Facebook Releases Cryptocurrency White Paper for Libra Currency
On 18 June, Facebook released the white paper for cryptocurrency and blockchain-based financial infrastructure project today. Facebook’s global stablecoin, named “libra,” will operate on the Libra blockchain, and will be backed by a reserve of assets (consisting of bank deposits and short-term government securities ) in order to “give it intrinsic value” and mitigate volatility fluctuations. Libra will be governed by a not-for-profit, Switzerland-based consortium called the “Libra Association”, founding members of which are Mastercard, PayPal, Visa, Stripe, eBay, Coinbase, Andreessen Horowitz and Uber. Facebook also plans to release the Libra Investment Token, which is distinct from its global user-oriented cryptocurrency libra. The Libra Investment Token can be purchased or distributed as dividends to the association’s founding members and accredited investors. Reports have indicated that the coin will facilitate payments across Facebook’s various platforms including WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram, giving the new coin potential exposure to a combined 2.7 billion users each month.
Source: “Facebook Releases Cryptocurrency White Paper for Libra Currency”, available at https://cointelegraph.com/news/facebook-releases-cryptocurrency-white-paper-for-libra-currency/
Final report of IOSCO cyber taskforce
On 18 June 2019, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published the final report (FR09/2019) of its cyber taskforce.
The report seeks to promote sound cyber practices across all IOSCO members. It provides an overview of the following three internationally-recognised cyber standards and frameworks used by IOSCO members:
- Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and IOSCO guidance on cyber resilience for financial market infrastructures (FMIs);
- National Institute of Standards and Technology framework for improving critical infrastructure cybersecurity; and
- International Organization for Standardization 27000 series standards.
The report stated that while IOSCO members have made good progress in establishing appropriate cyber regimes, there is still work to be done in key areas. The report identifies potential gaps in the application of the core standards.
Among other things, the taskforce found that many IOSCO members consider cyber to be at least one of the most important risks faced by firms in their jurisdictions. Also, over a third of members who responded to the taskforce’s cyber survey plan to issue, within the next year, new regulations, guidance or supervisory practices on cybersecurity for all or part of the financial services sector. The report is designed to be used as a resource for regulators and firms to raise awareness of existing international cyber standards and frameworks, and to encourage adoption of good practices to protect against cyber risk. It sets out a series of questions that regulators and firms may use to promote awareness of cyber good practices, or to guide them as they review their own cyber practices.
By highlighting the application of the core standards by some IOSCO members, the cyber taskforce hopes more members will review their own cyber standards against the core standards and, where relevant, use the core standards as a model to further improve their cyber regimes. The cyber taskforce plans to consider using sector-wide organisational surveys as part of the next phase of its work to gain a better understanding of where the gaps lie.
Source: IOSCO Cyber Task Force – Final Report, avalable at https://www.iosco.org/library/pubdocs/pdf/IOSCOPD633.pdf
Russia to Adopt Crypto Legislation Within Two Weeks
Russia’s parliament is expected to adopt a crypto bill “On Digital Financial Assets” (DFA) in the next two weeks.
Russia’s deputy finance minister, Alexei Moiseev, revealed that the State Duma is currently considering the DFA, Moiseev added that the authority has approved separate legislation for initial coin offerings, which will be a part of Russia’s law on crowdfunding. Russia will thus have two bills related to cryptocurrencies, the DFA and the law on crowdfunding, Moiseev stated.
Source: “Russia to Adopt Crypto Legislation Within Two Weeks: Deputy Finance Minister”, available at https://cointelegraph.com/news/russia-to-adopt-crypto-legislation-within-two-weeks-deputy-finance-minister/
Legislators Endorse Virtual Asset Summit Convened in Response to Coming FATF Crypto Rules
Global legislators have voiced their support for a forthcoming summit in Osaka, Japan, which will be devoted to virtual asset service providers’ (VASPs) response to a new set of recommendations set forward by FATF. According to the report, the V20 summit will take place alongside the G20 Leaders Summit in Osaka on June 28 and 29, and will convene G20 representatives, national blockchain associations, VASPs and legislators from numerous jurisdictions. Those in attendance will use the summit to explore the evolution of possible technical solutions and prospective impact of the FATF’s forthcoming proposal on how participant nations should exercise oversight for the digital assets sector.
Source: “Legislators Endorse Virtual Asset Summit Convened in Response to Coming FATF Crypto Rules”, available at https://cointelegraph.com/news/legislators-endorse-virtual-asset-summit-convened-in-response-to-coming-fatf-crypto-rules/
Target Unmasks Its Blockchain Framework Aimed at Supply Chain
Target has been working on a blockchain-powered solution for supply chain management, called ConsenSource and has pledged to support the Hyperledger Grid Project. Joel Crabb, Target’s vice president of architecture, stated that he is “proud that Target will support the Hyperledger Grid project, and that we’re committing dedicated engineering resources to build out components in the Grid architecture”. The ConsenSource project was primarily focused on the certification of suppliers for the company’s own paper manufacturing. Target has been “working directly with the forest managers and certification boards” studying the technology and trying to figure out what data can be shared on a distributed ledger, Crabb wrote.
Source: “Target Unmasks Its Blockchain Framework Aimed at Supply Chain”, available at https://www.forbes.com/sites/darrynpollock/2019/06/10/retail-giant-target-unmasks-its-blockchain-framework-aimed-at-supply-chain/#23c269352f2e/
Aon, METACO link up to launch crypto insurance for banks
METACO, a Swiss financial technology company, has announced that a panel of London insurers arranged by Aon will offer a crime insurance product to clients using SILO, METACO’s wallet-management solution for financial institutions. SILO can help companies protect their digital assets from losses resulting from damage, destruction or theft. “This new arrangement with Aon implies a simplification of the underwriting process for both insurers and METACO’s clients, as the insurer’s technical requirements are largely met out of the box,” METACO said.
“It is unique for a technology company such as ourselves – instead of the end client – to work with Aon to bring this to the market,” said Adrien Treccani, CEO and founder of METACO. “Insurance is an essential requirement for banking clients, and METACO is excited to be able to facilitate insurance for our clients through the leading broker for crypto insurance solutions.”
Source: “Aon, METACO link up to launch crypto insurance for banks”, available at https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/uk/news/breaking-news/aon-metaco-link-up-to-launch-crypto-insurance-for-banks-169717.aspx/
Visa Enters the $125 Trillion Global Money Transfer Market With New Blockchain Product
Visa is now looking to enter the $125 trillion cross-border, business-to-business (B2B) transactions, where banks transfer money on behalf of corporate customers. Visa intends to use distributed ledger technology to make these payments faster, cheaper and more transparent. Visa has recently launched its B2B Connect product, says Kevin Phalen, Visa’s global head of business solutions. This distributed ledger software facilitates direct bank connections, allowing financial institutions to see payment fees upfront and for transactions to settle quicker, in one to two days. In each of these projects, Visa is leveraging its expertise in areas like complex payments, cybersecurity and compliance.
Source: “Visa Enters The $125 Trillion Global Money Transfer Market With New Blockchain Product” available at https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffkauflin/2019/06/11/visa-targets-swift-with-new-blockchain-product-for-global-money-transfers/#1a37694d3daa/
A New Bitcoin Point of Sale on the Colombian and Venezuelan Border Will Help Refugees
A new cryptocurrency exchange service is available on the border between Colombia and Venezuela, and its aim is to help refugees traveling across the Simon Bolivar International Bridge. Visitors are now able to use the point-of-sale service with cryptocurrencies to buy goods. The POS is located in Santander, Colombia, just across the border from Venezuela. The service lets users exchange using bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH) and dai (DAI), and converts them into to Colombian Pesos (COP). Panda Group created the payment alternative with refugees in mind. The group, a Columbian-Venezuela joint venture, announced the implementation of the new service through their Twitter account.
Source: “A New Bitcoin Point of Sale on the Colombian and Venezuelan Border Will Help Refugees” available at https://www.coindesk.com/a-new-bitcoin-point-of-sale-on-the-colombian-and-venezuelan-border-will-help-refugees/
Claire practises financial services law with a focus on regulatory issues, cryptocurrencies and tokens, trading and brokerage documentation and advising both existing and start-up funds and fund managers.
If you would like to discuss any of the points we raise, please contact me or one of our other lawyers.
Phone: 0207 585 1406