UAE Introduces New Law to Combat Crypto Crime, Allows Licensed Cryptocurrency Offering & Promotion

UAE Introduces New Law to Combat Crypto Crime, Allows Licensed Cryptocurrency Offering & Promotion

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is introducing new rules to promote cryptocurrency development while curbing digital currency scams targeting investors in the country.

Under the new rules, crypto scammers will face prison time for up to 5 years and a penalty of up to AED 1 million (just over $272k), starting January 2, 2022.

Previously, the UAE laws banned promoting crypto but didn’t penalize it, but now, in a first for the country, the amendments have been introduced to punish those who promote or encourage a dealing in crypto that is not officially recognized in the UAE or post misleading ads or inaccurate data about any product.

The new law will also punish those raising money from the public without a license from competent authorities.

It was only last month that the new legislation was introduced by the UAE President as part of several legal reforms.

Much like the rest of the world, there has been a rise in crypto scams in the UAE, with the most recent and publicized one being the DubaiCoin scam which claimed to be launched as Dubai’s official cryptocurrency.

It was later discovered that the project was phishing data and money from investors. The Dubai Government then released an official statement in May dismissing claims of the coin being the official crypto of Dubai, but many had fallen prey to the fraud already.

Dispute resolution lawyer at ADG Legal Kostubh Devnani said,

“The positive news is that apart from the new laws, and UAE stepping up efforts to combat financial crime, courts in other (particularly common law) jurisdictions have been willing to grant remedies normally applicable to physical or tangible property to victims of crypto scams, such as freezing orders and orders for production of information.”

The UAE does not recognize crypto as a legal tender, but there are no direct bans on cryptocurrencies either.

In fact, those engaging in crypto-related activities such as offering, issuing, promoting, listing, and trading of cryptocurrencies are required under the new law to be licensed by the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA).

The new Online Security Law that replaces the previous law ‘Concerning Anti-Cybercrimes’ is one of the first comprehensive legal frameworks in the region to address the risks associated with the illegal use of cryptocurrencies and enhance consumer protection.

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Author: AnTy

Cryptocurrency Ransomware Attacks Surged Over 300% in 2020: Chainalysis’ Crime Report

Cryptocurrency Ransomware Attacks Surged Over 300% in 2020: Chainalysis’ Crime Report

Revenue from crypto-related crime was reduced by 53% last year. Illicit funds, scams, and proceeds of crime through crypto also dropped. However, The value of ransomware attacks tripled, generating over $350 million.

Chainalysis’ “Crypto Crime Report 2021” shows a significant decrease in cryptocurrency-related crime across 2020, revenue from these illicit activities dropping by $5 billion, or 53%, from the previous year. The total illicit activity compared to the total transactional volume also dipped to only 0.34% in 2020, or $10 billion – a sharp dip from the 2.1% ($21.4 billion) recorded in 2019.

Overall, cryptocurrency-related scams and illegal activities are falling. Only a small portion of illicit activity is left in the crypto ecosystem. The overall illicit value from crypto is falling compared to illicit funds in traditional finance, the Chainalysis report reads.

As was the case in 2019, scams made up the biggest chunk of crypto-related crime – reporting $2.7 billion, a sharp 71% drop from $9 billion the previous year. Interestingly, the number of individual scams made to scam wallets rose by 48% across 2020 to 7.3 million individual scams. The sharp drop in value in 2020 mainly arises from the fact that no scam is close enough to the magnanimous PlusToken Ponzi scam in 2019.

Across 2020, the total crime value from scams and other illicit acts raised nearly $10 billion, dropping from $20 billion in revenue collected by bad actors in 2019.

Despite the celebrations, the value from ransomware attacks tripled in the past year, representing 7% of all the illicit crypto-based transactions. At $350 million in value across 2020, crypto-ransomware attacks grew over 311% in a year – the largest growth amongst the report’s illicit categories. The spike is attributed to the global Covid-19 pandemic, which prompted the “work from home” culture, presenting new vulnerable opportunities.

Darknet markets and stolen funds witness a less dramatic increase than ransomware – a 29% increase and a 4% increase from 2019’s values, respectively.

Earlier in the year, Chainalysis reported that the total number of cryptocurrency crimes had fallen over 83% in 2020, as regulation and exchange compliance came alive during the year.

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Author: Lujan Odera

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