Brazil watchdog cracks down on banks restricting crypto exchanges

The Administrative Council for Economic Defense, an official antitrust watchdog of the Brazilian government, has launched an investigation into the country’s banks, which were allegedly abusing their power to undermine domestic cryptocurrency exchanges.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported the investigation, which was opened on Sept. 18, will determine whether banks decision to restrict cryptocurrency brokers is harmful to the domestic crypto market. The Brazilian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (ABCB) requested the investigation back in June after Atlas Quantum, a bank in Brazil, closed accounts belonging to crypto companies.

The investigation will look into several banks in the country, including Banco do Brasil, Banco Bradesco, Itau Unibanco, and Banco Santander Brasil, according to the report.

Cryptocurrency exchanges filed to have the matter investigated to stop banks from closing their accounts without proper explanation. Exchanges hope that the investigation will help solve this issue and have their accounts opened or be given a way forward.

Reuters expect the investigation to cause another clash between the banks and crypto exchanges in the country. The banks are denying the allegations and claim that accounts belonging to the cryptocurrency brokers were closed because of missing client data, which they say are crucial in keeping the accounts open. The banks claimed they had to close the accounts to avoid backlash from the central bank.

CADE officials noted that the conduct by the bank was not unreasonable, saying that by applying such restrictions, the financial institutions were merely trying to follow the already set anti-fraud measures. However, CADA is still investigating the matter and has yet to make a decision about the case.

Brazil has seen tremendous growth in the number of cryptocurrency exchanges across the country. Currently, cryptocurrency exchanges have more accounts than stock exchanges, which is causing authorities to move in and enact measures to protect its economy. Recently the Brazilian government sent questionnaires to local cryptocurrency exchanges in an attempt to get a better understanding of their businesses. In July, police in Brazil arrested 12 individuals accused of laundering millions through cryptocurrencies. The gang was suspected of laundering millions of dollars acquired from drug trafficking using cryptocurrencies.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Brazil watchdog cracks down on banks restricting crypto exchanges

The Administrative Council for Economic Defense, an official antitrust watchdog of the Brazilian government, has launched an investigation into the country’s banks, which were allegedly abusing their power to undermine domestic cryptocurrency exchanges.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported the investigation, which was opened on Sept. 18, will determine whether banks decision to restrict cryptocurrency brokers is harmful to the domestic crypto market. The Brazilian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (ABCB) requested the investigation back in June after Atlas Quantum, a bank in Brazil, closed accounts belonging to crypto companies.

The investigation will look into several banks in the country, including Banco do Brasil, Banco Bradesco, Itau Unibanco, and Banco Santander Brasil, according to the report.

Cryptocurrency exchanges filed to have the matter investigated to stop banks from closing their accounts without proper explanation. Exchanges hope that the investigation will help solve this issue and have their accounts opened or be given a way forward.

Reuters expect the investigation to cause another clash between the banks and crypto exchanges in the country. The banks are denying the allegations and claim that accounts belonging to the cryptocurrency brokers were closed because of missing client data, which they say are crucial in keeping the accounts open. The banks claimed they had to close the accounts to avoid backlash from the central bank.

CADE officials noted that the conduct by the bank was not unreasonable, saying that by applying such restrictions, the financial institutions were merely trying to follow the already set anti-fraud measures. However, CADA is still investigating the matter and has yet to make a decision about the case.

Brazil has seen tremendous growth in the number of cryptocurrency exchanges across the country. Currently, cryptocurrency exchanges have more accounts than stock exchanges, which is causing authorities to move in and enact measures to protect its economy. Recently the Brazilian government sent questionnaires to local cryptocurrency exchanges in an attempt to get a better understanding of their businesses. In July, police in Brazil arrested 12 individuals accused of laundering millions through cryptocurrencies. The gang was suspected of laundering millions of dollars acquired from drug trafficking using cryptocurrencies.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Japan’s Zaif crypto exchange loses $60M in hack

Zaif, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Japan, has fallen victim to a hack, resulting in the loss of JPY6.7 billion ($60 million) worth of cryptocurrencies.

The exchange, which is owned and operated by Tech Bureau, started investigating after it noticed unusual withdrawal and deposit transactions on the platform last Sept. 14. Three days later, while trying to fix the problem, Zaif discovered that unknown persons had hacked their platform and stole 5,966 BTC, along with an unknown number of Bitcoin Cash and MonaCoin from their hot wallets.

Currently, Zaif has shut down its platform in order to fix the breach. They also hired a team of engineers to work on the issue and hope to resume operations soon. However, it is not clear when the platform will open its platform for transactions. The exchange has reported the matter to the Financial Services Agency (FSA) in Japan. Zaif has also filed a criminal case with the local authorities.

The exchange has issued an official announcement apologizing to its customers for the inconvenience as they work to solve the issue. According to Zaif, the company doesn’t have enough reserves to refund customers for the stolen cryptocurrencies.

“Our company’s unique assets are approximately 2.2 billion yen, and the virtual currency equivalent to customer’s assets is about 4.5 billion yen,” according to the roughly translated Zaif statement. “After discovering this case, we are striving to secure financial resources not to damage the customers’ assets.”

Currently, Zaif said it has asked Fisco Digital Asset Group Co. Ltd. for financial assistance. The JASDAQ-listed company has agreed to invest JPY5 billion ($44.5 million) in exchange for a major share of ownership in the crypto exchange.

Early this year, FSA had issued a warning to Zaif along with six other cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan asking them to beef up security on their platforms. Since the hack on Coincheck, FSA has been keen on making sure all cryptocurrency exchanges in the country have implemented stringent security meaures on their platforms.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Japan’s Zaif crypto exchange loses $60M in hack

Zaif, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Japan, has fallen victim to a hack, resulting in the loss of JPY6.7 billion ($60 million) worth of cryptocurrencies.

The exchange, which is owned and operated by Tech Bureau, started investigating after it noticed unusual withdrawal and deposit transactions on the platform last Sept. 14. Three days later, while trying to fix the problem, Zaif discovered that unknown persons had hacked their platform and stole 5,966 BTC, along with an unknown number of Bitcoin Cash and MonaCoin from their hot wallets.

Currently, Zaif has shut down its platform in order to fix the breach. They also hired a team of engineers to work on the issue and hope to resume operations soon. However, it is not clear when the platform will open its platform for transactions. The exchange has reported the matter to the Financial Services Agency (FSA) in Japan. Zaif has also filed a criminal case with the local authorities.

The exchange has issued an official announcement apologizing to its customers for the inconvenience as they work to solve the issue. According to Zaif, the company doesn’t have enough reserves to refund customers for the stolen cryptocurrencies.

“Our company’s unique assets are approximately 2.2 billion yen, and the virtual currency equivalent to customer’s assets is about 4.5 billion yen,” according to the roughly translated Zaif statement. “After discovering this case, we are striving to secure financial resources not to damage the customers’ assets.”

Currently, Zaif said it has asked Fisco Digital Asset Group Co. Ltd. for financial assistance. The JASDAQ-listed company has agreed to invest JPY5 billion ($44.5 million) in exchange for a major share of ownership in the crypto exchange.

Early this year, FSA had issued a warning to Zaif along with six other cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan asking them to beef up security on their platforms. Since the hack on Coincheck, FSA has been keen on making sure all cryptocurrency exchanges in the country have implemented stringent security meaures on their platforms.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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South Korea’s Upbit to open Singapore crypto exchange in October

Kakao affiliate Dunamu, which operates South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Upbit, is gearing up to open a Singapore-based exchange in October, Yonhap News reported.

According to the South Korean news outlet, Dunamu opened a branch in Singapore in February, and now plans to launch a new crypto exchange in the country as part of its bid to tap into the Asian market.

Upbit Singapore head Kim Kook-hyun was quoted by Yonhap saying, “As Singapore has proactively supported blockchain technology, our advancement into the nation will help us secure many chances to lead a variety of relevant projects and to have global competitiveness.”

In a statement, Kim said the new exchange will support crypto-to-crypto pairs as well as integrate the services of its partner exchange, Bittrex, to its system. For enhanced security, Upbit will have 24/7 real-time security monitoring and a firewall system.

Dunamu CEO Sigroo Lee said Singapore’s strong support for blockchain was one of the reasons they chose the Asian country as its first overseas destination.

“We don’t want to lose out on the opportunities now…If we wait until the Korean crypto exchange environment improves, we could lag behind our global competitors,” Lee said in a statement. Dunamu is also looking at expanding to other countries in Southeast Asia, as well as adding more crypto-to-fiat trading pairs to its system. Upbit, however, has no plans to create its own token, according to Lee.

Upbit is not the only firm interested in tapping into Singapore’s crypto friendly ecosystem. Japanese instant messenger, Line, chose Singapore as the home of BitBox, its crypto trading that launched in July. Binance is also running a beta test of Binance Singapore its recently launched exchange. Binance will also be pairing its native token with the Singaporean dollar.

As part of its launch, Upbit Singapore is offering free trading on the SGD market for 30 days from the launch date. To qualify, users will have to complete the sign-up process, including Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process Verification level 2, by Oct. 5.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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South Korea’s Upbit to open Singapore crypto exchange in October

Kakao affiliate Dunamu, which operates South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Upbit, is gearing up to open a Singapore-based exchange in October, Yonhap News reported.

According to the South Korean news outlet, Dunamu opened a branch in Singapore in February, and now plans to launch a new crypto exchange in the country as part of its bid to tap into the Asian market.

Upbit Singapore head Kim Kook-hyun was quoted by Yonhap saying, “As Singapore has proactively supported blockchain technology, our advancement into the nation will help us secure many chances to lead a variety of relevant projects and to have global competitiveness.”

In a statement, Kim said the new exchange will support crypto-to-crypto pairs as well as integrate the services of its partner exchange, Bittrex, to its system. For enhanced security, Upbit will have 24/7 real-time security monitoring and a firewall system.

Dunamu CEO Sigroo Lee said Singapore’s strong support for blockchain was one of the reasons they chose the Asian country as its first overseas destination.

“We don’t want to lose out on the opportunities now…If we wait until the Korean crypto exchange environment improves, we could lag behind our global competitors,” Lee said in a statement. Dunamu is also looking at expanding to other countries in Southeast Asia, as well as adding more crypto-to-fiat trading pairs to its system. Upbit, however, has no plans to create its own token, according to Lee.

Upbit is not the only firm interested in tapping into Singapore’s crypto friendly ecosystem. Japanese instant messenger, Line, chose Singapore as the home of BitBox, its crypto trading that launched in July. Binance is also running a beta test of Binance Singapore its recently launched exchange. Binance will also be pairing its native token with the Singaporean dollar.

As part of its launch, Upbit Singapore is offering free trading on the SGD market for 30 days from the launch date. To qualify, users will have to complete the sign-up process, including Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process Verification level 2, by Oct. 5.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Alleged AlphaBay leader’s crypto millions forfeited in California court

Millions of dollars in cryptocurrency and assets have been seized by U.S. authorities from the estate of Alexandre Cazes, a dark web entrepreneur believed to have been the brains behind the now-defunct AlphaBay marketplace.

After arresting Cazes at his lavish home in Bangkok in 2017, authorities have this week been given the go-ahead to seize his net assets under civil forfeiture laws, in an amount that could total as much as $23 million.

Amongst his reported holdings are numerous high-end luxury beachside properties, expensive sports cars (including the obligatory Lamborghini), and millions in cash and cryptocurrency holdings linked to Cazes.

Authorities seeking the Canadian national’s extradition to the United States smashed a vehicle through the gates of Cazes’ mansion in Thailand, in a raid that saw the 26-year-old entrepreneur remanded to a prison in the Asian country. However, within a matter of days, Cazes committed suicide in his prison cell, before the matter could be brought to trial.

The Sept. 6 ruling from a court in Fresno, California, means authorities can now seize assets from his estate, at a time when authorities are cracking down more aggressively on those found to have been involved in running marketplaces on the dark web.

Dark web marketplaces like AlphaBay and Hansa were made possible by payments through cryptocurrencies, with authorities saying BTC was by far the cryptocurrency of choice for criminals and terrorists using their platforms. With both AlphaBay and Hansa now offline, law enforcement agencies in the U.S. are being kept increasingly busy in pursuing both the operators and vendors from these platforms.

Given the truly global nature of these operations, it looks like law enforcement officers have a significant job on their hands to bring charges against all those involved.

Despite their best efforts, several other clones have sprung up in recent months, seemingly undeterred by the increasing intensity of law enforcement activity around these illegal marketplaces.

Several other cases are currently making their way through the California courts, including charges against a handful of AlphaBay vendors, as well as several Localbitcoins dealers reported to have been involved in transactions with darknet dealers.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Alleged AlphaBay leader’s crypto millions forfeited in California court

Millions of dollars in cryptocurrency and assets have been seized by U.S. authorities from the estate of Alexandre Cazes, a dark web entrepreneur believed to have been the brains behind the now-defunct AlphaBay marketplace.

After arresting Cazes at his lavish home in Bangkok in 2017, authorities have this week been given the go-ahead to seize his net assets under civil forfeiture laws, in an amount that could total as much as $23 million.

Amongst his reported holdings are numerous high-end luxury beachside properties, expensive sports cars (including the obligatory Lamborghini), and millions in cash and cryptocurrency holdings linked to Cazes.

Authorities seeking the Canadian national’s extradition to the United States smashed a vehicle through the gates of Cazes’ mansion in Thailand, in a raid that saw the 26-year-old entrepreneur remanded to a prison in the Asian country. However, within a matter of days, Cazes committed suicide in his prison cell, before the matter could be brought to trial.

The Sept. 6 ruling from a court in Fresno, California, means authorities can now seize assets from his estate, at a time when authorities are cracking down more aggressively on those found to have been involved in running marketplaces on the dark web.

Dark web marketplaces like AlphaBay and Hansa were made possible by payments through cryptocurrencies, with authorities saying BTC was by far the cryptocurrency of choice for criminals and terrorists using their platforms. With both AlphaBay and Hansa now offline, law enforcement agencies in the U.S. are being kept increasingly busy in pursuing both the operators and vendors from these platforms.

Given the truly global nature of these operations, it looks like law enforcement officers have a significant job on their hands to bring charges against all those involved.

Despite their best efforts, several other clones have sprung up in recent months, seemingly undeterred by the increasing intensity of law enforcement activity around these illegal marketplaces.

Several other cases are currently making their way through the California courts, including charges against a handful of AlphaBay vendors, as well as several Localbitcoins dealers reported to have been involved in transactions with darknet dealers.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Monetary Authority of Singapore warns investors of yet another crypto scam

Another day, yet another crypto scam—this time, in the form of a website, which, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), falsely represents comments from MAS chairman and the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

In a warning to investors, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said that the reported comments from Shanmugaratnam about BTC were fictional, except for a remark he made about the presently low volumes of crypto trading in the country.

Monetary Authority of Singapore warns investors of yet another crypto scam

On Thursday, the central bank said it found another fraudulent BTC site that “has been similarly soliciting investments” in the cryptocurrency by using fabricated statements attributed to Shanmugaratnam.

Monetary Authority of Singapore warns investors of yet another crypto scam

As a result of their concerns over the BTC scam, MAS warned investors not to provide any information through the website, cautioning against clicking the link to create a BTC account and submit personal data.

The position is consistent with MAS’s stance on other BTC scams, with the authority regularly warning investors on the dangers of investing in the cryptocurrency. Even more broadly, the authority has taken a dim view on trading in BTC, warning investors back in December 2017—a period of all-time highs for the crypto—that they would ‘lose their shirts’ backing BTC.

The authority urged anyone who might be suspicious about a BTC scam to refer the matter immediately to law enforcement, and of course to refrain from engaging with the scam.

The development comes at a time when officials in Singapore are becoming more aggressive in their efforts to crack down on nefarious activity around BTC.

The increase in regulation has been partly driven by China’s crackdown on crypto trading and ICOs, which has seen Singapore become a haven for crypto exchanges and ICO promoters. However, the central bank has been quick to act against those pushing the boundaries with their cryptocurrency offerings, of which today’s scam warnings are the latest example.

Back in May, MAS wrote to eight cryptocurrency exchanges in the country warning them that they were required to be regulated before they could issue or trade in cryptocurrencies and tokens.

The authority also put a stop to an ICO at the time, after identifying the ICO as an unregulated equity, without the required prospectus or MAS authorisation demanded by Singapore securities law.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

The post Monetary Authority of Singapore warns investors of yet another crypto scam appeared first on Coingeek.

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Monetary Authority of Singapore warns investors of yet another crypto scam

Another day, yet another crypto scam—this time, in the form of a website, which, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), falsely represents comments from MAS chairman and the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

In a warning to investors, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said that the reported comments from Shanmugaratnam about BTC were fictional, except for a remark he made about the presently low volumes of crypto trading in the country.

Monetary Authority of Singapore warns investors of yet another crypto scam

On Thursday, the central bank said it found another fraudulent BTC site that “has been similarly soliciting investments” in the cryptocurrency by using fabricated statements attributed to Shanmugaratnam.

Monetary Authority of Singapore warns investors of yet another crypto scam

As a result of their concerns over the BTC scam, MAS warned investors not to provide any information through the website, cautioning against clicking the link to create a BTC account and submit personal data.

The position is consistent with MAS’s stance on other BTC scams, with the authority regularly warning investors on the dangers of investing in the cryptocurrency. Even more broadly, the authority has taken a dim view on trading in BTC, warning investors back in December 2017—a period of all-time highs for the crypto—that they would ‘lose their shirts’ backing BTC.

The authority urged anyone who might be suspicious about a BTC scam to refer the matter immediately to law enforcement, and of course to refrain from engaging with the scam.

The development comes at a time when officials in Singapore are becoming more aggressive in their efforts to crack down on nefarious activity around BTC.

The increase in regulation has been partly driven by China’s crackdown on crypto trading and ICOs, which has seen Singapore become a haven for crypto exchanges and ICO promoters. However, the central bank has been quick to act against those pushing the boundaries with their cryptocurrency offerings, of which today’s scam warnings are the latest example.

Back in May, MAS wrote to eight cryptocurrency exchanges in the country warning them that they were required to be regulated before they could issue or trade in cryptocurrencies and tokens.

The authority also put a stop to an ICO at the time, after identifying the ICO as an unregulated equity, without the required prospectus or MAS authorisation demanded by Singapore securities law.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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