Crypto lending regulation
Monetary authorities are a vital part of any financial system. Among other things, regulators ensure that institutions within the financial sector conform to existing laws. Additionally, regulators may develop new regulations to ensure they monitor and control new or unique financial systems.
A lot of people get confused as to whether crypto lending is legal. But the truth is most countries want to regulate crypto instead of banning it. The primary goal of all financial authorities is to create a legal, safe, secure, and fair financial system for investors.
Financial regulators worldwide have begun to pay keen attention to the crypto industry in recent years. Investors' adoption of crypto products appears to be one of the primary reasons for this attention.
Financial regulators have also expressed concern about the number of scams and frauds in the crypto industry. These factors have led financial regulators worldwide to begin regulating the activities of key participants in the crypto industry.
There has also been a rapid expansion of crypto lending in the past few years. This has led financial regulators to focus more attention on this sector
This article examines crypto regulations in various parts of the world. Moreover, we will highlight crypto lending regulations currently being enforced in different parts of the world.
President Biden's Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets significantly benefits the crypto industry in the US. A first of its kind, this executive order provides a potential framework for regulating the crypto industry in that country.
This executive order focuses on ensuring the following factors in the US crypto space
- Consumer protection
- Investor protection
- Financial inclusion
- Responsible innovation
- Financial stability and system risk
- Prevention of illicit financial activities
- U.S. leadership and competitiveness
However, it is necessary to state that several regulatory agencies are already regulating the activities of crypto platforms in the US. For example, all crypto exchanges operating in the US must register under the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Additionally, these crypto platforms must comply with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulations.
Crypto exchanges are also required to conduct their operations in compliance with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Laws.
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Securities and Exchange Commission and Crypto Lending Firms
The Securities and Exchange Commission is primarily responsible for managing the activities of crypto lending firms in the US. How does the SEC perform this function?
The SEC views many crypto assets and lending products as securities. Based on this fact, this finance agency identifies crypto exchanges and lending platforms that offer digital assets and services that qualify as securities and regulates their activities. This includes centralized and decentralized finance lending platforms.
Over the past few months, the SEC has regulated several platforms under its purview. This action has affected crypto exchanges like Coinbase and Bitconnect. However, its most infamous action has been against BlockFi lending LLC.
Applying existing securities laws, the SEC determined that BlockFi Interest Accounts qualified to be considered a security. The BlockFi Interest Account is a crypto lending product that rewards investors with up to 7% APY on stablecoins.
BlockFi was charged by the SEC as an unregistered investment company because it had not been incorporated under the Investment Company Act of 1940. The Investment Company Act is a federal securities law.
BlockFi accepted the charges from the SEC and agreed to register its organization in compliance with federal securities laws. Additionally, the platform agreed to register a new lending product with the SEC. In conclusion, BlockFi agrees to pay UDS 100m in penalties and pursue registration.
BlockFi's agreement with the SEC provides regulatory clarity into the agency's plans for US crypto lending. In the meantime, the SEC plans to collaborate with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to implement upcoming initiatives designed to regulate crypto lending companies in the US.
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The crypto lending sector in Europe is largely unregulated. However, crypto platforms must register their operations with financial regulators in European countries.
To control the activities of cryptocurrency platforms within its territories, the European Commission proposed the adoption of the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) by member states.
This financial regulation provides direct guidelines for operating the crypto industry. Additionally, it details new licensing requirements for European-based crypto platforms.
In the UK, crypto exchanges have to register under the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Additionally, these exchanges cannot offer crypto derivatives trading to investors. There are no specific guidelines for crypto lending firms in Europe and the United Kingdom.
Cryptocurrencies are considered legal property in Australia. Exchanges and other crypto-based platforms in this country must register their activities with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). These platforms are also required to meet specific Anti Money Laundry laws. Currently, Australia does not have any crypto lending laws.
The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) is responsible for overseeing the activities of crypto exchanges in South Korea. This financial regulator also ensures that crypto-based platforms comply with strict CFT/AML laws.
Crypto exchanges based in this country are also required to register under the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (KFIU). This agency operates under the Financial Services Commission's (FSC) direction. Like many other countries, South Korea has not developed any regulations for crypto lending platforms within their jurisdiction.
Financial regulators worldwide are more focused on providing guidelines for the crypto industry. However, due to the massive growth of the crypto lending space worldwide, these regulators will soon come up with laws designed to protect investors in that sector.
In the meantime, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has begun to take active steps toward regulating key aspects of the crypto industry, including the lending space. The actions of this agency will serve as an example to regulators in other parts of the world looking to regulate this space.
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