Wisly Wednesday Industry News — 1 September 2021

Wisly Wednesday Crypto-Industry News — 1 September 2021

As we head into September, it’s been another fascinating week in the crypto world with some very tasty news to whet the appetites of crypto enthusiasts. Cuba lays the groundwork for crypto adoption; Canadian authorities ban Tether from crypto exchanges; Five-star Swiss hotel accepts crypto payments; South African regulators double-down on crypto investments.

Cuba lays the groundwork for crypto adoption

Cuba has started the process of legalising cryptocurrency transactions in the country. Plans have been implemented to legalise and regulate cryptocurrencies due to a surge in crypto use by the island nation’s citizens. Cuba has seen a surge in crypto transactions in the country as investors and traders try to evade state controls.

The Central Bank of Cuba has begun drafting official rules for the legal use of cryptocurrencies in an effort to exert some measure of control over these transactions. Once implemented, legislation will authorise cryptocurrencies to be used for commercial transactions while regulators will issue licenses to digital asset providers in order for them to provide official services.

Cuba currently has high levels of capital controls and inflation which makes digital assets an attractive option for its citizens. Not only do these crypto investors like the independence of crypto from state regulations, but also provides a superb platform for them to save money abroad while dodging foreign currency rules.

In a recent statement, The Central Bank of Cuba noted that insecurity and risks of digital currencies mean that they are prone to fraud. Moreover, the bank stated, ”Users must assume the risks and responsibilities that, in civil and criminal terms, are derived from using virtual assets.”

Canadian authorities ban Tether from crypto exchanges

A Canadian security regulator has prohibited authorised crypto exchanges in the country from trading in Tether (USDT). The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has classified USDT under its prohibited crypto-asset list while popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin are allowed to trade on crypto platforms.

Two Toronto-based crypto exchanges, Coinberry Limited and Wealthsimple, revealed the news in regulatory documents after submitting exemptive relief applications in a bid to reverse the decision. Both Coinberry Limited and Wealthsimple are the only crypto exchanges to have received regulatory approval by the OSC to operate in all Canadian provinces.

Legal Head at Wealthsimple — Evan Thomas — reflected on the news by saying, “Canadians are still waiting to see the impact of regulatory standards being consistently applied across the industry. We hope regulators will ensure other platforms bring themselves into compliance with Canadian securities laws very soon.”

Five-star Swiss hotel accepts crypto payments

Five-star Swiss establishment, the Chedi Andermatt Hotel, will soon become the first hotel in the country to accept cryptocurrency payments. Situated in the Swiss Alps, the 123-room luxury hotel joins a string of growing companies, including the Pavillions Hotel & Resort, that have warmed up to crypto payments.

Guests at Chedi Andermatt Hotel can use Bitcoin or Ether to pay for accommodation bills that exceed $218. The general manager of the Chedi Andermatt Hotel beamed with excitement as he said, ”Due to the popularity of cryptocurrencies, we are proud to be the first Swiss hotel to accept cryptocurrency payments as a safe and secure way to pay for their stay.”

Besides the hospitality industry, American wine shop — Acker, Venezuelan carrier — Turpial Airlines, and Belgian bar — Dolle Mol have all recently announced that they will accept crypto payments. Wisly will keep you updated on the latest list of companies that choose to integrate crypto payments.

South African regulators double-down on crypto investments

South African financial regulators have reiterated their stance that cryptocurrencies are unfavourable investments for their citizens. Governor of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), Lesetja Kganyago, backed up the central bank’s longstanding belief that crypto-assets cannot be classified as currencies as they fail to meet the standard of what a currency constitutes.

In recent remarks at a South African university, Kganyago stated that cryptocurrencies only partially satisfy one of the three key characteristics that a currency should possess. In his explanation, Kganyago said, “One — it must be a generally accepted medium of exchange. Secondly — it must be accepted as a store of value. Thirdly — it must be a unit of account. A cryptocurrency is a store of value. It is a medium of exchange BUT is not generally accepted. It’s only accepted by those who are participating in it.”

Despite the tough stance against cryptocurrencies in South Africa, the SARB governor acknowledged that the central bank needs to regulate digital assets due to a surge of interest in the country. He felt that regulation of digital assets is necessary as investors who lose their funds with crypto investments tend to blame the government and authorities for not putting proper measures in place to protect them.

Kganyago also hinted that Fintech companies in South Africa could be regulated in the same manner as banks if their activities resemble those that regulated entities offer. While acknowledging the value that Fintech companies bring to the financial sector, he was of the opinion that the SARB will have no option but to regulate the industry if interest in cryptocurrencies continues to grow in South Africa.

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