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Crypto and sanctions: British authorities have obliged cryptocurrency exchanges to report attempts to circumvent sanctions

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Crypto and sanctions news: the UK Treasury Department has tightened the requirements for cryptocurrency exchanges to follow the sanctions regime. It writes about it, The Guardian, about the new regulation of the regulator.

Now trading platforms will be prosecuted under the law if they do not report customers against whom sanctions are imposed. Cryptocurrency exchanges are now also required to inform the regulator if they suspect that a customer is on the sanctions list. It remains unclear whether the requirements apply only to those exchanges that are located in the United Kingdom, or whether they cover all trading platforms that provide services in the region.

In mid-March, the National Crime Agency (NCA) called on UK authorities to strengthen regulation of decentralized mixers. The regulator said tighter regulation of mixers would allow law enforcement agencies to properly investigate “often serious criminal activity,” including ransomware attacks. According to the NCA, mixers must follow money-laundering laws with the obligation to conduct background checks on their users.

In early August, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed crypto sanctions against Tornado Cash mixers. The regulator estimates that the service has helped launder more than $7 billion in assets since its launch in 2019.

Shortly after the announcement of the crypto sanctions, Circle, the issuer of one of the most capitalized stablecoins, USD Coin (USDC), froze 75,000 USDC of Tornado cryptomixer users and 149 USDC that the project received in donations.

We previously reported that Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao denied the exchange’s ties to China.

Cryptocurrency

China has uncovered a money laundering scheme involving the digital yuan. How does money laundering work? 

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how does money laundering work

Chinese authorities have uncovered a 200 million yuan (~$28 million) money-laundering scheme where criminals used the digital yuan. Local newspaper Renmin Jibao writes about it. How does money laundering work?

It is reported that the criminals were detained in Fujian province. According to law enforcement authorities, the criminal group, led by Lai Moumou and Zheng Moumou, provided illegal services for the settlement of money to support gambling businesses. It is also noted that the group formed entire cells throughout China and worked on money laundering.

This is the second reported case of the digital yuan appearing in illegal activities. Earlier, the editorial board wrote that the People’s Bank of China decided to amend the digital yuan model after authorities uncovered an eleven-person criminal cell that used the digital state currency to launder money.

According to local media reports, the scammers used phishing to obtain the digital state currency, which they later ran through banks and payment systems. The amount of the fraud was not disclosed. However, it remains unclear whether the incident was the reason for the digital currency changes.

Work on the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) or DCEP, as representatives of the financial regulator themselves call the project, has been underway since 2014. In this case, the head of the Chinese Central Bank Yi Gang, noted that the financial institution has no clear timetable for the launch of the digital yuan. The banker drew attention to the fact that information about the pilot release of the digital asset and related initiatives should not be equated with the official release of the virtual yuan.

We previously reported that the creator of Fortnite has invested in a metaverse company.

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FBI tracked Colonial Pipeline hackers through Chainalysis

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Colonial Pipeline hackers apologize

Recently, Colonial Pipeline has been hacked again. But the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) could identify Colonial Pipeline hackers through analytics firm Chainalysis. It is reported by Bloomberg, citing representatives of the firm.

It is not clear how exactly the FBI could identify the attackers. It is alleged that Chainalysis collects a large amount of data from the blockchain and also relies on off-network information received from customers. The analytics firm uses machine learning and statistical analysis to figure out where and to whom cryptocurrency might be sent.

In May 2021, a group of hackers called DarkSide hacked and shut down the Colonial Pipeline, one of the largest oil pipelines in the United States, causing a fuel shortage on the East Coast. As a ransom, the hackers demanded that 75 BTC be transferred to an anonymous wallet. Colonial Pipeline hackers then apologized.

Earlier in September, analysts at Group-IB found that the number of cryptocurrency-related fraud sites rose to 2,000 in the first half of 2022, a 335% increase over the entire 2021. At the same time, just over 60% of all fraudulent crypto-sites are registered through Russian providers.

Earlier we reported that Cardano Vasil should be fully completed to activate all features.

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Is Kraken a good crypto exchange? Kraken has no plans to change its listing due to SEC complaints

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Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is not going to remove from its listing tokens that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) compares to securities. Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken CEO Dave Ripley told Reuters.

Is Kraken a good crypto exchange?

Recall, earlier media revealed that the U.S. exchange regulator has organized an investigation into the actions of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to list tokens. The reason for launching the investigation was the SEC’s suspicions that Coinbase opened American users’ access to transactions with cryptocurrencies, which can be classified as securities.

However, despite the investigation, the exchange regulator did not sue Coinbase, which has already surprised Ripple, which has long been in litigation with the SEC over the altcoin XRP.

The SEC sued Ripple back in late 2020. The regulator argues that XRP falls under the definition of securities, but the California-based startup disagrees. While the verdict on the lawsuit between the SEC and Ripple probably won’t appear until late 2022, Coinbase was one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges to remove XRP from its listing.

We previously reported on researchers finding vulnerabilities in cryptocurrency exchanges.

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