ShapeShift to exit Washington State

ShapeShift exchange to exit Washington State due to the BitLicense-style regulations
31 August 2017   577

ShapeShift, one of the leading instant digital asset exchanges supporting dozens of blockchain tokens, stops working in Washington State.

The company claims that the decision is due to a new law, “Senate Bill 5031”, that should require a license for blockchain service providers operating in the state. 

Under this interpretation of the law, we would now be required to ask permission from Washington before we buy and sell our own property for our own account. Moreover, we would be required to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain a license, only to extract our users’ personal information and store that information for hackers to steal.

ShapeShift team

In addition, the company argues that this position "endangers customers, stifles growth, and generates unnecessary frictional costs for young innovators". 

We believe the position that Washington’s regulators have taken is unethical, wasteful, and reckless. ... As in New York, the future of finance will no longer flourish there.

ShapeShift team

Finally, as ShapeShift recently acquired one of the world’s leading hardware wallet companies, KeepKey, based in Washington, KeepKey will now be moving its headquarters away from the State permanently.

German Financial Regulator Clarifies Stance on ICOs

The Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) has clarified its position on ICOs
22 February 2018   32

German financial regulator admitted it was receiving many inquiries about the status of tokens and cryptocurrencies. According to an advisory letter, BaFin provides some basic definitions of ICOs and related terms. It is important because the results of a new survey showed that more than two-thirds of Germans know about bitcoin.

In this letter, BaFin educates the public and explains how tokens are typically generated, how blockchain works and that ICOs are used to raise funds for startup projects. The note states that for regulatory purposes, ICOs, tokens, coins, and cryptocurrencies are subject to the existing provisions in the field of securities supervision and other relevant national and EU laws.

The authority advises participants in ICOs to check and follow rules applicable to regulated financial instruments, such as securities. If businesses or individuals have any doubts about regulations, they should approach BaFin.

According to BaFin, companies should fulfill any obligations under the Banking Act and the Capital Investment Code, the Insurance Supervision Act and the Payment Services Supervision Act. The transactions may be prohibited if relevant regulatory requirements are not met.

The authority also states that legal classification of tokens requires precise examination. It will determine their status on a case-by-case basis after studying their features. The token should be transferable and tradable on cryptocurrency trading platforms in order to be classified as a security.