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August 2021

Court in China says trading in cryptocurrency ‘not protected by law’

The ruling by Shandong’s High Court backs up China’s official stance against trading in cryptocurrencies. What does this mean for investors?

Ripple: SEC ex-chief Hinman’s views on XRP are ‘dubious’

Ripple also challenges SEC’s use of ‘deliberative process privilege’ to prevent agency documents on Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP from disclosure.

Canadian regulator seeks enforcement action against crypto exchange OKEx

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking to bring an enforcement action against Aux Cayes Fintech Co. Ltd., which operates the OKEx platform, for allegedly violating Ontario securities law, according to a statement. Fast facts According to the statement of allegations filed by the OSC’s enforcement team on Aug. 18, Seychelles-incorporated Aux Cayes — which […]

China shuts down website and social media of high-profile blockchain center

China continues its crackdown on certain illegal social organizations, as authorities shut down the website and social media accounts of the China Blockchain Application Center — a organization once led by some of the nation’s most prominent crypto industry leaders, state media China National Radio reported yesterday. Fast facts The China Blockchain Application Center was […]

Binance users burned by outage band together to take legal action

Crypto traders who suffered losses on Binance due to tech outages are turning to arbitration and crypto litigation finance.

Shanghai court rules Bitcoin is virtual property, not currency

A district court in Shanghai has ruled that Bitcoin is virtual property, not a currency that is allowed to circulate, according to a statement released earlier this week. Fast facts A Minhang district court in Shanghai stated this week that it heard a case in which a plaintiff purchased Bitcoin mining machines from a defendant […]

Netherlands warns Binance is illegally offering crypto services

The central bank of the Netherlands has issued a warning that Binance — the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by trading volume — is illegally operating in the country. Fast facts Binance is providing crypto services in the Netherlands without the required legal registration with De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), according to the regulator. “This […]

El Salvador’s finance minister says Bitcoin is ‘totally optional’

In what will likely be a relief for many Salvadorans, El Salvador’s finance minister said the use of BTC will remain “totally optional” and businesses will not be sanctioned for not using it when the country’s controversial BTC law comes into effect on Sept. 7, reports Yahoo News. Fast facts The country’s adoption of BTC […]

India’s crypto sector on edge as bill that may lead to ban awaits cabinet approval

If cabinet approves crypto bill by November, it could be introduced as early as parliament’s winter session.

Ripple decries SEC’s demand for employee Slack messages on XRP

Ripple claims the SEC’s request for 1 million more of the company’s internal messages is costly and unlikely to resolve disputes at the heart of the litigation.

U.S. Treasury eases concerns over crypto reporting requirements

In welcome news for the U.S. crypto industry, the Treasury Department is slated to clarify that only crypto companies that fit its definition of “brokers” will have to comply with new tax reporting requirements outlined in the country’s US$1 trillion infrastructure bill, Bloomberg reports. Fast facts Quoting an anonymous Treasury source, Bloomberg reported that crypto […]

Iran tax authority pushes to legalize crypto exchanges

In a position seemingly at odds with the remainder of the country’s government, the Iranian National Tax Authority has proposed legalizing digital asset exchanges in order to better collect tax from them, according to local media outlet Eghtesad News. Fast facts The INTA also warned that imposing overly stringent regulation on the sector could have […]

How to avoid the pitfalls of FATF’s crypto travel rule

Crypto exchanges, or VASPs, are coming under increasing regulation. Complying with the Financial Action Task Force’s travel rule will be one of them.

US Senate passes $1 trillion infrastructure bill with crypto tax requirements

Despite strong lobbying attempts from the crypto industry for last-minute amendments, the Biden administration’s US$1 trillion infrastructure bill passed the Senate last night with heightened tax reporting requirements for crypto “brokers” and possible ramifications for crypto miners, as Yahoo News reports. Fast facts A compromise amendment requiring unanimous consent to be added to the bill […]

Tencent blockchain applet IOU accused of breaking Chinese competition law

Chinese blockchain company RongxinChain has alleged that Tencent’s IOU applet is operating in breach of the country’s Unfair Competition Law, according to a report by the Shenzhen Baoan District Credit Promotion Association. Fast facts Tencent’s IOU blockchain applet went online in July on the company’s “super app,” Wechat, allowing users to issue legally valid IOUs […]

USDC issuer Circle to become full-reserve digital currency bank

Amid a period of increasing regulatory interest in stablecoins, Circle, the digital payment company that issues USDC, the world’s second-largest stablecoin , has announced plans to become a full-reserve national digital currency bank in the U.S. Fast facts In a company blog post, CEO and co-founder Jeremy Allaire said the company was prepared to operate […]

Unocoin now allows Indians to buy pizza, coffee with Bitcoin

Several cryptocurrency payment methods exist around the world, but new service is the first major one of its kind in India.

Crypto miners set to be snared by U.S. infrastructure bill

A landmark US$1 trillion infrastructure bill moved one step closer to becoming law on Sunday, notably without carve-outs for cryptocurrency miners and network validators. What does it mean for the industry?

First SEC DeFi bust made in US$30M fraud case

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has taken its first regulatory action involving decentralized finance in a case involving the “unregistered sales of more than US$30 million in securities,” according to an agency press release. Fast facts Gregory Keough and Derek Acree were charged along with their Cayman Islands-based company, Blockchain Credit Partners, over allegedly […]

What is the regulatory outlook for virtual asset exchanges in Hong Kong and Singapore?

Singapore and Hong Kong are at the forefront of regulations over crypto exchanges, writes Vince Turcotte of Eventus Systems. Here’s why trade surveillance and risk management will be critical.

Ripple expands XRP into NFTs amid escalating legal battles

As court grants CEO request to obtain info from Binance to bolster defense in SEC lawsuit, Ripple seeks to expand use cases for XRP Ledger.

Venezuela launches CBDC amid runaway inflation and currency redenomination

In an effort to curb runaway inflation, Venezuela’s central bank is removing six zeros from its currency and putting a digital bolivar into circulation on Oct. 1, according to reporting by Bloomberg. Fast facts An example of a central bank digital currency, the digital bolivar was announced by the Venezuelan central bank’s Twitter account yesterday […]

Ethereum rising: 3 reasons why Ether’s price could soon break $3,000

Will Google greenlighting US crypto ads, Ethereum’s London upgrade and clearer regulations pave the way for another Ether price rally?

U.S. infrastructure bill set for possible change following crypto industry backlash

An amendment has been introduced to the US$1 trillion infrastructure bill currently before the U.S. Senate that would exempt bitcoin miners and other validators from a provision seeking to raise funds for its fulfilment, according to a report by CNBC. Fast facts As Forkast.News has reported, the provision sought to raise US$28 billion over the […]

SEC chair labels crypto industry ‘Wild West,’ asks for more powers

The cryptocurrency trading industry has been labeled a “Wild West,” riddled with fraud and investor risk, by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler, according to a Reuters report. Fast facts Calling on Congress at the Aspen Security Forum to give the SEC more power to regulate the industry, Gensler said many of the […]

HSBC blocks UK customer payments to Binance

Binance’s woes continue to mount as global banking giant HSBC is now blocking its customers in the United Kingdom from making credit card payments to Binance, according to Yahoo News. Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Fast facts HSBC’s move follows similar actions taken by NatWest — a Scotland-based bank with 12.5 million customers […]

Chinese central bank shows no sign of softening stance on crypto

People’s Bank of China vows to keep sector under ‘heavy pressure’ as it pushes digital yuan.

Binance in Malaysia ban as it ends derivatives trading in Germany, Italy, Netherlands

World’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange steps up compliance and cuts product offerings, with a ban in Malaysia and end of lucrative derivatives business in three EU nations.

U.S. infrastructure bill could bring sweeping regulatory changes to crypto

A provision in an infrastructure bill being debated by the U.S. Senate has prompted concerns in the crypto industry as it boosts Internal Revenue Service reporting requirements for investors and brokers. Fast facts According to the New York Times, the provision is an effort to help fund a US$ 1 trillion bipartisan bill and could […]

July 2021

India admits it has no good data on crypto exchanges, despite years of debate over regulations

Speaking to Parliament, India’s finance minister reveals that the government does not know how many crypto exchanges India has nor the number of crypto users.

Chinese authorities swoop on 380 suspected crypto and wire fraud groups in 1H 2021

Wire fraud, including cryptocurrency-related fraud, becomes fastest-growing crime as scams — some even involving China’s digital yuan project — proliferate.

Iran’s electric utility issues warning about Chinese crypto miners

Iranian state electric company Tavanir has warned judicial officials about Chinese cryptocurrency miners coming to Iran, an influx that could worsen the country’s power outage problems, according to local media reports. Fast facts Tavanir CEO Mohammad Hussein Motevallizadeh said in a letter published by local news website Eghtesadnews that the Chinese government’s crackdown on crypto […]

Crypto mining rig giant Bitmain divests from AntPool, the world’s biggest mining pool

Bitmain’s move comes amid China’s crypto mining crackdowns and AntPool’s shrinking hashrate. Is Bitmain gussying up for an IPO?

Binance CEO reiterates willingness to replace self, beefs up KYC

Binance also tightens withdrawal limits and unveils new tax reporting tool, to counter recent flurry of government investigations and bad publicity.

Huobi’s stock plunges in Hong Kong as it shuts Beijing unit

Closure of blockchain business may be related to regulatory concerns, but unlikely to hit crypto industry hard, observers say.

Bitmain joins hands with Kazakhstan mining farm Enegix to host rigs

Chinese cryptocurrency mining rig maker Bitmain has partnered with Enegix, which runs one of the biggest crypto mining data centers in Kazakhstan, to host its Antminer machines in the Central Asian nation. Fast facts Bitmain said in a statement on Friday that it had joined hands with Enegix, a data center operator in Kazakhstan, to […]

BIT Mining to exit lottery business for crypto mining expansion

BIT Mining — a New York Stock Exchange-listed company that only months ago became a big investor in Chinese cryptocurrency mining — has decided to exit its Chinese lottery-related business and focus more on mining outside the country. Fast facts BIT Mining, formerly known as 500.com, has operated online sports lottery services, but announced on […]

Crypto miner ships China-based rigs abroad in deal with U.S. fossil fuels firm

Optimum Mining Host-Black Rock Petroleum plan comes as Canaan seeks greener operations through Czech partnership.

Russia looks to tap demand for power as crypto miners flood out of China

Plentiful electricity, cold climate are among drawcards as Chinese mine operators flee crackdown at home.

Turkey to debate crypto regulation bill in October

Turkey’s deputy finance minister says a draft bill to create a cryptocurrency regulatory framework will be submitted to parliament in October, according to a report by CNN Türk. Fast facts The bill will define different types of virtual currencies and principles for their issuance and distribution. The country’s Capital Markets Commission will supervise companies handling […]

Chinese crypto news service forced to shutter site

Bishijie’s suspension deprives users of industry news and community forum as Beijing continues campaign targeting cryptocurrency sector.

UK finance watchdog to spend £11M to warn young people off crypto investment

Britain’s financial crimes enforcement agency is set to launch a campaign costing £11 million (US$15.2 million) to warn young people about the risks of investing in cryptocurrencies.  Fast facts Financial Conduct Authority CEO Nikhil Rathi said social media users aged 18 to 30 would be the target audience. “As with the GameStop episode, more people see investment as […]

Hong Kong raid uncovers suspected US$155M crypto laundering scheme

Tether stablecoins linked to funds funneled to banks in Singapore and elsewhere amid worldwide cryptocurrency crime increase.

SEC says Ripple not entitled to testimony on XRP from ex-director

Is William Hinman a former ‘high-ranking’ SEC official exempt from disclosing his prior communications on XRP, or must he provide testimony to Ripple?

Key takeaways from FATF’s latest report on virtual assets

The Financial Action Task Force — the global anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing standards-setter — this week released its second 12-month review on virtual assets and virtual asset service providers, and called on countries to implement the revised FATF standards, including travel rule requirements “as soon as possible.” “The global nature of the underpinning technology […]

Stablecoins could pose risks to global financial system, Chinese central bank official says

Warning comes as Beijing ramps up efforts to internationalize China’s currency through launch of digital yuan.

Iran crypto mining remains suspended amid blackouts

Iran has continued a suspension of cryptocurrency mining, with Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri urging all licensed miners to stop operating as the country continues to suffer power outages, according to a report by U.Today that cited a Farsi-language tweet by the Tasnim News Agency. Fast facts Jahangiri said the ongoing electricity supply problems could last […]

Chinese firm shut down by central bank for trading cryptocurrencies

China’s central bank has reiterated its ban on cryptocurrency trading and yesterday said it had ordered a company in Beijing suspected of offering software services for crypto trading to shut down as part of an ongoing nationwide crackdown on the crypto industry. Fast facts A Beijing office of the People’s Bank of China and a […]

Binance suspends SEPA euro deposits as CZ calls compliance a ‘journey’

Facing an onslaught of regulatory scrutiny, Binance CEO calls crypto regulations ‘positive sign’ of a maturing industry and announces new hires in compliance.

South Korean crypto exchanges tighten personal trading rules for employees

Three of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea have tightened restrictions on virtual currency trading by their employees in a move designed to comply with the nation’s crypto regulations. Fast facts Bithumb announced that starting this month, it had banned its employees from trading cryptocurrencies using Bithumb accounts. The exchange has made employees sign […]

Huobi to impose tighter OTC trading restrictions

Crypto exchange Huobi yesterday issued an announcement in simplified Chinese saying that it would implement a “T+1” withdrawal freezing time for all over-the-counter trades, meaning that traders can transfer cryptocurrency out only 24 hours after depositing it. In some cases, the freeze will last up to 36 hours.  Fast facts At present, the announcement appears […]

June 2021

Taiwan to introduce new AML rules for crypto exchanges on July 1

Taiwan is set to enact new anti-money laundering rules that take effect July 1 to further boost AML requirements for crypto exchanges.

Crypto exchange Coinbase to launch crypto app store in international strategy

Nasdaq-listed Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, announced today its plans to expand its business internationally as it seeks to improve its asset-listing process and build a crypto app store. Fast facts: “We’re seeing crypto quickly mature from its initial use case of trading bitcoin to the trading of thousands of new […]

What kind of new regulation can help Australia become a global crypto hub?

Through tomorrow, a Senate committee is taking public comments on how best to make Australia into a global crypto leader and fintech hub.

Gold loses shine for India’s crypto-curious young investors

Crypto investment in India has grown from about US$200 million to nearly US$40 billion in the past year, driven in large measure by demand among young investors.
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Huobi bans users in China, Taiwan from crypto derivatives trades

Chinese cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has stopped providing crypto derivative trading services to users in China and Taiwan.

Mexican finance minister reiterates crypto ban after bank unveils Bitcoin plan

Mexico’s finance minister reiterated his country’s ban on cryptocurrencies on Monday, saying they are not legal tender and are not to be treated as currencies within the country
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Britain bans Binance UK, but users continue business on crypto exchange

FCA says Binance is not permitted to offer regulated activities in the UK, but users of the world’s largest crypto exchange remain unaffected — for now.

FATF: Most countries have yet to implement anti-terrorism crypto ‘travel rule’

Why are so few adopting FATF guidance for VASPs? Money laundering watchdog decries ‘continued misuse of virtual assets through jurisdictional arbitrage.’

Kazakhstan’s Bitcoin gold rush gathers pace as Chinese miners keep piling in

As China shuts down crypto mining over environmental concerns, miners are moving next door to Kazakhstan, one of the most coal-rich countries in the world.

Mining rig maker Bitmain halts sales amid flood of second-hand machines

Chinese crypto mining rig maker Bitmain has decided to suspend global spot sales of its Antminer machines, as some of its clients are reselling their rigs.

South Korea points to crypto regulation efforts after calls for watchdog to quit

South Korea’s presidential office has reacted defensively to a petition calling for the chief of the country’s main finance sector regulator to step down over comments he made about cryptocurrencies.

Rig maker Bitmain offers help to Chinese miners looking to relocate abroad

Chinese mining rig maker Bitmain is offering assistance to clients that want to relocate their cryptocurrency mining operations from China to other countries.

Chinese crypto mining rig maker Bitmain suspends sales as prices drop

Chinese mining rig maker Bitmain has stopped selling in-stock cryptocurrency mining equipment amid a plunge in the prices following a shutdown of major mining pools in China.

Iran seizes record haul of 7,000 crypto mining machines

Iranian police have confiscated 7,000 cryptocurrency mining machines from an abandoned factory in western Tehran, the largest batch discovered in recent days.

U.S. Treasury nominees pledge beefed-up crypto AML enforcement

Two nominees to the U.S. Treasury Department have promised, if they are confirmed in their posts, to implement new regulations relating to cryptocurrency.

Chinese crypto miners head west as Beijing’s crackdown gains pace

Kazakhstan offers nearby bolthole as North America and Europe beckon.
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Bybit joins growing list of crypto exchanges in Canadian regulator’s crosshairs

The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is seeking to bring enforcement action against Singapore-based crypto derivatives exchange Bybit for allegedly violating the Canadian province’s securities laws, according to a statement. Fast facts: “Bybit, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, is operating an unregistered crypto asset trading platform, encouraging Ontarians to use the platform, and allowing Ontario […]

Chinese central bank orders lenders to cut cryptos’ financial lifelines

The People’s Bank of China has told the country’s big banks and other finance sector heavyweights to cut off financing sources for cryptocurrency transactions.

S. Korean banks start crypto exchange reviews as contract renewals loom

South Korean lenders have started money laundering risk assessments of the country’s “big four” cryptocurrency exchanges, with which they have contracts to provide real-name accounts.

Bitcoin hashrate plunges as Chinese crypto mining crackdown hits Sichuan

The Bitcoin hashrate plunged over the weekend following a clampdown on cryptocurrency mining by the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan.

Miami woos crypto miners fleeing China

The city’s mayor says it welcomes an exodus of miners from China amid a generalized clampdown on the industry.