Category Archive : Regional News

Indian exchange, WazirX, had 377 requests from law enforcement agencies in 6 months

China’s ban on crypto transactions pushed the neighboring India to the fore when it came to populous countries seeing a rise in crypto adoption. Boosted by the relatively cheap cost of data, several Indian crypto exchanges have reported tremendous growth in short periods of time.

For its part, the WazirX crypto exchange published its transparency report covering significant activities between April and September 2021.

Rising numbers, rising rules

Noting its own growth, WazirX reported that it had over 8.5 million users as of 14 October, 2021. Furthermore, since the start of this year, the crypto exchange claimed it saw around $30 billion in trade volumes.

Coming to compliance, WazirX stated that it was compulsory for users to provide their passport, driving license, or the biometric identification called “Aadhaar.” Apart from this, a PAN [Permanent Account Number] Card issued by the government was also mandatory.

Furthermore, at the time of sign-up, a “live selfie” is required in order to match the user’s face to their documents.

However, these steps didn’t mean the exchange was able to dodge legal scrutiny. The report stated,

“During the period from April 2021 to September 2021, WazirX has received 377 requests from law enforcement agencies out of which 38 requests are from Foreign Law enforcement agencies for transactional and user information.”

WazirX was quick to confirm that it had replied to the requests and complied with all of them. Furthermore, the crypto exchange noted that the 377 requests from law enforcement agencies were all related to criminal acts. Some examples were “fraud, kidnapping and narcotics-related queries.”

What’s more, WazirX reported that it locked 14,469 accounts between April and September 2021, noting that the legal team initiated only 10% of the locks.

Notes from the ‘Center’

Crypto usage is growing in India’s tier-two and tier-three cities while the Shiba Inu token was recently listed on the Indian…

Read more at ambcrypto.com

Tala closes $145 Million Series E to increase current offering and pursue crypto adoption

Tala has closed an impressive $145 million Serie E investment raise led by Upstart (fintech company) with participation with open source crypto platform the Stellar Development Foundation looking to speed and streamline financial transactions worldwide. Existing investors are Revolution Growth, IVP, and Lowercase Capital also took part in the round. Paul Gu Upstart co-founder and Denelle Dixon (CEO of Stellar Development Foundation) join Stella’s board as directors.

As per a Forbes article, Tala CEO Shivani Siroya used her prior UN experience to found the fintech company in 2011 to offers loans to the underbanked in the Philippines, Mexico, India, and Kenya. In mid-2020 Tala launched a debit card in Mexico as the coronavirus epidemic prompted the need for such an approach.

In May 2021 Tala announced a partnership with global payments giant Visa and crypto company Circle. This would allow Tala customers to send, receive and hold “stablecoin” cryptocurrencies. The company will make a bold move towards the expansion of Tala’s current account offering and crypto adoption with the newly acquired funds. At present keen focus goes towards adopting crypto at the backend so as to improve Tala’s backend account infrastructure.

The round brought Tala’s total raised to date at $350 million, a valuation of $800 million – fairly similar to its 2019 valuation.  According to Siroya the Serie E approach was preferred as opposed to the traditional venture-led round on account of the expertise Tala stands to gain from Stellar and Upstart. She further revealed that Tala lending volumes are at $60 million monthly and has had over half a million customers access its credit facilities thus far.

Source: Forbes

Read more at www.techinafrica.com

3 “Best” Exchanges to Buy Yield Guild Games (YGG)

Yuild Guild Games is a new type of play to earn gaming guild that takes advantage of blockchain technology. It essentially operates as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) for investing in NFTs that are used in virtual worlds that incorporate cryptocurrency type economies. The goal of the project is create the biggest virtual world economy, by optimizing its community owned assets for maximum utility with profits distributed to token holders.

We list the top 3 brokers that offer the ability to Buy Yield Guild Games (YGG) cryptocurrency with a credit card, debit card, or Bitcoin (BTC).

Binance is one of the largest and most well-known cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. The benefits of purchasing Yield Guild Games (YGG) here is that you benefit from the lower exchange fees than competing exchanges, and the increased liquidity enables you to buy and sell quickly to take advantage of market moving news.

This exchange is best for Australia, Canada, Singapore, UK & international users. USA residents are prohibited from purchasing YGG.

Read our Binance Review or visit Binance.

Use Discount Code: EE59L0QP for 10% cashback off all trading fees.

Gate.io was established in 2013, while it is not one of the most popular exchanges, they do offer a reputable trading platform with an easy to use interface for beginners while still maintaining robust and advanced charts for various types of skill levels including technical traders. They have a large number of altcoins including Yield Guild Games (YGG) and they are often the first exchange to add new tokens. Best of all, they have a strong stance against any type of market manipulation.

This exchange currently accepts USA residents.

Read our Gate.io Review or visit Gate.io

KuCoin is a well-known name in the industry, and one of the most competitive in the sector when it comes to fees and trading costs. The exchange has grown exponentially from the early days of offering only crypto to crypto trading and they now offer a…

Read more at www.securities.io

Treasury Seeks More Money for Illicit-Finance Oversight, Including Crypto and Cybercrime

The Biden administration’s financial intelligence and sanctions units need significantly more funding and staff to combat national-security threats, including ones arising from ransomware and cryptocurrency markets, the Treasury Department’s second in command told lawmakers Tuesday.

The department needs additional funding to oversee expansive sanction programs, implement major new anti-money-laundering laws and protect the U.S. from terrorists, international criminal groups, state actors and other foes that have become increasingly adept at using an evolving global financial system for their activities, said Deputy Treasury Secretary

Wally Adeyemo.

Mr. Adeyemo’s call for more funding at a Senate banking committee hearing follows publication Monday of the administration’s new U.S. sanctions policy review. The publication is the result of a nine-month Treasury-led audit of sanctions, the first comprehensive review of how the U.S. uses its tools of financial warfare and economic diplomacy since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Adeyemo said.

Sanctions will remain a critical policy tool, Treasury officials said, but need to be better calibrated. The Biden administration plans to refocus the vetting process for sanctions to more heavily weigh the potential for unintended harm to vulnerable groups, resistance from allies and other economic and geopolitical fallout, the officials said Monday.

Technological changes—like the growth of digital currencies—are one of the four primary challenges identified in the review that could undermine the power of U.S. sanctions and national security by helping hide illicit activity, including sanctions evasion, Mr. Adeyemo said.

He also said Treasury needs to modernize its operational capabilities, including by hiring people who specialize in blockchain markets and by investing in the…

Read more at www.wsj.com

Alleged Crypto-Broker ExpertDreamTrade.com appears to be operating a fraud

The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) has received a complaint from a California resident regarding a crypto investment scam.

The victim told DFPI that he deposited more than $300,000 into ExpertDreamTrade.com, which he believed operated like a bank, but when he asked to withdraw the money, the scammers told him he would need to pay $50,000 to get it out. He believes he has tracked to the money to the crypto wallets of two individuals located in Nigeria, but so far, cannot get his money back. These allegations have not been verified by the DFPI.

This appears to be what is commonly called an “Advance Fee scheme,” which can take many forms, as discussed here: https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes/advance-fee-schemes.

The DFPI urges consumers to exercise extreme caution before responding to any solicitation offering investment or financial services.  To check whether an investment or financial service provider is licensed in California, consumers may contact the Department for questions or inquiries at [email protected] or call toll-free at (866) 275-2677.  If a consumer believes a person or company has violated state law or acted improperly regarding a consumer financial product or service, they may file a formal complaint with the DFPI at https://dfpi.ca.gov/file-a-complaint/.

Read more at www.einnews.com

Bitcoin-based ETF launch marks crypto’s new headway in U.S. markets

Cryptocurrencies made new headway into mainstream U.S. markets today with the launch of a bitcoin-based ETF on the New York Stock Exchange.

Why it matters: The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, ticker symbol BITO, is the first-ever ETF that gives investors exposure to bitcoin — without needing those investors to actually hold the digital coin.

What it is: The ETF can be traded like a stock, is regulated by the SEC, and invests primarily in futures contracts that bet on the price of bitcoin.

What it’s not: A fund that holds bitcoin.

How it works: BITO’s price will change based on the price of the futures contracts that it selects.

  • The price of the futures contracts will change based on their bets on the price of bitcoin.

Backdrop: ETFs are viewed as one way to get more institutional investors on board with crypto more easily.

  • Yes, but: Some analysts say bitcoin still holds high underlying risk.

What they’re saying: “[W]hile we see potential for the technologies underpinning digital assets, we continue to view the coins themselves as speculative,” UBS researchers wrote in a note on Tuesday.

What to watch: About a dozen high-profile applications for bitcoin ETFs are waiting for SEC approval.

  • SEC chair Gary Gensler has been in favor of futures-linked ETFs but still calls cryptocurrency the “Wild West.”

How BITO performed its first day: Shares jumped higher out of the gate, with $280 million worth of shares traded in the first 20 minutes, according to early reports and more than $850 million by the end of the day when it closed up 5%.

Our thought bubble, via CoinDesk’s Zack Seward: Today was definitely a big moment for the crypto industry, because it’s been something that has been sought for a long time. At the same time, it’s something that the industry sees as a tempered version of the dream, because it’s based on futures prices, not real-time prices.


Read more at www.axios.com

Why the United States Should Have Invited Russia to Join Counter-Ransomware Initiative

The new Counter-Ransomware Initiative, announced by President Joe Biden in the beginning of October, brings together thirty countries to strengthen cooperation against ransomware and tackle misuse of cryptocurrencies. Last week, the United States hosted a  virtual international meeting of the initiative that included European Union partners, members of the Quad, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, and others. 

One country that was not invited was Russia. But should it have been? 

More on:

Cybersecurity

Russia

United States

Diplomacy and International Institutions

From the United States’ perspective, the suggestion that Russia participate in the anti-ransomware group may seem counterintuitive. Senior U.S. officials called Russia a “safe haven” for cybercriminals, and Biden said his administration believed the hackers behind the notorious Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack were living in Russia.  

The Biden administration hoped to use the June 2021 Geneva summit between Biden and Vladimir Putin to address some of its concerns, such as the surge of ransomware attacks, through renewed engagement with Russia. Biden proposed that critical infrastructure should not be attacked and gave the Russian delegation a list of sixteen sectors defined as “critical.” He also urged Russia to take action against ransomware activities coming from its territory. Putin, in turn, reprehended the United States for not responding to Russian inquiries regarding…

Read more at www.cfr.org

Lightning Continues To Strike, Bitcoin Adoption Building Momentum

Bitcoin has seen a surge in its main use case via the second layer payment solution Lightning Network. On the rise since the start of 2021, this application could silence its detractors as it gains more adoption in the coming months.

Related Reading | 4 Reasons Why The Bitcoin Lightning Network Will Continue To Grow

A recent report by Arcane Research records a 3x increase in this Bitcoin-based payment solution. The research firm estimates that the Lightning Network has a capacity of around 3,000 BTC.

Over 700 BTC alone entered this solution upon El Salvador’s implementation of its Bitcoin Law, Arcane Research clarified. Other 340 BTC were added with Twitter’s deployment of its Tip service supported for Lightning Network.

Similarly, public Lightning nodes have increased by around 900 and payment channels by 2,300, the firm claimed. This increase took place since the first week of October.

As Bitcoinist reported 3 months ago, the Bitcoin Lightning Network has experienced an explosion that has only kept on running hot. At that time, the payment solution only had a 1,800 BTC capacity, much of which increased since it was launched in 2018.

Arcane Research reported that this network’s growth has been exponential with March 2021 seeing the beginning of the trend.

Pseudonym analyst Plebeian confirmed the growth in the Bitcoin Lightning Network. The analyst made a deep study of Lightning noting that 30.7% of the network use a 0 base fee approach, as part of a community campaign.

 

Additionally, there are around 53,000 channels with less than 1 million satoshis (sats), the smallest unit in which 1 Bitcoin can be divided. This represents 39.7 of all active channels in the past 2 weeks, as Plebeian claimed.

53.3% of all active channels have a 1 million to 10 million sats capacity. They stand at 71,824 in the past two weeks.

Related Reading | Twitter Tests Tips With Bitcoin…

Read more at bitcoinist.com

Celebrity investor Kevin O'Leary predicts that trillions of dollars are coming to the crypto market – Notebookcheck.net

Celebrity investor Kevin O’Leary predicts that trillions of dollars are coming to the crypto market  Notebookcheck.net

Read more at www.notebookcheck.net

Facebook partners with Coinbase for digital wallet initiative

Facebook has joined forces with Coinbase on a new effort to create a digital wallet that allows people to send money internationally without any fees.

Facebook’s Novi, which has been in the works for years, will be running pilot programs in the US and Guatemala, according to a letter from Facebook. Novi is available to anyone in the US except those living in Alaska, Nevada, New York and the US Virgin Islands. 

The tool lets people send USDP — a stablecoin pegged to the price of the US dollar — which can then be withdrawn in a local currency. USDP is one of a number of cryptocurrencies pegged to the US dollar. 

In a blog post, Coinbase explained that it is providing Novi with its proprietary, fully segregated cold storage capability for managing private keys called Coinbase Custody. 

“Coinbase Custody is a leading crypto-native platform and custodian that securely manages $180 billion of crypto assets on its platform. Over the past nine years, Coinbase has developed deep expertise in secure and scalable crypto infrastructure, which we initially built to power our own first party…

Read more at www.zdnet.com

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