G 20 Summit Special on Cryptocurrency

G 20 Summit Special on Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin. The one coin to rule them all. If ever there is any mention of cryptocurrency, one can be sure that the first crypto that sits at the tip of the tongue of everyone is Bitcoin. Needless to say, the already falling Bitcoin values took another nosedive right before the culmination of the G20 Summit 2018.

G 20-20: Cryptocurrency Community Held Its Breath!

The 3-day summit held in Argentina this year, was the perfect platform on which our governing bodies could have created a consensus on Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology. They could have set out guidelines for its regulators and its various implementation by governments worldwide.

What we witnessed in a surprising move was that the Central banks from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union got together, and passed the ball onto July of 2018. They justified their stand stating that cryptocurrency regulations need to be further examined for which they would need additional time.

They also released a rather detailed statement. In it they mentioned, “We acknowledge that technological innovation, including that underlying crypto-assets, has the potential to improve the efficiency and inclusiveness of the financial system and the economy more broadly. Crypto-assets do, however, raise issues with respect to consumer and investor protection, market integrity, tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing. Crypto-assets lack the key attributes of sovereign currencies. At some point they could have financial stability implications. We commit to implement the FATF standards as they apply to crypto-assets, look forward to the FATF review of those standards, and call on the FATF to advance global implementation. We call on international standard-setting bodies (SSBs) to continue their monitoring of crypto-assets and their risks, according to their mandates, and assess multilateral responses as needed.”

G20-20: A Sigh of Relief!

The countries that are a part of the G 20 made their stand clear in regard to their views to the legalization of cryptocurrency. The below mentioned is a table of their stand on cryptocurrency that are in place currently.

CountriesLegal Stand
ArgentinaNeutral
AustraliaLegal
BrazilLegal
CanadaLegal
ChinaIllegal
FranceLegal
GermanyLegal
IndiaNeutral
IndonesiaNeutral
ItalyLegal
JapanLegal
MexicoRestricted
RussiaRestricted
Saudi ArabiaRestricted
South AfricaLegal
South KoreaRestricted
TurkeyLegal
UKLegal
USLegal
European UnionUNDECIDED

This table is supported by a smaller one in which the guest countries that were invited to the summit made their stand known too.

ChileLegal
JamaicaNeutral
The NetherlandsLegal
RwandaNeutral
SenegalNeutral
SingaporeLegal
SpainLegal

While this was eagerly awaited one wonders about the reasons why the countries that have declared itself either neutral or have termed cryptocurrencies as illegal for use.

Cryptocurrency Results are IN!

This stand of different countries on cryptocurrency was widely speculated. Let’s breakdown and analyze why the naysaying countries refuse to legalize cryptocurrency.

CountriesLegal Standing Explained
ArgentinaNeutral. For a country which has a history of inflation and devaluation of their currencies, dealing with cryptocurrency is not going to be an easy decision. Argentina has accepted the universal appeal of Bitcoin and is encouraging the use of Blockchain Technology in its many sectors.
ChinaIllegal. The only country to outright declare cryptocurrency as Illegal. China has made its stand known for quite some time. It has banned ICOs and cryptocurrency trading. The need of its government and the ruling communist party to keep a strict check on the happenings of the market, and is not possible in this decentralized currency. With strict guidelines in place, the Chinese public and the cryptocurrency exchanges they walk a fine line in dealing with the red tape involved.
IndiaNeutral. At the union budget this year, India declared that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were not legal tender and that they were enquiring if there is any use of it in anti-social activities such as terrorism and drug cartel. The fine line here is that they have not out rightly banned it. Due to which there is a ray of hope for the investors.
IndonesiaNeutral. The Indonesian government has time and again warned its public against the risks that are involved in trading in Cryptocurrency. While there are many online merchants that have started to accept Bitcoin as currency, they do so only quietly on their sites.
MexicoRestricted. Recently, Mexico drafted a bill to regulate cryptocurrencies in their country. They consider Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as commodity and not currency. They are also trying to get all the cryptocurrency exchanges within Mexico to fall under the regulations of the Central Bank.
RussiaRestricted. While there is major excitement in terms of implementing Blockchain Technology, the Russian government still maintains a stand of regulations and rules that are to be followed in case one wishes to deal in anything crypto. Apart from it, the public can deal in cryptocurrency at their own risks.
Saudi ArabiaRestricted. Playing its cards close, Saudi Arabia is at the cusp of change. As the country sees many new changes in terms of restrictions that were once placed on its citizens, it has now slowly and surely started to give them a lot more freedom. Similarly, while they have a rather relaxed approach in cryptocurrency, they are still hesitant of legalizing it, lest it doesn’t topple the monarchy.
South KoreaRestricted. At the beginning of this year, South Korea finally released the list of regulations that it hopes to keep on cryptocurrency traders and exchanges. Worried about dealing with anonymity and money laundering involved in cryptocurrency they seem adamant on keeping a strict check in place.
European UnionUndecided. France and Germany are amongst the 2 of the biggest names of the EU who have reservations about cryptocurrency. With a rather bullish approach these countries are at the verge of banning cryptos altogether. Since Brexit, it has become more and more important for them to keep the Euro as the main token of exchange and allowing Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency to replace it is not being appreciated.

There you have it folks! While this could have been a golden opportunity for the countries to get together and reach a joint consensus, what we have received is another deadline (July 2018) to know their decision on cryptocurrency. But the ray of hope that still resides is with the keenness that these countries seem to show in implementing Blockchain Technology. May be the Yin and Yang of this amazing technology opens doors for new opportunities of having a decentralized currency.

A traveler who has eaten with Bedouins, gotten lost in mist, and walked a kilometer to get net connection. When not writing, Nisha reads tech magazines to shampoo bottle labels

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