This Week In Crypto | 8 - 14 September



Sep 13, 2021


Crypto Regulation Bill Introduced in the Republic of Panama

Ukraine Parliament Adopts Crypto Regulation Legislation

Mastercard Acquires Cipher Trace

SEC Charges Rivetz Over Allegedly Illegal Security Offering

Bitcoin Logs 700,000th Block

The growth of crypto-assets and their adoption in the mainstream still continues unchallenged. While the Republic of Panama has introduced a cryptocurrency regulation bill intending to make the country compatible with blockchain and crypto-assets, the Ukraine Parliament has legally recognized cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin has also logged its 700,000th block this week.

Crypto Regulation Bill Introduced in the Republic of Panama

Increasing Bitcoin adoption, at a federal level, is now an undeniable reality. Recently, Bitcoin became recognized as a legal tender in El Salvador. Now another Central American country is following suit. 

Recently, the Republic of Panama introduced a cryptocurrency regulation bill. The bill intends to make the country compatible with blockchain and crypto-assets. 

The pro-crypto congressman of Panama Gabriel Silva believes that the new legal initiative can generate thousands of jobs along with several new investment sources. He also believes that the use of blockchain will make the government more transparent.

As per the draft of the bill, the legislation will recognize Bitcoin-like crypto assets as an alternative global payment method. Any civil or commercial operation, that does not face a ban or prohibition from the country’s legal system, will be free to adopt the method. 

Unlike El Salvador, the Panama crypto bill does not go for mandatory enforcement of crypto assets. It wants to establish freedom to use cryptocurrencies like BTC and ETH. 

Ukraine Parliament Adopts Crypto Regulation Legislation

The legislation aims to regulate foreign and domestic crypto exchanges operating from within the country. The draft law on virtual assets officially recognizes cryptocurrencies in Ukraine for the first time. The legislation factors in existing standards developed by the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering or FATF, the intergovernmental policy-making organization. 

The ministry of Digital Transformation will look after the implementation of the new digital asset regulation. It has also been tasked with the responsibility of guiding the industry’s growth in strict compliance with international standards. 

According to the ministry, the legislation will help companies launch digital asset markets in Ukraine, enabling banks to open crypto company accounts. 

The law will also help Ukrainians declare their income in virtual assets, guaranteeing judicial protection to their virtual asset ownership rights. Legal recognition of the asset will also help to generate additional tax revenues to the country’s budget. 

Mastercard Acquires Cipher Trace

CipherTrace is a blockchain intelligence firm. It has crypto forensic capabilities for more than 900 cryptocurrencies. The acquisition will result in Mastercard integrating CipherTrace’s operations into its cyber security solutions. 

This integration will allow clients and partners to adopt digital assets, without having to worry about compliance risk as far as financial regulatory provisions are concerned. 

Industry experts are also seeing this acquisition as an indication of greater potential interaction with Central Banks and Stablecoin issuers. The coming together of Mastercard’s cyber capabilities with CipherTrace’s technology would also help Mastercard differentiate its card and real-time payments architecture. 

SEC Charges Rivetz Over Allegedly Illegal Security Offering

Founded in 2013, Rivetz now stands as a defunct blockchain hardware firm. However, it had allegedly generated $18 million via an unregistered securities offering. The offering happened between July and September 2017. It involved more than 7,200 investors. 

The ICO or Initial Coin Offering happened around the RvT token. According to the SEC, Rivetz had promoted and sold RvT as an investment opportunity, leveraging Rivetz’s presence as a business that builds an app, ecosystem, and cyber security hardware. 

While investors used ETH to buy RvT tokens, the funds received allegedly went into funding operations, giving Spraque a $1 million bonus and a separate loan of $2.5 million. Steven Sprague, the founder of Rivetz, used the fund to “purchase a house in the Cayman Islands that he then leased back to Rivetz Int’l.”

The SEC complaint has named defendants Rivetz Corporation along with founder Steven Sprague and the firm’s subsidiary Rivetz International.

Bitcoin Logs 700,000th Block

Since its inception, the network has been claimed dead 428 times by its detractors. Proving the skeptics wrong, the network has sustained its growth. It took less than two years for it to log the 700,000th block from the 600,000th. 

Each new block is getting added to the chain every 10 minutes. The mining difficulty gets adjusted every two weeks. 

It is mostly due to Bitcoin leading the charge from the front that the crypto assets industry has become a more than $2 trillion market, of which Bitcoin alone occupies more than 40%.