Australian Crime Conference To Help Officers Put An End To Cryptocurrency Based Criminal Activities

  • The National Proceeds of Crime Conference has not commenced since 2009.
  • Multiple cryptocurrency-related crimes have occurred in Australia in the last few years, including nearly $1 million from retirees.

The cryptocurrency industry is no stranger to theft, but pursuing these crimes is relatively difficult around the world. A recent article by The Next Web’s Hard Fork reveals that law enforcers from around the world will soon gather in Australia at the National Proceeds of Crime Conference, as confirmed by a statement from the Australian Federal Police. Amongst the many topics of discussion will be finding methods that can end crimes associated with cryptocurrency.

The last time that the National Proceeds of Crime Conference took place was in 2009 before Bitcoin was even gaining any traction. Representatives of the Australian Federal Police, United States Department of Justice, Singapore Police Force, New Zealand Police, Australian Taxation Office, and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission will be in attendance.

Justine Gough, the AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner, stated,

“Advances in technology, like cryptocurrency and encrypted communications, have changed the way criminals acquire and hide their assets.”

She added that one of their “most effective” methods in influencing organized crime is with the seizure and removal of profits.

Some of the key issues that officers will be discussing at the event will include the dark web, the way that cybercrime is being monetized, and the trends that exist in money laundering. Considering the many cryptocurrency crimes that have been in the southern hemisphere of Australia, it should come as no surprise that the country is growing more aware of the need to end cryptocurrency crimes. For example, retirees in the country lost $900,000 in July this year in a scam involving cryptocurrency.

Along with these thefts, there have been multiple celebrities endorsing Bitcoin investment opportunities, aiming to con consumers. However, even with just these two examples in mind, locals lost about $14.76 million in just the first seven months of 2019, due to crypto-related crimes. Even after the event, this type of activity is likely to be enough of a reason for Australia’s law enforcement to crackdown more strongly on cryptocurrency crimes.

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Author: Krystle M

AlphaPoint’s Digital Asset Exchange Software To Roll Out Crypto Margin Trading

AlphaPoint, a crypto software and technology provider, announced at the CoinDesk’s Investment NYC conference that it would be launching margin trading for its clients. By utilizing its software, the technology provider will be supporting margin trading with a range of trading options and control over crypto exchanges and brokerages.

Margin trading is when an investor buys a security, in this case, a cryptocurrency, using borrowed money. Margin trading is becoming prevalent and popular in the crypto industry. Most of the popular leading exchanges are implementing the feature. Bakkt, Kraken, and Coinbase’s trading platform have the feature. Binance also launched margin trading in July 2019.

According to Patrick Shield, the spokesman, AlphaPoint’s platform can be customized to serve the clients trading in different regulatory regimes and markets better.

“We have created a highly configurable platform, and there will be no need to create a one-size-fits-all model. The platform has configurable leverages, minimum deposit, liquidation levels, sizes, and fees. It will also require approval workflow for the end users,” said Shield.

During the launch, the company said that clients are yet to implement AlphaPoint’s margin trading. However, according to a recent press release, a number of firms, including Canadian cryptocurrency trader National Digital Asset Exchange (NDAX), are already beta testing the new platform.

The founder and CEO at NDAX, Bilal Hammoud, said in a statement that he is excited and longing to partner with AlphaPoint. “The partnership will introduce BTC to CAD margin trading to the crypto industry, allowing investors to enjoy a technologically advanced, compliant, and secure platform,” said Hammoud.

Margin trading, however, comes packed with its pushbacks. Some countries across the world are discouraging crypto margin trading and have even placed strict control policies around the policies like it is the case in Japan.

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Author: Denis Miriti

Ripple SWELL 2019 Update: Economist Dr. Raghuram Rajan Talks Blockchain Financial Inclusion

Dr Raghuram Rajan, economist and financial analyst, took the stage at the Swell 2019 conference this month that was held in Singapore. During his talk, Rajan, explained the importance of blockchain technology in the financial sector and how it’s poised to revolutionize businesses around the world.

One specific note of Rajan’s talk was the application of blockchain tech in the existing financial system as well as the impact that globalization will have on world markets.

“We are due for stronger productivity,” began Rajan.

“Tech innovation doesn’t always translate to actual productivity growth. For corporations to really learn how to use emerging technology, they need to reinvent the system. Once this is managed, we will see the pace of growth increase—not the moderate growth we see today.”

The power of banking establishments were also highlighted as a potential problem by Rajan. He stated that these centralized institutions create “fear and fury” amongst the populace, while decentralized blockchain solutions can be used to help bridge this gap of fear.

“At an abstract level, what we see today is increased fear and fury at centralized banks. Across the world, there is a break down in globalization and a worry from businesses about adhering to rules, set by another country. The answer is more decentralized solutions, like blockchain technology—that people trust,”

said Dr. Rajan.

The topic of micropayments was brought up by Rajan as a possible area for disruption by blockchain and cryptocurrency technology.

“We’re going to see intermediaries negotiate for payments with information. If data belongs to the individual then it can be exchanged through micropayments and doesn’t become a source of monopoly. In this way, decentralization disperses trust and power, and ultimately breaks up monopolies.”

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Author: Matthew North

FinCEN Director Asks Casinos To Follow The Agency’s Guidelines For Suspicious Crypto Activities

At an Anti-Money Laundering Conference in Las Vegas, the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) asked the casinos to comply with the agency’s guidelines in regards to suspicious convertible virtual currency (CVC) activity.

Convertible virtual currency is an unregulated digital currency that can be used as a substitute for real and legally recognized currency. It usually has measurable value in real money, but what makes it convertible lies in its ability to be interchangeable.

In his speech, he mentioned that the two areas where CVC and Casins intersect are mostly online casinos. Even physical casinos and card clubs are increasingly becoming more vulnerable. He reminded about the gap in reporting about the suspicious activities in these areas, saying:

“I encourage casinos to closely review both documents on FinCEN’s website to see how we are addressing this industry and its interactions with others in the financial sector. Casinos should be filing SARs when they encounter suspicious CVC activity and any cyber events that affect, facilitate, or conduct transactions. We know that casinos are targets for cyber and cyber-enabled criminal activity such as ransomware attacks and business e-mail compromise schemes.”

FinCEN was founded in 1990 with the goal of fighting money-related crime. The agency analyzes financial transaction information with the goal of combating terrorism financing, money laundering, and other financial crimes. Blanco has held the position since November 2017. In May 2019, the firm issued new guidance that contains its financial regulation policies concerning Decentralized Applications.

Last year BitcoinExchangeGuide had reported about Blanco explaining the agency’s stance on crypto. He was overall positive about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. He began his speech discussing how crypto can be used to optimize businesses and conduct more efficient international transactions. Although, even then, Blanco had claimed crypto can be used for criminal activities and that his agency’s goal was to facilitate a healthy, crime-free cryptocurrency ecosystem.

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Author: Sritanshu Sinha