Today in Crypto: Authorities Seize Domains of 9 Crypto Exchanges, US 30% Mining Tax Proposal Enters Budget, UK to Ban Cold Calls Selling Crypto, YouTuber Served on Twitter
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- Nine digital currency exchanges saw their domains seized and servers shut down by the US FBI and Ukrainian law enforcement. “Much of the criminal activity occurring at the affected exchanges involved cyber actors responsible for ransomware, but also other scammers, and cybercriminals. The service’s website offered support in both Russian and English,“ said the announcement. The domains are: 24xbtc.com, 100btc.pro, pridechange.com, 101crypta.com, uxbtc.com, trust-exchange.org, bitcoin24.exchange, paybtc.pro, and owl.gold.
- The US President Joe Biden administration included the proposal to impose a 30% tax on the electricity used by crypto mining operations in its budget for the fiscal year of 2024. In a White House blog post, the administration introduced the Digital Asset Mining Energy or DAME excise tax. It said it wants to tax crypto mining firms because they aren't paying for the “full cost they impose on others,” including environmental pollution, high energy prices, and increased greenhouse gas emissions’ impact on the climate.
- The UK government will ban cold calls selling financial products including crypto, according to an announcement by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. “We will ban cold calls on all financial products, so that anyone who receives calls trying to sell them products such as crypto currency schemes or insurance will know it’s a scam,” he said. Among other announced measures, the country is setting up a National Fraud Squad to fight related crime with 400 new posts.
- An order from a Florida, USA, district court judge granted The Moskowitz Law Firm permission to serve legal notice to crypto YouTuber Tom Nash via a tweet, after the lawyers claimed that they couldn’t reach him through other means – which they did on May 2. “Service by e-mail, through social media, or through publication on a designated website is not prohibited under international agreement in this case,” the lawyers argued. Nash is one of ten defendants named in a class-action lawsuit against influencers alleged to have promoted the bankrupt FTX exchange without disclosing their compensation.
- New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) fined crypto exchange bitFlyer USA $1.2 million for failing to meet the state's cybersecurity requirement. Per a consent order, “through the Examinations, the Department discovered multiple deficiencies in the Company’s cybersecurity program, as mandated by both the Cybersecurity Regulation and the Virtual Currency Regulation.“ NYDFS acknowledged the company's efforts to improve its cybersecurity.
- Hashflow, a decentralized finance (DeFi) trading platform, announced a partnership with Web3 infrastructure company MoonPay to integrate crypto on-ramps to the exchange. Traders can now purchase digital assets and trade on Hashflow using credit cards and bank transfers across 160 countries, they said.
- Fineqia International, a digital asset and fintech investment business, plans to start a new venture capital fund that will invest in innovative companies in the digital asset industry and will transfer a selection of its investments to a new company called Fineqia Glass Slipper Ventures (FGSV). The new fund will be regulated in Europe, it said, and Fineqia will be seeding this VC fund with some of its existing investments, including a stake in the US SEC-registered digital asset investment manager Wave Digital Assets.
- The Hashgraph Association, a non-profit organization helping the adoption of the Hedera network, announced the appointment of Heran Shah as the new Executive Director, Global Business Development. As a former Global Sales Leader at IBM, Shah “will lead the growth of Hedera solutions across markets worldwide, while identifying opportunities in the new tri-dimensional world of IOT, Blockchain/DLT, and AI,” the announcement said.