The UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) cleared its position on how crypto-currencies can be used in gambling. In the updated version of rules for gambling released in July, the regulator describes how the licensees can work with the so called ‘money equivalents’ (the term is very similar to ‘money substitutes’, but in fact is carries a different meaning.)
The shift in the policy of UKGC towards crypto-currencies was quite radical. The more surprising is the fact that virtually no news agencies discussed it and that there was no reaction from the gamblers’ community. Till the day, only the Esports Observer, cPaymentMethods.com and the gambling providers reacted to the news.
This may partially be because the complete text of the new decree is still not available. UKGC does advice to protect consumers and reduce financial crime such as money laundering associated with crypto-currencies.
The report states:
“As part of their internal controls, the licensees should implement appropriate policies and procedures relating to the use of real money and money equivalents (such as bank notes, checks, debit cards and crypto-currencies) by their clients, developed to minimize the risks of such crimes as money laundering, to avoid illegal issuance of loans to customers and to provide assurance that of compliance of their gambling license.”
The updating plan will come into force starting October 31, 2016.
It is noteworthy that the comments came just a month after UKGC brought the digital currencies into “area of close attention” in its latest annual report. One could say that UKGC announced its will to continue investigating whether or not crypto-currencies fall into its sphere of regulation.
Crypto-currencies in other countries
Meanwhile the banks of Japan announced the creation of a new blockchain consortium. They are going to do that with help of the well-known Ripple company. With faster calculation time and a public ledger for account of transactions, the technology is going to change the currency trading sector as we know it. The new consortium of Japanese banks is going to work with the blockchain for centralized sharing services using the local and foreign currencies.
The new consortium is formed thanks to partnership between SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd and SBI Holdings Inc. Both companies want to work on improving settlement services available today in Japan. Besides, the SBI Ripple Asia keeps exploring the possibilities of distributed blockchain technology in the transactions regulation sector.
The names of several new members that joined the consortium were announced this week. They include the Bank of Yokohama and SBI Sumishin Net Bank. Interestingly, these two Japanese banks have joined the consortium as soon as it became necessary to improve the technology. Japan has been known for holding the world leadership in terms of innovations. And in the world of finance, distributed technologies are a hot commodity, and for many it is an indisputable fact.
In addition, SBI Sumishin Net Bank and Bank of Yokohama are implementing a number of new financial and technological initiatives over the past several years. The formation of a consortium aimed at using the blockchain technology for currency exchange is only a logical step in the chain of these innovative projects.
The phase of tasting the technology platform offered by Ripple will last until March of 2017. At the same time the consortium will be open for the new financial institutions to join it. If all goes according to the plan, by March 2017 the consortium will consist of 30 banks.
Should Bitcoin be afraid of the changes
By far the leading crypto-currency of modern times, the Bitcoin, seems to have more and more clones. This online payment solution is used to being the subject of the public’s close attention, but having its own twins is really something new. But we are positive that Bitcoin is going to handle it quite easily.
To start with, there are already thousands of bitcoin websites that explain how and where this crypto-currency can be used with benefit and fun. The numerous communities support Bitcoin, countless online shops or bitcoin casinos already accept it as a valid payment method and hundreds of online stock exchanges help to transfer it into other currencies.
It will take years if not decades for the new crypto-currencies to reach the current position of Bitcoin. And who knows just how far this digital currency will evolve by that time.