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Crypto News Today #51

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This week people are reminded why Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are needed.  An expose by Buzzfeed reviewed the FinCEN files to show that major financial institutions have been assisting and facilitating illicit affairs to earn their fees.

$2 Trillion scandal shows why we need blockchain now

Standard Chartered, HSBC, Bank of America and many of the world’s biggest financial institutions have been secretly mining money in the form of fees for the world’s most dangerous individuals and entities.  “A huge trove of secret government documents reveals for the first time how the giants of Western banking move trillions of dollars in suspicious transactions, enriching themselves and their shareholders while facilitating the work of terrorists, kleptocrats, and drug kingpins,” reports Buzzfeed which ran an expose on the whole matter.  This reminds us one more time that the number one choice of criminals is not bitcoin or cryptocurrency which remain quite traceable.  Criminals use cash and also major bank accounts in broad daylight for their illicit affairs.

OCC issues clarification for banks regarding stablecoins

Office of Comptroller of the Currency issued clarification about banks holding cryptocurrencies, specifically, stablecoins.  Essentially, OCC gave greenlight for banks to hold stablecoins as long as they have 1:1 reserve.  “A bank providing services in support of a stablecoin project must comply with all applicable laws and regulations and ensure that it has instituted appropriate controls and conducted sufficient due diligence commensurate with the risks associated with maintaining a relationship with a stablecoin issuer. The due diligence process should facilitate an understanding of the risks of cryptocurrency and include a review for compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including those related to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and anti-money laundering,” OCC letter clarified.

Cryptos are part of Visa’s future strategy

Digital assets and blockchain technology are going to be important parts of Visa’s future,” was the conclusion of an exclusive Forbes interview with Terry Angelos, SVP global head of fintech at Visa and Cuy Sheffield, senior director, head of crypto at Visa. “We are seeing significant interest in demand from crypto companies that want to work with Visa and connect their clients to our network of 60-plus million merchants,” Terry mentioned during the interview. Visa expects to be part of broader cryptocurrency adoption and also work closely with the world’s major banks in the CBDC adoption.

EU announces plan to regulate cryptocurrencies

European Commission is working on introducing a framework to regulate cryptocurrencies.  It could potentially take a year or more for these regulations to come out.  Investor protection and enabling innovation will be cornerstones of these proposed plans.  The new plan will mean that crypto-asset companies authorized by one of the 27 EU countries will be able to provide its services across all the other member states, according to the CNBC.

Gemini is expanding into United Kingdom

Winklevoss brothers brainchild, Gemini, is expanding into the UK as it received the electronic money license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).  This move will allow residents of the UK to buy bitcoin using a debit card on the Gemini platform.  According to the article in Bloomberg, Gemini is looking to expand into Singapore next.  

Fun Fact: Norway, Blackrock and Vanguard hold Bitcoin, indirectly

The Norwegian Government Pension Fund, which owns 1.5% of MicroStrategy, effectively owns roughly 577 bitcoins. Blackrock and Vanguard also own shares in Microstrategy which in turn makes them indirect holders of Bitcoin. Source: Forbes.

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