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Daily Byte: Wednesday, December 12, 2018




Spain proposing crypto guidelines, FinTech may be a threat to global markets, and UAE and Saudi Arabia team up with crypto.

Spanish Ruling Party to Introduce Crypto Regulations

Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia is reporting that Partido Popular, the ruling party in the Spanish Parliament, will be introducing a draft bill on cryptocurrency and blockchain regulations. Per party secretary Teodoro García Egea, the regulation will bring investor certainty to the nation as well as allow "anyone who wants to introduce a cryptocurrency" the freedom to do so.

Among the measures proposed by Egea include the establishment of tax incentives to promote blockchain growth, the creation of a national council for cryptocurrencies, and sponsored training in blockchain technology. He argues that digital money will bring a greater level of security over fiat, including the "great difficulty to hack the digital balance of any user" and the ability to track its use.

Spain finds itself playing catch-up with blockchain as nearby Gibraltar, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, and France have all either expressed plans to establish regulatory frameworks for crypto, are currently developing such plans, or have completed frameworks and are actively cultivating blockchain businesses. Spain is one of the seven countries – led by Malta and France – that declared on December 4 their intention to encourage and promote the usage of blockchain technology.

UAE, Saudi Arabia to Create Cross-Border Cryptocurrency

Gulf News is reporting that the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia will develop a cross-border cryptocurrency. The coin will serve as an interbank device for the simplified transfer of currency cross-borders and, accordingly, will not be available for consumer use.

"This is probably the first time ever that witnesses the cooperation of monetary authorities from different countries on this topic and we hope that this achievement will foster similar collaboration in our region," said UAE central bank governor Mubarak Rashed Al Mansouri.

Currently, the two countries are studying the implications and development of the new coin. No details about the coin's launch or specifications are available. The coin represents a departure for the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), as it has previously shown hesitation in embracing cryptocurrency. Sharia frowns on non-physical commerce and the use of speculative economics. However, friendly scholarly interpretations have helped to soften opposition to the technology.

The UAE plans to unveil its regulatory framework for ICOs before the first half of 2019.

Financial Services Industry Identifies Blockchain as Potential Threat to Global Finances

Per a survey released yesterday by the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation, blockchain is identified as a potential threat to global financial infrastructures. This is despite DTCC preparing to launch its own blockchain solution.

"DTCC embraces the promise that fintech innovations hold to further mitigate risk and reduce post-trade costs," said Stephen Scharf, DTCC's chief security officer, in a statement shared with Forbes. "But as the industry continues to adopt fintech innovations, like blockchain, AI and cloud solutions, we must ensure that those innovations do not jeopardize the safety and security of the current global financial marketplace."

Recognizing blockchain as part of a larger fintech category, 69 percent of all respondents recognized cyber risk – including crypto hacks – as the single largest threat facing the financial markets. FinTech was recognized as a systemic threat by 20 percent of respondents, an increase of five percentage points from the previous year. Geopolitical risk, Brexit, excessive global debt, and the impact of new regulations complete the top five.

Be fast, be clever, be wise. Most importantly, be here tomorrow for your Daily Byte.

Frederick Reese

Frederick Reese is a politics and cryptocurrency reporter based in New York. He is also a former teacher, an early adopter of bitcoin and Litecoin, and an enthusiast of all things geeky and nerdy.

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