has since said that it wouldn’t confiscate any money that Shaolin Capital had managed to return to its investors.
Bitcoin Regulation in Europe
On Feb. 5, the European Court of Justice ruled that bitcoin isn’t an investment contract, meaning that investors are no longer protected by the European Union’s financial regulations. This is a blow to bitcoin regulation in Europe, as it means the currency isn’t subject to the same regulations as other financial assets. However, a few European countries are trying to regulate bitcoin. In November, Cyprus’ parliament passed a law that officially recognized bitcoin as a payment method. In the U.K., parliament is considering a bill that would regulate bitcoin exchanges and trading.
Bitcoin Regulation in China
Bitcoin has long been banned in China, but in November 2017, Chinese officials announced that they would allow some exchanges to operate in the country. The exact details of the deal remain unclear, but Reuters reported in December that three bitcoin exchanges had been given licenses to operate in the country. The nationwide legal status of bitcoin in China isn’t clear yet; the People’s Bank of China hasn’t issued a formal position on bitcoin as of now. However, as long as bitcoin is officially recognized as a foreign currency, Chinese citizens can exchange yuan for bitcoin. This means that bitcoin is “ legal tender in China ” in the same way that U.S. dollars are legal tender.
Bitcoin regulation will be a topic of discussion in the next year. It’s unclear what kind of regulations will be in place, but it’s likely that governments will try to impose controls on it. Bitcoin is a decentralized currency that doesn’t exist in any one country or region; therefore, it’s hard to regulate. As bitcoin regulation continues, we’ll see if the price of bitcoin will stabilize or continue to see volatility.