In today’s bitcoin and cryptocurrency news, learn that when talking about the future of the internet, Berners-Lee said that digital currencies are “just speculative” and compared them to the dot-com bubble, when internet stocks went up a lot even though there wasn’t a strong business behind them. On the other hand, the Basel Committee of banking regulators from the world’s most important financial centers plans to put in place capital requirements for banks’ exposures to crypto assets like stablecoins and bitcoin by January 2025. Lastly, to help reinvigorate the city’s sagging financial sector, Hong Kong has thrown open its doors to cryptocurrency enterprises. Now, there are signs that Beijing is secretly behind the plan, which should encourage mainland Chinese businesses to come back.
Tim Berners-Lee, the Creator of the World Wide Web, Describes Cryptocurrency as “Hazardous” and Compares It to Gambling
On a Friday episode of CNBC’s “Beyond The Valley” podcast, World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee labeled bitcoin “hazardous” and compared it to gambling.
Berners-Lee called digital currencies “just speculative” and compared them to the dot-com bubble, which inflated internet stocks without a sustainable company.
Just speculation. “Clearly, that’s pretty risky,” Berners-Lee told CNBC. “Basically, if you like gambling.”
“Investing in certain things, which is simply speculative, isn’t what I want to do with my time,” he said.
Berners-Lee suggested digital currencies may be beneficial for remittances if they’re turned back into fiat currency instantly.
The World Wide Web was invented in 1989 by the British computer scientist. Berners-Lee has been unsatisfied with the web’s development. Berners-firm Lee’s Inrupt, along with John Bruce, aims to give consumers more data control over the internet. In a wide-ranging discussion on CNBC’s “Beyond the Valley,” both discussed the future of the internet.
Future of Web3
Web3, a vague concept, has been used to describe the future of the internet by several proponents. Proponents believe this version of the internet operates on blockchain technology, which was invented for bitcoin. Web3 is a decentralized internet that pulls authority from Facebook and Google, according to some.
Berners-Lee claimed the future of the internet is “Web 3.0,” not Web3. He proposes Web 3.0 to reshape the internet.
Berners-Lee stated, “It’s not blockchain,” implying the technology isn’t fast or secure enough.
EU Wants Crypto Capital Rules for Banks to Be Made Quickly
Original Source: EU calls for fast-track crypto capital rules for banks
If Europe wants to meet a worldwide deadline, the EU’s banking code must fast-track tough capital standards for crypto asset-holding institutions, the bloc’s executive warned.
The worldwide Basel Committee of banking regulators from the world’s major financial centers has set a January 2025 deadline for adopting capital requirements for banks’ exposures to crypto assets like stablecoins and bitcoin.
The European Commission stated in an informal discussion document viewed by Reuters that “for the time being, banks have extremely minimal crypto-asset exposures and only a limited role in delivering crypto-asset-related services.”
“Banks have indicated interest in trading crypto-assets on behalf of their clients and providing associated services.”
If new EU laws for trading crypto assets take effect in 2024, banks may have to wait longer to access the cryptomarket if Basel’s criteria are delayed.
The EU might propose a new law or enlarge the banking law it is finalizing to implement Basel’s cryptographic provisions, as requested by the European Parliament.
The article claimed that Parliament and EU states have equal influence on the banking legislation and are scheduled to start discussing the final language, which might contain crypto asset restrictions.
The Commission report claimed this will provide banks clarity on their crypto-asset exposure requirements and ensure that risks from these are effectively managed.
“From an international viewpoint, it would also allow the EU to completely align itself with the Basel implementation timeline.”
The document stated that a separate draft bill would not be released until late 2023. Parliament heads to the polls in mid-2024, making it tougher to pass a new law in time for 2025.
The Commission study says that the bloc’s European Banking Authority (EBA) might work with the EU’s securities watchdog, ESMA, to appropriately categorize crypto assets.
Basel has placed severe capital taxes on unbacked crypto currencies like bitcoin and less conservative levies on stablecoins, which are backed by an asset or fiat money.
The study suggested that EBA and ESMA maintain a list of crypto asset classifications.
Hong Kong’s Crypto Hub Ambitions Get Beijing’s Silent Support
Original Source: Hong Kong’s Crypto Hub Ambitions Win Quiet Backing From Beijing
Hong Kong welcomed crypto firms in October to revive the financial powerhouse. Beijing’s covert support is encouraging mainland Chinese enterprises to return.
For the last months, representatives from China’s Liaison Office and other authorities have been frequent guests at the city’s crypto parties, sharing business cards and WeChat data. Others claimed authorities had been pleasant, checking on progress, asking for updates, and sometimes calling back. The Liaison Office, Hong Kong’s senior mainland body, didn’t comment.
Local crypto businesses believe their presence dispels any worries about Beijing’s support for Hong Kong’s crypto hub ambitions. The low-key backing reveals that officials want to use the laissez-faire city as a digital asset testing ground since they tightly regulate such activities on the mainland.
15 months after Beijing banned the sector, mainland and foreign enterprises are registering their businesses and intending to return to China.
“As long as one doesn’t break the bottom-line, to not undermine financial stability in China, Hong Kong is free to pursue its own path under ‘One Country, Two Systems,’” said Nick Chan, a National People’s Congress member and cyber-security and digital asset lawyer.
Hong Kong Catchup
Hong Kong trailed in crypto transaction growth in the year ending June 2022.
On Monday, the city proposed letting ordinary investors exchange Bitcoin and Ether. In a consultation document, the Securities & Futures Commission stated individual investors might trade bigger currencies on approved exchanges with knowledge tests, risk profiles, and appropriate exposure limitations.
Chinese crypto and blockchain stocks rose Tuesday. Hong Kong’s OKG Technology Holdings Ltd. gained 22%. Crypto platform operator New Huo Technology Holdings Ltd. rose 14%. Shenzhen Forms Syntron Information Co., a Chinese software company, added 10%.
Binance and Tron left China after China’s 2017 crypto crackdown and 2021 trading prohibition. The world’s second-largest economy has relaxed its control over blockchain technology, allowing certain NFTs to be produced.
China is unlikely to lift its prohibition due to concerns about consumer protection, money restrictions, and environmental damage from Bitcoin mining.
The sources claimed mainland representatives are relaying their findings in Hong Kong to their superiors in mainland China, although the goal is unclear.
“As long as it’s under the Party’s control, China’s crypto policy will not change,” said He Yifan, founder and CEO of state-backed blockchain startup Red Date Technologies. “It hurts real economy.”
In recent months, Chinese officials have publicly supported Hong Kong’s fintech ambitions. During significant Hong Kong events, People’s Bank of China governor Yi Gang spoke on China’s central bank digital currency and tight cooperation with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
Hong Kong’s newfound interest in crypto followed FTX’s bankruptcy and contrasted with Singapore’s tighter regulations. Hong Kong must win back Chinese crypto entrepreneurs who left for Singapore and elsewhere while expecting clearer legislation.
Last month, Tron creator Justin Sun tweeted that he will move to Hong Kong to be “near to the action.” He announced Huobi’s city expansion earlier this month.
“The changing attitude of the Hong Kong SAR government towards crypto signals a nod from the Chinese central government granting pilot status to HK for some forward-looking experiments on how can crypto be best adopted and localized for the huge Chinese market at large,” Sun said in a January interview. “I’m positive about crypto in larger China over the next decade.”
The city is also attracting smaller enterprises.
According to co-founder Caspar Wong, 70% of the 300 Web3 startups that have joined Hong Kong’s accelerator program G-Rocket were created by foreign Chinese entrepreneurs, while 25% were from mainland China.
“We are the window of China, and yet we have globally-adopted legislation, practices, and economic principles,” said Hong Kong technology sector lawmaker Duncan Chiu.
“Singapore and Dubai will always compete,” he added. “It will just motivate us to do more and the most important issue is how to control, license the business and yet not over-regulate it such that it limits innovation.”
The new licensing process for virtual asset exchanges in Hong Kong will go into force in June, but applicants expect a lengthier wait.
The finance sector is watching, but admittance may be difficult. Tan Yueheng, chairman of BOCOM International and permanent honorary chairman of the Chinese Securities Association of Hong Kong, said just a few businesses will meet the risk management controls, systems, product understanding, and capital quality requirements for a license.
Summary of today’s bitcoin and cryptocurrency news
In short, Berners-Lee thinks that digital currencies could be good for remittances if they were turned back into real money as soon as they were received.
On the other hand, an informal discussion document made by the European Commission and given to Reuters said, “For the time being, banks have very few crypto-asset exposures and don’t do much to provide services related to crypto-assets.”
Lastly, Chinese officials have been vocal in their support for Hong Kong’s ambitions to become a fintech powerhouse in recent months. Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China, spoke at significant Hong Kong events about China’s central bank’s digital currency development and close collaboration with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.