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Daily fraud update: 29th October

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Crypto legalisation on the way for Ukraine

The government of Ukraine has announced that it will create a legal status for cryptocurrency in a move which could have far-reaching effects for those who perpetrate crypto fraud in eastern Europe.

The policies, which are being brought about by the country’s government under the auspices of its new president Volodymyr Zelensky, look set to place a tax on crypto.

It remains to be seen exactly which parts of the crypto sphere will be taxed, although it is believed that crypto mining could be in the firing line.

Money earned through trading crypto assets may also face taxation.

Crypto is popular in Ukraine, with one study suggesting that well over 100% of Ukrainian technology users have crypto of one sort or another.

There are also plans afoot for the government to implement the use of blockchain into the delivery of vital public services, such as identity cards.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Fedorov said in an interview with a local news site that it could help turn the state into a “simple service”.

“I want to turn the state into a simple service… so that when you interact with the state, you feel comfortable, just like

[when]

  you order Uber, or book a room on Booking or Airbnb”, he is quoted as saying.

According to some crypto watchers, bringing crypto into the mainstream like this can help reduce incidences of fraud and other crimes.

Rise in crypto crimes in South Africa

A crypto business leader has turned the spotlight on crypto crime in South Africa by claiming that it has a large-scale crypto problem.

According to Paxful, which is a peer to peer bitcoin-selling marketplace as well as a provider of crypto storage services such as wallets, there has been a general rise in the number of crypto trades placed in the country to the tune of several thousand per cent over the course of a year.

However, the amount of crime is also on the rise, said founder Ray Youssef.

“Bitcoin is secure but sometimes the way we use it is unsafe”, he said.

“We have to treat bitcoin like cash and protect our personal information and passwords the same way we do when we use an ATM or shop online. Once your bitcoin is in the hands of hackers and scammers, it is irreversible, so to have the necessary safeguards in place is critical.”

On a more positive note, he also added that it was possible to reduce the amount of risk.

“For more and more people all over the world, P2P finance is their only hope for financial inclusion and empowerment. While it’s not possible to completely eliminate the risk of crypto fraud and theft, by taking a few simple precautions you can substantially reduce your chances of becoming a victim”, he explained.