UAE Central Bank to take action against unlicensed Digital Asset Service Providers

UAE Central Bank to take action against unlicensed Digital Asset Service Providers

Key Points

  • The United Arab Emirates announced a plan to penalize unlicensed Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs).
  • The country’s lawyer, Irina Heaver, explained that the new plan is part of UAE’s efforts to move out of the Financial Action Task Force’s “Grey List.”

The United Arab Emirates has announced new guidance to penalize unlicensed VASPs as part of a plan to have more transparent financial activities in the country.

UAE continues to spearhead crypto regulation in the world

Financial Regulators, alongside the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE), have published a new joint guidance for digital assets services providers operating within the country aiming to streamline the financial sector by enhancing transparency.

tweet from the CBUAE read:

“The National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Illegal Organisations Committee (NAMLCFTC), in collaboration with UAE supervisors, has issued guidance on combating the use of unlicensed virtual asset service providers, which is prepared by the supervisory subcommittee.”

The National Anti Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Illegal Organisations Committee (NAMLCFTC) and the CBUAE published a joint list of “Red Flags” for Vasps. The guidance list included unrealistic marketing promises, Operations without a regulatory license, poor communication, and poor or lack of regulatory disclosures, among other indicators of suspicious operations.

In a press release, the governor of the CBUAE and the chairman of the NAMLCFTC, his excellency Khaled Mohamed Balama, said that the new guidance plan comes when the country is working to make virtual assets more accessible. He explained that the digital economy needs to mature and thus will have to get good backing from the government, including “combating all kinds of financial crimes intensifies” to ensure the integrity of the financial system in the country.

It’s not the first time that the UAE has made bold steps to streamline its financial system as it marches towards more transparency and sitting on better books in the world. In March 2022, the UAE was placed on FATF’s Grey list and subjected to increased monitoring due to deficiencies in its Anti-money laundering and CTF regulations. The country vowed to increase its efforts and commitment to work alongside the global watchdog to strengthen its financial monitoring deficiencies.

According to its Lawyer, Irina Heaver, the UAE has enacted significant reforms since 2022, with the current VASP monitoring guidance being one of them. Heaver says they expect to exit the grey list as soon as in the next 2024 FATF review.

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Sam Bankman-Fried will be “Skinned alive”: Anthony Scaramucci

Sam Bankman-Fried will be “Skinned alive”: Anthony Scaramucci

Key Points

  • SkyBridge founder Anthony Scaramucci has criticized the decision by Sam Bankman-Fried’s defense to allow him to take the stand.
  • He says that the prosecutors will exploit weaknesses in his story and end up with a longer sentencing.

Anthony Scaramucci, the SkyBridge Capital founder, has voiced his opinions on the ongoing FTX case, saying Sam Bankman-Fried has run out of means to “out-fox” regulators. He added that the ex-CEO of the fallen exchange will be “skinned alive by the regulators.

Sam Bankman-Fried to take the stand in his trial case

In an Oct. 25 interview with CNBC, Anthony Scaramucci voiced his opinions on the ongoing case against FTX founder and EX-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, saying that the Department of Justice will refer to all the contradictions he made, adding years to his eventual sentence.

He stated that the move by his defense to allow him to take the stand in his criminal trial is a “very bad move” as the prosecutors will have the chance to skin him alive without much resistance.

“He’s going to get skinned alive; there’s no way to escape. He thinks he will out-fox the prosecutors, but they’re very well experienced with this stuff.”

He added that he believes that Sam Bankman-Fried’s failed ambitions and excessive urge to out-trade everyone is the end of him. FTX Ventures had acquired a stake of 30% in SkyBridge, which the company is now trying to buy back from the now-bankrupt exchange. 

However, only a little development has happened, as the exchange might be re-launched. Keep watching Fintech Express for more updates on this and other Fintech-related developments.

Landmark Marijuana Bill that could hinder regulators from freezing bank accounts of businesses they dont like heads to the Senate. 

Landmark Marijuana Bill that could hinder regulators from freezing bank accounts of businesses they dont like heads to the Senate. 

Key Points

  • A landmark Marijuana bill is headed to the US Senate seeking to challenge regulators who order the closure of bank accounts of businesses they don’t like.
  • The bill seeks to protect legal businesses from being forced to deal with reduced banking options owing to pressure from regulators.

The Senate Business Committee has approved the start of the voting process for a historic Marijuana bill that seeks to protect legal companies from asset freezes by regulators who might deem their operations ‘not moral.’

A bill that might save crypto?

An October 2 story by CNN indicates that the US Senate Banking Committee has approved a Marijuana bill that seeks to break barriers between financial institutions and Cannabis companies. The bill in question challenges the activities of Regulators who seek to freeze bank accounts of legal companies because their operations might not be legal.

The Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act aims to resolve a longstanding deadlock between regulators and the cannabis industry, which has forced the involved companies only to use cash for operations. This bill had been presented before the committee since 2015, but it’s the first time it has received a green light to head to the Senate Floor for voting.

How does this relate to crypto? If this bill passes, it will be a benchmark in the Wild West of ongoing crypto regulation in the United States. The SEC, DoJ, CFTC, and other authorities and regulators have doubled down on the crypto industry, with some key heads dubbing the industry as risky and based on non-compliance.

Sitting SEC chair, Gary Gensler has been vocal about the crypto industry being highly uncooperative in the regulatory processes that his authority has been trying to spearhead in the industry. However, it is highly noticeable that the US is trailing far behind in crypto regulation. The EU and other countries are already introducing crypto regulatory frameworks. 

If this bill passes, it will be a benchmark for companies like Coinbase and Binance that have legal tussles with US regulators to defend their stances that crypto is not a morally legal grey area. However, now only the voting process by the Senators is left to dictate the direction of the bill.

Court approves 76 days defense time extension in SEC prosecution against Justin Sun

Court approves 76 days defense time extension in SEC prosecution against Justin Sun

The SEC vs. Justin Sun case on possible Tron (TRX) market manipulation has seen a new development after the presiding judge granted a defense extension till December 8, 2023, to explore possible resolution before motion practice.

Justin Sun’s legal team gets more time to explore possible resolutions with the SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) case against Tron Network’s Justin Sun kickstarted in March 2023 as the regulator alleged that Sun, Tron Foundation, BitTorrent Foundation, and a company named Rainberry had illegally exposed investors to Tron (TRX) and BitTorrent (BTT) tokens as unregistered securities.

The commission added that Sun was plotting to manipulate the market prices of Tron tokens (TRX). In a court order dated September 14, 2023, Sun and Rainberry’s legal defense teams asked the court to give them more time to find an amicable resolution to the debacle, which Judge Edgardo Ramos granted. 

This development is not new in complex legal cases, especially where out-of-court settlements and resolutions could be reached. The defendants and the prosecution will now have time to discuss their differences and develop a mutual agreement that will benefit both. 

It will also provide more time for further investigations to be carried out, defining more clearly who is in the wrong if court proceedings resume. While the specifics of the case remain confidential, the crypto industry will be keenly watching this case as it is part of a broader effort by the SEC to regulate crypto assets it sees as securities. Keep watching Fintech Express for more updates on this and other fintech related developments.

UAE Central Bank to take action against unlicensed Digital Asset Service Providers

Brazil to add crypto to debtor’s protected list

  • Brazilian lawmakers are working on a law that could see crypto enter the debtor’s protected assets list.
  • This means that significant crypto holdings might start being protected from seizures on behalf of creditors in the country.

Brazilian lawmakers are discussing a motion that seeks to grant strong protection to significant crypto savings as part of a bill to protect the savings assets of debtors.

Crypto may become part of debtors’ personal savings category protected from seizures in Brazil

Bill 4.420/2021, Written by Deputy Carlos Bezerra, has been tabled to the committee on the Constitution, Justice and Citizenship in the Chamber of Deputies of the National Congress of Brazil, seeking to amend the Code of Civil Procedure of 2015 to protect private savings of debtors equals to 40 minimum wages from potential seizure on behalf of their creditors.

The bill’s initial version did not include crypto assets but has now been rewritten to include tokenized assets as well. This discussion is a landmark in the crypto industry as governments are increasing their efforts to streamline the adoption and usage of these assets worldwide.

The new version of the bill refers to digital assets as

“Digital representations of value that can be traded or transferred via electronic means and used for making payments or investments.”

This legal development is not a set-apart event. In August, the Brazilian Congressional Committee approved amendments to a bill that seeks to raise taxes on crypto assets held overseas. Keep watching Fintech Express for more updates on crypto and other FinTech-related developments.

U.K. considers blanket ban on crypto investment cold calls

U.K. considers blanket ban on crypto investment cold calls

Key Points

  • The United Kingdom Treasury has released a consultation paper seeking to understand the effects of a blanket ban on crypto-related cold calls.
  • The new fieldwork seeks to understand the impacts such a crypto regulation would have on businesses and the economy at this time.

The U.K. has continued to push its limits regarding crypto regulation after His Majesty’s Treasury released a consultation paper that seeks to gauge what the impacts of a blanket crypto cold calls ban would have on the economy.

U.K. crypto regulatory efforts continue

The United Kingdom government is increasing its oversight on crypto assets as it considers the industry risky to its citizens. Some of its regulators have been issuing tighter restrictions, like the UK FCA and advertising boards, to control what it considers a ‘mayhem’ in the industry.

On May 3, it announced an ambitious fraud strategy that created new jobs in a push to review policies around emerging technologies sectors. The country’s National Crime Agency estimates that fraud costs are approximately $8.7 billion annually, an arrangement the government will not “tolerate.”

Now, the Treasury’s Economic Secretary, Andrew Griffith, has said that an increasing number of cold calls, often used to target vulnerable members of society, leads to fraudulent activities. As a result, the Treasury is now weighing whether to impose a blanket ban on crypto related cold calls.

In the consultation paper, the Treasury highlighted numerous cold calls being responsible for significant loses of monetary value from citizens via crypto assets. Though it has imposed several prohibitions, scammers are finding new ways of bypassing the law an arrangement the U.K. government won’t tolerate anymore.