Governments across the world are setting up dedicated task forces to regulate and monitor the impact of cryptoassets, underlying technologies and companies dealing in the cryptoasset space. They’ve also put regulatory frameworks in place to facilitate smooth crypto processes for users who intend to use the digital assets in a fair manner.
Australia creates task force to go after Bitcoin traders
Australian Taxation Office or ATO is the official government agency and the principal revenue collection body for the Australian government. In January 2018, ATO created a dedicated team of specialists that will closely identify and monitor all cryptoasset transactions in the country. Although the primary motive behind creating this team was to keep a record of all cryptoasset transaction records for tax collection, they are also tasked with researching extensively about common queries and practical issues in the world of cryptoasset trading. The agency will also investigate cryptoasset enthusiasts who use the buyer-hysteria with inaccurate information to commit fraudulent activities. This task force is thus created with a mission — to make the crypto-world a safer and more dependable place for trading.
Setting up task forces for tax investigation and eliminating cases of tax evasion under the veil of cryptoassets is not a rare concept. The income tax department of India has investigated offices of a few top cryptoasset exchanges in 2017. Indian government agencies are in the process of creating a regulatory and legal framework to fight probable challenges in the digital asset trading processes. These activities will be conducted by the national government bodies led by the country’s central bank. South Africa also joined the league of countries that will be taxing bitcoin trading, in 2017.
South Korea’s Central Bank launches a crypto task Force to study cryptoasset impact
The Bank of Korea (BoK) announced that the specially designed crypto task force will involve eight departments. For example, the financial stability teams and monetary policy units will assess the impact of digital assets on the overall economy and various industries. Although there is no law to protect cryptoasset investors in South Korea currently, a legal framework is being discussed to do the same. The framework will work more towards the protection of investors instead of creating virtual currency exchange laws and rules.
Japanese and Swiss task forces to create crypto regulations
On the other hand, Japan has formed a crypto task force to introduce more regulations on cryptoasset exchanges. Japan as a nation has expressed acceptance of the cryptoassets, especially in the retail industry. The crypto task force is essentially a team of 30 government officials who would collectively regulate virtual asset exchanges. This team would be led by a chief of cryptoasset monitoring.
Earlier this year, the government of Switzerland announced the launch of a new group to establish its regulatory framework around ICOs (Initial Coin Offering) and the usage of the blockchain technology. Switzerland as an economy, is affable towards companies based on blockchain technology and cryptoassets. ‘Crypto Valley’ is a region known for the enterprises working on projects using the technology. The Swiss government led ‘Taskforce Blockchain’ comprises of not only legal representatives, federal and local officials but also members of different blockchain startups across the country. France has also designed a crypto task force that aims to reinforce cryptoasset regulations and avoid cyber-crime in that space.
Countries across the world have launched crypto task forces over the last few years
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission created a cyber task force to monitor and investigate misconduct in the cyber-world, protecting retail investors from cyber threats. In a press-release in September 2017, SEC announced that the role of this task force would be to “focus on the Enforcement Division’s substantial cyber-related expertise on targeting cyber-related misconduct.” The team would investigate “violations involving distributed ledger technology and initial coin offerings.”
In November last year, the government of Bermuda designed and set up a blockchain task force to encourage and develop the cryptoasset industry in the British overseas territory by focussing on tokens, initial coin offerings (ICOs), tokenised securities and cryptoassets. The task force would essentially be designed around 2 sub-groups viz. the Blockchain Legal and Regulatory Working Group, and the Blockchain Business Development Working Group. The Business Development Working group is involved in development of the technology and incorporating the same homogeneously in the economy.
Economies across the globe are setting up crypto task forces for different purposes like putting a legal framework for digital assets in lace, eliminating crime in the cryptoasset world or even for protecting investors in that space. Although the design of each of these teams might differ, the underlying objectives are the same: trying to introduce and incorporate digital assets into the mainstream economy smoothly.