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England Law Commission recommends reforming property laws for digital assets

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England Law Commission recommends reforming property laws for digital assets

England Law Commission recommends reforming property laws for digital assets Monica Noronha · 8 hours ago · 2 min read

The Commission proposes creating a new category of “data objects” to ensure that private property laws can be applied to digital assets.

2 min read

Updated: July 28, 2022 at 7:05 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

The Law Commission of England and Wales has proposed reforming existing laws, especially private property law, to protect cryptocurrency users and maximize the potential of the technology.

The proposals are laid out in a consultation paper published on July 28 that is seeking inputs from industry stakeholders till November 4.

According to the Law Commission, while the law of England and Wales is “sufficiently flexible to accommodate” digital assets, there are some key areas that require reform. The Commission argues that personal property laws should be applicable to digital assets.

In its consultation paper, the Law Commission proposes the creation of a new and distinct category of personal property for so-called “data objects.” This would include cryptocurrencies as well as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

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In the press release, the Commission stated that the features of digital assets differ significantly from those of traditional physical assets. Therefore, to ensure that the private property laws can be effectively applied to digital assets, the agency proposed classifying them under a new category.

Creating a new category of assets would provide a “strong legal foundation for the digital assets industry and for users,” the Law Commission said. It added that the proposals are designed to ensure that the law remains “dynamic, highly competitive, and flexible.”

If the reforms are implemented, it would be easier for courts to decide ownership claims over tokens.

In the consultation paper, the Law Commission said that there are arguments in favor of allowing courts to award damages in cryptocurrencies. However, the commission did not formally recommend it.

Professor Sarah Green, the Law Commissioner for Commercial and Common Law, said:

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Our proposals aim to create a strong legal framework that offers greater consistency and protection for users and promotes an environment that is able to encourage further technological innovation.

“It’s important that we focus on developing the right legal foundations to support these emerging technologies, rather than rushing to impose structures that could stifle their development.

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Report: Nearly 13,000 Chinese Social Media Accounts Promoting Virtual Currency Closed

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Report: Nearly 13,000 Chinese Social Media Accounts Promoting Virtual Currency Closed

Nearly 13,000 Chinese social media accounts that allegedly promoted virtual currency investments were closed, the Cyberspace Administration of China recently revealed. In addition, some 51,000 social media posts with content relating to the marketing or promotion of investments in virtual currencies were removed.

105 Websites Shut Down

A Chinese regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) reportedly said 12,000 “illegal user accounts” on Weibo and Baidu that promoted virtual currency investment have been closed. A further 989 Weibo, Tieba, and Wechat public accounts that encouraged internet users to invest in virtual currencies including bitcoin, were also closed as per the law.

At the same time, 51,000 social media posts whose content promoted investments in virtual currencies were removed. In addition, the CAC is also reported to have “shut down 105 website platforms such as ‘Bi Toutiao’ which specifically advocates for virtual currency marketing and publishes tutorials explaining cross-border currency speculation and virtual currency mining.”

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According to a report on a Chinese-language website, the CAC and other agencies’ crackdown on virtual currency investing activities is in line with the decisions of the Communist Party.

More Businesses Targeted

The report also revealed that a local network information department has since been tasked with probing 500 business entities that are “involved in the promotion and speculation of virtual currency.” The department has similarly been asked to remove content relating to virtual currency speculation.

In a warning to Chinese internet users, the CAC said they first need to establish the right investment concept as well as avoid participating in speculative trading. Internet users also need to “guard against personal property damage.”

What are your thoughts on this story? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara is a Zimbabwe award-winning journalist, author and writer. He has written extensively about the economic troubles of some African countries as well as how digital currencies can provide Africans with an escape route.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, M-SUR / Shutterstock.com

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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privacy

Circle says freezing wallets went against its beliefs on an open internet

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Circle says freezing wallets went against its beliefs on an open internet

Circle says freezing wallets went against its beliefs on an open internet Christian Nwobodo · 3 hours ago · 2 min read

Circle explained that complying with the regulatory demands was both a right and an obligation it owes to continue building trust with all parties.

2 min read

Updated: August 9, 2022 at 7:36 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

USDC stablecoin issuer Circle released a statement to clarify its stance after freezing all ETH addresses affected by the U.S. Treasury Department‘s sanction against Tornado Cash.

In compliance with regulatory requirements following the ban, Circle had to activate a “blacklist function” to freeze the blacklisted accounts. By implication, all USDC funds held in the wallets cannot be transferred on-chain indefinitely.

Circle, however, said that activating the ‘blacklist function” went against the ethos of an open internet. It explained it had to make the move since complying with existing law to stop money laundering is both a right and an obligation.

Circle considers the compromise as a price digital issuers have to pay to remain compliant with existing laws in the US.

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“Maintaining compliance with sanctions laws through block lists is a reality of issuing a digital asset within the regulatory perimeter of the U.S. and other countries.”

The stablecoin issuer is looking to work with policymakers and key industry players to find a level playground to abide by the existing laws without sacrificing individual privacy and freedom.

Reactions trailing Tornado Cash Sanction

For many crypto users, financial privacy is all important and the US Treasury’s ban on Tornado is a violation of their right.

CoinCenter earlier released a statement expressing concern over liberty violation:

“All Americans who may wish to use this automated tool in order to protect their own privacy while transacting online who are having their liberty curtailed without the benefit of any due process.”

To reiterate its use for privacy preservation, Ethereum Co-founder Vitalik Buterin in a tweet admitted to having used Tornado cash to protect the privacy of the recipients of his donation to Ukraine’s war efforts.

I’ll out myself as someone who has used TC to donate to this exact cause.

— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) August 9, 2022

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CommerceBlock’s privacy pioneer CEO Nicholas Gregory in a statement to CryptoSlate, explained that the ban may do little in combating cybercrime.

“The ban on Tornado Cash makes little sense, because in the end, no one can prevent people from using other mixer smart contracts, or forking the existing ones. It neither hinders cybercrime, nor privacy.”

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China’s Cyberspace Administration issues warning on promotional cryptocurrency material

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China’s Cyberspace Administration issues warning on promotional cryptocurrency material

China’s Cyberspace Administration issues warning on promotional cryptocurrency material Samuel Wan · 3 hours ago · 2 min read

The internet regulator vowed to crack down on online promotion of cryptocurrency to protect the financial interests of the people.

2 min read

Updated: August 9, 2022 at 5:56 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) issued a new warning about “illegal information, accounts and websites” promoting cryptocurrency on August 9.

CAC on a mission to clean up cryptocurrency propaganda

In May 2021, authorities clamped down on Proof-of-Work mining. This was soon followed by the People’s Bank of China enacting a complete ban on cryptocurrency transactions in September 2021. The central bank said virtual currencies facilitate financial crime and pose risks to the financial system.

However, approaching a year since the transaction ban, China’s internet regulator said online “related activities” continue to proliferate. While pledging to “clean up and deal with” internet content that promotes and hypes digital currencies

“With the rise of virtual currency, related activities such as speculation, hype, and fraud have become more and more intense.

The agency maintained that such material is false propaganda, such as the promise of high returns, and that participation will lead to financial loss.

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Some netizens are confused by false propaganda such as high returns on investment in virtual currency, and blindly participate in related trading activities, which brings more damage to their own property.”

The notice reminded websites of their responsibilities to follow previously issued guidelines on the matter. It added that, under the rules, Weibo and Baido had de-platformed 12,000 users who violated the guidelines, removed 51,000 posts on cryptocurrency promotional material, and closed 105 websites.

The CAC said it would continue to crack down on “illegal financial activity” related to cryptocurrency to protect people’s safety.

China’s  anti-crypto stance

A recent article from Bitcoin Magazine speculated that China’s tough stance on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies boils down to “central planners” trying to cling to power and control, while attempting to keep the fiat system ticking over.

“banning bitcoin — a pure outgrowth of the free internet and rejection of centralized power, an essential tool to combat the coercion of fiat.”

In particular, the author drew attention to China’s attempt to stem capital flight using strict monetary controls. In conjunction with the Bitcoin ban, the play is described as an attempt to “sealing off all possible avenues for escape.”

Worse still, the scope of control increases under a digital yuan, which may explain why China is pushing hard for a nationwide rollout.

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