The Financial Services Authority of Malta (MFSA) officially approved the first 14 crypto assets agents. All of the agents sought for a license before, according to an official statement that reached our alt coin news today.
According to the statement, the approval was granted five months after the Virtual Financial Act came into force in Malta. The VFA act is now in force, adopted by the Maltese government, since 2018. The Times of Malta writes that more than 250 applications were filed. Most of the applications came from auditors, lawyers, and accounts. However, most of them failed to pass the assessment.
28 passed the assessment stage but only 14 got their approval with minor issues that need fixing. The watchdog says that its representatives will help the applicants under the new VFA.
According to the MFSA, the agents have to evaluate the business plans of their customers. They should also ensure they are ready before submitting the application to the MFSA. The agents also have to check whether the applications are in compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering guidelines.
The regulator believes that this decision is an ‘’important milestone in the MFSA effort at becoming a regulator of excellence.’’ Many officials also believe that this will promote the integrity of the market. The expected result is for the interest in crypto to rise.
However, the banks in Malta are still being extremely cautious. Many of them are not willing to open bank accounts to crypto companies. The legal companies of the island confirm that banks continually decline the applications. Financial companies also state that banks refuse to open accounts for crypto companies. The bank claim that opening an account for a crypto business is beyond their ‘’risk appetite.’’
Silvio Schembri, the secretary for Financial Services says that banks are waiting for approval by the Financial Services Authority of Malta. He stated that the banks will eventually join in but only after getting approval by the MFSA.
Maltese officials aim to create the best ‘’blockchain island’’ after many blockchain businesses moved there. The crypto jurisdiction seems to be well for companies especially since companies like Binance and OKEx have their offices on the island.
German Regulator Ordered KaratGold Coin Creator To Stop Operations
“We are completely transparent, we have nothing to hide, if there are unanswered questions, we will clarify them, of course, we fully cooperate with the relevant authorities and are very anxious to clear up any misunderstandings as fast as possible interested.’’The FSCA explained that Karatbar International solicited multiple South African investors via WhatsApp to purchase unspecified investments without holding the authority to operate in the country and the warnings from South Africa and Germany came later after it was reported that the Florida Office of Financial Regulation stated that Karatbars is not licensed as a bank.
IRS Investigators Are Looking Into Bitcoin ATMs And Kiosks
“We’re looking at those, and the ones that may or may not be connected to bank accounts [...] In other words, if you can walk in, put cash in and get bitcoin out, obviously we’re interested potentially in the person using the kiosk and what the source of the funds is, but also in the operators of the kiosks," the IRS investigators noted.Data from Coin ATM Radar in the latest crypto news shows that there are 4,129 Bitcoin ATMs and tellers in the United States reserved for letting users buy and/or sell cryptocurrencies in exchange for fees. Bloomberg claims that there is one such machine in every major city within the US. As a leader of the IRS investigators, Fort explained that such services are required in order to conform with the Know Your Customer rules and regulations:
“They’re required to abide by the same know-your-customer, anti-money laundering regulations, and we believe some have varying levels of adherence to those regulations.”As we reported a month ago, the Bitcoin ATM company Bitstop installed one of the machines at the Miami International Airport, suggesting that Bitcoin is useful for moving money when traveling.In the other Bitcoin news, we can see that the tax status remains murky for this sector. Fort explained that crypto taxation issues are an emerging threat. He added that the space has an inherent lack of transparency and visibility, increasing the potential for non-compliance. Still, the head of the IRS investigators unit noted that no cases have been filed so far, stating “We haven’t had any public cases filed, but we do have open cases in inventory.”ATMs and kiosks aside, we can see that Bitcoin is taking a beating again. The cryptocurrency went below the $8,600 price target just as the market lost another couple of billion this Saturday.
FinCEN Director: Anti-Money Laundering Laws To Be Enforced In Crypto
“It [travel rule] applies to CVCs [convertible virtual currencies] and we expect that you will comply, period. [...] That’s what our expectation is. You will comply. I don’t know what the shock is. This is nothing new,” the FinCEN director noted.In what has become known as the travel rule, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidelines require regulators and Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) to collect as well as share personal data of transactions. This recommendation imposes the same standards in the crypto industry as the ones normally shared by the banking industry.The FinCEN director was also in the news on crypto regulation for pointing out that FinCEN has been conducting various investigations which include compliance with the travel rule since 2014, also adding that this is the most commonly cited violation among money service businesses which are engaged in digital currencies.Before this, the FinCEN director Blanco was a guest at the University of Georgetown where he said that AML laws apply to everyone:
"There is a reason you want to know ... the person on the other side of that transaction — they might be dealing in some kind of illicit activity. Whether it’s opioids ... or human smuggling on the other side ... you want to know who that person is.”At the event, Blanco told the audience that it is not that hard to obtain this information. All we’re asking for is name, address, account number, transaction, recipient, and amount,” he concluded.
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