UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Extends Temporary Registration For Crypto Exchanges

  • UK’s top financial regulator extends “temporary registration regime to July 2021.
  • Customers are warned to withdraw assets from exchanges that are not in the registration process.

U.K. regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched its ‘Temporary Registration Regime’ to allow cryptocurrency service providers who are in the process of registration to continue offering their services. The registration deadline to crypto firms in the U.K is being extended to July 10th next year for every firm that applied for registration before December 16th, 2020 – previously set on January 10th, 2021.

The temporary registration regime is set to allow the regulators additional time to check and approve licenses “due to the complexity and standard of the applications received” and the effects of the global pandemic on their operations.

Earlier in January, FCA took on the lead supervisory role of the cryptocurrency ecosystem in the U.K. The regulator enforces anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CFT) compliance across the country to safeguard the consumers. The regulator introduced several stringent laws in crypto, including every crypto service provider acquiring a license to operate a business in the country.

The deadline for registration of crypto firms was set for January 10th, 2021.

However, the regulator announced an extension of the registration period – a “Temporary Registration Regime” – to 10th July 2021 as applications are still being assessed. The regime allows crypto service firms, those who had registered before December 16th, to continue offering their services as the regulator works on the licenses. The statement from FCA reads,

“This [The Temporary Registration Regime] is to enable those existing businesses to continue to trade after 9 January 2021 until 9 July 2021, pending the FCA’s determination of their application.”

The registration delay is blamed on the “complexity and standards of the applications received” by the regulator.  The Coronavirus pandemic also hindered the authorities as their visits to the crypto exchanges themselves was limited.

The statement warns both crypto trading services providers and customers on the consequences of leaving assets on a trading platform not registered before December 15th –as the waiver does not apply to them. Exchanges that weren’t registered by Wednesday, Dec 15, will need to ask their customers to withdraw their funds by January 10th, 2021, or risk “being subject to the FCA’s criminal and civil enforcement powers.”

According to FCA’s website, only three companies have received approval to start trading crypto, with a list of 90 crypto firms waiting in line. So far, Kraken exchange subsidiary, Crypto Facilities, received a crypto futures trading license earlier in the year, and Binance announced its plans to launch FCA regulated exchange in the U.K. However, only the U.K fintech firm Ziglu, Archax, and Gemini are regulated by the FCA.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Barstool Sports Founder Shills Altcoins; Calls the Crypto Market a Pump And Dump Scheme

  • Barstool Sports founder, Dave Portnoy, extends his stay in cryptocurrency investing – shilling “shitcoins” and further promoting pump and dump schemes in the market.
  • Various top crypto influencers, including Max Keiser, have questioned Dave’s latest move, warning of the risk in investing in altcoins.

Following his meeting with the Winklevoss twins, Dave Portnoy, the poster boy of legacy day trading in the stock market, invested a reported $250,000 in Bitcoin (BTC) and an extra $300,000 in Chainlink (LINK). Now, the seasoned day trader is dipping his foot further into crypto, calling onto his 1.7 million followers to try their luck in altcoins pump and dump schemes.

In his daily live stream show, Davey Day Trade Global (DDTG), ‘El Presidente’ stated he is a “LINK marine,” saying he bought over $300,000 in LINK. This follows his $250,000 purchase of BTC from Winklevoss-owned crypto exchange, Gemini, shortly after he met with Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.

Dave has, over time, confirmed that he does not understand Bitcoin or the crypto industry, only buying the assets to make profits. On Monday’s episode of DDGT, Dave partnered with BlockFi, a crypto custodial service, sponsoring the show that saw the Barstool Sports founder divert from his average stocks day trading to focus mainly on Bitcoin.

A Pump and Dump Scheme

Focusing his attention away from BTC and LINK, both of which have experienced massive growth since March 12 lows, Portnoy also targeted the little-known Orchid Protocol-based token, OXT. On the token, Dave asked his followers to rush in on the FOMO of the token in a pump and dump scheme after he purchased it on Gemini. Terming it a “cheaper version of BTC,” Dave said:

“I bought OXT, bitcoin OXT, it’s like a little wimpy coin, and we’re going to push OXT to the f—ing moon. That’s the next green hammer; I don’t know what it is, I’ve seen a bunch of people be like ‘buy OXT’ so I’m in on OXT. That’s a little cheap-ass bitcoin. Let’s f—ing sends it on Gemini, so buy yourself some OXT. Buy OXT, get in on it, and then get out on it. Let’s f—ing pump and dump.”

Having pumped over 224% in the past fortnight, according to Coingecko, OXT witnessed a sharp 18% fall from highs of $0.70 on Monday to $0.56, as at the time of writing.

Max Keiser, a crypto analyst in the field since 2014, drew a comparison on Dave’s pump and dump scheme to John McAfee’s actions in 2017 in a tweet on Monday. McAfee ran a section on Twitter named ‘Coin of the Day’ whereby he would shill an altcoin resulting from pumping and dumps, leaving many investors at a loss.

All in all, Dave believes in Bitcoin’s rise in the future, agreeing with the legendary hedge fund manager, Paul Tudor Jones, that the surge past $12,000 is just the start for the top cryptocurrency.

Remember always to do your research on an altcoin before blindly listening or following pump and dump schemes. Better yet, stay away from these assets.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

US Secret Service Has Modernized Its Role in Tackling Financial Crimes in The Crypto Era

  • The role of the US Secret Service, whose purpose extends from protecting the US President Trump to protecting the US financial systems, has had to morph to tackle more sophisticated cybercrimes.
  • There is, however, a shared sentiment that cryptocurrencies are just a mere proponent of crime.

Launched on July 5th, 1865, the Secret Service’s role has evolved over the years. Initially attached to the Treasury, their primary purpose has been ensuring the safety of the US commander in chief alongside curtailing counterfeiting of the US currency.

However, after the 9/11 tragedy, the Secret Service was moved to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The purview of the service now extends to the investigation of financial crimes that have evolved significantly due to emerging technologies such as cryptocurrencies. However, there have been talks recently about possibly reuniting the Secret Service with the treasury.

Increased Cybercrimes during a global pandemic

Secret Service cyber policy advisor Jonah Force Hill has offered insight on how their role has been modernized, especially with ongoing talks around the development of the digital dollar. He also reports a spike in financial crimes against US citizens during this COVID-19 time with the FBI reporting a 75% increase in day to day cybercrimes in a June US house meeting. This was collaborated by statistics offered by VMware Cybersec Strategy lead, Tom Kellermann, indicating a large 900% bump in ransomware attacks in the first two quarters of 2020.

Despite cybercriminals demanding for crypto for ransomware, he admits that crypto is not the issue but just a small element of the crime. He highlights that cryptocurrencies will come under the scrutiny of the Secret Service if they undermine the integrity of financial and remittance systems. Money laundering and fraud use cases are also warranting intervention from the Secret Service.

There was mention of crime as a service model where cybercriminals offer customized services and data at a fee. This could include easily exploitable vulnerabilities in the systems, account login credentials, identities, and infrastructure, such as disk space for storage. This type of model enables the cybercriminals to gang up together to orchestrate a crime, drawing similarities with a bank heist crew where each member has a specific skill set.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Harmony’s 4-Shard Network Upgrades to Support Staking, Allowing Users to Earn ONE Tokens

  • Harmony extends staking options to users with a number of staking companies already expressing interest to partner with Harmony.
  • They will issue around 441 Million ONE tokens annually to go directly to stakers to incentive staking.

News has surfaced that Harmony has revealed they are extending staking options for their Mainnet users. They will reward users with extra tokens for locking their ONE token.

According to Harmony cofounder Nick White, this sort of arrangement would build trust levels with their client base without actually identifying them. Harmony’s top brass with a couple of trusted partners consists of the Blockchain’s oversight committee with the staking option to welcome more parties on board.

Their Token, ONE trading at $0.003407 has a market cap of $15.6 Million and registering trading volumes just shy above the $3 million mark. There are currently 4,596,807,869 ONE tokens in circulation as per this writing.

The base layer Blockchain in April 2019 disclosed that they had sourced around $18 million from their completed token presale. They were bankrolled by a variety of investors including the Consensus Capital Group of Silicon Valley, Bank Central Asia (BCA) Australia, Lemniscap VC of Hong Kong, and UniValues Associates from Singapore. The funds were injected into the development of their sharded Blockchain.

Already some staking companies: Staked, Stake.fish, Blockdaemon, Everstake, InfStones have expressed their interests in collaborating with Harmony to manage their nodes. They have advised those who want to stake, to partner with their staking partners’. Although they have left space for individual investors by designing a protocol that is pocket friendly (doesn’t require High computing power) increasing its accessibility.

“A computer with two cores, 2GB of memory and 30GB of storage”

They have offered incentives to encourage staking committing to issue 441 Million ONE annually to the stakers’. This would translate to high yields for the stakers: 164% (at 5% staked) to 9% (at 95% staked) in just the first year.

According to their blog, White believes that high staking (above 60%) would ensure the Network isn’t vulnerable to 33% attack. This would ease their minds knowing that majority of the tokens are locked in. He also highlighted that staking would create an organic demand for the ONE token. The unstaking process only takes 10 days once it is initiated by the staker.

They highlighted that creating a malicious fork in their network was grounds for contract termination. An additional 1000 slots would be availed to accommodate more validators on Harmony later on.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera