[co-author: Lauren Bass]

CBDC initiatives announced, blockchain platform for trade finance launched

By Robert A. Musiala Jr.

This week the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) announced the Dunbar Project, an initiative in which the BIS will work with the Reserve Bank of Australia, Bank Negara Malaysia, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the South African Reserve Bank “To test the use of the central bank”. digital currencies (CBDCs) for international payments. ”According to the press release, the project aims to develop“ multi-CBDC platforms ”that enable financial institutions to trade the digital currencies issued by the participating central banks directly with one another, thereby the need for intermediaries is eliminated and the time and cost of transactions are reduced. “

The Central Bank of Nigeria issued a press release this week to announce that it has hired Bitt Inc. as the technical partner for their proposed CBDC called eNaira. The press release states that the eNaira will be launched later in the year. The Central Bank of Cuba, according to a recently released report, issued a resolution setting its powers to authorize the use of cryptocurrencies in commercial transactions and to license virtual asset service providers to conduct certain financial activities.

In the private sector, a major global financial institution announced this week that it has partnered with “a leading provider of supply chain finance technology solutions in China” to build a “fully digitized trade finance creation and distribution platform” powered by blockchain and artificial intelligence based technology. And in a recent final report, a five-star hotel in the Swiss Alps, The Chedi Andermatt, announced that it would accept Bitcoin and Ether as a means of payment from its guests.

For more information, see the links below:

Baseball, art, politics, trade: NFT market continues to grow

By Lauren Bass

A baseball trading card company recently announced the launch of its new NFT series. According to reports, the digital collectibles will include motion animation, facsimile signatures, and “digital relic content” featuring both novice and experienced gamers. The NFTs are only offered online via a public blockchain platform operated by Avalanche.

A New York art auction house has begun accepting bids for two NFTs designed by Yuga Labs: 101 Bored Ape Yacht Club and 101 Bored Ape Kennel Club. Reportedly, the collections, which should collectively raise bids of nearly $ 20 million, will be offered for purchase via Ether, Bitcoin, or USDC.

To raise money for his gubernatorial campaign, a former Minnesota state senator is reportedly offering a number of state fair-themed NFTs. The limited edition tokens are available for a minimum donation of $ 5. According to reports, an NFT purchase also entitles you to participate in a rewards program with prizes ranging from meet-and-greets to exclusive promotional events.

Following its CryptoPunk purchase last week, an international payment company published a white paper on NFTs. The 17-page report provides insights into the current NFT landscape and provides “actionable guides” on how companies “evaluate and scale NFT opportunities” in the areas of branding and consumer engagement.

For more information, see the links below:

Gaming token shifts from Ethereum, MetaMask announces 10 million users

By Veronica Reynolds

This week, a cryptocurrency subsidiary of a major video game, entertainment and technology company announced that its interactive gaming token, ATRI, now operates on the Fantom Proof-of-Stake blockchain and is different from the ERC-20 Proof of-Work moves away the standard on which the token was originally started. In a press release, the company named network speed and costs as justifying factors for the move.

According to recently released data, MetaMask, provider of popular Ethereum Wallet software, has amassed over 10 million users to date. That’s reportedly an 1,800% increase in user acquisition over a one-year period. The increase appears to be the result of a sharp surge in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) adoption this year, with MetaMask being considered “the most widely used wallet in the DeFi world”.

For more information, see the links below:

BitConnect charged with $ 2 billion in crypto fraud, BitConnect promoter pleads guilty

By Jordan R. Silversmith and Robert A. Musiala Jr.

This week the US Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges against BitConnect, an online crypto lending platform. its founder; and its lead promoter in the US and its affiliates for their role in scamming over $ 2 billion in investors. According to the SEC’s lawsuit, from early 2017 to January 2018, the defendants operated a scheme of attracting investors by promising exorbitant returns using proprietary trading software. However, instead of investing these funds, Defendants have diverted the investors’ funds into digital wallets for their personal use. The SEC’s complaint accuses the defendants of violating the anti-fraud and registration requirements of federal securities laws and calls for injunctions, levies plus interest, and civil penalties.

In a related press release, the US Department of Justice announced that a BitConnect director and promoter, Glenn Arcaro, pleaded guilty to participating in the program, including fraudulently marketing the alleged coin offering, digital currency exchange and trading offer of BitConnect and by operating “a pyramid scheme known as the BitConnect referral program”. According to the DOJ press release, Arcaro admitted making no less than $ 24 million from the scam. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000 or double the gross profit or loss from the crime, whichever is greater.

For more information, see the links below:

Seychelles investigate crypto fraud, Singapore issues Exchange warning

By Jordan R. Silversmith

The Seychelles Police Department’s financial crime investigative unit has reportedly received documents requesting an investigation into multiple transactions involving 230,000 bitcoin transfers related to the OneCoin fraud system. The transactions reportedly comprised over $ 10 billion in cash and property and resulted from claims filed in London, Dublin and Brussels after nearly $ 500 million of money allegedly stolen from a bank account in Dubai were discovered. According to a press release, the Seychelles Police are currently reviewing the documents before taking any further action.

This week Singapore issued an investor warning for Binance, a major crypto exchange, after the city-state’s financial regulator reported that the company provided payment services to and solicited business from residents of Singapore in violation of the Payment Services Act. In an email statement this week, Binance reportedly said it was aware of the watchdog’s comments and was actively working with the Singapore Monetary Authority to address these issues.

For more information, see the links below:

DeFi Hacked, Exchange Hack Tracked, Report covers cryptocurrency by region

By Teresa Goody Guillén

A decentralized financial credit protocol (DeFi) reportedly suffered its second flash credit attack this year, losing over $ 25 million. Flash credit attacks use the DeFi feature of loans that do not require collateral. A DeFi Protocol representative stated that the main cause of the incident was AMP token lending as AMP token contracts allowed a re-entry attack (allegedly the same type of exploit used in the 2016 Ethereum Network DAO hack) .

According to a blockchain analytics firm, hackers who recently stole about $ 97 million worth of cryptocurrencies from a crypto exchange used an unprotected, privacy-conscious desktop wallet to protect some of their profits. The desktop wallet enables users to make their bitcoins less traceable in the public ledger by arranging CoinJoin transactions, also known as coin mixing, allowing multiple users to mix their bitcoins in joint transactions and keep the same number of bitcoins while the external tracking of payments. The wallet also forwards transactions over the Tor network to hide the user’s IP address. Over 437 Bitcoin ($ 20 million) linked to the Exchange hackers have reportedly been laundered so far using the wallets’ CoinJoin function.

This week a blockchain analytics firm previewed its Geography of Cryptocurrency 2021 report. Among other things, the following was found in the preview:

  • Addresses based in Africa and Eastern Europe show the one or second highest risk from illegal cryptocurrency addresses.
  • Eastern Europe sends more cryptocurrencies to darknet markets than any other region, largely due to activity with a darknet market that only appeals to users in Russian-speaking countries across Eastern Europe.
  • Eastern Europe sent the most web traffic to fraudulent websites during the period under review.
  • Western Europe and Eastern Europe sent most of the cryptocurrencies to illegal addresses and received most of the cryptocurrency value through scams.
  • Western Europe-based addresses and Eastern European cryptocurrency addresses have received the largest monies from addresses associated with ransomware ($ 51 million and $ 46 million, respectively).

For more information, see the links below: