| Market Reports

The Weekly Hash – January 6 – 10

Check out the most important happenings this past week in the world of crypto, brought to you by the experts at Kraken.

This digest is prepared for informative purposes only and does not represent an investment recommendation or investment advice. Please see our full disclaimer at the bottom for more information.

See below all the important happenings this week in the world of crypto, presented by the experts at Kraken:

  1. CoinTelegraph: Ethereum Block Time Reduced by 25% After Muir Glacier Hard Fork
  2. Finance Magnates: Korean Presidential Commission Recommends Allowing BTC Derivatives
  3. Signature: Signature Bank and Prime Trust to Align Their Respective Technologies to Better Serve the Institutional Blockchain Industry
  4. DASH: Dash and Cryptobuyer Announce Partnership to Serve Burger King Venezuela
  5. Decrypt: Internet Giant Baidu Just Launched its Xuperchain Cryptocurrency
  6. Telegram: A Public Notice About the TON Blockchain and Grams
  7. The Block: Qatar Bans Crypto Trading
  8. The Block: North America Saw the Most Crypto and Blockchain Investment in 2019
  9. Kraken: USD Coin (USDC) to be listed on Kraken
  10. Kraken: Compliance Team’s 2019 Transparency Report (Snapshot)
  11. Cryptoslate: Turkish Regulatory Group to Propose New Crypto Rules and Regulation
  12. BNN Bloomberg: World’s Largest Bitcoin Mine Said to Land SBI, GMO as Customers
  13. CoinDesk: Digital Currencies Won’t Replace US Dollar Anytime Soon: IMF Chief Economist
  14. Zero Hedge: Almost $300 Million Stolen From Crypto-Exchanges In 2019
  15. Finance Feeds: Court Nixes SEC’s Attempt to Compel Telegram to Produce Full Bank Records
  16. CoinDesk: 10M Bitcoins Haven’t Moved in More Than a Year, Highest Since 2017
  17. WSJ: Senator Whose Spouse Runs Major Exchange to Help Oversee Regulator
  18. Bihai123: Jiang Guofei—Ant Financial’s “Union Chain” is Expected to Go Live in February
  19. The Block: Chinese Local Government Eyes Adoption of Blockchain for Service Centers
  20. CoinDesk: SEC Examination Office Gets Specific About Crypto Priorities in 2020
  21. Ripple: An App For Millions That Runs on Ripple
  22. Inner City Press: Virgil Griffith Now Indicted For NK Crypto Assigned To SDNY Judge Castel SDNY Stonewall
  23. CoinDesk: Australians Won’t Use Libra, Believes Central Bank
  24. CoinDesk: New York Governor Proposes Giving Financial Watchdog More Teeth
  25. Nervos: Nervos Announces Public Grants Fund to Accelerate Blockchain Development
  26. DMG: DMG Adds New Industrial Mining Client, Ceases Management of Texas Operation, and Provides Update from Recent AGM
  27. Decrypt: Massive Blockchain Network in China Will Go Live in Just Three Months
  28. CryptoGlobe: Total Ethereum Locked in Decentralized Finance Hits New All-Time High of 3 Million ETH
  29. U.S. Congress: SIM Swap Scam Letter to FCC
  30. CoinDesk: LedgerX Board Member Says Company in Disarray After Founders’ Ouster
  31. CoinDesk: Suit Alleging Tether and Bitfinex Manipulated Bitcoin Market Has Been Revised
  32. The Block: Bitcoin.com Wants to Raise $50 Million Through an Exchange Token Sale (Quick Take)
  33. FCA: FCA Becomes AML and CTF Supervisor of UK Cryptoasset Activities
  34. Cobinhood: Cobinhood Exchange Shutting Down and Auditing All Accounts’ Balances
  35. Sina Finance: China’s Central Bank Completed the Top-Level Design and Joint Testing of CBDC
    • Data from Etherscan shows that the daily average block time on Ethereum decreased from 17.16 seconds to 12.96 seconds between Jan. 1-4, a -24.48% reduction following the Muir Glacier hard fork on Jan. 2
    • ETH miners created 4,980 new blocks and 10,237 ETH (~$1.4M) on Jan. 1, while 6,570 new blocks and 13,437 new ETH (~$1.9M) were created on Jan. 4; this is nearly a +32% increase in the number of blocks and +31% increase in block rewards (inflation)
    • The South Korean Presidential Commission recommended that the Korean gov’t should allow financial institutions to launch crypto-based investment products, including BTC derivatives, as a pathway for the eventual institutionalization of crypto
    • Business Korea reported that the commission also recommended that “the financial sector develop and introduce a Korean custody solution to avoid relying solely on foreign custodians in the process of handling crypto assets,” and that BTC spot should be listed on the Korea Exchange (KRX)
    • The commission added, “Participants in the traditional capital market such as securities firms and banks should develop and introduce domestic custody solutions to handle crypto assets so that the Korean crypto-asset custody market will not depend on foreign countries. The Korean government has to gradually allow institutional investors to deal in crypto assets and promote over the counter (OTC) desks dedicated to institutional investors’ trade. It is no longer possible to stop crypto-asset trade.”
    • The gov’t was advised to follow the U.S. & Swiss financial authorities in introducing licensure and guidelines for crypto exchanges and for integrating crypto-related products into the country’s financial system because of increasing global interest in crypto trading, “As of May 2019, daily crypto-asset trade hit more than 80 trillion won (about US$69 billion) in the world, so it is no longer possible to stop crypto-asset trade.”
    • The commission suggested unification of different terms such as cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies under the term “crypto assets,” adding that South Korea won’t tax crypto trading profits for the time being
    • The gov’t is reviewing int’l trends to properly include digital currency in the current tax laws, “We are preparing a taxation plan for virtual assets by comprehensively reviewing the taxation of major countries, consistency with accounting standards, and trends in international discussions to prevent money laundering.”
    • Prime Trust’s Prime Settlement Network, an advanced multi-asset counterparty settlement platform, will leverage Signature Bank’s Signet™ platform, a blockchain-based digital payments platform, to provide real-time payment and settlement services to Signature Bank and Prime Trust’s institutional clients
    • Prime Trust and their clients, which include many verticals in the crypto space, can utilize Signet to fund and settle their accounts in real-time, 24/7/365
    • Signature President & CEO Joseph DePaolo said, “Any Signature Bank commercial client participating on the Signet platform has the ability to make instantaneous payments in U.S. dollars, any time without transaction fees. Prime Trust’s institutional clients requiring immediate settlements for digital asset trades truly stand to benefit from Signet’s capabilities.” 
    • DASH & crypto merchant gateway Cryptobuyer partnered to provide crypto payments options to Venezuelan Burger King branches
    • A single Burger King branch in the Sambil area of Caracas now accepts BTC, ETH, LTC, BNB DASH, and USDT, and a total of 40 locations will follow suit in 2020
    • Coverage by CoinTelegraph & CryptoPotato
    • According to local reports, Chinese internet giant Baidu released Xuperchain, its own crypto that is compliant within China and uses a series of masternodes to run the network
    • The whitepaper claims the network can support +10,000 TPS and that Baidu has +50 patents for the blockchain platform
    • The platform is designed to support blockchain-based applications, similar to Ethereum, and is intended to help modernize China’s capacity for governance
    • Link to Xuperchain’s GitHub & block explorer
    • Telegram’s TON Wallet won’t be integrated with the Telegram messaging app at launch and will operate independently from Telegram after launch, “At the time of the anticipated launch of the TON Blockchain, Telegram’s TON Wallet application is expected to be made available solely on a stand-alone basis and will not be integrated with the Telegram Messenger service. In this regard, the TON Wallet is expected to compete with any other wallet applications designed and offered by third parties. Telegram may integrate the TON Wallet application with the Telegram Messenger service in the future to the extent permitted under applicable laws and governmental authorities.”
    • Telegram added that it hasn’t made any promise or commitment to develop any applications for the blockchain and may not do so after the network goes live, ”It will be the sole responsibility of third parties and the community to adopt and implement such applications or smart contracts on the TON Blockchain in the manner they choose. Telegram does not, and cannot, guarantee that anyone will adopt or implement such features or provide such services, on any given timetable or at all”
    • Qatar, the Middle East country with a population of +2.5M, banned crypto trading
    • According to a report from International Investment, the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Regulatory Authority said that “Virtual Asset Services may not be conducted in or from the QFC at this time,“ including fiat-crypto and crypto-crypto trading, custody, and financial services related to virtual assets
    • The ban includes “anything of value that acts as a substitute for currency, that can be digitally traded or transferred and can be used for payment or investment purposes.”
    • It is not clear why the QFCRA has taken this move
    • North America (324), Asia (88), and Europe (154) represented 99% of the total number of investment deals, “All told, North America, Europe, and Asia accounted for approximately 99% of the investment deals in 2019. And despite the narrative of blockchain technology “banking the unbanked,” regions that need improvements to its financial infrastructure the most, such as South America and Africa, represented less than 1% of investment deals.”
    • Overall, the blockchain/crypto space saw ~$3.7B in investments across 741 different deals during 2019
    • 2019 was the first year where the frequency of blockchain deals decreased, breaking a 5 YoY trend dating back to 2013
    • Kraken is adding USD Coin (USDC) support on Kraken, Kraken Pro, and Kraken OTC Desk starting Jan. 8
    • USDC is the second-largest stablecoin with a current market cap exceeding $500M
    • Available trading pairs include: XBT/USDC, ETH/USDC, USDC/EUR, USDC/USD, and USDC/USDT
    • Kraken received 710 law enforcement info requests in 2019, up +49% from last year’s figure of 475 and up +344% from the 160 requests in 2017
    • U.S. agencies still lead the pack with 432 (~61%) of the total requests, down from 66% last year; the U.K. was second with 86 (12%) requests, followed by Germany (44) and Italy (20)
    • The FBI issued the most requests (116) of the U.S. agencies, followed by the DEA (73) and ICE (65)
    • Of 1,222 user accounts affected by requests, 62% had data returned to the issuing agency, while the remaining 28% were “non-valid,” meaning they “did not meet local legal requirements” or Kraken’s policy on law enforcement requests
    • Kraken Co-founder & CEO Jesse Powell said the cost of servicing such law enforcement requests in a “high-wage market” (i.e., California) was +$1M in 2019
    • Powell added, “Several things contribute to the cost. Older business with more than eight years of data, millions of accounts, high security around accessibility of personal data, the good stuff is all encrypted and hard/slow/impossible to search/export in bulk (upside being its that way for hackers too).”
    • The Capital Markets Board (CMB), Turkey’s financial regulatory and supervisory agency, plans to develop guidelines to foster blockchain adoption in response to the increasing interest and usage of crypto in the country
    • Although +16M Turks have used or owned crypto in the last ten years, the country lacks a legal regulatory framework and concerns among public institutions and authorities have risen given the risk involved in handling crypto
    • According to Hürriyet, the CMB is “working rapidly” to propose new rules and regulations for this market, ”Due to the fact that these large-scale assets could be used for manipulative purposes and had no intrinsic value… [Authorities] decided to carry out an examination and regulation of crypto assets and intermediaries in order to prevent this and to prevent possible grievances.”
    • Istanbul will host its first-ever Turkey blockchain week, with the main event IstanBlock 2020 being held on April 9-10
    • According to sources familiar with the matter, SBI Holdings and Japanese internet-service provider GMO Internet have agreed to rent mining capacity at the world’s largest crypto mine in Rockdale, Texas, which was recently put into construction by Northern Bitcoin AG subsidiary Whinstone; the firms intend to begin mining “within [the] coming months”
    • Northern Bitcoin recently shifted away from mining BTC itself and instead plans and operates mines for large investors, shielding it from high volatility
    • The facility will have an initial capacity of 300MW when it starts operating and reach 1GW by EOY
    • IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath wrote that although crypto represents “intriguing possibilities,” they lack the infrastructure and global acceptance needed to supplant USD as the preeminent global reserve currency, “Advances in payment technologies do not address fundamental issues of what it takes to be a global reserve currency. The dollar’s status is bolstered by the institutions, rule of law and credible investor protection that the U.S. is seen as providing.”
    • Gopinath noted that a central bank digital currency (CBDC) backed by a basket of reserve currencies – a “synthetic hegemonic currency” (SHC) – could better rebalance global trade, but it would have to be accepted globally; she added that with many emerging markets, which are gradually making up more global GDP, switching to USD, that is unlikely to happen anytime soon
    • USD made up +60% of global FX reserves in 3Q2019, having increased by +$100B in the past year; EUR is the next largest with 20% of exchange reserves in the same period
    • 12 major crypto exchange were hacked in 2019, up +22% from last year’s figure of 9
    • 11 of the hacks resulted in crypto theft while one only involved the theft of customer data
    • In total, $292.6M worth of crypto and 510,000 user logins were stolen from exchanges in 2019
    • The top-3 hacks were Coinbene ($105M), Upbit ($49M), and Binance ($40M)
    • A New York court rejected the SEC’s attempt to compel Telegram to share full “bank records” related to its $1.7B ICO
    • Telegram has until Jan. 9 to declare a proposed schedule for a review of the requested bank records to ensure that production of such records complies with foreign data privacy laws
    • According to Digital Assets Data, ~10.7M BTC (~$86B) haven’t moved in +12 months, the highest level since early 2017
    • Because BTC’s circulating supply is 18.14M, this means ~60% of the coins remained dormant and only 40% participated in the price action seen in 2019
    • BTC fluctuated from $3,693 to $13,879 in the first six months of 2019, only to fall back to $7,179 by mid-December
    • Former Bakkt CEO & newly appointed senator, Kelly Loeffler (R., Ga.), will serve on the Senate Agricultural Committee, which is responsible for defining the CFTC’s remit, reauthorizing the CFTC as a federal regulator, and approving nominations for commissioners and chairmen
    • Amid concerns her appointment would create a conflict of interest because her spouse both runs and owns a minority stake in a major exchange operator (ICE), Loeffler said she “worked hard to comply with both the letter and the spirit of the Senate’s ethics rules and will continue to do so every day. I will recuse myself if needed on a case by case basis.”
    • Alibaba subsidiary Ant Financial’s enterprise blockchain platform, Ant Blockchain Open Alliance, is set to go live next month
    • Ant Financial VP Guofei Jiang said the platform will help small and micro enterprises to develop their own blockchain applications at a lower cost, adding that it can support 1B daily txs and achieve 100,000 cross-chain info processing capabilities per second
    • Since beta launching in November, the platform has helped resolve trust issues across 40 sectors, including cross-border remittances and trade finance
    • Jiang believes blockchain is the “most valuable” tech in the current era, “We believe that in the future, blockchain will change people’s production and life like mobile payments and become the infrastructure of the digital economy.”
    • Coverage by The Block
    • According to Xinhua News Agency, the gov’t of Anhui, China (covers Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang), plans to adopt blockchain tech across governmental service centers in an effort to optimize the business environment within the province
    • Anhui News reported that all levels of gov’t in Anhui will start utilizing new tech including blockchain and AI to offer governmental services on a 24/7 basis; the goal is to digitize Anhui’s governance infrastructure and streamline the collection and sharing of gov’t data and resources
    • Anhui’s Securities Regulatory Commission began an awareness campaign on Jan. 6 against financial scams, with a focus on illegal blockchain and crypto initiatives
    • The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) outlined its priorities for 2020, highlighting digital assets and service providers as areas of concern
    • The agency emphasized how the emerging digital assets market presents risks to retail investors who don’t understand how these assets differ from traditional ones, “Due to these risks, OCIE will continue to identify and examine SEC-registered market participants engaged in this space. Examinations will assess the following: (1) investment suitability, (2) portfolio management and trading practices, (3) safety of client funds and assets, (4) pricing and valuation, (5) effectiveness of compliance programs and controls, and (6) supervision of employee outside business activities.”
    • The agency reiterated its 2019 objectives while adding an assessment goal regarding the “supervision of employee outside business activities”
    • The OCIE intends to continue examining transfer agents’ role in record keeping and the safeguarding of funds and securities, with a particular focus on those who develop blockchain tech and provide digital assets services
    • Coverage by CoinTelegraph & The Block
    • Ripple and Thailand’s oldest bank, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), are jointly developing a mobile app that enables cross-border payments via QR codes 
    • The system will allegedly allow SCB to offer its customers remittance and micro-payment services
    • SCB’s SVP of commercial banking Arthit Sriumporn commented, “Imagine you are a tourist coming to Thailand, and you can use your home country mobile application to scan for payment and eliminate the need to exchange for local currency. You can use your mobile app, scan the QR payment and receive goods right away.” 
    • The bank already provides cross-border QR payments via Singapore-based payment services firm Liquid Group and it’s not clear how Ripple’s partnership on the initiative is different
    • SCB is planning to expand Ripple-based services into Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam
    • Coverage by The Block & CoinTelegraph
    • Former Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith was formally charged for “conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act” after allegedly traveling to North Korea to educate the gov’t about blockchain and crypto
    • One or more of the alleged co-conspirators is expected to be brought to New York and arrested
    • Griffith still hasn’t been released after being granted bail on Dec. 30, “He has not satisfied his bail conditions yet. Still awaiting the approval of his co-signers and the posting of properties as collateral.”
    • Coverage by The Block & CoinDesk
    • The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) expressed doubt that crypto, in its current and future forms, would ever replace gov’t-issued money
    • The bank believes that although newer initiatives like Libra and CBDCs could promote financial inclusion, innovation in the broader FinTech space will make these solutions redundant, “In Australia, it is unclear that there will be strong demand for global stablecoins even if they do meet all regulatory requirements, particularly for domestic payments. Australia is already well served by a range of low-cost and efficient real-time payment methods, such as the NPP [New Payments Platform] that utilize funds held in accounts at prudentially supervised financial institutions.”
    • Citing research by accounting firm EY, a CBDC would be the “least effective” solution for promoting growth in the Australian fintech sector; the bank said a digital AUD would be an unnecessary disruption to the existing financial system, particularly for retail use
    • The RBA added that crypto’s highly volatile nature “explains why [cryptocurrencies] have not become widely used in Australia as a means of payment.”
    • In an effort to improve the economy of the state, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to give the NYDFS more powers in regulating certain licensed entities, including crypto startups
    • Cuomo proposes to amend the Financial Services Law (FSL) to require virtual currency-related entities within the FSL jurisdiction to pay for NYDFS examination and oversight
    • The governor wants to put virtual currency businesses on an “an even footing with other financial services companies” that are required to pay assessments to the NYDFS to cover the costs of oversight, “Under current law, supervised entities that are licensed under the Insurance Law or Banking Law are required to pay assessments to DFS to cover the cost of examination and oversight. Entities licensed under the FSL (e.g. virtual currency entities) are not required to pay such assessments, despite being subject to similar examination and oversight requirements. The Governor proposes to amend the FSL to place such entities on an even footing with other financial services companies.”
    • Chinese blockchain network Nervos committed $30M in grants to support infrastructure development on its permissionless layer one blockchain
    • The funds will be used to award development projects focused on client protocols, integrated development environments (IDE), cross-chain interoperability, smart contract language and tooling, and UDT-related ecosystem support
    • Nervos Co-founder Kevin Wang said, “The blockchain industry is rooted in open source philosophy, so it is incredibly important for us to build an inclusive ecosystem that reflects the visions and contributions of the people in it. As a bootstrapped, fully open source network, we want to empower anyone who shares a common vision to help build Nervos into a public resource for the decentralized economy.” 
    • Bitmain and DMG Blockchain mutually discontinued an agreement that designated DMG as the operator of Bitmain’s mining facility in Rockdale, Texas, because of failure to materialize “cost and operational efficiencies” 
    • The farm already has 15,000 “next generation” miners installed and was expected to reach a capacity of +300MW in the future
    • DMG and Bitmain will continue collaborating on other mining sites, including DMG’s Christina Lake mining facility which it shipped 1,000 new miners (~1.5MW of power) to earlier this week
    • It’s not clear whether the facility is still in operation and if so whether Bitmain will hire a new operator or opt for managing the facility itself
    • The Chinese gov’t will launch its national blockchain service network (BSN) as soon as April, supported by giants such as China Mobile, China UnionPay, China Merchants Bank, and others
    • The project aims to lower the entry barriers for small enterprises, providing them with an environment to develop and deploy various blockchain applications for a fraction of the cost
    • 400 companies and 600 developers have been beta testing the network since last October
    • The BSN will consist of permissionless and permissioned chains, with the former being open to the general public and the latter divided into “alliance” chains and private chains for corporations and other big companies
    • The permissionless chain provides small firms a way to cut costs associated with running blockchain applications, and the BSN should provide server costs for dApps for ~$290–430 per year
    • Huawei, ZTE, Tencent and WeBank are among the consortium’s members
    • According to DeFi Pulse, the total amount of ETH locked in the DeFi recently hit a new all-time high above +3M (~$432M) 
    • The total value of funds locked in DeFi is ~$700M (includes BTC in the Lightning Network)
    • Most of the funds in DeFi are allocated to Maker and its products, which represent a total of +$385M locked
    • Lending is ostensibly the main use case for DeFi, with +$500M worth of crypto being locked in these applications
    • DEXs only have ~$42M locked
    • Senators from California, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and Oregon sent FCC Chairman Ajit Pai a letter urging him to do more to hold cell carriers accountable for SIM swap crimes
    • The lawmakers’ main concern is ostensibly America’s lack of comprehensive consumer protection policies, adding that some jurisdictions require prevention methods, like in-store verification, while others lag behind, “Implementation of these additional security measures by wireless carriers in the U.S. is still spotty and consumers are unlikely to find out about the availability of these obscure, optional security features until it is too late.”
    • They also asked to know more about how the FCC tracks SIM swap reports, if it has been educating the public on prevention and if it has investigated such hacks in the past
    • Coverage by CoinDesk, CoinTelegraph & KrebsOnSecurity
    • LedgerX board member Nicholas Owen Gunden wrote a letter to the LedgerX Holdings board, LedgerX LLC board, LedgerX shareholders and the CFTC’s Office of the Inspector General, saying that he was concerned about how the BTC derivatives provider was operating since the company’s founders were placed on administrative leave last month, “I am concerned with recent developments at the company, particularly the fact and manner in which the founders, Paul Chou and Juthica Chou, and particularly Juthica, have been barred from continuing their roles at the company.”
    • Gunden added that since the ousting, no one has acted as his point of contact and alleged some shareholders were receiving preferential treatment, “Just days after Paul and Juthica were placed on administrative leave, a petition was circulated at the office, which 75 percent of employees signed in support of retaining Paul and Juthica’s leadership. I have seen a copy of this petition and believe it to be legitimate.”
    • Gunden alleged that two of the employees who filed the petition were fired, “apparently in retaliation”
    • The board member is concerned LedgerX may no longer be regulatory compliant and may be failing in its fiduciary duties
    • In a separate statement, LedgerX appointed former CTO Zach Dexter as the new CEO and announced a $4M financing round led by existing investors Huiyin Blockchain and Miami International Holding (MIAX)
    • A class-action lawsuit alleging Tether and Bitfinex manipulated the BTC market was withdrawn by its plaintiffs, Eric Young and Adam Kurtz, and re-filed with the addition of a new plaintiff, David Crystal, in the Southern District of New York court
    • Karen Lerner, an attorney involved in the case, said, “Plaintiffs refiled the case to efficiently vindicate the rights of Bitcoin traders and Bitcoin futures traders.”
    • Bitfinex and Tether denied the accusations (i.e., issuing unbacked tether to manipulate the BTC spot and derivatives market), describing the effort as “meritless and mercenary,” adding that they will contest any “nuisance settlements”
    • Coverage by The Block
    • Bitcoin.com is seeking to raise $50M through a private IEO, dubbed BCE
    • The report says, “Holders of the token, according to the official website, will receive ‘priority (initial exchange offering) access,’ larger referral bonuses and lower trading fees. Holders are also offered rewards via airdrop.”
    • The token won’t be available in a number of countries including Japan and the U.S.
    • The FCA is now the AML/CTF supervisor for businesses carrying out certain cryptoasset activities under the amended Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017 (MLRs)
    • Any U.K. business conducting specific cryptoasset activities must: identify and assess the AML/CTF risks their business is subject to; have policies, systems and controls to mitigate the risk of the business being used for money laundering or terrorist financing; appoint an individual who is a member of the board or sr. management to be responsible for MLR compliance; undertake customer due diligence when entering into a business relationship or occasional txs; apply “enhanced” due diligence, when dealing with customers who may present a higher AML/CTF risk; and monitor all customers to ensure that txs are consistent with the business’s knowledge of the customer and the customer’s business and risk profile
    • New businesses carrying out crypto activity in scope of the MLRs must register with the FCA while existing businesses already conducting crypto activity before Jan. 10 may continue their business but will need to ensure MLR compliance 
    • Existing crypto-related businesses must be registered by Jan. 2021 and must submit a completed application for registration via Connect by June 2020
    • Learn more
    • Cobinhood is shutting down and auditing all accounts’ balances from Jan. 10 to Feb. 9, and will re-open on Feb. 10
    • All users can then retrieve their funds, but users shouldn’t make any deposits as it may result in permanent loss
    • The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) accomplished the top-layer design of its planned digital yuan, developed relevant standards, and carried out R&D and joint testing of the CBDC
    • The PBoC’s Head of Digital Currency Research Mu Changchun said the next steps are to follow the principles of stability, security and control
    • Coverage by CoinTelegraph & The Block


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