Bitcoin Daily: India Gov’t Makes Blockchain Regulation Recommendation; Bitfinex Ordered To Freeze $860K Of Bitcoin Paid By Ransomware Attack Victim

Bitcoin Daily: India Gov’t Makes Blockchain Regulation Recommendation; Bitfinex Ordered To Freeze $860K Of Bitcoin Paid By Ransomware Attack Victim

The National Institute for Smart Governance (NISG) in India has published a report recommending that laws around blockchain should be based on what the technology does, and not the technology itself, according to a report Tuesday (Jan. 28) by The Economic Times.

The National e-Governance Division (NeGD), under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), had asked NISG to look into the issue.

The government’s policy and its regulations should be well known before enforcement happens, the policy said.

“Public statements, whether through the press or formal speeches, are helpful but are not official statements of application by the agency. If an agency intends to enforce its laws in new and innovative ways, it must first notify industry stakeholders of its intent to do so and the way in which existing law applies,” it said.

Tanvi Ratna, CEO of Policy 4.0, said that national policy might not be enough in terms of crypto regulation. 

“We have seen with all regulatory evolution with the internet era as well that states, if given the space to innovate and compete for talent and growth, can often devise very different approaches. This is definitely the case in the US where states like California, Delaware and New York have usually been well ahead of the federal government and it is also the case in India where states like Karnataka, Andhra, Telangana have often pioneered policy models that get adopted at national levels,” Ratna said.

In other news, a court in the United Kingdom has forced Bitfinex to freeze $860,000 in bitcoin after the funds were discovered to be for a ransomware payment, according to a report by Coindesk.

The money had been paid through an insurance company, and while some of it was converted into fiat money, the rest was sent to a Bitfinex address.

The victim of the attack was not named, but compelled to pay $1.2 million after its computers were hacked.

Chainalysis Director of Communications Maddie Kennedy said that “a leading cyber insurer used Chainalysis software to investigate ransomware payments made on behalf of their clients and trace the flow of funds from the point of extortion to known services such as exchanges.”


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