Macau | City needs flexible blockchain and cryptocurrency legal framework - Digital economy expert

The Macau Government should develop a flexible and comprehensive legal framework for the use of blockchain technology, a Russian government digital economy policy advisor tells MNA

Macau (MNA) – Speaking on the sidelines of the iGaming Asia Congress, Aleksandr Malkov, a member of the Expert Council on Digital Economy in the State Duma of the Russian Federation, told MNA that the “best thing any government can make” is not to implement full legislation on blockchain technology but to create a flexible legal framework.

“Within this framework it is possible to have mistakes and issues arising from using blockchain technology and they won’t put you in jail because of it . . . but we can work out the rules step by step,” Mr. Malkov added.

Initially created to support cryptocurrency Bitcoin, blockchain technology is digital ledger technology that allows cryptocurrency transactions to be effected, recorded and protected.

Recently, local news broadcaster TDM reported that in January of this year the Macau Monetary Authority ordered the shutdown of several Bitcoin kiosks installed in the city in 2014 by company called Coinnet.

The decision was made although the city currently does not possess any specific legislation regulating Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies.

Mr. Malkov is currently also serving as legal advisor for Sp8de, a company using blockchain technology for casinos and gaming operations, with the digital expert noting that in this field regulation procedures are still not solid at this time thus there are issues relating to the Know Your Client (KYC) policy.

“Anti-money laundering laws are applicable to blockchain but nobody understands how they should be applied to it […] When you talk about blockchain in casinos I think the biggest problem is that you have no assurance that the money the clients can bring to the casino are complying with anti-money laundering policy, so there is the risk that some casinos can act as money laundering facilities,” he added“That’s why regulators from different countriesare really aware of blockchain uses to receive or pay money and cryptocurrencies.”

Mr. Malkov added that currently he believes Switzerland is preparing what he considers to be the most comprehensive regulations for blockchain products and that the European country even allows the payment of taxes through cryptocurrency.

However, he described the Russian Government’s attitude towards blockchain as “agressive” due to fears of losing out in regard to the financial field and banking system.

“Anything that is decentralised doesn’t need the government itself since you don’t need a mediator between the buyer and seller. So the Russian Government is very aware of losing power so they will probably regulate it hard,” he concluded.