Cyprus’ Finance Minister Says Blockchain and Crypto Asset Regulations Coming This Year
Not too long ago, the blockchain industry worldwide suffered from a severe lack of regulation that made it difficult to do business in several parts of the world and also stifled the growth of the industry altogether. As such, there was a period in which various players within the industry had to step around laws and work with whatever they were given in a bid to continue in their line of work.
Fortunately, the blockchain industry has grown significantly in the last few years and as a result of this many, world governments can no longer ignore the industry or refused to give it concrete laws, especially as its application has been found even within government-related activities.
Countries such as Malta and others within Europe led the way in terms of regulations and now other countries are starting to catch up with them and create concrete blockchain-related regulations for the good of all.
Blockchain comes to Cyprus
One of the latest countries to go this route is Cyprus as it was announced on July 4, 2019, that the finance minister Harris Georgiades has stated that the country's blockchain regulation draft will be ready this year.
Georgiades has described blockchain technology as a new technological revolution that is similar to that of the internet and confirmed that regulation for the technology is greatly needed.
This does draw parallels to the internet age as in the early 2000 and previously, when the internet was not as big of a phenomenon as it is now, they were certain grey areas that existed because the laws had not been created with regards to things such as cybercrime, e-business and so on. But as the internet grew into the irreplaceable aspect of life that it is now, laws were created and it seems the same thing will be happening with crypto and blockchain.
Demetris Syllouris, the house speaker, also praised the potential of blockchain during a recent event.
“Full implementation of this technology across the public and private sector is expected to radically change the structures of modern societies, the way they are organized and their operation,” he said.
He also stated that the national strategy will aim to sustain Cyprus’ digital innovation as well as creating the necessary framework and roadmap to properly explore blockchain technology in a safe and controlled environment across various industries while mitigating the risk associated with it.
The national blockchain programs that are in the works involve the Department of Lands and surveys as well as the Department of customs and excise and the department and the national betting authority. From all indications, Cyprus intends to go head-first into blockchain and apply it at various governmental levels and this is a good sign for the regulation that is to come as this will likely trickle down to the private sector as well.
This also shows yet another country that sees the benefits of blockchain and is not trying to stifle the industry but rather embrace it and look for how best to benefit from the technology for its citizens.
In February 2019, the Cyprus securities and exchange commission did co-op for the transposition of European Union’s fifth anti-money laundering directive into national law which brought local regulation of cryptos under its provisions.