Mt. Gox Creditors Given Extra Month to Register Claims, Distribution Deadline Delayed

Mt. Gox was a cryptocurrency exchange that was situated in Tokyo. At one point in time, it was responsible for more than 70% of all Bitcoin transactions. In 2014, the exchange suffered a hacking attack, which led to the theft of thousands of Bitcoin and the subsequent filing of a bankruptcy claim by the exchange. Since then, creditors have been holding out hope that they would eventually be compensated for the damages they sustained.

The official document cites a number of reasons for the postponement in the registration and distribution deadlines, one of which is the progress that rehabilitation creditors have achieved in regard to the selection and registration. Creditors have the choice of obtaining payment in the form of a lump amount, having their funds sent by a bank or another provider of money transfer services, or transacting with a cryptocurrency exchange or custodian.

Since the exchange went bankrupt, the delay in the payment has been a source of concern, especially in light of the large rise in value of Bitcoin that has occurred since the collapse of the exchange. There has been conjecture over the effect that creditors of Mt. Gox selling their assets may have on the market if they made that decision. Yet, according to a story that was published by Bloomberg not too long ago, the major creditors of Mt. Gox have no intentions to liquidate any of their Bitcoin holdings.

Creditors of Mt. Gox have been given some breathing room thanks to the extension of the registration and distribution deadlines. This gives the creditors more time to submit claims and decide how they would want to be compensated for their losses. As the cryptocurrency industry continues to mature, it is absolutely essential that exchanges place a high priority on security measures in order to forestall the occurrence of incidents similar to those that have already occurred in the past. This will ensure the safety of creditors as well as investors.


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Revolut Finally Wins FCA Registration to Offer Crypto trading Services in UK

Revolut, a London-based digital banking startup, has finally won a long awaiting registration from the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to offer crypto services in the United Kingdom.

Revolut becomes the latest accredited crypto asset firm register, bringing the list of companies approved to conduct crypto asset activities in the country to 38.

An FCA spokesperson discussed the development: “We confirm that Revolut has been removed from the temporary register and has received full registration as a crypto asset firm. Revolut has agreed to a number of directions designed to ensure it has the systems and controls to meet the requirements of the money laundering regulations.”

The FCA became the U.K.’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing authority at the beginning of 2020. As a result, the regulator requested firms conducting certain cryptoasset activities nationwide to register with it.  And so, more than 100 firms, including Revolut, applied for registration.

Although the registration deadline was in March this year, the FCA allowed a select number of firms to remain on the watchdog’s Temporary Registration Regime (TRR), which was introduced to enable firms to continue operating while their applications were being reviewed.

As of early April, Revolut was one of five firms on the Temporary Registration Regime, along with CEX.I0, Copper Technologies, GlobalBlock and Moneybrain. This implied that more than 60 other applications were denied registration or had withdrawn from the official register.

Efforts to Ramp Up Growth Across the World 

This week, Revolut has finally received its approval, while the fate of the other four firms is still unknown. The latest move follows a series of additional regulatory achievements for Revolut around the globe as part of its efforts to launch its services to more customers.

On August 15, Revolut was granted authorization by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CYSEC), allowing it to offer crypto services across the European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA includes the 27 nations in the European Union, including Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Therefore, the U.K.’s registration license cemented the winning regulatory approval for the company’s crypto services in Europe.

Early last month, Revolut gained regulatory approval to operate in Singapore. On August 4, the firm launched its crypto services in Singapore.

With the U.K.’s FCA approval, Revolut is now fully authorized to provide crypto services in the United Kingdom. The authorization also has strengthened hopes for the firm to get a U.K. banking license that would enable it to offer its own banking products in its home country.

Revolut, which applied for a U.K. banking license in January 2021, sees getting a U.K. banking license as being a key step in its plan to become a global super app. The firm applied for 48 banking licenses across the globe, but so far, it has received 44 – still awaiting to receive some elsewhere, including in the U.K.

Revolut’s U.K. banking license may be delayed after the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) discovered flaws in its audit by U.K.’s auditing firm BDO.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Standard Chartered’s Zodia Custody Gets FCA Approval to Offer Cryptocurrency Services

Zodia Custody has announced that it has obtained approval from the UK regulator (Financial Conduct Authority – FCA).

SC Ventures, the innovation and ventures unit of Standard Chartered and Northern Trust Corporation, launched Zodia Custody in 2020 in response to the rising number of institutions making their entry into the digital asset market.

Based on the development regarding the FCA’s approval, Alex Manson of SC Venters stated: “We believe crypto assets as an asset class is here to stay. We set up Zodia Custody with the clear goal of serving institutional investors who want to invest in cryptoassets in a sustainable, safe and responsible way. Our aspiration is to lift standards, grow the ecosystem and help a nascent industry mature, becoming more acceptable to institutional investors and ultimately society at large.”

Zodia Custody has obtained approval from the FCA under UK money laundering regulations. It will now apply standards equivalent to those already used for the custody of traditional securities in running its cryptocurrency business.

With its aim to serve the institutional market, Zodia Custody will offer custody services for the most-traded cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, followed by XRP, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash, which represent 80% of the total assets traded on the largest crypto exchanges at approximately $395 billion. Zodia is therefore well set to offer services to cryptocurrency businesses.

Crackdown on Cryptocurrency

Zodia’s entry into the digital asset market is likely to be a game-changer for the institutional adoption of crypto assets.

However, it has not been easy to get an FCA registration. So far, only nine firms have obtained a cryptocurrency registration. The main requirement is the enforcement of anti-money laundering and the prevention of terrorism financing. In January 2020, the FCA enabled a temporary registration, with about 75 firms currently holding such a designation, including the likes of Revolut, which processes significant volumes.

The first authorisation by FCA went to Archax, the tokenised securities firm, in August 2020. The only registration approval awarded to crypto businesses in 2020 included Ziglu crypto investment firm and crypto trading firm Gemini Europe. Since September 2020, there was no registration approval until this year in June when custody firm DigiVault, Ramp Swaps, Fibermode, and Solidi got approval.

In June this year, over 60 crypto-related firms, including Binance, withdrew their applications with the Financial Conduct Authority to do business in the UK. The nation tightened its regulation in space.

In late June, the regulator banned Binance from conducting its regulated activities in the country due to a lack of proper money laundering and terrorism financing prevention capabilities. The FCA joined other regulators across the globe, moving to prohibit or heavily control the crypto exchange amid a series of global regulations aiming to tighten regulations around crypto use. The ban also reflects concerns that Binance exchange is being used by criminals to launder the proceeds of attacks.

Image source: Shutterstock


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UK FCA buys another 9 months to review crypto companies’ registrations

The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has extended the end date of crypto-asset companies’ temporary registration from July 2021 to March 2022.

The Temporary Registrations Regime, or TRR, was established last year to enable crypto businesses to continue trading while their registrations were still being assessed by the FCA. With the latest announcement, any crypto companies that applied before Dec. 16, 2020 have temporary registration until March 31, 2022.

After becoming the supervisor of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing measures for crypto companies in the United Kingdom, the FCA obliged all crypto-asset businesses to comply with the country’s AML regulations. The initial deadline for the registration was Jan. 10, 2021.

But since the COVID-19 pandemic made site visits difficult, along with the “the complexity and standard of the applications received,” the FCA announced the TRR and issued temporary registrations to all businesses that submitted an application before Dec. 16. The initial period of the TRR was set to end on July 9, 2021.

The temporary registration is limited to businesses that were active prior to Jan. 10, 2020. New companies require full registration.

According to the announcement, an “unprecedented number of businesses” withdrew their applications due to their substandard operations regarding the Money Laundering Regulations. “The extended date allows cryptoasset firms to continue to carry on business while the FCA continues with its robust assessment,” the announcement reads.

The FCA’s announcement reiterates the risks involved in crypto asset trading, stating that an FCA registration does not guarantee the protection of client assets. The financial regulator issued a warning earlier this year when Bitcoin (BTC) took a dive below $33,000, stressing that investors should be ready to lose all their money while investing in crypto.