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2018全球加密货币监管概览-美洲篇

全新的互联网金融模式国际资讯监管与政策

2018全球加密货币监管概览-美洲篇

如果说2017年是首次代币发行(ICO)的一年,那么2018年似乎注定成为政府管理加密货币的关键一年。

由于世界各国都在着手处理并试图确定如何解决加密货币问题,形势逐渐变得严峻起来。有些国家对加密货币持友好态度,有些国家持谨慎态度,还有一些则表示明确反对。

本系列文章共分四章,在今天这篇文章中,我们将主要向您介绍一下美洲地区的加密货币监管政策。

美国

截止本文发稿时,美国对加密货币尚无清晰统一的监管措施,也没有即将出台相关措施的消息。美国证券交易委员会(SEC)已警告投资者,加密货币投资风险较大,同时叫停了一些ICO项目,并暗示对加密货币采取更大力度监管的必要性。

美国商品期货交易委员会(CFTC)是美国第一家允许加密货币衍生品公开交易的管理机构,随后还组织了会议,讨论修改加密货币衍生品清算规则的可能性(其中一场会议因联邦政府关闭而延期举行)。

相比加密货币,美国财政部长Steve Mnuchin更偏向于法币。2018年1月12日,Mnuchin在华盛顿的金融俱乐部上发表演讲,警告那些可能参与到加密货币洗钱活动中的人,包括他本人在内的监管人员正在对其进行深入调查。

他随后宣布,美国金融稳定监督委员会(FSOC)已经成立了一个工作小组,用于调查加密货币市场。同时他希望能和G20国家合作,阻止比特币成为一个数字版"瑞士银行账户"。

在1月25日的世界经济论坛上,Steve Mnuchin对与会人员表明自己的态度,即对于加密货币他的首要关注点是"确保它们没有用于非法活动"。

在2018年1月26日,美国财政部副部长Sigal Mandelker在访问了中国、韩国、日本后,也响应了财政部长的观点。在日本东京的一次媒体见面会上,她对中韩日三国加密货币监管力度表示肯定。她说:"我们非常认为,全世界都需要像这样监管加密货币交易。"

应当注意的是,非美国投资者也许会对美国单独设置的清算许可障碍有所顾虑。如果美国把加密货币看成是真正的货币,联邦政府及监管机构很有可能抢在各州之前设立许可授权。

不过,假如将加密货币--特别是ICO--看作"证券"(SEC没有完全明确该定义的范围),那加密货币就必须符合各州"蓝天法"规定。

加拿大

加拿大金融消费者管理局不认为加密货币是"合法货币"。加拿大的合法货币只有钞票或硬币。

不过,加拿大的加密货币监管并不严格。在这15个国家中,加拿大现有的数字货币法律其实最为清晰易懂(瑞士除外,该国希望成为"加密货币之国")。

在为期几周的听证会上, Andreas Antonopoulos等专家提供了证词。2014年6月19日,加拿大国会通过了C-31法令,这是世界第一部关于数字货币的全国性法律。

自此之后,加拿大政府一直积极对外沟通,加密货币监管态度。在2017年8月24日,加拿大证券管理局(CSA)发出通知,确认"加拿大证券法对加密货币及其交易、市场运营可能适用,并为市场参与者提供了相关需求分析指南。"

最近,有人引用了加拿大央行行长Stephen Poloz 2018年1月25日的讲话:"我反对加密货币这一叫法,我承认它们是加密的,但它们并不是货币……在很大程度上,它们并不是资产……严格意义上讲,我认为加密货币是证券……比特币这类加密货币没有内在价值,因此它并非是可供分析的真正意义上的资产。本质上讲,这就是投机或者赌博。"

应当注意的是,加拿大作为北美证券管理协会(NASAA)成员,参加了协会内关于加密货币风险的"警告指示",国内各省所有代表都认为加密货币存在着"非常高的欺诈风险。"

委内瑞拉

委内瑞拉既不是世界主要经济体,也不是加密货币投资活动的主要国家。不过,委内瑞拉的加密货币管理值得关注,原因是Nicolás Maduro政权政府希望发行本国"石油"加密货币,来避开其他国家对委内瑞拉经济制裁。

在Maduro的领导下,在野党与政府间的抗议冲突导致该国分裂多年。从2017年起,由于法币玻利瓦尔仍无法使用,委内瑞拉似乎在设法打压加密货币。

甚至在最近的2017年12月13日, 随着加密货币新负责人CarlosVargas宣布汇编了一本内容详细的本国加密货币矿工登记册,Maduro政府也开始监管加密货币挖矿活动。

在一个法币不值钱并且持续受到美国制裁的国家,国家批准的加密货币也许会让委内瑞拉--一个政权受限的典型国家--成为加密货币监管最具进步性的国家之一(即使以后只有出售石油币)。

If 2017 was the year of the ICO, it seems as if 2018 is destined to become the year of regulatory reckoning.

Things have already begun to heat up as countries around the world grapple with cryptocurrencies and try to determine how they are going to treat them. Some are welcoming, others are cautious. And some countries are downright antagonistic.

United States

The United States, at the time of this writing, has no coherent direction on its cryptocurrency regulation other than that there will be some soon. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned investors of cryptocurrency investing risks, halted several ICOs and hinted at the need for greater cryptocurrency regulation.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) became the first U.S. regulator to allow for cryptocurrency derivatives to trade publicly, then organized meetings to talk about possibly changing the rules for cryptocurrency derivatives clearing (one of the meetings was postponed due to the federal government shutdown).

Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin has indicated a preference for minted fiat currency over cryptocurrency. Speaking on January 12, 2018, at the Economic Club in Washington, D.C., Secretary Mnuchin warned those in attendance that he and other regulators were looking into the possibility that cryptocurrency could be used in money-laundering activities.

The secretary then announced to the group that the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) had formed a working group to explore the cryptocurrency marketplace and that he hoped to work with the G20 to prevent bitcoin from becoming a digital equivalent of a “Swiss bank account.”

Defending his stance to World Economic Forum attendees on January 25, 2018, Mnuchin explained that his number one focus on cryptocurrency was “to make sure that they’re not used for illicit activities.”

On January 26, 2018, U.S. Treasury Deputy Director Sigal Mandelkerechoed the secretary’s sentiments after a visit to China, South Korea, and Japan. At a press conference in Tokyo, she applauded the three Asian countries for keeping tabs on cryptocurrency trading, stating, “We feel very strongly that we need to have this kind of regulation all over the world.”

It should be noted that non-U.S. investors may have concerns over clearing licensing hurdles put up individually by the states. If the U.S. treats cryptocurrencies as currency, it seems more likely that the actions by the federal government and federal regulatory agencies would preempt states’ licensing.

However, if treated as “securities” (the SEC has not completely cleared the issue up), cryptocurrencies, especially ICOs, would have to clear “blue sky laws” on a state-by-state basis.

Canada

The Financial Consumer Agency in Canada does not consider cryptocurrencies to be “legal tender,” excluding all but Canadian banknotes and coins from that definition.

The True North, however, is not all harsh on its cryptocurrency regulatory stances. In fact, it appears to be the most transparent country in this list when it comes to understanding laws surrounding the digital currency industry (aside from Switzerland, which wants to be “THE crypto-nation”).

After weeks of hearings, which included testimony from experts like Andreas Antonopoulos, the Canadian Parliament approved Bill C-31 on June 19, 2014, the world’s first national law on digital currencies.

The Canadian government has been communicative in its regulatory stances on cryptocurrency ever since: the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) sent out a regulatory notice on August 24, 2017, confirming “the potential applicability of Canadian securities laws to cryptocurrencies and related trading and marketplace operations and to provide market participants with guidance on analyzing these requirements.”

If you want a clear and concise interpretation of this notice, check out this article.

More recently, the head of the Central Bank of Canada, Stephen Poloz, was quoted as saying on January 25, 2018, that  “I object to the term cryptocurrencies because they are crypto but they aren’t currencies … they aren’t assets for the most part … I suppose they are securities technically … There is no intrinsic value for something like bitcoin so it’s not really an asset one can analyze. It’s just essentially speculative or gambling.”

It should be noted that as part of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), Canada joined an association-wide “cautionary directive” on the risks of cryptocurrencies, with all representatives from every province in the country believing there is a “high risk of fraud.”

Venezuela

Venezuela is not a major world economy or a large portion of the cryptocurrency investing community. The country’s regulatory stance on cryptocurrencies, however,  is noteworthy because the government, under the restrictive regime of Nicolás Maduro, is seeking to skirt economic sanctions imposed on Venezuela by announcing its own oil-backed “petro” cryptocurrency.

Under Maduro, the country has been divided for years by protests and clashes between opposition parties and the government. Venezuela started off 2017 seemingly seeking to crack down on cryptocurrencies as the Venezuelan Bolivar remained relatively unusable.

And even as recently as December 13, 2017, the Maduro government sought to regulate cryptocurrency mining as the newly minted superintendent of cryptocurrencies, Carlos Vargas, announced the compilation of a detailed registry of cryptocurrency miners in the country.

In a country where the fiat currency is worth little and sanctions from the U.S. continue to mount, a state-sanctioned cryptocurrency may cause Venezuela — a typically restrictive regime — to become one of the most progressive countries on cryptocurrency regulations (even if only to further sales of petro).


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