EU to Tighten Cash & Gold Controls, Surge in Bitcoin Demand Will Follow

EU to Tighten Cash & Gold Controls, Surge in Bitcoin Demand Will Follow

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On Dec. 21, the European Commission tightened controls on the inflow of cash and precious metals from outside of the EU. Describing its decision as a move to crackdown on terrorist financing, the Commission granted permission to border patrols to seize cash or gold brought in by suspects. Customs officials in EU states, as well as border controls, can seize and restrict the inflow of cash and precious metals without particular guidelines as to whom is suspected of terrorist financing or funding of militant attacks. Such ambiguity in the new proposals could potentially lead to the false confiscation of funds carried in by civilians coming into the EU. Individuals holding over $10,400 in cash must declare at EU state customs before entering a member state. If they fail to do so, individuals could be scrutinized by the newly proposed regulations. The EU executive Commission also stated in a note obtained by Reuters that authorities will be able to seize money below $10,400 upon their independent investigations and considerations. Potential regulations on other money transmission methods To date, cash and precious metals are the only two stores of value that the European Commission plans on regulating. The inflow of cash and …

Medical Marijuana App Solves Industry’s Cash-Only Payments Problem

Medical Marijuana App Solves Industry’s Cash-Only Payments Problem

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It is no secret that the medical marijuana industry in the United States faces an uphill struggle, indeed our readers will remember that we covered the issue in detail recently and discussed how dependence on cash is putting both medical marijuana businesses as well as consumers at a great deal of risk. It is interesting to note that there have been developments in this field and there is now a payments solution at hand for regulated medical marijuana businesses as well as customers. CanPay has recently announced a solution for the legal marijuana industry that has become available to users as well as businesses in the states of Washington, Oregon and Colorado. If this solution does indeed get adopted en-masse, it promises to solve the industry’s cash-only problem. Why no banking love for marijuana The problem in the United States arises from the dichotomy in laws. While in many states the use of medical marijuana is now allowed, federal law still acts as a spanner in the wheel. The banking industry is thus wary of being on the wrong side of federal law and the industry is largely unorganized. Consumers who want to access medical marijuana in states where it …

Canadian Government Moving Faster Towards Mainstream Bitcoin Adoption

Canadian Government Moving Faster Towards Mainstream Bitcoin Adoption

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Recent events in Canada suggest its government could be well positioned to become an early mainstream adopter of Bitcoin. Thursday, Nov. 17 recorded the biggest attendance ever at the Toronto Bitcoin meet-up. Earlier on the same day was a meeting between Jason Cassidy, president at Crypto Consultant, who is quickly becoming a Bitcoin ambassador in Canada and the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). The meeting was a move to work with the commission towards cryptocurrency legislation in Canada. He says: “Bitcoin and Blockchain awareness appears to be reaching a tipping point in Canada.” Everyone seems to be involved Cassidy explains that the increased interest in the world’s first truly decentralized digital currency seems not to be limited to enthusiasts and tech pioneers. The Government of Ontario is now taking an active role in helping to shape future legislation for Bitcoin and digital currencies, a trend that he says will become commonplace over the next few years as mainstream acceptance becomes a reality. Cassidy describes this development as groundbreaking steps in the right direction, as it opens the door for collaboration with various levels of government. “We are now at a point where, to grow the ecosystem further, we must work diligently …

US to Weaken Regulations for Digital Currencies, Blockchain by 2017

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The US government has called for the formation of a “responsible innovation” fintech department to spur the growth of emerging technologies including cryptocurrencies, the Blockchain technology and other financial technologies that could enhance existing financial systems. US regulatory body the Office of the Controller of the Currency (OCC), which previously expressed their optimism towards digital currencies and the Blockchain technology, is planning to launch three offices in Washington, New York and San Francisco led by a chief innovation officer. The 30th Comptroller of the Currency of the United States, Thomas J. Curry, stated: “The OCC supports responsible innovation that enhances the safety and soundness of the federal banking system, treats customers fairly and promotes financial inclusion […] we are ensuring that institutions with federal charters have a regulatory framework that is receptive to responsible innovation.” Effect on Blockchain startups While it is still difficult to speculate the impact of the OCC’s plans on Bitcoin and alternative cryptocurrencies, it will hugely affect the operations of Blockchain and distributed ledger startups that are collaborating with banks and major financial institutions. The OCC states that the formation of a responsible innovation department will allow the organization to “identify, understand and respond to financial …