Law Decoded: Paris is always a good idea, even for talking crypto policy — April 11–18

Law Decoded: Paris is always a good idea, even for talking crypto policy — April 11–18

Ripple rejoices, the SEC gets challenged to a narrative battle and Brazil moves ahead with crypto legislation.

Last week was the Paris Blockchain Week, and the epicenter of crypto policy and regulatory conversation moved to the French capital accordingly. Cointelegraph reported extensively from the ground and ran a series of interviews with some of the crypto industry’s captains who shared their thoughts on the state of regulatory affairs. For one, Binance’s Changpeng Zhao said that he was excited to see regulators embracing financial innovation and introducing crypto-friendly policies, calling it a major trend of 2022. Bertrand Perez, chief operating officer of the Web3 Foundation, opined that many policymakers, including some in the European Union, still tend to act too fast on crypto regulation without getting properly educated on the subject first. Ripple’s Brad Garlinghouse even filled in the Blockchain Week crowd on the latest developments in the company’s court struggle against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, which indeed saw some upside for the issuer of Ripple’s XRP.

Ripple rejoices as judge deals SEC a setback

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse was looking happy in Paris. He told an audience at the Paris Blockchain Week that Ripple’s court battle with the SEC “has gone exceedingly well and much better than I could have hoped when it began about 15 months ago.” The cause for Garlinghouse’s jubilation was a decision by Judge Sarah Netburn concerning documents relating to a speech made by William Hinman in 2018, when he was director of the SEC Division of Corporation Finance. Hinman said at that time that Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) are not securities. The SEC held during the Ripple trial that the speech reflected Hinman’s personal views and not agency policy. Then, the agency argued that Hinman’s speech reflected Ripple’s policies and not Hinman’s personal views, and so it wanted them shielded through deliberative process privilege (DPP) protection. The judge wrote, “Having insisted that it [the speech] reflected Hinman’s personal views, the SEC cannot now reject its own position.” What the SEC can do is appeal that decision within two weeks.

Coin Center objects to SEC redefining what an exchange is

Lobbying group Coin Center said it was taking a stand for free speech in its written comment on a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposal to change a rule under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. At issue is the definition of an exchange, which the SEC suggested should “include systems that offer the use of non-firm trading interest and communication protocols.” Coin Center said the rule change would transform the agency’s definition of an exchange from a system that brings together orders to one that brings together buyers and sellers. This impacts developers and others who trade code, not tokens, and particularly decentralized exchange (DEX) developers. That is a free speech issue, according to the advocacy group. It was not the first time that charges of First Amendment violation have been leveled against the agency. The SEC said the change could “reduce regulatory disparities among like markets.”

Brazil moves ahead with crypto legislation, CBDC pilot

The Brazilian corner of the cryptoverse is a happy place, too, lately. A bill regulating the cryptocurrency market in Brazil is expected to be approved by the National Congress in the first half of this year. After being debated in the Chamber of Deputies since 2015, the bill won approval and a version unifying it with a Senate bill approved is being prepared. The bill would allow the Brazilian president to delegate crypto regulation to an existing body or create a new regulatory body. In addition, the bill foresees punishment for virtual asset services fraud and creates incentives for crypto miners to come to the country. That’s not all. The president of the Central Bank of Brazil has confirmed that a central bank digital currency pilot project will launch this year. The pilot Digital Real would have a fixed supply and be pegged to the national fiat payment system reserve transfer system (STR).

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Missed Paris Blockchain Week Summit? Here are 5 key takeaways from the event

Missed Paris Blockchain Week Summit? Here are 5 key takeaways from the event

The event included commentary from CZ, Brad Garlinghouse and Paolo Ardoino on topics of crypto regulation, the SEC lawsuit and European nations adopting digital assets.

The city of Paris — the capital of France, renowned for its affinity for romanticism, historical architecture and acquired palate for culinary delicacies — played host to the two-day Paris Blockchain Week Summit this week. The event saw the participation of the industry’s leading figureheads and over 3,000 crypto enthusiasts. 

Held at the Palais Brongniart, the former home of the Paris stock exchange and once synonymous with its exchange of wheat grain, the newly transformed conference center saw keynote speeches and fireside chats from experts such as Binance’s Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, Tether’s Paolo Ardoino and Digital Currency Group’s Rumi Morales, among many others.

If you missed the action, here’s a literary highlight reel of all the most important moments from the summit. And you might see some familiar faces from Cointelegraph along the way!

Binance to invest 100 million euros into the French crypto ecosystem

Delivering the opening keynote speech on stage, Binance CEO CZ spoke about a “great shift of attitude” by policymakers and legislators over the past 12 months before stating that France is “uniquely positioned” in terms of regulations, talent and expertise and has the potential to become a leading crypto hub in Europe. 

CZ also announced Binance’s recent decision to invest 100 million euros in French startup firms within the Web3 space in partnership with incubator Station F. 

“I think France has one of the most progressive and open-minded governments that could help in developing pro-crypto regulations.”

Following this, CZ sat down with Cointelegraph’s Joseph Hall to share his views on regulation and business operation, in addition to his expectations for the remainder of 2022.

Related: Binance’s NFT head adopted this implementation model during the platform’s creation

Tether’s chief technology officer reveals adoption plans for pro-crypto city of Lugano

Back in March, the southern Swiss city of Lugano announced it would adopt Bitcoin (BTC) and Tether (USDT) as de facto legal tender in a partnership with Tether. Since then, it has received broad interest from the crypto community as a result of its progressive policies.

Ardoino, Tether’s chief technology officer, shared some statistical insights in an interview with Cointelegraph, stating that “We have been able to start onboarding 25 to 30 different companies and startups, […] which between the company’s assets and private wealth are valued between 300 to 400 million Swiss francs.”

Alongside this, Ardoino noted Tether’s intention to develop educational programs for university students in the region, as well as fund their tuition fees.  

Related: Stablecoins are the perfect Trojan horse for Bitcoin, says Tether CTO

Bybit’s Lawrence Tan analyzes the mechanism of the Ronin bridge hack

Lawrence Tan, Bybit’s spot business development director, shared his assessment of decentralized finance’s security landscape on stage during the ​​“DeFi Security: the Risks Behind the Yield and Mitigation” session. He stated that four major vulnerabilities are responsible for the majority of security breaches in the space: administrator key compromises, coding flaws, rug pulls and flash loan attacks.

Referencing the historic Ronin bridge hack as a prime example, Tan advocated for greater educational security resources within the space following a year of numerous exploits and hacks.

Related: The aftermath of Axie Infinity’s $650M Ronin Bridge hack

Ripple’s CEO is optimistic on the future of the SEC case

In a fireside chat on cryptocurrency regulations, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse shared his optimism surrounding the ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission case regarding it carried out an unregistered securities sale by selling XRP, stating that “The lawsuit has gone exceedingly well, and much better than I could have hoped when it began about 15 months ago.”

Related: Ripple CEO: SEC case is going ‘much better than I hoped’’s Nicolas Cary reflects on a decade in crypto co-founder Nicolas Cary and Cointelegraph editor-in-chief Kristina Cornèr assessed the evolution of the crypto industry following 10 years in business, with founded in 2011 and Cointelegraph set to reach the landmark figure next year.

During the conversation, the two also spoke on the nature of anonymity in the space and the vision for democratization that blockchain instills, with Cary stating that “We are building fabrics of the internet that would allow anyone regardless of their circumstances to trade, exchange, save, earn rewards of different types of digital wealth.”

And lastly, a final goodbye from us. See you next year!

Pictured from left to right: Alex Cohen, managing editor; Jackson DuMont, head of video; Kristina Cornèr, editor-in-chief; Anna Shakola, NFT project manager; Joseph Hall, European news reporter; and Max Kuivenhoven, community manager.
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