UK bans crypto derivatives, Europol names Bitcoin privacy tools ‘Top Threats’
FCA bans crypto-derivatives to UK retail consumers
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published final rules banning the sale of derivatives and exchange traded notes (ETNs) that reference certain types of cryptoassets to retail consumers.
They argue that these features mean retail consumers might suffer harm from sudden and unexpected losses if they invest in these products.
The ban will come into effect on 6 January 2021. UK consumers should continue to be alert for crypto-derivative investment scams. As the sale of derivatives and ETNs that reference certain types of cryptoassets to retail consumers is now banned, any firm offering these services to retail consumers is likely to be a scam.
Europol names Bitcoin Privacy tools as ‘Top Threats’ in Internet Crime Report
According a report by Europol, “privacy-enhanced wallet services using coinjoin concepts (like Wasabi and Samurai wallets) have emerged as a top threat in addition to well established centralized mixers.”
Europol’s report also included decentralized marketplace protocols as a “high priority threat”, specifically naming OpenBazaar, developed by cryptocurrency software company OB1.
“Criminals have started to use other privacy-focused, decentralized marketplace platforms, such as OpenBazaar and Particl.io to sell their illegal goods,”
Funds Are Loading Up on Bitcoin Mining Stocks
Three of the largest asset managers are diversifying their funds to hold blockchain stocks, throwing more establishment financial might behind bitcoin’s technology.
Charles Schwab has begun purchasing shares of Riot Blockchain, joining Fidelity and Vanguard in allocating mutual fund holdings to a cryptocurrency company. They have to submit financial filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Fidelity and Vanguard are already investors in Riot, HIVE Blockchain Technologies, Hut 8 and BC Group. Filings for the first half of this year show Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. purchased 22,977 Riot shares for $52,000.
Two Vanguard funds were invested in 954,229 Riot shares worth $2,118,000, and two Fidelity funds were separately invested in Riot shares worth $230,115 and HIVE shares worth $1,003,163.
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