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UK FinProm Compliance Challenges | Transak Head



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James Young, Transak’s Chief of Compliance, shared insights with Cointelegraph regarding the recent regulatory developments in the United Kingdom’s crypto marketing landscape. While these new rules, instituted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on October 8, are viewed as beneficial for the cryptocurrency industry, they do pose certain challenges for businesses operating within the decentralized realm.

The FCA’s latest regulations mandate that cryptocurrency firms must promote their products and services in a clear, fair, and transparent manner. This entails significant changes, ranging from the elimination of referral bonuses to the implementation of a 24-hour cooling-off period for first-time crypto investors. The objective of this stricter Financial Promotions (FinProm) regime is to safeguard consumers against the heightened risks associated with virtual assets.

One notable aspect of the new rules is the cooling-off period, which offers users a valuable opportunity to evaluate crypto investments and reinforces the credibility of the crypto community. James Young, who serves as Transak’s Compliance Chief and Money Laundering Reporting Officer, expressed in an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph: “The introduction of more regulations enhances consumer protection and contributes to a perception of increased safety within the crypto space, potentially spurring exponential adoption.”

However, the abrupt ban on referral bonuses has raised questions, particularly for crypto firms accustomed to using such incentives as a marketing tool. James Young himself acknowledged the surprise, stating, “I don’t believe there are many other industries that the FCA has subjected to such a stringent ban. The alignment between the cooling-off period and the ban on incentives requires further examination to ensure proportionality.”

The introduction of these new regulations comes at a time when the United Kingdom is emerging as an attractive global crypto hub, especially in light of regulatory challenges in the United States. Notably, some major players in the crypto industry, such as OKX and MoonPay, have already announced their intentions to comply with FinProm. However, these rules have proven to be a significant hurdle for some companies, given the global scope of their operations.

Crypto exchanges like Binance and Bybit, for instance, have temporarily halted the onboarding of new users from the U.K. to align with the new regulations. Young points out that the FCA soon recognized the complexity of implementing the new financial promotion rules, given the additional layers of conduct and communication regulations that companies are expected to adhere to, in addition to Anti-Money Laundering requirements.

In September, the FCA extended the deadline for U.K.-registered crypto firms to address technical issues related to the new marketing regime, pushing the date to January 8, 2024.

Uniformity in Crypto Regulations Worldwide

Addressing the challenge of global crypto firms complying with the new FCA rules while maintaining consistency across different jurisdictions, Young stressed the need for legal entity segregation to smoothly navigate varying regulatory demands. He noted, “The FCA has recognized this as a challenge, particularly for firms with complex group structures. Some countries, like the U.K., have stringent regulations on the marketing of promotions, while others are yet to define their stance on regulating crypto firms.”

Recognizing the inherently global nature of cryptocurrency, Young emphasized the importance of regulatory uniformity across the globe. He expressed his desire for clearer guidance on how crypto firms should comply with these new regulations.

Calls for a Comprehensive Global Framework

The call for a more comprehensive global framework for the crypto industry is not new. On October 13, the Group of Twenty (G20), consisting of 19 sovereign nations, including the U.K., unanimously endorsed a crypto regulatory roadmap advocating for thorough oversight of cryptocurrencies within and beyond G20 jurisdictions.

While Young believes that regulation and trust are pivotal for the mass adoption of crypto, he underscores the importance of striking a balance between consumer protection and innovation in regulatory efforts. He welcomes regulation but emphasizes that it should be proportionate and fair, avoiding any unintentional consequences that could drive businesses out of the market. Such regulation should align with the evolving nature of the crypto market and its current state.

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Cryptocurrency Market Update: Bitcoin Slips Below $70,000 Amidst High Liquidation




In a swift turn of events, Bitcoin (BTC), the pioneering cryptocurrency, dropped below the $70,000 threshold early on Wednesday following a wave of investor sell-offs. Just a day prior, Bitcoin had crossed the $71,000 mark, but market sentiment swiftly shifted, dragging other major altcoins—including Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ripple (XRP), Solana (SOL), and Litecoin (LTC)—into the red zone.

According to CoinMarketCap data, the overall Market Fear & Greed Index stood at 75 (Greed) out of 100, indicating a mix of optimism and apprehension among traders. Notably, the Bittensor (TAO) token emerged as the top gainer with a remarkable 24-hour surge of over 7 percent, while dogwifhat (WIF) experienced the largest loss, plummeting nearly 16 percent.

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Update Bitcoin’s price tumbled to $69,089.01, marking a 24-hour dip of 3.05 percent, as reported by CoinMarketCap. On the Indian exchange WazirX, BTC was priced at Rs 60.93 lakh.

Other Major Cryptocurrencies Ethereum (ETH) saw a 24-hour loss of 4.81 percent, trading at $3,508.86, while Dogecoin (DOGE) registered a dip of 5.59 percent, currently priced at $0.1879. Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP) also experienced losses, with Solana (SOL) marking a 24-hour loss of 3.44 percent.

Top Gainers and Losers Bittensor (TAO) led the pack of gainers with a 7.30 percent surge, while dogwifhat (WIF) suffered the most significant loss, dropping by 15.58 percent.

Market Analysis and Expert Insights Experts weighed in on the market scenario, attributing Bitcoin’s downturn to heightened liquidations and cautious sentiment ahead of the upcoming US CPI data release. While Bitcoin’s immediate support rests at $67,700, resistance is expected at $70,400. Ethereum proponents face challenges amid hopes for an ETF approval, with the SEC providing limited updates on the matter.

Final Thoughts The cryptocurrency market remains highly dynamic, with prices fluctuating rapidly and investor sentiment playing a pivotal role. As the market navigates through volatility, it’s essential for investors to stay informed, exercise caution, and seek expert advice before making any investment decisions.

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Cryptocurrency: A Scapegoat for Foreign Policy Failures?




Cryptocurrency has once again found itself at the center of a heated debate, this time regarding its alleged role in facilitating illicit activities and circumventing sanctions imposed by the United States. The Biden administration, in particular, has come under scrutiny for its handling of the issue, with some accusing it of using digital assets as a convenient scapegoat for broader foreign policy shortcomings.

In a recent hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo raised concerns about the misuse of cryptocurrencies by foreign adversaries such as Iran, Russia, North Korea, and militant groups like Hamas. Adeyemo’s remarks underscored a growing unease within the U.S. government regarding the potential national security implications of unregulated digital currencies.

However, voices from within the cryptocurrency industry and Congress have pushed back against the administration’s narrative. Faryar Shirzad, Chief Policy Officer at Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, pointed out that the prevalence of illicit activity in the crypto space is relatively low compared to traditional finance. Instead of demonizing cryptocurrencies, Shirzad argued, the focus should be on targeting bad actors operating offshore.

Senator Tim Scott, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, echoed these sentiments, accusing the Biden administration of using digital assets as a distraction from its failure to effectively combat financial flows to sanctioned entities. Scott’s criticism reflects broader skepticism among some lawmakers about the government’s approach to regulating cryptocurrencies.

One area of potential agreement between the Biden administration and the cryptocurrency industry is the need for clearer regulations governing stablecoins, a type of digital asset pegged to a fiat currency like the U.S. dollar. Both sides recognize the importance of addressing the potential risks associated with stablecoin issuance and usage, particularly in the context of national security and financial stability.

The debate over stablecoins has intensified following reports of their alleged role in facilitating illicit transactions, including those linked to Russia’s war effort in Ukraine. The Treasury Department has called for increased oversight of stablecoin issuers and transactions, while also advocating for legislation that would subject them to stricter regulatory standards.

Despite the contentious nature of the discussion, there are signs of bipartisan cooperation on certain aspects of cryptocurrency regulation. A bipartisan bill addressing stablecoin regulation passed the House Financial Services Committee last year, signaling a potential path forward for legislative action in this area.

As the debate over cryptocurrency regulation continues to unfold, it is clear that finding the right balance between innovation and security will be paramount. While concerns about illicit activity and national security must be addressed, policymakers must also recognize the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies in fostering financial inclusion and technological advancement.

Ultimately, the resolution of these issues will require thoughtful collaboration between government officials, industry stakeholders, and lawmakers to develop a regulatory framework that promotes innovation while safeguarding against misuse. Only through constructive dialogue and cooperation can we ensure that cryptocurrencies fulfill their potential as a force for positive change in the global economy.

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Bitcoin Resurgence: Why Wall Street Is Embracing the Crypto Revolution




Andrew Pratt of Wiser Wealth Management in Marietta, Ga., finds little resistance as he proposes Bitcoin investments to his firm’s committee. With Bitcoin surging 140% in the past year and backed by giants like BlackRock, skepticism has waned. Pratt sees the potential to allocate a modest 1% of client portfolios to Bitcoin, acknowledging the limited downside risk compared to potential gains.

The debate over Bitcoin’s intrinsic value seems to have lost its relevance amidst its soaring market performance. Once dismissed, Bitcoin now boasts a market value of $1.3 trillion, driving the total crypto market to $2.5 trillion. Wall Street, once wary, now views cryptocurrency as an opportunity for profit rather than a speculative venture.

Despite lingering doubts about Bitcoin’s utility beyond speculation, Wall Street executives are increasingly supportive. BlackRock’s CEO, Larry Fink, notably reversed his stance, endorsing Bitcoin’s long-term prospects and championing the iShares Bitcoin Trust, now one of the largest Bitcoin ETFs with nearly $18 billion in assets.

While skepticism persists about Bitcoin’s status as a real asset or currency, its growing acceptance on Wall Street underscores the evolving landscape of finance. As institutions embrace cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin’s journey from pariah to portfolio asset highlights the transformative power of digital assets in reshaping traditional investment strategies.

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