Italy is preparing the ground to legalize blockchain timestamping and the validation of digital documents. On the opposite side of the globe, Iran will reveal plans for its state-backed cryptocurrency this week. And in Taiwan, police charged more than a dozen individuals involved in another fraudulent crypto-investment scheme.
Italy: Blockchain timestamping and document validation
In order to allow legalized blockchain timestamping and the validation of digital documents, the Italian government has proposed new Senate Act. One part of the amendment provides definitions of blockchain and smart contracts. The other proposes that blockchain-powered data records can be used to legally timestamp and validate documents.
Two Italian senate committees (Constitutional Affairs and Public Works) have approved the amendment. For the amendment to become law, it needs the approval of two Italian Parliament bodies: the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic.
Earlier, Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development published a list of blockchain experts who will help develop a national blockchain strategy.
Taiwan: Don’t believe everything you see on Facebook
It seems crypto scams are very popular in Taiwan. A couple of days ago, the Taiwanese justice department charged seven people behind a large fraudulent crypto-investment scheme. On January 26, New Taipei police arrested another 15 individuals suspected to be involved in the IBCoin scheme.
In two separate raids conducted earlier this month, police arrested a total of 15 people connected to IBCoin.
The group in question has allegedly defrauded more than 30 people in Taiwan and accumulated more than $8 million. During the raids, police confiscated more than NT$2 million in cash, three cars, and written guidelines for defrauding investors.
The scheme started in 2017. Participants bought IBCoins at a low price and sold them for up to 100 times more, with promises of great returns. IBCoin’s official Facebook page showed images of luxury cars and expensive lifestyles to lure people into buying more coins.
Iran: Fighting sanctions with crypto
Iran is turning to a state-backed cryptocurrency to revive its economy, which has struggled under US sanctions. The official announcement could come as early as this week at the annual Electronic Banking and Payment Systems conference in Tehran.
Last summer, Iran revealed its cryptocurrency plans just after the US reinstated sanctions. Things escalated in November when some Iranian banks were barred from SWIFT, disabling cross-border payments. Economically, this ban crippled Iran, which was unable to resume import/export payments.
The idea behind the rial-backed digital token is to facilitate payments between banks and other crypto-savvy institutions in Iran. Further development should enable the token to allow the Iranian public to pay for local goods and services.
Later developments might also pave the way for cross-border payments, with blockchain becoming an alternative to SWIFT. Iranian officials announced that the country’s cryptocurrency will be centralized and controlled by the central bank of Iran. Also, digital tokens will be based on a private blockchain, and no mining will be possible.