Sneak Peek: Mexico’s Regulations for Crypto Exchanges Expected in ‘Weeks’

Source : Sneak Peek: Mexico’s Regulations for Crypto Exchanges Expected in ‘Weeks’ Regulation Mexico’s bill to regulate fintech institutions including cryptocurrency exchanges is expected to become law within “weeks,” according to local crypto exchange ISBIT. Daniel Luévano, the exchange’s director of operations, shared with news.Bitcoin.com what to expect from the new law, citing a leaked document he obtained from the recent meeting of regulators.Also read: Indians Look to Buy Bitcoin Overseas as Regulations TightenChanging Mexico’s Crypto LandscapeMexico’s Chamber of Deputies will soon vote on the bill to regulate the country’s fintech institutions including cryptocurrency exchanges, which the Senate has already approved.The bill “establishes a regulatory framework that regulates the platforms (called Financial Technology Institutions or ITFs)” which includes crypto exchanges, the document states. “The bill recognizes two types of ITFs: collective financing institutions and electronic payment fund institutions.”News.Bitcoin.com (BC): Does the bill legalize bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?Daniel Luévano (DL): Bitcoin and other cryptos will not be legal tender. However, ITFs that the Bank of Mexico gives consent [to] will be allowed to operate with them.BC: Can people legally use cryptocurrencies to pay for goods and services?DL: Yes, they can!BC: What are the most important changes brought about by the bill?DL: Financial institutions will be able to operate with virtual assets, but also, they are allowed to invest in ITFs. ITFs will be constantly audited; everything must be transparent to regulators and consumers. AML/CFT [anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism] practices will be a really important requirement for exchanges.BC: What major changes to the existing Mexican crypto ecosystem will result from the bill?DL: Changes in the Mexican financial ecosystem? Huge ones.ITFs will be considered just as important as banks. All trade finance companies will be operating with them.Only 44% of people in Mexico have a bank account, while the rest only use cash. The amount of money and transactions that can migrate to crypto and its technology is huge.Licensing & Approved CryptoBC: What is the role of the Bank of Mexico with respect to the crypto market going forward?DL: They are more than open to keep new technologies [and] strengthen the Mexican financial ecosystem. They don’t want to lose control of things they still don’t understand widely, that’s why the Bank of Mexico will decide which virtual assets can be operated in the Mexican territory.BC: Are crypto exchanges now required to get a license from the Bank of Mexico? What kind of authorization do they need?DL:Yes, now we will have an authorization as an ITF. But this is positive, because now all the financial institutions have permission to work with the now-called ITFs. Mainly, the authorization depends on how strong your security is, and several KYC [know your customer] and AML/CFT practices an exchange should have.BC: Are there restrictions on what cryptocurrencies are approved in the bill?DL: The Bank of Mexico will decide which ones [cryptocurrencies] are allowed to be listed on the exchanges.They will decide according to Article 30 [which states that] “Bank of Mexico will take into account, among other characteristics, the …

Plus…Sneak Peek: Mexico’s Regulations for Crypto Exchanges
Expected in ‘Weeks’

Sneak Peek: Mexico’s Regulations for Crypto Exchanges Expected in ‘Weeks’

Source : Sneak Peek: Mexico’s Regulations for Crypto Exchanges Expected in ‘Weeks’ Regulation Mexico’s bill to regulate fintech institutions including cryptocurrency exchanges is expected to become law within “weeks,” according to local crypto exchange ISBIT. Daniel Luévano, the exchange’s director of operations, shared with news.Bitcoin.com what to expect from the new law, citing a leaked document he obtained from the recent meeting of regulators.Also read: Indians Look to Buy Bitcoin Overseas as Regulations TightenChanging Mexico’s Crypto LandscapeMexico’s Chamber of Deputies will soon vote on the bill to regulate the country’s fintech institutions including cryptocurrency exchanges, which the Senate has already approved.The bill “establishes a regulatory framework that regulates the platforms (called Financial Technology Institutions or ITFs)” which includes crypto exchanges, the document states. “The bill recognizes two types of ITFs: collective financing institutions and electronic payment fund institutions.”News.Bitcoin.com (BC): Does the bill legalize bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?Daniel Luévano (DL): Bitcoin and other cryptos will not be legal tender. However, ITFs that the Bank of Mexico gives consent [to] will be allowed to operate with them.BC: Can people legally use cryptocurrencies to pay for goods and services?DL: Yes, they can!BC: What are the most important changes brought about by the bill?DL: Financial institutions will be able to operate with virtual assets, but also, they are allowed to invest in ITFs. ITFs will be constantly audited; everything must be transparent to regulators and consumers. AML/CFT [anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism] practices will be a really important requirement for exchanges.BC: What major changes to the existing Mexican crypto ecosystem will result from the bill?DL: Changes in the Mexican financial ecosystem? Huge ones.ITFs will be considered just as important as banks. All trade finance companies will be operating with them.Only 44% of people in Mexico have a bank account, while the rest only use cash. The amount of money and transactions that can migrate to crypto and its technology is huge.Licensing & Approved CryptoBC: What is the role of the Bank of Mexico with respect to the crypto market going forward?DL: They are more than open to keep new technologies [and] strengthen the Mexican financial ecosystem. They don’t want to lose control of things they still don’t understand widely, that’s why the Bank of Mexico will decide which virtual assets can be operated in the Mexican territory.BC: Are crypto exchanges now required to get a license from the Bank of Mexico? What kind of authorization do they need?DL:Yes, now we will have an authorization as an ITF. But this is positive, because now all the financial institutions have permission to work with the now-called ITFs. Mainly, the authorization depends on how strong your security is, and several KYC [know your customer] and AML/CFT practices an exchange should have.BC: Are there restrictions on what cryptocurrencies are approved in the bill?DL: The Bank of Mexico will decide which ones [cryptocurrencies] are allowed to be listed on the exchanges.They will decide according to Article 30 [which states that] “Bank of Mexico will take into account, among other characteristics, the …

Plus…Sneak Peek: Mexico’s Regulations for Crypto Exchanges
Expected in ‘Weeks’

Sneak Peek: Mexico’s Regulations for Crypto Exchanges Expected in ‘Weeks’

Source : Sneak Peek: Mexico’s Regulations for Crypto Exchanges Expected in ‘Weeks’ Mexico’s bill to regulate fintech institutions including cryptocurrency exchanges is expected to become law within “weeks,” according to local crypto exchange ISBIT. Daniel Luévano, the exchange’s director of operations, shared with news.Bitcoin.com what to expect from the new law, citing a leaked document he obtained from the recent meeting of regulators. Also read: Indians Look to Buy Bitcoin Overseas as Regulations Tighten Changing Mexico’s Crypto Landscape Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies will soon vote on the bill to regulate the country’s fintech institutions including cryptocurrency exchanges, which the Senate has already approved. The bill “establishes a regulatory framework that regulates the platforms (called Financial Technology Institutions or ITFs)” which includes crypto exchanges, the document states. “The bill recognizes two types of ITFs: collective financing institutions and electronic payment fund institutions.” News.Bitcoin.com (BC): Does the bill legalize bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?Daniel Luévano (DL): Bitcoin and other cryptos will not be legal tender. However, ITFs that the Bank of Mexico gives consent [to] will be allowed to operate with them. BC: Can people legally use cryptocurrencies to pay for goods and services?DL: Yes, they can! BC: What are the most important changes brought about by the bill?DL: Financial institutions will be able to operate with virtual assets, but also, they are allowed to invest in ITFs. ITFs will be constantly audited; everything must be transparent to regulators and consumers. AML/CFT [anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism] practices will be a really important requirement for exchanges. BC: What major changes to the existing Mexican crypto ecosystem will result from the bill?DL: Changes in the Mexican financial ecosystem? Huge ones. ITFs will be considered just as important as banks. All trade finance companies will be operating with them. Only 44% of people in Mexico have a bank account, while the rest only use cash. The amount of money and transactions that can migrate to crypto and its technology is huge. Licensing & Approved Crypto BC: What is the role of the Bank of Mexico with respect to the crypto market going forward?DL: They are more than open to keep new technologies [and] strengthen the Mexican financial ecosystem. They don’t want to lose control of things they still don’t understand widely, that’s why the Bank of Mexico will decide which virtual assets can be operated in the Mexican territory. BC: Are crypto exchanges now required to get a license from the Bank of Mexico? What kind of authorization do they need?DL: Yes, now we will have an authorization as an ITF. But this is positive, because now all the financial institutions have permission to work with the now-called ITFs. Mainly, the authorization depends on how strong your security is, and several KYC [know your customer] and AML/CFT practices an exchange should have. BC: Are there restrictions on what cryptocurrencies are approved in the bill?DL: The Bank of Mexico will decide which ones [cryptocurrencies] are allowed to be listed on the exchanges. They will decide according to Article …

Plus…Sneak Peek: Mexico’s Regulations for Crypto Exchanges Expected in ‘Weeks’

US Treasury Official Asks Global Regulators to ‘Supercharge’ Cryptocurrency Regulation Efforts

Source : US Treasury Official Asks Global Regulators to ‘Supercharge’ Cryptocurrency Regulation Efforts More countries need to put cryptocurrency regulations in place to protect the financial system and national security. That’s according to the undersecretary of the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI). Giving a speech before the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes Conference, Sigal Mandelker said that criminals are trying to find innovative ways around their controls to exploit the financial system. Citing Venezuela as an example, Mandelker explained that the country’s plans to introduce the ‘petro’ cryptocurrency was an example of how it was attempting to ‘hide their ill-gotten gains and finance their illicit activities’ as they ‘try and sidestep our powerful sanctions.’ She went on to say that the TFI are closely monitoring ‘technological innovations involving virtual currency’ and that they were ‘aggressively targeting rogue actors.’ Notably, though, Mandelker added that there was a lack of anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) regulations worldwide, which is making the situation worse. She said: Currently, we are one of the only major countries in the world, along with Japan and Australia, that regulate these activities for AML/CFT purposes.  But we need many more countries to follow suit, and have made this a priority in our international outreach, including through the Financial Action Task Force. Mandelker further stated that it was the $110 million fine against BTC-e, an Internet-based cryptocurrency exchange, that saw the Treasure taking action against the company and Russian national Alexander Vinnik, who directed and supervised BTC-e’s operations and finances, adding: The company lacked basic controls to prevent the use of its services for illicit purposes. Citing several examples of ‘egregious behavior,’ the undersecretary called for regulators to ‘supercharge’ their efforts in the fight against financial crime and the treats to national security. Yet, while she has called for global regulators to unite how easy it will be to bring everyone on board is easier said than done. As Mandelker said the U.S. is one of a limited number of countries that are regulating the crypto market. For many others this doesn’t seem necessary. Earlier this month, Daniele Nouy, European Central Bank’s chief supervisor, said that regulating digital currencies wasn’t a top priority for them. Whereas, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, has expressed the view that there is ‘no strong case to ban cryptocurrency trading‘ as they don’t pose a risk to the country’s financial system. Not only that, but considering some digital currencies function on complete anonymity and privacy, it seems that it may be hurdles in the way to fully regulate cryptocurrencies. Featured image from Shutterstock. The post US Treasury Official Asks Global Regulators to ‘Supercharge’ Cryptocurrency Regulation Efforts appeared first on Bitcoin Network, News, Charts, Guides & Analysis.

US Treasury Official Calls for Global Crypto Regulation

Source : US Treasury Official Calls for Global Crypto Regulation The undersecretary of the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence called on the international community for stronger cryptocurrency regulations to help protect the financial system and national security in a speech yesterday. Citing Venezuela’s recent introduction of the “petro ” cryptocurrency as an example, Sigal Mandelker told the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes Conference that rogue regimes, terrorists and others use cryptocurrencies to “exploit the financial system,” “hide their ill-gotten gains” and “finance their illicit activities.” Mandleker went on to say that there is a lack of consistent international regulation of cryptocurrency “providers” with regard to anti-money laundering (AML) and combatting the financing of terrorism (CFT). She told the conference: “The lack of AML/CFT regulation of virtual currency providers worldwide greatly exacerbates virtual currency’s illicit financing risks. Currently, we are one of the only major countries in the world, along with Japan and Australia, that regulate these activities for AML/CFT purposes. But we need many more countries to follow suit, and have made this a priority in our international outreach.” Mandleker further cautioned that a $110 million penalty levied at cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e last year for failing to register as a money transmitter […] The post US Treasury Official Calls for Global Crypto Regulation appeared first on Bitcoin Wiki.

US Treasury Officials Calls for Global Crypto Regulation

Source : US Treasury Officials Calls for Global Crypto Regulation The undersecretary of the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence called on the international community for stronger cryptocurrency regulations to help protect the financial system and national security in a speech yesterday.Citing Venezuela’s recent introduction of the “petro” cryptocurrency as an example, Sigal Mandelker told the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes Conference that rogue regimes, terrorists and others use cryptocurrencies to “exploit the financial system,” “hide their ill-gotten gains” and “finance their illicit activities.”Mandleker went on to say that there is a lack of consistent international regulation of cryptocurrency “providers” with regard to anti-money laundering (AML) and combatting the financing of terrorism (CFT).She told the conference: “The lack of AML/CFT regulation of virtual currency providers worldwide greatly exacerbates virtual currency’s illicit financing risks. Currently, we are one of the only major countries in the world, along with Japan and Australia, that regulate these activities for AML/CFT purposes. But we need many more countries to follow suit, and have made this a priority in our international outreach.”Mandleker further cautioned that a $110 million penalty levied at cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e last year for failing to register as a money transmitter was indicative of the Treasury’s expectations and willingness to aggressively enforce regulation.“The company lacked basic controls to prevent the use of its services for illicit purposes,” the undersecretary said.“As a result,” she continued, “they emerged as one of the principal means by which cyber criminals around the world laundered the proceeds of their illicit activity, facilitating crimes such as computer hacking and ransomware, fraud, identity theft, tax refund schemes, public corruption and drug trafficking.”Mandleker encouraged regulators to “supercharge” their efforts to prevent financial crime and protect national security. She also stated that companies “must do more” against money laundering and the financing of terrorism in countries without regulation or with loosely enforced regulation.“You play a key role in countering the threats that we face,” the undersecretary said, referring to cryptocurrency companies such as exchanges. “The expectations you set for your customers, counterparties, and the countries in which you operate are critical to ensuring the transparency of the international financial system and keeping bad actors out.”U.S. Treasury image via ShutterstockText-to-speech function is limited to 200 charactersThe leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

<h1>Singapore’s Central Bank Won’t Ban Cryptocurrency Trading Anytime Soon</h1>

Source : <h1>Singapore’s Central Bank Won’t Ban Cryptocurrency Trading Anytime Soon</h1> The Monetary Authority of Singapore, which is the country’s central bank, has no plans to ban cryptocurrency trading at the moment, though MAS does intend to eventually regulate digital asset exchanges and other entities to ensure AML/CFT compliance.

New Research: Laundering of Illicit Funds Less than 1% of Bitcoin Transactions

Source : New Research: Laundering of Illicit Funds Less than 1% of Bitcoin Transactions Featured The Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center of Sanctions and Illicit Finance in conjunction with blockchain analytics company, Elliptic, has published a study seeking to track the circulations of illicit funds within the bitcoin economy from 2013 to 2016. The research concludes that the share of funds of illicit origin comprises less than one percent of all bitcoin flows, and has exponentially declined as the cryptocurrency has gained increasing adoption and popularity.Also Read: Autopsy of the Bitconnect Implosion: Ponzi, Centralization, GovernanceStudy Seeks to Track Illicit Bitcoin Flows From 2013 to 2016The report states that “Criminals – often early adopters of new technologies – quickly appreciated that bitcoin has unique properties that could potentially serve their interest in evading law enforcement.” The research asserts that “bitcoin’s illicit use is mainly based on anecdotal evidence, usually without supporting data analysis of how it is used across geographical regions, or trends over time.” Although the report concedes that “it is impossible to quantify exactly how much bitcoin is used illicitly,” the research seeks to utilize Elliptic’s “forensic” blockchain network analysis to estimate the methods employed and scale of money laundering that is conducted using bitcoin.“The research intends to provide insights for policymakers and financial industry leaders who want to better understand illicit finance risks arising from bitcoin,” in order to greater inform the development of legislation addressing the “Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT)” concerns pertaining to bitcoin – which largely stem from “Users of bitcoin employ[ing] pseudonyms rather than names,” and cryptocurrency being “transferred without intermediaries and across international borders as easily as sending an email.”Study MethodologyThe report draws off “extensive analysis of a narrow data sample of bitcoin transactions between 2013 and 2016,” however, states that “The parameters of the study were purposefully narrow to keep the data manageable, which likely minimized the volume of illicit bitcoins considered for analysis.” The research employs “Elliptic’s forensic analysis tool, which combines public blockchain data with a proprietary dataset of bitcoin addresses associated with known entities, to provide visibility into who is transacting with whom in bitcoin.”The study examines 214 conversion services, “including virtual currency exchanges, gambling sites, and mixers,” in addition to bitcoin circulations originating from 102 illicit entities. The illicit entities considered include 30 darknet marketplaces, 6 darknet services, 16 darknet vendors, 5 identified Ponzi schemes, 19 ransomware schemes, and 26 entities engaged in fraudulent activitiesMoney Laundering Comprises Less Than One Percent of Bitcoin CirculationsThe findings state that “The amount of observed bitcoin laundering [is] small,” with “darknet marketplaces such as Silk Road and, later, AlphaBay,” comprising “the source of almost all of the illicit bitcoins laundered through conversion services” identified in the study.The research states that “Bitcoin exchanges received the greatest amount of identified illicit bitcoins out of all conversion services” – likely owing to the fact that exchanges “process the majority of bitcoin transactions overall.” Of the 120 exchanges included in the study, …

Plus…New Research: Laundering of Illicit Funds Less than 1% of
Bitcoin Transactions

New Research: Laundering of Illicit Funds Less than 1% of Bitcoin Transactions

Source : New Research: Laundering of Illicit Funds Less than 1% of Bitcoin Transactions The Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center of Sanctions and Illicit Finance in conjunction with blockchain analytics company, Elliptic, has published a study seeking to track the circulations of illicit funds within the bitcoin economy from 2013 to 2016. The research concludes that the share of funds of illicit origin comprises less than one percent of all bitcoin flows, and has exponentially declined as the cryptocurrency has gained increasing adoption and popularity. Also Read: Autopsy of the Bitconnect Implosion: Ponzi, Centralization, Governance Study Seeks to Track Illicit Bitcoin Flows From 2013 to 2016 The report states that “Criminals – often early adopters of new technologies – quickly appreciated that bitcoin has unique properties that could potentially serve their interest in evading law enforcement.” The research asserts that “bitcoin’s illicit use is mainly based on anecdotal evidence, usually without supporting data analysis of how it is used across geographical regions, or trends over time.” Although the report concedes that “it is impossible to quantify exactly how much bitcoin is used illicitly,” the research seeks to utilize Elliptic’s “forensic” blockchain network analysis to estimate the methods employed and scale of money laundering that is conducted using bitcoin. “The research intends to provide insights for policymakers and financial industry leaders who want to better understand illicit finance risks arising from bitcoin,” in order to greater inform the development of legislation addressing the “Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT)” concerns pertaining to bitcoin – which largely stem from “Users of bitcoin employ[ing] pseudonyms rather than names,” and cryptocurrency being “transferred without intermediaries and across international borders as easily as sending an email.” Study Methodology The report draws off “extensive analysis of a narrow data sample of bitcoin transactions between 2013 and 2016,” however, states that “The parameters of the study were purposefully narrow to keep the data manageable, which likely minimized the volume of illicit bitcoins considered for analysis.” The research employs “Elliptic’s forensic analysis tool, which combines public blockchain data with a proprietary dataset of bitcoin addresses associated with known entities, to provide visibility into who is transacting with whom in bitcoin.” The study examines 214 conversion services, “including virtual currency exchanges, gambling sites, and mixers,” in addition to bitcoin circulations originating from 102 illicit entities. The illicit entities considered include 30 darknet marketplaces, 6 darknet services, 16 darknet vendors, 5 identified Ponzi schemes, 19 ransomware schemes, and 26 entities engaged in fraudulent activities Money Laundering Comprises Less Than One Percent of Bitcoin Circulations The findings state that “The amount of observed bitcoin laundering [is] small,” with “darknet marketplaces such as Silk Road and, later, AlphaBay,” comprising “the source of almost all of the illicit bitcoins laundered through conversion services” identified in the study. The research states that “Bitcoin exchanges received the greatest amount of identified illicit bitcoins out of all conversion services” – likely owing to the fact that exchanges “process the majority of bitcoin transactions …

Plus…New Research: Laundering of Illicit Funds Less than 1% of Bitcoin Transactions

“Bitcoin Laundering” Study: Where Do Criminals Turn to Mask Illicit Cryptoassets?

Source : “Bitcoin Laundering” Study: Where Do Criminals Turn to Mask Illicit Cryptoassets? A recent study (PDF) from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance and blockchain analytics company Elliptic explored the “bitcoin laundering” ecosystem. In the study, Elliptic’s forensic analysis of the Bitcoin blockchain and other publicly available data were used to track the flows of illicit funds from 2013 to 2016.“This study aimed to identify where individuals turn in order to cash out or transmit bitcoins (BTC) acquired from illicit entities and to discover typologies for criminals ‘laundering’ bitcoins,” the report says.The study describes bitcoin laundering as a special type of money laundering that exists within the Bitcoin network where a user moves some bitcoins to a new address in a manner that obscures the original source of funds. The conversion of bitcoins into fiat currency on exchanges that lack adequate anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) policies can also fall under the category of bitcoin laundering.In addition to describing the common mechanisms for bitcoin laundering and explaining that this sort of activity is a small percentage of all transactions sent to exchanges and other conversion services, the study also offers some recommendations for law enforcement in terms of preventing the masking of illicit funds on the Bitcoin network.It should go without saying that any study related to the dark web or illicit use of the Bitcoin network needs to be taken with a grain of salt because avoiding detection is the whole reason for a criminal to use these sorts of platforms in the first place.The Bitcoin Laundering EcosystemMuch of the study, which is titled “Bitcoin Laundering: An Analysis of Illicit Flows Into Digital Currency Services,” revolves around the use of “conversion services.” Conversion services are basically platforms where users convert bitcoins to fiat currency (a Bitcoin exchange) or another cryptocurrency (a cryptoexchange), or move the bitcoins to another Bitcoin address accessible to the user. This results in a flow of funds that cannot be viewed or traced directly on the public blockchain.According to the study, darknet markets are the main source of funds that are sent to conversion services in bitcoin laundering attempts.Additionally, the number of illicit services that could be the source of “dirty bitcoins” sent to a conversion service increased fivefold from 2013 to 2016. Having said that, the study finds that the sources of illicit funds entering conversion services are quite centralized.“Only a small number of entities account for the majority of illicit activity in our sample,” the study says. “Nine of the 102 illicit entities were the source of more than 95 percent of all laundered bitcoins in our study. All nine were darknet marketplaces.”While exchanges are the most commonly used type of conversion service, bitcoin mixers and gambling sites have much more illicit funds coming into their platforms as a percentage of their overall transactions. As potential conduits for bitcoin laundering, these two types of conversion services benefit from concealing their country of operations and avoiding …

Plus…“Bitcoin Laundering” Study: Where Do Criminals Turn to Mask Illicit Cryptoassets?

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