On Oct. 3, the Parliament of Liechtenstein approved the Blockchain Act, which aims to improve investor protection, combat money laundering and establish clarity. The new law will enter into force on Jan. 1, 2020. The parliament’s announcement claims that this act will make Liechtenstein the first country to have comprehensive regulation of the token economy.
Liechtenstein’s Parliament has unanimously passed the Act on Tokens and Entities Providing Services Based on Trusted Technologies (TVTG), also known as the Blockchain Act.
Pioneer in comprehensive regulation
The newly approved law will regulate civil law issues in relation to client and asset protection, while establishing adequate supervision of the various service providers in the token economy. Liechtenstein’s Prime Minister Adrian Hasler said:
“With the TVTG an essential element of the financial center strategy of the government is implemented and Liechtenstein is positioned as an innovative and legally secure location for providers in the token economy.”
Thomas Nägele, attorney and co-author of the Liechtenstein Blockchain Act, was quick to share the news with his social media followers. Nägele’s colleague, CEO of Bitcoin Suisse in Liechtenstein, Mauro Casellini, outlined the importance of the Blockchain Act:
“The positive decision without dissent from the Liechtenstein government shows the importance of the “Blockchain Act”. The TVTG not only creates legal certainty for all market participants, but also heralds a new era, the token economy. With its pioneering role, Liechtenstein proves once again that it is the ideal location for FinTech and Blockchain companies and thus for us too, in the heart of Europe.”
Crypto companies move to Liechtenstein
Cointelegraph previously reported that Liechtenstein’s friendly approach to blockchain has already attracted several blockchain companies. Cryptocurrency trading platform Bittrex recently announced its new trading platform, Bittrex Global, to be headquartered in Liechtenstein. Bittrex chose to establish a trading platform in Liechtenstein because of the small country’s clarity in regulating digital currencies and blockchain technology.
LG Developing a Blockchain Phone in Response to Samsung: Korean Media
South Korean electronics giant LG is working with blockchain developers to launch a rival to Samsung’s Klaytn blockchain smartphone, sources have said.
LG in talks with local developers
Speaking to local daily news outlet Chosun on Sept. 8, an industry insider said LG had already held discussions with local decentralized application (DApp) developers and had worked out a use case for its future product.
“LG is likely to respond to Samsung’s innovation initiative”, he told the publication.
The news comes a week after reports Korean messaging service Kakao Corp. was preparing to roll out blockchain capabilities on the Samsung’s forthcoming Galaxy Note 10 smartphone.
Dubbed the Klaytn Phone, the device will come with a wallet and a free handout of KLAY, the token developed by Kakao off-shoot, GroundX.
Opening the blockchain smartphone floodgates
The latest in an increasing number of crypto-enabled smartphone offerings, Samsung’s move could trigger a domino effect, another official suggested to Chosun.
A tit-for-tat move by LG would not be out of character in the heavily competitive consumer market.
“I think Samsung is trying to prepare differently in the blockchain field, just as LG responded with a dual screen when Samsung Galaxy came out with a foldable phone”, they said.
It remains unknown whether LG’s future offering will become internationally available. The Klaytn Phone, as Cointelegraph noted, will only be accessible on the domestic South Korean market.
Over the weekend, the creators of Finney, the world’s first blockchain-focused smartphone, announced the device would soon debut in Bangladesh.
LedgerX Places Founders On Leave Following Public CFTC Woes
The board of directors of Ledger Holdings, Inc., parent company to LedgerX, announced that co-founders Paul and Juthica Chou have been placed on administrative leave, effective immediately.
In a Dec. 9 press release, the Bitcoin derivatives exchange LedgerX explained that the two executives will be replaced by Larry E. Thompson as interim chief executive officer and lead director of Ledger Holdings. Thompson brings with him the experience of a 30-year career on Wall Street.
It remains unclear why the board of directors have decided to place both executives on administrative leave. However, Juthica Chou, took to Twitter where she said that no real reasons have been given, except that they “had long-lasting disagreements with the board about the vision and direction of the business.”
Controversy between LedgerX and the CFTC
At the beginning of August, the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) reportedly stated that LedgerX’s physically-settled bitcoin futures product were not yet approved by the Commission. LedgerX said on July 31 that its physical futures offering went live on its Omni trading platform.
However, the CFTC suggested that this could not have occurred. Derivative specialist Thomas G. Thompson pointed out at the time that “the CFTC does not show any futures contracts certified by” the firm. On the same day Paul Chou took to Twitter to take aim at the CFTC in several expletive-laden tweets.
In September, a controversy involving the CFTC was sparked by LedgerX’s claim that the agency’s former chairman, Christopher Giancarlo, obstructed the approval of its amended Derivatives Clearing Organization registration because of personal bias against LedgerX CEO Paul Chou.