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Mexico: Amendment to Anti-Money Laundering Law Pertaining to Cryptocurrencies

(May 22, 2018) Mexico’s Federal Law for the Prevention and Identification of Transactions with Resources of Illicit Origin (commonly referred to as the Anti-Money Laundering Law) was amended in March 2018 in order to regulate transactions with “virtual assets”—that is, cryptocurrencies. (Ley Federal para la Prevención e Identificación de Operaciones con Recursos de Procedencia Ilícita [Federal […]

Spain: Drug Trafficking Ring Using Cryptocurrency to Launder Money Arrested

(May 1, 2018) On April 9, 2018, the Guardia Civil (Spanish Police), in an operation called “Tulipán Blanca” (White Tulip), arrested eleven members of a drug trafficking ring that was laundering money using bitcoins. The police operation was coordinated with Europol, Finnish law enforcement authorities, and the US Department of Homeland Security. (Detenido un Tarraconense […]

Mexico: Financial Technology Law Enacted

(Mar. 28, 2018) Mexico’s Law to Regulate Financial Technology Companies, enacted in March 2018, includes a chapter on operations with “virtual assets,” commonly known as cryptocurrencies. (Ley para Regular las Instituciones de Tecnología Financiera [Law to Regulate Financial Technology Companies] arts. 30–34, DIARIO OFICIAL DE LA FEDERACIÓN [D.O.F], Mar. 9, 2018, Mexican House of Representatives website.) […]

Israel: New Law Restricts Use of Cash

(Mar. 27, 2018) On March 12, 2018, the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) gave final approval for the Minimizing Use of Cash Bill, 5778-2018. The bill provides a monetary ceiling above which dealing in Israeli legal tender or in foreign currency in cash is prohibited. The restrictions will generally enter into effect on January 1, 2019. (Minimizing […]

Germany: Federal Ministry of Finance Publishes Guidance on VAT Treatment of Virtual Currencies

(Mar. 13, 2018) On February 27, 2018, the German Federal Ministry of Finance published guidance on value-added-tax (VAT) treatment of bitcoin and other virtual currencies. It determined that transactions to exchange a traditional currency for bitcoin or other virtual currencies and vice versa constitute the taxable supply of other services for consideration, but fall under […]

Belarus: Decree Introduces Common-Law Principles and Tax Exempts Mining of Cryptocurrencies

(Jan. 3, 2018) On December 21, 2017, the President of Belarus signed the Decree on Developing the Digital Economy, which is aimed at “creating conditions, under which world-class IT companies would come to Belarus to work on developing new products and technologies that would be in demand worldwide.”  (Decree No. 8 of Dec. 21, 2017, […]

Sweden: Bitcoins Seized During Asset Seizure

(Nov. 7, 2017) On October 12, 2017, the Swedish Kronofogden (Enforcement Authority) announced that it had for the first time seized Bitcoin assets in the course of actions taken against a debtor and that it would auction them off during an online auction. (Press Release, Kronofogden, Nu kan du köpa bitcoin hos Kronofogden [Now You […]

China: Regulators Ban Companies from Raising Money Through Virtual Currencies

(Oct. 19, 2017) On September 4, 2017, seven government administrations in China – the People’s Bank of China, the Office of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, and the China […]

Iceland: Central Bank Eases Currency Restrictions, Ends Financial Crisis Capital Controls

(May 16, 2017) On March 12, 2017, the Icelandic Central Bank announced that it had adopted new currency exchange rules and entered into agreements to purchase Icelandic krónur from foreign holders. (Central Bank of Iceland Concludes Agreement with Owners of Offshore Króna Assets, ICELANDIC CENTRAL BANK (Mar. 12, 2017); New Rules on Foreign Exchange, ICELANDIC CENTRAL […]

Japan: Bitcoin to Be Regulated

(Nov. 4, 2016) On June 3, 2016, an act that amended Japan’s Bank Act and other acts, including the Payment Services Act, was promulgated. (Act to Amend Parts of the Bank Act and Other Acts in Order to Correspond with Changes in the Environment Made by Information and Communications Technologies, Act No. 62 of 2016, […]