On 24 February 2022, Russia illegally invaded the territory of Ukraine. The international community was quick to condemn this military aggression and to issue sanctions. Missing in today's sanctions strategy, however, is the inclusion of crypto-assets. This is worrying, as it is highly likely that crypto-assets are used to fund the Russian war machine without anyone really seeing it.
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For many, blockchain’s social value derives from its potential to foster freedom, neutrality, openness and transparency; or simply from the implication that otherwise is within the possible. But Bitcoin and blockchain are not all potential; limitations apply. And if confined to their ‘mainstream’ uses, private blockchain systems boost efficiency in producing value in its monetary sense and reinforcing global value chains. Continue reading >>
By thinking loudly about putting the regulation of cryptocurrencies on the agenda of the G20, governments seem to have managed to keep the Bitcoin bubble from inflating into a systemic risk, so far. In a tongue-in-cheek sense, this behavior of supervisory and regulatory authorities can be described as the distributed ledger technology of financial supervision. It is distributed because it does not have a clear center. The G20 seems to be the common reference point for many actors, but it does not speak itself. It is like a shared code. Continue reading >>
A few days ago, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued its first ever ruling on the digital currency known as Bitcoin. The case is likely to be only the opening salvo in the barrage of legal quandaries to come. It is the provenance of courts to pour new wine into old wine skins. Lawmakers, policymakers, and the academics who advise them, on the other hand, should start thinking long and hard about whether what we are dealing with is wine at all anymore. Continue reading >>