Day: March 19, 2021

Putin Asks Russian AG Office to Combat Illegal Cross-Border Crypto Transfers

Putin Asks Russian AG Office to Combat Illegal Cross-Border Crypto Transfers

The Russian President held a meeting with the attorney general’s office where cryptocurrencies came to the discussion table. Vladimir Putin raised red flags toward taking measures to prevent illegal activities on cross-border transfers with cryptos.

Putin Calls Other Offices to Join the Fight Against the Usage of Cryptos for Illicit Purposes
According to a transcript made public on the Kremlin’s official site, Putin considered that the General Prosecutor’s Office should keep engaged in strengthening financial monitoring. That being said, the Russian President pointed directly to cryptocurrencies:

There is one more point — quite new, but essential: to take additional measures to suppress the illegal cross-border movement of funds of digital financial assets. Criminal elements are increasingly using these digital financial assets, and this certainly needs to be paid close attention to with colleagues from other departments, including Financial Monitoring.

Financial Monitoring, or Rosfinmonitoring, is the Russian government agency responsible for overseeing all anti-money laundering-related matters in the country.

Per the Kremlin press office, Putin’s meeting held with the attorney general’s office was done to review the results of their work in 2020.

Putin’s Latest Regulatory Moves on Cryptos
In the last few months, the Russian President has been active within the crypto sphere regarding regulatory affairs. Putin signed into law on August 2020 the bill that regulates digital financial asset (DFA) transactions.

One of the mandates stipulates that individuals and legal entities in Russia will only be able to challenge crypto transactions in court if they have declared these transactions and their possession of cryptos.

It was approved by the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, on July 22 and by the Federation Council on July 24. The law came into force on Jan. 1, 2021.

Also, in December 2020, Putin signed an order compelling the country’s government workers to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings. The decree stipulates that employees must submit details of where they bought the digital assets and the value thereof by June 30, 2021.

Source – Bitcoin News 

Morgan Stanley, Investment Bankers Make 3 Bitcoin Funds Available to Clients

Morgan Stanley, Investment Bankers Make 3 Bitcoin Funds Available to Clients

One of the largest U.S. investment banks, Morgan Stanley, will be offering its wealth management clients access to bitcoin funds. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America’s wealth management divisions do not currently allow their advisors to offer direct investment in bitcoin funds.

Morgan Stanley to Offer Wealth Clients Access to Bitcoin Funds
Investment bank Morgan Stanley, with $4 trillion in client assets, has become the “first big U.S. bank to offer its wealth management clients access to bitcoin funds,” CNBC reported Wednesday.

The firm reportedly told its financial advisors in an internal memo that it is launching access to three funds that allow exposure to bitcoin, the publication conveyed, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter. According to the people, clients have been demanding exposure to the cryptocurrency, adding:

Clients can likely make investments as early as next month, after the bank’s financial advisors complete training courses tied to the new offerings.

Two of the bitcoin funds on offer are from Galaxy Digital: the Galaxy Bitcoin Fund LP and the Galaxy Institutional Bitcoin Fund LP. The third is FS NYDIG Select Fund, a joint effort from asset manager FS Investments and New York Digital Investments Group (NYDIG). The latter is the bitcoin investment arm of Stone Ridge Asset Management. Two of the funds have minimum investments of $25,000, but Galaxy Institutional Bitcoin Fund has a $5 million minimum.

The funds are only available to clients of Morgan Stanley’s wealth management division and investments are restricted to 2.5% of the client’s total net worth, the sources revealed. Clients must have at least $2 million in assets held by the firm with “an aggressive risk tolerance” to qualify, whereas investment firms need at least $5 million at the bank.

The wealth management divisions of other major U.S. investment banks — Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America — do not currently allow their advisors to offer direct investment in bitcoin funds, the news outlet noted.

Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz and NYDIG both tweeted that they are thrilled “to partner with Morgan Stanley, the first US bank to offer access to bitcoin for their wealth management clients.”

Bitcoiners welcome this move by Morgan Stanley, praising the investment bank for its contribution in making bitcoin more mainstream. Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor wrote, “Morgan Stanley is the first bank to offer bitcoin, they won’t be the last.” Economist Saifedean Ammous, the author of The Bitcoin Standard, commented: “Today is the day the big banks entered bitcoin.” Morgan Creek Digital partner Anthony Pompliano opined:

Galaxy Digital and NYDIG will both be onboarding millions of people to bitcoin via the largest US brokerage. Morgan Stanley is in the game. Bitcoin is inevitable.

Source – Bitcoin News 

US Court Sentences Bitcoin Scammer to 3 Years in Prison After Massive Twitter Hack

US Court Sentences Bitcoin Scammer to 3 Years in Prison After Massive Twitter Hack

The mastermind behind a large-scale Twitter hack to promote a bitcoin giveaway scam has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to three years in prison. During the hack, a number of high-profile companies, politicians, and celebrities saw their accounts taken over to promote the cryptocurrency scam.

Graham Ivan Clark, the Florida teen who hacked prominent Twitter accounts to promote a bitcoin giveaway scam in July last year, reportedly pleaded guilty on Tuesday to all state charges against him in exchange for a three-year sentence in a juvenile facility. He also agreed to three years of probation after his sentence, the Office of the State Attorney 13th Judicial Circuit in Tampa announced.
Clark, now 18 years old, and his accomplices took control of popular Twitter accounts belonging to corporations, politicians, and celebrities. They included the accounts of U.S. President Joe Biden, former U.S. President Barack Obama, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Tesla Technoking Elon Musk, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple, Google, and Uber.
A number of prominent accounts in the crypto space were also hacked. They included the accounts of Binance, its CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ), Bitcoin, Bitfinex, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, Coinbase, Gemini, Tron founder Justin Sun, Kucoin, Ripple, the Tron Foundation, and Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin.
The hacker then used those accounts to promote a bitcoin giveaway scam, posting a link to a bitcoin address and claiming that anyone sending bitcoin to the address will receive twice as much back. The bitcoin address linked to the scam received a total of 12.90 bitcoins, which was worth more than $100K around the time of the attack.
According to Twitter, 130 user accounts were compromised overall during the hack. Of those, 45 accounts were used to send tweets. The company further said that for up to 36 of the 130 targeted accounts, the hackers also accessed DM inboxes.
Clark was charged with 30 felony counts including one count of organized fraud, 17 counts of communications fraud, one count of fraudulent use of personal information with more than $100,000 or 30 or more victims, 10 counts of fraudulent use of personal information, and one count of access to computer or electronic device without authority.

Source – Bitcoin News