Some major regulatory developments in the crypto space have transpired this week. Not only has Germany passed a bill allowing banks to sell and store cryptocurrencies, but South Korea and Thailand are also amending their laws to better regulate the crypto industry. We also cover crypto news involving the governments of China, Japan, and the U.S., including the arrest of an Ethereum Foundation member.
German Bill Authorizes Banks to Deal in Crypto
A bill has reportedly been passed in Germany allowing banks to sell and store cryptocurrencies for customers. Starting in 2020, financial institutions in Germany will be able to offer cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, alongside traditional investments such as stocks and bonds. They can also provide crypto custody services to customers. The bill proposes eliminating the requirement for banks to use third-party custodians to manage cryptocurrencies. Banks are currently required to use “external custodians or special subsidiaries” to store cryptocurrencies. They will need to procure a license to offer crypto services.
Meanwhile, banks in Germany have increasingly been passing on the burden of negative interest rates to their retail and corporate clients. A recent survey by the country’s central bank, the Deutsche Bundesbank, shows that 58% of surveyed banks are already charging some clients negative interest rates.
South Korea Creating Legal Framework for Crypto
Cryptocurrency businesses will also soon be directly regulated in South Korea. A new bill passed by the South Korean National Assembly’s national policy committee will bring crypto exchanges directly under the supervision of the Financial Services Commission’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).
The bill amends the Act on Reporting and Using Specified Financial Transaction Information to establish a