The Bank of Israel has published a draft regulation regarding the risks associated with virtual currency and money laundering and terrorist financing, according to a March 10 press release.
The bank said activity in virtual currencies has a “high potential risk” of helping those things, thanks to the anonymity of both the currency itself and digital wallets, which can be opened without the customer being identified.
In other news, Nigeria-based blockchain payment startup Basqet began rolling out its crypto payments gateway on March 10, the firm announced in a news release.
The gateway will allow businesses to accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payments, and Basqet will be going live with 118 businesses already lined up to start taking payments.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has denied NYDIG and Global X’s applications to list their bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), CoinDesk reported Friday (March 11).
The SEC had extended the review period for NYDIG but ultimately said that didn’t meet the criteria, due to concerns about fraud, manipulation and valuation methodology.
Furthermore, Ukraine has revealed that it’s been spending crypto donations on a number of things, including over 5,000 bulletproof jackets, hundreds of thousands of packed lunches, ballistic plates, thermal imagers and optics, helmets and medicine, among other things, CoinDesk wrote Friday.
The donations began coming into the besieged country after Russia invaded in late February.
Related: FinTechs Join Ukraine Fund Appeal
In other news, The White House and the Group of 7 (G-7) jointly announced on Friday that they have rolled out more sanctions against Russia.
The G-7 includes the U.S., Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Japan. The sanctions are intended to be crypto-specific, responding to concerns that the Russian government could use cryptocurrencies to avoid the previous sanctions levied against more mainstream financial institutions there.
In addition, Reuters wrote Friday that United Arab Emirates-based crypto firms have been inundated with requests to liquidate billions of dollars in crypto, with Russians looking for a safe haven.
Per the report, some clients have been using the crypto to invest in real estate there, while others want to use firms to turn virtual money into hard currency and stash it elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov has urged Tether to quit dealing with Russians, CoinDesk wrote Friday.
Tether didn’t reply directly, but said the company “conducts constant market monitoring to ensure that there are no irregular movements or measures that might be in contravention of international sanctions.”
Meanwhile, CarNow, a digital retailing company for the auto industry, announced Friday that it is partnering with Cion Digital to allow for crypto payments to help buy and finance vehicles.
The Cion Digital platform gives companies access to connectivity, infrastructure and support to help use blockchain to pay for things.
Furthermore, Socios CEO and founder Alexandre Dreyfus has been accused of withholding payments to keep the price of its Chiliz cryptocurrency at the same rate, The Verge reported Saturday (March 12).
Socios is a fan token site. Fan tokens are tied to real-life entities like sports teams or artists. Dreyfus reportedly didn’t pay some of his advisors the agreed share of Chiliz they were promised in order to endorse the coin.
Also, there’s been more pressure recently to suspend cryptocurrency and bitcoin mining in the U.S., with the environment being the main concern.
The New York State Senate has recently submitted a bill to pause crypto mining for three years across the state until there’s more info on how it affects the environment and climate.
Finally, ex-Canadian government IT official Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins has been charged with conspiracy to commit computer and wire fraud, Bitcoinist wrote Sunday (March 13).
He was charged in Florida, and his alleged crimes include using the “NetWalker” ransomware to target businesses, municipalities, hospitals and law enforcement during the pandemic.
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