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Ukraine’s New Fiat Restrictions To Boost Popularity Of Crypto, Industry Says

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Ukraine’s New Fiat Restrictions To Boost Popularity Of Crypto, Industry Says

The central bank of Ukraine has adjusted the fixed exchange rate of the national currency in U.S. dollars and introduced stricter limits on hryvnia transactions for citizens. The measures are likely to turn more Ukrainians to cryptocurrencies, according to a representative of the local crypto sector.

War-Time Hryvnia Limits Expected to Increase Interest in Cryptocurrency

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has introduced new rules in response to the changing fundamentals of the country’s economy during an ongoing military conflict with Russia. The monetary authority devalued the Ukrainian hryvnia against the strong U.S. dollars by 25% on Thursday and set new limits on banking operations with the national fiat.

According to the updated regulations for private individuals, enforced on July 21, banks can sell non-cash foreign currency to their customers only if the amounts are deposited for a period of at least three months, without an option to terminate the contract.

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The 50,000-hryvnia ceiling for withdrawals from payment cards has now been substituted with a weekly limit of 12,500 ($340). Peer-to-peer transfers abroad from cards issued by Ukrainian banks have been cut from 100,000 hryvnia (approx. $2,700) to 30,000 hryvnia ($800). And the limit for cross-border settlements with hryvnia cards has been set at 100,000 per month.

All the measures introduced since the beginning of the war are temporary and allow the economy to survive, assured NBU Governor Kirill Shevchenko. However, they are seriously affecting Ukrainians, especially those millions of the nation’s citizens who have been forced to leave the country and are still unable to return.

The latest NBU restrictions may lead to a surge of Ukrainians’ interest in cryptocurrencies, the founder of the Ukrainian crypto exchange Kuna, Mikhail Chobanyan, commented for the crypto news outlet Forklog. “We expect an increase in turnover and use of cryptocurrencies. In Europe, 100,000 hryvnias is nothing,” the entrepreneur added.

Chobanyan also noted that the new limits will hinder the work of volunteers, since most of the humanitarian assistance is purchased with cards issued by Ukrainian banks and owned by individuals. “Now we will completely switch these flows to crypto,” said Chobanyan who described the central bank’s policy as aggressive and warned that Ukrainian banks and the state budget will be the losers.

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Central Bank, Crypto, crypto exchange, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, Currency, deposits, Fiat, foreign currency, hryvnia, individuals, Kuna, limits, national currency, nbu, operations, restrictions, transactions, Ukraine, Ukrainians, Withdrawals

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Do you agree that many Ukrainians will turn to crypto amid increasing restrictions on fiat transactions? Tell us in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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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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Dozen Crypto Companies Await Portugal License Despite Bank Account Closures

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Dozen Crypto Companies Await Portugal License Despite Bank Account Closures

The central bank of Portugal is now reviewing 12 requests from businesses that want to provide crypto-related services in the country. The applications are pending decision amid recent reports that some commercial banks are closing accounts of already approved operators.

Binance Among Cryptocurrency Platforms Seeking Authorization in Portugal

Portugal’s monetary authority is currently evaluating requests submitted by 12 entities that intend to offer Portuguese clients services for virtual assets, Dinheiro Vivo unveiled. The crypto firms need a license from Banco de Portugal (BdP) to work in the country, still considered one of Europe’s most crypto-friendly jurisdictions.

Final decisions on the applications are expected by the end of the year. That’s unless the regulator asks the companies to provide additional information, in which case the deadline could be moved to 2023, the Portugal News English-language portal reported, quoting the business news outlet.

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Among the applicants to enter the Portuguese crypto market is Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume. The digital currency trading platform has started to recruit talent in the country, having posted six vacancies on its Portuguese page, even though it’s still waiting for a green light from the BdP.

Criptoloja, Mind the Coin, Digital Luso, Utrust, and Bison Digital Assets are the five crypto brokers that are already operating in Portugal. The new requests are an indication that the nation’s crypto industry is developing and is likely to soon grow to a total of 17 registered exchanges.

At the same time, crypto companies are also facing certain challenges. A report recently revealed that major Portuguese banks are closing their accounts or refusing to open new ones, which is hindering normal business activities in the sector.

According to an article published by Jornal de Negócios and quoted by Bloomberg, the banks Caixa Geral de Depósitos, BCP, Santander, Abanca, and BiG are shutting down the accounts of four of the five digital asset managers.

In a statement, the Bank of Portugal said it’s monitoring the problem but also pointed out that its competences, when it comes to crypto assets, do not extend to “areas that go beyond the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism.” The financial authority elaborated:

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The decision to open or maintain bank accounts depends, in these cases, on the risk management policies that each banking institution intends to undertake.

The situation may bring bad publicity to Portugal which had established itself as a crypto-friendly jurisdiction in the past few years. The EU member state attracted many crypto enthusiasts with its zero-percent tax on crypto gains, affordable living costs, and mild Mediterranean climate, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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accounts, authorization, Banco de Portugal, Bank of Portugal, banks, BdP, Binance, Brokers, Central Bank, Crypto, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, Exchanges, License, Portugal, Portuguese

Do you think Portuguese banks will change their attitude towards crypto businesses if Banco de Portugal approves more operators in the sector? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Nepal Prepares To Issue Digital Currency, Drafts Necessary Amendments

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Nepal Prepares To Issue Digital Currency, Drafts Necessary Amendments

A task force in Nepal has proposed legal changes allowing the country’s central bank to issue its own digital currency. The move comes after a study indicated that such an initiative is feasible and recommended certain provisions that would authorize the regulator to proceed with its realization.

Nepal Central Bank Prepares Legal Ground for National Digital Currency

The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) is ready with revisions to the law determining its powers and responsibilities that would allow the monetary authority to issue a digital version of the country’s fiat currency, the Nepalese rupee. The news follows a study concluding that a central bank digital currency (CBDC) is a feasible project.

The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) was established on April 26, 1956, under the Nepal Rastra Bank Act.

According to Revati Nepal, chief of the bank’s Currency Management Department, a task force has already drafted an amendment bill. “After internal discussions, we will send the bill to the government to table it in parliament,” he added, quoted by the Kathmandu Post on Sunday. The changes will be made to the Nepal Rastra Bank Act from 2002.

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The study on the matter was announced with the NRB’s Monetary Policy 2021-22 paper. A team headed by Revati Nepal suggested that before developing the CBDC, the regulator needed to introduce the legal provisions that would allow it to implement it.

The experts have now proposed concrete steps to move ahead, including the preparation of a legal framework for the digital currency. “There are suggestions for technical and economic issues to be considered,” the NRB official said.

The central bank intends to design a separate digital wallet for the CBDC through which digital banking transactions could be carried out. “Measures will also be taken to explore interoperability with the digital payment service providers,” Nepal elaborated.

Kathmandu Not in Rush, Wants to See How China and India Are Doing With Their CBDCs

The executive made it clear that the Nepal Rastra Bank is not in a hurry to issue the digital currency. The monetary authority of the Himalayan nation wants to first observe how neighboring countries in South Asia, including India and China, proceed with introducing their CBDCs. Nepal emphasized:

We don’t want to take the unnecessary risk by rushing into introducing digital currency.

The finance minister of Nepal’s southern neighbor, Nirmala Sitharaman, announced in February that the world’s most populous democracy was planning to launch a digital version of its currency during the next financial year, which began on April 1. Thus, it is set to become one of the largest economies to introduce a digital currency with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) expected to roll it out in 2023.

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Nepal’s other powerful neighbor, China, has been exploring the potential of a CBDC since 2014 and is already conducting trials. Cities like Shenzhen, Suzhou and Chengdu became the scene of the initial launch of its digital yuan in 2020. The tests were then expanded to more regions, including Hainan province, Shanghai and a number of other cities in 2021. The People’s Bank of China offered athletes and visitors a chance to try the e-CNY currency at the Winter Olympics this year.

Various types of digital currencies, including decentralized cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, have been in circulation for years now. However, most governments are in the early stages of developing state-issued digital currencies. According to a survey by the Bank for International Settlements released in 2021, 86% of central banks were researching the potential of CBDCs, 60% percent were experimenting with the technology and only 14 percent were deploying pilot projects.

Nepal still has a long way to go but the NRB’s study produced a concept paper which is currently under review at the bank. “We will identify the way forward after the conclusion of ongoing discussions,” said Revati Nepal. “It will be good for Nepal to introduce digital currency with appropriate technology acquired from other nations,” added Prakash Kumar Shrestha, chief of the central bank’s economic research department who pointed to other important aspects that need attention such as cybersecurity.

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CBDC, Central Bank, Crypto, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, Digital Currency, digital rupee, Digital Yuan, feasibility, nepal, Nepal Rastra Bank, Nepalese, NRB, project, study

Do you think Nepal will catch up with its neighbors in the development of a national digital currency? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

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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Russia Gears Up To Regulate NFTs Through Legislative Amendments

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Russia Gears Up To Regulate NFTs Through Legislative Amendments

Authorities in Russia are preparing a number of changes to existing laws in order to adopt rules for the country’s market for non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. A working group has discussed the matter and proposed solutions to legally define and regulate transactions with the digital collectibles.

Economy Ministry Takes Initiative to Regulate NFTs in Russia

The Ministry of Economic Development in Moscow is planning to put forward several amendments to the Civil Code and the law “On Digital Financial Assets,” to regulate the NFT market in the Russian Federation. The news comes from a meeting of a special working group held on the initiative of the ministry.

During the discussions, the participants provided legal definitions for the digital collectibles and drafted the necessary legislative changes, the crypto news outlet Bits.media reported on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) and Vkontakte, the leading Russian social media network which earlier this year announced intentions to introduce support for blockchain and NFTs on its platform.

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Bank of Russia, known for its hardline stance on cryptocurrencies, insists that the Ministry of Economy should not deal with the issues related to the regulation of digital tokens. According to the monetary authority, these fall under its competence and that of the Finance Ministry. The regulator opposes the legalization of the circulation of cryptos like bitcoin in Russia and their use for payments.

The report adds that for now the industry is waiting to see how the situation develops from here. Andrey Tugarin, managing partner at GMT Legal, shared his opinion that an incorrect definition of digital collectibles in the Russian legislation could significantly narrow the scope of their application.

“The functionality of NFTs is not limited to digital art for a long time. They can act as tickets to events or as a form of securing ownership of virtual property, and as a security,” he pointed out.

Russian officials want to expand the country’s regulatory framework for both cryptocurrencies and tokens, currently consisting mainly of the law “On Digital Financial Assets,” which went into force in January 2021. It introduced the terms digital financial assets, which partially covers cryptocurrencies, and digital rights, or tokens.

A bill tailored to determine the legal status of NFTs was submitted to the State Duma in May. Russian lawmakers are expected to also review a new draft law “On Digital Currency” during the fall session of the lower house of parliament.

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amendments, Central Bank, Changes, Crypto, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, Economy Ministry, nft, NFTs, Non-fungible tokens, Regulation, Regulations, Russia, russian, Tokens

Do you think Russia will develop a regulated market for non-fungible tokens? Share your expectations in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Pavel Burchenko

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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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