Japanese financial authorities have approved draft amendments to the country's financial and payment services law that will cap leverage in cryptocurrency margin trading at two to four times the initial deposits. Cryptocurrency exchanges that allow for margin trading — including BitMEX and Bitfinex — will have to obtain new government registration to operate in the country.
The Republican leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, praised blockchain technology and recommended using it for increased government transparency as he testified in front of the Select Committee for Modernization of Congress this week.
"Blockchain is changing and revolutionizing the security of the financial industry," McCarthy said. "Why would we wait around and why wouldn't we institute blockchain on our own, to be able to check the technology but also the transparency of our own legislative process?"
The cryptocurrency advocacy group Coin Center confirmed with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton a commission staff finding that ether and similar cryptocurrencies likely do not qualify as securities. This appears to be based on an understanding by the SEC that cryptocurrencies may be first sold as securities but that designation is flexible based on how it advances.
"A digital asset may be offered and sold initially as a security because it meets the definition of an investment contract, but that designation may change over time if the digital asset later is offered and sold in such a way that it will no longer meet that definition," Clayton wrote in response to an inquiry from U.S. Congressman Ted Budd, per Coin Center.
Any cryptocurrency that is deemed to be a security by the SEC would fall under a complex set of regulations.
Phil Stephenson, a member of the Texas House of Representatives, has introduced a bill that would require those who accept digital currency payments to verify the identities of senders. This requirement would be waived if those senders use a "verified identity digital currency."
It also appears to ban the use of cryptocurrencies that don't meet the state's verified user requirements.
"This state may not use a digital currency that is not a verified identity digital currency," according to the proposed bill.
The Canada Revenue Agency is reportedly targeting bitcoin and other cryptocurrency users for audits. Those targeted have been asked to fill out questionnaires (which are 13 pages long and include 54 questions, per the report) and describe their specific involvement with cryptocurrencies.