Daily fraud update: 11th February

Chris Lee

Belgian regulator makes calls for crypto rule change

A regulator in the European nation of Belgium has made a public call for the country’s government to change its laws in regard to cryptocurrency.

It is understood that the country’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) is asking the Belgian government to implement a range of progressive rules around crypto.

The plea was believed to have been made by Jean-Paul Servais, who serves as the chairman of the FSMA.

He was understood to have been speaking in front of the Belgian Senate when he made the remarks.

He called for a regulatory change to permit the “sale, purchase, and use of virtual currencies and all related financial products”, press reports claimed.

He was further quoted as having claimed that regulation would allow more oversight into firms operating in the crypto sphere.

“Due to their non-traceability, the bitcoins are and other virtual currencies very popular in the context of cybercrime; they are ubiquitous on the darknet, since they can become cybercrime committed without leaving traces”, his agency was quoted as saying.

The FSMA is a prime example of a Western regulator which takes its duties very seriously, and which often makes statements warning members of the general public – or traders in particular – about certain organisations.

It maintains a list of organisations which it considers to be potentially fraudulent.

When it added a range of updates to its list in late 2019, for example, the overall number of firms listed rose to 131.

Coinbase adds trading support in New York for various cryptocurrencies 

Online cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has revealed that it can now support customers who trade the cryptocurrencies Zcash and USDC in the state of New York.

Previously, it wasn’t possible for traders who were based in New York to get support for those cryptocurrencies with Coinbase, perhaps due to the fact that there is a complex regulatory framework in place in New York state.

New York state goes far beyond the city of the same name and stretches right up to the US border with Canada.

Coinbase has, however, offered trading support for other firms since later in 2018.

However, now New York residents will be able to enjoy the benefits of trading USDC and Zcash in particular.

According to press reports, the change in the rules will mean that customers in the jurisdiction will be permitted to do everything from convert the assets to receiving and sending them.

This comes after Coinbase made increasingly small moves towards offering customers in New York access to a range of particular supported tokens.

Over the course of the last year, for example, it began to offer Chainlink and Stellar Lumens.

The arrival of Zcash and USDC, however, are significant.

“USDC ($USDC) is now available to New York residents at http://Coinbase.com and in the Coinbase iOS and Android apps”, the firm wrote on social networking site Twitter – alongside a similar post for Zcash.

Chris Lee

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