The Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”), an intergovernmental organization aimed at combatting money laundering and thwarting terrorist financing, recently issued final recommendations for the regulation of cryptocurrencies. Although the recommendations are not binding on members–it will be up to each of FATF’s 37 member countries to determine whether to enact the recommendations through legislation or regulation–it is expected that they will have widespread adoption and significant implications for the cryptocurrency industry.Read More
On 28 May 2019, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published Consultation Paper CR02/2019 (Paper), which identifies the risks and regulatory considerations associated with the trading of crypto-assets on crypto-asset trading platforms (CTPs). The Paper seeks input from industry participants amid a growing demand for an international approach to the regulation of crypto-assets, recently illustrated by the G20’s joint request for global regulators to monitor risks and consider multilateral responses in relation to crypt-assets as needed.Read More
In the lead up to the annual G20 Summit, to be hosted by Japan, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has commissioned the creation of a cryptocurrency governance manual. The manual, which will be distributed at the G20 Summit, supports a uniform approach to regulating cryptocurrencies and contains regulatory proposals and justifications relating to the following issues:
- protecting customer assets;
- international security protocols; and
- providing customers with information (particularly in the event of a hack).
In January 2019, Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, QuadrigaCX, announced that it had lost $180 million of virtual currency, prompting calls for tighter regulatory oversight of the industry.
Canada is home to 18 publicly listed cryptocurrency companies, more than any other jurisdiction in the world. This puts Canada at the heart of the issue, and has also put the Canadian Public Accountability Board (CPAB) on notice. The CPAB, which regulates auditors, has confirmed that it has been reviewing how existing Canadian audit standards apply to the cryptocurrency industry. Canada, like Australia, subscribes to the International Financial Reporting Standards.Read More
Cryptocurrency exchanges have always been a prime target for hacking activity due to the vast amounts of cryptocurrency and money held within each exchange. Finding and exploiting weaknesses in exchanges can be very profitable for hackers, and such hacking activity has grown exponentially year on year.
In late December 2018, Coindesk published an article revealing that the amount of cryptocurrency stolen from exchanges increased 13 times in 2018 compared to 2017. Analytics firm Chainalysis reported that approximately $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency was stolen from digital currency exchanges in 2018.Read More
By Cameron Abbott and Ella Richards
In an age where cyber security breaches are a near daily occurrence, and where we’re frequently reminded to keep our passwords secret and safe, the story that’s emerged regarding the fate of over AU$190 million of crypto-currency following the death of Gerald Cotten, the founder of Quadriga CX, is a little ironic to say the least.
The untimely death of the 30-year-old in December brought with it an unexpected sober reality – Mr Cotten was the only person with access to Quadriga’s coin reserve. No really … the ONLY person… you can see where this is going can’t you?Read More
Rain, a cryptocurrency exchange in Bahrain has received a Shari’a compliance certification from Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB). SRB is licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain as a Shari’a advisory firm authorised to issue Shari’a compliance certifications. SRB reviewed Rain’s brokerage service and determined that the sale, purchase and custodian activities of Rain are in compliance with Shari’a principles. The Shari’a certification covers three cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin). Rain aims to enable family offices, investors and Islamic institutional investors to buy, sell and store cryptocurrency in an Islamic-compliant way.
Rain was co-founded in 2017 by blockchain professionals from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Silicon Valley. In September of that year, Rain was invited to join the Central Bank of Bahrain’s regulatory sandbox. It was the first digital currency exchange to be admitted to the sandbox – but since then four more have joined including UAE’s BitOasis. However, many governments in the Middle East (including those of Saudi, Egypt and Morocco) have officially banned cryptocurrencies, urging residents not to invest in them.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK financial regulator, confirmed to the Financial Times on 30 December 2018 that it was investigating 18 businesses involved in the sale of cryptocurrencies. The regulator has also issued alerts and warnings about dozens of companies suspected of cryptocurrency investment fraud. Currently, the transfer, purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies are not regulated in the UK. However, companies that sell regulated investments with an underlying cryptocurrency element may need FCA authorisation to do so depending on their activities.Read More
In recent months, there has been a noticeable shift by token issuers away from initial coin offerings (ICOs) towards security token offerings (STOs) largely driven in part to a recent bottoming out of the retail market (including Bitcoin and Ethereum) and softening demand from retail investors for ICOs.
This trend appears to have resulted from retail investors having come to realize the inherent limitations that ICOs possess, namely the fact that tokens issued in connection with an ICO generally only have “utility” and not much inherent value. Additionally, we are now also starting to see more interest from sophisticated and/or accredited investors and funds, who also tend to prefer “security” tokens instead of “utility tokens” when looking to make an investment, due to the inherent value that the former possess.