Cambodia makes it illegal to operate in cryptocurrency space without a ​license

Screen Shot 2018-06-20 at 07.48.13 The Cambodian government has come up with a joint statement of various regulatory authorities stating that it will be illegal to operate cryptocurrency operation without a license. This move is seen to save it public from getting duped into buying shitcoins. The statement has specifically mentioned coins like KH Coin, Suncoin, K Coin, One-coin, Forex coin which are clearly riding on the speculation boom.

Since the issuance of cryptocurrencies is not backed by collateral besides the volatility and the anonymous nature of many cryptocurrencies is not suitable for the general public to buy such coins from exchanges

Overall the tone of the statement is cautionary rather than coming out of measures in case the law is broken.

“Competent authorities strongly believe that the public shall strictly implement the spirit of this statement”



SEC Names Valerie A. Szczepanik Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation


The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Valerie A. Szczepanik has been named Associate Director of the Division of Corporation Finance and Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation for Division Director Bill Hinman. In this newly created advisory position, Ms. Szczepanik will coordinate efforts across all SEC Divisions and Offices regarding the application of U.S. securities laws to emerging digital asset technologies and innovations, including Initial Coin Offerings and cryptocurrencies.

“Valerie’s thought leadership in this area is recognized both within the Commission and across financial regulators in the United States and abroad,” said Chairman Jay Clayton. “With her demonstrated skill, experience, and keen awareness of the importance of fostering innovation while ensuring investor protection, Val is the right person to coordinate our efforts in this dynamic area that has both promise and risk.”

“Valerie recognized early on the securities law implications of developments like blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, and of cryptocurrencies, Initial Coin Offerings, tokenized securities, and other digital instruments,” said Mr. Hinman. “She is a recognized leader in responding to developments in our markets. I am excited to have her join me and the Division’s staff as the SEC continues to collaborate with retail investors, issuers and other market participants, in this important and rapidly evolving area.”

Ms. Szczepanik added, “I am excited to take on this new role in support of the SEC’s efforts to address digital assets and innovation as it carries out its mission to facilitate capital formation, promote fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and protect investors, particularly Main Street investors. I look forward to working closely with staff across the agency, our regulatory partners, and the public as we provide a coordinated and strategic response to developments.”

Ms. Szczepanik joined the SEC in 1997 and most recently served as an Assistant Director in the Division of Enforcement’s Cyber Unit. She is the Head of the SEC’s Distributed Ledger Technology Working Group, Co-Head of its Dark Web Working Group, and a member of its FinTech Working Group. Ms. Szczepanik received her J.D. from Georgetown Law and her B.S. in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

The curiuos case of child porn and recognition of Bitcoins in South Korea

After the Silk Road crisis bitcoin is normally associated with drugs, sex and a conduit for black money. But the recent ruling of the supreme court of SouthKorea has led to the recognigtion of bitcoin as a suitable store of value due to the dilemma faced by the court in the child abuse case.

Ironically the story starts around Decemeber 2013 that is exactly after 2 months when Ross Ulbricht (of the Silk road fame) was arrested.In September 2017 the Suwon district court charged 33 year old Ahn for the sale and distribution of child pornography through a website. Ahn was operating this website since December 2013 and was arrested on May 2017 for disseminating 235,000 obscene files. Ahn earned around $6,54,000 in cash and 191 in bitcoins for providing his service.The lower court confiscated all the cash,gave 18 months of imprisonment but left the Bitcoins. According to the court:

“It is not appropriate to confiscate bitcoins because they are in the form of electronic files without physical entities, unlike cash,” the court ruled. “Virtual currency cannot assume an objective standard value.”

i.e. Bitcoin did not have any tangible value.The verdict was appealed at the higher court and fortunately the Suwon district court vrdict ws reversed.The court mentioned that “Korean law stipulates that a seizable hidden asset ranges from cash, deposits, stocks, and other forms of tangible and intangible objects holding standard value,” the ruling from this Tuesday reads. “Bitcoin is intangible and comes in the form of digitized files, but it is traded on an exchange and can be used to buy goods. Therefore, receiving bitcoins is an act of taking profits.”

The authorities were able to track 191 bitcoins through the bitcoin ledger and thus the argument that bitcoin can be used anonymously in black market gets negated in public.

According to Bitcoin Magazine the ruling is decisive as it gives digital assets like bitcoin enhanced legitimacy at a time when South Korea is also in the process of legalizing and regulating Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). After effecting a domestic ban on ICOs in September of last year, the South Korean government has approached the cryptocurrency industry with ambivalent resolve.