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Japan to Adopt New Stablecoin Regulations

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A local financial body in Japan has said that the country’s new legislation that will let investors to trade using stablecoins such as Tether (USDT) are scheduled to be approved no later than in June 2023 at the very latest.

The Financial Services Agency (FSA) of Japan is working on removing the restriction on the domestic distribution of stablecoins and has tentative plans to make this change before the end of the year for certain stablecoins.

The spokesman for the FSA noted that the organisation would only approve stablecoins that are successful in passing individual inspections designed to ensure that such cryptocurrencies are protected from the perspective of user protection.

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The representative went on to say that other examples include international issuers in their own countries being subject to identical restrictions in Japan, with underlying assets being safeguarded in an acceptable manner.

Additionally, the authorities emphasised that there is no possibility of knowing if major stablecoins like as Tether (USDT) or USD Coin (USDC) would be permitted. This point was emphasised several times. According to the spokesman, “FSA does not give any option to obtain such material before the decision is taken.”

The new stablecoin laws that have been suggested for Japan are included in the proposed cabinet orders and cabinet office ordinances that are related to the change to the Payment Services Act of 2022.

The new regulations are going to be implemented in December 2022, and its primary goals are to lay out the standards for electronic payment instruments and create the registration processes that are associated with them.

The official data indicates that the FSA will continue to take public opinions about the modifications to the Payment Services Act through the 31st of January in 2023. A spokeswoman for the FSA said that the specific date has not yet been agreed upon since the regulation is planned to be published and implemented via the relevant processes once the closing of the public comment period.

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FSA said that the deadline for law enforcement is going to be at the beginning of June.

According to earlier reports, the Diet of Japan has approved a measure that will go into effect in June 2022 and prohibit the use of foreign stablecoins. The bill also requires stablecoin issuers to connect their cryptocurrencies solely to the Japanese yen or another legal denomination.

It would seem that a number of cryptocurrency companies have been adversely affected by the new regulations, since none of the 31 Japanese exchanges that are registered with the FSA have subsequently provided stablecoin operations. The legislation is scheduled to go into force in 2023.

Because of the lacklustre state of the cryptocurrency market in Japan, a number of prominent cryptocurrency exchanges, including Coinbase and Kraken, have recently suspended their operations there.



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North Korea Stole Over $1 Billion in Crypto in 2022

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According to an unclassified study from the United Nations, cybercriminals operating out of North Korea stole more digital assets in 2022 than in any previous year.

According to Reuters, the UN report was sent to a 15-person committee that is in charge of imposing sanctions on North Korea one week ago.

Following attacks on the computer networks of international aerospace and military corporations, it was discovered that hackers with ties to North Korea were responsible for between $630 million and more than $1 billion worth of crypto assets being stolen in 2017.

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The United Nations research found that cyber assaults were more sophisticated than in previous years, making it more difficult than it has ever been to track down monies that have been stolen.

The independent sanctions monitors stated in their report to the United Nations Security Council Committee that “[North Korea] used increasingly sophisticated cyber techniques both to gain access to digital networks involved in cyber finance and to steal information of potential value, including information related to its weapons programs.”

A report published on February 1 by the blockchain analytics company Chainalysis came to a similar conclusion last week. According to this report, North Korean hackers were responsible for the theft of at least $1.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency in 2022, making it the worst year ever for crypto hacking.

According to the company, the cybercriminal syndicates have been the most “productive bitcoin hackers over the last several years.”

According to Chainalysis, “For comparison, North Korea’s entire exports in 2020 comprised $142 million worth of products,” thus it isn’t a reach to argue that hacking cryptocurrencies is a major portion of the nation’s economy.

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According to Chainalysis, at least $1.1 billion of the stolen wealth was acquired via hacks of decentralized finance protocols. This indicates that North Korea was one of the driving factors behind the trend of hacking decentralized financial protocols that accelerated in 2022.

The company also discovered that hackers with ties to North Korea often transfer huge quantities of money to mixers like Tornado Cash and Sinbad.

According to Chainalysis, the pace at which assets stolen by other persons or organizations are transferred to mixers is far lower than the rate at which funds stolen by hackers with ties to North Korea are transferred.

North Korea has frequently denied allegations that it is responsible for cyberattacks; however, the new UN report alleges that North Korea’s primary intelligence bureau, the Reconnaissance General Bureau, utilizes several groups such as Kimsuky, Lazarus Group, and Andariel specifically for the purpose of conducting cyberattacks.

According to the report published by the United Nations, “these actors continued to illicitly target victims in order to earn income and solicit information of value to the DPRK, particularly its weapons programmes.”

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Last week, the entire report was presented to the North Korea sanctions committee of the 15-member council. According to recent reports, it is expected that the report will be made public either later this month or early in March.



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The Bank of England and the United Kingdom’s Treasury are working on a digital asset

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The Bank of England (BoE) and the Treasury of the United Kingdom are moving on with plans to establish a digital currency that might “offer a new method to pay” without necessarily replacing cash. These ideas are in the early stages.

A joint consultation paper on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) is scheduled to be released on February 7, with the Bank of England and the Treasury seeking views on how and if they should continue with establishing a CBDC. The topic of the document is central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

Jeremy Hunt, the Minister of Finance, made an announcement to the public on February 6 indicating that the two organizations will collaborate in an effort to build a modernized digital payments system that does not necessarily exclude the usage of cash.

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“While cash is here to stay, a digital pound issued and backed by the Bank of England could be a new way to pay that is trusted, accessible, and easy to use,” he said. He continued by saying that “we want to investigate what is possible first, while always making sure that we protect financial stability.”

Officials from the Bank of England and the Treasury Department anticipate that large technology firms will provide a government-backed alternative to privately produced stablecoins over the next few years. This will be another significant area of attention that will be addressed.

As part of the statement, Governor of the Bank of England Andrew Bailey highlighted the fact that a “digital pound would enable a new method to pay, benefit companies, retain faith in money, and better safeguard financial stability.”

“However, there are a number of ramifications that will need to be thoroughly considered by our technical work. This consultation, together with the further work that will be done by the bank at this time, will provide the groundwork for what would be a major choice for the nation about the manner in which we use money.

A speech by BoE Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe is also scheduled to take place on February 7. The purpose of this address is to provide the financial sector with an update on the central bank and Treasury’s CBDC work to far.

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It was proposed that even if they choose to continue ahead with the project, the construction of the blockchain-based infrastructure that would support the digital pound would not take place until at least the year 2025.

Related: According to new study, London has become the world’s most crypto-ready city for commercial use.

Rishi Sunak, the current prime minister and a former finance minister, issued an order in April 2021 mandating that the Bank of England and the Treasury work together to establish the Central Bank Digital Currency Taskforce. The two individuals are essentially entrusted with supervising the investigation as well as the possible deployment of the digital pound.

Although it seems to have been a slow burn so far, given how cautious the BoE and Treasury’s stances are, the latter did post a job listing to LinkedIn on January 24 calling for a team lead for its Payments and Fintech Team of approximately 20 people focused exploring on a “potential digital pound.” Despite the fact that it appears to have been a slow burn so far, given how cautious the BoE and Treasury’s stances are, the Treasury did post the job listing.



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Former Coinbase Product Manager Seeks to Dismiss SEC Charges of Insider Trading

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A former product manager at the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has made a formal request to have the allegations of suspected illegal insider trading dropped against them. Since the tokens that are being alleged to have been traded by him are not securities, his legal team believes that the charges should be dismissed as groundless. The fact that this is the case is the primary justification for dismissing the charges.

Ishan Wahi, a former employee of Coinbase, and Nikhil Wahi, his brother, are both being represented by attorneys who, on February 6, filed a motion in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington requesting that the charges brought against them by the Securities and Exchange Commission be dropped. Ishan Wahi is also being represented by his brother, Nikhil Wahi. Nikhil Wahi is also being represented by attorneys. Attorneys are also defending Nikhil Wahi’s interests in this case. Ishan Wahi was a member of the Coinbase team in the past.

The SEC filed charges of insider trading against the brothers and their associate Sameer Ramani in July of last year, alleging that the three of them made $1.1 million using Ishan’s tips on the timing and names of tokens in upcoming Coinbase listings. The SEC filed these charges against the brothers and their associate Sameer Ramani. These allegations were brought against both of the brothers as well as their colleague Sameer Ramani by the SEC. Additionally, allegations were made against Sameer Ramani that he engaged in insider trading.

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The attorneys prepared a report that was more than 80 pages long and in it they described the many ways in which the SEC’s statements were “incorrect.”

They stated that the bitcoins that were supposedly sold by the Wahi family did not satisfy the legal definition of a security since they did not have a “investment contract written or inferred.” This was the basis for their argument. To put it another way, there was neither a written nor an inferred agreement between the parties to invest in the bitcoins. Instead, they compared bitcoins to collectibles like baseball cards and stuffed animals, like stuffed animals and stuffed animals.



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