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Bitcoin [BTC]: Financial Crime Enforcement Network raises penalty on trader for violating banking norms

Akash Anand

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Bitcoin [BTC]: Financial Crime Enforcement Network raises penalty on trader for violating banking norms
Source: Pixabay

The number of illegal activities in the world of digital assets has always kept law enforcement agencies on their toes. New reports revealed that the Financial Crime Enforcement Network [FinCEN] of the United States has penalized Eric Powers, a peer to peer Bitcoin [BTC] trader for violating the Bank Secrecy Act and its sub-clauses, including, registration, reporting requirements and program.

Kenneth A. Blanco, the FinCEN Director stated:

“Obligations under the BSA apply to money transmitters regardless of their size. It should not come as a surprise that we will take enforcement action based on what we have publicly stated since our March 2013 Guidance—that exchangers of convertible virtual currency, such as Mr. Powers, are money transmitters and must register as MSBs.”

The Director further added:



“In fact, there were indications that Mr. Powers specifically was aware of these obligations, but willfully failed to honor them.  Such failures put our financial system and national security at risk and jeopardize the safety and well-being of our people, as well as undercut responsible innovation in the financial services space.”

The regulatory body also pointed out that Powers had conducted transactions on the dark web too, more specifically, on the infamous Silk Road. Details have emerged that Powers also conducted physical transfers of over $10,000. This was followed by Powers purchasing BTC worth $5 million spanning 160 purchase orders and as noted by the FinCEN, these purchase orders were conducted in public places like coffee shops to avoid identification.

The organization further stated that Powers later complied with the authorities in getting the case resolved. As a measure against his illegal activities, FinCEN stated:

“In addition to paying a $35,000 fine, Mr. Powers has agreed to an industry bar that would prohibit him from providing money transmission services or engaging in any other activity that would make him a “money services business” for purposes of FinCEN regulations.”





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SEC delays VanEck Bitcoin ETF decision days after delaying Bitwise proposed rule change

Priya

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SEC delays VanEck Bitcoin ETF decision days after delaying the Bitwise proposed rule change
Source: Unsplash

The Securities and Commission Exchange [SEC] has yet again delayed another Bitcoin ETF. This time around, the commission has decided to delay the VanEck Soldix Bitcoin ETF, one of the most awaited exchange-traded funds in the cryptocurrency community.

In the document released today, the exchange has asked for more comments on the proposed rule change and has also asked for further information on queries related to the exchange-traded fund. The commission stated that it has received 25 comments on the proposed rule change so far.  It stated,

“On January 30, 2019, Cboe BZX Exchange, Inc. […] filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, […] a proposed rule change to list and trade shares of SolidX Bitcoin Shares issued by the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust […] The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on February 20, 2019.”

It further stated

“On March 29, 2019, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act, the commission designated a longer period within which to approve the proposed rule change, disapprove the proposed rule change, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove the proposed rule change.”

Notably, the main concerns of the commission continue to be market manipulation and the measure taken by the platform to protect its investors. The commission is currently seeking comments on 14 queries pertaining to the VanEck Bitcoin ETF.



This includes the views of the ‘commenters’ on whether the exchange has entered “into a surveillance-sharing agreement with a regulated market of significant size related to bitcoin?”, the relationship between the Bitcoin futures markets and the Bitcoin spot market, with the focus being price formation, the relationship between the Bitcoin futures market and the proposed Bitcoin ETF, and the commenters’ views “of the Exchange’s assertions that bitcoin is arguably less susceptible to manipulation than other commodities that underlie ETPs”.

Gabor Gurbacs, Director of Digital Assets Strategy with VanEck said on Twitter,

“The VanEck SolidX #Bitcoin #ETF decision has been postponed by the SEC. We continue the hard work towards better-regulated, safer and more liquid digital assets markets. Bitcoin is too big to ignore. Vires in numeris!”





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