Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, and Fintech News Headlines Update on May 15, 2021

Greenidge Generation Holdings said it will operate an entirely carbon-neutral Bitcoin mining operation at this facility, starting June 1.

Argo Blockchain and DMG Blockchain Solutions have announced their partnership with the Crypto Climate Accord that aims to deescalate the carbon footprint of the crypto industry.

DeFi hacks are significantly growing along with the space itself, according to the Cryptocurrency Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Report by CipherTrace. From January to the end of April 2021, major crypto thefts, hacks, and frauds totaled USD 432m, with DeFi-related incidents making up 60% of this number. This is up from only 25% in 2020; in 2019, DeFi Hacks were virtually non-existent, they added. At USD 156m, the amount netted from DeFi-related hacks in the first five months of 2021 already surpasses the USD 129m stolen in DeFi-related hacks throughout all of 2020, per the report.

German police arrested six people over a crypto scam worth more than USD 36m.

Colonial Pipeline paid 75 BTC (USD 3.8m) to hackers when they fell victim to a ransomware attack.

Point72 is looking into making a move into the crypto space.

Huobi Group said it launched a wholly-owned subsidiary called Huobi Ventures that aims to deploy USD 100m into blockchain and crypto-related projects in their infancy over the next three years.

DBS Private Bank has launched a trust solution for cryptoassets via its subsidiary DBS Trustee to allow its private banking clients to invest in cryptoassets.

Digivault said it is the first stand-alone custodian wallet provider to receive approval from the UK Financial Conduct Authority to register as a custodian wallet provider.

Andrew Bailey said the central bank will be launching their own digital currency in the following few years, adding that crypto popularity is a “warning sign” and that these assets have no intrinsic value.

Naver is set to launch central bank digital currency (CBDC) services for the digital won – even though the central Bank of Korea is still yet to confirm that it will actually issue a token.

More crypto has been seized from tax evaders in South Korea, as regional tax authorities from around the country continue to examine crypto exchange records in search of irregularities from the highest band of taxpayers.

South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission has conducted an audit of all South Korea’s major crypto exchanges – from the “big four” trading platforms to smaller and medium-sized exchanges.
HKMA Sets Out Next Steps for Implementing Open API Framework. Phase 3 and 4 API functions will be implemented progressively by 28 participating banks starting from December 2021, the HKMA says.

SWIFT, Accenture Explore Real-world Implications of CBDCs. SWIFT is planning trials in the coming months to explore how its platform could interact with CBDCs in cross-border payments.

CBIRC Offers New Model for Trust Firms to Dispose of Bad Assets. Trust companies can transfer bad assets to the balance sheet of China Trust Protection Fund, which was set up in 2014 to provide liquidity support to the trust sector through loans.

Taiwan FSC Fines Citibank, DBS for AML Violations. The regulator cited failures related to customer due diligence, review mechanisms, transaction monitoring, risk assessment, and investigations.

Korea to Establish a Third Corporate Restructuring Fund. The fund will be 45% funded by state-backed financial institutions, while the rest of the investment will come from the private sector.

CBIRC Green-lights BlackRock-CCB Wealth Management Venture. The wealth management JV is 50.1% owned by BlackRock, 40% by China Construction Bank’s wealth management subsidiary, and 9.9% owned by Temasek.

Korea: New Rules for Chinese Walls to Take Effect from 20 May. Financial investment businesses are required to establish internal control standards to prevent information sharing of material nonpublic information between units.

China: NAFMII Revises Rules for Credit Derivatives. The rules remove a restriction that prohibited CDS and CLN from being linked to instruments other than non-financial corporate debt.

Taiwan FSC to Launch Inspections at FIs to Assess Sales Practices. The FSC will conduct inspections at 10 banks, 6 credit unions, 6 insurers and 3 securities firms to check whether they have sold high-risk products to seniors.

SEC Thailand Issues Guidelines for Distressed Bond Funds. Only institutional and ultra-HNW investors will be allowed to invest in distressed bond funds, which will be non-redeemable but have a maturity date prescribed.

Binance is under investigation by the US Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service, Bloomberg reported, citing undisclosed people with knowledge of the matter, and noting that the federal agencies haven’t accused Binance of wrongdoing.

MicroStrategy said it has purchased an additional BTC 271 for USD 15m in cash at an average price of USD 55,387 per BTC.

Rick Rieder told CNBC that Bitcoin (BTC) is durable and “it will be part of the investment arena for years to come.” According to him, challenges that BTC faces “will be overcome over time.”

Animoca Brands said it raised USD 88.89m, valuing the company at USD 1bn.

Mogo Inc. said it intends to increase its ownership position in Coinsquare from 19.9% to approximately 37% in a USD 47m – USD 49m deal.

Cowen Digital Asset Investment Company said they have partnered in order to enable Cowen’s institutional clients to secure, access, and leverage cryptocurrencies and digital assets in their portfolios.

Grayscale Investments said it has publicly filed a Registration Statement on Form 10 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on behalf of Grayscale Digital Large Cap Fund.

Vietnam’s Sky Mavis has received USD 7.5m in funding from crypto man-of-the-moment Mark Cuban.

Argo Blockchain said it has completed the acquisition of the two data centers in Quebec, Canada.

Samsung Electronics said that blockchain users can now manage and trade virtual assets from third-party wallets on Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

Microsoft is shutting down its Azure Blockchain Service on September 10, 2021.

Governments should embrace digital currencies or risk private companies taking control of the money people use, Bloomberg reported, citing Jon Cunliffe, deputy governor of the UK central bank.

India’s central bank is informally urging lenders to cut ties with cryptocurrency exchanges and traders as the highly speculative market booms, despite a Supreme Court ruling that banks can work with the industry.

The central Bank of Korea has announced that it will step up its monitoring efforts for companies and individuals it suspects of secretly buying or holding crypto.

Alipay has launched a pilot digital yuan wallet, in a sign that the digital yuan may not have to take on existing payment solutions in a battle to the death after all. Per 18183.com and CLS, a test group of selected Alipay users can now activate a digital yuan wallet tab from their app interfaces, allowing them to send and receive the pilot token and link the wallet to their bank accounts.

Unstoppable Domains said that with the latest Brave browser update, Brave users on desktop and Android platforms have access to 30,000 decentralized websites and 700,000 blockchain domain names registered with Unstoppable Domains.

AppSwarm Corp. announced a global initiative to build a network of developers around DogeLabs’ blockchain research project, as they aim to build a sort of decentralized network of Dogecoin (DOGE) development teams across the globe.

tZERO said it has signed agreements with three platforms: OmniValley, Inc., Trellis Platform, Inc., and Wunderfund, Inc.

Chinese-speaking investors are attempting to sue an alleged New York-based crypto fraudster who ran a WeChat group claiming that members could expect to “earn USD 200,000 in one day” and see returns of over 330%. The mastermind, named Sun, was running what he called a multinational blockchain and crypto-themed investment group and teaches American stock trading courses online.

Resolution Authorities Should Have Operational Independence: BIS. The institutional location of the resolution function is commonly the central bank, prudential supervisor or deposit insurer. This decision often entails trade-offs.

Australia’s Financial Sector Welcomes 2021‑22 Budget Initiatives. The measures include an FMI reform package, relief for foreign financial service firms, changes to the superannuation system, and a new commencement date for the CCIV regime.

MAS Consults on Proposed AML Notices for Foreign Offices, FRCs. MAS seeks comment on four notices, which contain requirements on record-keeping, internal policies, and the provision of records to MAS upon request.

SEBI Enhances Sustainability Reporting Requirements for Listed Entities. The new Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reports will contain disclosures relating to ESG risks, sustainability performance, environmental metrics, and social factors.

Shanghai, Korea Agree to Establish ETF Cross-Listing Mechanism. Under an MoU, the SSE and KRX will work towards ETF cross-listings, joint development of indices, and stronger cooperation in the bond market.

Working Group Publishes Recommendations on EURIBOR Fallbacks. Although EURIBOR is not scheduled to be discontinued, the recommendations will provide legal certainty and help users comply with BMR fallback obligations.

DSB Launches Second Consultation on UPI Fee Model. The consultation covers UPI data access mechanisms, file download timing, user fees, a proposed contingency fund, cost allocation, invoicing, and capex amortisation.

ASX Finalises Enhancements to Client Money Framework. Subject to the regulatory clearance, the enhanced client money framework will come into effect on 2 August 2021, with a 12-month transition period.

Philippine SEC Rates Securities Sector as Medium Risk for Money Laundering. The SEC found that investment houses and underwriters presented ‘medium-high’ risk, compared to ‘medium’ risk for the securities sector overall.

China to Launch RBD Palm Olein Options, Open to Foreign Investors. The DCE is consulting on a new RBD Palm Olein options contract that will be open to foreign investors, as well as an adjustment to its iron ore futures contract.

US inflation is rising more than expected—in April alone, it grew by the most since 2009, amid rising concerns about the inflationary pressure. The consumer price index (CPI) rose to 4.2%, twice as much as the highest projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

Jack Mallers said that “the world’s first Bitcoin Car” will be racing at the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 30. “Future hall of fame auto racing driver Ed Carpenter of Ed Carpenter Racing has forfeited all sponsors this year and together we are breaking the traditional sponsorship model,” Mallers said.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is doing research on the technology that could be used to create a hypothetical digital currency through a joint project with MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative.

Solana Foundation said they have partnered with Hacken Foundation, Gate.io, Coin DCX, and BRZ to launch three strategic investment funds that will bring USD 60m of new capital to the Solana (SOL) ecosystem.

Bitwise Asset Management said it launched the Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (NYSE: BITQ).

Physical Bitcoin ETP listed on the Deutsche Börse’s Xetra platform.

Hashdex Gestora de Recursos Ltda have raised USD 26m in a funding round led by Softbank Group and Coinbase.

South Korea’s NongHyup (NH) Bank has followed suit with rival Woori Bank in placing caps on cash remittances as kimchi premium-related BTC trading continues amid government pressure on banks to intervene.

The Texas House of Representatives passed a bill that would recognize cryptocurrencies under commercial law, and it has now moved to the Texas Senate for amendments and a potential final vote.

The Argentinian tax body has demanded that crypto exchanges in the country submit trading data to tax officials – as the nation shapes up to become the latest to start hunting down tax evaders who trade crypto.

Meanwhile, Hungary plans to slash the tax on cryptocurrency earnings by 50% from next year in an effort to encourage investors to declare income from crypto trading.

TaoTao and BITpoint have won official recognition as government-recognized “first-class” financial services providers.

Crypto.com has become the first such service to receive the Class 3 Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) License from the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA).

Bitrue said it established a new investment fund worth USD 50m.

Former executives of crypto exchange BitMEX will face trial on March 28th, 2022 on charges of money laundering and violating the Bank Secrecy Act, Law360 reported.

Bitcoin is a speculative and volatile store of value, Gary Gensler, Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), told CNBC, adding that “a lot of crypto tokens — I won’t call them cryptocurrencies for this moment — are indeed securities.”

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has refused to block cryptoasset trades in general, instead leaving the ultimate decision to the banks themselves, according to a report by the Economic Times.

The US Department of the Treasury announced that Michael J. Hsu will become Acting Comptroller of the Currency on May 10.

Nuvei announced that they are set to acquire fintech startup Simplex, which provides a fiat infrastructure to the crypto industry, for around USD 250m.

A survey by the US Federal Reserve found that one fifth of the respondents consider cryptocurrency a threat to financial stability.

Square saw their quarterly revenue more than tripling, in no small part due to Bitcoin’s booming popularity.

Boerse Stuttgart has listed Cardano (ADA) and Stellar (XLM) exchange-traded notes (ETNs) with their price tracked in relation to the euro.

Bitpay has added the Dai (DAI) stablecoin and Wrapped BTC (WBTC) as a payment option for merchants.

Bitfarms said that its application to list its common stock on the Nasdaq Global Market was approved by Nasdaq under the symbol “BITF.”

NYDIG said that John Dalby has joined their team in the same position.

Bitpanda said it raised further a EUR 10m (USD 12m) as an extension of its Series B round.

New York Attorney General Letitia James has taken legal action to immediately halt “the continued illegal and fraudulent operations” of the cryptocurrency trading platform Coinseed.

APRA to Adopt Standard Quarterly Reporting Due Dates for ADIs. APRA will implement the due date of 35 calendar days after the reporting period for all quarterly reporting forms, except for the modernised EFS reporting forms.

EBA Consults on Proposals for Central AML/CFT Database. The central database will serve as an early warning tool to enable competent authorities to act before ML/TF risks crystalise and faciltiate inspections and monitoring.

CSRC Adds Environment & Social Responsibility to Disclosure Rules. A new chapter on environmental and social responsibility has been added to the disclosure rules for publicly listed companies. The consultation is open until 7 June.

Shenzhen Launches Pilot Scheme for Cross-border Investment. The pilot scheme can be used by qualified domestic investors to invest overseas in unlisted companies and private equity funds.

CBIRC to Implement New Licensing Rules for FIs From 1 July. Under the new rules, CBIRC supervised institutions will be classified into three categories – financial, insurance and insurance intermediary.

Philippine SEC Joins ASEAN Framework for Cross-border Funds. Regulators from Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand – already part of the initiative – have signed a supplemental MoU admitting the Philippine SEC into the CIS framework.

Korean Lawmakers Push for Tougher Crypto Legislation. Lawmakers are pushing for tougher crypto legislation to protect crypto investors against unfair practices and price manipulation.

RBI to Review Supervisory Process for Banks, UCB, NBFCs. Firms are invited to help the RBI review its supervisory processes for the banking sector and the supervisory ratings models used for UCBs and NBFCs.

CFA Institute Launches Working Group to Examine SPACs. The working group will publish a report in early 2022 and present its findings and policy recommendations, to US and global regulators.

FSC Taiwan to Order LINE Bank to Improve Operations. The FSC says LINE Bank’s report explaining its launch day system failure was not satisfactory. The regulator will ask the bank improves its operations.

Malaysia Files 22 Civil Suits to Recover 1MDB Losses. Among those named in the lawsuits are Deutsche Bank, Coutts, JPMorgan, former prime minister Najib Razak, and Malaysian financier Jho Low.

APRA Consults on Additional Revisions to Capital Rules. In an October 2019 consultation, APRA proposed that banks would have to hold more capital against equity investments in large subsidiaries.

How Derivatives Exchanges Can Promote Sustainable Development. A new report from the WFE and the UN’s SSE Initiative offers guidance on how derivatives exchanges can facilitate the sustainability transition.

WEF Publishes Report Outlining Capital Market Use Cases of DLT. The report calls for a balance between innovation and market safeguards through standardisation, the breaking down of silos and regulatory engagement.

Hong Kong Launches Grant Scheme to Lure OFCs, REITs. OFCs and REITs that set up in Hong Kong can secure funding to cover 70% of eligible expenses paid to Hong Kong-based service providers.

Korea Offers Additional Support to SMEs, Low-Rated Corporates. The FSC has announced additional support for SMEs, low-rated companies, and corporate bond and CP issuers.

Malaysia to Allow Circuit Breaker to Revert to Original Parameters. The decision reflects the improving economic outlook, the roll-out of the vaccination programme, and the normalisation of global market conditions.

OTC Clear Launches Clearing for SOFR-HONIA Cross-currency Swaps. The SFC has approved the launch of clearing services for cross-currency interest rates swaps and basis swaps referencing HONIA and SOFR.

S. Korea to Curb Household Debt Through DSR Rule Changes. Regulators will apply the debt service ratio at the individual borrower level rather than at the financial institution level.

US Court Lifts Investment Ban Against Luokung Technology Corp. Separately, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom have lost their appeals of a NYSE decision to delist their shares.

UBS Group AG is in the early stages of planning to offer wealthy customers digital currency investments and is exploring several alternatives.

VanEck Associates aims to launch the first US exchange-traded fund (ETF) tracking Ethereum (ETH).

Babel Finance said it completed its strategic Series A fundraising of USD 40m.

DappRadar said it has raised USD 5m in a Series A funding event led by investors such as Prosus Ventures, Blockchain.com Ventures, and NordicNinja VC.

Xcad Network has raised USD 3.9m in a private funding round, led by Zilliqa.

Covalent has sold USD 10m worth of its native coin CQT in a CoinList token sale.

HIVE Blockchain Technologies Ltd. said it has sold Kolos Norway AS to the local municipality Narvik.

Crypto.com announced that the Ethereum Virtual Machine support on their Crypto.com Chain will launch on July 14th.

MAS Issues Revised Corporate Governance Guidelines for FIs. The guidelines provide good practices that financial institutions should observe in relation to their corporate governance and remuneration frameworks.

Chinese Regulators Issues Draft Rules for Wealth Connect Scheme. A 150bn yuan ceiling is proposed as the trading quota for the new scheme, with a 1mn yuan individual limit. A launch date has not yet been set.

IOSCO Finds Gaps in BCP Rules for Trading Venues, Intermediaries. Some jurisdictions have regulatory requirements for critical systems of trading venues that do not extend to outsourced functions.

China’s Long March to Net Zero: ESG Investor. Corporates are a few steps behind on ESG disclosures, but momentum is building under pressure from regulators and investors.

ARRC Identifies Indicators for Recommending SOFR-based Term Rate. The ARRC has published guidance on the indicators it will use to measure the progress needed to recommend a SOFR-based term rate.

China to Launch Crude Oil Options, Open to Foreign Investors. Shanghai INE is seeking feedback on a new crude oil options contract that will be open to foreign investors. Trading simulations will run for two weeks.

FMSB Publishes Final Standard on Execution of Large Trades. The Standard establishes principles for how dealers should behave when executing large trades to mitigate market impacts, conduct risks and conflicts of interest.

Australia Set to Announce A$1.2bn Digital Economy Strategy. The full strategy will be released on 11 May, and include investments in artificial intelligence, cyber security, the CDR rollout, and Australia’s digital identity system.

BIS Innovation Hub, Bank of Italy Launch G20 TechSprint Initiative. Private firms are invited to develop technological solutions to address operational problems in green and sustainable finance.

Australia to Require Debt Management Firms to Be Licensed. Firms providing debt management services need to apply to ASIC for a credit licence and become a member of AFCA by 30 June 2021.

Western Union said it has teamed up with Google to provide users in the US with access to Western Union’s “digital money movement experience” via the Google Pay app.

David Glazer said that not only has this American software company been considering adding bitcoin (BTC) to its balance sheet, it also accepts the cryptocurrency as a form of payment from customers.

Revolut is partnering with Elliptic to broaden its cryptocurrency offering.

Stanley Druckenmiller claims that US Federal Reserve policies aimed at keeping markets and the economy afloat during the pandemic could end up threatening the long-term health of the US dollar.

eBay on Tuesday allowed the sale of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for digital collectibles like trading cards, images or video clips on its platform.

Cboe Global Markets has filed for a Fidelity Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the US.

Wilder World has raised USD 3m that will be used to create an art NFT metaverse.

Digital assets investment products saw inflows totaling USD 373m last week, “highlighting a resurgence in demand,” CoinShares, said, adding that some providers continue to see outflows “in what we believe is continued profit-taking behavior.”

Panda Stealer is prowling through phishing emails and Discord links, cybersecurity company Trend Micro said. Once it is downloaded, it starts looking for keys and addresses associated with crypto wallets, but also the login data for NordVPN, Telegram, Discord, and Steam accounts.

Ubisoft has added a new set of eleven startups to its Entrepreneurs Lab accelerator program, five of which are blockchain-based, the company revealed in a blog post.

Indonesia is looking into ways to tax crypto trading. A spokesman added that “It is important to know that […] if there is a profit or capital gain generated from a transaction, the profit is an object of income tax.”

Bosnia and Herzegovina is readying a draft bill that would for the first time try to regulate cryptoassets in this country in south-eastern Europe.

Balancer Labs (BAL) has launched Balancer V2, a new generalized protocol for automated market makers (AMMs) that aims to improve the existing features of the tool.

Israel’s central bank is considering issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Metromile said it will soon allow policyholders the option to pay for insurance and receive payment for eligible and approved insured claims in bitcoin (BTC) or dollars.

Bakkt Holdings announced a strategic partnership with Cantaloupe to bring a new, cashless experience for consumers to spend digital assets at unattended retail devices.

Crypto.com said it is now the official crypto partner of the Italian football league Lega Serie A, and the partnership will result in a special NFT collection commemorating the league final match between Atalanta and Juventus on May 19th.

Dunamu said that it will spend KRW 10bn (USD 8.9m) to set up a unit to protect crypto investors.

Coinbase said that the company is moving to a completely remote workspace and disbanding their headquarters.

Resorts World Las Vegas and Gemini announced a partnership to explore future opportunities which would allow patrons to use their Gemini crypto wallet to enhance the integrated resort experience.

Criptan has made a raft of new executive appointments as it targets growth in the Latin America region, beginning in Mexico.

An earnings report by Mercado Libre shows that the company has purchased USD 7.8m worth of bitcoin (BTC).

State Street Corporation has launched a Bitcoin Thematic Indicator series that quantifies media coverage of the asset to gauge the market sentiment.

Bitso has become a unicorn as its valuation reached USD 2.2bn, following a Series C round of funding that injected them with a total of USD 250m.

Safello’s initial public offering (IPO) was oversubscribed by 1,240%—with a total of SEK 40.5m (USD 4.8m) available.

Streami Inc. has announced that they’ve received a strategic investment from Digital Currency Group (DCG).

Bitski has raised USD 19m in a Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz.

Upshot said it has raised USD 7.5m in Series A funding co-led by Framework Ventures, CoinFund, Blockchain Capital, and other investors.

VanEck has launched a new thematic equity exchange-traded fund (ETF) in Europe providing exposure to companies deriving significant revenue from the digital assets ecosystem.

CoolBitX announced their partnership with global data & technology company ComplyAdvantage.

Nokia has launched a blockchain-powered Data Marketplace that will facilitate the sharing of both data and AI models.

Kazakhstan’s central bank has announced that it is preparing to launch a pilot for its central bank digital currency (CBDC) project.

Crypto miners will also have to pay tax from next year in South Korea – in addition to crypto traders, who will also face a flat-rate 20% tax bill on their profits.

Mitigating FX Settlement Risk in Japan’s Pensions Industry. Margaret Law and Makoto Miyazaki discuss the need for Japanese pension funds to adopt PvP settlement to mitigate FX settlement risk.

SGX RegCo Deploys AI & Machine Learning to Detect Risk. SGX RegCo is adapting information from companies’ disclosures into structured data that can be more quickly analysed.

Japan to Incorporate Human Rights in Governance Code – Report. Authorities will be pushing companies to root out potential forced labour and human trafficking abuses in their supply chains.

SFC May Have Doubts About Allowing SPAC Listings – Report. HKEX is preparing to consult the market by end-June at the earliest. However, market participants believe the odds are low that SPACs will be allowed in Hong Kong.

CBIRC Optimises Supervision of Foreign Banks in China. The move is expected to allow foreign banks to play a role in facilitating China’s financial market opening-up and channelling funds into the economy.

New Zealand Passes Financial Market Infrastructures Bill. The Bill provides the RBNZ and FMA with comprehensive regulatory, supervisory, enforcement, and crisis management powers in respect of important FMIs.

MAS Launches FinTech Hackcelerator Focused on Green Finance. Fintech firms and solution providers are invited to submit innovative solutions to address any of 52 problem statements related to green finance.

Australian Banks Face Backlash for Refusal to Finance Coal, Mining. Small business ombudsman Bruce Billson is seeking powers to compel banks to “show cause” for decisions to refuse services to companies.

China SOEs Directed to Rein In Unauthorised Derivatives Trading. SOEs are directed to ensure their subsidiaries are qualified and properly approved to trade financial derivatives, and able to manage the associated risk.

HKEX Proceeds to Delist Shares of Convoy Global Holdings. HKEX says its Listing Review Committee has upheld the May 2020 decision to cancel the listing of Convoy Global Holdings.

HKEX to Lessen Profit Requirement Hike for Main Board IPOs. The three-year profit requirement will be raised from HK$50mn to HK$80mn, compared to the HK$125mn or HK$150mn options proposed in November.

US Lawmakers Call for ‘War-like Footing’ Against Corruption. In a letter to Janet Yellen, two lawmakers have called for AML obligations to be expanded to hedge funds, private equity, and other professional enablers.

RBI Announces Support Measures for Second Covid Wave. The measures include liquidity for bank lending to businesses, continued regulatory exemptions, and an additional round of restructuring and moratoria flexibility.

RBNZ to Consider Further Calibration of LVR Restrictions. The RBNZ may further tighten mortgage lending to guard against financial stability risks through adjustments to LVR restrictions.

KRX Mulls Additional Measures to Attract Unicorn Listings. Ahead of the introduction of dual-class shares, KRX will provide guidelines to help founders secure management rights jointly with other large shareholders.

Australia Considers Making CDR Data More Portable. Under draft rules, accredited businesses would be able to share CDR data with their agents, or sponsor other parties to become accredited.

BSP Extends Regulatory Relief for Banks Pending ‘FIST’ Rescue. The BSP has extended the higher single borrower limit and relief on loan classification, pending full operationalisation of the FIST Act.

AUSTRAC Orders Mutual Bank to Uplift AML Compliance. Australian Military Bank is required to conduct a risk assessment, and then work to improve its KYC, transaction monitoring, EDD, and reporting systems.

ASIC Files Suit Against Westpac for Alleged Insider Trading. ASIC says Westpac traded interest rate derivatives to pre-position itself while knowing it would be selected to execute a A$12bn interest rate swap hours later.

Singapore Court Jails Former CFO for Loan Fraud. The former CFO of Coastal Oil Singapore conspired with three colleagues to deceive 8 banks into disbursing over $300mn in loans.

Balancer and Gnosis team up for Uniswap v3 rival Cowswap.

Inverse Finance acquires Tonic in a possible first-ever protocol merger.

Lido looks to go cross-chain.

Federal Reserve says DeFi may lead to “Paradigm Shift”.

NYDIG has partnered with Fidelity National Information Services to enable US banks to offer bitcoin (BTC) to their customer in coming months.

Grayscale Investments and the New York Giants today announced their partnership making Grayscale the Official Digital Currency Asset Management Partner of the New York Giants.

Blockchain.com has announced the acquisition of AiX Assets.

WallStreetBets said they will create a blockchain application to decentralize indices in order to prevent market manipulation.

Bit Digital has joined Foundry Digital’s mining pool.

EQUOS has revealed that their trading volume has gone up by 300% over the last 30 days.

The National Bank of Georgia (NBG) said it is considering launching a publicly available central bank digital currency (CBDC) to leverage new technologies to enhance efficiencies of the domestic payment system and financial inclusion.

The Crypto Giving Pledge has unveiled the four members of their Founders Circle: Ryan Selkis, CEO of Messari, Dan Matuszewski, founder of CMS Holdings, Qiao Wang, partner at DeFi Alliance, and Haseeb Qureshi, managing partner at Dragonfly Capital.

Compute North has onboarded Nelu Mihai as their new Chief Technology Officer, the company announced in an email.

Regulatory Reporting Lessons from Singapore and Australia. MAS and APRA are among the regulators that have wholeheartedly endorsed the use of technology to improve the quality, accuracy and speed of reporting.

Multicoin Capital said it has raised a new USD 100m venture fund to back entrepreneurs building companies (equity), and protocols (tokens) in and around the crypto space. “We have been investing out of this vehicle for several months already,” they added.

HKMA Adjusts Scope of Mandatory Reference Checking Regime. The HKMA has adjusted the scope of the regime, shortened the record retention requirement, and lengthened the time allowed to respond to an MRC request.

Standard and Poor’s has launched three indices for crypto markets in a sign of growing mainstream adoption.

New Zealand Launches First Carbon Efficient Indices. All S&P/NZX 50 companies are covered in the new indices. Constituent weights will be adjusted based on carbon intensity and emissions performance.

A group of investors made up of Arrington XRP Capital, Blocktower Capital, Spartan Group, and Skynet Trading have invested a total of USD 11.5m in SCRT, the native token of the Secret Network blockchain.

HKMA Issues Guideline on Green & Sustainable Finance Grant Scheme. The grant amount for each bond issue will be half of the eligible expenses, capped at HK$2.5mn for rated bonds and HK$1.25mn for unrated bonds.

Iris Energy Pty is considering going public.

China: Policy Banks Pilot Direct Bidding Mechanism for Bond Issuance. The pilot could mark a significant revamp in how bond issuance is carried out in China, and is seen as another step by the government to attract foreign capital.

Swiss bank SEBA said it is expanding their DeFi offering with three new cryptoassets: synthetix (SNX), uniswap (UNI), and yearn finance (YFI), now bring the number of cryptoassets offered by the bank to a total of nine.

IMF Offers Guidance to Central Banks on Fintech, Cybersecurity. The surge of technological innovation and related cybersecurity issues strengthen the need for enhanced risk management at central banks, the IMF says.

Sotheby’s said it partnered with Coinbase and will accept BTC and ETH as a payment for a physical artwork for the first time.

Digital Dollar Project Prepares to Launch CBDC Pilot Tests. The DPP will launch five pilot programs over the next 12 months to measure the value of and inform the future design of a US CBDC.

Newer Argentinian crypto buyers tend to buy BTC or fiat USD-pegged stablecoins, according to local experts.

Australia Enhances Super Fund Performance Test in Draft Bill. Industry bodies broadly support the inclusion of administrative fees in the performance test, though an extra one million super accounts could fail the test as a result.

Bitstamp has announced they’re expanding in the US market. They intend to expand their institutional custody options and add a regulated derivatives offering in a team effort with traditional financial companies like Nasdaq and Silvergate.

OFAC Penalises MoneyGram & SAP for Sanctions Violations. In both cases, OFAC cited voluntary self-disclosures, the non-egregiousness of the violations, and remedial action as the reasons for the penalty amounts.

After delays, Coinbase has finally listed the ERC-20 iteration of tether (USDT). The coin will be available in all Coinbase-supported areas except New York State. It is also supported on Coinbase Pro.

BaFin Orders Deutsche Bank to Further Enhance AML Controls. Deutsche Bank is asked to further bolster safeguards against financial crime, including in its correspondent banking relationships and transaction monitoring.

Bybit is launching its own cloud mining service in May.

Getting Your Hands Dirty with IBOR Transition. Specialists from Bloomberg, Standard Chartered Bank, ING Bank and Clifford Chance discuss IBOR transition challenges and how to address them.

Ripple said that Rosa “Rosie” Gumataotao Rios, 43rd Treasurer of the United States, joined the Ripple Board of Directors while Kristina Campbell, former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of PayNearMe, became their new CFO.

China Consults on Expanded Scope of Futures Law. The revised draft expands the scope of the law to also cover “other derivatives”, while also raising penalties for violations.

The Maker Foundation returned MKR 84,000 from the Development Fund to MakerDAO in a step further towards their own obsolescence, as part of their gradual decentralization effort.

FCA Proposes Rule Changes to Encourage SPAC Listings. The FCA proposes to exempt SPACs that identify an acquisition target from being suspended, if they have certain investor protections in place.

The team that burned and tokenized an original Banksy piece, said it has raised USD 3m to launch Burnt Finance, a decentralized auction protocol built on Solana (SOL) to enable “fast and seamless auctions.”

BNM Finalises ‘Climate Change and Principle-based Taxonomy’. The document introduces a progressive system of transition categories to acknowledge concrete efforts and commitments by businesses to adopt sustainable practices.

The Australian Securities Exchange is reviewing a number of applications for a cryptocurrency-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) that could be launched as soon as this year.

China Consults on Revisions to Data Privacy, Data Security Laws. The latest revisions will impose stricter requirements on internet platforms and restrict Chinese firms from handing data to foreign agencies.

Digital Currency Group (DCG) said it has authorized the purchase by DCG of up to a total of USD 750m worth of shares of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.

Canada Establishes Regulatory Regime for Financial Benchmarks. Once the regime is implemented, CDOR will become a designated benchmark with Refinitiv Benchmarks Services formally designated as its administrator.

INX Ltd said on Monday it expects to have raised USD 125m in a security token and equity offering.

FSC Warns Against Illegal Moves as Korea Resumes Short-Selling. Korean regulators have been working to enhance protection measures for retail investors ahead of the partial resumption of short-selling on Monday.

Andreessen Horowitz is looking to raise a fund of as much as USD 1bn to invest in cryptocurrencies and crypto startups.

APRA Chair Outlines Work to Address Key Risks to Financial Sector. APRA is piloting a risk culture survey, independent cyber security reviews, and a new data collection exercise on technology and cyber risks.

The Digital Dollar Project (DDP) said it will launch at least five pilot programs over the next 12 months.

RBNZ Calls on Banks to Avoid De-risking Pacific Island Nations. The RBNZ and RBA are working with Pacific Island nations to develop a regional KYC facility, to support businesses in meeting their compliance obligations.

Spartan Protocol was exploited to result in more than USD 30m loss on May 1.

SG Police Lays 23 Forgery Charges Against Hin Leong Founder. Lim Oon Kuin now faces a total of 25 charges – 14 counts of abetment of forgery for the purpose of cheating, and 11 counts of abetment of forgery simpliciter.

Thailand is the latest country to attempt to stamp out anonymity in crypto transactions – and will seek to force new crypto exchange customers to come to offices in person to verify their identity before they can open accounts on trading platforms.

It the end of March, the Vietnamese Ministry of Finance has formed a research team to look into cryptocurrencies.

Ethereum (ETH) wallet and Web 3.0 browser MetaMask warned its users that a new type of phishing bot has become active.

The government of Turkey has told crypto exchanges that they must abide by the same kind of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing protocols as the conventional financial sector.

A private member’s bill that proposes “institutionalizing” cryptoassets “such as bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum” in South Korea is set to be brought forward by a ruling party MP.

Ethereum-based Umbrella Network said it is now launching on Binance Smart Chain.

Spain’s University of Zaragoza has launched what it labeled a “pioneering study into the use of bitcoin in the payments field.

Data Analytics for AML Becoming Embedded at Singapore FIs: MAS. The increased use of data analytics and digital processes has led to increased AML/CFT effectiveness, according to Assistant Managing Director Ms Loo Siew Yee.

China Regulators Order Tech Firms to Rectify Regulatory Violations. Thirteen tech firms including Tencent, ByteDance and Baidu’s fintech arm are directed to correct regulatory violations in their financial services businesses.

AUSTRAC Issues Guidance on Filing More Effective SMRs. The new resources include a reference guide and checklist, and feature guidance on how to write succinct, accurate and clear grounds for suspicion.

Australia Seeks Partners to Help Develop Carbon Exchange. Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator is seeking a partner or partners to facilitate the emergence of an exchange-traded market for carbon offset units.

IFRS Foundation Consults on Revisions to Constitution. The proposed amendments expand the Foundation’s objectives and set out the structure and function of the new International Sustainability Standards Board.

Cboe to Launch New European Venue for Equity Derivatives. Clients will benefit from having more choice, and lower friction pricing models will promote greater liquidity, says Morgan Stanley’s David Russell.

MAS Launches RegTech Grant Scheme, Enhances DAG Scheme. The grant scheme is available to Singapore-based FIs to help them enhance processes and capabilities in their risk management and compliance functions.

Treasury Announces New Chair, Deputy Chair for ASIC. The Treasury also said will introduce legislation by mid-year to establish the FRAA, a new body to oversee the performance of ASIC and APRA.

APRA Issues Draft Prudential Practice Guide on Remuneration. The guidance will assist entities in complying with APRA’s new standard on remuneration, which is expected to be finalised later this year.

Savings Banks Introduce Open Banking Services: FSC Korea. Open banking is now being provided by all types of deposit-taking institutions in Korea. Credit card companies will start from end-May.

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has sold its 1.4% stake in Coinbase. The exchange has denied the allegations that its executives sold large amounts of their stock holdings following the company’s listing.

CME Micro Bitcoin (BTC) futures trading will begin at the start of the Globex session on Sunday.

Revolut UK customers using their Revolut Metal premium account will be allowed to withdraw bitcoin to another BTC wallet outside the Revolut ecosystem.

MicroStrategy has announced financial results for Q1 2021. CEO Michael Saylor said that the company had one of its strongest operational quarters in their software business in years.

Fidelity Investments announced Sherlock.

Hotbit said it “suffered a serious cyber attack starting around 08:00 PM UTC, April 29, 2021.

A Turkish court jailed pending trial six suspects late on Thursday as part of a probe into Thodex.

Coinbase said it is acquiring skew.

Dispersion Holdings made its debut on London’s Aquis Stock Exchange Growth Market (AQSE).

Inverse Finance’s governance has approved a proposal to acquire Tonic Finance in a USD 1.6m deal.

Automated market makers (AMMs) have catalyzed the explosion of DeFi over the past year, but they are burdened with problems, wrote Haseeb Qureshi.

Daniyar Akmatov said that a rise crypto mining is “one of the reasons” for an energy shortfall that has been exacerbated by low levels of investment in the sector.

The first purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) has been made on a Sberbank-operated blockchain platform.

Jason Somensatto is the new acting director of LabCFTC, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) financial technology research division.

Published by Lisa Turnbull

, always been a Windows lover since her childhood days. I have always been enthusiastic about emerging technologies, especially Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Science and Machine Learning. I am working as a freelancer on numerous technical projects.