Experts Call for Crypto Regulation as Ransomware Attacks Are On the Rise

Experts Call for Crypto Regulation as Ransomware Attacks Are On the Rise

A panel of experts calls for aggressive tracking of Bitcoin and other cryptos in the light of growing ransomware attacks. Ransomware gangs collected about $350 million last year, more than 3x of 2019.

“There’s a lot more that can be done to constrain the abuse of these pretty amazing technologies,” said Philip Reiner, chief executive of the Institute for Security and Technology, who led the Ransomware Task Force.

The new rules proposed are aimed at the anonymity of crypto transactions, Reuters reported a source as saying. It will recommend steps like extending KYC regulations to crypto exchanges, money laundering rules to facilities converting currency, and tougher licensing requirements for those processing cryptocurrencies.

“That would be huge,” said an anonymous senior Homeland Security Official.

“This is a world that was created exactly to be anonymous, but at some point, you have to give up something to make sure everyone’s safe.”

Last year, the U.S. Marshals Service seized over $150 million in crypto-assets and offered them to the public at auction.

Amidst this, the House has passed a bill that will provide clarity to crypto asset regulation in the country.

The bill passed by the US House of Representatives last week is H.R. 1602, “Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act of 2021,” which has now been sent to the Senate. If passed and signed into law, this will provide much-needed clarification to the industry. It would commission a working group to evaluate how the US currently treats crypto assets.

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Author: AnTy

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to Speak About Digital Currencies Today

As part of a panel on “Cross-Border Payments—A Vision for the Future,” at the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) annual meeting, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will speak about digital currencies Monday.

The panel will start at 8 a.m. ET on Oct. 19.

During this virtual event, while discussing the potential solutions to enhance the cross-border payments, the “benefits and risks” of digital currencies and their macro-financial implications will also be covered.

“On Monday, Jay Powell gives his input on central bank digital currencies at the IMF talk listed above. Central Bank digital currencies are coming, and they will change everything… They are coming under stealth of X-border payments but it means so much more…” said former hedge fund manager Raoul Pal, CEO of Real Vision Group.

It is, however, not mentioned if Powell would be sharing his thoughts on a digital dollar.

Other panelists include Agustín Carstens, general manager of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS); Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority; and Nor Shamsiah, governor of Bank Negara Malaysia with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva as the moderator.

You can watch live here:

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Author: AnTy

Eurosystem to Make a Decision on Digital Euro in the Coming Weeks, ECB President

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde says a panel of eurozone central bank officials is exploring the pros and cons of a digital euro and will soon reveal whether or not the region needs to create their very own central bank digital currency.

The initiative of a CBDC may be critical to ensure they don’t get left behind in the move to digital currencies and global changes in payments, said Lagarde, in a virtual event with Germany’s Bundesbank. Thursday evening she said,

“The Eurosystem has so far not made a decision on whether to introduce a digital euro. But, like many other central banks around the world, we are exploring the benefits, risks, and operational challenges of doing so.”

“The findings of a Eurosystem task force are expected to be presented to the public in the coming weeks, followed by the launch of a public consultation.”

While the fact that Europe is dominated by foreign payment service providers isn’t necessarily a concern, the ECB president said the “global context” and “increase in protectionist policies” do present new risks.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that our citizens have choice and cannot be excluded from the payments ecosystem due to the unilateral actions of others.”

A digital euro would be useful for retail users that are increasingly ditching banknotes in favor of digital payments. Still, it also poses the danger of crowding out private sector solutions and hollowing out the banking sector.

In the meantime, Sweden’s Riksbank has been testing its e-krona for months now. However, cash remains prevalent in eurozone countries, including Germany.

The Bank of England and the Federal Reserve have taken a cautious approach to introduce a CBDC. People’s Bank of China, meanwhile, is already running a trial for its DC/EP while the Bank of Japan is currently at the research phase of a digital yen.

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Author: AnTy

Zcash Foundation to Elect 5 Members to ZCAP to Control its 420,000 ZEC ($34M) Treasury

The Zcash Foundation has decided to select a new five-member board for Community Advisory Panel (CAP), who would be responsible for the to look after the deployment of 420,000 ZEC worth $36 million.

The selection of 5 member team would be based on the merit where the foundation would look for those people who have a broader understanding of the Zcash ecosystem and its applications. Zooko Wilcox, the founder of Zcash, said that the five-member team would responsible for managing one of the most significant controllers of the funds in the foreseeable future. He tweeted,

“Whoa! Major news! The Zcash Community Advisory Panel is open to new members! The ZCAP is about to elect the new five-person committee that is going to be the largest controller of funds in the Zcash ecosystem for the foreseeable future.”

CAP is the Zcash-powered community responsible for the governance decision on the Zcash blockchain. However, it is essential to note that the CAP community won’t have any unopposed say in any matter, and they cannot determine any significant technical changes such as a hard fork either.

How did the Idea of a new 5-Member CAP Community Come up?

The decision to bring in a 5-member new governance team arose from the community Zcash governance forum, where many demanded that the ZCash foundation must bring in a new 5-member team for CAP. After this, almost 35 members shared their interest in joining the new board.

After the demand surfaced in the community forum, the Zcash Foundation, along with Electric Coin Company, the Zcash code maintainer agreed upon the community demand. The foundation released an official statement after that which read,

“The Foundation wholeheartedly agrees with this sentiment and believes we can more broadly increase participation legitimately before the September 1 candidacy deadline. We believe opening up the CAP with this process is completely aligned with the community interest, and would result in a more effective and legitimate outcome based on experience similarly collecting community sentiment for the dev fund Zcash Implementation Proposals.”

New members can join the CAP can either participate by an official invite or any member from the existing 62 members from the Community Advisory Panel can join in the new board by September 1.

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Author: Silvia A

Sweden Central Bank Lays Down its Six Steps to Successfully Implement Digital Currency

During a recent panel discussion, Stefan Ingves, the Governor of Sweden’s central bank, Sveriges Riksbank, laid out a six-step plan for the introduction of is central bank digital currency.

The first issue in this plan is that both large value and retail payments must be settled in the central bank digital currency anywhere around the world, at any time, all year round.

Second, cross-currency and cross border payments must also be settled in the central bank digital currency at any time.

Another issue is the need for a definition of what constitutes a legal tender suited for the digital age. Ingves explained that a legal tender is tied to physical banknotes and if banknotes disappear tomorrow then people won’t use it anymore. At that point, there is no knowing what a legal tender is and that becomes an issue.

There should be a digital currency issued by the central bank and that should be the legal tender. Here, there is a distinction between wholesale central bank money and retail central bank. The central bank digital currency is related to retail because as Ingves said  of wholesale money “we already have and have had for a long time.”

The fifth issue here is to make this work in a digital world. The governor says it is absolutely crucial for financial inclusion and regulatory purposes to have a government-sponsored digital identification, without that if you can’t explain in digital form who you are, then you can’t really run these systems. This is also required for the bank to know your customer and for anti-money laundering (AML) measures.

The last issue talks about the requirement for physical money. In cases the digital network goes down, such as if the electricity goes out as Ingves said then you still need physical banknotes somewhere in the country or more accurately to be under the control of the central bank.

The Riksbank has been engaged in the research program for issuing its own digital currency, a digital version of Krona, since 2017.

Earlier this month, Ingves also published “How to ensure the future of the Swedish Krona” where he laid out that there is a need for state money and with a strong trend towards “digital solutions,” digital Krona is the way to go.

In the current era of digital currencies and with companies like Facebook launching Libra, it has become essential for countries to come up with their own digital currency.

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Author: AnTy