The cryptocurrency landscape is constantly changing, and since the start of the last boom in 2020, which took the price of Bitcoin to over $ 50,000, it has caught the eyes of millions of people, businesses and from governments around the world. world. The effect of all this attention has shifted the industry as a whole and, in many ways, pushed it to even higher heights. Cryptocurrency prices have risen further, decentralized finance (DeFi) has experienced a massive boom, new industries and technologies, such as NFTs, have formed, have started to become mainstream, and the market for bank-backed loans. crypto rose over 1,100%.
But as new technologies and industries develop, their regulatory aspect begins to be called into question. Especially if the technology is very complex and has been used for money laundering purposes. All the more so if it challenges existing financial systems and government monetary controls, which is precisely Bitcoin’s initial intention. Governments around the world are crypto aware and have tried to establish regulations since the first crypto boom in 2017. Some have taken a positive and adoptive approach, others have banned cryptocurrencies outright, while many were still in discovery and ideation mode. But 2020 set up a new playing field and showed that a regulatory landscape needs to be put in place much faster than expected.
Here are some of the most notable regulatory changes of the past year:
- In 2020, the UK required all cryptocurrency companies operating in the UK to register with the FCA for the registration of the AMLD5 cryptocurrency.
- In June 2021, China asked its banks to stop facilitating crypto transactions and banned state-wide cryptocurrency mining.
- In July 2021, Spain asked all of its local cryptocurrency businesses to register with the Bank of Spain for EU MiCA (Markets in Crypto-Assets framework) registration.
- In November 2021, US President Joe Biden signed an infrastructure bill containing crypto broker reporting requirements, signaling the end of earnings concealment for many crypto investors.
Nebeus, a European crypto-backed loan company, has been in business since earlier than the first crypto boom, with thousands of users across Europe. Nebeus has an app and desktop platform that consumers can use to obtain loans using their cryptocurrencies as collateral. With many people investing in crypto for the long term, the ability to leverage investments to access liquidity has seen a massive surge in demand.
“Our users have obtained loans to pay for their daily expenses, for more specific and targeted expenses, and many have used Nebeus to obtain loans to diversify their investment portfolios. Many users have used their Bitcoins to obtain loans to buy Ethereum, for example, benefiting from the price growth of both assets. – says Michael Stroev, COO & Head of Product at Nebeus.
In addition, Nebeus offers its users a whole ecosystem of accompanying cryptocurrency services that allow them to use Nebeus as an online bank, but the main focus of Nebeus is the crypto-backed loan.
As a centralized finance cryptocurrency (CeFi) firm, regulation has been at the forefront of Nebeus’ business strategies. COO and Product Manager Michael Stroev shares more details with us in this exclusive interview with TechBullion.
Tell us briefly about yourself and the services you offer at Nebeus?
My name is Michael Stroev and I am COO and Product Manager at Nebeus.
I lead the entire development of Nebeus products, from concept ideation to user acquisition, for all products and services on all Nebeus platforms: iOS, Android and desktop. I also oversee the operational and growth strategies of Nebeus.
Prior to joining Nebeus, I founded several startups and had a diverse career building products in over eight different industries in Europe and the United States.
We have heard of crypto lending, but some of us might not really understand it. How do cryptocurrency backed loans work and what are the benefits?
Cryptocurrency-backed loan is when a person who owns bitcoin, or any other cryptocurrency, uses that cryptocurrency as collateral to secure a loan. The main advantage of this is that crypto investors can use their coins to get cash without needing to sell their investments. Cryptocurrencies are usually bought for the long term, so it makes sense not to have to sell them when an investor needs money. In addition to the need for liquidity, crypto-backed loans have opened a big door for people who want to expand their investments. Many people use crypto-backed loans as a tool to diversify their investments in multiple assets and even leverage their investments in the same asset. For example, people use their Bitcoin to get a loan and buy Ethereum or even Tesla shares, or some people use their Bitcoin to get a loan and buy more Bitcoin.
What is the current state of the regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies and crypto businesses in Europe?
The regulatory landscape is very different in each country, and each country has its own rules and regulations. The simplest way to understand it is to divide this regulatory landscape into two parts:
- Rules and regulations for cryptocurrencies: mainly tax-oriented.
- Regulations for cryptocurrency companies.
Taxes on cryptocurrencies vary from country to country and range from zero tax rules to taxes on earnings above a certain amount, to fixed taxes on capital gains. Portugal, for example, has zero tax on cryptocurrency gains if those gains are not related to a professional activity (i.e. if the person trading is not a professional trader).
Regulations for cryptocurrency companies, on the other hand, are increasingly standardized across all countries. Most countries now require crypto companies to register with local regulatory authorities and comply with anti-money laundering guidelines. In the UK, for example, all crypto companies must register with the FCA. In Spain, all crypto companies must register with the Bank of Spain, and for companies operating outside Portugal, they must register with the Bank of Portugal.
What strategies does Nebeus have in place to adapt and navigate the landscape to ensure that you are compliant with all regulations in the countries in which you operate?
The core business of Nebeus and all crypto-backed loan services are provided by Rintral Trading SL from Spain. We have just registered Rintral Trading SL with Sepblac, the executive service of the Bank of Spain commission for the prevention of money laundering offenses. We are now registered with the Bank of Spain and report any suspicious and potentially fraudulent activity directly to them. Additionally, this week we are applying for MiCA (Markets in Crypto-Assets framework) registration from the European Union as a Spanish cryptocurrency company. Once registration is complete, we will be officially approved by the Bank of Spain.
Nebeus also has an entity in the United Kingdom: Money-4 Limited. All of Nebeus ‘technology is developed and operated by Money-4 Limited, and Money-4 owns all of Nebeus’ intellectual property. We plan to expand into the UK and launch a separate Money-4 brand that will issue non-crypto loans. For that, next week we are applying for a UK consumer credit license to be registered with the FCA. In the long term, we would also like to add crypto services to Money-4, and for that, we plan to ask the FCA to register as a crypto-asset company.
What are you currently working on at Nebeus? What should we expect next on your roadmap?
We see how our users are using Nebeus and we want to help them achieve what they want with their loans in fewer steps. To achieve this, we are working on the development of several new cryptocurrency-backed lending products and several new services that will enhance Nebeus’ cryptocurrency-backed lending experience. I can’t go into too much detail and reveal all of our plans, but I can speak briefly about a product we’ve been developing for a long time: the Nebeus credit card. Our card is nearing its final stages of development and will allow Nebeus users to access instant credit lines using the crypto they hold in their Nebeus accounts. We plan to deliver the card to our users in the first quarter of 2022.
Do you have more information to share with our readers today?
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