European Policymakers Won’t Rush to Further Regulate Cryptos: Report

  • In a meeting in Vienna, Europeans leaders agreed they won't rush to further regulate the crypto market.
  • Instead, reports suggest they'll wait for a thorough report on it.

European Finance ministers have recently gathered in Vienna, in a meeting in which they addressed the growing cryptocurrency ecosystem. In it, they decided they aren’t rushing to further regulate the market.

Instead, Fortune reports, they’ll wait for a thorough analysis made by European authorities. Irish Finance Minister Paschal was quoted as saying the European Union (EU) will “be acting carefully in this area,” as the policymakers side with the Financial Stability Board, which earlier this year noted cryptos aren’t currently a threat to the financial system.

While the Finance Ministers policymakers aren’t in a rush to regulate the market, they have moved to increase its transparency. So far comprehensive regulations haven’t been drafted because the euro doesn’t represent the majority of bitcoin’s trading volume, but regulators reportedly worry about fraud in the market, and about cryptos being used for money laundering or terrorism financing.

The meeting in Vienna, per Fortune, was meant to make sure regulators in the EU are on the same page when it comes to whether crypto regulations are needed. Olaf Scholz, Germany’s Finance Minister, noted it ensured policymakers are “put in a position in which they’re able to act.” Per his words, “it’s obvious that we shouldn’t wait too long with that.”

As CryptoGlobe recently covered Bruegel, a Brussels-based think tank, called for EU-level regulations on cryptocurrencies, noting it should be scrutinized how exchanges operate and how cryptoassets are distributed in initial coin offerings (ICOs). Per the think tank “limiting the exposure of financial institutions” to cryptocurrencies would be “sensible.”

Regulators throughout the world, as Fortune noted, have been taking steps to reign over the crypto ecosystem. China cracked down on the industry, banning domestic crypto exchanges and ICOs last year. Its crackdown recently saw Baidu start censoring crypto discussions in its forums.

Japan, on the other hand, adopted an exchange-licensing regime and accepted bitcoin as a legal payment method in April of last year. The result was seemingly positive for the industry as CryptoCompare data shows the Japanese yen represents over 10% of bitcoin’s total trading volume.

EU regulators have, as covered, been considering tightening cryptocurrency regulations over transparency concerns. The crypto market has, since late last year, lost over 75% of its total value. Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, came down from a near $20,000 all-time high to about $6,200 at press time.

Canadian Town Agrees to Accept Bitcoin in Property Tax Payments

Neil Dennis

Bitcoin continues its path to mainstream acceptance this week after trading platform operator Coinberry revealed it is talking to a municipal council about providing cryptocurrency payment services.

Coinberry said in a press realease published on July 15, it had begun negotiations with the City of Richmond Hill council to provide a "robust cryptocurrency payment processing solution". 

This followed an agreement earlier this month with the city council to provide an option for Richmond Hill residents and businesses to make property tax payments in bitcoin.

The city will not hold any deposits made in bitcoin itself, however. Here's how it will work:

  • Residents and businesses will see a new payments option on the council website, allowing them to pay in bitcion - other cryptoasset options may be made available in the future
  • Payments will be made through access to the city's digital wallet with Coinberry Pay
  • Coinberry will process the funds, which will be instantly converted to Canadian dollars and transferred to Richmond Hill's bank account

Demand Will Grow

Richmond Hill deputy mayor Joe Di Paola said the council believed that demand for digital currency payment options is going to grow in the coming years.

Coinberry has previously partnered with the Ontario town of Innisfil on a similar property tax payments scheme, announcing in March this year that the town would be the first municipality in Canada to be offered its bitcoin payments option.

Di Paola acknowledged the Innisfil project, and said:

Our Council was aware of Coinberry's successful implementation of a digital currency payment service with the Town of Innisfil, and since there was no cost and no risk to the City of Richmond Hill to do the same, it made the decision that much easier for us.

Feasibility Study

No doubt other towns will be on the watch to see if such measures can produce positive results, and Richmond Hill council staff will be reporting back on the feasibility of implementing Coinberry's technology for payments of other municipal fees towards the end of September.

Andrei Poliakov, chief executive and co-founder of Coinberry, said the company was "very happy" to entering into partnership with its second Canadian municipality. He added:

Leaders of government and enterprise organizations are realizing that, with the right partners, they can innovate with blockchain and digital currencies. We’re pleased to be working on additional innovative solutions with leading enterprise and municipal partners, and have a number of very exciting initiatives we will be announcing over the next several months