If there is ever a true definition of a mixed week, then the cryptocurrency sector experienced one last week in terms of adoption. The French government adopted a new cryptocurrency regulation framework that could help bolster adoption. In another part of the world, India’s central bank continues to shun cryptocurrencies and did not include them in its latest regulatory sandbox. Read on below for details on adoption across the cryptosphere.
France creates a legal framework for crypto
Earlier this week, the French government introduced a financial sector bill that provides legal guidelines for the cryptocurrency sector in the country. The law covered several areas of the cryptocurrency sector and is aimed at giving institutional investors confidence to at long last enter the industry and in the process boost crypto adoption.
According to what is called the Pacte Bill, cryptocurrency service providers in France have the option of obtaining a license from the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), a supervisory body tasked with regulating the industry. Crypto service providers with permits will likely be favored by investors in the country as having a permit indicates that the permit holder is operating with the full support of the government. Companies in the sector are expected to register with the AMF but may or may not be required to do so, depending on the nature of their business and operations.
The government clarified that professional specialized investment funds would be allowed to invest in cryptocurrencies and ICOs provided they follow the liquidity and valuation rules put in place for them. Until now, Institutional investors have been reluctant to venture into the crypto space. However, the clarifications provided by the French government have opened the way for funds in the country to invest in cryptocurrencies and related assets.
The French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, has also urged the EU to adopt the Pacte Bill and provide general regulations for cryptocurrencies in their respective countries. If that happens, Europe is likely to become the first continent to provide wide coverage of rules and laws for the crypto space, ushering in a new era of companies operating in this cutting-edge industry.
RBI still deems crypto unacceptable as legal tender
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) published its regulatory sandbox for the fintech sector two days ago, and cryptocurrencies were excluded from the framework. The new regulations listed blockchain technology and smart contract as an area open for further testing. However, it did not deliver the same verdict for digital currencies.
The country’s apex bank placed cryptocurrencies and other related services and investments in its rejection list, claiming that they are not yet ready for testing. According to their publication, cryptocurrencies, crypto asset services, crypto trading, crypto investing, the use of crypto for settling contracts, and other products and services banned by the government are not included in the regulatory sandbox.
This latest development comes as a blow for cryptocurrency adoption in India as companies in the country are likely going to continue staying away from publicly operating, or perhaps operate under the table, all due to the negative ratings and classifications of crypto products and services that have been assigned by the government.
At the moment, the RBI is promoting products and services such as money transfer services, digital KYC, digital identification services, AI and machine learning applications, blockchain tech, and smart contracts (as part of blockchain) for regulatory evaluation and testing.
The cryptocurrency community in India has been locked in a legal war with the RBI following its ban on crypto activities. The bank stopped legal and registered entities from dealing with cryptocurrencies, both on the individual as well as the business levels. This latest development further affects cryptocurrency adoption in the country negatively as companies will continue to find it difficult to do business with crypto-related service providers.
Coinbase’s crypto-to-crypto trading now in eleven more countries
While not the most glamorous news in adoption, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is boosting crypto adoption in more countries across the world at a slow yet steady pace. On Wednesday, April 17, the exchange announced that it is expanding its crypto-to-crypto trading services to users in Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Chile, India, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, and New Zealand.
The expansion of their services sees Coinbase boost its presence to 53 countries across four continents, which is higher than the 32 countries in just two continents that it had a few months ago. Coinbase services will be offered via Coinbase.com as well as its professional trading platform, Coinbase Pro.
The primary aim of this move is to boost crypto-to-crypto trading over crypto-to-fiat trading, and Coinbase believes that the former has already become more popular than the latter. Trading between cryptocurrencies would also help to expose more people to the usage of digital currencies ahead of fiat, and this could help boost adoption across the board.
Coinbase is committed to expanding its services to more regions across the world as its efforts toward cryptocurrency adoption and progress continue.
BCH Merchant app enables businesses to accept cryptocurrency payments in-store
A mobile app by Bitcoin.com called BCH Merchant allows companies to accept cryptocurrency as a means of payment in stores using POS software. The app was designed with a simple user interface to make use, trading, and exchange easy and straightforward.
BCH Merchant makes use of a QR code payment system that is compatible with all Bitcoin Cash wallets. Account amounts are displayed in a user’s local currency, and the app currently supports more than 150 fiat currencies.
The payment app has been made very attractive, with transaction fees paid by customers well below $0.01. The BCH Merchant app also provides instant and secure payments; it is employee friendly and available to both Android and iOS mobile users.
The release of this kind of cryptocurrency payment app in stores and on online platforms all over the world is an adoption development worth watching. The BCH Merchant app is likely going to play a meaningful role in spreading Bitcoin Cash adoption thanks to the features and services it promises to place at the hands of millions worldwide.
The final word
Last week was mixed for cryptocurrency adoption. Cryptocurrency regulations in France and their possible replication across Europe is good news for the industry. However, RBI’s exclusion of cryptocurrencies from its regulatory sandbox could negatively affect the spread of cryptos in India, the world’s largest democracy.
On the private user front, Coinbase and Bitcoin.com are pushing cryptocurrencies to more people across the globe. The BCH Merchant app will help spread Bitcoin Cash to more businesses, while Coinbase’s offering of crypto-to-crypto trading in eleven additional countries will steadily boost cryptocurrency usage in those specific regions.