Ripple Reveals Which Countries Really Support Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP in Key Remittance Markets

Ripple has released an extensive overview on digital asset regulations around the world.

In a 2020 report called The Last Mile Playbook, the San Francisco payments startup offers a look at the extent to which countries in key remittance markets support crypto assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP.

“Today, countries around the world are addressing the frictions inherent in the last mile by upgrading and modernizing their domestic payment schemes. Out of 195 countries, there are now over 54 real-time payment schemes developed and many more in development globally. These new systems enable real-time settlement of low-value payments and rich data transfer.”

In the US, Ripple highlights the fact that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has officially declared that Bitcoin (BTC) is a commodity. In addition, the agency’s current chairman, Heath Tarbert, has said he believes Ethereum is a commodity as well.

Ripple has met with regulators around the world in an effort to drive adoption of XRP in the world of cross-border payments.

After working directly with central banks and lawmakers, including a recent virtual meeting with Banco Central do Brasil, here’s a look at the company’s take on the global regulation of cryptocurrency.

United States

“Legal status of a token or coin dependent on its individual characteristics, which determines whether existing regulations apply (i.e. does the token confer rights and is it a security?). CFTC has ruled that BTC and other digital assets are commodities…

Exchanges must register with FinCEN as a money service business, obtain money transmission licenses (MTLs) from certain states and ‘Bitlicense’ if services touch New York…

Financial institutions treat the decision to engage in digital asset activity as a risk-based analysis.”

Mexico

“XRP is considered a ‘virtual asset’ that is freely tradable by non-financial institutions. Financial institutions must obtain approval from the central bank to transact in a particular virtual asset, and even then may only do so for internal purposes.

Exchanges must meet specific guidance on AML requirements…

Certain activities that rely on traditional banking rails may be viewed as requiring authorization under newly adopted laws (e.g. providing custody of fiat currency).”

Australia

“Legal status of a token or coin dependent on its individual characteristics, which determines whether existing regulations apply (i.e. does the token confer rights and is it a financial product?).

[Crypto exchanges] must register with Austrac, the local financial crimes regulator…

A digital asset may be treated as an asset that is held or traded and not as money or a currency. Certain activities could deem an entity to be categorized as a ‘remittance provider.’”

Argentina

“No specific classification of digital assets. FX regulations limit purchase of digital assets via credit or debit and must transfer funds to the exchange account through non-card payment rails.

[Exchanges are] not subject to licensure or registration. Currently not subject to anti-money laundering (AML) regimes, but likely to change soon…

Foreign exchange laws and currency controls are a potential hurdle.”

Colombia

“Although Colombia’s Central Bank has issued public remarks recognizing digital assets and warning against potential risks, financial watchdogs have not yet taken an official position or adopted a specific regulatory framework. Banks are largely blocked from providing services to digital asset companies.”

Brazil

“No specific classification of digital assets…

[Exchanges are] not subject to licensure, registration or any specific guidance from regulators, including AML authorities.

Foreign exchange laws and currency controls are a potential hurdle.”

Europe (SEPA)

“Although nations in the EU (and EEA) conform to general standards (for example, set by the European Commission and/or European Central Bank), each individual region may have a particular stance on both digital assets in general as well as whether or not a financial institution can hold a digital asset. Therefore, it is largely a facts and circumstances analysis…

Exchanges in EU regions must comply with the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD), which requires each country to transpose 5AMLD into local law.”

Nigeria

“No specific classification of digital assets… Foreign exchange laws and currency controls are a potential hurdle. The ‘last mile’ rate that a beneficiary receives may be impacted by the regulatory status of a local market participant.”

[Exchanges are] not subject to licensure, registration or any specific guidance from regulators, including AML authorities.”

Peru

“No specific classification of digital assets…

[For exchanges,] money exchange activities are subject to AML/ CFT obligations and must be listed in the register maintained and published by the local regulator.”

Philippines

“Philippines SEC is working with the Central Bank to implement a new framework for digital assets. Date of implementation is unknown…

[For exchanges,] licensure with the Central Bank required.”

Thailand

“Thailand is positive on digital assets with regulations in place permitting and regulating the trading of digital assets…

[Trading Platforms] must be licensed as a Digital Asset Exchange by the SEC.”

The report also covers India where digital assets are now legal after the courts ruled that a banking ban on the crypto industry that was issued in 2018 is unconstitutional.

You can check out the full report here.

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