Switzerland, South Korea Move Forward with Cryptocurrency Mainstreaming
Global regulators, banks, and financial organizations have been trying to regulate and manage the new era of digital currencies for the past few years. Regulatory bodies are now beginning to create firmer frameworks to allow digital currency adoption and key financial organizations are finally taking part on a major scale.
Two important news events today in the global financial landscape indicate some of the discussion and procrastination is over, institutional finance is taking decisive steps towards digital currency use.
The beginning of a new era in Switzerland
Switzerland’s stock exchange, owned and ran by SIX, has launched its own digital currency exchange. It is the first institutional stock exchange to do so, the launch is big news for digital currency proponents and indeed investors.
For everyday investors, the launch signifies confidence in the market and will help to build their trust in credible exchanges across the globe.
The SIX Digital Exchange will be a fully integrated digital asset, settlement, and custody service platform. SIX intends that the planned “digital asset ecosystem” will have the same standard of oversight and regulation as the Swiss stock exchange itself.
“This is the beginning of a new era for capital markets infrastructures,” said Jos Dijsselhof, CEO of SIX. “For us it is abundantly clear that much of what is going on in the digital space is here to stay and will define the future of our industry.”
South Korea recognizes exchanges as regulated banks
The government of South Korea, a country with a massive market and user base for digital currencies, has toyed with regulation for years. It delayed regulating the market over fear the Korean public would interpret the move as a legitimization of the digital currency sector.
Today, South Korean news outlets have reported that South Korea’s financial authorities will officially recognize digital currency exchanges as regulated financial institutions and banks.
Digital currencies will have their own industry classification as “Cryptoasset Exchanges and Brokerages.” Reports indicate that South Korea will have sub-classifications and plans to release standards later this month.
In South Korea initial coin offerings (ICOs) are still banned but the South Korean government has committed the equivalent of approximately $300 million CAD to blockchain research recently.
The Canadian side of the coin
In Canada, though regulators have been active, particularly in the area of securities and ICOs, firm frameworks have not been implemented.
Canadian organizations have however, issued a number of guidelines and are working hard to educate investors and encourage digital currency businesses to work with local regulators.
The approach is working for Canada, a major blockchain innovation ecosystem is building with Toronto and Vancouver at its core. Digital currency mining has boomed with global firms taking advantage of cooler climates and low energy prices.
Even without firm frameworks and institutionally backed structures for digital currencies, Canada is already known as both welcoming, and successful, in the global digital currency and blockchain sector.
Today’s developments out of Switzerland and South Korea indicate clear, global, institutional moves towards the acceptance and adoption of digital currencies. Both actions set clear precedent for other countries to follow suite and the digital asset economy to grow.
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