Daily fraud update: 23rd December

Chris Lee

Germany permits sale and storage of crypto at banks

Germany has made a major step forward in terms of its cryptocurrency regulation by permitting banks to both sell cryptocurrency and store it – from next year onwards.

The change, which came about as a result of the German Parliament altering the law, is now impending and will take effect on New Year’s Day.

The news arrives in the midst of a heated atmosphere.

There have long been clamours for Germany to increase its cryptocurrency regulation level, with some German experts announcing at the February 2018 G20 summit that something needed to be done to regulate crypto further.

The move comes after Deutsche Bank announced in April of last year (2018) that it believed there needed to be a greater move towards cryptocurrency regulation.

It said at the time that bitcoin was responsible for a rise in fraudulent behaviour.

Since then, a range of other banks in the country have revealed themselves to be broadly positive towards cryptocurrencies.

Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, Wertpapierhandels Bank and Commerzbank are just three examples of firms which began to cater to the growing crypto market by offering crypto-powered asset trading platforms.

Deutsche Bank was arguably left out in the cold with its relatively anti-crypto position.

This development in the law, and the reaction to it, appears to suggest that it will enhance rather than damage the German economy.

Rather than alienate potential crypto business, crypto regulation often enhances the sector it governs because it increases the level of confidence in that particular country’s crypto ecosystem.

Sven Hildebrandt, a professional from the consulting firm DLC who was quoted in the press speaking on the change, said that the country could soon be a “crypto-heaven” now that the changes had been enacted.

“Germany is well on its way to becoming a crypto-heaven. The German legislator is playing a pioneering role in the regulation of [crypto assets]”, he said.

Australian network abandons bitcoin over security concerns

A payment network in Australia has announced that it will no longer be offering Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash as part of its payment options.

TravelByBit, which is a payment platform and network which works alongside 400 merchants in the country, won’t be including either bitcoin core or its cash variant in its point of sale tools any longer.

By way of explanation, Caleb Yeoh – who is the founder of the firm – cited security concerns and claimed that bitcoin was “not suitable” for many commercial transactions.

“We will be dropping both [BTC] and [BCH] from the POS (Point of Sale)”, he said.

“The truth is both [BTC] and [BCH] and many other blockchains are not suitable for retail point of sale transactions. There are trade-offs between user experience vs security”, he added.

TravelByBit describes itself as a “travel booking agency that allows you to pay for your travel services…in a range of cryptocurrencies and traditional payment methods”.

Chris Lee

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