Russia’s Latest Crypto Law, Petro (Un)Wanted, Crypto Thefts on the Rise & Global Tokenization Standards TBD

In this edition:

  • Russia’s Legal Hunt on Cryptocurrencies
  • Venezuela’s ‘Head of Crypto’ Wanted by the U.S.
  • 2020 Will Hold the Record for Cryptocurrency Thefts
  • Microsoft, IBM, and 20+ Other Industry Leaders to Set Global Tokenization Standards

January, February… Umm, June? Yes, my dear fellow Anchorians, soon we’ll be entering the second half of this bizarre year. I just can’t help but think how swiftly everything flew by, and yet it truly seemed as if it would never end. Time’s a strange concept, huh? Luckily, the world of crypto doesn’t rest and we’ve got plenty of stories to keep our minds occupied. 

For starters, it looks like the legislative issues are once more in the spotlight, at least in the world’s largest country. Strangely enough, cryptocurrencies are now simultaneously being kept on a close watch and at arm’s length. Nevertheless, the industry is booming and looking sharper than ever!

This week was marked by interesting events, one of them was a short jump over $10k in BTC price, but since there were no major changes when it comes to the first-ever cryptocurrency, we’ll make room for other important news this time. From Caracas, Venezuela to Moscow, Russia – the 43rd edition of our Weekly Crypto Roundup will take you on a journey around the world. Now, without further ado, let’s sail into another Roundup together!

Russia’s Legal Hunt on Cryptocurrencies

In Soviet Russia, cryptocurrencies change you.
Yeah, I went there. Had to. Now, back on the serious stuff again. 

A new bill dubbed ‘’On Digital Financial Assets’’ was presented by the Russian Duma, a bill that essentially put new series of restrictions on cryptocurrencies. The document has been available to the public since Monday, and it will definitely change the legal landscape for crypto. Also, if you are a crypto exchange registered in Russia, well, then for you this isn’t a story with a happy ending. The primary idea was to allow Russian citizens to hold cryptocurrencies but to tax them. Anyhow, the bill went a little bit further than that.

Any ‘’circulation’’ of cryptocurrencies will be forbidden, along with the mining and advertising. However, there’s still time for crypto enthusiasts to put their affairs in order since the bill will turn into an active law later this summer. 

“It’s a pity that cool technology startups are forced to leave the country and cannot operate in their homeland. We will transfer our team to the EU now,” said the CEO of KickEX, Anti Danilevski. He added that now there will be no exchanges operating in Russia. While the world’s largest country is not interested in banning blockchain, they are very much interested in banning any currency in the digital sphere that is not ruble. 

Nonetheless, hear this – Russia has been the leader in peer-to-peer BTC trading on LocalBitcoins for two consecutive months, April and May. So, this proves that Russians have an appetite for cryptocurrencies, only their government doesn’t. In the previous Roundup, we mentioned that Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, was buying crypto mining ATMs. None of this makes sense, right? One must ask – could this mean that the country wants a monopoly on crypto?  Just a thought, though. 

While this new against-crypto law brings uncertainty to the community, many fear what will happen now that everything moves to the ‘’grey zone’’. One thing is certain – private companies won’t be able to issue tokens in Russia or exchange them. Say goodbye to mining, too.

If you are a crypto enthusiast from Russia, please feel free to share your viewpoint on this situation in Anchor’s Telegram Community and help us understand what you’re dealing with. Good luck!

Venezuela’s ‘Head of Crypto’ Wanted by the U.S.

By David Rock Design, Pixabay

The first man of Venezuela’s cryptocurrency, petro, is wanted by the U.S. government on charges of corruption and links to the trade of narcotics. Joselit Ramirez Camacho is now on the Most Wanted List with a 5 million dollar bounty for any valid information that will lead to his arrest.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is accusing Ramirez Camacho of violations regarding international commerce and alleged connections to the trafficking of narcotics. Venezuela’s Head of Crypto is now in hiding and his last known location was the country’s capital, Caracas. 

Joselit Ramirez Camacho is possibly the only person who understands the infrastructure behind petro, Venezuela’s national cryptocurrency backed by the reserves of crude oil and minerals. Petro was the government’s attempt to fight bolivar’s hyperinflation and to bypass sanctions. Naturally, the U.S. government disapproved of the idea since its inception. 

Truth be told, Venezuela and the U.S. have been in tense relations for a long time, and Ramirez Camacho is definitely not the first nor the only wanted Venezuelan. Just a quick reminder, President Barack Obama firstly imposed sanctions on Venezuela in 2015, naming this country ‘’a threat to national security’’. 

What happens to petro now? A few months ago, President Maduro started an initiative to airdrop half a petro to each public employee and retiree in order to encourage the citizens to use the currency. Since then, radio silence. However, don’t worry, fellow Anchorians, if anything newsworthy happens, you’ll know it!

2020 Will Hold the Record for Cryptocurrency Thefts

A colleague of mine has recently told me that her friend’s hot wallet was hacked and all his crypto assets taken. Bummer, I thought, but that’s not the first crypto theft story I’ve heard this year. It turns out – cryptocurrency thefts are a new trend in 2020! Bummer again. 

CipherTrace, a digital asset intelligence firm, shared a report on crypto hacks, thefts, and frauds, and revealed that, only in the first five months of 2020, an amount of 1.36 billion dollars was unlawfully taken! This unfortunate trend could soon mark 2020 as a year with the most crypto-related thefts. 

Many scammers used COVID-19 as the main theme of their phishing schemes, pretending to be the World Health Organization or the Red Cross. This indeed is sad news for the crypto industry since criminals like these continue to give us a bad name. Actually, almost 98% of all crypto thefts were done through frauds and scams, and only 2% via hacking.

Another interesting fact was shared by CipherTrace – 74% of the exchanged BTC is cross-border, meaning there are some serious red flags when it comes to money laundering.  

I believe it’s important to talk about these negative events, too, and raise awareness within the community in order to prevent fraud from happening. Naturally, crimes like these are being committed in many industries, not just in crypto, but we have the responsibility to act and set an example of how crypto can be used for good

Microsoft, IBM, and 20+ Other Industry Leaders to Set Global Tokenization Standards

By Pushish Images, Shutterstock

There is some good news in this Roundup after all! Microsoft, Nasdaq, IBM, Hyperledger, Chainlink, and many more have established an alliance to develop global standards for tokenization. 

The idea was presented by Marley Grey from Microsoft and Ron Resnick from Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and it resulted in forming a nonprofit organization called InterWork Alliance. The IWA is meant to serve as a hub for 28 leader companies in blockchain, finance, and technology. Together, they aim to set standards for token-based ecosystems worldwide.  

The pain point here is the fact that most startups are focused on individual solutions their platforms offer, while global standards could help in developing wide-scale innovations. 

“The Alliance was created to serve as the organization where this essential work happens. By bringing great technology and innovative business leaders together to deliver the market-driven specifications needed to facilitate interworking, the Alliance can deliver a proven, standard approach that is required to bring consumer trust into this space,” was said in the official statement.

The Alliance’s focuses will be: The Token Taxonomy Framework will provide a common language and toolset, The InterWork Framework will enable businesses to compose multi-party contracts, and The Analytics Framework that will help in improving further actions. 

Final Thoughts

Exhausted? Well, you learned a lot in this 43rd edition of Weekly Crypto Roundup, so you deserve a break! Sometimes, the news is good and sometimes it’s bad. Circle of life, right? While we’re slowly preparing for the summer, the world of crypto doesn’t stop spinning, and that’s the best part!

I’m excited to see what the 44th edition will bring to us, and darn, the big 50th jubilee is so close! You know the drill now, my fellow Anchorians, I wish you fair winds and the following seas until next week. 

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not legal, accounting, or financial advice. I am not a lawyer, accountant, or financial advisor. I am not registered as an investment adviser with any federal or state regulatory agency. The Information should not be construed as investment or trading advice and is not meant to be a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any cryptocurrencies.