Last year, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) placed Pakistan on its grey list and introduced a special 27-point action plan for Islamabad to be implemented by September 2019. Pakistan claimed it had been taking all the necessary actions prescribed by the watchdog and met all requirements. However, in February the FATF assessed its progress as limited and urged the country’s government to speed up its work, especially regarding the actions with timelines of May 2019.
“Given the limited progress on action plan items […] the FATF urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its action plan, particularly those with timelines of May 2019,” Reuters quoted a statement as saying.
It can be said that the latest move of Pakistan government can be considered as rational attempt aimed at pleasing the international watchdog (FATF).
Similarly, the country’s regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), “announced last week that it had initiated legal proceedings against nine companies involved in illegal operations with cryptocurrencies which were offering guaranteed returns on the form of Ponzi schemes.”
As reported by local media outlet, The Express Tribune, on April 1st, 2019, Pakistan government has introduced new digital currency regulations. Pertinently, the country implemented the rules as a part of the attempt to fight back against financial crimes subsequent to the recommendations made by The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international money-laundering watchdog. FATF as a global monitoring body had timelessly complained about cryptocurrencies’ role in terrorism financing and money laundering. It also stressed that Pakistani anti-money laundering (AML) laws were insufficient to combat such crimes. And because of this, Pakistan had to bring cryptocurrencies under certain regulatory procedures.
The local news outlet noted that “In order to introduce regulations, a ceremony will be held at the Islamabad office of the State Bank of Pakistan today which the Federal Minister for Finance Asad Umar will attend as the chief guest while SBP governor Tariq Bajwa, finance secretary Yonus Dhaga and other officials will also be present.”
“These regulations will help combating money laundering and terrorism financing while it will also help regulation of digital currency throughout the country,” said sources adding the FATF had warned of use of digital currency by terror organisations. The regulations have been prepared in light of the recommendations in FATF’s action plan.
It is expected that all EMIs will have to comply with a set of standard rules to obtain and maintain a license from the Pakistani government. Therefore, “companies will have to meet capital requirements, protect users’ funds, and store their personal data. The government will also have powers to suspend or cancel licenses in case of violations to these rules.”
Busted: Huge BTC confiscated by Irish Authorities From Notorious Drug Dealer
An alleged notorious drug dealer who uses Bitcoin to make his transaction has now seen his bitcoin worth €52 million seized by the authorities of the Irish government. A report which dominated news headlines on the 19th of Feb 2020, claimed that the cryptocurrency assets were seized by the Criminal Asset Bureau (CAB) after the case received a verdict from the high court which clearly stated that the assets were generated from his criminal activities.
The court accepted evidence from the prosecution team against the culprit, Clifton Collins, from Crumlin in Dublin’s south inner city proving that he was involved in the sale and distribution of drugs.
The judge who presided over the case, Mr Alex Owens, ruled that the Bitcoins should be forfeited under the proceeds of crime legislation
During and after the verdict, Collins age (49) did not contend with the application filed by CAB. The bureau’s initial investigation into his assets emanated from a garda investigation, which started in Feb. 2017 when Collins was stopped for random check while driving his 4×4 vehicle. During the search, a large quantity of cannabis was found in his vehicle which led to the need for further investigation that resulted in the discovery of a large number of suspected cannabis plants at the Famaught, Corr na Móna.
After the findings, Collins was then charged with a number of offences under the misuse of Drugs Act and duly arraigned before Bray District Court. He is believed to have heavily invested the proceeds from his drugs deals on Bitcoin at an early stage as a means to probably evade scrutiny from authorities while his cryptocurrency portfolio continues to rise over the years.
Following the seizure of Collins assets, there was a huge jump in the value of assets that has been confiscated by CAB in 2019 amounting to a whooping record of €62m. His case was among a series of applications brought by CAB before Justice Owens and it was unsurprising to see him fail to challenge the final verdict.
Binance Reduces Deposit fees for Nigerian users to 150 NGN from 1.4%
Leading cryptocurrency exchange and ecosystem giant Binance, has announced the reduction of deposit fees for Nigerians on its platform. The deposit fee was revisited by Binance and according to Binance, Nigerians can now deposit upto N18,000,000 at a flat fee of N150.
Prior this fee reduction, Binance users were charged 1.4% for deposits. This reduction thus allows Nigerian users on the exchange to deposit any sum upto 18,000,000 NGN at the cost of 150 NGN.
Recall that in the fourth quarter of 2019, Binance announced its partnership with Flutterwave, a global financial technology firm operating in Nigeria to allow users purchase cryptocurrencies on its platform using the Naira.
The partnership saw an integration which empowered Nigerians to purchase Bitcoin, Binance coin (BNB) and the stablecoin BUSD. At the time, the deposit fee was set as 1.4% with a daily cap per user of 430,000 NGN with minimum amount per transaction being 150 NGN.
CEO of Binance, CZ, was quoted saying at the time, “Africa has largeillustrated one of the demands and instrumental user of cases for cryptocurrency, notably for financial access, in the world’s second largest continent”.
According to Binance, the reduction in deposit fee will start as today, the 17th of February, 2020 and it is to show its greater commitment to ensuring the freedom of money is achieved.
The country Nigeria accommodates one of the largest growing cryptocurrency community in Africa and the world at large, with the growing interest in digital assets and how it relates to the needs of the populace, Nigeria has become one of the sort after places by crypto firms despite the regulatory uncertainty in the crypto business environment.
Poloniex Acquires TRON-based Decentralized Exchange TRXMarket
Poloniex in Press Release on the 27th of November, 2019 announced the acquisition of TRON-based Decentralized exchang TRXMarket, renames to Poloni DEX.
TRXMarket, the first TRON-based decentralized exchange executes all transactions via the TRX smart contracts that are stored safely and transparently on the blockchain.TRXMarket is also one of the 127 TRON Super Representatives, and has a huge transaction volume according to data from DApp Review.
According to the Press Release, “The excellent performance of the TRON public chain coupled with its considerable decentralized trading volume and rich experience in operations is exactly what Poloniex needed to expand its DeFi ecosystem.”
Speaking on why Poloniex decided to launch a decentralized exchange on the TRON Public blockchain instead of other popular chains, a spokesperson for Poloniex was quoted saying
“We recognize and value the rate TRON is expanding its ecosystem. Under the leadership of Justin Sun, founder of TRON, TRON’s ecosystem is growing at an exponential speed. After the official launch of TRON public chain in June 2018, within just a year, the total number of accounts on the chain of TRON has exceeded 4.1 million and the daily average number of transactions is over a million, securing a place among the top three public chains in the DAapp ecosystem. Additionally, TRON’s sidechain project, SUN Network, was successfully launched; the circulation of TRC20 protocol-based USDT exceeds 800 million; and, just one month ago, TRON adopted a new Staking mechanism and completed its MainNet upgrade.
It’s hard to imagine all these accomplishments TRON has made within just one year. On top of all that, TRON frees its users of transfer fees and transaction delays, which is DeFi-friendly. I think we have every reason to choose TRON as our underlying infrastructure over other public chains who are slow progressing and charge ridiculously high transfer fees. We need to be responsible for all our users.”
Founder of TRON, Justin Sun also commented on the acquisition “I’m very pleased to see that our strategic partner Poloniex successfully acquired TRXMarket, the top DEX in the community. This acquisition means a lot for the TRON ecosystem. It’s not only a move to expand the DeFi ecosystem, but also represents a starting point of TRON receiving recognition from world-leading exchanges. And TRC20-USDT also serves as a perfect solution for decentralized trading platforms to simplify the deposit and withdrawal process”
Founded in 2014, Poloniex is a world-leading digital asset trading platform registered in Seychelles. It is one of the world’s oldest digital asset trading platforms, offering fundamental services including digital asset margin trading, lending, and crypto-to-crypto exchange for the global blockchain ecosystem.
Poloniex which was founded in 2014 and registered in Seychelles is a leading cryptocurrency exchange offering crypto trading, lending, margin trading services to its users. It recently spin out from Circle which acquired it in February, 2018 to form a new compay called Polo Digital Assets Ltd.
The new firm according the PR issued will have the backing of a major investment group and it will enable it focus on the needs of global crypto traders with new features and continue beyond that with highly competitive pricing models for traders.
500 Nigerian Devs to be Taken into Ethereum’s Pilot Project
Following the announcement made by ConsenSys Founder Joe Lubin during the launching of Devcon 5, which is targeted towards increasing the Ethereum developer’s community to one million, Ethereum.network will be joining forces with Bloceducare a project launched to drive blockchain education, customer support as well as advisory services to leverage on the potential and population of developers in Nigeria to attract developers into the Ethereum community.
The project which has been slated for a period of 15 weeks and tagged “500-Nigeria devs for Ethereum” has been designed by Awosika Israel Ayodeji the Creative Director of Bloceducare and commenced on Monday 4th November 2019 and run till February 15th, 2020 with the aim of increasing the number of Ethereum Developers within Nigeria, to achieve this the team intends to add five hundred developers into the global pools of ethereum developers under the onemilliondevs project.
500 Nigeria Devs for Ethereum
The pilot project will aim at having developers building relatable and straightforward use cases that can be implemented within their immediate environment. With ethereum.network financing the project, at the end of the program, developers who emerge as the top three will be rewarded $1,000 each while five other developers will be awarded $300 each for a job well done.
Cryptographic Development Initiatives in Nigeria(CDIN), which is a non-profit professional organization, also plays a role in this development as it aligns with its mission to address the gaps in the learning and practice of cryptography in Nigeria. Crevatal will also be partnering with the project to ensure the success of the project.
The partnership with the CDIN is very strategic considering the perfect alignment of this project with the just-concluded “Campus Blockchain Development Project (CBDP)” with its pilot phase in the National Campus Blockchain Hackathon event chaired by the Director-General of NITDA and the launching of the Blockchain Industry Association of Nigeria.
CDIN happens to play critical roles in the Nigerian blockchain and digital assets ecosystem with its network of partners and stakeholders which have been driving awareness, education, policy advocacy, industry dialogue and collaboration among relevant stakeholders in order to collectively unlock hidden potentials, create job opportunities, open new business horizons and enable economic transformation while discouraging criminal activities in the Nigerian Blockchain/Cryptocurrency ecosystem.
According to the president of CDIN (Fadele Adeolu), the “500 Ethereum Developer’s initiative” by Bloceducare is highly commendable and will go a long way to complement similar efforts and programmes being undertaken by other stakeholders in the space and agencies of government like NITDA and the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy.
Finally, he calls on these strategic stakeholders, who have always been the secrets behind the development in the ecosystem to join forces with this project for the progress of the ecosystem and the nation at large.
The project is still open to sponsors in various categories such as media partners, branding, and developer participation.
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