BTC.com Withdraws from China, AntPool Suspends IP Access, & Tencent Bans 1,000 WeChat Accounts

BTC.com Withdraws from China, AntPool Suspends IP Access, & Tencent Bans 1,000 WeChat Accounts

Bitcoin mining pool BTC.com announced on Friday that it is withdrawing from the Chinese market on October 15, 2021.

It would no longer provide its mining services to users in mainland China to “comply with the latest regulatory policy requirements of the Chinese government.”

Starting today, the registration of new users in mainland China will be suspended, and mining services will be shut down. Users from China are asked to withdraw their crypto assets and complete the migration of computation power as soon as possible.

“We will reserve the right to further dispose of your account,” said BTC.com, the subsidiary of crypto mining company BIT mining Lt. (NYSE: BTCM).

Leaving China Forever

This week, mining machine manufacturer Bitmain’s crypto miner AntPool also announced that to comply with the regulations, starting October 15th, it will suspend IP access in Mainland China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan).

“ANTPOOL has no plans to establish an operating entity in mainland China,” said the miner, adding it will rebuild its new business and operating team with Singapore as its headquarters.

Additionally, it will introduce a KYC verification system for the global registered users to abide by the laws and regulations of users’ locations.

The US Gains Dominance

China’s ban on cryptocurrency trading and mining has already had a severe effect on the country’s market share in Bitcoin mining. As we reported, China’s mining share has fallen to zero, from 75% in 2019.

However, China’s loss is turning out to be the US’s gain, whose market share of Bitcoin’s global hash rate has surged to 35.4% and is now dominating. Miners ousted from China have simply moved overseas to the United States, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Canada.

“As a veteran who witnessed the industry’s birth in China, I feel the situation today is lamentable,” said Mao Shihang, founder of F2Pool, in an interview.

“China is losing its share of computing power … the industry’s center of gravity is shifting to the United States.”

No Info on Crypto

This week, Tencent Holdings Ltd. also made a move and imposed a ban on more than 1,000 WeChat accounts.

A total of 1,463 WeChat accounts were banned due to illegally publishing virtual currency and mining-related information, Tencent said in a statement on its website on Thursday. While some accounts were shut permanently, others are facing a week-long restriction.

The tech giant, which has over a billion WeChat members, said that it will “continue to strengthen its corporate responsibility and increase its crackdown on illegal financial activities such as virtual currency transactions.”

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Author: AnTy

Japanese Crypto Exchange Liquid Suspends Deposits and Withdrawals Following Security Breach

Japanese Crypto Exchange Liquid Suspends Deposits and Withdrawals Following An $80M Security Breach

Reward-earning platform Celsius Network used by Liquid to allow its users to earn yield on crypto assured that their assets and accounts are unaffected by the accident.

Japan-based regulated cryptocurrency exchange Liquid has suspended the deposit and withdrawals of crypto assets after its hot wallets were hacked. It has not yet been confirmed just how many assets have been stolen.

In a tweet on Thursday morning, the exchange said that its hot wallets that were compromised as such are moving the assets into the cold wallet.

“We are currently investigating and will provide regular updates. In the meantime, deposits and withdrawals will be suspended,” said the exchange at the time.

This is in contrast with the exchange’s blog post about three years back when it said that they “keep 100% of customer crypto assets in cold wallet storage,” calling it a “no-brainer,” citing the staggering amount of funds lost in crypto hacks and scams.

But the exchange ended up falling victim to a hack, after all.

In a separate tweet, Liquid shared four blockchain addresses, for BTC, ETH, TRX, and XRP, that are believed to be associated with the hacker. The addresses specified have received 107.4 BTC worth $4.79 million, Ether address received about $69 million worth of ETH and other ERC-20 tokens, and TRX and XRP addresses had assets worth over $10 million combined. In total, the hack is estimated to be worth about $80 million.

Some wondered if this hack had any impact on Celsius Network. A few months back, Liquid allowed its customers to earn a yield on their crypto through the reward-earning platform Celsius.

Celsius Network CEO Alex Mashinsky assured its customers that “No Celsius Network assets or accounts were affected in the Liquid Global incident,” adding the Liquid yield account on its platform is also safe and was not affected.

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Author: AnTy

European Payment Processor Sever Ties with Binance and Suspends GBP & EUR Deposits and Withdrawals

Another European Payment Processor Sever its Ties with Binance and Suspends GBP & EUR Deposits and Withdrawals

700+ Binance users in France and in Italy are forming a group to sue the exchange after they lost money during the May 19 sell-off as they were unable to access the exchange due to an outage.

European payment processor Clear Junction is the latest one to announce that it would no longer process transactions for the leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance.

The decision has been made following the UK’s financial watchdog, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), issuing a warning against Binance operating in the UK, the London-based company posted on its website.

As per the move, both GBP and EUR payments are suspended, and the payment processor won’t facilitate deposits or withdrawals in favor of or on behalf of the crypto trading platform.

“Clear Junction acts in full compliance with FCA regulations and guidance in regards to handling payments of Binance.”

Last month, the FCA said that Binance Markets Limited, a separate Binance entity that operates in the UK, is not licensed to do business there but did clarify that the UK customers can continue to use Binance.com.

Still, since then, a growing number of UK banks, including Barclays, Santander UK, NatWest, among others, have limited their account holders’ ability to access Binance or other crypto exchanges in the name of keeping their customers’ money safe.

Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange with no official headquarters and has been under the scrutiny of global regulators.

Amidst this, Binance users in two groups – one in France working with 700 people and one in Italy are looking to sue the exchange after they lost money during the May 19 sell-off after they were unable to access the exchange due to an outage leading to them getting liquidated.

However, due to no headquarters, they are trying to figure out just whom to petition.

Binance says it “took immediate steps to engage with users affected by the outage” and to provide compensation, which involves three free months’ worth of Binance’s VIP platform.

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Author: AnTy

South African Crypto Exchange Suspends Bitcoin & Litecoin Withdrawals Due to Balance ‘Discrepancies’

South African Crypto Exchange Suspends Bitcoin & Litecoin Withdrawals Due to Balance ‘Discrepancies’

South Africa-based cryptocurrency exchange iCE3 suspended Bitcoin (BTC) and Litecoin (LTC) withdrawals this week after noting “discrepancies” in the balances of these crypto-assets on the platform.

Director GC Grobler announced on Tuesday that “after consultation and deliberation with our partner Merkeleon.com and their subsidiary Coinspaid.com, we have not been able to reach a satisfactory conclusion.”

As such, the exchange decided to suspend deposits and trading of these two cryptocurrencies, “pending the outcome of a full investigation and reconciliation,” on the advice of their legal and adoption team.

“This is being done for the protection of all clients,” reads the notice. Holders of other crypto assets were unaffected, and withdrawals allowed,

“We urge you to do so as soon as possible.”

The exchange reported several other issues, including their email system going down, some users not able to log in, and unable to withdraw Bitcoin Cash (BCH). At one point, ZAR (South African Rand) withdrawals were also affected due to reaching the daily transfer limits.

As of today, withdrawals for crypto access except for BTC, LTC, and USDT are up to date. The exchange is expected to have all USDT withdrawals cleared in the next 24 hours.

“We have a manual backup solution in place to continue processing withdrawals as it appears likely the platform will be taken offline completely in the next 24hours,” noted the exchange adding, “We understand your frustration, and we are doing our best to communicate information as fast as possible.”

The exchange will continue to update the situation as it progresses.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Exchange Bybit Suspends Trading for UK Customers Due to FCA Derivatives Ban

Crypto Exchange Bybit Suspends Trading for UK Customers Due to FCA Derivatives Ban

Crypto exchange platform Bybit is set to cease operations for UK-based customers citing the recent regulations issued by the regulator in regards to crypto derivatives.

In an official announcement, the firm stated that it would end its services to UK customers on March 31. The firm said the decision was reached in efforts to adhere to the regulations issued by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The exchange said,

“To comply with the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) ban on crypto derivatives, Bybit will cease to provide services to customers from the United Kingdom.”

The firm is now advising its customers to close any positions and withdraw their entire funds before month-end.

Derivatives are financial instruments that monitor the prices of a given asset which in this case is cryptocurrency. Clients are not supposed to have any spot crypto when purchasing these products. Usually, high leverage is used for these products highly popular in the crypto space.

Last year, the UK financial regulator, FCA, prohibited the trading of crypto derivatives and exchange-traded notes (ETNs) in a move that sent shock waves in the market. The regulator said that these products were not suitable for retail clients as the underlying assets are highly volatile in nature.

The regulator started implementing the ban in January this year, but various firms such as Bybit still went on with the basic operations to the existing customers. However, this is set to change as customers based in the UK will not be permitted to create new accounts. Bybit stressed that sign-ups from UK phone numbers as well as IP addresses are henceforth restricted.

Bybit is ranked as one of the largest crypto derivatives in the world. CoinGecko reports that the exchange has transacted above $11 billion over the past day for just ten trading pairs.

The close of operations for UK-based clients is a major blow to the company as more than 5% of all the site’s visitors are from the UK.

Noteworthy, the firm stated that it was in talks with the UK authorities to find a solution for the existing and new clients.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Italian Securities Enforcer Suspends Tessline Investment Firm’s Liracoin Cryptocurrency

Italian Securities Enforcer Suspends Tessline Investment Firm's Liracoin Cryptocurrency
  • Italy’s lead securities regulator suspends activities of Tessline and its cryptocurrency Liracoin.
  • The 90-day suspension involves entities affiliated to Tessline and the Liracoin

A crypto investment platform Tessline has been issued a suspension notice by Italian national securities regulator La Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB). The suspension also takes effect on the firm’s cryptocurrency Liracoin.

The suspension came due to a violation of Article 18 of Italy’s Consolidated Law of Finance by Tessline and Liracoin affiliates including websites and some entities. The article spells out statutory requirements for entities interested in providing financial services in Italy.

The entities involved are PayPeq Holdings OÜ, Takeda Partners LTD and BancDeMonarch Limited and Lancelot Equity Ltd. The regulator also suspended the public offering of Liracoin by Liracoin-DAMO through two websites, https://liracoin.club/, www.liracoin.com  and www.licex.io.

The notice also suspended the public offering of any investment platforms by the company Tessline Limited, all for a period of 90 days.

Apart from this, CONSOB has issued similar suspension notices to some other projects in the past for unapproved public offerings or fraudulent crypto investment schemes as well as unlicensed crypto exchanges in collaboration with Financial Services Authority in Malta.

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Author: Ponvang Bulus