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Spanish Bitcoin ATM Owners Are Not Following EU’s AML Regulations

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Spanish Bitcoin ATM

Spanish Bitcoin ATM owners reportedly are not obliged by the strict AML regulations which leave the door open for massive money laundering schemes. In the altcoin news today we read more about the Spanish Guardia Civil report on the regulation of the sector.

The reports that reached our website show that the special police in Spain took down a criminal organization that used the Bitcoin ATMs to launder money on behalf of narco-traffickers. The Crime-as-a-Service money laundering scheme managed to make up to $9 million before it was taken down. The gang hired two crypto ATMs and then installed them in Madrid. The machines were promoted as devices that anyone can use in order to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

However, the gang used false identities for the registering process in order to load the devices with crypto and then they withdraw money from different bank accounts and send It to Bitcoin exchanges. This scheme provided them with the cover they needed to make huge transactions without raising suspicion. Once they obtained the cryptocurrencies, they then sent them to drug traffickers in Colombia. The two bitcoin ATMs were seized as well as four cold and 20 hot wallets.

The Spanish bitcoin ATM owners took advantage of the poor regulation of the crypto sector in the country. The use of ATMs to launder money is not restricted to Spain only. Other countries have the same issue as well including the UK and Canada.  The policymakers around the world are raising the caution against the risk that the cryptocurrencies carry with regards to money laundering.

According to CipherTrace, the crypto analytics company as we previously mentioned in the latest cryptocurrency news, criminals managed to launder around 380,000 bitcoins between the birth of Bitcoin and 2018. Currently, Bitcoin is worth about $4.4 billion. Most of the Bitcoin was laundered through unregistered crypto exchanges and they usually end up in countries with weak regulations and security protocols. This is one of the reasons why the policymakers are trying to figure out a new regulatory framework that will apply throughout the sector without choking it and making the investors run away.

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Regulation

US Federal Reserve Will Print And Inject $425 Billion This New Year

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The latest cryptocurrency news show that more than double of the market cap's value will be printed by the US Fed this year and injected into the economy as nonexistent money. In an official statement which was released on December 11, the US Federal Reserve confirmed the news and pointed to a so-called repurchase (known as "repo") with operations on key dates over the new year period.This time of the year is crucial for the US Federal Reserve and requires extra assurances for banks, as the organization claims. In that way, repo operations are designed to support their day to day operations.
“The Open Market Trading Desk (the Desk) at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has released the schedule of repurchase agreement (repo) operations for the monthly period from December 13, 2019 through January 14, 2020,” the statement from the US Federal Reserve reads.
As it continues, the Fed confirms the following:
"In accordance with the most recent FOMC directive, the Desk will conduct repo operations to ensure that the supply of reserves remains ample and to mitigate the risk of money market pressures around year end that could adversely affect policy implementation.”
Right now, repo offerings by the US Federal Reserve are scheduled to be set in place on December 31 and January 2 with a valuation of $150 billion. By the January 14 deadline, the minimum that the Fed expects to generate is $425 billion as per the report.Even though moves like these are common, they are certainly involving conjuring vast new liquidity based on zero backing which is basically money printing without the physical printing of any money. This is why critics have long hailed the policy as an example of the failure of central banks to "manage" their economies.One Bitcoin news advocate known as Rhythm recently commented on the news about the US Federal Reserve printing and injecting $425 billion and said that the amount is over three times the size of Bitcoin's market cap. Ironically, he said that "everything is fine" but did not mean that.https://twitter.com/Rhythmtrader/status/1205612768709222401Meanwhile, recent reports showed that the US national debt is now at $23 trillion since November, which is around $12 million for every Bitcoin that will ever exist.
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Bitcoin News

New European Regulations Force BTC Service Bottle To Shut Down

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The crypto news today show that the Bottle Pay service - which allowed users to send Bitcoin through social media accounts - is shutting down due to new European regulations. The service announced that it will be closing its operations due to the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations.As the announcement shows, the funds will remain available for withdrawal until 13:00 GMT on December 31, 2019. Bottle Pay is a service developed by the United Kingdom based company known as Block Matrix. It enabled Bitcoin payments to any social media contact regardless of whether they had an actual account or not.Two months ago and before the new European regulations and AML standards, Bottle Pay raised $2 million in funding and had the main aim of increasing the user base by ten times over the next year. However, as a custodial Bitcoin wallet provider based in the UK, the company was subject to the new European regulations and was forced to comply with the 5AMLD EU regulation coming into effect from January 10, 2020.According to Block Matrix, the additional user information that the new regulations require would “alter the current user experience so radically, and so negatively, that we are not willing to force this onto our community.”Meanwhile, the new European regulations led to new signups, deposits and social media bots going online. The funds that are already sent through Bottle Pay will not be claimed and returned to the sender within 7 days. On top of this, the withdrawal function will be taken offline too and all the wallets will close at 13:00 GMT on December 31, 2019. Any of the funds remaining in the Bottle Pay wallets will be donated to the Human Rights Foundation.At the end of the day, Bottle Pay is not the only service that shuts down due to the new European regulations and AML standards. Before it, we could see a similar service for micro payment tipping on Reddit which closed - but for different reasons. Tipjar, which was designed for sending Ether and was popular in the ETH news then, shut down due to lack of user interest.With the regulations getting more and more strict, businesses find operation a challenge unless they do something to obtain all certifications.
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Altcoin News

Lagarde Suggests ECB Has To Set Objectives For Digital Currencies

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Lagarde Suggests
Lagarde suggests that the European Central Bank will have to determine objectives for the cryptocurrencies taskforce in 2020 according to her speech at the first policy meeting. The ECB president Christine Lagarde is known to be one of the major supporters of crypto in the community.Following our latest cryptocurrency news, Lagarde suggests that the ECB will have to reconsider its status on crypto. The Governing Council met to decide about the interest rate and the monetary policies and Lagarde held her first press conference there along with the ECB Vice-President Luis de Guindo. She said that the central banks want to figure out new objectives for a digital currency before the first half of the year saying that the ECB will have to get ahead of the ‘’curve’’ on that matter.The ECB has to also set new priorities and determine what it wants to achieve with the new taskforce and Lagarde said:
‘’Are we trying to reduce costs? Are we trying to cut out the middleman? Are we trying to have inclusive finance at no cost? There is a whole range of objectives that can be pursued.’’
Lagarde admitted to the increased demand for stablecoins ignoring Bitcoin and referred to the interest shown by the Canadian and British counterparts as well:
‘’My personal conviction is that given developments we see, not so much in bitcoin but in stablecoins projects… we’d better be ahead of the curve because there is clearly demand out there that we have to respond to.’’
Last month, the bank was thinking about launching a digital currency and the proposal was a part of the new draft that seeks to ban the high-risk crypto projects. At that time, a target for ECB was Libra and the global digital currency projects developed by some entities such as Facebook which have been repeatedly criticized by European leaders. With a digital currency that will be parallel to the euro, the consumers will have a cheaper means of payment option and this will also have a huge impact on the bank’s fiscal policy.  The Central bank will also be able to inject funds into the economy to achieve inflation targets which the ECB left unchanged so far.
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Regulation

SEC Charges Shopin Founder For Its ‘Fraudulent’ $42 Million ICO

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sec charges shopin
The latest series of events in the cryptocurrency news show that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is making moves to several ICO players as of lately. The most recent update shows us that SEC charges Shopin and its founder, Eran Eyal, with orchestrating a fraudulent ICO.The initial coin offering (ICO) which was carried out by Shopin is now under charge by the US SEC. A press release issued on December 11 confirms this and shows that the SEC charges Shopin as an ICO which raised more than $42 million from August 2017 to April 2018. According to the regulator, Shopin's actions constituted an unregistered securities offering on Shopin Tokens.As Eyal told investors, the funds will be used from the token sale in order to create blockchain-based shopper profiles. These profiles would be used to track customer purchase histories across online retailers as well as recommend products based on this information. Still, as SEC Charges Shopin's founder, we can see that he (Eyal) never created a functional platform.The Director of the SEC's New York Regional Office, Marc P. Berger, recently noted:
“As alleged in today’s action, the SEC seeks to hold Eyal and Shopin responsible for scamming innocent investors with false claims about relationships and contracts they had secured in support of a blockchain-based universal shopper profile [...] Retail investors considering an investment in a digital asset that meets the definition of a security must be afforded the same truthful disclosures as in any traditional securities offering."
Furthermore, he also told the public that Eyal lied about having forged partnerships with established retail outlets when in fact no such partnerships existed. The SEC also claims that Eyal misappropriated investor funds to pay for personal expenses. The SEC charges Shopin for this and the complaint clearly states:
“Eyal used over $500,000 of investor funds for expenses such as his rent, retail shopping, entertainment, tickets to philanthropic events, and a dating service, but omitted to disclose to investors that he would use any proceeds for his own benefit.”
The official charges show that Shopin was violating the anti-fraud and registration provisions of the federal securities laws. For that, it is seeking injunctive relief, disgorgement with prejudgment interest as well as civil money penalties.  
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