Kraken CEO: Regulators Let Bad Guys Get Big and Blow Up to Serve Their Agenda

https://news.bitcoin.com/kraken-ceo-regulators-let-bad-guys-get-big-and-blow-up-to-serve-their-agenda/

Kraken CEO: Regulators Let Bad Guys Get Big and Blow Up to Serve Their Agenda

The CEO of crypto exchange Kraken, Jesse Powell, says U.S. regulators “let the bad guys get big and blow up because it serves their agenda.” The executive explained: “Bad guys operate with huge competitive advantages. They suck up users, revenue, and venture capital that would otherwise have gone to good guys.”

Kraken’s CEO Has a Theory on U.S. Crypto Regulation

The chief executive of cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, Jesse Powell, took to Twitter Sunday to express his opinion regarding crypto regulation in the United States. The executive began:

I have a theory: Regulators let the bad guys get big and blow up because it serves their agenda.

Powell proceeded to name three goals he believes regulators are trying to achieve. The first is to “destroy capital/resources in [the] crypto ecosystem,” he wrote. The second is to “burn people, [and] deter adoption,” he continued, adding that the third is to “give air cover to attack good actors.”

The Kraken boss asserted that for regulators: “The bad guys are actually on-side. Good guys are the enemy.” However, he stressed: “If the bad guys can run long enough without blowing up, they might just kill the good guys for you.” Noting that bad guys “can always be jailed later,” Powell warned:

Bad guys operate with huge competitive advantages. They suck up users, revenue and venture capital that would otherwise have gone to good guys.

In another tweet, Powell commented on how regulators often seek more funding from Congress in order to regulate the crypto sector more effectively. “Funding is the obvious scapegoat. ‘If we had a bigger budget, we could have caught it.’ The facts don’t support that but, rather than impose real consequences for failure, we reward with bigger budgets. The glory is all in disaster response, so politicians manufacture disasters,” he opined.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took action against Kraken over its staking program. The crypto exchange settled with the SEC, closed down its staking program for U.S. customers, and agreed to pay $30 million in disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and civil penalties.

Powell also recently expressed his frustration regarding how regulators ignored his warning about illegal activity in the crypto space and then slapped his exchange with enforcement action. Without specifically mentioning the collapsed crypto exchange FTX, the Kraken chief tweeted Friday:

I can’t tell you how infuriating it is to have pointed out massive red flags and obviously illegal activity to regulators only to have them ignore the issues for years. ‘They’re offshore. It’s complicated. We’re looking at everybody.’ FOR YEARS. Then to be used as their example.

What do you think about Kraken CEO Jesse Powell’s theory about regulators in the U.S. letting bad guys grow big and then fail to suit their agenda? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin O’Leary Warns US Crypto Regulation Getting ‘Very Aggressive’ — ‘You’ve Got to Stay out of the Way of SEC’

https://news.bitcoin.com/kevin-oleary-warns-us-crypto-regulation-getting-very-aggressive-youve-got-to-stay-out-of-the-way-of-sec/

Kevin O'Leary Warns US Crypto Regulation Getting 'Very Aggressive' — 'You've Got to Stay out of the Way of SEC'

Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful, has warned that U.S. crypto regulation is “getting very, very aggressive.” Noting that regulators are now “regulating by enforcement, penalties, and massive fines,” O’Leary emphasized the importance of staying out of the way of the SEC, Chair Gary Gensler, and other regulators.

Kevin O’Leary Shares Outlook for Crypto Regulation

Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary has shared his outlook for the crypto industry following several enforcement actions by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Mr. Wonderful tweeted Monday:

Venture funding for new crypto projects is virtually dead and aftermarket trading for existing projects is at massive discounts. Reason? The regulator is now regulating by enforcement, penalties, and massive fines.

“The venture community has moved on to the next ‘big’ thing, AI,” he added.

O’Leary explained in an interview with Trader TV Live, published Sunday, that following the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, U.S. lawmakers are “pissed” about having to regularly meet to deal with the failures of crypto companies. Senators are “fatigued” and “really tired of gathering every six months when the next crypto company blows up and goes to zero,” the Shark Tank star described. He believes this is one of the reasons SEC Chairman Gary Gensler recently came down “heavy-handed” on crypto exchange Kraken over its staking program.

Emphasizing the SEC’s enforcement-centric approach to regulating the crypto industry, O’Leary cautioned:

That kind of environment is getting very, very aggressive and the regulators are being applauded on by the senators and congressmen and women who are saying ‘What is this? We’ve had enough of this stuff.’

O’Leary warned that unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges will be put out of business or go to zero by the regulators over the next few years. He stressed:

You got to get on board with regulation. You’ve got to stay out of the way of Gensler and the SEC, and other regulators.

“Those hombres in Washington are not happy … FTX poked the bear. The bear’s awake and it’s pissed,” O’Leary concluded.

The Shark Tank star said earlier this month that most crypto tokens are worthless, emphasizing that they will “eventually just go to zero.” O’Leary was recently slammed by the crypto community for his continued support of the disgraced FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF). Mr. Wonderful was paid $15 million to become a spokesperson for FTX.

Do you agree with Kevin O’Leary? Let us know in the comments section below.

Chainalysis: Crypto Scam Revenue Dropped 46% in 2022

https://news.bitcoin.com/chainalysis-crypto-scam-revenue-dropped-46-in-2022/

Chainalysis: Crypto Scam Revenue Dropped 46% in 2022

Revenue from cryptocurrency scams dropped 46% in 2022, according to blockchain data analytics firm Chainalysis. “We attribute most of this decline to market conditions, as scam performance tends to worsen when cryptocurrency prices are in decline,” the firm explained.

‘Crypto Scam Revenue Fell Significantly in 2022’

Blockchain data analytics firm Chainalysis published its 2023 Crypto Crime Report last week with a section on crypto scams. “Crypto scam revenue dropped 46% in 2022,” the 109-page report reads, elaborating:

Crypto scam revenue fell significantly in 2022, from $10.9 billion the year prior to just $5.9 billion.

Chainalysis tracks several types of crypto scams, including giveaway scams, impersonation scams, investment scams, non-fungible token (NFT) scams, and romance scams.

Noting its numbers are “a lower-bound estimate,” the blockchain analytics firm explained that “estimates of the true amount lost to fraudsters will grow as we identify more addresses associated with scams.” The firm specifically mentioned “pig butchering” scams which have become alarmingly popular. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned about this type of crypto scam many times. Last November, U.S. authorities seized seven domains used by pig butchering scammers.

Regarding the decline in crypto scam revenue, Chainalysis detailed:

We attribute most of this decline to market conditions, as scam performance tends to worsen when cryptocurrency prices are in decline.

“Cryptocurrency scam revenue began the year trending upwards, but plummeted in early May — the same time the bear market set in following the collapse of Terra Luna — and then declined steadily throughout the rest of the year,” Chainalysis described.

While noting that “some types of scams see revenue changes increase as crypto asset prices decrease,” the blockchain analytics firm pointed out: “Scam revenue throughout the year tracks almost perfectly with bitcoin’s price, consistently maintaining a three-week lag between price moves and changes in revenue.”

What do you think about cryptocurrency scam revenue dropping 46% last year? Let us know in the comments section below.

US State Regulator Launches Crypto Scam Tracker

https://news.bitcoin.com/us-state-regulator-launches-crypto-scam-tracker/

US State Regulator Launches Crypto Scam Tracker

The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) has launched a cryptocurrency scam tracker to help residents “spot and avoid crypto scams.” The regulator stated: “As reports of new crypto scams emerge, the DFPI will continually update this tracker to promptly alert and protect the public.”

California Regulator’s Crypto Scam Tracker

The Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) of the U.S. state of California announced last week the launch of its Crypto Scam Tracker to help people in the state “spot and avoid crypto scams.” The financial regulator described:

The tracker details apparent crypto scams identified through a review of complaints submitted by the public and allows California consumers and investors to do their own research and prevent harm to themselves and others.

The Californian regulator’s crypto scam tracker is a database — searchable by company name, scam type, or keywords — for consumers to learn more about crypto-specific complaints the DFPI has received. Each year, the DFPI receives thousands of consumer and investor complaints; the tracker’s content is based on information reported by members of the public to the DFPI. The regulator clarified that it “has not verified the losses reported by complainants.”

There is also an accompanying glossary that “aims to help consumers better understand common scams,” the state regulator continued. “As reports of new crypto scams emerge, the DFPI will continually update this tracker to promptly alert and protect the public.”

DFPI Commissioner Clothilde Hewlett commented: “Scammers are in the shadows using the public’s interest in crypto assets to take advantage of the most vulnerable Californians.” The commissioner added:

Through the new crypto scam tracker, combined with rigorous enforcement efforts, the DFPI is committed to shining a light on these ruthless predators and protecting consumers and investors.

There are already some well-known crypto scam trackers to help investors avoid crypto-related scams, including Bitcoin Abuse and Scam Alert. Last week, blockchain data analytics firm Chainalysis published a report showing that crypto scam revenue dropped 46% in 2022 to $5.9 billion from $10.9 billion the year prior.

What do you think about the crypto scam tracker launched by the California state regulator? Let us know in the comments section below.

Next Crypto Bull Run Will Start From the East, Says Gemini Co-Founder

https://news.bitcoin.com/next-crypto-bull-run-will-start-from-the-east-says-gemini-co-founder/

Next Crypto Bull Run Will Start From the East, Says Gemini Co-Founder

Gemini’s co-founder believes that the next crypto bull run will come from the East. “It will be a humbling reminder that crypto is a global asset class,” he said. “The West, really the U.S., always only ever had two options: embrace it or be left behind. It can’t be stopped.”

Gemini Co-Founder on Next Crypto Bull Run

Cameron Winklevoss, co-founder of the U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, believes that the next crypto bull run will come from the East. He tweeted Sunday:

My working thesis [at the moment] is that the next bull run is going to start in the East. It will be a humbling reminder that crypto is a global asset class.

“The West, really the U.S., always only ever had two options: embrace it or be left behind. It can’t be stopped. That we know,” he emphasized.

“Any government that doesn’t offer clear rules and sincere guidance will be left in the dust. Quickly. This will mean missing out on the greatest period of growth since the rise of the commercial Internet,” the Gemini co-founder continued. “And it will mean missing out on shaping and being a foundational part of the future financial infrastructure of this world (and beyond).”

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has come under heavy scrutiny following its recent enforcement actions against crypto firms. The regulator charged crypto exchange Kraken on Feb. 9 over its staking program and Paxos days later over its stablecoin Binance USD (BUSD) issuance. The SEC also took action against Gemini in January for allegedly offering and selling unregistered securities to retail investors through its “Earn” crypto asset lending program.

Many crypto supporters, including SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce and several lawmakers, have expressed their concerns that the SEC is not providing clear rules for crypto firms to come into compliance. Instead, the Commission has chosen to take an enforcement-centric approach to regulating the crypto industry.

Meanwhile, a growing number of jurisdictions in Asian countries are making efforts to become a crypto hub, including Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea’s second-largest city, Busan. Several places in Europe are also striving to establish themselves as a crypto hub. A recent study by crypto tax firm Recap ranked London as the “most crypto-ready city.”

The CEO of Nasdaq-listed crypto exchange Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, said last week that the U.S. risks losing its status as a financial hub if there is no clear crypto regulation. He and the CEO of Kraken have urged Congress to act soon to pass clear crypto legislation.

Do you agree with the Gemini co-founder that the next crypto bull run will start from the East? Let us know in the comments section below.

Crypto Hedge Fund Galois Capital Shuts Down — ‘We Lost Almost Half Our Assets to FTX Disaster’

https://news.bitcoin.com/crypto-hedge-fund-galois-capital-shuts-down-we-lost-almost-half-our-assets-to-ftx-disaster/

Crypto Hedge Fund Galois Capital Shuts Down — 'We Lost Almost Half Our Assets to FTX Disaster'

Crypto hedge fund Galois Capital is shutting down after losing about half of its assets to the FTX disaster. “Given the severity of the FTX situation, we do not think it is tenable to continue operating the fund both financially and culturally,” the fund’s co-founder told investors.

Crypto Hedge Fund Shuts Down Due to FTX Collapse

Crypto hedge fund Galois Capital is shutting down as nearly half of its assets are trapped on FTX, the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange which filed for bankruptcy in November last year. “Galois Capital is a crypto hedge fund that specializes in over-the-counter trading and algorithmic market-making,” its website describes.

Galois Capital told investors that all trading has been halted and all its positions unwound, according to documents seen by the Financial Times. Galois co-founder Kevin Zhou wrote:

Given the severity of the FTX situation, we do not think it is tenable to continue operating the fund both financially and culturally … I’m terribly sorry about the current situation we find ourselves in.

Clients of the hedge fund would receive 90% of the money not trapped on FTX, Galois said, adding that it is temporarily holding back the remaining 10% until discussions with the fund administrators and auditor are finalized. Since informing investors of its shutdown, Galois has sold the fund’s claim on FTX for approximately 16 cents on the dollar, the publication conveyed. Galois previously told Bloomberg that it had as much as $45 million of assets exposed to FTX’s bankruptcy.

Zhou is known for warning about the impending implosion of cryptocurrency terra (LUNA) and stablecoin Terrausd (UST) last year. He also profited from shorting LUNA, now called LUNA classic (LUNC). Zhou opined:

This entire tragic saga starting from the luna collapse to the 3AC credit crisis to the FTX/Alameda failure has certainly set the crypto space back significantly.

Following news reports of his hedge fund’s closure, Zhou took to Twitter to confirm the shutdown of Galois’ flagship fund. He tweeted Monday:

In spite of that, I am proud to say that although we lost almost half our assets to the FTX disaster and then sold the claim for cents on the dollar, we are among the few who are closing shop with an inception-to-date performance which is still positive.

“Although this is the end of an era for Galois, the work we have done together for the past few years has not been in vain. I can’t say more than this for now,” the Galois co-founder concluded.

What do you think about crypto hedge fund Galois Capital shutting down due to its assets being trapped on the collapsed crypto exchange FTX? Let us know in the comments section below.

Southeast Asia’s Largest Bank DBS Sees 80% Increase in Bitcoin Trading Volume on Its Crypto Exchange

https://news.bitcoin.com/southeast-asias-largest-bank-dbs-sees-80-increase-in-bitcoin-trading-volume-on-its-crypto-exchange/

Southeast Asia's Largest Bank DBS Sees 80% Increase in Bitcoin Trading Volume on Its Crypto Exchange

The largest bank in Southeast Asia, DBS, has revealed that bitcoin trading volume on its cryptocurrency exchange jumped 80% in 2022 while ether trading volume surged 65%. “We believe that the market has decisively shifted its focus towards trust and stability, especially in the wake of multiple scandals that have rocked the industry,” a DBS executive described.

DBS Sees Record Trading Volumes for Bitcoin and Ether

DBS, the largest bank in Southeast Asia, announced last week that its digital asset exchange saw record trading volumes for bitcoin and ether in 2022. In addition, the number of BTC and ETH under custody at the bank soared during the same time period.

According to the bank, the number of bitcoin traded on DBS Digital Exchange (DDEX) was close to 80% higher year-on-year while the number of ether traded on the platform was nearly 65% higher. The bank further revealed that the “number of bitcoin and ether custodised with DBS [is] up more than 100% and 60% respectively,” emphasizing that the growth reflects the “continued strength of bank’s digital asset ecosystem despite market volatility.”

Lionel Lim, chief executive of DBS Digital Exchange, commented:

We believe that the market has decisively shifted its focus towards trust and stability, especially in the wake of multiple scandals that have rocked the industry.

The bank launched DBS Digital Exchange in December 2020 as a members-only exchange for institutional and accredited investors. In September last year, the bank rolled out self-directed crypto trading via its DBS Digibank app.

DBS Digital Exchange currently offers spot trading of six cryptocurrencies: BTC, ETH, BCH, XRP, DOT, and ADA. Its customer base doubled in 2022 from the previous year, the bank said, adding that at the end of December, the DBS exchange had close to 1,200 registered participants.

“As a regulated digital exchange backed by the DBS Group, we offer many unique advantages that investors have come to appreciate as they seek reliable gateways to access the digital asset economy,” Lim detailed.

The largest bank in Southeast Asia said it did not observe any major sell-offs in cryptocurrencies on its platform last year despite the crypto winter and several major firms in the space filing for bankruptcy, including crypto exchange FTX. The bank added that its exchange’s customers had a net-buy position throughout the second half of 2022.

Lim opined:

We have taken a prudent and measured approach towards developing our digital asset ecosystem, choosing to keep pace with the market as it matures and as investors become more sophisticated.

Last week, DBS unveiled its plan to expand crypto services to customers in Hong Kong. The bank intends to apply for a digital asset license as the city strives to become a crypto hub.

What do you think about DBS seeing record trading volumes on its crypto trading platform? Let us know in the comments section below.

Economist Warns the Fed Can’t Reach Inflation Target Without ‘Crushing’ US Economy

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Economist Warns the Fed Can't Get to Inflation Target 'Without Crushing the Economy'

Economist Mohamed El-Erian, Allianz’s chief economic advisor and chair of Gramercy Funds Management, has warned that the Federal Reserve cannot achieve its 2% inflation target without crushing the U.S. economy. “You need a higher stable inflation rate. Call it 3% to 4%,” the economist suggested.

The Fed Could Crush US Economy, Economist Warns

Economist Mohamed El-Erian warned on Friday that the Federal Reserve cannot achieve its inflation target of 2% without “crushing the economy.” El-Erian is president of Queens’ College, Cambridge University, and chair of Gramercy Funds Management. He is also chief economic adviser at Allianz, the corporate parent of PIMCO, one of the largest investment managers.

“You need a higher stable inflation rate. Call it 3% to 4%,” the economist stressed in an interview with Bloomberg Television. He emphasized:

I don’t think they can get CPI to 2% without crushing the economy, but that’s because 2% is not the right target.

El-Erian’s comments followed the government’s consumer price index (CPI) data released Tuesday. On a month-by-month basis, prices increased by 0.5% in January, the most since October. On an annual basis, consumer prices climbed 6.4% in January, down from 6.5% in December. Following the CPI report, several Fed officials said the U.S. central bank may have to raise interest rates beyond initial expectations in order to subdue the ongoing price pressures.

The Allianz economic advisor explained that there are several factors that necessitate a higher target inflation rate. They include supply-side developments, including an energy transition, the change in supply chains during the pandemic, a tight labor market, and shifting geopolitical issues.

El-Erian said the Federal Reserve is “too data dependent.” Noting that “It’s right to take data into account but you’ve got to have a view of where you’re going,” he cautioned that the problem now is that the Fed is stuck chasing an elusive 2% goal. In January, El-Erian predicted that inflation may become “sticky” around the 4% range.

The economist previously warned that the Federal Reserve could lose credibility if it changes the inflation Target. He opined:

You can’t change an inflation target when you’ve missed it in such a big way.

Do you agree with the economist that the Fed cannot achieve its 2% inflation target without crushing the U.S. economy? Let us know in the comments section below.

Robert Kiyosaki Warns About Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds — Says Bitcoin Best for ‘Unstable Times’

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Robert Kiyosaki Warns About Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds — Says Bitcoin Best for 'Unstable Times'

The famous author of the best-selling book Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki, has warned that investing in a well-diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) is “very risky” advice. Kiyosaki stressed that gold, silver, and bitcoin are the best investments for “unstable times.”

Robert Kiyosaki’s Investment Advice

The author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki, gave some more investment advice this week. Rich Dad Poor Dad is a 1997 book co-authored by Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. It has been on the New York Times Best Seller List for over six years. More than 32 million copies of the book have been sold in over 51 languages across more than 109 countries.

Kiyosaki tweeted Friday:

For years, I have been saying, ‘Saving money & investing in a well-diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, mutual funds & ETFs is risky advice.’ Today very risky advice. I still believe gold, silver, bitcoin best for unstable times, although prices will go up and down.

The famous author previously said: “I do not love stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or ETFs.” However, he noted that investors should invest in what they love. In April last year, he said bonds are “the riskiest investment” in a global meltdown. “Tragically, rookie investors follow rookie advice of 60 (stocks) 40 (bonds) mix,” he opined, recommending investors buy gold, silver, and bitcoin “as insurance against morons running the world.” He also said in July last year: “I do not touch paper gold or silver ETFs. I only want real gold or silver coins.”

As for mutual funds, Kiyosaki has said for several years: “I just don’t like mutual funds. I think they’re a rip-off.” He explained in 2019: “Financial planners are henchmen for banks and mutual funds. They sell you their products, take your money, charge you fees, and use your money to get richer.”

Many people on Twitter disagreed with Kiyosaki, telling him that a well-diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs is a lot less risky than investing in gold, silver, and bitcoin. Some accused the famous author of pumping BTC for his personal gain.

Kiyosaki has been recommending gold, silver, and BTC for quite some time. He said last December that owners of the three investments will get richer when the Federal Reserve pivots and prints trillions of dollars. He predicted that by 2025, gold will be at $5,000, silver at $500, and bitcoin at $500,000. In addition, he expects gold to soar to $3,800 and silver to rise to $75 this year. Kiyosaki previously explained that he is a bitcoin investor, not a trader, so he gets excited whenever BTC hits a new bottom.

Moreover, the renowned author has repeatedly said that he does not trust the Biden administration, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, or Wall Street. He has warned many times that the Fed is destroying the economy and the U.S. dollar. In October 2021, he tweeted: “I love bitcoin because I do not trust Fed, Treasury, or Wall Street.” The Rich Dad Poor Dad author recently cautioned that “everything will crash” and a depression is possible. In January, he said we are in a global recession, warning of soaring bankruptcies, unemployment, and homelessness.

What do you think about Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki’s investment advice? Let us know in the comments section below.

Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, UBS Share Predictions About Further Fed Rate Hikes

https://news.bitcoin.com/bank-of-america-goldman-sachs-jpmorgan-ubs-share-predictions-further-fed-rate-hikes/

Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, UBS Share Predictions of Further Fed Rate Hikes

Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and UBS have shared their predictions about the Federal Reserve raising interest rates further. Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, for example, now expect the Fed to raise interest rates three more times this year.

Major Banks Predict More Fed Rate Hikes

As the U.S. Federal Reserve continues its fight against inflation, several major banks — including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, UBS, and JPMorgan — have shared their predictions about how much more the Fed will raise interest rates this year.

Goldman Sachs said in a note Thursday that it now expects the U.S. central bank to raise interest three more times this year after data released Thursday pointed to persistent inflation and a resilient labor market. The bank, which previously predicted 25-basis-point rate increases in the Fed’s March and May meetings, now expects another rate hike in June. The firm’s economists, led by Jan Hatzius, head of the Global Investment Research Division and chief economist, detailed:

In light of the stronger growth and firmer inflation news, we are adding a 25bp (basis points) rate hike in June to our Fed forecast, for a peak funds rate of 5.25%-5.5%.

Bank of America Global Research similarly expects to see three more interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve this year. The bank said earlier that it expected the Fed to raise interest rates by 25 basis points each in its March and May meetings. Bank of America now expects another 25-basis-point rate hike in the Fed’s June meeting, which will push the terminal rate up to a 5.25%-5.5% range. The bank explained in a client note this week:

Resurgent inflation and solid employment gains mean the risks to this (only two interest rate hikes) outlook are too one-sided for our liking.

European investment bank UBS also said it expects the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by 25 basis points at its March and May meetings, which may leave the Fed funds rate at the 5%-5.25% range. While most people are not expecting the Fed to cut interest rates this year, UBS estimated that the U.S. central bank would ease interest rates at its September meeting. The global investment bank recently wrote in a client note:

We expect the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) to turn around and begin to cut interest rates at the September FOMC meeting.

Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase has forecast the terminal rate at 5.1% by the end of June. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said in an interview with Reuters last week that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates above the 5% mark. Emphasizing that it is too early to declare victory against inflation, Dimon opined:

It’s perfectly reasonable for the Fed to go to 5% and wait a while.

However, if inflation comes down to 3.5% or 4% and stays there, “you may have to go higher than 5% and that could affect short rates, longer rates,” the JPMorgan executive cautioned.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and several other Fed officials have said that more interest rate hikes are needed to curb inflation. A poll conducted by Reuters, published Tuesday, showed that 46 out of 86 economists have predicted that the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates by 25 basis points in March as well as May.

Do you agree with Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, UBS, or JPMorgan about the Fed hiking interest rates further? Let us know in the comments section below.

Norwegian Authorities Seize Crypto Worth $6M From Axie Infinity Heist With FBI’s Help

https://news.bitcoin.com/norwegian-authorities-seize-crypto-worth-6m-from-axie-infinity-heist-with-fbis-help/

Norwegian Authorities Seize Crypto Worth $6M From Axie Infinity Heist With FBI's Help

Norwegian authorities, in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), have allegedly seized about $6 million that was stolen in last year’s Axie Infinity heist. “It is the biggest crypto seizure Norwegian police have ever made,” said Norway’s Økokrim.

Norway and FBI Recoup Some Stolen Funds From Axie Infinity Attack

Økokrim, Norway’s National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime, announced Thursday that it has seized 60 million kroner (approximately $5.8 million) in crypto in connection with the attack against Axie Infinity and Sky Mavis, the company that developed the non-fungible token (NFT)-based online video game.

The Norwegian authority explained that in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI):

Økokrim has seized close to NOK 60 million in cryptocurrency. It is the biggest crypto seizure Norwegian police have ever made.

“We work with FBI specialists on tracking cryptocurrency. Such cooperation between countries means that we as a society stand stronger in the fight against digital, profit-motivated crime,” First State Attorney Marianne Bender commented. However, Økokrim did not provide details of the seizure.

Axie Infinity suffered an attack in March last year after the Ronin network validators were compromised. The reported loss was $620 million at the time. “The attacker managed to get control over Sky Mavis’s four Ronin Validators and a third-party validator run by Axie DAO,” Sky Mavis said.

According to the FBI, the North Korean hacker group Lazarus was behind the heist. The hackers began a large-scale and sophisticated money laundering operation immediately after the attack, Økokrim detailed.

In May last year, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned crypto mixer Blender.io. The Treasury Department explained that Blender was used in the laundering process for North Korea’s Axie Infinity heist, processing over $20.5 million in illicit proceeds.

What do you think about Norway seizing crypto stolen from Axie Infinity with the help of the DOJ and the FBI? Let us know in the comments section below.

Binance Expects to Pay Fines to Settle With US Regulators for Past Conduct: Report

https://news.bitcoin.com/binance-expects-to-pay-fines-to-settle-with-us-regulators-for-past-conduct/

Crypto Exchange Binance Expects to Pay Fines to Settle With US Regulators Over Past Conduct

Crypto exchange Binance expects to pay fines to U.S. authorities to settle regulatory and law-enforcement investigations over its past conduct, the company’s chief strategy officer reportedly said. When Binance began its business, the company was unfamiliar with the rules it needed to comply with in the U.S., the executive explained.

Binance Plans to Settle With US Regulators

Binance’s chief strategy officer, Patrick Hillmann, revealed Wednesday that the cryptocurrency exchange expects to pay fines to settle existing U.S. regulatory and law-enforcement investigations, the Wall Street Journal reported.

He explained that in its early days, Binance was unfamiliar with the legal framework and regulations in the U.S. to mitigate the risk of bribery and corruption, money laundering, and economic sanctions.

The Binance executive stated that the crypto exchange is currently working with regulators to identify potential “remediations” the company has to go through “to make amends” for its past conduct. He expects the outcome to be a fine but cautioned that there could be more. “We just don’t know. That is for regulators to decide,” he emphasized.

Several U.S. authorities are reportedly investigating Binance. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is reportedly probing the crypto exchange over violations of U.S. money-laundering laws. According to reports, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is probing the company over the BNB crypto token while the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is investigating whether Binance offered cryptocurrency derivatives to U.S. clients without registration.

While noting that he could not estimate the size of the fines or when Binance might reach a resolution with U.S. authorities, the Binance chief strategy officer said his company is “highly confident and feeling really good about where those discussions are going.” He opined:

It will be a good moment for our company because it allows us to put it behind us.

Hillmann noted that it was a “very confusing time” for Binance to understand the expectations of U.S. regulators and their oversight of the crypto sector. Binance is currently not available to U.S. investors. However, the crypto exchange has a partner platform that serves U.S. crypto traders called Binance US, a separate entity operated by BAM Trading Services.

Recently, the SEC has taken action against several crypto companies, including Kraken over its staking program, Paxos over its stablecoin Binance USD (BUSD) issuance, and Terraform Labs for defrauding investors.

What do you think about Binance expecting to pay fines to settle U.S. regulatory and law-enforcement investigations? Let us know in the comments section below.

Coinbase CEO Urges Congress to Pass Clear Crypto Legislation — Warns America Risks Losing Financial Hub Status

https://news.bitcoin.com/coinbase-ceo-urges-congress-to-pass-clear-crypto-legislation-warns-america-risks-losing-financial-hub-status/

Coinbase CEO Urges Congress to Pass Clear Crypto Legislation — Warns America Risks Losing Financial Hub Status

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has called on Congress to pass clear crypto legislation, warning that the U.S. risks losing its status as a financial hub. “Crypto is open to everyone in the world and others are leading,” the executive stressed.

Coinbase’s CEO on Cryptocurrency Regulation

The CEO of the Nasdaq-listed cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase (Nasdaq: COIN), Brian Armstrong, has called on Congress to pass clear crypto legislation. He tweeted Wednesday:

America risks losing its status as a financial hub long term, with no clear regs on crypto, and a hostile environment from regulators. Congress should act soon to pass clear legislation.

“Crypto is open to everyone in the world and others are leading,” he added, mentioning the EU, the U.K., and Hong Kong.

Besides Armstrong, many people have complained that crypto regulation in the U.S. is not clear, making it difficult for companies to comply. However, the chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, has insisted that the law is clear and that most crypto tokens are securities.

Gensler has been criticized for taking an enforcement-centric approach to regulating the crypto industry. Recently, the securities watchdog took action against crypto exchange Kraken over its taking program. The commission also sent a Wells Notice to Paxos over stablecoin Binance USD (BUSD). On Thursday, it charged Terraform Labs and CEO Do Kwon with defrauding investors.

Coinbase has insisted that its staking services are not securities. Armstrong tweeted on Feb. 12: “Coinbase’s staking services are not securities. We will happily defend this in court if needed.” Moreover, Coinbase tweeted on Feb. 14:

We don’t know what aspects of BUSD might be of interest to the SEC. What we do know: stablecoins are not securities.

While the U.S. is tightening its regulation on crypto, several other jurisdictions are striving to become a cryptocurrency hub, including Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea’s second-largest city, Busan.

The CEO of Kraken, Jesse Powell, also called on Congress to pass legislation on cryptocurrency after his exchange settled with the SEC and agreed to pay $30 million. “Congress must act to protect the domestic crypto industry and U.S. consumers who will now be going offshore to obtain services no longer available in the U.S.,” Powell wrote.

Do you agree with Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong that the U.S. needs clear crypto regulation or the country risks losing its status as a financial hub? Let us know in the comments section below.

Binance and Huobi Freeze $1.4 Million in Crypto Linked to North Korea

https://news.bitcoin.com/binance-and-huobi-freeze-1-4-million-in-crypto-linked-to-north-korea/

Crypto exchanges Binance and Huobi have frozen cryptocurrencies worth approximately $1.4 million linked to North Korea, according to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. The firm noted that the stolen funds, which were dormant until recently, originated from the June 2022 hack of Harmony’s Horizon Bridge.

North Korea-Linked Crypto Frozen by Binance and Huobi

Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic said Tuesday that it has collaborated with cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and Huobi “to freeze Lazarus Group hack proceeds.” Elliptic wrote:

Crypto exchanges Binance and Huobi today froze accounts containing approximately $1.4 million in cryptoassets originating from the June 2022 hack of Harmony’s Horizon Bridge.

“The Horizon cross-chain bridge was attacked on June 24th 2022, resulting in the loss of $99.6 million in cryptoassets. These funds were then laundered through the now-sanctioned Tornado Cash,” the blockchain analytics firm detailed. Ethereum mixer Tornado Cash was banned last August by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC).

The Horizon Bridge hacker sent over 98% of the $100 million in stolen crypto assets into the Tornado Cash mixer, Elliptic said in June last year. The stolen crypto assets included ether (ETH), tether (USDT), wrapped bitcoin (WBTC), and Binance coin (BNB), the firm noted, adding that the hacker immediately used Uniswap to convert the Ethereum-based assets into 85,837 ETH.

Elliptic investigators traced the funds’ complete trail through the mixer, and attributed the hack to the Lazarus Group, a North Korea-controlled cybercrime organization. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) later confirmed Lazarus Group’s involvement in the hack. Elliptic continued:

The stolen funds remained dormant until recently, when our investigators began to see them funneled through complex chains of transactions to exchanges.

Elliptic CEO Simone Maini commented:

Today, money laundering was detected and stolen funds linked to North Korea were frozen, in real time.

“As an industry we have the power and responsibility to prevent digital assets becoming a haven for money launderers and sanctions evaders, and ensure that they are a force for good,” the CEO added.

What do you think about Binance and Huobi freezing crypto assets linked to North Korea? Let us know in the comments section below.

Mike Novogratz Says Bitcoin Could Return to $30,000 Next Month

https://news.bitcoin.com/mike-novogratz-says-bitcoin-could-return-to-30000-next-month/

Mike Novogratz Says Bitcoin Could Return to $30,000 Next Month

Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz says he wouldn’t be surprised if the price of bitcoin returns to $30,000 next month. “When I look at the price action, when I look at the excitement of the customers calling, the FOMO [fear of missing out] building up, it wouldn’t surprise me,” the executive shared.

Bitcoin Could Return to $30,000 in Q1, Says Novogratz

Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz shared his bitcoin price outlook Wednesday at a Bank of America conference. The longtime bitcoin advocate believes that BTC could return to $30,000 by the end of next month. He said:

When I look at the price action, when I look at the excitement of the customers calling, the FOMO [fear of missing out] building up, it wouldn’t surprise me if we were at $30,000 by the end of the quarter.

“I would’ve given both my shoes for that to be true just six weeks ago,” he added, noting that it would’ve made him “the happiest guy” if BTC ended 2022 at $30,000.

The Galaxy Digital CEO was previously more bullish about the price of bitcoin. He said in March last year that BTC should be at $500,000 “five years out.” However, he revised his forecast in December, stating that it would take more than five years for BTC to reach that price level. He attributed his skepticism to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s interest-rate increases.

At the time of writing, bitcoin is trading at $24,567, up 8% in the past 24 hours and 16% over the last 30 days.

The Galaxy Digital boss explained:

What makes me skeptical that we can have the explosive, back-to-the-old highs this year is Chairman Powell … He’s really doing what he says he’s going to do, and I don’t see the Fed pivoting and cutting anytime soon.

A number of people recently made bullish predictions about bitcoin. Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki said he expects BTC to hit $500,000 by 2025. Crypto-focused investment firm Pantera Capital said we are already in the next bitcoin bull market cycle. Investment management firm Ark Invest said bitcoin could become a multitrillion-dollar market, predicting that BTC could reach $1.48 million per coin.

What do you think about Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz’s bitcoin price prediction? Let us know in the comments section below.

Berkshire’s Charlie Munger Says ‘Ridiculous’ Anybody Would Buy Crypto — ‘It’s an Absolute Horror’

https://news.bitcoin.com/berkshires-charlie-munger-says-ridiculous-anybody-would-buy-crypto-its-an-absolute-horror/

Berkshire's Charlie Munger Says 'Ridiculous' Anybody Would Buy Crypto — Likens Replacing National Currencies to Replacing Air

Warren Buffett’s right-hand man and the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Charlie Munger, says people who oppose banning cryptocurrencies are “idiots,” adding that it’s “just ridiculous” anybody would buy crypto. He also likened replacing national currencies to replacing air, stating that “It’s massively stupid.”

Berkshire Vice Chair Charlie Munger Says Replacing National Currencies Is Like Replacing Air

Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger continued his insults against cryptocurrency and its supporters Wednesday during a live-streamed interview with CNBC at the Daily Journal’s annual shareholders meeting.

Referencing his recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal stating that cryptocurrency should be banned, the 99-year-old executive insisted there is no “rational” argument against his position of banning crypto. He opined:

I think the people that oppose my position are idiots … It’s just ridiculous that anybody would buy this stuff.

“You can think of hardly nothing on Earth that’s done more good to the human race than currency — national currencies. They were absolutely required to turn man from a goddamn successful ape into modern successful humans and human civilization, because they enabled all these convenient exchanges,” Munger described, elaborating:

So if anybody says I’m going to create something that sort of replaces the national currency, it’s like saying I’m going to replace the national air … it’s massively stupid.

“And of course, it’s very dangerous, and of course, the governments were totally wrong to permit it, and of course, I’m not proud of my country for allowing this crap,” he stressed. “It’s worthless, it’s no good, it’s crazy, it’ll do nothing but harm, it’s antisocial to allow it.”

The Berkshire executive continued: “The guy who made the correct decision on this is the Chinese leader. The Chinese leader took one look at crypto, and he says ‘not in my China,’ and boom … there isn’t any crypto in China. He’s right and we’re wrong.”

While he believes that one should be able to state the arguments both for and against a particular subject, the Berkshire vice chair said crypto is an exception. “When you’re dealing with something as awful as crypto s*** … There’s only one correct answer for intelligent people — just totally avoid it and avoid all the people that are promoting it.” He emphasized:

It’s just unspeakable, it’s an absolute horror, and I’m ashamed of my country that so many people believe in this kind of crap, and the government allows it to exist.

“It’s totally, absolutely, crazy, stupid gambling with enormous house odds for the people on the other side, and they cheat … It’s just crazy,” he concluded.

Munger has slammed cryptocurrency many times in the past. He previously called BTC “rat poison” and likened crypto trading to “trading turds.”

The Berkshire executive said in 2021 that he wished crypto had never been invented and praised China for banning cryptocurrencies. He also called bitcoin “disgusting and contrary to the interest of civilization.” In February last year, he urged the government to ban bitcoin and called crypto “venereal disease.” In July, he advised everybody to avoid crypto as if it were an “open sewer, full of malicious organisms.”

Do you think Berkshire Vice Chair Charlie Munger will ever change his mind about crypto? Let us know in the comments section below.

SEC Chairman Proposes Amending Federal Custody Rules to Cover ‘All Crypto Assets’

https://news.bitcoin.com/sec-chairman-proposes-amending-federal-custody-rules-to-cover-all-crypto-assets/

SEC Chairman Proposes Changing Federal Custody Rules to Cover 'All Crypto Assets'

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler has proposed amending federal custody rules to cover “all crypto assets.” The SEC chief said: “Though some crypto trading and lending platforms may claim to custody investors’ crypto, that does not mean they are qualified custodians.”

Gary Gensler Proposes Including Crypto in Expanded Custody Rules

The chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, announced Wednesday that he has proposed changes to federal regulations “to expand and enhance the role of qualified custodians.”

All asset classes, including crypto, would be included in the expanded custody rules under his proposal, and companies offering crypto custody services to their clients will be required to obtain registration. Gensler emphasized:

Today’s proposal, in covering all asset classes, would cover all crypto assets.

The SEC chairman proceeded to highlight four key proposed changes to the existing regulations. Firstly, the proposal will help ensure that customer assets “are properly segregated,” he said. Secondly, for the first time, advisers and qualified custodians will be required to “enter into written agreements with each other that help guarantee the custodian’s protections,” Gensler explained, adding that they include requiring custodians to undergo annual evaluations from public accountants, provide account statements, and provide records upon request.

The proposal would also “make explicit that the custody rule’s safeguards apply to discretionary trading — when an adviser would seek to buy or sell an investor’s assets on behalf of an investor,” Gensler described. Further, it would “enhance requirements for foreign financial institutions that serve either as qualified custodians or as sub-custodians to a qualified custodian,” he detailed.

“Though some crypto trading and lending platforms may claim to custody investors’ crypto, that does not mean they are qualified custodians,” the SEC chairman stressed, elaborating:

Based upon how crypto platforms generally operate, investment advisers cannot rely on them as qualified custodians.

Current regulations already cover “a significant amount of crypto assets,” Gensler pointed out, noting that most crypto assets “are likely to be funds or crypto asset securities covered by the current rule.”

Reiterating his concerns that crypto platforms are not properly segregating customer assets, the SEC chairman said:

Rather than properly segregating investors’ crypto, these platforms have commingled those assets with their own crypto or other investors’ crypto.

“When these platforms go bankrupt — something we’ve seen time and again recently — investors’ assets often have become property of the failed company, leaving investors in line at the bankruptcy court,” Gensler warned. Last year, a number of crypto firms filed for bankruptcy, including FTX, Celsius Network, Voyager Digital, Three Arrows Capital (3AC), and Blockfi.

The SEC has recently been active in the crypto space. Last week, the securities watchdog charged cryptocurrency exchange Kraken over its staking program. The commission has also sent a Wells notice to Paxos regarding stablecoin Binance USD (BUSD), alleging that the crypto is a security and that Paxos should have registered the offering under federal securities laws. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) subsequently warned of “profound impacts” on the crypto industry if BUSD is ruled as a security.

Do you think SEC Chairman Gary Gensler’s proposal will help or hurt the crypto industry? Let us know in the comments section below.

UK Police Raid Crypto ATM Sites — Regulator Says No Crypto ATMs Have Been Approved

https://news.bitcoin.com/uk-police-raid-crypto-atm-sites-regulator-says-no-crypto-atms-have-been-approved/

UK Police Raid Crypto ATM Sites — FCA Says No Crypto ATM Operators Currently Have Registration

Police in the U.K., in collaboration with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), have raided several sites allegedly hosting cryptocurrency ATMs. “No crypto ATM operators currently have FCA registration,” the British financial regulator stressed, adding that it is “working with multiple law enforcement partners, including local police forces, to disrupt and disable illegal crypto ATMs.”

UK Regulator Cracks Down on Unregistered Crypto ATMs

Authorities in the U.K. have raided several sites around the city of Leeds in a cryptocurrency ATM crackdown. The raids followed a joint investigation between the country’s top financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and West Yorkshire Police’s Digital Intelligence and Investigation Unit.

The FCA announced Tuesday that it “has used its powers to enter and inspect several sites around Leeds suspected of hosting illegally operated crypto ATMs.”

Emphasizing that “Crypto exchange providers, which includes crypto ATM operators, in the U.K. must be registered with the FCA and comply with the U.K. money laundering regulations,” the FCA stressed:

No crypto ATM operators currently have FCA registration.

The British financial regulator noted that it is “working with multiple law enforcement partners, including local police forces, to disrupt and disable illegal crypto ATMs.” The FCA stated that it will review evidence gathered during the raids and “consider further potential enforcement action.”

In March last year, the U.K. financial watchdog published a warning on illegal crypto ATMs operating in the country. “None of the cryptoasset firms registered with us have been approved to offer crypto ATM services, meaning that any of them operating in the U.K. are doing so illegally and consumers should not be using them,” the regulator cautioned.

Mark Steward, executive director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, said: “We will continue to identify and disrupt unregistered crypto businesses operating in the U.K.” While noting that “Crypto businesses operating in the U.K. need to be registered with the FCA for anti-money laundering purposes,” he warned:

However, crypto products themselves are currently unregulated and high-risk, and you should be prepared to lose all your money if you invest in them.

Detective sergeant Lindsey Brants of the Force Cyber team at West Yorkshire Police explained that the team gathered evidence across West Yorkshire and “established the locations of several live crypto ATMs.” Brants said that before sharing their findings with the FCA: “Warning letters were issued requesting the operators cease and desist using the machines and that any breach of regulations would result in an investigation under money-laundering regulations.”

What do you think about U.K. authorities cracking down on unregistered crypto ATMs? Let us know in the comments section below.

Robert Kiyosaki Predicts Bitcoin Hitting $500K by 2025 and Gold Soaring to $5K

https://news.bitcoin.com/robert-kiyosaki-predicts-bitcoin-hitting-500k-by-2025-and-gold-soaring-to-5k/

Robert Kiyosaki Predicts Bitcoin Hitting $500K by 2025 and Gold Soaring to $5K

The famous author of the best-selling book Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki, has predicted that the price of bitcoin will hit $500,000 by 2025. During the same time period, he expects the price of gold to reach $5,000 and silver to hit $500. Kiyosaki also warned that a “giant crash” is coming and a depression is possible.

Robert Kiyosaki’s Latest Bitcoin, Gold, Silver Price Predictions

The author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki, has shared his latest predictions on bitcoin, gold, and silver. Rich Dad Poor Dad is a 1997 book co-authored by Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. It has been on the New York Times Best Seller List for over six years. More than 32 million copies of the book have been sold in over 51 languages across more than 109 countries.

Kiyosaki tweeted Sunday:

Giant crash coming. Depression possible. Fed forced to print billions in fake money. By 2025 gold at $5,000, silver at $500, and bitcoin at $500,000.

“Why? Because faith in U.S. dollar, fake money, will be destroyed. Gold & silver [are] God’s money. Bitcoin [is] people’s $. Take care,” the famous author added. Kiyosaki previously explained that gold, silver, and BTC are real money whereas the U.S. dollar is fake money.

In January, he said we are in a global recession, warning of soaring bankruptcies, unemployment, and homelessness. The renowned author predicted that gold will soar to $3,800 while silver will rise to $75 this year. He said last December that gold, silver, and bitcoin owners will get richer when the Federal Reserve pivots and prints trillions of dollars. At the time of writing, bitcoin is trading at $22,042 while gold’s spot price is $1,869 per ounce and silver is $22.23 per ounce.

Kiyosaki is not the only one who is bullish about the price of bitcoin. Crypto-focused investment firm Pantera Capital recently said that we are in the next bull market cycle. Investment management firm Ark Invest expects bitcoin to become a multitrillion-dollar market, predicting that BTC could reach $1.48 million per coin.

However, Kiyosaki warned last week that “everything will crash” but advised investors not to panic. He added that he plans to buy more gold, silver, and bitcoin. The famous author previously said that he is a bitcoin investor, not a trader, so he gets excited when BTC hits a new bottom.

What do you think about the predictions and warnings by Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki? Let us know in the comments section below.

Southeast Asia’s Largest Bank DBS Unveils Plan to Expand Crypto Services in Hong Kong

https://news.bitcoin.com/southeast-asias-largest-bank-dbs-unveils-plan-to-expand-crypto-services-in-hong-kong/

DBS, the largest bank in Southeast Asia, has unveiled its plan to expand its crypto services in Hong Kong. “We are planning to apply for a license in Hong Kong so that the bank could sell digital assets to our Hong Kong customers,” said an executive of the bank.

DBS Bank to Apply for Digital Asset License in Hong Kong

DBS Group Holdings has unveiled its plan to expand its services in Hong Kong. The Straits Times reported Monday that the bank plans to apply for a license to offer crypto trading services to Hong Kong customers. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS is the largest bank in Southeast Asia with a presence in 18 markets.

Sebastian Paredes, CEO of DBS Bank (Hong Kong), said at a briefing on Monday:

We are planning to apply for a license in Hong Kong so that the bank could sell digital assets to our Hong Kong customers.

The executive stated that once the regulations around crypto assets in Hong Kong are clear and the bank “understands exactly the framework,” DBS will be among the lenders interested in participating. He noted that while DBS is aware of the risks associated with digital assets, the bank is supportive of Hong Kong’s recent policy shift.

Hong Kong is currently seeking to attract digital asset businesses. In January, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po reaffirmed the city’s commitment to become a crypto hub. Unlike China’s anti-crypto stance, the Hong Kong government is considering granting greater access for retail investors to trade in cryptocurrencies and crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

DBS launched a full-service bitcoin exchange in Singapore for corporate and institutional investors in late 2020. After seeing increased trading volume, the bank launched a crypto trust service, followed by its first security token offering. DBS continued to expand its crypto business citing “growing demand.”

The bank obtained a license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to provide crypto services in October 2021 and subsequently launched a self-directed crypto trading service. Furthermore, DBS entered the metaverse in September last year.

What do you think about DBS Bank expanding its crypto services in Hong Kong? Let us know in the comments section below.