Opera launches a “Labs” special edition of its desktop web browser with built-in crypto wallet functionality, Cointelegraph reported.The new edition will enable users to authenticate Web 3.0 and decentralized application (DApp) transactions made on their computer using their Android phone. “Labs” is therefore fully interoperable with the mobile crypto wallet that Opera first launched as part of its beta Opera for Android earlier. Opera has emphasized that users are not required to setup a new wallet and can continue to securely store their wallet keys on the hardware of their phone. The paired mobile-desktop system will also take advantage of the phone’s system lock to secure transactions using fingerprint confirmations for both token transfers and DApp interactions. Opera’s interoperable mobile-desktop wallet works by enabling users to connect their desktop browser to their existing crypto wallet-enabled mobile app by scanning a QR code — a system that Opera has been using to synchronize desktop-mobile apps for several years, as for example, with its WhatsApp web client.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said it is getting closer to the establishment of a global set of anti-money laundering (AML) standards for cryptocurrencies.
The agency’s president Marshall Billingslea reportedly said that he expects the coordination of a series of standards that will close “gaps” in global AML standards at an FATF plenary in October.
At that time, the FATF will purportedly discuss which existing standards should be adapted to digital currencies, as well as revise the assessment methods of how countries implement those standards. Billingslea also outlined the importance of developing standards that can be applied in a uniform manner.
According to Billingslea, current AML standards and regimes for cryptocurrencies are “very much a patchwork quilt or spotty process,” which is “creating significant vulnerabilities for both national and international financial systems”. Billingslea, noted that despite the risks related to this kind of assets, digital currency as an asset class presents “a great opportunity.”
The U.K. Treasury Committee is calling for cryptocurrency regulations in order to protect investors.The committee of Members of Parliament (MPs) in the House of Commons has called for a resolution to certain issues surrounding digital currency such as listing price volatility, poor consumer protection, the risk of hacker attacks, and money laundering. Nicky Morgan, the chair of the Treasury Committee, is quoted saying that “it's unsustainable for the government and regulators to bumble along issuing feeble warnings to potential investors, yet refrain from acting.” Morgan added that regulation should at least address the problem of consumer protection and anti-money laundering (AML). CryptoUK, a self-regulatory trade association for the U.K. cryptocurrency industry, noted the Committee’s recommendations. Iqbal Gandham, the association’s chairman, said that "regulatory oversight is essential to ensuring consumer safety, guarding against malpractice and providing much needed clarity to an industry that is fast maturing.”
The Verkhovna Rada, the parliament of Ukraine, has proposed a bill that would tax operations with crypto assets.
The tax bill suggests a five percent tax on individuals and legal entities operating with virtual currency assets, such as cryptocurrencies and tokens.
Starting Jan. 1, 2024 crypto-related profits by businesses would be taxed at 18 percent, which is a basic rate for corporate and personal income tax in Ukraine.
The new bill aims to withdraw large volumes of operations from the grey market so as to increase state budget revenues by adding a brand new type of revenue, as well as to encourage the development of crypto-related activity in Ukraine. It will also help to bring 1.27 billion hryvnia ($43 million) to the budget annually from 2019-2024.
Ripple could launch a commercial version of its payment platform xRapid "in the next month or so," CNBC reported. Head of regulatory relations for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East at Ripple Sagar Sarbhai told CNBC that Ripple has been making strides toward the launch of its product xRapid.
The xRapid product is a real-time settlement platform designed to speed up international payments. Built for commercial use and backed by XRP tokens, xRapid addresses the issue of minimizing liquidity costs and making cross-border payment transactions faster. xRapid claims to significantly reduce the capital requirements for liquidity. Sarbhai said in an interview with CNBC:
"I am very confident that in the next one month or so you will see some good news coming in where we launch the product live in production."
This spring, various financial institutions participated in a pilot of the xRapid platform, which tested payments between the U.S. and Mexico. The participants reported transaction savings of 40–70 percent. In addition to saving on costs, the parties noted an improvement in transaction speed — from the average 2–3 days to “just over two minutes.”
Distributed ledger technology (DLT) such as blockchain could generate $1 trillion in new trade over the next ten years, a joint report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) claims.Long an area of increasing focus for innovation, trade finance continues to rely on legacy technology, with multiple blockchain-based initiatives now dedicated to increasing efficiency. “Distributed ledger and other technological innovations promise groundbreaking advances in trade and supply chain finance by reducing costs and ease of use,” the report’s foreword reads. Among findings, there are forecasts that DLT will bring in new trade, helping close the current trade finance gap of $1.5 trillion. The WEF report meanwhile includes similar signals for governments, the organization arguing that even for those within structures such as the European Union, embracing DLT is de facto unavoidable. “They should include distributed ledger technology as part of any relevant, forward-looking regulatory considerations, such as cross-border food imports,” it concludes: “With some governments already starting to make these moves, the laggards will become increasingly disadvantaged.”