“Publicly Traded Crypto Exchange” Bitcoin Generation Hit by SEC Sanctions

“Publicly Traded Crypto Exchange” Bitcoin Generation Hit by SEC Sanctions

An official announcement published on April 29, 2019, has revealed that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has temporarily suspended the trading of shares in Bitcoin Generation (BTGN), a blockchain-based company out of Oklahoma. The company also operates a crypto exchange platform that supports popular cryptocurrencies, and it bills itself as the “first publicly traded cryptocurrency exchange.
Indian Government Again Discussing Ban on Cryptocurrencies: Report

Indian Government Again Discussing Ban on Cryptocurrencies: Report

The government of India is said to be renewing its efforts to completely outlaw public cryptocurrencies. A report from The Economic Times on Friday, citing anonymous “government officials aware of details” said that a number of government departments in the country have backed the idea of a complete ban on the issuance and trading of cryptocurrencies.
Banks Can’t Snub Crypto Startups Thanks to France’s New Blockchain Law

Banks Can’t Snub Crypto Startups Thanks to France’s New Blockchain Law

The Takeaway: France’s new crypto law grants blockchain-related projects the right to a bank account, provided they opt in to being regulated There’s an optional certification or “visa” for ICO projects as well as crypto services providers such as exchanges and custodians The new law paves the way for French life insurance and private equity funds to get more exposure to crypto assets All of this is a far cry from the U.
Chainalysis Adds Real-Time Transaction Monitoring for 4 More Cryptos

Chainalysis Adds Real-Time Transaction Monitoring for 4 More Cryptos

Blockchain compliance startup Chainalysis has added four more cryptocurrencies to its real-time transaction monitoring tool. The newly supported coins are Binance’s native token Binance Coin (BNB) and three stablecoins – Gemini dollar (GUSD), Tether (USDT) and Circle’s USD Coin (USDC) – Chainalysis said Wednesday. “As a New York trust company, we are required to monitor transactions onto and off of our platform,” said crypto exchange Gemini’s chief compliance officer, Michael Breu.
The Hidden Effects of Crypto Money Laundering Rules

The Hidden Effects of Crypto Money Laundering Rules

Noelle Acheson is a veteran of company analysis and a member of CoinDesk’s product team. The following article originally appeared in Institutional Crypto by CoinDesk, a free newsletter for the institutional market with news and views on crypto infrastructure delivered every Tuesday. Sign up at the link below. 
In First, FinCEN Penalizes Bitcoin Trader for Violating AML Laws

In First, FinCEN Penalizes Bitcoin Trader for Violating AML Laws

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has for the first time penalized what it dubs a “peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchanger” for breaking anti-money laundering (AML) rules. The U.S. regulator announced Thursday that California resident and cryptocurrency trader Eric Powers failed to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act’s (BSA) registration and reporting requirements during 2012–2014.
Bakkt Exchange May Be Seeking New York License for Crypto Custody: Report

Bakkt Exchange May Be Seeking New York License for Crypto Custody: Report

The owner of the New York Stock Exchange, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), is reportedly eyeing a New York license for its long-delayed crypto exchange Bakkt. With Bakkt’s launch having been held up for five months, apparently over persuading the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to approve it to custody bitcoin for its planned physically-delivered futures contracts, ICE apparently sees a license from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) as a possible solution, a Bloomberg report citing several sources said Thursday.
Canadian Province Offers Low-Cost Energy Incentives to Bitcoin Miners

Canadian Province Offers Low-Cost Energy Incentives to Bitcoin Miners

They’re doing it in British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta and Labrador — bitcoin miners in Canadian provinces are taking advantage of the country’s cool climate and abundant supplies of hydroelectric power. A number of provincial governments are offering lower rates to attract bitcoin miners and Labrador’s government is considering energy incentives to attract what it says are “outstanding requests for service” from bitcoin and other “data centre” processors, according to a report from the National Post.
‘Onerous’ FATF Recommendations Harmful for Crypto Transparency: Chainalysis

‘Onerous’ FATF Recommendations Harmful for Crypto Transparency: Chainalysis

It’s unrealistic and bad for the crypto industry to expect exchanges to send know-your-customer (KYC) information to recipient platforms with every transaction. That’s the gist of a public comment letter filed this week by blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis, in response to a draft recommendation by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental organization dedicated to combating money laundering and other financial crimes.
Bittrex Goes on the Offensive After BitLicense Rejection

Bittrex Goes on the Offensive After BitLicense Rejection

Bittrex, a United States–based cryptocurrency exchange platform, has issued a response to the recent setback in its plans to expand to New York. Yesterday, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) rejected the exchange's BitLicense application, a requirement for offering crypto-based services to New Yorkers. NYDFS also published a letter addressed to Bittrex CEO Bill Shihara, where it cited inadequate Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) standards as reasons for its denial.
Mauritius Issues Regulatory Guidance on Security Token Offerings

Mauritius Issues Regulatory Guidance on Security Token Offerings

The Mauritius Financial Services Commission (FSC) has clarified the rules applying to projects launching security token offerings (STOs). In guidance published Monday, the FSC said that security tokens are classed as securities as defined in the country’s Securities Act 2005, but in digital form.
China’s Proposed Mining Ban Could Be Detrimental to Bitmain

China’s Proposed Mining Ban Could Be Detrimental to Bitmain

China’s state planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), has indicated an interest in banning cryptocurrency mining in the country through a notice published online in Mandarin. The report stated that the NDRC will include cryptocurrency mining activities to a list of sectors that could be shut down based on their violation of local regulations, wastefulness, safety concerns or harmful contributions to the environment.
Bitpanda Receives Payment License from the European Union

Bitpanda Receives Payment License from the European Union

In an official blog post published on April 4, 2019, the Viennese cryptocurrency brokerage platform Bitpanda confirmed that it has received a license to operate as a payment service provider in Austria. Specifically, Bitpanda received the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) license, an order that provides oversight into the operation of service providers in both the European Economic Area (EEA) and the European Union.
SEC Issues First ‘No-Action’ Letter Clearing ICO to Sell Tokens in US

SEC Issues First ‘No-Action’ Letter Clearing ICO to Sell Tokens in US

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a “no-action” letter to TurnKey Jet, Inc., agreeing that tokens used by the business-travel startup are not securities. The regulatory stamp of approval is contingent upon the company using its tokens under certain conditions. Those conditions include: Token-generated funds cannot be used to develop the company’s platform technology (such as its app). The tokens will be immediately useful. The TKJ tokens will remain at a fixed price of one U.
SEC’s First Crypto ‘No-Action’ Letter Took 11 Months to Secure

SEC’s First Crypto ‘No-Action’ Letter Took 11 Months to Secure

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cleared TurnKey Jet, Inc to raise money via the sale of a custom cryptocurrency on Wednesday in the form of a “no-action” letter, it’s first to address blockchain-based fundraising. The letter means the Florida-based startup can sell TKJ tokens to customers with the sole purpose of helping them book travel on private jets.
In Plain English: SEC Publishes Guidance on Tokens as Securities

In Plain English: SEC Publishes Guidance on Tokens as Securities

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published an investment contract framework for digital assets, which is intended to give crypto companies guidance as to whether a cryptocurrency is a security. It’s the first major culminating work of the SEC’s FinHub initiative, a strategic group the commission launched in October 2018 to liaise with fintech and cryptocurrency companies and work toward more substantial regulatory guidance.
Pakistan Introduces Crypto Regulation

Pakistan Introduces Crypto Regulation

The Pakistani government will now regulate local cryptocurrency firms under new legislation. Local news outlet The Express Tribune reported that the government of Pakistan will introduce Electronic Money Institutions (EMI) regulations based on the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The FATF is an intergovernmental organization based in France that creates policies for combating money laundering and other threats to the integrity of the global financial system.
LocalBitcoins, Once a Go-To for Anonymous Bitcoin Transactions, Adds KYC

LocalBitcoins, Once a Go-To for Anonymous Bitcoin Transactions, Adds KYC

The Finland-based, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trading platform LocalBitcoins released a statement on March 25, 2019, responding to a new act approved by the Finnish Parliament that will require users to verify their identities. This marks a major change for the service, which had been a primary way for users wishing to protect their anonymity to meet others willing to buy or sell bitcoin in person without sharing details about their identities.
Indian Telecoms Watchdog to Combat Nuisance Calls with Blockchain

Indian Telecoms Watchdog to Combat Nuisance Calls with Blockchain

India’s telecoms watchdog is planning to leverage blockchain technology to combat nuisance calls and SMS messages. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued draft regulation on Tuesday, marking its intent to utilize the nascent tech in offering a more “agile” process to deal with unsolicited commercial communications from “unscrupulous elements” who evade current systems set up to deal with the issue. The draft – called “Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2018” – is intended to allow millions of Indian subscribers to take control of voice calls and text messages that they receive, giving them the choice to opt in or out of marketing communications at any time and more power to complain to their telecoms providers about problematic third-parties.
Alabama Securities Watchdog Hits 3 ICOs with Cease-and-Desists

Alabama Securities Watchdog Hits 3 ICOs with Cease-and-Desists

The Alabama Securities Commission (ASC), the U.S. state’s securities regulator, has joined its counterparts in Texas and New Jersey in taking action on initial coin offerings (ICOs) that are soliciting local residents. According to a cease-and-desist order entered on May 2 and revealed yesterday, the agency has ordered purported cryptocurrency mining firm Extrabit to cease its token sale offering in the state.
US Department of Justice, CFTC Probe Crypto Market Manipulation: Report

US Department of Justice, CFTC Probe Crypto Market Manipulation: Report

The U.S Department of Justice has reportedly launched a criminal investigation into cryptocurrency traders who may have manipulated the market using old-school illicit tactics. According to a report by Bloomberg on Thursday, citing anonymous sources familiar with the probe, the investigation is being conducted together with the Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
US Regulators Need to Move Faster on Crypto, Consensus Panelists Say

US Regulators Need to Move Faster on Crypto, Consensus Panelists Say

Investors in the blockchain space have a message for U.S. regulators: clarity is needed. During CoinDesk’s Consensus 2018 conference on Monday, this idea was put forward by Future/Perfect Ventures founder and managing partner Jalak Jobanputra, ARK Invest CEO and chief investment officer Catherine Wood, and ConsenSys founding managing partner Kavita Gupta. Indeed, they all agreed that action in this area is needed – otherwise, innovative startups may look to friendlier shores. “The faster the SEC moves, the faster it will be for businesses to stay in the United States,” Gupta said.
Crypto Investment Schemes Hit With Cease-and-Desists in Texas

Crypto Investment Schemes Hit With Cease-and-Desists in Texas

The Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) has issued cease-and-desist orders to two bitcoin investment schemes that it alleges are selling unregistered securities and making fraudulent claims to the state’s residents According to one order lodged on Tuesday, the securities regulator takes aim at a company called Forex EA & Bitcoin Investment LLC and two individuals associated with the scheme, James Butcher and Richard Dunn.
New Korean Financial Watchdog Chief Takes Softer Tone on Cryptos

New Korean Financial Watchdog Chief Takes Softer Tone on Cryptos

The new head of a South Korean financial watchdog has taken a softer tone on cryptocurrencies and hinted that his agency may consider easing rules for exchanges, The Korea Times reports. Yoon Suk-heun, the incoming governor of the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), who is considered a reformist in the country, told reporters at his inauguration, “Regarding cryptocurrencies, there are some positive aspects.
Bitcoin Futures Trading Questioned By Chinese National Media

Bitcoin Futures Trading Questioned By Chinese National Media

China National Radio (CNR), a high-level government mouthpiece, has aired doubts about the legality of services offered by OKEx, the Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange launched by OKCoin, previously one of the “Big Three” trading platforms in China. Through its podcast channel “Voice of China” on Thursday and later an article titled “Exchanges that still prevail after the ban,” CNR alleged that OKEx violated rules by offering bitcoin contracts to mainland Chinese investors after it claimed to have moved its business overseas.