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Binance Might Cease Its Operations In Ontario

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Binance confirmed Wednesday in a commitment to Canada’s Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) that the cryptocurrency exchange will cease doing business with Ontario residents.

The company said that the world’s largest crypto exchange would also stop opening new accounts in Ontario and offer fee reductions and refunds to certain Ontario users under third-party management.

The pledge appears to mark the end of a disagreement in June. In June, Binance announced it would no longer service Ontario accounts and advised clients to close active positions. A month before Binance’s announcement, OSC introduced new prospectus and registration requirements for cryptocurrency exchanges.

In December, Binance notified investors that it was allowed to continue operating in the province despite not being registered. The OSC was quick to dismiss the claim. Binance admitted that their claims were untrue in a pledge filed on Wednesday.

The exchange also acknowledged that it had told Ontario investors in an email on Jan. 1 that trading and onboarding were restricted, but they were still allowed to trade. The pledge gives Ontario users 90 days to close their positions.

Ontario regulators are known for their tough stance on cryptocurrency exchanges. It recently took action against several businesses that once operated in the province, including Bitfinex, OKEx, Bybit, KuCoin, and Polo Digital Assets. As of late January, exchanges approved to operate in Ontario include Bitbuy, Coinberry, CoinSmart, Fidelity Digital Assets, and Wealthsimple. OSC also banned Tether (USDT) in August.

Binance will continue to operate in other Canadian provinces. The Alberta Securities Commission is the primary regulator of the country’s stock exchanges.

14% Of El Salvadoran Businesses Use Bitcoin For Transactions

According to a recent survey, companies in El Salvador have been slow to adopt Bitcoin since the country recognized the digital asset as legal tender in September 2021.

Of the 337 companies surveyed between Jan. 15 and Feb. 9, only 14 percent said they had used BTC for transactions since the Bitcoin Act took effect. More than 90% of businesses said the launch of bitcoin in the country would have little impact on their sales.

71% of the companies surveyed are micro or negligible, 13% are medium, and 16% are significant.

While low adoption rates may seem unconvincing, El Salvador has adopted the dollar standard since 2001. Unlike other emerging market currencies, El Salvador’s primary medium of exchange is not susceptible to exchange rate fluctuations.

Even in this environment, more than 1 in 10 companies in the country reported using Bitcoin within five months.

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has placed bitcoin at the heart of his economic growth strategy despite warnings from agencies such as the International Monetary Fund and Moody’s Investors Service against adopting the flagship cryptocurrency. In January, Moody’s analyst Jaime Reusche said that Bukele’s move to Bitcoin could damage the country’s credit outlook.

Still, El Salvador is pushing its crypto strategy by issuing $1 billion worth of bitcoin bonds. Also known as Volcano Bonds, the proceeds from the sale will fund Bitcoin City. This fully functioning metropolis will mine digital assets using geothermal energy.

Bukele plans to speak at an upcoming Bitcoin conference in 2022, which he promises will bring big surprises.

Australian Senators Introduce Landmark Digital Services Bill

Australian Senator Andrew Bragg opened the Australian Blockchain Week conference with a splashy proposal for legislation. He hopes the new bill will set the stage for a new digital asset ecosystem in Australia.

The proposed Digital Services Act (DSA) legislative package calls for reforms in crypto market licensing, custody, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), de-banking, and taxation.

Senator Bragg hopes the legislation in the bill would protect crypto consumers from malicious operators.

Senator Bragg outlined the four pillars that guide DSA. He explained that DSA is technically neutral, has broad and flexible policies, is overseen by ministers rather than bureaucracies, and uses government resources and personnel. Such guidance will help Australia show that the country is ready to play a bigger role in the cryptocurrency industry.

The senator also discussed DAOs and urged government departments to take them seriously. He even described them as an existential threat to the tax base under current regulations.

According to the Australian Parliament, corporation tax is the state’s second-largest source of revenue after income tax. However, the government does not tax DAOs as corporations.

Senator Bragg said his country’s reliance on corporate taxes is unsustainable as more organizations become DAOs. The DSA will task governments to create a framework to set standards for DAOs without suppressing their core principles.

One of the major concerns in the crypto market lately has been using it by individuals and countries to circumvent global economic sanctions. The U.S. Senate is currently debating the Russian government’s ability to use cryptocurrencies to fund its military operations in Ukraine.

Malaysian Communications Official Urges The Country To Legalize Crypto And NFTs

The Malaysian Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) has reportedly supported the adoption of cryptocurrencies. The deputy minister has urged the government to legalize cryptocurrencies.

Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahid Zahidi Zainur Abidine has urged Malaysian regulators to legalize certain use cases of cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The local news outlet Harian Metro reported on Monday.

Zahidi noted that these measures would support young people as the cryptocurrency industry becomes more popular among the younger generation. He also said KKMM was looking for ways to increase the participation of young people in the industry.

The deputy minister noted that decisions on cryptocurrency regulation rest with Malaysia’s financial regulators, including the central bank and the Securities Commission of Malaysia.

According to some sources, Zahidi has proposed legalizing certain cryptocurrency transactions in Malaysia and making cryptocurrencies legal tender.

In early March, Malaysian Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz reiterated that payments in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) are illegal in the country because cryptocurrencies do not have the universal properties of money.

The minister added that Bank Negara Malaysia is studying possible central bank digital currency and blockchain-related developments to address the growing trend in the digital asset industry.

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