Japanese authorities on Monday ordered cryptocurrency exchanges not to process transactions involving crypto assets that have imposed asset-freezing sanctions on Russia and Belarus over the war in Ukraine.
The move follows a statement from the Group of Seven (G7) nations on Friday that Western countries will impose costs on illegal Russian actors who use digital assets to grow and transfer wealth.
G7 advanced economies are increasingly concerned that Russian companies are using cryptocurrencies as a loophole to impose financial sanctions on the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury issued new guidance on Friday requiring U.S.-based cryptocurrency companies not to trade with sanctions targets.
A senior official at Japan’s Financial Services Agency said they decided to announce to keep the G7’s momentum going.
IN A JOINT STATEMENT, the FSA and the Ministry of Finance said that the government of Japan would strengthen measures to crack down on the transfer of funds involving crypto assets that violate sanctions.
Japan has lagged behind a shift in global financial regulators in setting stricter rules for private digital currencies. Meanwhile, both the G7 and G20 powerhouses have called for more regulation of stablecoins.
Moreover, unauthorized payments to sanctioned targets, including through crypto assets, are punishable by up to three years in prison or a fine of 1 million yen ($8,487.52), the FSA said on Monday.
According to the industry association, as of March 4, there were 31 cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan.
Regulators worldwide remain concerned about the safety of new markets for investors, given their growing popularity.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission cited the potential for market manipulation as one of the main reasons for rejecting multiple applications for spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds.
Bitcci Announces The World’s First Token Store
Swiss startup ‘bitcci’ has opened its first local coin store in the burgeoning European crypto hotspot in Northern Cyprus to market its payment token ‘bitcci cash’ to the public.
Bitcci, a consortium of Swiss companies, is currently in the ICO stage. It is conducting IEOs on multiple exchanges simultaneously. The $5 million soft caps for ICOs have been reached.
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The bitcci ICO has raised over $6 million and attracted over 4,000 token holders.
About 8.5 billion Bitcci Cash tokens were sold at $0.0018 each, and the ICO is now 43% complete. The ICO will continue for another 25 days before they destroy unsold tokens.
To attract new partners, bitcci has placed 200 large billboards around the Crypto Valley hotspot in Switzerland.
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The bitcci ecosystem comprises different companies and sectors that aim to ensure its sustainable development and achieve its intended goals.
Dogecoin Surges Shortly After Musk Says He Won’t Sell His Crypto Holdings
Dogecoin (DOGE) briefly rose 10% in Asian trading on Monday. The rise came after Elon Musk said in a tweet that he would not sell crypto assets, including DOGE.
DOGE changed hands at $0.111 at 4:10 UTC in an essentially flat cryptocurrency market. It surged and peaked at $0.122 at 4:17 UTC after Musk tweeted at 4:11 UTC that he would continue to hold DOGE, ether, and bitcoin.
The surge may have been driven by automated trading bots tracking token mentions from popular accounts on social media sites such as Twitter. Musk’s Twitter account, for example, has more than 77.6 million followers.
When writing, DOGE price has fallen from its morning peak to $0.113.
Musk has tweeted about DOGE several times before. In February 2021, he posted a picture of a rocket next to the moon, followed by a one-word tweet “Doge”.
That was a rendition of the phrase “go to the moon,” which is a term for a surge in asset prices.
In May 2021, Musk said he was working with Dogecoin developers to make the system more efficient. It sent the price of Dogecoin soaring 22%.
Musk’s Tesla reportedly started accepting DOGE payments for its merchandise stores earlier this year. DOGE payments are still active, and Giga Texas belt buckles and other products are available in USD and DOGE.
Bank Of Israel Releases Draft Policy On Crypto Deposits
Israel’s central bank has released draft regulations that could open up the country’s financial system to crypto companies. They will require banks to scrutinize companies individually rather than blanket denials.
The draft, published on the bank’s official website on Thursday, said banking entities must conduct risk assessments. Moreover, they will develop policies and procedures for transfers to and from virtual currencies.
Banks must review each case individually for licensed crypto companies or financial investment providers. Additionally, they must not issue blanket denials to service providers.
Moreover, Banks need to clarify the source of funds used to buy cryptocurrencies and track the virtual currency’s path from purchase to when converted to fiat and deposited into a bank’s corporate account.
The draft complies with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations in November. Israeli cryptocurrency advocates said that banks often take extraordinary measures to accept deposits in cryptocurrencies. Moreover, they hope the new rules will help banks more easily onboard cryptocurrency users.
Global regulators tighten anti-money laundering regulations and compliance to prevent money laundering using cryptocurrencies. Lawmakers in the EU are working to bring their new anti-money laundering agency under the strict supervision of virtual currencies.
Earlier this year, a group of influential financial firms operating in the United States, including Coinbase, Fidelity, and Robinhood, banded together to make digital assets compliant with global anti-money laundering rules.
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