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Some of Brazil’s biggest banks have come under investigation for alleged monopolistic tendencies in the trade of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The Administrative Council for Economic Defense, a transparency and competition body, accuses the financial institutions shutting down accounts of brokers trading cryptocurrency without merit.
Banks Probe To Fish Out Monopolistic Practices
The Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) said on September 18 that it had started a probe of six of Brazil’s biggest banks for alleged malpractice in the trade of cryptocurrencies.
According to a report by Reuters, the Brazilian transparency and competition body is looking into allegations of “monopolistic practices” within the cryptocurrency industry “that could be limiting the action of brokers.”
“In fact, the main banks are imposing restrictions or even prohibiting … access to the financial system by cryptocurrency brokerages,” CADE is quoted as saying.
Banks under investigation include Banco Santander Brasil SA, Banco Bradesco SA, Banco do Brasil SA, Itau Unibanco Holding SA and Banco Inter and Sicredi, the report says.
Brazil is a groundswell of cryptocurrency activity in Latin America. The number of people trading bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency has soared from a few dozen thousands two years ago, to about 1.4 million today. More than $ 2.4 billion worth of bitcoin was traded in the country last year, up from just $ 160 million in 2016.
In January, the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission stopped local investment funds from buying digital coins because “cryptocurrencies cannot be qualified financial assets.”
The Commission, however, made a U-turn immediately after, allowing for indirect ownership, meaning Brazilians could buy into crypto-related investment funds. Even politicians are talking about bitcoin. A candidate for the presidential election set for next month is already talking of legalizing bitcoin.
Bank Accounts Closed Down Arbitrarily
The Brazilian Association for Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (ABCB) complained to CADE that “banks were abusing their power as financial players by closing accounts of brokerages trading in bitcoin.”
Banks denied the charge, saying “that the accounts were closed because of the absence or lack of client data that is required by law to prevent money laundering,” Reuters reported.
Our contact in Brazil told news.bitcoin.com that “many banks are closing (crypto) exchange accounts with no explanation.”
Do you think that the Brazilian banks are acting fairly? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coin 2001
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Tesla stock drops 6% after a tearful Elon Musk interview and a report that SEC investigation began last yearAugust 17, 2018 | dailybusinessnews
Tesla Inc. stock sank more than 6% early Friday, the morning after a report that securities regulators had begun investigating last year whether the electric carmaker misled investors and after Chief Executive Elon Musk gave a tearful interview discussing the personal strain of leading the company.
The Japanese cryptocurrency Spindle, known for being promoted by the Japanese popular singer, actor and talent Gakuto Oshiro (45), aka GACKT, has announced it’s withdrawing from Tokyo to relocate its headquarters in London, amidst rumors that the Tokyo Metropolitan Police is investigating unregistered sales of cryptocurrencies made by the company.
Japan Unsuitable for Crypto Business
GACKT told news.Bitcoin.com in an interview online that there is a considerable disparity in Japan compared to overseas in regard to crypto, explaining, “Black Star&Co. decided to move to London, where it originally started, because [in Japan] it takes a tremendous amount of time for various procedures to take place. [They decided] it would not be suitable for a cryptocurrency business, which essentially needs to be speedy, to remain in such an environment.”
Black Star&Co, the developer company behind Spindle, said it will withdraw from Tokyo to take up an office in London from August 15th, where it shall be known as Black Star Capital Ltd (UK). The company was earlier involved in a scandal that shook the Japanese Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, Seiko Noda, accused by Japanese media of exercising pressure on a government investigation into a crypto exchange company.
In January 2018, Noda’s secretary and aide allegedly invited an agent of the Financial Service Agency (FSA) and a representative of the cryptocurrency exchange operator to her parliamentary office to ask general questions. As a cabinet minister, Noda was accused of exerting pressure on an official government investigation.
On July 19th, it was reported that the company tied to Spindle and GACKT was suspected by the FSA of violating the fund settlement law and that it had been slapped with a warning in mid-January 2018. The company, which began dealing its own cryptocurrency, Spindle, aka GACKT Coins in October 2017, received administrative guidance from the FSA in February 2018 to discontinue selling cryptocurrencies.
However, the spindle (SPD) altcoin, which was listed on five foreign crypto exchanges in May, was pre-sold with one coin priced at 30 yen ($ 0.27 US), but the value later lowered to less than 0.4 yen ($ 0.0036 US). Investors who believed in GACKT, the promoter of Spindle, and purchased the coins made a significant loss. Moreover, GACKT and his allies sold immediately after the coin was listed, and made a lot money from doing so, news.livedoor.com reported. It was also reported that the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit has been extremely attentive to such opaque transactions.
Spindle Investors Will Be Upset
In a press release, the company announced that it is moving its head office from Tokyo to London because it has more partners familiar with the technology and design in Europe and in the U.S. “We wish to keep in close contact with them,” the company said in the press release. “Given Japan’s current stance on [crypto] regulation and financial investments, it is difficult to expand further our business [here],” the company said in a statement. An individual involved in IT business told the Japanese press that Spindle had hired GACKT as a ‘publicity man’ in order to target Japanese people in general, including his fans. “If [GACKT] plans to move away from Japan now, many people will be really upset. Many will take this as he’s running away just before the authorities approach them,” the man told news.livedoor.com. The company also stated its intention to change its personnel related to project advisory.
“Japanese people are extremely dependent on statutory currencies issued by the country and the nation’s administration also has a low understanding of cryptocurrency itself,” GACKT told news.Bitcoin.com, “it is actually safer for investors to put Spindle in an infrastructure management where it can expand, grow and thrive,” he concluded.
What do you think of Spindle moving out of Japan as the police is reportedly investigating its earlier sales of spindle coins? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Paragon-style.com.
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