Over 40 Countries Forge Ahead with Cryptocurrency Regulation and Legislation: PwC

More than 40 countries have made significant strides in advancing crypto-focused regulations and legislation this year, indicating a growing global trend towards wider cryptocurrency adoption.

According to a recent report from professional services firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), these countries have undertaken various initiatives to develop regulations and legislation specifically tailored to the cryptocurrency industry. 

The PwC report said the regulatory efforts are primarily focused on four key focus areas, including stablecoin regulation, travel rule compliance, licensing and listing guidance, and overall crypto framework development.

While the report acknowledged the diverse considerations in promoting cryptocurrency adoption, it also points out that certain issues have garnered more attention than others. 

Out of the 42 countries analyzed, only 23, including Japan, the Bahamas, and several European Union states, have engaged in initiatives across all four focus areas. 

In contrast, lawmakers and regulators in countries such as Uganda, India, and Brazil have shown more reserved attitudes, focusing on just one or two areas within the cryptocurrency industry.

Financial Action Task Force’s Travel Rule Most Discussed

Among the four focus areas, the Financial Action Task Force’s travel rule emerged as the most widely discussed topic, with 40 out of the 42 jurisdictions at least addressing the matter. 

On the other hand, establishing guidelines for stablecoin issuances emerged as the least considered regulatory issue among the countries analyzed.

The report also highlighted that eight countries, including India, Brazil, Turkey, the UAE, and Taiwan, did not address the subject of stablecoin legislation in 2023. 

Notably, Turkey made no progress on any crypto-related initiatives at a national level compared to other countries featured in the report.

“Notable advancements have been made in global digital asset regulation,” PwC said Tuesday in a report summary. 

“However, [that] significant progress… indicates that there is still much work to be done.”

SEC Denies Coinbase’s Push for Regulatory Clarity 

Despite global efforts toward regulating the crypto industry, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently rejected a petition by Coinbase requesting the creation of tailored regulations for digital assets.

The SEC said that after careful consideration, the requested rulemaking was currently unwarranted and the petition by Coinbase was denied. 

As reported, SEC Chair Gary Gensler noted in a statement that the securities regulator already has sufficient authority under current statutes to govern crypto asset securities and police wrongdoing in the nascent industry.

The SEC’s decisive refusal to accommodate the crypto industry’s regulatory demands underscores an increasingly adversarial relationship between the watchdog and players like Coinbase. 

Earlier this year, the agency sued Coinbase for allegedly operating an unregistered cryptocurrency exchange.