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Wells Fargo joining Elliptic’s funding round could be new chapter in compliance

Crypto-assets have come under the scrutiny of various governments over the past few years. In fact, just recently, markets like the U.S and Europe have made clear their plans to bring stringent regulations to curb tax irregularities, money laundering, and terror financing via crypto-channels. While studies have shown that just over 1% of total crypto-transactions are directed towards illegal activities, most governments have been wary of the disruption that crypto and digital assets could bring. Wells Fargo’s recent association with Elliptic may be useful at such a time.

In a recent development that may come as a relief to many financial institutions who have to navigate the grey areas of crypto-asset management and regulations, Wells Fargo Strategic Capital (WFSC) has come on board to fund crypto-asset risk management solutions provider, Elliptic. The firm’s Series B funding had raised around $28 million, at the time of announcement.

Tokyo-based SBI Group and Santander InnoVentures are also part of the diverse portfolio of investors backing Elliptic at the moment. The investment will enable Elliptic to expand its risk management tools on offer for financial institutions and also help the company with its global expansion.

The funding will also help Elliptic roll-out its risk management tool – Elliptic Discovery and hire more resources for its operations. Elliptic Discovery will help compliance teams by providing insights that will help identify the flow of funds to crypto-assets and the level of risk they possess. The tool will also provide detailed transaction details of over 200 global exchanges and help financial institutions meet regulatory requirements.

In the press statement, James Smith, CEO of Elliptic, had said,

“The partnership with our bank investors will further enhance our ability to better understand and work closely with financial institutions around the world to provide them with greater visibility into the crypto-asset ecosystem.”

He added,

“Instead of leaving financial institutions in the dark regarding transactions in the emerging crypto-asset class, our aim is that Elliptic, working with financial institutions, will shine a light on any crypto-asset-linked transaction activity and enable them to manage risk accordingly.”

Elliptic’s latest announcement comes at a time when institutions are concerned about digital assets and their regulatory implications. The EU recently announced the fifth iteration of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD). Further, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) also established its global regulatory guidelines for crypto-assets. The largest stablecoin, Tether (USDT), with a market cap of $4.6 billion recently announced that it has adopted a  real-time anti-money laundering (AML) compliance solution that would track USDT tokens on the blockchain and flag irregularities.

Developments such as these strongly suggest that regulations are finally catching up to the changes in traditional finance and are now offering solutions to enhance compliance.

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Crypto Today: Bitcoin troubles still linger underneath $9000

Here’s what you need to know on Thursday

Markets

BTC/USD is currently trading at $8911 (+1.50%), the price has stabilized but remains vulnerable underneath $9000. 

ETH/USD is currently trading at $235 (+4.20%), a near-term pick up after the recent bout of selling pressure, however, the strong resistance should be noted at $250. 

XRP/USD is currently trading at $0.2455 (+5.50%), the bulls will need to break back above $0.2500 to regather decent upside momentum. 

Among the 100 most important cryptocurrencies, the best of the day are WAXP $0.045937 (+27.55%), HBAR $0.037804 (+22.49%) KNC $0.534237 (+15.15%) The day’s losers are ABBC $0.0964287 (-4.42%), MOF$0.964287 (-3.30%), WICC $0.226634 (-2.25%).

Chart of the day: BTC/USD daily chart (the price was caught by a secondary ascending trend line of support, preventing the price from free-falling)

Market

Jeff Dorman – the chief investment officer of the crypto firm Arca, commented on Bitcoin being touted as a safe-haven. He said: It’s irresponsible for anyone to say that bitcoin is truly a ‘safe haven.’ Look at how gold and Treasuries and equities react instantaneously to global fears. Bitcoin and digital assets live outside that workflow. Azimo, a London-based online remittance platform has joined forces with Ripple blockchain project, in a bid to leverage the latter’s XRP-powered on-demand liquidity (ODL) solution for faster, cheaper cross-border payments to the Philippines, according to a press release.

On Feb 26, according to the data analytics provider Skew, over $150 million worth of Bitcoin was liquidated on the trading exchange BitMEX, the most seen since the new year began. Millions of dollars of long and short positions caused the value of the cryptocurrency to fall to $8,580, a decrease of more than 6%. Prices in the session, have since recovered the beating seen on Wednesday.

Regulation

According to a report by Bloomberg, San Francisco-based blockchain project Ripple Inc. Could soon face a lawsuit that, according to the firm, could topple the market for the firm’s digital token, XRP.

Industry 

Action film star Steven Seagal has been fined for unlawfully touting cryptocurrencies and acting as the brand ambassador for a controversial initial coin offering (ICO), called Bitcoiin2Gen (B2G). The Hollywood star, 66, has agreed to pay a combined $314,000 in fines and penalties, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said in a statement on Thursday.

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has partnered with public blockchain protocol Shyft Network as it readies itself to comply with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) regulations. The Shyft Network was designed to provide a decentralized solution for crypto industry players to fulfill global compliance standards, including the FATF’s “travel rule.”

Quote of the day

It’s irresponsible for anyone to say that bitcoin is truly a ‘safe haven.’ Look at how gold and Treasuries and equities react instantaneously to global fears. Bitcoin and digital assets live outside that workflow.

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Two Crypto Altcoins Are Up 111% and 95% This Year As Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP Breakdown Continues

With Bitcoin, XRP, Ethereum and nearly the entire cryptocurrency market in the red, two mid-cap altcoins are bucking the trend.

Analyst Crypto Michaël tells his 49,000 followers on Twitter that he believes traders are starting to become opportunistic by buying the dip in Chainlink (LINK) and Tezos (XTZ). Michaël also believes ETH is starting to show signs of life against BTC.

At time of publishing, Chainlink is up 6.44% in the last 24 hours at $3.62, according to CoinMarketCap. Tezos is up 2.98% at $2.77.

“LINK and XTZ providing an example of the strength of this market. During 2016/2017 several retracements were done, after which a strong bounce occurred. Even ETH/BTC is now showing strength. There’s some opportunities in bull markets to buy the dip, this might be one.”

Chainlink is designed to give companies a seamless way to take data that is external to blockchain applications and place it on-chain. The token is designed to reward operators that power the network. Tezos is a proof-of-stake blockchain platform that allows token holders to earn rewards in return for powering the network.

Michaël is keeping his eye on the big picture and says the largest cyptocurrencies by market cap need to step up and show signs of life. The key, he says, is whether Bitcoin can bounce off of the $8,700 area.

“Markets showing some relief bounces. Majors still need to step in. There’s always the fear of buying dips and people rather buy green candles, they always will. Coming days will decide whether $8,700 becomes the low on $BTC. And that’s still +$1,800 since January 1st.”

BTC is currently at $8,717, down 5.16% in the last 24 hours. Ethereum is down 8.83% at $218.95 and XRP is down 5.10% at $0.2304.

Since the start of 2019, Bitcoin is up 19.24%, Ethereum is up 67.69% and XRP is up 18.84%. Chainlink is up 95% and Tezos is up 111% since January 1st.

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Crypto Tax Plan Recommended To South Korean Government

  • Tax experts have advised that the Korean government should be applying a low-level trading tax on profits in cryptocurrency.
  • According to a local news report, the government in the nation is expected to announce its tax reform plan at the end of this year.

Tax experts in South Korea have advised that the Korean government should be applying a low-level trading tax on profits in cryptocurrency before giving the public transfer income tax. According to a local news report, the government in the nation is expected to announce its tax reform plan at the end of this year.

Such a low-level trading tax was pushed in the agenda because of the lack of legal infrastructure to enact transfer taxation on transfers.

In a seminar that went down on the 21st of February, the South Korean government was advised by members of the Korean Tax Policy Association to act on this plan. The main argument was made that by taking such an approach to integrating income tax on crypto, it will see the most efficiency.

The proposal by the tax expert was agreed by the blockchain Association in Korea. Such a recommendation was justified as they said:“Related laws are still absent and the taxation infrastructure is still insufficient to cover cryptocurrencies and, as such, some supplements need to be added on the expense calculation side.”

On top of this, the association went on to say that before imposing a transfer tax, the clarity on defining cryptocurrency acquisition costs is a necessity. However, given that digital assets are being traded at such different rates on the different platforms in Korea, this isn’t going to be easy to define

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