Legal Round-Up #14

Adam Berker

The 14th issue of our legal round-up (15/11-19/11).

The 14th issue of our legal round-up (15/11-19/11).

We continue with a series of weekly round-ups prepared by Mercuryo Legal Counsel Adam Berker to keep you updated on crypto regulations.

India Will Reduce Goods and Services Taxes for Crypto Exchanges

Indian lawmakers have been working on the legal framework for crypto and came up with some plans that may be reportedly included in the future crypto bill.

According to CNBC TV 18, the Indian government is planning to classify crypto exchanges as e-commerce platforms. As a result, exchanges will be subject to the reduced goods and services tax rates: 1% instead of 18%. Still, it is unclear if foreign exchanges will be subject to the new proposal. In July 2021, the indirect tax department examined whether overseas exchanges need to pay the goods and services tax (GST) at 18%.

Nevertheless, if the lawmakers finally approve the reported provision, it will attract crypto companies to incorporate their legal entities and get licensed in India. 

Other proposals include dividing crypto firms into categories such as facilitators, brokerages, and trading platforms. In most cases, such a division also establishes different corporate and tech requirements, as well as licensing fees for each category of the regulated entities.

Israel Amends Its AML Laws and Introduces Crypto Licensing

The government of Israel adopted new anti-money laundering regulations. Now crypto firms are required to have a local license, comply with customer identification and suspicious transaction reporting and other AML rules.

Additionally, the local regulator has published its recommendations regarding foreign crypto platforms. Thus, if the customer wishes to sell their crypto and send it to a bank account in Israel, it is highly recommended to deal only with overseas exchanges authorized by the British Financial Conduct Authority. Alternatively, they can hold a BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services. 

We may say that this provision has a protective nature and limits the possibility for other foreign regulated exchanges to operate in Israel. Still, it may be considered a positive trend since it shows the ambition of the Israeli government to cooperate with foreign state authorities.

Norway Plans to Ban Mining Due to Environmental Impact 

Norwegian local government, represented by the regional development minister Bjørn Arild Gram, stated that the regulators are highly concerned about mining’s impact on the environment. For that reason, Norway may follow the approach applied by Swedish lawmakers that banned mining activity.

Such restrictive measures may deprive Norway of an opportunity to develop a new market. After the crypto ban in China, many mining pools considered Norway one of the main new jurisdictions for migration since it offered low regulatory risks and a high level of property protection. Nevertheless, it seems that Norway decided to go with environmental protection rather than economic development.

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