German Banks Can Soon Commercialize Crypto, Nordea Bank Forbids Employee CryptoAssets Ownership, India Working on National Blockchain Framework – BlockTV CryptoGlobe

In the December 4th, 2019 episode of CryptoGlobe, we discuss:

Germany passes legislation effective January 1, 2020, allowing banks to commercialize crypto and provide cryptoassets custody solutions

By updating the EU’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, banks will now be allowed to deal directly with cryptocurrencies. Exchanges and custodians will need to apply for specific licensing to continuing German operations.

Representing over 200 financial institutions, The Association of German Banks had this to say

“Credit institutions are experienced in the safekeeping of client assets and in risk management, are committed to investor protection and have always been controlled by the financial supervision. [Banks could] effectively prevent money laundering and terrorist financing [using crypto]”

I don’t know that this makes Germany a “crypto heaven” as multiple jurisdictions in Europe are aggressively passing regulation to encourage institutional cryptoassets solutions, but this is nonetheless a great advancement for the EU conversation. These kinds of steps will help stem the brain drain of companies and talent leaving the EU in search of more crypto-friendly, transparent, tax fair locations.

Nordea Bank wins court battle allowing it to forbid its 31,000 employees from owning crypto

Denmark’s union for financial services employees lost its legal challenge to block Nordea from mandating that its employees can not hold bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

It is our assessment that the risks are too high, and that the protection is insufficient, both for the employees and for the bank. As an investor you lack protection against illicit business practices and money laundering.

It is widespread practice across the banking industry to restrict the personal account dealing of staff to prevent them taking positions in speculative investments, or which might expose them to a risk of financial loss and therefore impact their financial standing. Nordea therefore, like all banks, has the right to set out policies in this area that apply to its staff.

Afroditi Kellberg, Nordea

I wonder how enforceable this action really is. The honest, crypto-curious employees will now shy away from crypto, to their personal financial detriment, but the more sophisticated among them will continue being able to hold and trade crypto fairly easily with a reasonable degree of anonymity.

It also means that Nordea’s employees outside of any official bank crypto activities will not be learning or gaining experience that could benefit Nordea and its customers.

To the point about consumer confidence and crypto being used for illicit purposes, we won’t go into detail on allegations that Nordea facilitated €700 million in suspicious transactions linked to Russia, the June 2019 search of its offices by Danish authorities investigating money laundering, nor Sweden’s 2018 warning over deficiencies in how it followed anti-money laundering rules. Those investigations have plenty of coverage on twitter if you are interested.

India Plans to Issue a National Blockchain Framework

Like South Korea, it appears that India is continuing a very pro-Blockchain but anti-crypto stance.

Sanjay Dhotre, Minister of State for Electronics and IT (MeitY) said work continues on a National Level Blockchain Framework especially around “Governance, Banking and Finance, Cybersecurity…”

The Indian government has created the Distributed Centre of Excellence in Blockchain Technology uniting organizations like The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing and The Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology to pilot blockchain applications. The centre has already run projects around property/title registration, KYC, cloud computing security, vehicle life cycle, hotel registry management and academic certification authentication.

On the crypto side, India continues its position that a state sponsored digital currency could be interesting but that all private cryptocurrencies should stay banned in India.

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