Posts by FarerScary

    FATF: UK Crypto Exchanges Pose 'Low' Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing Risk

    The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) revealed that crypto exchanges operating in the United Kingdom pose low money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF) risks. The global standard setter for ML/TF published a report to evaluate the overall efforts that the UK has put in combating the money-related illegal activities. As the study touched on

    The post FATF: UK Crypto Exchanges Pose ‘Low’ Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing Risk appeared first on CCN

    Romper Room to White Linen: Saying Goodbye to Crypto's Infant Anarchy


    Sheila Bair is an advisor to Omniex, a technology company providing services to institutional investors, and a board member of the Paxos Trust, a regulated trust company developing blockchain technology.

    She does not own crypto assets. The views expressed are her own. The following is an exclusive contribution to CoinDesk’s 2018 Year in Review.

    When our children were small, we would take them to a local Mexican restaurant that had an upstairs dining room specially reserved for families with young kids. Entering that dining room was entering a cacophony of crying babies and screaming toddlers, with 40-inch tall humans running amok, perilously circumventing waiters and hiding under tables to evade parental clutches.

    Given that our own daughter liked to drink salsa right out of the dipping bowl, while our son typically landed more guacamole on the floor than in his mouth — we loved it. It was meant to be anarchy.

    No one cared if our kids failed to follow proper dining etiquette. But as the kids matured and acquired proper table manners, we moved downstairs to the main dining room, where the grown-ups demanded a higher level of service, and behaved accordingly. The proprietors even dared to use white table cloths, which remarkably stayed salsa-stain free.

    In their early years, the cryptocurrency trading markets were a bit like that upstairs dining room.

    Dominated by adventurous, risk-seeking technology buffs (and some crooks), anarchy prevailed as there were no clear rules around trading, know-your-customer or security standards. Every trader looked out for him or herself.

    But as these markets have matured, a few exchanges have now sought regulated status as trust companies, subject to annual examinations by bank regulators, capital requirements and the full panoply of anti-money laundering and cyber security rules.

    The recent launch of bitcoin futures products on exchanges regulated by the CFTC have reinforced this trend, prompting the adoption of anti-manipulation policies, better market surveillance, and information-sharing agreements between the crypto spot markets and regulated futures exchanges.

    As crypto trading has survived and matured, we now we see institutional investor interest picking up (bitcoin prices notwithstanding). Regardless of which cryptocurrencies ultimately succeed (I tend to think bitcoin will survive as a store of value), the smart money has come to accept crypto as a new, legitimate asset class and is seeking well-regulated venues to invest.

    Even Boston Brahmin Fidelity is entering the space, recently announcing the launch of a separate company to handle custody and trade execution for institutional customers.

    Hurdle ahead

    Still, many institutional investors are reluctant to take the plunge.

    It is a testament to the strength of the Security and Exchange Commission’s investor protections that they want a way to take a position in crypto through a product on a regulated securities exchange. Yet, recently the SEC disapproved nine applications it received to list a crypto exchange traded product (ETP).

    Still pending is the CboeBZX Exchange’s application to list and trade SolidX Bitcoin Shares issued by the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust. Many viewed this application as having the best chance of getting a nod from the regulator.

    However, in recent remarks before the Consensus Invest conference, SEC Chair Jay Clayton seemed to pour cold water on SEC approval of any ETP as he re-iterated SEC concerns about the strength of market surveillance in crypto spot markets as well as protections against “theft or disappearance” of crypto assets.

    The SEC is right to focus on protecting investors against market manipulation and the security of their crypto assets. These are core to the SEC’s mission. However, there is not an asset class on the planet where absolute guarantees can be made against cyber-attacks or attempted manipulations. The real question is whether the proposed ETP offers protections that are as strong as those afforded investors for other types of exchanged-traded products that have been approved by the SEC.

    With regard to protections against investor loss from criminal activity or operational error, the VanEck trust is providing significant protections. Unlike other ETP applications, when an investor buys the VanEck shares, the fund will buy an equivalent amount of real bitcoins. It will secure the bitcoin by using industry best practice: multi-signature cold storage wallets with backups in geographically diverse locations for disaster recovery purposes.

    Adding a belt to these suspenders, it will maintain comprehensive insurance to protect investors against loss.

    Striking a balance

    However, the strength of market surveillance and anti-manipulation policies varies widely across the many crypto trading markets, and this is a cause for concern. On the plus side, the large number of venues in which bitcoin trades arguably makes it less susceptible to manipulation than spot markets for other assets where trading is more concentrated.

    Active arbitrage between the OTC and spot exchanges should also reduce manipulation risk. In addition, there are no insiders or material non-public information on which to trade, and it would be difficult to disseminate false or misleading information about bitcoin because aggregate supply is determined by a public, straightforward algorithm.

    But on the negative side, the bitcoin spot market’s thin liquidity and domination by individual investors increases manipulation risk. The conundrum here is that increased institutional participation in these markets – which would be facilitated by the SEC’s approval of the ETP – is probably necessary to achieve greater liquidity.

    More generally, the entry of more demanding institutional traders would have a disciplining effect on crypto exchanges to tighten surveillance. The fact that the initial per-share price of the ETP is 25 bitcoins means shares will be traded by institutional and other substantial investors who are better equipped than retail investors to drive greater transparency and anti-manipulation safeguards.

    Yet, the SEC has a difficult task in ensuring appropriate investor protections without setting impossibly high standards. By accommodating greater institutional participation in crypto assets, the SEC could force improved standards in the spot markets where retail investors dominate – sometimes at their peril.

    Testing an ETP with an institutional investor base could inform future work on a retail product giving individual investors venues to trade under the watchful eye of the SEC. Crypto assets are ready for the white linen treatment of a fully regulated securities exchange.

    Let’s hope the SEC can find a careful path forward.

    Have an opinionated take on 2018? CoinDesk is seeking submissions for our 2018 in Review. Email news [at] to learn how to get involved.

    Glasses image via CoinDesk archives


    Ripple Price Analysis: XRP/USD Accumulating at 30 cents, Ripple Solutions not a Proof of Concept

    Latest Ripple News The just concluded Impact Fintech 2018 was yet another platform for Ripple officials to reiterate the vision-mission statement of their company: that of providing simple, cheap and yet effective cross-border settlement solutions. To execute this objective, the company has rolled out xVia, xRapid and xCurrent. The latter received an update but against […]

    The post Ripple Price Analysis: XRP/USD Accumulating at 30 cents, Ripple Solutions not a Proof of Concept appeared first on Ethereum World News.

    Calgary Becomes First Canadian City to Launch Its Own Cryptocurrency

    Calgary Tower - Downtown - Canada

    Despite the current market decline, it can't be denied that cryptocurrency adoption is increasing every day. It's no longer unusual for nations to launch or consider their own state-backed cryptos such as Venezuela who recently launched the Petro and Iran who plans to issue a state-backed coin in the future. Both of these examples are designed, in part, to […]

    Calgary Becomes First Canadian City to Launch Its Own Cryptocurrency was originally found on [blokt] - Blockchain, Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

    Bitcoin History Part 4: Casascius Creates Physical Bitcoins

    Bitcoin was born as a wholly digital currency, and it might have remained that way had it not been for the efforts of an early adopter from Utah. His name was Mike Caldwell, but on the Bitcointalk forum, he was better known as Casascius. The physical bitcoin creator took a digital phenomenon and converted into […]

    The post Bitcoin History Part 4: Casascius Creates Physical Bitcoins appeared first on Bitcoin News.

    Crypto Platform Cubits Begins Insolvency Procedure After Alleged Hack, Locks Users' Funds


    United Kingdom-based cryptocurrency payment platform Cubits has filed for administration following a sudden outage that locked customer funds, a company press release revealed Dec. 11.

    The act of filing for administration means that an insolvent company has appointed an external administrator in order to act of behalf of its creditors.

    Cubits, the trading name of legal entity Dooga Ltd., claimed it had lost funds worth €29 million ($32.8 million) to “fraudsters” in February 2018 that it was unable to reclaim.

    Now, Dooga has brought in administrators “to work with those who are owed money by the Company and to collect monies that are owed.”

    “Our goal is to achieve the best outcome for creditors generally at the earliest possible date,” one of the two newly appointed administrators Steve Parker commented in the press release, continuing:

    “Dooga’s current position is secure, investigations are proceeding and we will be writing to creditors, formally, this week.”

    Both of Opus Restructuring & Insolvency (a part of Opus Business Services Group), Parker is joined by Trevor Binyon to work as “Joint Administrators” for Dooga.

    Cubits users had raised the alarm Monday after the platform’s website went offline. At the time, the company’s Twitter account claimed the reason for the downtime was “maintenance.”

    The website subsequently went from claiming services would “be right back” to a generic error message Dec. 12. The website now shows a copy of their press release explaining the administration procedure.

    Some users reacted coldly, claiming they had already been waiting several weeks to withdraw funds.

    Opus Business, now in charge of Cubits’ administration, has not responded to a request for comment on users’ locked funds by press time.

    The February episode focuses on three Chinese traders who allegedly purchased Bitcoin (BTC) on Cubits via Malta-based payment processor Pay Secure Online Ltd, regularly known as PaySec.

    The company allegedly never paid Dooga the fiat due, leaving the company with debts totalling €35 million ($39.7 million). In August, a Maltese court upheld a garnishee order (third party order) filed against PaySec, which Dooga openly claims “colluded” with the traders.

    “Since February, Dooga has made every possible effort to recover these funds,” the release continued:

    “Unfortunately — contrary to expectations — these efforts have been unsuccessful up until now.”

    In a separate controversy, an analysis of Dooga’s activity on LinkedIn revealed its payments coordinator Eloise Debono is an endorser of infamous alleged ponzi scheme OneCoin.

    Its head of crypto business, Max Krupyshev, left the company in November before its financial woes became public.


    Swiss Bitcoin ETP Sees Record Volume as Institutional Investors Buy the Dip

    SIX swiss exchange HODL Bitcoin ETP

    The steep decline in Bitcoin price has coincided with record volume of the recently launched Bitcoin ETP on the SIX Swiss Stock Exchange, suggesting that institutional investors are may be buying the dip. Bitcoin ETP $HODL Sees Record Volume Earlier in November, Bitcoinist reported that a Bitcoin exchange-traded product (ETP) with the HODL ticker offered by Amun Crypto was about to begin trading on Switzerland’s SIX Exchange. The ETP represents a fully collateralized and non-interest-paying bearer debt security,

    Read More

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    Samsung Files for Cryptocurrency Trademarks in the EU For Smartphones

    Electronics giant Samsung has filed applications for three blockchain-related trademark requests for smartphones. Based on the descriptions provided by the company, the three European trademark requests relate to providing crypto custody services on smartphones, which indicates that Samsung may be planning to make its entry into the ‘blockchain smartphone’ market following the recent release of HTC’s

    The post Samsung Files for Cryptocurrency Trademarks in the EU For Smartphones appeared first on CCN

    Binance Tackles Cryptocurrency 'Misinformation' With Multilingual Educational Article Bankc


    Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has launched a collection of educational content comprising almost 500 articles in order to fight “incorrect” and “misleading” information, a press release confirmed Dec. 12.

    Binance, which regularly tops the list of the world’s largest exchanges by volume traded, will initially support 15 languages via the project.

    The launch and development is a product of Binance Academy, the exchange’s dedicated education arm which itself began operating in August.

    “Misinformation spreads extremely fast. People are frequently quoting articles that are either incorrect or are misleading,” Ted Lin, chief growth officer at Binance commented in the release. Lin noted:

    “With Binance Academy, our goal is to provide an entirely neutral platform with quality, unbiased, educational information.”

    While it remains unknown what specific information will be covered, topics will include blockchain, security and economics, as well as “useful tutorials and guides,” Lin added.

    The decision to launch an informational resource comes as even the topic of Bitcoin’s own identity continues to come under the spotlight.

    Following the turmoil of the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork last month, the altcoin’s proponents, notably news and information resource, continue to assert that Bitcoin Cash is the “real” Bitcoin, an angle which has earned the publication criticism in the past.

    Developing such resources has also become an occupation of various other entities in the cryptocurrency industry and beyond, October seeing a government-endorsed scheme by Gibraltar to develop blockchain education courses.

    Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin’s ConsenSys — a blockchain startup and incubator — in partnership with online education platform Coursera, along with Oxford University professors, have also put forward separate blockchain educational plans of their own.


    7 Major Exchanges in Korea Agree on Joint Measures

    7 Major Exchanges in Korea to Create a Healthy Cryptocurrency EcosystemSeven major crypto exchanges in South Korea have joined forces to create a sound cryptocurrency ecosystem. They have agreed on joint measures such as information sharing and real-time monitoring of abnormal transactions. Meanwhile, the Korean government is working on institutionalizing crypto exchanges. Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations Seven […]

    The post 7 Major Exchanges in Korea Agree on Joint Measures appeared first on Bitcoin News.