Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has issued a warning letter to Singapore-based major cryptocurrency exchange Bybit, alleging that it has been running unlicensed services in the country. The Japanese watchdog says the fifth-largest crypto derivatives exchanges by trading volume is not registered before the local authorities to provide digital asset services.
According to the warning, Bybit has allowed Japanese citizens to register on the platform and use the platform, despite its unregistered status on the FSA.
“To the best of our knowledge, such public reprimand for running an unregistered business has not occurred for a while, so one is to assume that the FSA has witnessed aggressive marketing by Bybit to Japanese investors that goes beyond the common transgressions of presenting their website in Japanese (…) and not blocking Japanese IP addresses,” Norbert Gehrke, founder and representative director of tech hub Tokyo FinTech, said in response to the FSA’s warning notice against the crypto exchange.
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He even compares the situation with another cryptocurrency exchange firm, Panama-based Deribit, which on the contrary, blocks Japan-based IP addresses from accessing its website. Also, the firm adds a disclaimer on its translated version of the website.
“The site has been translated from English. Any differences created in the translation have no legal effect. In case of any question, please refer to the official English version,” Deribit’s disclaimer says.
Recent Bybit Regulatory Issues
This is not the first regulatory-related tussle that Bybit has faced over the year. The Singapore-based crypto exchange had to suspend its operations for UK-based customers, citing the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s ban on all cryptocurrency derivatives trading.
As Finance Magnates reported, the FCA considers these crypto assets could not be reliably valued by retail investors due to the inherent nature of the underlying assets, market manipulation, and volatility. “This ban reflects how seriously we view the potential harm to retail consumers in these products. Consumer protection is paramount here,” the UK financial watchdog at that time.
John McAfee’s Strange Suicide Leads To Even Stranger Conspiracy Theories
Today is a sad day for the crypto-verse. For good or bad, John McAfee, one of the most eccentric, bizarre, and influential personalities of the ecosystem, said his goodbyes to the physical world in a no less eccentric, bizarre, and controversial way: He committed suicide by hanging himself from a rope in his prison hours after learning that the Spanish justice system had approved his extradition to the United States.
The news was first announced by his lawyer and later confirmed by the government of Catalonia, the region of Spain where McAfee was imprisoned.
“Everything indicates that it could be a death by suicide.”
Immediately after the news broke, the Crypto Twitter community quickly shared their shock. Some paid respect, others criticized… and others questioned everything that happened.
The conspiracy was easy to imagine, given McAfee’s background. Several cryptocurrency influencers began trying to tie up loose ends to understad what happened. They relied on several tweets from McAfee claiming that he would never commit suicide, that he was being threatened, and that he knew some secrets that the elites needed to silence.
But something that blew everyone’s minds was a picture uploaded post-mortem to his official Instagram account. A black letter Q, presumably pointing to the QAnon movement, though without explanation.
QAnon, or simply Q, is a conspiracy movement that claims that a group of satanic pedophiles dominate government and media elites. Its followers claimed that former President Donald Trump was waging a battle to destroy this group.
The movement gained momentum with the arrest of Harvey Epstein on sex charges. The suspicious causes of his controversial suicide prior to his testimony further heightened suspicions that he had in fact been murdered in order to be silenced.
The slogan “Epstein didn’t kill himself” went viral and is still observed when references are made to corrupt government practices in the United States.
And, of course, McAfee had a thing or two to say about this. He pointed out to similarities between his case and Harvey Epstein’s in many times, and assured he had many secrets that the government wanted to hide. If his allegations are true, and the QAnon post means anything, we could soon find out what he knew.
For you panicked people involved, even peripherally in Epstein’s murder:
I do, absolutely, 1,000% have, not just a dead man switch, but a twice daily check in switch.
If you think you are fast enough to grab me, torture me and get what you need before it activates,
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) January 16, 2020
“McAfee Didn’t Kill Himself”
A Twitter user attempted to contact the administrator of the controversial right-wing news site Zero Hedge and introduce him to a Spanish journalist who claims to have video recordings and reports that Joe Biden allegedly teamed up with the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, to fake McAfee’s suicide.
— ブランスさん (@brunsjpnrmu) June 23, 2021
MMCrypto, a cryptocurrency trader, also questioned McAfee’s suicide. He shared a tweet from McAfee in which he assured that if he were to appear dead, it would not be by his own decision, and everything could be a set-up “a la Epstein.”
Podcaster Peter McCormack shared the ticker $WHACKD in reference to another McAfee tweet showing a tattoo as a reminder that he would never commit suicide despite threats from US Officials.
— Peter McCormack (@PeterMcCormack) June 23, 2021
Getting subtle messages from U.S. officials saying, in effect: “We’re coming for you McAfee! We’re going to kill yourself”. I got a tattoo today just in case. If I suicide myself, I didn’t. I was whackd. Check my right arm.$WHACKD available only on https://t.co/HdSEYi9krq🙂 pic.twitter.com/rJ0Vi2Hpjj
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) November 30, 2019
Also, Kim Dotcom, the man behind Mega.nz and active Bitcoin Cash advocate, claimed to be working with McAfee on an initiative to fight government surveillance shortly before the tragic news.
John was a colorful guy. A pioneer in data security. I always thought he partied too hard, should have avoided the drugs and focus on using his brillant mind for good. When he had a sober mind it was all about freedom. That’s how I will remember him, a freedom fighter.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) June 23, 2021
And finance lecturer Vladislav Ginko also shared several tweets warning about the danger of McAfee and his family suffering from deaths caused by USAMRIID, the Department of Defense’s (DoD) lead laboratory for medical, biological defense research.
So far, no official autopsy has indicated his cause of death. In the meantime, theories will continue to emerge. But if there is one thing that everyone – conspiracy theorists or not – can agree on, it is that John McAfee lived his own way until the end.
The Bank for International Settlements Gives CBDCs Full Backing
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) announced its full support for developing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in pursuing financial and monetary stability through international cooperation with the mandate and support by central banks. (Read More)
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) announced its full support for developing central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in pursuing financial and monetary stability through international cooperation with the mandate and support by central banks.
CBDCs are crucial in modernising finance
The BIS acknowledged that CBDCs must modernise finance and keep ‘Big Tech’ in check not to control money.
Benoit Coeure, a member of the BIS, warned:
“Without CBDCs, digital money would become increasingly dominated by big tech firms, as they would leverage enormous social media user bases.”
CBDCs are digital assets pegged to a real-world asset and backed by the central banks, meaning that they represent a claim against the bank exactly how banknotes work. Furthermore, they are blockchain-enabled, representing a new technology for issuing central bank money at the wholesale and retail level.
According to the announcement:
“As part of its upcoming annual report it estimated that at least 56 central banks and monetary authorities, representing around a fifth of the world’s population, are now looking at digital currencies as commerce shifts online.”
The issuance of CBDCs seems to be a race against time; many nations believe owning a CBDC is instrumental in having control of the global markets.
The Bahamas- the first nation to launch a CBDC
The Bahamas launched the Sand Dollar in October last year, making it the first country in the world to release a CBDC beyond the testing phase officially.
As more nations reveal their interest in CBDCs, the BIS noted that authorities would have to decide whether citizens require digital IDs to use them or choose the token-based route, making transactions more anonymous.
Once rolled out, CBDCs are expected to drive the financial inclusion of nearly 1.7 billion people left out of the banking system.
India can impose 2% levy on crypto bought overseas
The Indian government doesn’t have to implement a new law to impose taxes on crypto transactions, because an existing law can be extended on them.
According to analysts, the government has an existing “2% equalization levy” that can be extended on crypto assets that were purchased overseas.
In a report published by the Economic Times, the said law has the authority to require a 2% levy on top of the settlement price of cryptocurrencies bought outside the country.
The equalization levy law was first implemented by the Indian government in 2016, which requires a 6% tax on payments for e-commerce businesses without permanent presence or facilities in India.
It was updated in 2020 and nicknamed “Google Tax” which now includes a 2% tax on any services provided by overseas e-commerce companies that are doing business in India.
According to the experts, the words and definitions included in the law make it viable to be applied to cryptocurrency purchased outside the country. With this existing law, companies may be required to add a 2% levy on the price of crypto assets.
But other financial experts have conceded that exact guidelines on how the government should handle crypto assets are somehow unclear under the Foreign Exchange Management Act.
India’s crypto position
Government officials in the country have always clashed about cryptocurrency matters.
Just this June 2021, the Indian government has introduced a bill that would ban any cryptocurrency transactions, but some officials have criticized this bill, saying that cryptocurrencies should be recognized instead as an alternate asset class.
But even in the midst of criticisms, the government, through the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has maintained its anti-crypto stand, citing major risks in the use of the virtual currency.
Image courtesy of Cointelegraph News/YouTube
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