National Bank of Georgia Enhances Sanction Monitoring, Includes Virtual Asset Service Providers

The Acting President of the National Bank of Georgia, Archil Mestvirishvilistated that the bank has not only been monitoring the observance of financial sanctions but also expanded its oversight to virtual asset service providers. He made this declaration while presenting a report to the Parliament.

Mestvirishvili emphasized that last year the financial sector of Georgia showed particular commitment to counteracting money laundering and terrorism financing. This was evident when they aligned with sanctions imposed by the European Union, United States, and United Kingdom against Russia and Belarus.

“We have established a separate department for sanction monitoring. Compliance with sanctions, particularly in the financial sector, is extremely important. The National Bank is dedicated to observing these sanctions,” said Mestvirishvili.

Highlighting the importance of managing virtual assets, he referred to the law passed last year concerning virtual asset service providers. According to this law, the National Bank is empowered to monitor and supervise these service providers to prevent money laundering activities. Implementation of this oversight will become obligatory from September 1st of the current year.

Metsvirishvili’s comments underscore the Georgian financial sector’s commitment to upholding financial integrity and highlight the growing importance of virtual asset regulation in today’s financial landscape.


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Hong Kong SFC Chief Executive: New Guidelines for Crypto Trading Platforms Prioritize Investor Protection

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) announced that the upcoming guidelines for operators of virtual asset trading platforms will place investor protection at the forefront. Julia Leung, Chief Executive of the SFC, made these remarks on May 30 during an online seminar in the Distinguished Leaders Series hosted by the Hong Kong Institute of Finance.

Back in 2018, when the SFC first proposed regulatory measures for virtual asset trading platforms, it faced criticism from parts of the fintech sector. Critics claimed that the licensing system – requiring applicants to meet standards related to internal controls and investor protection – could drive financial technology companies to operate in other regions like Singapore. However, Julia Leung noted that the importance of these requirements became clear to the market after several overseas virtual asset platforms went bankrupt.

The guidelines for virtual asset trading platform operators in Hong Kong will take effect starting in June. Julia Leung believes these guidelines align with market expectations and that prioritizing investor protection is the right course of action. The guidelines will include measures on the prudent custody of assets, the separation of client assets, and avoiding conflicts of interest.

Julia Leung expressed her satisfaction with the SFC’s leadership in regulatory practices, saying, “We are pleased to see the SFC leading as a regulatory role model.”

The SFC’s new regulations underscore the importance of investor protection in an increasingly digital financial landscape and reflect a growing trend of financial regulators worldwide prioritizing investor safeguards in their approach to the fast-evolving cryptocurrency industry.


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Crypto Exchange BKEX Halts Withdrawals Amid Money Laundering Investigation

In a surprise announcement on May 29, 2023, BKEX, one of the major cryptocurrency exchanges, has temporarily suspended user withdrawals due to alleged involvement in money laundering activities. The company is currently assisting police in their investigations, taking this step as a precautionary measure to support the law enforcement’s evidence-gathering process.

The exchange has reportedly been cooperative with regulatory agencies involved in the investigation, pledging to do everything within its power to return to normal operations as swiftly and smoothly as possible. BKEX has highlighted its commitment to protecting user rights throughout this ordeal.

In the official statement, the BKEX team emphasized their active cooperation with relevant authorities to resolve the issues at hand. They underscored that their primary concern is to ensure the maximum protection of user rights during this turbulent period.

While no details of the suspected money laundering activities have been provided at this point, this development sends ripples throughout the global crypto market. BKEX is renowned for its customer service and dedication to transparency, and it intends to maintain these standards during this investigation. The platform promises to keep its users updated on the situation and provide support to those who require assistance.

Users of the platform are urged to get in touch with BKEX’s customer service team should they encounter any issues or need help during this period. The team has expressed its gratitude for the users’ understanding and support during this trying time. It reiterated that the platform’s primary goal is to protect the interests of its users and that every effort is being made to restore normal operations.

This incident highlights the increasing need for stringent regulatory measures in the cryptocurrency industry. As digital currency transactions continue to proliferate, the necessity of implementing and enforcing robust anti-money laundering (AML) procedures becomes even more critical.

As the investigation unfolds, further updates from the BKEX team are expected, casting a spotlight on the ever-evolving landscape of cryptocurrency regulation and its implications for users and exchanges alike.

According to Coinranking, BKEX’s 24-hour trading volume averages around $430.27 million. This figure underscores the potential far-reaching implications of the withdrawal suspension on global crypto markets. As the situation develops, the focus will undoubtedly remain on how this investigation impacts both the exchange’s operations and the wider industry.


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Ark Investment: U.S. Crypto Innovation Threatened by Regulatory Ambiguity

Major trading firms in the United States, such as Jane Street Group and Jump Trading, are scaling back their involvement in the domestic crypto markets due to increasing regulatory uncertainties and associated risks. This retreat is causing a significant void in the once vibrant U.S. crypto landscape, which could deter interest from institutional investors.

According to recent repport of ARK Investment Management, a well-respected global asset manager and advocate of bitcoin, these developments are causing crypto liquidity in the U.S. to decrease substantially and leading to greater volatility in crypto prices. Data from CoinMetrics suggests that Bitcoin’s daily trading volume has fallen dramatically, from $20 billion per day in March to just about $4 billion last week.

This withdrawal is further evidenced by the gap in Bitcoin price on Binance.US, which last week was approximately $600 higher than on other exchanges, indicative of weakened price discovery in the U.S. market.

ARK Investment, which published a report on February predicting that Bitcoin could reach $1 million by 2030, has long recognized the potential of digital assets and has previously invested in cryptocurrency-related stocks such as Coinbase and GBTC. However, the firm has not maintained a consistent holding pattern, having sold some of its stakes at times.

The current atmosphere of regulatory uncertainty is a cause of concern not just for existing players, but also for potential new entrants in the crypto space. The United States, once considered a hub of innovation for the crypto industry, now risks losing its position to countries like the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Australia, and Switzerland, who are seen to provide more favorable and certain regulatory climates.

This evolving dynamic underscores the need for a more clarified regulatory framework in the U.S. for digital assets. As ARK Investment and others have warned, failure to address these concerns could result in the United States falling behind in the race to harness the transformative potential of this burgeoning industry.


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President Biden Assets: Debt Deal Will Not Shield Crypto Traders

In a significant announcement on the last day of the G7 summit, President Joe Biden took a firm stance against the protection of “wealthy tax cheats and crypto traders” while potentially jeopardizing food assistance programs.

“I’m not going to agree to a deal that protects wealthy tax cheats and crypto traders while putting food assistants at risk,” declared the President, sparking a critical conversation about economic fairness and digital currency regulation in the midst of a challenging economic climate.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin’s price continues to fluctuate at lower levels following President Biden’s remarks on cryptocurrency.

Biden’s remarks underscore a growing concern about the implications of cryptocurrency usage and the potential for tax evasion by high-income individuals. His comments also shed light on the potential risks to the underprivileged, particularly those dependent on federal assistance programs.

The U.S. government is tasked with forging an agreement by the deadline of June 1st

As the June 1st deadline approaches, the U.S. government faces the pressing challenge of reaching a consensus. With the prospect of a shifting financial landscape on the horizon, the global financial community, inclusive of Bitcoin investors and traders, is preparing for potential market shifts.

The pending debt ceiling decision, coupled with Biden’s recent remarks, underscores the extensive influence of U.S. economic policies on worldwide financial systems, including the burgeoning digital currency markets.


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Bitcoin Price Aanlysis: Key Technical indicators to watch

Key Technical indicators to watch

In our previous analysis, we observed that both the major support and resistance levels remain operative. Presently, Bitcoin is in a consolidation phase in the short term.

Taking a look at the 4-hour chart, we can note that Bitcoin has been on a downward trajectory since its peak at $31,000. The 55-period moving average constitutes a key resistance level, currently pegged at $27,042.

Source: Tradingview

Turning our focus to the daily chart, we find that the 89-period moving average stands as the principal support level, situated currently at $26,780. 

Impending Altcoin Season

The BTC dominance chart presents an intriguing scenario – it appears to be forming a diamond top pattern. This pattern typically indicates an imminent, significant downtrend. In layman’s terms, we can infer that altcoins, especially those paired with Bitcoin like ADA/BTC and LINK/BTC, may outperform Bitcoin in the near future.

Source: Tradingview


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Digital Asset Outflows Continue for the Fourth Week, but Selective Investments Show Optimism in the Market: According to CoinShares

According to CoinShares’ Twitter, the leading alternative asset manager in Europe specializing in digital assets, digital asset investment products have seen a fourth consecutive week of outflows, totalling $54 million. This has brought the total outflow to $200 million.

These outflows have been widespread across regions, reflecting a negative sentiment among investors that isn’t limited to a few players. Interestingly, a significant portion of these outflows was seen in Germany, amounting to $30 million. In the United States, 84% of the outflows came from investors selling their short positions.

Bitcoin ($BTC) remains the focal point of investor activity, with outflows totalling $38 million. Over the past four weeks, Bitcoin has witnessed an outflow of $160 million, representing 80% of all outflows over this period.

While outflows have been a concern, some investors are showing a daring streak. This week, multi-asset investments saw outflows of $7 million, but there were notable inflows into Cardano (#ADA), Tron (#TRX), and Sandbox (#SAND). This suggests a more adventurous and selective approach by investors in the digital asset space.

Despite the continued outflows from digital asset investment products, it’s important to highlight that they represent only 0.6% of total Assets under Management (AuM). This suggests that while the market is experiencing short-term volatility, the long-term outlook for digital asset investments remains robust. CoinShares continues to set a new standard for institutional excellence in the digital asset industry, even in these uncertain times.


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Bitcoin Price Analysis: Navigating Between Key Support and Resistance Levels

Bitcoin has just breached the 27,000 level, currently portraying a considerably weak trend.

The 89-day moving average serves as a crucial support level, warranting close monitoring. On March 10, Bitcoin dropped to the 89-day moving average, triggering a rebound exceeding 50%. Last Friday, following a dip below the 89-day moving average, Bitcoin promptly initiated a rebound, peaking at 27,650. Currently, Bitcoin continues to consolidate above the vicinity of the 89-day moving average. A significant breakdown below the 89-day moving average without a subsequent recovery may potentially ignite a new round of substantial decline.

From the 4-hour chart perspective, Bitcoin is navigating a downtrend channel. Post-rebound, Bitcoin failed to breach the recent high of 28,290, indicating the downward trend remains unbroken. 

As per the 4-hour chart, the recent rebound also exhibits factors of RSI and MACD bullish divergence. Currently, the 55-period line on the 4-hour chart is a conspicuous resistance level. Bitcoin needs to surpass this 55-period line on the 4-hour timeframe to possibly initiate a further upward surge.

Prior to the emergence of a clear direction, Bitcoin may continue to consolidate within the box defined by the 89-day moving average support line and the 55-period resistance line on the 4-hour chart.

Please note that the data and indicators mentioned are based on the Bitcoin price chart from Binance.


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UK Legislators Advocate for Treating Crypto Trading Similar to Gambling Regulations

In a recent report, a UK legislative committee has acknowledged the potential of cryptoassets and their underlying technologies to revolutionize financial services, particularly in streamlining payments and reducing associated costs. They specifically point to the potential benefits for cross-border transactions and economies with underdeveloped financial sectors.

However, the committee raised concerns about the current regulatory challenges faced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in managing the burgeoning cryptoasset industry, emphasizing the need for the Government and regulators to keep pace with these rapidly evolving technologies.

While the committee supports innovation in the financial sector, they caution that the true extent and impact of cryptoasset technologies remain uncertain, with significant risks to both consumers and the environment.

The legislators recommend a balanced approach, urging the Government to avoid investing public resources in cryptoasset activities without a clear, beneficial use case. They cite the recent failed attempt to produce a Royal Mint non-fungible token (NFT) as an example of misdirected efforts.

The report also calls for a shift in the regulatory approach towards unbacked cryptoassets, such as Bitcoin and Ether. Due to their volatility and lack of intrinsic value, the committee argues that these assets pose substantial risks to consumers, likening speculation in these assets to gambling.

Therefore, they strongly recommend that retail trading and investment in unbacked cryptoassets be regulated as gambling rather than as a financial service, to prevent consumers from misinterpreting the risks involved.


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Grayscale Launches New Entity to Manage Growing Funds

Grayscale Investments, the cryptocurrency asset manager, has announced the launch of a new entity, the Grayscale Funds Trust, to manage its publicly traded financial products in-house. The move indicates the company’s growing confidence in its ability to manage its funds internally.

In addition to the launch of the new trust, Grayscale has filed a registration statement with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for three new cryptocurrency-focused exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The new funds include a Bitcoin Composite ETF, an Ethereum Futures ETF, and a Privacy ETF.

Grayscale’s Bitcoin Composite ETF will invest in exchange-traded products related to or backed by Bitcoin, including Bitcoin mining firms. The Ethereum Futures ETF will offer indirect exposure to the potential future value of Ether through shares that track ETH’s price. The Grayscale Privacy ETF will invest in companies working on blockchain-based privacy technology.

However, until the registration statement is approved by the SEC, the funds will not be available for public purchase. This move comes as Grayscale continues to navigate a conflict with the SEC over converting its $17 billion Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a spot Bitcoin ETF product.

In January 2021, Grayscale sued the SEC for denying its application, arguing that the SEC acted unfairly in treating crypto spot traded exchange-traded products differently from futures products. Grayscale claims that there is a 99.9% correlation between prices in the Bitcoin futures market and the spot Bitcoin market. Despite the SEC’s approval of several Bitcoin Futures ETFs, it has so far rejected every application for a spot Bitcoin investment product due to concerns about exposing investors to potential fraud and market manipulation.

Despite these challenges, Grayscale’s move to launch new crypto ETFs and manage its publicly traded financial products in-house demonstrates the company’s commitment to the cryptocurrency market and its belief in the long-term potential of digital assets.

In conclusion, Grayscale Investments’ launch of the Grayscale Funds Trust and its filing of three new cryptocurrency-focused ETFs is a significant development for the company and the cryptocurrency market as a whole. While the SEC’s approval of these new ETFs is still pending, Grayscale’s continued efforts to introduce crypto-focused investment products is a positive sign for the industry’s growth and adoption.


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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 27,158.28 1.17%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,902.45 1.67%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 94.37 0.02%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 114.63 0.67%