Digital Currency Weekly Recap 11-22-2015
October UK Report Raises Questions about EU Crypto Crackdown.
As the European Union announced a crackdown on terrorist financing in the wake of the recent Paris attack, there has been renewed media attention on the risk that extremist groups could be using digital currencies to finance their terror operations. According to the recently-released UK Treasury National Risk Assessment, however, there appears to be little evidence to support that assumption.
In fact, the official assessment rated digital currencies as posing the least amount of risk in this area - with cash, accounting services, and other more traditional financial avenues all representing a much more serious threat of being used by criminals and terrorists. As the report notes,
“There is little evidence to indicate that the use of digital currencies has been adopted by criminals involved in terrorist financing, whether as a means by which to raise funds (crowd funding etc.), to pay for infrastructure (e.g. server rental), or to transfer funds.”
By way of contrast, that same report had a few sobering reminders about fiat currency:
“Cash is attractive for money laundering and terrorist financing because it is relatively untraceable, readily exchangeable and anonymous. The money laundering risk associated with cash is assessed to be high, and the terrorist financing risk associated with cash couriering is also assessed to be high.” (emphasis mine)
It is obviously vital that government officials take into consideration all of the various financing schemes terrorists utilize to support their activities. It is equally important that they maintain the proper perspective as they do so.
Manhattan DA White Paper Proposes Encryption Bypass.
A proposed ban on smartphone encryption is just one of the proposals contained in a new white paper written by New York County District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. The paper cited the decision by both Apple and Google to employ full-disk encryption in the operating systems for tablets and smartphones. Vance takes issue with that new security, since it represents a barrier to government searches of those devices.
The white paper is proposing a federal legislative solution that would require that all devices made and sold within the United States be open to the designer of the operating system, in effect negating the encryption. Some are already criticizing the proposal, and see it as just another example of government efforts to prevent private citizens from protecting their personal privacy.
BitAML’s Joe Ciccolo: Regulator Views on Crypto Changing.
In an interview with Coin Telegraph, BitAML’s Joe Ciccolo offered some refreshing thoughts on the current relationship between cryptocurrency and those who are charged with its regulation. Ciccolo believes that the regulatory community is making major strides in gaining greater understanding of both digital currency and the blockchain. Ultimately, an increased awareness of the blockchain’s ability to protect consumers and diminish risk should motivate regulators to be more amenable to cryptocurrency technology.
CCEDK’s Obits Cryptocurrency Available at Pre-Sale Price.
The new OpenLedger-based digital currency Obits is currently being sold at reduced pre-sale rates, in anticipation of its December 1, 2015 public release. Crypto exchange CCEDK is reporting that roughly 50% of the available pre-sale coins have already been purchased using traditional fiat currencies or Bitcoin.
The exchange has noted that the reduced introductory price provides early buyers an opportunity to not only benefit from the planned higher future price, but also from the increased input those Obits owners will have with respect to determining how the OpenLedger platform develops.
And in Case You Missed Them…
Contributor Nick Marinoff has two more stellar offerings that continue to explore the benefits of introducing children to digital currency as early as possible. First, he offers his take on the CRISP program, and how it can serve as an effective means for helping your children develop the type of savings habits that will benefit them later in life: Developing Good Saving Habits with Digital Currency for Children.
His second piece, The Importance of Getting Students Involved in Cryptocurrency Early, offers his assessment of how student involvement with the CRISP program and digital currency in general can help to inspire them to become more active in shaping the type of promising future they deserve.