UK Financial Regulator: Watch Out for Coronavirus Crypto Scams

The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is asking investors to watch out for coronavirus-related crypto scams. In a March 11 warning to the public, FCA, the U.K’s top financial regulator, said that scammers may attempt to take advantage of the fast-spiraling global pandemic which has infected some 460 U.K. residents and killed eight. “Watch out for scams related to coronavirus (COVID-19),” the FCA wrote. “These scams take many forms and could be about insurance policies, pensions transfers, or high-return investment opportunities, including investments in cryptoassets.” The warning came the…

US Court Fines ICOBox $16M for Securities Violation in SEC Case

A federal court has ordered ICOBox to pay a $16 million penalty to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) for violating U.S. securities law. On March 5, Judge Dale S. Fischer of the District Court for the Central District of California granted the SEC’s motion for default judgment against the ICO-as-a-service platform and founder and CEO Nikolay Evdokimov. The SEC first brought charges against ICOBox in September 2019, accusing the company of hosting an unregistered securities sale. The regulator also accused the company of acting as an unlicensed securities broker…

Bitcoiners in Europe Reflect on Economic Shocks as Coronavirus Spreads

With assets from oil barrels to bitcoin being pulverized by the coronavirus slowdown, people worldwide are reevaluating their plans for crypto gatherings, especially in geographies where anti-COVID-19 measures are increasingly serious.  In Milan, Italy, which was officially placed in lockdown by the Italian government on Sunday, bitcoin entrepreneur and meetup organizer Mir Liponi is facing more pressing concerns than her hobbyist meetup of 1,800 members. Weddings and funerals are forbidden, she told CoinDesk. Most grocery shopping is done online, which leads to delayed deliveries. “Authorities told us we will always…

Moonshots Capital, DCG, Tezos Back $2.5M Fundraise for Crypto Software Provider

Crypto software firm Zabo, which claims it can connect bank accounts directly to cryptocurrency wallets, raised $2.5 million to build out its engineering team and add new customers. The Dallas-based firm announced Thursday that it had successfully completed a funding round, with participation from Castle Island Ventures, the Tezos Foundation, CoinShares and Digital Currency Group. The round was led by Moonshots Capital, an early-stage investor that has backed the Slack messaging platform in the past. Zabo says it can connect bank accounts to crypto wallets using just a few lines…

Crypto Lender Babel Hits $380M in Outstanding Loans

Chinese cryptocurrency lending startup Babel Finance said it has reached a record of $380 million in outstanding loans as of February. Flex Yang, co-founder of Babel Finance, said on Thursday the firm’s outstanding loans have grown from $52 million-worth of USDT as of Q1 2019 to $289 million as of the end of last year, reflecting the increasing market demand in the crypto lending business amid bitcoin’s price surge since April last year. The firm, incorporated in Hong Kong late 2018 with a main operation in Beijing, has recently closed…

Ex-Employee Steals User Data From Derivatives Exchange Digitex

Decentralized derivatives exchange Digitex has fallen victim to a significant data breach believed to have exposed the email addresses and possibly other information of more than 8,000 users. A former employee stole private information for more than 8,000 users, Christina Comben, who heads Digitex’s communications, said Friday. Comben told CoinDesk the exchange was “aware of a leak of confidential data,” continuing: “We can confirm that this was not an external hack but an internal security breach orchestrated by an ex-employee with a conflict of interest against the company.” Digitex has…

Coronavirus Hits US Stocks, Bitcoin Climbs, Haven Status Unclear

The spreading coronavirus sowed a new bout of fear among investors, triggering a stock market sell-off and flight to safe-haven assets like gold and U.S. Treasury bonds, with 47 countries now reporting infections amid widespread reports of travel cancellations, shipment delays and business interruptions. U.S. stocks fell for the sixth straight day, Treasury yields slid to a record low and gold prices were little changed close to a seven-year high. Bitcoin’s price climbed 1.4 percent to $8,902, rising along with popular cryptocurrencies including ether. Analysts for the Wall Street firm…

Tokenized US T-Bond Fund Seeks Foothold in $17T Market

The crypto industry is taking aim at one of Wall Street’s oldest redoubts: investing in the $17 trillion market for U.S. Treasury bonds.  Arca Funds, a Los Angeles-based money manager specializing in cryptocurrencies, wants to create a fund to buy U.S. Treasury bonds and then use them to back a digital token created atop the ethereum blockchain network. Those tokens will then be distributed to investors. The plan, refiled earlier this month after more than a year of back-and-forth with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, still awaits the regulator’s…

Caitlin Long on Coronavirus, Crypto Custody and Building a Bank

A new crypto bank tries to address some of the most fundamental issues for institutions that want to get into the space.  An incredible amount of work has gone into convincing institutional investors that bitcoin (BTC) and other crypto should be on their radar. Now that many are convinced, however, they face some significant limitations in the infrastructure.  A new crypto bank out of Wyoming is designed to address those problems. Founded by Caitlin Long, Avanti is apply for a special purpose depository institution (SPDI) charter and already has eight…

New Jersey Lawmaker Wants to Create a Crypto License

A New Jersey lawmaker wants to license crypto exchanges and custodians looking to conduct business in the Garden State. Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez (D.-19) introduced the Digital Asset and Blockchain Technology Act Friday, putting forth a proposal to license any entity looking to provide digital asset trading, storage, purchase, sales, exchange, borrowing/lending or issuance services. The N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance would be tasked with overseeing this license and regulating businesses. The term “digital asset” encompasses virtual currencies, digital securities and other assets, including anything with a transaction history recorded…