- Nov 2022
India's central bank will introduce a pilot wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC)
Central Bank of India will introduce the pilot project to test the ability of the Central Bank Digital currency. Similar programs were launched around the world in an effort to test the future widespread use of the CBDCs.
Pilot project in India is supported by nine largest Indian banks. The starting date of the pilot project is November first among the selected a group of merchants and users for this program.
Central Bank Digital Currency is a digital version of countries respective currency issued by the Central Bank of that state.
- Aug 2022
Arrest of suspected developer of Tornado Cash
TITTLE: The Netherland's financial crime agency arrested the Tornado Cash developer.
On August 10, the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) arrested Alexey Pertsev (29) as a suspect to be a developer behind the Tornado Cash online service.
A couple of days earlier, on August 8, the US Treasury sanctioned the Tornado Cash online service and froze all of their property in hand of the US regulators. The Treasury also issued a list of cryptocurrency wallet addresses that are affected by this sanctions.
The FIOD mentioned in the statement that 'advanced technologies, such as decentralised organisations (DAO) that may facilitate money laundering are receiving extra attention' from the financial watchdog.
'Investigations showed that at least one billion dollars' worth of cryptocurrencies of criminal origin passed through the mixer. It is suspected that persons behind this organisation have made large-scale profits from these transactions'
This is a rare case in which the open source developer is charged for the illicit activities that are performed on the platform he created.
The investigation is led by the Public Prosecutor’s Office for serious fraud, environmental crime and asset confiscation.
TOPIC: Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Legal, cybercrime,
U.S. Treasury Sanctions Notorious Virtual Currency Mixer Tornado Cash
The US Treasury sanctions the cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash
TITLE: The US Treasury sanctions the cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash
CONTENT: On August 8th 2022, The US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned the online service Tornado Cash that served as a mixer for the Ether cryptocurrency since 2019. The cryptocurrency mixers are online places where users could obfuscate the origin of cryptocurrency. Mixers use utility of decentralised exchanges and peer-to-peer trading, to create massive amount of transactions in short period of time - mixing tinted coins with the rest of the online supply. Mixers don't collect any user data related to people behind the cryptocurrency funds, therefore they are in a violation of the US federal regulations, and the global AML/CFT regulation. The Treasury stated an issues of national security to be one of the reasons for such action. The FBI and the OFAC are arguing that Tornado Cash facilitated a money laundry operation for the ransomware group Lazarus attributed to the DPRK. The OFAC is calming that cryptocurrency mixer was mostly used for illicit founds. and issued a list of Ether wallet addresses that are sanctioned in this case. It is not an usual practice for OFAC to sanction online service as they main targets are individuals. The OFAC called for the cryptocurrency industry to address challenges that anonymising features can present to AML/CFT obligations.
The Tornado Cash was decentralized entity that run on an open source code.
EXCERPT: The US Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned the cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash and
https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/recent-actions/20220808 - LIST OF CRYPTOCURRENCY WALLETS
TOPIC: Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Legal,
blockchain investments these top corporations made from September 2021 to mid-June 2022.
TITLE: Research on the corporate investments in the blockchain technology for the 2021-2022 period.
CONTENT: According to the latest research from the Blockdata company, 40 corporations invested in companies in the blockchain/crypto space during the September 2021 till June 2022.
Korean tech giant Samsung is the most active, having an invested share in 13 companies.
Research look at the total funding amounts of the rounds companies participated in.
Based on this, the investors active in the biggest funding rounds are Alphabet ($1,506M in 4 rounds), Blackrock ($1,171M in 3 rounds), Morgan Stanley ($1,10M in 2 rounds), Samsung ($979M in 13 rounds), Goldman Sachs ( $698M in 5 rounds, BNY Mellon ($690M in 3 rounds), and PayPal ($650M in 4 rounds).
EXCERPT: Approximately $6 billions invested in the blockchain based startups in 2021. Samsung and Alphabet are leading the pack followed by the financial industry corporations
TOPIC: Blockchain, Cryptocurrency,
Patrick Hillmann, chief communications officer at the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, claims scammers made a deepfake of him to trick contacts into taking meetings.
The CCO of the world biggest cryptocurrency exchange, wrote about this case in his blog published on a company website. In his words: 'this deep fake was refined enough to fool several highly intelligent crypto community members”
In official papers filed with Sri Lankan authorities, the investors say that in early 2020 Shamal Bandara, a Sri Lankan, and Zhang Kai, introduced to the investors as Chinese, had set up “Sports Chain”, which they said was a cryptocurrency investment platform. They are alleged to have run their operations as a Ponzi scheme, a fraudulent venture in which existing investors were paid with funds collected from new investors.