- SEC to decide on bitcoin ETF by March 11. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) faces a March 11 deadline to decide whether to change a rule that would allow for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). Some argue that the proposed change “might set off a speculative rush into bitcoin” by offering ordinary investors more access to bitcoin investment opportunities.
- FRB’s Harker speaks on fintech regulation. At a conference in San Diego, Patrick Harker, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, commented on the persisting novelty of fintech “from a regulatory standpoint” [full text]. As fintech heads “into uncharted territory,” Harker cautioned, policymakers should work to protect innovators as well as consumers.
ESMA says it’s too soon for new blockchain rules. The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU’s securities regulator, announced that it will not promulgate new blockchain rules for now, stating that blockchain is “still evolving” and that it would be “premature” to assess its potential impact and the degree of regulatory response it warrants.
China’s central bank rebukes bitcoin platforms. The People’s Bank of China called out nine digital currency trading firms, saying that they “risk being shut down if they skirt rules on money laundering and foreign exchange.” Many are concerned that China, the world’s largest market for virtual currency trading, “is becoming a venue for overly risky speculation and capital flight.”