Search This Blog

Showing posts with label Licensing. Show all posts

Netherlands Restricts Key Tech Exports in US-China Chip Battle

According to sources, the Netherlands government would impose export limits on the nation's most cutting-edge microprocessor technology in order to safeguard national security.

Products manufactured by ASML, a significant company in the worldwide semiconductor supply chain, will be subject to the embargo. China has filed a formal complaint about the action in response.

The administration of US President Joe Biden has put restrictions on semiconductor exports to its chief superpower rival in an effort to halt the development of cutting-edge technology that might be employed in military modernization and human rights abuses as geopolitical tensions between the US and China increase. The US has also pressed its international allies to follow suit.

The Dutch trade minister, Ms. Schreinemacher, said that the Dutch government had taken into account the technological changes and geopolitical environment, but did not specifically mention China or ASML. To export technology, including the most modern Deep Ultra Violet (DUV) immersion lithography and deposition, enterprises would now need to apply for licenses.

The firm stated that it "does not expect these steps to have a major impact on our financial projection that we have released for 2023 or for our longer-term scenarios as indicated during our Investor Day in November last year."

No matter where in the globe the chips were produced, Washington stated in October that it would want licenses from businesses exporting them to China using US equipment or software.

The US position on semiconductors has drawn criticism from South Korea's trade ministry this week. The South Korean government shall make it abundantly clear that the terms of the Chips Act may increase economic uncertainty, undermine companies' management and intellectual property rights, and lessen the allure of investing in the United States. 

Dubai's Crypto Industry Introduces New Licensing Regulations

The crypto industry in Dubai is witnessing a huge breakthrough since the jurisdiction has recently come up with its new crypto regulatory framework, apparently providing individuals with a concrete licensing regime for their digital asset issues and service vendors. 

The framework was developed in response to the collapse of the cryptocurrency markets in 2022, which caused authorities worldwide to step up their efforts to establish or enforce protections and left businesses and investors worried about the future of cryptocurrencies. 

These new regulations involve the authorities seeking necessary permits and licenses in order to provide users with one or more crypto-related services in Dubai. The framework is accompanied by seven activity-based rulebooks that specify standards based on the type of service supplied and four mandatory rulebooks for service providers, which Talal Tabbaa, founder of the regional cryptocurrency exchange CoinMENA, hailed as being "elegantly designed."  

Dubai is one among the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates with a goal to emerge as a global hub for crypto and blockchain activities, and in order to accomplish this it was courting companies to systemize the jurisdiction even before publishing its strategized rules for the sector. 

In the wake of the new rules being published, the institutional crypto custody provider Hex Trust became one of the first to receive an operational green light from the emirate's watchdog, the Virtual Asset Regulation Authority. Stating the time before VARA, which was established in 2022, Mohamed Reda El Sheikh, head of compliance at Hex Trust for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) says "We were waiting for a licensing framework. We were waiting for somebody with interest to take the responsibility." 

However, these new regulations set up by Dubai are still a work in progress, because of their comprehensive nature, which allows for potential development. The emerging hub's new regulatory structure also reveals the expense of compliance in the area, which may make it more difficult for start-up businesses to locate there. 

While Tabbaa called the licencing costs "peanuts" when compared to other operating costs like hiring staff or maintaining offices locally, and compliance fees are not something crypto companies focus on when looking to enter a market, even he acknowledges that some of Dubai's fees can be viewed as being on the expensive side. 

A company seeking to provide exchange services is required to pay an application cost of 100,000 UAE dirham (US$27,200) and an annual supervision fee that is double that amount, says the document. The application fee does not guarantee acceptance, and if the business wishes to provide additional services such as custody, lending, or payments, it must submit additional licensing applications (at a 50% reduction off the application charge) and pay additional monitoring fees. 

For comparison, the application fee in Abu Dhabi, another emirate of the UAE, is $20,000, while the yearly monitoring fee is $15,000. However, the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) stated in an email to CoinDesk that goes up if businesses seek to provide additional kinds of assets. 

“Apart from any tokenized securities, under ADGM’s regulations, any crypto exchange that operates a spot or derivative market in relation to virtual assets (which include cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether) will have to apply for a Multilateral Trading Facility license,” the ADGM said. Companies that are likely to operate MTFs must pay an application fee of $125,000 and an annual supervision fee of $60,000. 

In Singapore, crypto exchanges that are not involved in fiat currencies usually apply for a Major Payments Institution license (for digital payment token service), which comes with a 10,000 Singapore dollar ($7,500) annual fee. Wherein, New York's BitLicense comes with a $5,000 application fee, although companies have reported bearing a cost of around $100,000 for time allocation, and legal and compliance fees. 

Dubai’s fees, on the other hand, are much more reasonable for larger companies. Although, it may not be very sustainable for startups, says Irina Heaver, a crypto lawyer based in the UAE. 

“However, I fully agree that Dubai needed to step up and to regulate the space, with so many bottom feeding scammers trying to establish here, enough is enough. Hopefully, these regulations will be used to really target those bad players,” Heaver said.  

Washington State Database Breach May Expose Personal Data


The Washington State Department of Licensing stated that the personal information of possibly millions of licenced professionals may have been compromised, after discovering unusual activity on the online licencing system.

According to agency spokesperson Christine Anthony, the agency licences around 40 types of enterprises and professionals, ranging from auctioneers to real estate agents, and it temporarily shut down its web platform after discovering the activities in January. 

Social Security numbers, birth dates, and driver's licences could be among the information held on the POLARIS system. According to Anthony, the agency does not yet know whether such data was accessed or how many people may have been compromised. 

As per The Seattle Times, Anthony stated the agency has been working with the state Office of Cybersecurity, the state Attorney General's Office, and a third-party cybersecurity firm to determine the magnitude of the issue. 

Meanwhile, the POLARIS system's shutdown is creating problems for some professionals and businesses who need to apply for, renew, or update their licences. The outage occurs at a busy period for real estate brokers, appraisers, and home inspectors as the state's real estate market begin to recover from its seasonal slowdown. 

The extent of the breach is undetermined. POLARIS processes data from 23 state-licensed professions and business kinds, according to Anthony. The agency has roughly 257,000 active licences in its system, including bail bonds brokers, funeral directors, home inspectors, and notaries, according to Anthony. He added that there are likely more records that will be uncovered while doing our investigation. 

The State Auditor's Office has set up a website with more details on the security breach as well as links to additional guidance and resources for protecting the identity and credit. That website will be updated with the most recent information on a regular basis. If anyone has any queries, they can contact the Auditor's Office dedicated call centre at 1-855-789-0673 from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time.