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Crypto-related Money Laundering Cases Experience Eight-Fold Increase in Japan

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It might seem like crypto crime has skyrocketed in Japan this year, but it’s simply the direct result of the policy that puts exchanges under closer scrutiny
Crypto-related Money Laundering Cases Experience Eight-Fold Increase in Japan
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According to The Japan Times, the number of money laundering cases that involve cryptocurrencies has experienced an eight-fold increase this year. Still, digital assets are only responsible for a minuscule two percent of all suspicious transactions.    

An eight-fold spike  

On Dec. 6, the National Police Agency (NPA) released a report which states that almost 6,000 of cryptocurrency-related money laundering cases were recorded in ten months. This figure is almost eight times bigger than the previous one – in 2017, only 700 similar cases were reported from January till October. Criminals would use a fake ID in order to get unauthorized access to other accounts.

Overall, there were more than 346,000 instances of suspicious trading (mainly related to traditional banking institutions).     

Misleading figures

The results are not necessarily indicative of the growth of crypto-related criminal activities given that exchanges weren’t supposed to report suspicious trading activity to the FSA. In April, the NPA eventually imposed such an obligation on local cryptocurrency trading platforms for them to align with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. NPA states that transactions are being monitored more ‘rigorously’ with the current notification system.

Regulatory hindrances

U.Today has recently reported that Singaporean authorities are struggling to battle fake Bitcoin investment scams because of the anonymous nature of Bitcoin. In the case with money laundering, discrepancies between cryptocurrency regulations in different countries create yet another hindrance.

It is worth mentioning that Japan is considered one of the most progressive nations when it comes to regulating digital assets. Cryptocurrency exchanges are legal in Japan, but sometimes they get subjected to an ALM shakeup in order to enhance investor protection. The Japanese Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) has been recently granted a self-regulatory status by the FSA, the country’s major financial watchdog.

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Indonesia Sets New Requirements for Cryptocurrency Futures Trading

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While Bitcoin remains banned in Indonesia as a payment method, the country’s regulatory watchdog further stifles the industry
Indonesia Sets New Requirements for Cryptocurrency Futures Trading
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Indonesian regulatory agency Bappebti has just announced that businesses are now required to follow a new set of requirements in order to get approval for trading cryptocurrency futures. In particular, the new regulations deal with minimum capital requirements and numerous safety precautions.  

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What are the requirements?

Thus, the regulatory watchdog is doubling down on its promise to regulate digital assets. Earlier, it was revealed that those who want to engage in the cryptocurrency futures market are required to have paid-up capital of $106 mln and a closing balance of $85 mln.

On top of that, in order to get the green light from Bappebti, these businesses will be required to have ‘a good level of security’ and a team with at least three CISSP-certified workers. They are also supposed to detect any possible AML violations.

Futures traders are also affected

As reported by U.Today, futures traders will be required to have a minimum account of $7.3 mln, which would make the market inaccessible for a lot of them. That move, according to local crypto figures, will further stifle the industry growth in the country, but Rekeningku.com CEO Sumardi Fung is certain that these rules will be revised.  

Bringing legal clarity

There is also a silver lining given that Bappebti brought clarity to the table by reaffirming that digital assets could be traded on the country’s future exchange as commodities. Indrasari Wisnu Wardhana, the head of Bappebti, claims that the purpose of the new regulations is to get cryptocurrencies out of the legal grey zone and protect investors who are willing to dip their toes into the nascent industry.

U.Today reminds readers that Indonesia remains one of the very few countries where merchants are barred from using Bitcoin as a payment method. Indonesia’s economy chief Darmin Nasution recently confirmed that the ban, which was imposed in December 2017, will not be lifted anytime soon.  
 

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Waves Labs Starts Twitter Contest for Developers, Offering a 1,000 WAVES Reward

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Waves Labs intends to encourage devs to share their ideas for interesting projects, launching a Twitter competition with a crypto prize fund
Waves Labs Starts Twitter Contest for Developers, Offering a 1,000 WAVES Reward
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As the week kicks off, the Waves team has published a post on Medium, saying that Waves Labs is eager to encourage developers working on new ideas.

Therefore, the platform is launching a contest on Twitter, offering a prize of 1,000 WAVES for the best Waves-based idea or project under the tag #BuildOnWaves.

Everything built on Waves matters

The ‘Russian response to Ethereum’ seems to be curious as to how popular it is and what ideas developers are quietly making on the platform.

“We’d like to get updates from projects we already know about, and to find out what new projects have recently been launched”.

The new contest is meant to enable developer teams to bring their Waves-powered projects to light and share the details of their making, purpose, etc.

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Rules to follow

The competition will take place between Feb 18 and March 4. Dev teams must share the details of their projects via Twitter, posts particularly between these two dates, and mark them with the #buildonwaves tag.

They have to mention what Waves solution is used in the project. Apart from the tag above, @sasha35625 and @waveslabs must be mentioned so that the tweet does not get missed.

Prize giveaway

The first prize totals 500 WAVES – it will be given to the tweet which gets retweeted the largest number of times.

The project chosen by the Waves Oracle on a random basis will get 300 WAVES – the second reward.

The team that will receive a prize of 200 WAVES will be decided on by the jury. It will include Waves Labs members, Waves management team folks and some reps of DevRel.

The most interesting messages, from the point of view of the contest organizers, will be retweeted by Waves CEO Sasha Ivanov, Waves Labs or by the Waves platform Twitter account.

Contest results

The results will be published in March, and the Waves team will contact the winners regarding receiving the prize. The company warns that there is no need to provide wallet addresses so far.

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JP Morgan’s Coin is Not Crypto, Global Community – Rest Assured: Forbes

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JP Morgan bank recently announced the upcoming release of a digital coin for faster transactions between customers, thus raising fears of XRP fans
JP Morgan’s Coin is Not Crypto, Global Community – Rest Assured: Forbes
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At the end of last week, U.Today reported that the JP Morgan banking behemoth announced the upcoming beta launch of its own digital coin dubbed simply and originally JPM Coin.

Numerous news outlets rushed to assume that this is ‘the empire striking back’ at the rebellious XRP, which dreams of leaving traditional bank transfers way behind.

Now Forbes dismisses these panic-smelling assumptions, saying that the newly-made JPM Coin is no crypto at all in the narrow sense of the word.

JP Morgan’s Coin is Not Crypto, Global Community – Rest Assured: Forbes

JP Morgan to foray into digital assets

Jamie Dimon from JP Morgan has been a long-time critic of Bitcoin and the whole crypto industry, calling it a bubble. Still, the bank has decided to take advantage of the technology that promises to transfer payments with the speed of light. Nevertheless, the author of the Forbes article insists that the digital token that JP Morgan plans to test in the short term is anything but cryptocurrency.

The original material published by CNBC says that the JPM Coin intends to be used for quick payments – the speed will be comparable to those provided by smart contracts, leaving behind the conventional wire payments, which in the era of blockchain looks as old as the hills. JPM Coin will also be backed by US dollars, making the asset more stable compared to regular crypto – the principle of stablecoins.

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JPM Coin is crypto – Forget about it

However, reminds the Forbes writer, the bank plans to use the coin for internal transfers only – for its corporate clients, large corporations, transacting securities, etc. Another option is that JPM Coin will replace the USD that the bank’s subsidiaries store in their vaults.

However, it will not be used on any public networks, unlike BTC, ETH or the aforementioned XRP, for instance.

Besides, JPM Coin will be operating on the Quorum blockchain, created by the bank, which means that any entity using the newly-created token will have to be approved by JP Morgan. This is also very much different from the way ‘regular’ crypto coins work.

Thus, some experts believe the JPM Coin, which seems to have already become a little controversial in the crypto world, will be just another digital coin, not crypto.

As an example, the head of the Coin Center research platform said that the difference will be the same as between the Internet, free and open to any participant, and AOL, a closed permissioned network. It seems like the currently hyped coin of JP Morgan will be just another electronic payment system.

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IOTA and Nova Launch New Program to Fund Startups That Utilize Tangle

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Launching a startup that utilizes the Tangle technology has become much easier because of IOTA’s partnership with Nova
IOTA and Nova Launch New Program to Fund Startups That Utilize Tangle
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According to VentureBeat, the IOTA Foundation has joined forces with startup incubator Nova in order to create a seed fund for startups that are focused on the Blockchain technology. With that help of this initiative, IOTA hopes to encourage more fledgling companies to adopt the Tangle protocol.

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The program’s major features   

Nova is a Liverpool-based company that helps startups during the early stage of their development. Apart from funding projects that are utilizing the Tangle, Nova’s IOTA cofoundery offers these companies access to their mentoring program that will be led by ‘experienced startup experts.’ Moreover, they will assist Tangle-powered startups in technical development, marketing, and design.

Translating ideas into reality

According to IOTA cofounder David Sønstebø, the Tangle is more effective than Blockchain, and it has huge potential for M2M payments. By teaming up with Nova, IOTA wants to see ‘ideas coming to fruition.’

Since its appearance on the market in 2014, Nova has funded more than 80 startups. Nova’s Andrew Dean that IOTA is behind some of the ‘most exciting tech developments’, and their task is to bring them to market.
 

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Craig Wright, the Self-Proclaimed Satoshi, Promises to Swear Oath He Is Bitcoin Inventor, Thus ‘Proving’ His Claims Once and for All

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Replying to the comments of the CFTC, Dr. Craig Wright says he is prepared to give an oath to prove he is the One, Satoshi Nakamoto
Craig Wright, the Self-Proclaimed Satoshi, Promises to Swear Oath He Is Bitcoin Inventor, Thus ‘Proving’ His Claims Once and for All
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In December last year, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission of the US (CFTC) published an RFI (request for input) regarding Crypto-Asset Mechanics and Markets.

Numerous companies from the world of blockchain and crypto gave their response to the regulator, including ConsenSys, the US-based Coinbase exchange, etc. Among those who replied was also the self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor, Dr. Craig Wright.

“Fake Satoshi” goes with his story all over again

At the end of last week, the controversial personality from the crypto world and the frontman of the Bitcoin Cash SV chain that came to existence in November 2018 repeated his offer to comment, again saying that he is allegedly the Satoshi Nakamoto who has been hiding from the public all these years but has now decided to reveal himself to the crypto world.

This happened just a short while after a few crypto news outlets criticized Mr. Wright for setting up and publishing fake evidence that can supposedly prove he is the mysterious creator of Bitcoin.

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The scratched record of Wright claiming to be Satoshi

For several years now, Mr. Wright has been trying to convince the crypto community that he is indeed the real Satoshi Nakamoto. This started back in 2015, when two news platforms, Wired and Gizmodo, released materials of self-conducted investigations which said that Craig Wright could in theory be the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto who finally decided to present himself to the world.

Still, several discords and mismatches found in the claims of Mr. Wright strongly suggested that he was nothing but a thimblerigger, setting up a deliberate hoax.

Then, he reemerged in the media in May 2016 and again announced his claim of being Satoshi Nakamoto. The so-called proofs of him being the one have been dismissed since he last published them.

Now, replying to further questions from the CFTC, Mr. Wright has offered to testify under oath that he is the only possible Satoshi Nakamoto on the planet.

“I plan to make myself available for questioning from the CFTC outside of the scope of this response. I note in particular that when I talk of bitcoin and other systems, I reference that which was defined in the original white paper and code release.

I am willing to testify under oath.”

Sceptics believe that this should finally solve the problem and dot all the i’s, as lying while under oath has never been the case in the history of the world.

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