The good news of the last week is that Bitcoin (BTC) has continued to rebound, making around 10% up from Jan. 16 to Jan. 23. But the worrying trend of crypto companies making headlines due to their troubles with the law has yet to change.
The United States Department of Justice launched a âmajor international cryptocurrency enforcement actionâ against China-based crypto firm Bitzlato and arrested its founder, Anatoly Legkodymov. The department considers Bitzlato to be a âprimary money laundering concernâ connected to Russian illicit finance. While the exchange attracted little attention until the DOJ action, it had reportedlyreceived $206 million from darknet markets, $224.5 million from scams and $9 million from ransomware attackers.
The United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network stated that crypto exchange Binance was among the âtop three receiving counterpartiesâ of Bitzlato in terms of Bitcoin transactions. However, it didnât mention Binance as being among the top sending counterparties.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission has followed the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in filing parallel charges against the crypto user allegedly behind the multimillion-dollar exploit of decentralized exchange Mango Markets. Avraham Eisenberg is accused of manipulating Mango Marketsâ MNGO governance token to steal roughly $116 million worth of cryptocurrency from the platform.
Iran and Russia want to issue new stablecoin backed by gold
The Central Bank of Iran is reportedly cooperating with the Russian government to jointly issue a new cryptocurrency backed by gold. The âtoken of the Persian Gulf regionâ would serve as a payment method in foreign trade. The stablecoin aims to enable cross-border transactions instead of fiat currencies like the United States dollar, the Russian ruble or the Iranian rial. Reportedly, the potential cryptocurrency would operate in a special economic zone in Astrakhan, where Russia started to accept Iranian cargo shipments.
EU postpones final vote on MiCA for the second time
The final vote on the European Unionâs much-awaited set of crypto rules, the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation, was deferred to April 2023. It marks the second delay in the final vote, which was previously postponed from November 2022 to February 2023. The latest delay is due to a technical issue where the official 400-page document couldnât be translated into the 24 official languages of the EU. Legal documents like the MiCA, which are drafted in English, must comply with EU regulations and be published in all 24 official languages of the union.
Japanese regulators want crypto treated like traditional banks
âIf you like to implement effective regulation, you have to do the same as you regulate and supervise traditional institutions,â said the deputy director-general of Japanâs Financial Services Agencyâs Strategy Development and Management Bureau, Mamoru Yanase. The official added that countries âneed to firmly demandâ consumer protection measures from crypto exchanges, also asking for money laundering prevention, strong governance, internal controls, auditing and disclosure for crypto brokerages.
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