Kiffmeister’s #Fintech Daily Digest (20230119)

US authorities dismantle ransomware-friendly Bitzlato exchange, arrest co-founder

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) charged Anatoly Legkodymov, co-founder of the Bitzlato digital asset exchange, with conducting a money transmitting business that transported and transmitted illicit funds and that failed to meet U.S. regulatory safeguards, including anti-money laundering (AML) requirements. The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) alleged that Bitzlato facilitated “illicit transactions for ransomware actors operating in Russia, including Conti, a Ransomware-as-a-Service group that has links to the Government of Russia.” Also it said that Binance was among the biggest counterparties that received Bitcoin from Bitzlato between May 2018 and September 2022. [Read more at CoinGeek]

Digital Currency Group halts dividends as Genesis preps bankruptcy filing

Genesis Global Capital, the crypto lending unit of Digital Currency Group (DCG), is reportedly laying the groundwork for a bankruptcy filing. It has been in confidential negotiations with various creditor groups amid a liquidity crunch, and has warned that it may need to file for bankruptcy if it fails to raise cash. Genesis suspended withdrawals in November, soon after crypto exchange FTX — where Genesis held some of its funds — filed for bankruptcy. Meanwhile, DCG has informed its shareholders the firm is suspending dividends until further notice, and CoinDesk has reportedly hired Lazard to advise it on a sale that would carve it out from DCG. [Read more at CoinGeek]

National Australia Bank Becomes Second Australian Bank to Build Stablecoin

The National Australia Bank (NAB) aims to launch an Australian dollar-pegged stablecoin (AUDN) in the middle of 2023. Its purpose would be to allow its customers to settle transactions in real-time using Australian dollars, and several other purposes including “carbon credit trading, overseas money transfers and repurchase agreements.” The stablecoin will launch on the Ethereum and Algorand blockchains. NAB is the second major Australian bank to be involved in the creation of a stablecoin. Earlier, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) teamed up with crypto custodian Fireblocks to mint a stablecoin pegged to the Australian dollar. [Read more at CoinDesk]

Thailand Issues New Regulations on Custodied Cryptocurrencies

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued new regulations on custodied crypto-assets. Companies offering crypto custody services are now required to “establish a digital wallet management system to accommodate efficient custody of digital assets and keys and ensure safety of clients’ assets.” [Read more at the SEC]

2nd Edition of DC³ Conference – From Cryptocurrencies to Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will hold (virtually) the second edition of its DC3 Conference – From Cryptocurrencies to Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)​ from January 24 to 27 2023. On January 27 I will be moderating two panels on offline central bank digital currency (CBDC). Also, on January 24, Jacques Francouer and I will be providing an update to our ITU Digital Currency Global Initiative digital currency ontology work. [For more event detail go to the ITU DC3 conference site]

Kiffmeister’s global central bank digital currency monthly monitor

Just a reminder that I produce a monthly digest of central bank digital currency (CBDC) developments exclusively for the official sector. So for any of you out there who work for a central bank, ministry of finance or international financial institution who would like to receive it by email on the first business day of every month, please DM me on LinkedIn or email me at chronicles@kiffmeister.com.

The Sovereign Official Digital Association (SODA) is a technology-agnostic firm offering advisory services at the intersection of central banking, digital finance and the web3 industry, aiming to make public digital money a reality. SODA believes institutions in the existing financial ecosystem should have access to the tools and resources they need to move from discussion to action. SODA offers ‘real life’ use cases to help test digital money and drive adoption as central banks and other public institutions explore the future of a more financially inclusive world powered by interoperable blockchain-based networks. SODA would love you to join us on this journey – please get in touch (chris@sodapublicmoney.org).

Satoshi Capital Advisors is a New York-based, global advisory firm that works with central banks, governments, and the private sector to architect, implement, and operate varying initiatives. Satoshi Capital Advisors’ central bank work revolves around CBDC architecture and implementation, providing advisory services from research phase through to growth phase. Utilizing a product-market fit and technology agnostic approach to CBDC architecture and implementation enables Satoshi Capital Advisors to build tailored solutions, bespoke to local financial system nuances. Satoshi Capital Advisors welcomes requests from central bank officials for virtual and in-person CBDC workshops. [Click here for more information]

WhisperCash offers the first fully offline digital currency platform that has the same properties as physical cash. It can perform secure consecutive offline payments without compromising on security, privacy or accessibility. WhisperCash allows direct person to person offline payments without any server infrastructure or internet connectivity. It comes in various form factors including the self-contained credit card-sized “Pro” that sports an eInk screen and capacitive keyboard, and lasts for two weeks between recharges assuming a few transactions per day. [Click here for more information]

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