The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) fined Bitfinex and Tether more than $42 million on allegations that over a 26-month period between 2016 and 2018, the reserve funds backing its USDT stablecoin were comingled with the company’s corporate funds and held in non-cash products, relying on unregulated entities and certain third-parties to hold funds comprising the reserves. Tether confirmed that indeed the reserves were not all in cash and all in a bank account titled in Tether’s name, at all times, contrary to what the firm had claimed during the period in question. [Read more]
The US Treasury Department Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) released a new brochure with crypto-specific guidance on navigating U.S. sanction controls. It largely pushes the idea that OFAC expects virtual currency operators to shoulder the same responsibility for avoiding sanctions violations as other financial institutions. OFAC names a range of actors that must develop risk-assessment programs, including technology companies, exchangers, administrators, miners, and wallet providers, as well as more traditional financial institutions that may have exposure to virtual currencies or their service providers. [Read more]
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