by Lubomir Tassev
Authorities in Georgia are now holding discussions with industry representatives to finalize a bill designed to regulate coin trading, among other crypto-related activities. The legislation will be presented to the Georgian society this fall at the latest, a top central bank official announced.
The National Bank of Georgia (NBG) is fine-tuning a draft law tailored to establish a legal framework for certain operations with cryptocurrencies with the help of interested parties from the sector. Public and business officials are currently holding talks on the new legislation, the bank’s Vice Governor Papuna Lezhava revealed, quoted by Sputnik Georgia. He stated:
We are working on a bill regulating cryptocurrency, and now it is at the stage of consideration with market participants. The final document will be made public either in the summer or in the fall.
The law will regulate several crypto-related areas at once, the central bank official elaborated. These include consumer protection and cryptocurrency trade. Its provisions will introduce rules for trading platforms such as digital assets exchanges. However, they do not concern crypto miners and their activities, Lezhava noted.
Cryptocurrency mining became a popular business and an alternative income source for many Georgians a few years ago. A study by the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance (CCAF), published in 2018, ranked Georgia second in the world in terms of amount of electricity used to extract digital coins.
In April, NBG Governor Koba Gvenetadze told the Georgian business news portal the Financial that the monetary authority was planning to regulate transactions in the crypto space of the Southern Caucasus country. He revealed that companies in the industry may expect a licensing regime.
At the same time, the regulator intends to ban traditional financial institutions from providing crypto-related services. Gvenetadze also pointed out that the amendments the central bank is working on are in compliance with the requirements of the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF).
Do you expect Georgia to adopt bitcoin-friendly regulations and become a crypto hotspot? Tell us in the comments section below.
Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.
Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons
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