Connect with us

Cryptocurrency

Russia to Improve Crypto Transaction Monitoring as Regulation Draws Closer, Says Rosfinmonitoring

Avatar

Published

on

By Reuters | Updated: 9 July 2022

Russia’s financial monitoring agency, Rosfinmonitoring, said on Friday it was using software to track cryptocurrency transactions and hopes to improve its capabilities, as Moscow ushers in regulation on what one lawmaker dubbed “cryptomania”.

The Bank of Russia has long voiced scepticism over cryptocurrencies, citing financial stability concerns, and has advocated for a complete ban on trading and mining, at odds with a government keen to regulate the industry.

Russia has already identified specific criminal cases involved in cryptocurrencies, said Rosfinmonitoring’s head Yuri Chikhanchin, adding that the agency wants to improve its systems and identify transactions and blockchains that are currently hidden.

Chikhanchin said it was not currently possible to cover everything, partly because not all countries are so eager to regulate the industry.

“It is very difficult when cryptocurrency accounts go into the unregulated zone and we don’t understand who is on the other end,” he said. “But I think we will still solve this task.”

The blockchain technology on which cryptocurrencies are based records transactions, but not the identity of wallet-owners, making them difficult to track.

Anatoly Aksakov, head of the financial committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament, on Thursday said draft legislation on regulating cryptocurrencies would be put to the house in the autumn.

“Obviously there will be strict regulation,” Aksakov said, comparing “cryptomania” to addiction in the gambling sector, which is tightly regulated in Russia.

“The same needs to be done with crypto exchanges and trading,” he said. “The phenomenon exists and it cannot be ignored.”

The crypto industry has been in the crosshairs of regulators, who worry that a recent meltdown in the volatile market could hit the broader financial sector.

The slump – sparked by the downfall of two major tokens in May – has led to crypto lender Celsius pausing withdrawals and Singapore-based crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital entering into liquidation.

Russia’s central bank has said it is open to allowing cryptocurrencies to be used for international settlements and has approved other digital asset transactions.

Aksakov also expects a cryptocurrency mining law to be considered soon, an area the government hopes to tax.

Unlike payment companies, most crypto exchanges initially rejected calls to cut off all Russian users, sparking concerns among US lawmakers that digital assets could be used to evade Western sanctions on Moscow over its actions in Ukraine.

Major exchanges said they would comply with sanctions by blocking sanctioned users. In April, Binance froze deposits and trading for Russian users with crypto assets of more than EUR 10,000 (roughly Rs. 8.08 lakh).

© Thomson Reuters 2022

Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin falls below $19,000 as cryptos creak under rate hike risk

Avatar

Published

on

By: Reuters, Updated September 19, 2022

SINGAPORE, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Cryptocurrencies fell to fresh lows on Monday on regulatory concerns and as investors globally turned shy on risky assets with interest rate rises looming around the world.

Bitcoin , the biggest cryptocurrency by market value, fell about 5% to a three-month low of $18,387.

Ether , the second largest cryptocurrency, dropped 3% to a two-month low of $1,285 and is down more than 10% in the last 24 hours. Most other smaller tokens were deeper in the red.

The Ethereum blockchain, which underpins the ether token, had a major upgrade over the weekend called the Merge that changes the way transactions are processed and cuts energy use.

The token’s value has fallen amid some speculation that remarks last week from U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler implied the new structure could attract extra regulation. Trades around the upgrade also were unwound.

“It’s speculation as to what might or might not happen,” said Matthew Dibb, COO of Singapore crypto platform Stack Funds, on the regulatory outlook.

“A lot of the hype has come out of the markets since the Merge,” he said. “It’s really been a sell-the-news type of event,” he added, given the nervous global backdrop, and said ether could test $950 in coming months.

“Looking at the landscape right now, both fundamentally and technically, it’s not looking great. There’s no immediate bullish catalyst that we can see that’s going to prop up these markets and bring in a whole lot of new money and liquidity.”

Continue Reading

Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin once again slips below $20,000

Avatar

Published

on

By: Reuters, September 18, 2022

Sept 18 (Reuters) – Bitcoin on Sunday dropped 1.54% to $19,804, slipping from the 20,000 mark after losing $310 from its previous close.

The world’s biggest and best-known cryptocurrency is down 58.9% from the year’s high of $48,234 on March 28.

Ether , the coin linked to the ethereum blockchain network, dropped 3.2 % to $1,422.1 on Sunday, losing $47 from its previous close.

Continue Reading

Cryptocurrency

U.S. seizes $30 mln in crypto from North Korea-linked hackers

Avatar

Published

on

By: Reuters, September 9, 2022

Sept 8 (Reuters) – The United States has seized over $30 million in cryptocurrency stolen by North Korean-linked hackers Lazarus from the popular online game Axie Infinity, crypto intelligence firm Chainalysis said on Thursday.

The company said in a blog post it played a role in the recovery with U.S. law enforcement and other crypto organizations, without naming them, in the first ever recovery of stolen cryptocurrency by a North Korea hacking group.

Chainalysis and North Korea’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The seizures represent about 10% of the total funds stolen in March from Ronin Network, a sidechain built for the play-to-earn game Axie Infinity, Chainalysis said.

Ronin said in March hackers stole about $615 million in cryptocurrency.

“We estimate that so far in 2022, North Korea-linked groups have stolen approximately $1 billion of cryptocurrency from DeFi protocols,” Chainalysis said. He was referring to decentralized finance protocols, an umbrella term for financial services offered on public blockchains.

The U.S Department of Treasury in May sanctioned virtual currency mixer Blender, saying it was used in the laundering process for the Axie Infinity heist.

The Treasury Department in April also linked Lazarus to the attack.

Continue Reading

Cryptocurrency

Crypto gaming firm Animoca Brands raises $110 million

Avatar

Published

on

By: Reuters, September 8, 2022

LONDON, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming developer Animoca Brands has raised $110 million from investors, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

The company said the fund raising values the company “similar to its previous funding round” but did not specify its new valuation.

In July, Animoca said it had a valuation of around $5.5 billion. read more

(This story corrects paragraph 1 to read Hong Kong-based not Singapore)

Continue Reading

Cryptocurrency

Binance to convert users’ USDC into its own stablecoin

Avatar

Published

on

By: Reuters, September 6, 2022

Sept 5 (Reuters) – Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, said on Monday it is introducing “BUSD Auto-Conversion,” which will be used to convert any existing user balances and new deposits of USD Coin (USDC), Pax Dollar (USDP) and True USD (TUSD) into its own stablecoin.

The move is intended to enhance liquidity and capital efficiency for users, the company said in a statement.

Binance said it will remove and cease any trading on spot pairs that include USDC, USDP and TUSD; it will start the conversion on Sept. 29.

USDC, which is principally operated by Circle Internet Financial and is the second largest stablecoin, has a nearly $51.9 billion market capitalization. Binance’s stablecoin, BUSD, is valued at about $19.4 billion, according to crypto data provider CoinGecko.

USDC products affected include saving accounts, DeFi staking subscriptions and crypto loans, which will be closed and liquidated on Sept. 23.

Continue Reading

Cryptocurrency

Crypto Exchange FTX Ordered to Halt ‘False and Misleading’ Claims by US Bank Regulator

Avatar

Published

on

By Reuters | Updated: 20 August 2022

A US bank regulator ordered crypto exchange FTX on Friday to halt what it called “false and misleading” claims the exchange had made about whether funds at the company are insured by the government. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said a July tweet by Brett Harrison, head of FTX’s US operations, contained misleading claims that funds held at and stocks purchased through FTX were FDIC insured, and ordered the company to remove any misleading language from its social media accounts and websites.

In the tweet, which Harrison has since deleted, he stated that direct deposits from employers to the crypto exchange are “stored in individually FDIC-insured bank accounts” and that stocks purchased via FTX US “are held in FDIC-insured” brokerage accounts. The FDIC said in its cease and desist letter to FTX US that those statements implied that FDIC insurance was available for cryptocurrency and stock holdings, and that the agency does not insure brokerage accounts.

The order, one of five sent to crypto firms by the FDIC on Friday, comes as regulators have ramped up efforts to police crypto firms that may be misleading investors on whether their funds enjoy a government backstop. The issue has come to a head of late, as turmoil in the crypto market has led to stress and the collapse of some high profile firms.

The bank regulator issued a similar cease and desist letter to bankrupt crypto firm Voyager Digital, arguing that the company had misled customers by claiming their funds with Voyager would be covered by the FDIC. Later, the FDIC issued an advisory urging banks dealing with crypto companies to ensure that customers are aware of what types of assets are government-insured, particularly in cases where firms offer a mix of uninsured crypto products alongside insured bank deposit products.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

In a tweet on Friday, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried emphasised FTX is not FDIC-insured, and apologised if anyone misinterpreted previous comments.

Continue Reading

Trending