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Crypto Thieves Steal $480 Million in Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP and Other Crypto Assets From Exchanges in Q2: Report

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A new report from the crypto intelligence firm CipherTrace is out, tracking how much investors and exchanges have lost due to theft, fraud and additional crimes in 2019.

The report estimates the total dollar amount of all crypto lost will likely reach $4.3 billion by the end of the year.

Thieves looted $356 million in Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP and other crypto assets from exchanges during the first quarter of 2019, and $124 million in the second quarter – a total of $480 million. According to the CipherTrace Q2 2019 Cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering Report,

“Insider thefts were by far the largest offenders, inflicting massive losses on investors and exchange users. 2019 could also turn out to be the year of the exit scam.

On top of the QuadrigaCX disaster, which is updated in this report, one alleged Ponzi scheme in this quarter appears to have defrauded millions of users out of $2.9 billion in crypto assets. Other exit scams, such as Coinroom and Bitsane, are still under investigation and those losses are not included in this report’s total.”

Highlights from the report

• Users and investors lost approximately $2.9 billion as “South Korean” Plus Token app and exchange went offline.
• Hackers used advanced cyberattack to steal $44 million from world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance.
• Canadian court reveals long history of misappropriation of user funds by QuadrigaCX founder.
• Japanese exchange BITPoint hacked for $30 million.
• BestMixer mixing service seized by law enforcement authorities.
• European authorities seized three dark web markets and assets.
• CFTC charged Control-Finance in $147M Ponzi scheme.
• SIM swapping victim won $75.8 million judgement against hacker.

CipherTrace notes the increasing difficulty crypto scammers have in cashing out, stating that they’ll need to use innovative new ways to turn the stolen crypto into clean, spendable fiat currencies.

In all of 2018, CipherTrace reported $1.7 billion in crypto losses.

You can check out the full Q2 report here.

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Bitcoin $7,200.09 Ripple $0.2218 Litecoin $43.69. Cryptocurrencies price prediction

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The Bitcoin price on Wednesday is trading in the red by some 0.80%, as some near-term selling momentum picks up pace in the second half of the session.

Market bears have resumed pressure to the downside, following a brief period of stabilization. The price has breached a bearish pennant structure via the daily view and is further extending to the downside. 

Ripple Technical Analysis: XRP/USD finds support at the hourly trendline

Ripple has consolidated on the hourly chart after dropping from 0.2338 to 0.2197.

The market has made a few higher lows but now looks to be testing lower levels.

0.22 is the psychological support zone and if taken out, could indicate lower levels are on the cards.

Litecoin Technical Analysis: LTC/USD lower highs spells danger

Litecoin price is trading in the red in the session by some 1.20%. 

LTC/USD has extended to the downside, after breaking out of a bearish pennant pattern, inviting another round of selling. 

The price is running towards its third consecutive session in the red. 

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Ukraine Law Allows New Use of Virtual Assets for Payments

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Ukrainian legislature, Verkhovna Rada, recently approved a new set of amendments that clarify the legal status of virtual currencies. The legislators are trying to adopt FATF standards into national laws.

More clarity for cryptocurrencies

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is eyeing transparent regulation for digital currencies, which are often called the wild west of the financial world. The group suggests the creation of standard practices and regulations for digital currencies across the globe. Members of the organization also agreed to assess crypto regulations and monitor these rules. Ukrainian regulators are looking to create similar standards for the industry.

Ukraine Law Allows New Use of Virtual Assets for Payments

The new draft law aims to prevent the legalization of proceeds of financial crime and terrorism financing. It also seeks to stop financial routes that could boost the weapons of mass destruction. The Rada legislators approved the bill with a sizeable majority. It incorporates the use of virtual assets. According to the law, virtual assets are described as any property that expresses value digitally and can easily be traded or transferred. They also acknowledged that virtual assets could be used for either payment purposes or for making investments.

What does the law provide?

According to crypto media outlet Forklog, the law introduces a new term- “provider of services related to the transfer, exchange, and storage of virtual assets.” The law suggests that both corporate entities and private citizens will be allowed to offer services that accept digital currencies. However, the level of financial monitoring on the system will depend entirely on the destination and amount of the transaction.

The Ministry of Digital Transformation has been tasked to regulate digital currencies in the country. It will focus on verifying anti-money laundering compliance for all crypto transactions in the country. The legislation is prepared by Blockchain4Ukraine, a multi-partisan group in the parliament that promotes the use of distributed ledger technology. It is working alongside the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO), EU-funded expertise and analytical center.

The first reading of the draft law took place on November 1 and the second reading happened last Friday. The adoption of cryptocurrency laws is a part of Ukraine’s commitments to the EU. Ukrinform reported that the regulation could help the country get a €500 million financial assistance from the Union. Traditionally, laws take at least three readings before adoption in Ukraine. The Rada has categorized the new crypto bill as “adopted” and “being prepared for signing” by the President.

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BIGTECH CRYPTOCURRENCIES POSE RISK TO GLOBAL FINANCIAL STABILITY: FSB

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The Financial Stability Board (FSB) says government and regulators should closely monitor the emerging trend of BigTech companies entering the crypto payments and digital money transmission markets.

BIGTECH CRYPTO PAYMENTS PIVOT COULD DISINTERMEDIATE BANKS

In a report published on Sunday (December 8, 2019), the FSB called for greater monitoring of BigTech’s involvement in financial services. While acknowledging the potential for greater financial inclusion, the FSB warned that greater participation of companies like Facebook in crypto payments and electronic transfer at large could pose significant risks to the stability of the mainstream financial infrastructure.

For the FSB, the major tech companies with their massive user bases may disintermediate banks if they become participants in the payments market. An excerpt from the report reads:

Where stored value payment products (e.g. mobile wallets) become prominent, a relatively large and potentially mobile pool of funds may be controlled outside the banking system (though often these funds are ultimately deposited with banks)… Furthermore, the greater mobility of this pool of funds compared with the customer deposits may also reduce the stability of bank funding.

The FSB isn’t alone in warning that BigTech’s crypto pivot could destabilize banks. Several governments and regulators have stated that Facebook’s Libra project may negatively affect their ability to control sovereign monetary policies.

Such is the level of opposition towards BigTech’s involvement in digital payments that some regulatory stakeholders say their proposed solutions should be domiciled with mainstream financial institutions. Some central banks are also reportedly working towards the creation of their own national digital currencies.

UNTESTED IN CREDIT CRUNCH SITUATIONS

The FSB report also argued that BigTech’s payment pivot could exacerbate the problems already identified with fintech lending. According to the FSB, the new forms of credit that may emerge from this trend are untested, having never gone through a complete financial cycle.

For the FSB, a severe credit crunch coinciding with the proliferation of BigTech payment projects could lead to unforeseen negative economic consequences. According to the FSB, because BigTech generally favor data-driven protocols rather than customer-based approaches, the resultant credit crunch could be more acute.

As previously reported by Bitcoinist, the FSB is also keen on closely monitoring the Libra project. Back in September 2019, the FSB appointed Ryozo Himino, a top financial regulator from Japan to head the FSB’s oversight on the Libra project.

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