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In 2021-2022, the digital assets industry in Thailand has been growing significantly as more big players in the traditional financial industry and start-up players enter into the digital assets market. It seems that the frenzy of price volatility and the regulatory complexities could not slow down the rise of crypto activities. To keep up with these dynamic and evolving regulatory developments in 2022, we have revised this publication to provide an update of the regulations pertaining to digital assets in Thailand, which cover the regulations regarding custodial wallet providers, digital asset payments and NFTs, including the SEC’s proposed rules on ready-to-use utility tokens, advertisements and IT standards.

In the latest episode in the series, Episode 27: Fintech in South Africa and the Sub-Saharan African Region, Ashlin Perumall, a partner from our Corporate and M&A practice in Johannesburg and Sarah Williams, an associate from our financial services practice in London, discuss the fintech landscape in South Africa and other key markets in Sub-Saharan Africa. They take a closer look at investment drivers and opportunities, current and emerging market segments, and key commercial and regulatory developments affecting the fintech ecosystem in the region.

On 15 June 2022 HM Treasury published the outcome to its consultation on amendments to the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLRs). The changes to the MLRs will be implemented through the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2022 Statutory Instrument. A draft of the Statutory Instrument and explanatory memorandum have also been published. The amendments bring the MLRs in line with updated FATF standards and fill gaps in the current operation of the UK’s AML regime, most significantly in relation to cryptoassets.

In this edition of In the Know, we will provide a “primer” in respect of the developments in the digital bond space, using the European Investment Bank bond as a potential bellwether event for future development in our markets and then try and address some fundamental questions — what does all this mean for our market? Where are we headed now?

At UK FinTech Week 2022 in April, the Treasury announced a host of new and forthcoming initiatives to build on the UK’s “FinTech success stories” and support its push to become the loading global hub for crypto businesses. The initiatives range from incubators (like the Financial Market Infrastructure Sandbox and the FCA’s CryptoSprint events), to industry engagement partnerships through a Cryptoasset Engagement Group, to reviews of the tax treatment of crypto and the legal status of Decentralised Autonomous Organisations. Most significant among the announcements is the Treasury’s confirmation that it will bring activities that issue or facilitate the use of stablecoins used as a means of payment into the UK regulatory perimeter.

In the wake of last month’s collapse of the TerraUSD token, a broad array of regulators and government officials have attempted to introduce a legal framework around stablecoins. Last week, Senators Lummis and Gillibrand introduced a bill into the US Congress that would, among other things set requirements for the amount of backing assets stablecoin issuers would be required to hold.

By Legislative Decree No. 1531, published on 19 March 2022, various provisions of the General Law of the Financial and Insurance Systems and Organic Law of the Superintendence of Banking and Insurance were amended. A few months ago, Congress authorized the Executive Power to legislate on financial matters in order to promote greater competition in the provision of transportation service and custody of money and values, with further aim of strengthening the solvency and stability of the financial system in order to safeguard savings account holders, optimize processes in the entities of the financial system, and foster greater competition in the financial entities that are under the supervision of the Superintendency of Banking and Insurance.

The State Bank of Vietnam released a draft circular on conditions for enterprises’ offshore loans without government guarantee, which aims to replace Circular No. 12/2014/TT-NHNN dated 31 March 2014. The Draft Circular tightens the control on offshore loans to tackle the risk of excess national foreign debt quota and to promote the onshore loan market. Borrowers are now expected to meet additional conditions to borrow offshore loans without government guarantee.

This edition of Bite-size Briefings explores the regulation of crypto (or digital) assets across a number of jurisdictions: Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong SAR, Singapore, the UK and the US.