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Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb Suspends Opening New Virtual Accounts

August 2, 2018 |

Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb Suspends Opening New Virtual Accounts

Bithumb has suspended issuing new virtual accounts to crypto traders starting on August 1 after failing to renew the contract with its bank. These accounts are part of the real-name system enforced by the Korean government earlier this year. Only three exchanges in the country are now reportedly able to open new virtual accounts for their customers.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Bithumb Halts Issuing New Virtual Accounts

Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb Suspends Opening New Virtual AccountsCrypto exchange Bithumb has announced the suspension of new virtual account issuance starting on August 1. With a 24-hour trading volume of $ 245,786,110 at the time of this writing, Bithumb currently ranks as South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, according to Coinmarketcap.

Business Korea elaborated:

Bithumb, one of South Korea’s four biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, will stop issuing new virtual accounts from August as it has failed to renew a contract with NH Nonghyup Bank.

Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb Suspends Opening New Virtual AccountsHowever, the news outlet noted that “customers who already have virtual accounts can use them for deposit and withdrawal services.” For Bithumb customers, virtual accounts are needed to deposit or withdraw Korean won.

According to Etoday, the bank has given Bithumb a one-month grace period. During this time, it will continue to provide deposit and withdrawal services for existing accounts. However, the publication noted that “it will become difficult to use existing virtual accounts if the contract renewal is finally terminated.”

Using the Real-Name System

Real-name virtual accounts are part of the system aimed at preventing money laundering and increasing transparency, implemented by the Korean government at the end of January. The regulators want all crypto trading accounts to be real-name ones but are met with a number of challenges.

Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb Suspends Opening New Virtual AccountsThe biggest problem is that banks only offer this service to four of the country’s largest crypto exchanges. The rest of the exchanges still use corporate accounts which the regulators are trying to phase out citing that they are more prone to money laundering.

The four exchanges receiving real-name services were Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit. Each had been increasing its efforts to comply with the anti-money laundering (AML) regulation. In May, Bithumb said it will lower withdrawal limits for traders not using the real-name system. “We have decided to gradually reduce the withdrawal amounts in the Korean won because it is raising concerns that bank accounts for unconverted withdrawals may become a target of various financial crimes,” an official of the exchange said at the time.

Bank Refuses to Renew Bithumb’s Contract

Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb Suspends Opening New Virtual AccountsWhen the real-name system was first introduced, “the government forced cryptocurrency exchanges to renew the service contract with banks every six months in a bid to encourage them to make continuous efforts to prevent money laundering,” Business Korea detailed.

The first renewal was the end of July. Upbit, Coinone, and Korbit were able to renew their contracts with their banks. However, Bithumb’s request for renewal with NH Nonghyup Bank was denied. The news outlet quoted an official of the bank describing:

We have decided not to renew the contract because Bithumb still has problems in protecting consumers and information and preventing money laundering.

“The bank thinks that Bithumb’s data processing systems have flaws in light of the recent hacking incident, which caused the exchange a loss of 18.9 billion won (US$ 16.88 million),” the publication added. Previously, Bithumb also had a contract with Shinhan Bank for the real-name service but it was terminated due to increased risks from multiple security breaches, Shinhan previously explained.

An official from Bithumb was quoted by the news outlet, “we have a consensus with Nonghyup Bank on renewal of the contract. We are planning to iron out our different views on some legal expressions and start issuing virtual accounts soon.”

What do you think of Bithumb not being able to open new virtual accounts? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Nonghyup Bank, Joongang Daily, and Bithumb.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Korean Crypto Exchange Bithumb Suspends Opening New Virtual Accounts appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Inmates Hack Tablets, Pad Accounts by $225K

July 27, 2018 |

Idaho prison officials say 364 inmates exploited vulnerable software in the JPay tablets they use for email, music, and games to collectively transfer nearly a quarter million dollars into their own accounts, reports the AP . The department’s special investigations unit discovered the problem earlier this month, and the improper conduct…
Newser

ETH Bots Run Rampant While Twitter Claims to Ban Lookalike Accounts

July 16, 2018 |

ETH-Bots Run Rampant While Twitter Claims to Ban Look-Alike Accounts

According to reports the social media platform Twitter has been deleting millions of fraudulent accounts per day, and stated during the first week of July that it suspended more than 70 million accounts throughout May and June. However, the cryptocurrency industry is still plagued by tons of ‘ETH scam-bots’ pretending to be bitcoin luminaries and this scheme has made these particular fraudsters millions.

Also read: BCH Roundup: Steady Development, Market Uptrends, and New Apps

Twitter Says The Company Has Suspended 70 Million Phony Accounts, But Bots Still Plague the Twitter-Sphere

Over the last few weeks, news.Bitcoin.com had written about the various Twitter scams and fake Ethereum giveaways that can be found throughout lots of conversations within the cryptocurrency industry. Some developers have even been working on cryptographic solutions that can weed out the vast amount of lookalike Twitter scammers. The massive amount of phony accounts use a person’s profile picture, the same username, and these frauds typically jump into a conversation following a hot tweet and push their ETH giveaways.

ETH-Bots Run Rampant While Twitter Claims to Ban Look-Alike Accounts
Phony John McAfee and Tone Vays Twitter accounts. Screenshots were taken on July 15, 2018.

An example giveaway is you give them 5 ETH, and they say they will give you 50 ETH in return after the funds are sent. This particular trick, even though it’s pretty obvious to some people, has been able to help these imposters acquire millions of dollars worth of Ethereum. Then just last week Twitter detailed to the media that they have thrown the ban-hammer down on fake accounts and have been suspending millions a day. 

ETH-Bots Run Rampant While Twitter Claims to Ban Look-Alike AccountsAccording to the Washington Post, the social media giant suspended 70 million accounts throughout May and June. Even though in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, these bots or spammers are in full force impersonating cryptocurrency figures, executives, and even digital asset exchanges like Binance. Yet the bot problem has also plagued movie stars, musicians, and political parties as well. A researcher from a Palo Alto-based think tank, Samuel C. Woolley, believes Twitter should be doing more to prevent spammers and bots.      

“When you have an account tweeting over a thousand times a day, there’s no question that it’s a bot,” said Woolley, at the Digital Intelligence Lab at the Institute for the Future.

Twitter has to be doing more to prevent the amplification and suppression of political ideas.

ETH-Bots Run Rampant While Twitter Claims to Ban Look-Alike Accounts
A fake Binance exchange Twitter account. Screenshot was taken on July 15, 2018.

Crypto-Luminaries, Bigwigs, and Exchanges Are Not Giving Away 200 ETH

Even though Twitter claims they have been banning millions of fake accounts the problem is still happening within the cryptocurrency industry. Lots of ‘cryptocurrency bigwigs’ are being copied by look-alike accounts still to this day. For instance, on July 15 the writer and speaker Andreas Antonopoulos shared a tweet of one of his latest talks. After the tweet, a phony “CZ” pretending to be the CEO of Binance states: 

A nеw prоmоtion with suppоrt is available tоday Get 200 ETHEREUM in your wallet now. You саn use аnу wal­let or exch­ange (Fоr example: Coinb­ase, Bina­nce, and others) or use a smart con­tract. If you’re Ia­te for this eve­nt, you’ll get your investment bасk imme­diately!

Unfortunately, the ETH scam bots are alive and well on Twitter and are still able to spawn new accounts after the company claims to have thrown down the ban hammer. For now, these cryptocurrency scammers don’t seem to be going anywhere soon.

What do you think about this situation? Do you think Twitter is doing a good job of taking care of this issue? Let us know what you think in the comment section below. 


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, Twitter.


Want a comprehensive list of the top 500 cryptocurrencies and see their prices and overall market valuation? Check out Satoshi Pulse for all that hot market action!

The post ETH Bots Run Rampant While Twitter Claims to Ban Lookalike Accounts appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

German Bank Offers Special Accounts to Cryptocurrency Firms

July 9, 2018 |

German Bank Offers Special Accounts to Cryptocurrency Firms

The Berlin-based Banking-as-a-Platform (BaaP) institution Solarisbank has recently announced the launch of their new banking service plan that’s focused on clients from the blockchain and digital currency industry. The newly featured resource called the ‘Blockchain Factory,’ will offer financial management services to companies whose business operations deal directly and indirectly with cryptocurrency solutions and blockchain technology.  

Also read: A Look at the Long and Annoying Process of Claiming Bitcoin Forks

This German Bank Plans to Provide Special Bank Accounts for Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Companies

German Bank Offers Special Accounts to Cryptocurrency FirmsOver the past few years as cryptocurrencies have gained in popularity a few companies like exchanges and brokerage services that deal with digital currencies have had issues with their banking providers. Banks and other financial management services have ceased their partnerships with cryptocurrency firms and have closed business accounts making it very difficult for blockchain companies to establish reliable banking partners. Now the German financial tech company, Solarisbank, plans to offer a service called the ‘Blockchain Factory.’ Companies who deal with cryptocurrencies will now have a solid banking colleague who understands the technology.

“The Blockchain Factory will be used by Solarisbank to offer banking services to companies whose business is directly or indirectly based on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology — One example of these services is the ‘Blockchain Company Account’ for the banking business of blockchain companies,” Solarisbank explains.   

Furthermore, services for global cryptocurrency marketplaces will be made available to make it easier to buy and sell fiat currencies; such as the Solarisbank ‘Automated Trust Account’, an automated escrow account for cryptocurrency marketplaces.   

High Demand from the Blockchain World for a Licensed Banking Partner

Solarisbank has done well since the bank’s inception in March of 2016, and entered a strategic partnership with Mastercard the following October with plans to build new banking modules. Last March, Solarisbank raised $ 70Mn USD in a Series B funding round from firms such as ABN Amro, SBI Group, Visa, BBVA, and Lakestar.  

“There is high demand from the blockchain world for a licensed partner that forms the technological and regulatory bridge to traditional banking — as a technology company with a banking license, we are the natural partner,” Roland Folz, the CEO of Solarisbank details.

German Bank Offers Special Accounts to Cryptocurrency Firms

A Hybrid Future

The financial tech company has started its first partnership with another firm called VPE Bank and the two have plans to provide cryptocurrencies to institutional traders. Moreover, the firm will establish partnerships with cryptocurrency companies that deal with banking and debit cards within their business model.

“The fiat world is not about to dissolve. We are moving towards a hybrid future, in which the blockchain world still has to prove itself,” the CTO of Solarisbank, Peter Grosskopf explains.

However, we see the disruptive power of these business models and we want to help shape the future of this industry. 

What do you think about Solarisbank’s new Blockchain Factory banking services? Do you think companies who deal with cryptocurrencies need better banking providers? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, and Solarisbank


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH, and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com. Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post German Bank Offers Special Accounts to Cryptocurrency Firms appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Korea Nuclear Talks Thrown Off Balance as Accounts Clash

July 9, 2018 |

The fate of negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear program was cast into doubt after Pyongyang called the result of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “regrettable” and said it raised the “risk of war.”
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI Ban

July 4, 2018 |

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI Ban

Cryptocurrency exchanges in India have one by one announced the shut down of their fiat deposits and withdrawals as banks start closing their accounts per RBI’s crypto banking ban. Meanwhile, they are trying to educate the central bank in hopes of easing the ban.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

RBI Ban Going Ahead

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI BanThe Supreme Court of India heard a petition against the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday, July 3. However, it did not grant a stay on the ban. Instead, this petition, which was filed by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), will be heard along with four other petitions on July 20.

RBI issued a circular on April 6 banning all financial institutions under its control from providing services to cryptocurrency exchanges, starting on July 5. Without the stay by the Supreme Court, banks are likely to stop providing their services on July 5 per RBI’s order.

Shutting Down Fiat Support

One of India’s largest crypto exchanges, Zebpay, announced Wednesday:

Today we are disabling the rupee deposit and withdrawal options on the Zebpay app. This is being done in light of the bank account closures as per the RBI guideline…INR deposits and withdrawals have been paused in the Zebpay app until banks allow us again.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI BanThe exchange recently warned its customers that rupee deposits and withdrawals may become impossible if its bank accounts are disrupted. In the meantime, Zebpay noted that crypto deposits and withdrawals as well as “crypto-rupee and crypto-crypto pair trading” continue to be supported.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI BanAnother major Indian crypto exchange, Unocoin, issued a statement after the Supreme Court hearing on Tuesday. Reiterating that the court “has refused to hear the plea for interim relief” and that “The [next] hearing is set for the 20th of July,” the exchange wrote:

Banking services are expected to be revoked this week…if you are withdrawing or depositing any rupees in Unocoin, there could be a time when we may not honour such requests.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI BanA smaller exchange, Coinome, stopped INR deposits at 11:59 PM on July 3. INR withdrawals will be discontinued on July 4 at 11:59 PM, the exchange advised its customers and requested them “not to Panic Sell. Your crypto assets will continue to retain value as per global markets.”

Pexo exchange also announced Wednesday that “We are closing the INR deposit and withdrawal request after 6 p.m. today as per the RBI guidelines. Requesting you all to withdraw your funds before the deadline.”

Banking Alternative/Extension

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI BanWazirx announced at the time of this writing that its “INR deposits & withdrawals are [still] working normally,” adding that “You don’t need to worry about cashing in/out of crypto as Wazirx P2P will help you cash in/out of crypto even after RBI ban.” The exchange recently announced the launch of its P2P trading service which will be live once banks stop providing services to the exchange.

Meanwhile, Pocketbits announced that its “INR deposits might not be available after 5th of July, but INR withdrawals will be available even after that. Users can Withdraw their INR anytime. Crypto Withdrawals and Deposits are always available without any restrictions.” The exchange clarified:

Our current banks have given us an extension to disburse all the funds, this does not mean we will have functioning bank accounts indefinitely. We will notify our users days in advance before the withdrawals are completely stopped.

Koinok, on the other hand, claimed at the time of this writing that “even after July 5, INR withdrawals will be available on Koinok and you will be able to withdraw your INR funds anytime.”

Exchanges Trying to Educate RBI

Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI BanAt the IAMAI petition hearing on Tuesday, the association submitted “a representation to the RBI which was a detailed document explaining blockchain, cryptos and how they function,” Wazirx’s founder and CEO, Nischal Shetty, told news.Bitcoin.com.

According to CNBC-Awaaz, the Supreme Court sent a notice to RBI during the hearing, asking the central bank to respond within 7 days. Shetty elaborated, “if the RBI gets a deep understanding of blockchain and crypto then they may go easy on the ban and think about regulations.”

Unocoin emphasized on Wednesday:

We would like to let you know that this [RBI’s banking ban] is not a ban on cryptoassets and a policy in this regard is expected in the near future.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse or support claims made by exchanges in this article. None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products or companies. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

What do you think of RBI’s action and how crypto exchanges are responding? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Unocoin, and Zebpay.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Indian Crypto Exchanges Drop Fiat Support as Banks Close Their Accounts per RBI Ban appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

EOS Decentralization Questioned as Block Producers Freeze Accounts

June 20, 2018 |

EOS Decentralization Questioned as Block Producers Freeze Accounts

On June 17, 2018, the 21 block producers or nodes that run the EOS network chose to freeze seven accounts that were allegedly stolen from EOS community members. According to reports, all 21 block producers unanimously decided to freeze the compromised assets but the decision was met with controversy from the EOS community, and possibly some second thoughts from the block producer EOS New York.

Also Read: Ripple Gateways Can Freeze Users’ Funds at Any Time

EOS Block Producers Unanimously Decide to Freeze Accounts

EOS Decentralization Questioned as Block Producers Freeze AccountsThe decision made by EOS block producers brings a lot of questions to the table again in regard to whether or not a public blockchain that has centralized nodes with freezing powers can truly be considered a permissionless blockchain. On June 17, the 21 EOS block producers (BP) had agreed unanimously to freeze several accounts on the EOS blockchain that were allegedly stolen. According to the BP members and the EOS911 (a system that shows if EOS keys were compromised), malicious actors using phishing attacks and other forms of social engineering were able to steal people’s keys. Seven accounts have been frozen even though there seems to be more complaints of compromised keys to hand.

EOS New York Shows Reluctance

Even though all 21 BPs chose to unanimously vote to freeze these accounts, EOS New York has written that even though they voted on enacting the account blacklist, the organization wavered on the decision.

“EOS New York chose to enact this freeze because we believed that we were following the spirit of the governance system we as a community seek to create, despite it being formally absent. EOS is a platform meant to enable solutions which protect life, liberty, and property and that’s what we believed we were doing through this emergency action,” the New York-based BP noted.

“As of right now, we do not have a timeline for when the freeze action can be lifted or sanctioned by ECAF  Freezing accounts outside of formal processes with no timeline or next steps is not ok,” EOS New York emphasizes. “We have asked for ECAF to submit a formal ruling on the merits of the case by 1300 UTC 19 June 2018. If no such ruling is released by this time, EOS New York will remove the “freeze”, which cannot be enforced without unanimous consensus by all top 21 Block Producers.”

However, EOS New York stated that if this continues to happen they may not be so supportive unless the state of the network was in critical need of the blacklisting solution again.  

We are encountering these problems on a daily basis and we do not have the tools in place to properly address them.

EOS Decentralization Questioned as Block Producers Freeze Accounts

Other Well-Known Chains with the Ability to Freeze Accounts

The decision was controversial among EOS participants and the cryptocurrency community in general to say the least as the topic erupted into debates about centralized chains and immutability once again. Many people are skeptical that a blockchain with centralized nodes with freezing abilities can even be called ‘decentralized’. The third highest valued cryptocurrency network held by Ripple (XRP) has also been accused of the same freezing process multiple times in the past.

EOS Decentralization Questioned as Block Producers Freeze Accounts

Furthermore, the EOS blacklisting took place not long after the network was officially launched last week when the 21 BPs voted to initiate the chain, but then had critical issues with block production shortly after the launch. The EOS chain and concept has been on the hype train ever since its inventor Dan Larimer (also the creator Bitshares and Steemit) announced the protocol, leading to the token’s market capturing the fifth highest market cap.

What do you think about the EOS block producers’ ability to blacklist and freeze accounts? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Pixabay, Disney’s Frozen, the XRP and EOS logo, and Wiki Commons.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH, and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post EOS Decentralization Questioned as Block Producers Freeze Accounts appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Despite Court Order Tokyo Exchange Says It’s ‘Technically Difficult’ to Close Accounts

June 15, 2018 |

Despite Court Order Tokyo Exchange Says It’s 'Technically Difficult' to Close Accounts

A court order to freeze assets stored in an account on a cryptocurrency exchange in Tokyo could not be enforced, it was learned on June 13. The exchange said it was ‘technically difficult’ to foreclose the account. A mechanism for freezing accounts on the platform has apparently not been developed yet. Experts urge crypto exchanges to put such a mechanism in place, or people could exploit the flaw to avoid seizure or to hide assets.

Also read: Crypto and Virtual Reality Meet in Ken Liu’s Science Fiction

Tokyo Exchange Can’t Comply with Court Ordered Crypto-Account Closure Due to Technical Difficulties

The regional news outlet Nikkei has reported that a woman in her 70s requested a cryptocurrency account foreclosure. According to her lawyer, Yuko Fujii, the lady got caught in trouble in May 2016, as a trader in Saitama Prefecture convinced her that she could make a profit with virtual currencies. The lady allegedly was advised to purchase cryptocurrencies at 30% above the market price. She purchased the amount of about JPY 500,000 (~US$ 4,525) worth of crypto with JPY 150 million (~$ 1,357,500).

The lady later reconciled with the trader and was being repaid at the purchase price, but suddenly the payment stopped. She then requested the foreclosure of the account under the name of the trader to get the remaining JPY 13 million (~$ 117,650). Her claim was approved and the Saitama District Court ordered the exchange to foreclose the wallet linked to the trader’s ripple account twice, once in July 2017 and the other in April 2018.

But the cryptocurrency exchange replied that the wallet was technically not managed by them and that they could not refund the victim. They added that if they reimbursed the lady on behalf of the wallet company, they would not be able to get refunded by the trader, and they would suffer losses themselves.

Despite Court Order Tokyo Exchange Says It’s 'Technically Difficult' to Close Accounts
The exchange later revealed that it had withdrawn its application to enter the cryptocurrency industry, based on the revised fund settlement law.

Exchange Has Yet to Refund the Victim

As a result, because the wallet of the trader was not foreclosed, there is alleged evidence that the trader had moved his crypto out, and the victim still has not recovered her funds. Fujii, the attorney, commented that if the cryptocurrency exchange did not comply with the court order, the victim could “hardly” be relieved from the damage she suffered.

The cryptocurrency exchange told Nikkei that they consulted an advisory lawyer and recognized that there was a legal problem regarding the payment. “We have not yet refunded the victim,” the exchange’s official replied. The exchange had received a business improvement order from the Fukuoka Financial Office in March and later revealed that it had withdrawn its application to enter the cryptocurrency industry based on the revised fund settlement law.

Professor Masashi Nakajima, a financial expert familiar with crypto, said that a cryptocurrency that doesn’t have an administrator cannot be seized by a public authority. It is also impossible to technically guarantee a secure execution of the refund. This practice could become the hotbed for money laundering and concealment if not tackled properly.

What do you think about the Tokyo exchange that couldn’t comply with a court order to close an account due to technical difficulties? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock and Pixabay. 


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Despite Court Order Tokyo Exchange Says It’s ‘Technically Difficult’ to Close Accounts appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Venezuela Begins Monitoring Bank Accounts for Crypto Transactions

June 15, 2018 |

Venezuela Begins Monitoring Bank Accounts for Crypto Transactions

The government of Venezuela has started monitoring the bank accounts of its citizens for cryptocurrency-related transactions. Accounts found to contain crypto transactions at prices which the government considers to be “undermining the national currency” will be “severely punished,” Vice President Tareck El Aissami said.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Next Phase of Operation Paper Hands

Following the launch of “Operation Paper Hands,” as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported, the Venezuelan government has initiated the next phase of its plan to reduce capital flight, calling it “Operation Metal Hands.”

Venezuela Begins Monitoring Bank Accounts for Crypto Transactions
Tareck El Aissami.

This new phase was launched last week with a focus on what they call “gold smugglers,” or Venezuelans who bought gold from small miners and then sold it outside of the country. The operation has “detected that these mafias have distorted the prices of the dollar,” the country’s Vice President Tareck El Aissami declared, adding that “they have migrated through the market of cryptocurrencies to hit the Venezuelan monetary system.”

The operation further targets capital flight via cryptocurrencies. El Aissami explained that the government will start monitoring bank accounts for crypto-related transactions and will prosecute those trading them “at speculative prices.”

“This is part of a war to hit the financial system of the country,” Aporrea publication stated, “and they [the government] will exercise future actions to hit those who try to conspire through cryptocurrencies.” The Vice President was quoted by La Red publication:

All the accounts that we identify that are linked to the manipulation are going to be severely punished and (those responsible will be) placed at the order of justice.

He revealed that, as part of Operation Paper Hands, “5 billion bolivares [~US$ 50,000] in bank accounts were frozen at Banesco bank, and 12 trillion bolivares [~$ 120 million] were seized that were destined for contraband in Colombia,” Aporrea publication conveyed.

Three Remittance Houses Legalized

Venezuela Begins Monitoring Bank Accounts for Crypto TransactionsSince the launch of Operation Paper Hands, three remittance houses were shut down, including two crypto exchange operators. However, the government soon realized that underground cryptocurrency transactions did not cease.

This led the Vice President to announce last week that three money exchangers in Caracas have been specifically authorized to handle the country’s foreign exchange transactions and remittances. He was quoted by Correo Del Orinoco:

We have authorized three exchange houses, private companies, private exchange operators, legally authorized, to perform all operations associated with remittances.

The three exchanges are Zoom, Italcambio, and Insular. However, their websites do not indicate that they deal with cryptocurrencies in any way.

For the purpose of buying and selling cryptocurrency specifically, the Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, announced in April that he had certified 16 exchanges with the aim for them to list his country’s own digital currency, the petro.

What do you think of Venezuela monitoring bank accounts for crypto transactions? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Wikipedia.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Venezuela Begins Monitoring Bank Accounts for Crypto Transactions appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Regulator found 20,000 bad accounts at major banks. We still don’t know which ones

June 13, 2018 |

The nation’s top bank regulator told members of Congress on Wednesday that his agency found about 20,000 accounts that may have been opened without customers’ authorization or had other problems during a review of the nation’s largest financial institutions prompted by the Wells Fargo & Co. scandal.


L.A. Times – Business