Key Takeaways A report published by the Attorney General’s Cyber-Digital Task Force identifies the following as areas in need of additional attention from law enforcement officials and civil regulators: compliance with anti-money laundering statutes; and the use of privacy-enhancing technologies (e.g., anonymity-enhanced cryptocurrencies, mixing and tumbling services). The report promotes international, federal, state and private-public … An Indian bank is preparing to start providing crypto banking services at its physical bank branches. Customers can buy bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies at these branches with Indian rupees, open savings accounts with crypto wallets, make loans against their cryptocurrencies, and more. /PRNewswire/ — Worldwide: It is true that bitcoin has been acclaimed for its better security than the conventional currencies. Whether the need is for keeping… It’s alleged by researchers that an estimated 1.1 billion in Bitcoin has been, or still is, controlled by Satoshi Nakamoto.
The Attorney General’s Cyber-Digital Task Force (Task Force) issued a report on October 8, 2020, which outlines the Task Force’s proposed Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework (Framework).1 The comprehensive Framework—which follows the Task Force’s 2018 report on cyber crime (2018 Report)2—indicates that the Department of Justice (Department) is likely to take an aggressive but well-informed approach toward abusive cryptocurrency activity in the near future. In the Framework, the Task Force: identifies legitimate and illicit uses of cryptocurrencies; describes existing tools federal prosecutors and civil enforcement authorities have used to address those illicit uses; and provides the views of the Task Force as to how private industry, the Department, and other state and federal agencies can more effectively mitigate the risks posed by the use of cryptocurrency. Importantly, in the Framework, the Task Force recognizes that the technology underlying cryptocurrencies “raises breathtaking possibilities for human flourishing” and will be “central” to the development of the Internet in the future. The Framework suggests that the Department is focused not on prohibiting such technologies, but rather on “ensur[ing] cryptocurrency is not used as a platform for illegality.” The Framework expresses the Department’s view that, “for cryptocurrency to realize its truly transformative potential,” national, federal and state governments, as well as other stakeholders, must take coordinated action to mitigate harmful uses of this technology.
The Task Force was established by Attorney General Barr in February 2018, and consists of officials in the Department’s Criminal Division, National Security Division, Office of Legal Policy and the FBI. The members of the Task Force operate with the support of professionals throughout the Department, including from the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.
The Attorney General formed the Task Force to study how the Department responds to cyber threats, and to make recommendations about how “federal law enforcement [can] more effectively accomplish its mission” to curb those threats. Two years prior to the Framework, the 2018 Report addressed the impact of information technology developments on the Department’s ability to carry out its law enforcement mission.
The 2018 Report addressed (among other matters): foreign actors’ use of technology to influence U.S. elections; the increasingly sophisticated methods used by criminals to perpetrate crimes and evade detection by law enforcement; the Department’s efforts to remedy illicit uses of technology; and the Department’s efforts to train law enforcement personnel to address emerging threats. Its discussion of cryptocurrencies in particular was largely confined to the Digital Currency Initiative established by the Department’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, which was focused on “providing support and guidance to investigators, prosecutors, and other governmental agencies on cryptocurrency prosecutions and forfeitures.” The 2018 Report also noted that “the Department should continue evaluating the emerging threats posed by rapidly developing cryptocurrencies that malicious cyber actors often use.”
The Framework shows the results of these further efforts. Unlike the 2018 Report, which addressed cyber crime generally, the Framework addresses the use and regulation of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in particular.
As noted in the Framework, the relative anonymity of cryptocurrency networks, as compared to traditional systems for transmitting fiat currencies, has made cryptocurrencies an attractive medium of exchange for use by criminals in connection with, for example, ransomware attacks, the proliferation of child sexual exploitation material and terrorism financing. For similar reasons, the Task Force reports that cryptocurrencies are commonly used by: drug cartels; weapons traffickers; darknet marketplaces; and individuals subject to financial sanctions. The Framework notes that, in addition to using cryptocurrencies in the commission of crimes, cryptocurrencies themselves often are “particularly attractive, adaptable, and scalable as a target for theft” and, furthermore, a useful tool for tax evasion, due to the nature of decentralized networks and associated cryptographic keys.
Under current law, the Department has used various existing tools for prosecuting these criminal activities, including existing federal statutes that prohibit: wire fraud, securities fraud, access device fraud, identity theft and illicit computer access; and trafficking in narcotics, weapons and child sexual exploitation material. The Framework further notes that illicit use of cryptocurrencies may be prohibited by international and domestic regulation beyond the criminal code, including, for example, financial sanctions, anti-money laundering and tax laws. The Department’s efforts to improve its effectiveness in investigating and prosecuting these criminal activities have focused primarily on: educating federal enforcement personnel on investigative techniques for uncovering cryptocurrency crime; and working with civil enforcement agencies, state governments and international criminal law enforcement partners to assist in the prosecution of more sophisticated and increasingly global criminal activity.3
The Framework also highlights the Department’s views on the importance of compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act, as well as federal and state laws prohibiting the operation of unlicensed money services businesses (MSBs) by cryptocurrency market participants. The Framework notes that MSBs have “heightened responsibility to safeguard their platforms and businesses from exploitation by nefarious actors and to ensure that customer data is protected and secured,” and that “the proper collection and maintenance of customer and transactional information by MSBs … is crucial to the Department’s ability to identify illicit actors, investigate criminal activity, and obtain evidence necessary for prosecutions.” The Department has coordinated closely with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to police compliance with these laws, which apply when a cryptocurrency service provider (referred to in the Framework as a virtual asset service provider, or VASP) is transacting with U.S. persons, regardless of whether the VASP (for example, a cryptocurrency exchange) is located in or outside of the United States and regardless of whether the VASP also transacts in fiat currencies.
Following the discussion of the Department’s past enforcement efforts and existing enforcement authorities, the Framework identifies several ongoing challenges presented by emerging cryptocurrency markets and technologies, as well as strategies for improved effectiveness in its law enforcement mission.
Areas of particular concern for the Task Force are: the increasing use of: anonymity enhanced cryptocurrencies (AECs) and strategies for obfuscating the source or owner of particular units of cryptocurrency (including mixing, tumbling and “chain hopping”). The Framework cautions VASPs that the provision of services related to AECs should be considered a “high-risk activity that is indicative of possible criminal conduct,” and reminds VASPs they are required to implement and maintain appropriate risk-based policies and procedures in accordance with the Bank Secrecy Act state money transmission business licensing laws, and anti-money laundering requirements. While the Framework’s comments about the potential for illicit use of AECs or other technologies and services that enhance privacy in the cryptocurrency space may be concerning to some privacy-focused cryptocurrency market participants, the Framework is clear that the Department is focused on ensuring compliance with generally applicable anti-fraud and financial recordkeeping laws, and not on prohibiting the development of new technologies or services.
The Framework does not propose any legislative initiatives or regulatory actions. Instead, its discussion about approaches for improving the Department’s law enforcement capabilities are primarily concerned with developing: strategic guidance on the use of existing legal tools; improved interagency and intergovernmental coordination; and improved cooperation with the private sector. Noting that conflicting approaches of the federal and state governments has contributed to regulatory uncertainty for certain cryptocurrency market participants, the Framework encourages agencies within the Department to “communicate and coordinate with State financial and banking authorities that regulate money transmitters … to prevent conflicts and duplication of efforts in money laundering prosecutions.” The Framework suggests that the Department is open to further engagement with cryptocurrency-focused financial institutions, traditional financial institutions and the “actual community of cryptocurrency users” to coordinate on further policy development.
Over the past several years, market participants and legislators have advocated for the passage of a new regulatory framework specifically directed at the cryptocurrency market. Those efforts generally have been unsuccessful, however, existing statutory and regulatory frameworks in the area of securities, commodities and banking regulation have proven to be relatively flexible in adapting to new technological developments. The Framework demonstrates that existing criminal law and enforcement policies are similarly flexible, and issues arising from new technological developments can be effectively addressed through intergovernmental and public-private cooperation. Although the Framework does not represent a definitive set of rules of the road for the cryptocurrency market, it signals that the Department is focusing on priorities that will promote the development of cryptocurrency technology, by enforcing criminal law to promote the safety and security of cryptocurrency and, hopefully, promote its use as a medium of exchange in compliance with applicable law.
1) U.S. DEP’T OF JUSTICE, Report of the Attorney General’s Cyber Digital Task Force: Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework (Oct. 8, 2020).
2) U.S. DEP’T OF JUSTICE, Report of the Attorney General Cyber Digital Task Force (July 14, 2018).
3) In particular, the Framework cites Operation Cryptosweep, an effort coordinated by the Department with the North American Securities Administrators Association to enforce laws requiring the registration of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), and the Financial Action Task Force (a partnership among the G7 nations to coordinate anti-money laundering policy) as examples of particularly effective inter-governmental partnerships.
Author: News Bureau
22 Indian Bank Branches to Begin Offering Crypto Banking Services | Exchanges Bitcoin News
An Indian bank is preparing to start providing crypto banking services at its physical bank branches. Customers can buy bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies at these branches with Indian rupees, open savings accounts with crypto wallets, make loans against their cryptocurrencies, and more.
Cryptocurrency users in India will soon be able to visit physical bank branches for crypto banking services as well as learn about cryptocurrency investing. This is due to a partnership, announced Monday, between crypto banking platform Cashaa and The United Multistate Credit Co. Operative Society (United), as part of Cashaa’s expansion plan in India. The United is a member of the National Federation of Urban Co-operative Banks and Credit Societies Ltd.
Dinesh Kukreja, Managing Director of United Multistate Credit Co. Operative Society, will be the CEO of the joint venture between the two companies. The announcement details:
The joint venture, Unicas, will build the world’s first crypto-friendly financial institution with physical branches and operations.
“Unicas will enable people to access traditional banking services along with crypto banking services both online and through its 22 physical branches across north India,” the announcement adds. Customers will be able to buy cryptocurrencies with cash at these physical branches, “Open saving accounts with crypto wallets … Loan against cryptocurrencies, gold, and real estate … [and] Invest in cryptocurrencies, bonds, and fixed deposits.”
A spokesperson for Cashaa confirmed to news.Bitcoin.com that “Currently, there are 22 active branches and the Unicas operations will start in December … we will be ready with 22 branches.” The companies had planned to launch crypto banking services at 34 branches. However, he explained that “Due to the covid situation opening up the remaining is a bit challenging … We are seeing a slow opening from the lockdown.”
Cashaa detailed: “Initially account holders will be able to buy and sell bitcoin (BTC), cashaa (CAS), ethereum (ETH), binance (BNB), bitcoin cash (BCH), EOS, litecoin (LTC) and ripple (XRP) in cash or with the account balance in Indian rupees.”
“The United’s existing branches will be transformed and modernized as Crypto Lounges,” Cashaa described, noting that “Members can walk into any of these branches and get educated about cryptocurrencies along with other banking services.”
The spokesperson further shared with news.Bitcoin.com: “We will educate them on investment opportunities, utilities of bitcoin and other cryptos, how to use and store crypto, etc.” He clarified that non-bank customers “will have access to general material, but the usage of lounges are for bank customers.” Cashaa emphasized:
The immediate plan is to open these Crypto Lounges in Delhi, Gujarat, and Rajasthan covering a population of 150 million Indians living in these states.
Kukreja commented: “By increasing our exposure to emerging technologies, we are aiming to rapidly expand to over 100 physical branches by 2021, employing thousands of skilled professionals in India,” noting:
Our savings bank account holders will also be able to use their cryptocurrencies as collaterals to take loans, like any other traditional loan given by banks.
What do you think about crypto banking at physical bank branches in India? Let us know in the comments section below.
Purchase Bitcoin without visiting a cryptocurrency exchange. Buy BTC and BCH here.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.
A Comprehensive Discussion at Offshorecorptalk.com Reveals Anonymous Cryptocurrencies
Searching for your content…
NICOSIA, Cyprus, Oct. 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Worldwide: It is true that bitcoin has been acclaimed for its better security than the conventional currencies. Whether the need is for keeping personal transactions private, running a business, or hiding transactions from snooping eyes, anonymity is indispensable. However, bitcoin is certainly not the most anonymous medium for transactions.
With the advent of blockchain technology, Bitcoin’s big public ledger became the treasure trove for authorities looking for information regarding transactions that are actually traceable.
This persuaded the creators of a few altcoins to come up with a form of digital currency that ensures anonymity. Tagged as privacy coins, these coins are linked to illicit activities and darknet markets. However, there are many legal reasons to use them for maintaining privacy.
This has triggered a deep analytical discussion at Offshorecorptalk.com where visitors get to know which are anonymous cryptocurrencies and why they are so. It also reveals some solutions for using cryptocurrency anonymously.
The discussion starts with a question as to whether ZCash is the only anonymous option or not. To this, other users have responded by revealing some more anonymous digital currencies, which are Monero, NavCoin, Pivx, Dash, and Verge.
The forum then discusses whether it is possible to use bitcoin anonymously. Regarding this, questions have been raised on using a VPN and an external server for a Bitcoin wallet.
To this, GiGoGo who is a silver member has replied, “Samurai wallet hides your IP using TOR. There’s some VPN that stores your details, so choose one that does not log anything. Do not use Bitcoins purchased by yourself from any exchange that made the KYC. Even with all of that, you can get caught in other ways.”
Even the forum moderator has added, “Most often, you want to use VPNs that don’t store any information. ProtonVPN is Swiss-based and claims that they do not store information at all. I have tested them for some time and the network they setup is stable. It’s a paid service. If Samurai (as suggested by GiGoGo) is using TOR, it may be the best option since it is known that the TOR network has freedom of privacy mindset and is 99% safe.”
Other users including the forum master have suggested using a mixer between wallets. They have also agreed that the coins sent to Kraken, MisterTango, or similar already get mixed. To this, a new user has said, “That is not real mixing because on those services, you have to pass KYC rules, so when some authority asks them, they will provide both the incoming and outgoing transaction details.” Another user has further said that even these coins are traceable; thus, it is best to switch to other cryptocurrency or privacy coins.
Sounds interesting, isn’t it? Read on for some more solutions at Offshorecorptalk.com.
Press release distributed by PRLog
Bitcoin Whale Numbers Increase To All-Time-High Amid Last Bull Run
Bitcoin (BTC) has seen their numbers reach a new all-time high thanks to the ascension of the BTC price last week. The measurement for a whale wallet is any wallet containing more than 1,000 BTC (Worth around $13 million). On the 25th of October, 2020, the number rose up to 2,231 BTC whales in total, with it recorded at 2,178 whales on the 20th of October.
Crunching the numbers provided by Glassnode, it’s safe to say that the crypto whales of Bitcoin control a minimum of 2.25 million BTC, which stands as 12% of the current BTC supply.
BitcoinCharts, a Bitcoin network data provider, makes it clear that these numbers are far higher. According to BitcoinCharts, a staggering 7,902,469 BTC is held by whales, accounting for 42% of the total supply. Another key thing to consider is the fact that the number of whale addresses are known, but not the names of the entities or individuals controlling it, or how many there are.
A single wallet could be controlled by many entities or individuals, or many wallets can be controlled by a singular entity. Alongside this, the possibility of multi-signature wallets exists, where a single address is controlled by multiple parties.
It’s alleged by researchers that an estimated 1.1 billion in Bitcoin has been, or still is, controlled by Satoshi Nakamoto, the enigmatic creator and original miner of Bitcoin. A massive amount of coins believed to be Nakamoto’s have yet to be moved in more than a decade of Bitcoin activity.
Another new pattern can be seen in the dramatic increase of “hodlers,” or those holding on to Bitcoin until it’s worth incredible amounts. This is expressed by way of showing the Bitcoin supply that has not been moved for quite some time. As it stands now, 62% of all Bitcoin’s supply hasn’t been moved for at least a year. Almost one-third of the total supply has yet to change addresses for three or more years, as well.
Bitcoin has seen its highest weekly close since back in 2018 this week. Even so, it seems that neither hodlers nor whales are particularly keen to dump their holdings into the markets for profit.
Time will tell if this new bull run will last, since this stands as the highest price seen all year, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. Historically speaking, large bull runs lead to steep corrections, but overall the price of Bitcoin continuously rises. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues or if Bitcoin has finally “settled” into a price range.
Author: FOLLOW ON