New Zealand Financial Regulator Warns Public About ‘Profit Bitcoin’ Scam
Amid the apparent global surge of cryptocurrency-related scams, New Zealand’s financial regulator has warned the public against another suspected Bitcoin (BTC) investment scam scheme. In an April 6 statement, the country’s major financial watchdog, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), issued an official warning against “Profit Bitcoin” — an alleged get-rich-quick scam that promises returns by using software that “wins” Bitcoin trades with “99.4% accuracy.” The FMA noted that the entity and its website, theprofitbtc.com, have the “hallmarks of a scam,” emphasizing that Profit Bitcoin is not registered as a financial service provider in New Zealand. According to the regulator, Profit Bitcoin has been purportedly promoted via social media platforms like Facebook and involved some “false news” about the government’s initiatives along with an image of New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Celsius Lists Libra Challenger for 9.9% Potential Interest
Crypto lending platform Celsius Network has listed startup Saga’s SGA stabilized asset, unlocking the potential for token holders to earn interest. “Saga has partnered with leading cryptocurrency interest income platform, Celsius Network,” Saga founder Ido Sadeh Man told Cointelegraph. The collaboration and listing means “users can both preserve their assets’ value with SGA’s proven stabilization mechanism (the IMF's SDR, a basket of currencies designed to offset currency fluctuations), as well as earn attractive interest through the Celsius network,” Man explained.
FATF Report: US Is Not Focusing Enough on Crypto Financial Risk
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has reevaluated the United States on its compliance with global anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CFT) regulations. According to the report published on March 31, the U.S. is only “largely compliant” with FATF regulations on cryptocurrencies and virtual assets. The assessment considered the degree of compliance of the national legislation to recommendations issued by FATF, an international regulatory standard body. Recommendation 15, dealing specifically with cryptocurrencies, is among the most discussed issues in the report. Since the last assessment in 2016, the FATF rating of the U.S. on this matter has not changed. However, FATF’s own guidelines for cryptocurrencies were amended significantly in October 2019, in what is commonly known as the FATF Travel Rule.
Survey Reflects India's Strong Sentiment Towards Crypto Before and After Ban
A survey released on April 2 and conducted by peer-to-peer Bitcoin (BTC) marketplace Paxful revealed growing positive sentiment in terms of cryptocurrency adoption in India. Paxful's survey of investors between the ages of 18–55 revealed that 75% of them had invested in cryptocurrencies. Prior to the Reserve Bank of India's crypto ban lifting, Paxful said that trade volume in the P2P marketplace in January exceeded $3 million, taking into account that 93.8% of respondents invested in cryptos before the ban. According to the study, 78.5% of respondents prefer to use cryptocurrencies to transfer money quickly and easily, since they believe that the traditional banking system is corrupt, while 64.8% believe that it is a way to achieve financial freedom.
AT&T Seeks Dismissal of $200M in Damages for 2018 SIM-Swap Attack
AT&T is again seeking to have punitive damages claims of $200 million dismissed in an ongoing court case between the telecoms giant and crypto investor Michael Terpin — who asserts he lost $24 million in crypto as a result of AT&T’s negligence in 2018. In response to Terpin’s second amended complaint — filed with the court on March 16, AT&T is seeking to have two of his eight claims dismissed, alongside $200 million in punitive damage claims. Speaking to Cointelegraph, AT&T’s Jim Kimberley stated: “Fraudulent SIM swaps are a form of theft committed by sophisticated criminals. It is unfortunate that these criminals targeted Mr. Terpin, but we dispute his allegations and will continue to fight them in court.”
Cardano's Byron Reboot Goes Live, Paving Way to Shelley Mainnet
Proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain Cardano (ADA) went live with its Byron reboot yesterday, March 30, as the project prepares its transition to the Shelley mainnet. Announced by Cardano’s developer, the peer-to-peer technology firm Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), the reboot involves a series of updates to major components of the Cardano network — the Cardano node, explorer, and Daedalus wallet backend, which is being spun out as a new version, Daedalus Flight.
Russia Postpones Its Crypto Law Again, Now Blaming Coronavirus
After facing multiple delays, the adoption of Russia’s major cryptocurrency law will be postponed again, now due to the coronavirus. Anatoly Aksakov, chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, says that the country’s crypto law — the bill “On Digital Financial Assets” — is now finalized but won’t be adopted before the end of the spring 2020. According to a March 31 report by Russian news agency RBC, Aksakov has admitted that previous delays in the bill’s adoption were caused by disagreement on the new asset type between local authorities. Aksakov, who is also chairman of National Banking Council at Russia’s central bank, reportedly elaborated that the central bank opposed legalization of crypto while the State Duma advocated some crypto initiatives.
Libra Rival Celo Announces $700,000 in Grant Funding for 13 Startups
Open-source payments network Celo has announced its first round of development grant recipients. A press release shared with Cointelegraph states that Celo has awarded $700,000 in grants to 13 different companies who are looking to build on top of the network, contribute to the development of the Celo platform, or foster the Celo community. The project has already received more than 50 grants proposals from teams based in 16 different countries and will continue to accept proposals until May 19.
Opera Becomes First Major Browser to Integrate .Crypto Domain Extension
Opera now enables users to access decentralized web pages through a partnership with Unstoppable Domains, a tech firm backed by prominent Bitcoin (BTC) advocate Tim Draper. The collaboration entails Opera’s integration of Unstoppable Domain’s .crypto domain extension, according to an announcement shared with Cointelegraph on March 26. This will allow the browser’s users to surf decentralized websites, as well as make cryptocurrency payments.
Celsius Partners With Chainlink to Decentralize Price Data
Today, March 30, Celsius Network (CEL) begins using Chainlink’s (LINK) price data feed oracles while offering treasury management servicec to the oracle platform. The CEO and founder of Celsius, Alex Mashinsky, told Cointelegraph about the rationale behind the partnership: “Celsius wants to be more transparent and more decentralized and that is the main driver for partnering with Chainlink.” The partnership will begin with Celsius using Chailink’s crypto price oracles, after which Celsius will move transactions on-chain for greater transparency. Celsius will provide treasury service to Chainlink, managing “several million dollars” worth of cryptocurrency. Mashinky stated that his company is paying out weekly interest on their deposits to the partner while Chainlink is able “to borrow dollars when they need them so they do not have to sell coins”.