On Tuesday, U.S. prosecutors brought charges against five men who engaged in a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme to defraud investors of $722 million, NBC News reports. The allegations were presented in a 27-page indictment in a Newark, New Jersey U.S. District Court.
The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation division released its annual report on Thursday, revealing that it is continuing to prioritize cybercrime, employment tax concerns, and cryptocurrency tax-related issues, Accounting Today reports. The division reported that it had identified a total of $1.8 billion of tax fraud so far this year and has successfully prosecuted 91.2 percent of its financial crime cases.
The Financial Stability Oversight Council released a new report this week highlighting various risks to the U.S. financial system and economy. Part of the report focused attention on potential dangers that could result from increased adoption of so-called stablecoins, like Facebook’s proposed Libra currency.
The British Virgin Islands is conducting its BVI Digital Economy symposium today, an event that is expected to include a presentation detailing the rollout of a planned digital currency. Those details will be provided by BVI partner LIFELabs, which is working with the British Virgin Islands to create a digital currency and national emergency Rapid Cash Response fund.
The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) will reportedly implement new rules for cryptocurrency use early next year, according to local media outlet Business Report. The new guidelines will be designed to prevent people from using digital currency to thwart the country’s currency controls.
The Central Bank of Russia has signaled its support for any possible ban on cryptocurrency within the Russian Federation, Russian media reports. That news comes in the wake of several weeks in which some observers believed that the country might have been warming up to the technology.
Government officials in Shenzhen have signaled a crackdown on illicit cryptocurrency activities and claim that they’ve identified at least 39 entities violating China’s ban on cryptocurrency trading, Sanyan Finance reported today. The announcement comes as The People’s Bank of China has confirmed it is intensifying efforts to combat digital currency transactions in the country.
Representatives Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) and Lance Gooden (R-TX) formally introduced the Managed Stablecoins are Securities Act of 2019 on Thursday. As its name suggests, the bill would define managed stablecoins as securities subject to the provisions of the Securities Act of 1933.
LocalBitcoins has announced that it has been registered as an approved virtual currency provider by Finland’s Financial Services Authority (FIN-FSA). That registration is now required for all digital currency providers if they intend to provide services in Finland.
IRS Criminal Investigation Chief John Fort confirmed this week that his agency is now focused on investigating possible tax issues involving Bitcoin ATMs and cryptocurrency kiosks, Bloomberg Law reports. Fort revealed the agency’s interest in the machines during a recent blockchain conference in New York:
In a November 12 court filing, Messaging app service Telegram has asked the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to dismiss the complaint filed against it by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC’s complaint had enabled regulators to obtain an emergency injunction preventing Telegram from issuing its Gram token to investors, based on the commission’s determination that the tokens are securities.
Russian media outlet Tass recently reported that the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) was preparing to launch its own blockchain-based digital currency. In a press release, the bank has denied those claims, including reporting that suggested that it had partnered with blockchain firm Universa and planned to host its digital dinar on that company’s blockchain.
The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission has published new rules that enable digital currency exchanges to obtain operating licenses, Reuters reports. The move is reportedly part of a broader effort to improve standards, reduce fraud, and provide better regulation of the industry.
France has teamed up with four other European nations in a united effort to prevent Facebook from launching its Libra global digital currency payment system next year, Politico reports. Deputy finance ministers from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain reportedly made their case to other EU nations in a closed meeting in Brussels on Monday.
Argentinians will no longer be allowed to use their credit cards to purchase digital assets like Bitcoin, due to new exchange controls imposed by the nation’s central bank, infobae reports. The ban on credit card use for such purchases was included in an array of capital controls announced on October 31, 2019.
Swiss-based digital asset bank Sygnum announced in a press release Thursday that it has been granted a capital markets services (CMS) license by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). That approval will enable the company to begin providing digital asset investment strategies and product offerings to qualified investors in Singapore.
The government of China is moving to censor online posts that are critical of blockchain technology, The Independent reports. The reported effort to remove negative claims about the technology comes as the communist nation continues to prepare for the anticipated launch of its national digital currency.
The Standing Committee of China’s 13th National People’s Congress passed a new cryptography law on Saturday, in a move that some observers see as necessary preparation for the country’s eventual launch of its own digital currency. According to Chinese state media, the new law will go into effect on January 1, 2020, Reuters reports.
According to Forbes Russia, Telegram Open Network investors have reportedly agreed to Telegram’s proposed delay in the launch of the platform, voting against a proposed refund option. The voting investors included participants in both TON funding rounds, with a majority agreeing to the April 30 launch delay.
U.S. Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas) has proposed a new draft bill called the “Stablecoins are Securities Act of 2019.” A discussion draft of the bill was published on the House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee website on Tuesday, and includes language that would expand the scope of the 1933 Securities Act to cover stablecoins: