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FATF: Regulation will ultimately increase trust in Blockchain Technology, Acknowledge challenges in Regulations

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credit: coinformania

 

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) believes that regulating cryptocurrency will ultimately increase trust in the blockchain technology. 

According to the money laundering watchdog, this will instill confidence in the technology “as the backbone behind a robust and viable means to transfer value”.

This was noted in the Financial Action Task Force Supervisors Forum to discuss how to regulate crypto assets and virtual assets service providers (VASP). 

The forum was held in France with 135 representatives from 50 delegations involved in crypto supervision in attendance. 

The forum aim was “to promote more effective supervision by national authorities”. It examined three areas in the meeting where they laid emphasis on advantage of cooperation internationally because crypto assets are borderless. 

Areas of Interest

One of the areas of interest focussed on during the forum was the lessons learned so far by countries who already have their regulatory framework for virtual assets and providers set up. 

The Supervisor forum also discussed issues encountered when coming up with virtual assets service provider laws and regulations.

Attendees poured their knowledge and approaches in developing AML regulations for VASPs in their various regions and how they were implementing the FATF recommendations. 

The third item of the discussion centered around the tools, skills, procedures and technology that are needed to effectively supervise VASPs. 

FATF’s focus on crypto assets seeks to prevent financial crimes as well terrorist financing. Crypto assets as global products poses unique features that can be utilized to finance crimes globally.

Therefore, adopting its rules will “ensure transparency of virtual asset transactions and keep funds with links to crime and terrorism out of the cryptosphere.”

It has identified several areas that require further actions and had scheduled by mid, 2020 for its next session where it will discuss further. 

Challenges to Implementation

According to the forum, there are challenges to the implementation of FATF by countries but the forum is beginning to develop a global knowledge base on what works in crypto assets supervision.

And it believes that “it will ultimately increase trust in blockchain technology as the backbone behind a robust and viable means to transfer value.” 

 

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Blockchain News

Africa Must Regulate Cryptocurrencies To Attract Foreign Investment

Did you know that two-thirds of the adults in Africa are unbanked? Are you aware that this accounts for the second highest proportion in the world? Find our more and How blockchain can help!

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It is not out of place to say that cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology can be the long-awaited savior of Africa’s economy and in turn- bring in Investments from all around the world. Blockchain has the powers to eliminate corruption, ensuring swift transactions and conducting free fare and credible elections. Still wondering how? Click to find out.

Quite frankly, the above-listed challenges facing the African economy are not the only peculiar cases that can be sought out by this brilliant invention. It is however still surprising how the regulatory bodies in the continent unanimously stand against this tested innovation.

While Most of these regulators might claim to be acting in the best interest of the members of her economy, others might even be of the opinion that this developing continent is not capable of handling new technology. But you will agree with me that technology has been received just well and it has never been the challenge- right from the times of mobile phones- recording over 77% increase in usage from the initial 3% in just over a decade. if you didn’t believe this first example, then allow me us the internet as another case where we as a continent handled innovation just fine- recording over 1000% rise in the same period of 10 years. the list is endless.

While government officials like Trump and the White house are scheduling meetings upon meetings with blockchain experts; while the Securities and Exchange Commission of advanced countries are paying close attention to integrating the technology using adequate regulatory policies, the ill-informed opinions of those in power in my dear black continent continue to flood the news in forms of sponsored posts directed particularly at destroying every possible glimpse of hope of a finding lasting solutions to the setbacks in this area of the world.

Let me shock you yet again with research by Ashlin Perumall (a senior associate at leading global law firm, Baker McKenzie’s Johannesburg office) published on the Daily Maverick. He found out that two-thirds of the adults in Africa are unbanked and this accounts for the second highest proportion in the world.

Africa

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Furthermore, he stressed on the fact that remittances- being one of the major sources of revenue in the predominantly trade and e-commerce continent, the use of Blockchain technology cannot be played down on.

In what sounded like a lamentation, Ashlin noted how sad it was to actually see that not one of these regulators have made a move in the direction of advocating that regulatory policies be set for the Industry.
Sadly, Zambia one of the few countries currently leading the fight against cryptocurrencies and any technology of the sought is not hopeful of having a rethink in the nearest future.

Noticeably, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and a few other countries have not only welcomed the technology but are creating a breeding ground for start-ups within the tech sectors of their economies.

Also particularly in Nigeria, SiBAN– a local Blockchain Association has been doing a lot of work at building a self-regulatory framework for the highly underrated industry.

Nigeria leads the West African region, with the country’s central bank working on a white paper that could form the blueprint for crypto regulations in Africa. In South Africa, the central bank is working closely with blockchain and fintech startups to figure out the best way forward.

In his final words, Ashlin remarks:

There are many opportunities around the use of blockchain and cryptocurrency in Africa. However, it is clear that there are also substantial challenges. Considering the speed at which this technology is being embraced on the continent, there is great potential for African countries to develop regulations governing fintech use, with the intention of incentivizing foreign direct investment.

Wondering how the Blockchain technology can contribute to the betterment of our society? This is the Nigeria Use case:

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Adoption News

EU Blockchain Group Launches With SWIFT- Onboards Ripple

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European

A number of reputable firms and organizations some of which are SWIFT, Ripple and IBM have joined forces with a new blockchain association to promote adoption of the technology across the EU.

The International Association of Trusted Blockchain Application (INATBA) is the new group and which is an initiative of the European Commission launched yesterday Wednesday 3 April 2019 in Brussels, Belgium.

INATBA will operate as a “global, multi-stakeholder forum” particularly tasked at bringing together both developers and users of blockchain technology to promote mainstream adoption across multiple sectors.

Among its goals are to set up a framework to encourage public and private sector collaborations, dialogue with regulators and policymakers and “Legal predictability” as well as ensure “integrity and transparency” in blockchain infrastructures. the group is also tasked with developing guidelines and specifications for blockchain and distributed ledger-based applications.

Members of the groups include banks such as Barclays and BBVA, consultancy firm Accenture and French beauty product giant L’Oreal. Some number of Blockchain startups such as Ethereum development studio ConsenSys AG, crypto mining firm Bitfury, Enterprise blockchain firm R3, cryptocurrency hardware wallet maker Ledger and cryptocurrency protocol developer IOTA.

EU Blockchain Group Launches With SWIFT- Onboards Ripple

According to Carlos Kuchkovsky, the formation of the group had been long overdue. He also added that the association could have an important role to play in terms of developing blockchain best practices and standards and also avoiding fragmentation on a European level.

The launch of INATBA saw several European commission officials speak- including the Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society- Mariya Gabriel who was the keynote speaker. Also, the occasion featured panel sessions with discussions of topics like; “Blockchain Potentials”. Among other great news reaching us is the joint declaration of support from members from different blockchains.

It is only laudable to note that the European Commission had launched several initiatives to promote the adoption of blockchain technology. Just recently, it had constituted the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP) with the support and backing of 22 other member countries to support the delivery of cross-border digital public services based around the Technology.

The Commission also set up the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum, with ConsenSys as its member, in February.

Image by: cryptodaily.co.uk

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FEATURED

SiBAN, Nigeria’s Blockchain Association, prepares to launch KYC/AML campaigns

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Following the resolution of the Caretaker Committee of Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SiBAN) at a recent meeting, the Vice Chairperson (Policy & Regulations) has released its subcommittee’s 3 Action Steps. The 3 Action Steps are as follows:

 

1. Introduction of SiBAN to Law Enforcement Agencies and Regulators:

Introduce SiBAN to law enforcement agencies such as EFCC and the Nigeria Police about the establishment and objectives of SiBAN towards forging a healthy and collaborative relationship with them, thus protecting our members against illegal arrests and victimization. SiBAN will also be formally introduced to regulators such as CBN, SEC, and NDIC;

 

2. Introduction of ‘Register Your Business’ Campaign:

A number of platforms in the Blockchain and cryptocurrency space in the country are either not registered at all or not registered in Nigeria. To boost credibility in the space and reduce the rate at which scammers are appearing and disappearing in the space, we will campaign that Nigerian business in the space must register their businesses and also publish their RC numbers or BN numbers on their websites and publications as the case may be. Foreign firms that operate in Nigeria will be encouraged to also register in Nigeria;

 

3. Introduction of KYC/AML Campaign:

Advocate, prepare, and propose policies for Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance for adoption by registered members of SiBAN who own or operate Blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses in Nigeria as minimum requirement towards improving consumer protection, boosting security, and supporting laws, public policies, and regulations. We will design a KYC/AML icon or emblem that platforms who adopt our KYC/AML policies or similar policies will have the right to place on their platforms.

 

In the words of Senator Ihenyen, the Vice Chairman (Policy & Regulations), “At policy and regulations level, we are very concerned about the need to boost the credibility of Blockchain and cryptocurrency platforms operating in the space. This will help improve consumer protection and investor confidence. As a body of stakeholders, our approach is a self-regulatory approach which we hope we help us sanize the space while also exploring collaborations with regulators. We believe that Blockchain and cryptocurrency present massive opportunity for economic growth. But we can’t make that happen if we fail to leverage on the technology at this nascent stage.”

 

The 3 Action Steps have been adopted by SiBAN and the Committee on Policy and Regulations are currently working on implementation.

 

Last month, SiBAN’s Committee on Projects had made an inquiry into the operations of two cryptocurrency platforms in the country and made interventions that raised hope that the Nigerian Blockchain and cryptocurrency space can be safer, better, and bigger.

 

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Exchange

How to Identify a Cryptocurrency Con Game

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How to Identify a Cryptocurrency Con Game

Cryptocurrency has taken the world by a storm revolutionising financial institutions and payment systems. However, Cryptocurrencies have also become the target of fraudulent characters who target crypto users. There are different ways these fraudsters dupe crypto users of their money. It is, however, imperative that you know what these scams are and protect yourself from them

Signs You are about to Fall for a Heist

There are telltale signs that you are about to be the victim of a crypto scam. You can identify these signs by looking out for the following;

  • Is the website secure? You have to ensure that any crypto website you log into particularly for payment has an address that starts with “https” instead of “HTTP”. If this is not the case then the website is not secure and any data you send to the website will be compromised. 
  • Sometimes, scammers duplicate a website or crypto product and you might be on a scam website. You have to ensure that the website’s URL is free from spelling and grammatical errors as this can be a sign that it is a scam.
  • What does the website say? Most often scam websites do not have an “About us” page and details about the people behind the company can be shady. For instance, when you check for the names of the company’s founder, you might not find him anywhere on the internet or find out he is associated with shady dealings. That is a sign that you shouldn’t invest in whatever the product is about. Legitimate cryptocurrency projects are usually transparent about their founders, investors and people involved in the project

Sometimes scammers take the time to ensure they cover their tracks properly. Times like these, you just have to trust your instincts and check out for any red flags.

Crypto Pitfalls to Avoid

Now that you know how to check for cryptocurrency scam alerts, you need to know the common crypto scams and how to avoid them.

Ponzi, pyramid and MLM Schemes

A Ponzi scheme promises investors huge returns. But the truth is that Ponzi schemes pay older investors from the investment of newer instors. It is a typical example of robbing Peter to pay Paul. So long as there are new investors a Ponzi scheme will pay its investors. Convinced that the scheme is legit, investors who have received their payouts will convince newel investors in. These investors will pump in their money into the scheme and sooner or later, the scheme collapses and the founder is nowhere to be found.  

On the other hand, multilevel marketing (MLM) schemes claim to sell a product but to earn from the scheme you have to bring in more people. You earn from your downlines. So you might end up advertising a product to your family and friends who might earn nothing from the so-called product.

To save yourself from falling into the hands of fraudsters, always ensure that you avoid schemes that promise outrageous returns. Also, be on the lookout for cryptocurrency projects that promise to give you profits for introducing new investors to enjoy bigger profits.

Fake Wallets and Exchanges

So many exchanges exists and a newbie in the cryptosphere can easily fall prey to fake exchanges and wallets. These exchanges bear all the markings of a real and legitimate exchange but they are out to cause harm to unsuspecting users. Most of these exchanges have even been found on Google play store making them look like legitimate apps.  A typical example is Poloniex which had duplicated apps hoping to swindle unsuspecting users. They almost succeeded as they had gotten 5,500 downloads before it was flagged down by Google.

Once you download these fake exchanges and wallets, they can steal important account details or restrain you from retrieving your money. To be on the safe side, read reviews about wallets and exchanges before downloading them. Also, do not download random crypto apps from Google Play. Ensure that the apps are well known, trusted and have real people behind them and not shady characters.

Phishing
A more familiar scam is Phishing.  Scammers send you unsolicited emails that look like they were sent from you bank and a click will take you to a site that once you input your account details they can log into your real account and cause devastating damages. To avoid phishing scams, you have to ensure to double check URLs before proceeding to click the link. Protect your private key and never disclose it not even to someone who claims to be from the exchange.

While this is not a full checklist of crypto-related scams they are very common. You have to ensure that you protect your self from falling a victim. A lot of persons have fallen prey to scam crypto projects. In April 2018, more than 300,000 investors lost a total of $660 million to an MLM scam called Pincoin and iFan ICOs. Equally, in January 2018 Bitconnectwas criticised for being a Ponzi scheme and promising investors 40% returns.

Do you know anyone who has fallen victim to a crypto scam? Have you noticed any suspicious crypto product? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.

Image credit: Pixabay

Disclaimer:
The Information provided on the website is designed to provide helpful information regarding cryptocurrency subjects. The content is not meant to be used, nor should it be used as a basis, foundational knowledge or prerequisite for decision making regards trading. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. We are not liable for any outcome based on any content found on the site.

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