Crypto Related Losses Skyrocket Despite Hacking Crimes Dropping Significantly

  • According to a Q4, 2019 survey by CipherTrace users have lost 4.5 billion in Ponzi scheme and fraud scams while hacking-related scams have significantly dropped
  • Banks have also fallen prey as US banks unsuspectingly facilitate illegal transactions

Losses in 2019 shot up by 160% despite hacking crimes dropping by 66%, this was according to a 2019 Q4 report by CipherTrace, a cryptocurrency intelligence firm. Amounting to $4.5 million just in the previous year.

Dave Jevans, CipherTrace CEO, stated they had seen a major bump in crimes where the unsuspecting users were duped by Ponzi schemes, mainly set up by people inside the system. This would make investors pull the plug on the cryptocurrency investments that are hurting the systems built around digital assets.

“We noticed a significant uptick in malicious insiders scamming unsuspecting victims or leaching on their users through Ponzi schemes.”

A common use case is the crypto wallet and exchange PlusToken Ponzi scheme where unsuspecting clients lost $3 billion in a single scam. There has also been the Canadian Exchange, QuadrigaCX, clients lost close to $135 million after the founder of the company passed away suddenly.

Banks are Unsuspecting perpetrators

Banks have also been victims as they have unknowingly facilitated illegal cryptocurrency transactions of up to $2 billion in US banks alone. This could be mainly attributed to the fact that it has become harder for traditional financial systems to embrace emerging technology while steering clear of crypto relations. This is as banks globally continue to face fines levied by Anti-money laundering (AML) authorities of about $6.2 billion.

Jevans further explained that banks need to come up with alternative solutions of ridding their systems of illegal dealings that would finance terrorism as they had previously underestimated the percentage of digital assets that are to be found in their accounts and systems.

“Like them or not, banks have a lot more virtual assets lurking in their accounts and payment networks than most in the industry had previously thought.

Banks need new capabilities to ferret out illicit MSBs [Money Service Businesses], terrorist financing, and other major sources of risk.”

Illegal crypto merchants have also been key in funneling funds to terrorist fronts. They are usually connected to high-risk exchanges and hide the transactions by intentionally using the wrong merchant category codes (MCC) the report further read.

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Author: Lujan Odera

BIS Survey Reveals CBDC’s Are Moving From ‘Conceptual’ To ‘Intensive Practical Development’

The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) conducted a survey, showing roughly ten percent of central banks are expected to issue a Central Bank Digital Currency in the near future.

The BIS report was released on January 23 and presented the results from a survey conducted on 66 central banks from all over the world, investigations on how eager these banks are to create a CBDC.

The results were, as shown above, were that only ten percent of these surveyed banks are interested in developing and issuing a central bank digital currency anytime soon, which is twice more than last year. 20% of them said they’re likely to have their own CBDC at some point in the future, just not in the near future.

2020 BIS CBDC Survey

2020 BIS CBDC Survey

What Could Motivate Central Banks to Issue CBDCs?

BIS CBDC Motivations

BIS CBDC Motivations

The participants in the study represented 45 emerging market economies (EMEs) and 21 advanced ones. The EME banks were more motivated to develop an all-purpose CBDC, as this could bring increased domestic payment efficiency, financial inclusion and safer payment. Advanced economies said the safety of payments would be the only reason for them to develop a CBDC.

Both categories showed the same paths when it comes to a wholesale CBDC, EMEs being interested in an all-purpose CBDC too. Advanced economies were also motivated by the increased efficiency of international payments brought on by a CBDC.

BIS CBDC Motivations Wholesale

BIS CBDC Motivations Wholesale

CBDCs Being More Understood as a Result of Joint Efforts

(WEF) World Economic Forum and some of the major central banks this week, came up with a CBDC policy maker toolkit to help policymakers understand the advantages of CDBCs. For the development of the framework, WEF worked with central bank researchers, regulators and experts from more than 40 institutions.

The framework recognizes how a CBDC increases the speed and efficiency of international interbank payments, while the costs, the counterparty and settlement risks are being reduced.

Also on January 22, Facebook’s Libra has helped in pushing central banks to give more consideration to CBDC’s, stated a previous head of payments and settlements at the Bank of Japan.

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Author: Oana Ularu

38% of Asset Managers with State Street Plan to Invest in Crypto Next Year

  • The survey of State Street’s asset managers was conducted by Oxford Economics, though the firm requested this research.
  • Approximately 94% of State Street’s clients already hold digital assets and related products.

While Bitcoin used to be an asset that investors stayed away from, many asset managers are considering adding it to their own portfolios nowadays. In a statement by the managing director of digital product development and innovation at State Street, Jay Biancamano, it looks like next year could be lucrative for the crypto market, but none of the asset managers have pushed for the storage of crypto yet.

Biancamano stated, “We’re talking to them less about ‘Can you custody this,’ and more about how we can work together to make sure these changes aren’t disruptive to our business models.” During a bank-sponsored event on Thursday in New York, he added that there will be a clearer idea of what the financial institution plans to do with these assets and their custody next year. Once establishing that custody, State Street will be looking into fund administration, private placements, and the trading and issuance for this sector.

Even without much interest in the custody of crypto, clients of the bank are seemingly investing more of their own funds in the asset class. A survey conducted by Oxford Economics, at the request of State Street, found that digital assets and related products are already held by 94% of their clients. In 2020, the bank expects to discover that over a third of the clients plan to increase their allocation of digital assets, though just under half stated that their allocation would remain unchanged.

The interest in digital assets by State Street comes at a time that the bank is working to reduce plumping with distributed ledger technology, suggesting that Wall Street is giving up their push for “blockchain, not bitcoin.” The bank was forced to lay off over 100 blockchain developers this year, though Biancamano’s team’s responsibilities were independent of the developer team.

Biancamano stated, “Being able to provide custody and servicing around digital assets is different than building our entire backend infrastructure and prioritizing our technology stack to support Hyperledger blockchain.” He called these two endeavors “parallel paths,” adding that the company still has the ability to go into the sector without employing DLT engineers. While State Street still has the expertise of this sector within their staff, more of the focus will be “on the digital asset piece.”

The sample of asset managers in the survey included 101 clients, also finding that 62% believed that risk management could be improved with tokenization, and just over half of responded believed it would improve security. Only one-third of the clients expressed that it would increase liquidity or create democracy in investing for retail investors.

The clients of State Street seem to have a more bullish perspective on DLT than the actual company, as over half of the respondents stated that they’ll add the tech to their trading process in the next year. Only half of the same group made the same statements about artificial intelligence. Furthermore, the majority of clients (65%) agreed that financing products could be improved with the use of DLT.

These investors appear fairly confident in the changes that they expect to see from the market overall, as just under half of the respondents showed faith in the approval of a Bitcoin ETF by regulators in 2020. Biancamano added, “Honestly, institutions already have the ability to invest in these funds. VanEck is doing a private placement. WisdomTree announced the ability to invest on the Swiss exchange. I would like to see regulators become more comfortable with a bitcoin ETF… but I think the ability to invest in bitcoin in a fund or directly is there.”

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Author: Krystle M

Creditplus Bank AG Report: Three of Four German Citizens Do Not Approve Libra Coin’s Launch

Facebook-backed cryptocurrency, Libra, rejected by most German citizens according to a recent survey on people over the age of 16.

The percentage of “no-Libra” choice non-surprisingly increases with age as the older population still try to get their heads around decentralized technologies.

Over 73% of Germans won’t use Libra

According to a report released by Toluna, a market research institute, for WirtschaftsWoche and Creditplus Bank AG, on over 2000 German citizens aged 16 and over, Libra remains unpopular in the country – only 27% of the population claim they would use the stable coin for transactions, both locally and cross border.

In the comprehensive report, 42% of the respondents claimed they would not use Libra due to Facebook’s privacy issues. Furthermore, 31% of the respondents have faith in their state controlled currencies and would not switch to the stable coin.

Younger generations more open to Libra

As expected, the percentage of respondents rejecting adoption and use of Libra aged 35 and above is significantly higher than the younger population. Over 85% of Germans in the higher age groups (over 35) claim they would not use the cryptocurrency with 42% of respondents between the age 22-35 accepting the token.

In a test carried out on young Americans by Cint, a markets research firm, close to 70% of respondents in the survey are against cryptocurrencies in general. Almost 53% of the respondents do not want anything to do with the cryptocurrency mostly due to regulatory struggles and privacy control issues in the industry.

Regulators against Libra launch

Despite its homely welcome in neutral Switzerland, Libra is under fire across the European Union (EU) – Germany’s finance minister, Olaf Scholz is leading the pack. In an interview earlier in the month, Olaf urged the EU to regulate Libra and work towards launching their own stable coins or else they would lag behind other powerful states building their own digital assets.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Two out of Five Millenials Look At Crypto During A Recession, eToro Survey Discovers

A new survey has discovered that 40% of the Millenials in America would rather invest in crypto assets than any other kind of asset during an upcoming recession. According to the study, which was conducted by eToro with 1,000 online investors in the U. S. recently, Millenials are the most open investors to crypto.

According to the data, two-thirds of the investors are afraid of a recession, but their solutions for how to handle it are different. While 40% of Millenials have chosen crypto, 50% of Generation Z had chosen real estate. Generation X is more inclined to invest in commodities, with 38% of them choosing this kind of asset.

Another trend is that fractional ownership interest has spiked. 92% of the investors affirmed that they would like to own pieces of artwork during a recession while 55% of them were eager to sell a portion of their current portfolios if they could find new investments that could be more profitable than the ones that they have right now.

Finally, the study also concluded that high net worth individuals are more likely to invest in Bitcoin than any other kind of crypto asset, as it is the most famous and powerful one.

The managing director at the company, Guy Hirsch, affirmed that during a recession most portfolios would end up shrinking. The main difference now is that crypto provides a true new path. The investment would not be confined only to people with a high net worth. Retail investors and not only institutional ones could gain money during the recession.

Hirsch also affirmed that current investors want more freedom besides just following the status quo of investments and they see an opportunity in Bitcoin.

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Author: BEG News Desk

Survey Reveals Four Out of Five Colombians Are Open To Cryptocurrency Investments

A new survey has recently revealed that 86.5% of Colombians are familiar with Bitcoin (BTC) and that around 80% of them are actually open to investing in this market. The survey was made by the P2P Bitcoin platform Paxful together with Toluna Insights.

According to the information presented by the survey, at least half of everyone between the ages of 25 and 40 has already expressed at least some mild interest in buying cryptos. Most of them wanted to buy Bitcoin (79%). Ethereum, the second-largest token of the market, had only 3% of the people interested in it.

32% of the people who participated in the survey affirmed that they had already participated in crypto transactions and 59% believed that the adoption of the technology would continue to grow in the near future.

Curiously, 91% of the people who responded seemed to be aware that cryptos could change the future of finances forever. 86% affirmed that the technology would need to be properly regulated in the country, as they believed that the current legislation was probably not suited to handle it.

However, only 20% of the respondents actually used crypto at least once. The P2P trading volume in the country is growing a lot recently, although there is no clear explanation for why except the fact that cryptos are getting more mainstream adoption recently.

In the U. S., around 11% of the population have bought Bitcoin, recent research has shown. Most of them have between 18 and 34 years. Despite only a small percentage of the people have ever used it, 89% have heard about it at least once.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Can Facebook’s Libra Change the Sentiment of Younger Generation Towards Crypto Assets?

Can Facebook's Libra Change the Sentiment of Younger Generation Towards Crypto Assets?

According to a survey conducted by Cint a majority of the Gen Z does not want anything to do with cryptocurrency. While it may sound astonishing but that is the reality as per the survey conducted on 1,884 young Americans.

The firm behind the analysis is also well reputed for its various research and exchange of data. The Moto of the analysis was to understand how Gen Z views the most talked topic in recent years.

The study reveals that 53% of the total number of people who were part of the survey and under the age of 25 do not want anything to do with the cryptocurrency, while 17% of those who were interviewed maintained that they are not going to make any investment in the coming six months. So the study is a clear indication that 70% of the interviewed Gen Z do not like crypto while only 30% have some form of interest.

However, the recent survey is a clear contrast to the one which suggester 55% of the Millenials are more inclined towards crypto investment than any other form of modern day asset.

Can Facebook’s Libra Change the Gen Z Sentiments

Facebook has got the Gen Z addicted to its social media platform and thus many believe that the launch of its stable coin Libra next year could change the way how Gen Z perceive cryptocurrencies.

The most influencing factor in doing so would be the tons of categorised data Facebook has under its possession. Facebook has a multiple generations hooked to their ecosystem which comprises of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instragam. The interoperability among these three itself could be a game changer as people would be able to send money across all three platforms.

However Facebook Libra has to get past a ton of obstacles and scrutiny before it could do something at that scale. Currently, the Libra stable coin is not in good books of several regulators and central banks around the globe, mainly because of its financial structure and working model.

Libra would be backed by a number of Fiat currencies and government security, which is a clever way of avoiding compliance as no single regulatory body have any saying due to its multi Fiat support. Bank of Japan has even accused Libra of trying to piggy ride on regulatory reforms and believe it would be unfair for other digital assets which has to go under rigorous watch it regulatory bodies.

If with some miracle Libra is able to surpass all these obstacles and become the digital money of the internet, people using Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram would send money as easily as sending messages. Facebook has become an integral part of a quarter of world population as it accounts for 1.5 billion daily users. If we look at the stats in terms of age bracket, 88% of the population between the ages of 13 and 17 years of age and 84% of the population between the ages of 18 and 29 years are regular Facebook users.

The same holds true for Instagram and WhatsApp as well, where 72% of users are under the age of 17 and 64% of the population between the ages of 18 and 29 years use Instagram on a regular basis. On the other hand WhatsApp accounts for 38% of its users are between the age of 18 and 24.

The large section of the population being on Facebook’s ecosystem would make it extremely easy for the social media giants to simply put a crypto wallet on these apps, and users can simply use it as they do for chatting or sharing media files. It would definitely change the way the Gen Z currently perceive crypto space.

This could be another revolution that Facebook becomes a pivotal point of, people would start using crypto with a curiosity and with enough users it would become a necessity as has been the case with the use of Facebook.

Chris Hughes rightly summarizes how Libra is both an interesting and fearful take on the world’s financial network. He says,

“Libra has a long way to go before being successful, but in theory, it’s brilliant and frightening. At the start of the week, I thought the problem would be that it would reinforce Facebook’s corporate power. Now, a few days out, I think the problem is different and bigger: a new layer of monetary control between central banks and individuals, mediated by corporations”

He went on to add,

“What Libra backers are calling “decentralisation” is in truth a shift of power away from developing world central banks and toward multinational corporations and the central banks of the largest economies.”

“If #Libra is successful, the problem will be bigger than more power for Facebook. We’ll have to answer whether we want a global currency managed by (mostly) for-profit, private companies or public ones.”

However all these are just speculation especially until the actual launch of the token as per the initial plans. It is also interesting to note that it is not the first attempt from Facebook to introduce a form of money transactions in their ecosystem.

Easier they had introduced messenger payments which failed to take pace and finally had to be shut down. Banking and Social media are two totally different ball game, and given the scrutiny it has faced for poor management of user private data along with their Libra working model, it would be one daunting task if they succed at it.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

Bitcoin Needs to Be Involved in More Real-World Apps, According to Over One Fourth of UK Residents

Cryptocurrency-Needs-to-Be-Involved-in-More-Real-World-Applications-Says-27-of-UK-Residents
  • CEX.io took a survey to understand the needs and expectations of the public in the UK, in relation to cryptocurrency.
  • The survey revealed that more people would be involved in cryptocurrency with more real-world use cases and integration into familiar technology.

Cryptocurrency, even though it has been around for 10 years, still has many people around the world that know nothing of it.

The lack of information for the public is one of the major reasons that the industry still has not reached the level of notoriety hoped for, but that does not mean that the public is not interested. In fact, in recently published research by the CEX.io crypto exchange, it appears that 27% of the surveyed citizens in the United Kingdom are hoping for more “real-world applications” of digital currency.

In a report from BTCManager on June 27th, CEX.io offered the results of their survey, primarily centered around adoption, application, and expectations of digitals currencies in the region. The survey involved 1,013 respondents.

In the survey, 32% of the individuals said that it would be nice to have the tech integrated more easily into payments apps, mobile storage, and other types of “everyday technology.” Real-world use cases for cryptocurrency, like credit card payments and sending cross-border payments, are desired by about 27% of respondents.

The survey asked the participants why they personally own cryptocurrency. While 18% said that they just liked trading in general, curiosity and hoping for prices to surge were the reasons for 21% of respondents, each. In the survey, nearly half of the cryptocurrency owners had some amount of Bitcoin, which makes it the most dominant coin amongst participants.

Of the people who did not hold cryptocurrency at the time of this survey, 28% said that this would probably change if they understood it better. However, 12% said that they wanted to have an understanding of how to store it safely and securely before owning it, and another 11% said that they would purchase cryptocurrency if it could buy real-world goods. Making cryptocurrency easier to purchase was the leading reason for 7% of respondents.

Kaspersky Lab, a cybersecurity firm in Moscow, held a survey that was published on June 17th, stating that 19% of people around the world have purchased cryptocurrency before.

However, that means that 81% of the respondents have never purchased cryptocurrency. Overall, there were 10% of respondents who said that they “fully understand how cryptocurrencies work,” which means that there is a fraction of people who are involved with cryptocurrency but do not understand it.

The deVere Group, a financial consulting firm in Dubai, released a survey last month that showed that 68% of the individuals in the world with a high net worth already have invested in cryptocurrency, or plan to by 2022.

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Author: Krystle M