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South Korea faces strict crypto regulation and fears of centralization

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From real-name account trading to investigating individuals using cryptocurrencies to evade taxes, government officials in South Korea are enacting stricter regulations to oversee the cryptocurrency industry in the country. These measures often require digital currency businesses to provide detailed customer data and transaction information to the relevant authorities.

With these stringent measures often comes an increase in the cost of compliance for exchanges and other crypto service providers. Privacy concerns are another issue amid the swath of information being provided to government agencies.

However, this strict regulatory climate has done little to dampen the enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies in South Korea. Crypto trading in the country continues to gain more traction, with exchange investors in line for significant price gains in shares amid the current upsurge in digital currency activity in the country.

Data from South Korea’s National Tax Service, or NTS, shows an increase in the number of crypto investors in the country over the past year. This surge in market participants has also triggered an eightfold increase in trading volume such that the crypto arena recently overtook the stock market, albeit temporarily, in daily trading volume.

South Korea’s tightened crypto regulations are also coming amid updates to the Financial Action Task Force’s, of FATF’s, guidelines on cryptocurrency regulations. The intergovernmental body continues to call for heightened restrictions on the crypto space, predicated on exerting strict oversight of centralized entities like exchanges and custodial services.

Specific Financial Transactions Act

On March 25, updated cryptocurrency regulations under the Act on Reporting and Using Specified Financial Transaction Information, commonly referred to as the Specific Financial Transactions Act, will come into effect in South Korea. These new laws herald significant policy changes for virtual asset service providers, or VASPs, in the country.

For one, all VASPs — exchanges, custodians, asset managers and wallet service providers — must be licensed to operate in the country. Exchanges must also maintain relationships with local banks to ensure mandatory real-name account trading.

For South Korean officials, the insistence on real-name crypto trading accounts is part of efforts to combat money laundering via cryptocurrencies. This rule requires exchanges to obtain and renew certain license approvals from lenders in the country.

By partnering with local banks and requiring real-name trading accounts, South Korean regulatory and law enforcement agencies can have access to crypto transaction data for their various investigative purposes. Crypto businesses in the country must abide by strict financial reporting standards following the new laws coming into effect later in March.

The Korea Financial Intelligence Unit, or FIU — an arm of South Korea’s Financial Services Commission responsible for Anti-Money Laundering oversight across the country’s financial sector — will police the activities of cryptocurrency businesses. These VASPs now have until Sept. 24 to come into full compliance with the new reporting standards.

Exchanges, wallet providers, asset managers and other crypto firms under the VASP classification must flag suspicious transactions and report them to the FIU for subsequent money laundering investigations. Also, new VASPs looking to operate in the country must register with the FIU before servicing customers in South Korea.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s NTS is also focusing its attention on the crypto space in efforts to combat tax evasion. However, with crypto taxation laws yet to come into effect, the NTS is looking at individuals attempting to evade state taxes by hiding their wealth in digital assets.

The NTS recently identified more than 2,400 individuals who hid over $32 million in assets from the government. As part of the investigation, the tax agency requisitioned customer data from major crypto exchanges in the country and is even reportedly planning to conduct a deeper probe into some of the participants in the tax evasion scheme.

The cost of compliance

Binance Korea shut down its operations back in December 2020, less than a year after its initial launch. At the time, the platform identified low liquidity and declining transaction volumes as the reason for its decision to shut up shop.

However, there was some speculation that incoming regulations prohibiting order book sharing among cryptocurrency exchanges was the reason for Binance’s decision to shutter the platform. Now, with the new regulatory standard only days away, OKEx has also shut down its platform in the country.

Of the over 100 cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, only the “big four” — Bithumb, Upbit, Korbit and Coinone — hold partnerships with local lenders to enable real-name account trading. These platforms that account for the bulk of the crypto trading volume in South Korea are likely the only ones capable of bearing the cost of compliance associated with acquiring the necessary licensing approvals from commercial banks.

For one, to obtain banking partnerships in the nation, exchanges must develop robust information security management protocols. Also, their principal executives must have clean criminal records.

Additionally, exchanges must provide proof of adequate deposit insurance to cover losses from any hacks. Indeed, South Korean exchanges have been victims of numerous cyberattacks purportedly from North Korean hackers sponsored by authorities in Pyongyang.

Earlier in March, Bithumb announced plans to upscale its AML protocols. As part of these efforts, the South Korean crypto exchange giant has begun utilizing AML tools and solutions developed by blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis.

For smaller exchanges in South Korea, the cost of compliance brought on by these measures might prove significantly burdensome, leading to a raft of exits from the country. Such a situation could lead to a monopolized cryptocurrency trading market in the country, with only a few participants left in the arena.

Privacy concerns

When in-house solutions are inadequate to ensure compliance with these regulations, exchanges often turn to third-party services. According to Alice Nawfal, co-founder of Travel Rule-compliance platform Notabene, her company is working with several crypto businesses in South Korea. In a conversation with Cointelegraph, Nawfal revealed:

“South Korean exchanges have a 6-month grace period starting March 2021 to implement the Travel Rule. None of them to our knowledge are live yet but are actively exploring how to comply with this. Notabene is currently in talks with several Korean VASPs on how we can help them comply with the new rules.”

Counterparty information-sharing often comes with privacy concerns, and the crypto regulations soon to be in effect in South Korea are likely no different. Indeed, similar issues have been raised with the FATF’s Travel Rule, which requires VASPs to share customer data across multiple jurisdictions.

For the FATF, the guidelines are all about bringing the crypto space to a similar regulatory standard as players in the legacy finance arena. In a statement to Cointelegraph, a spokesperson for the FATF argued:

“The FATF puts the same obligations on virtual assets and their service providers as any other financial business. The FATF is not singling out any form of crypto or cryptocurrency, the FATF is bringing them up to the same standard as banks, money service businesses, securities dealers, and others in the financial sector.”

Despite several reports showing that illicit transactions constitute a minute portion of global cryptocurrency commerce, the FATF still maintained that digital currencies can be misused for illegal activities, adding:

“Money laundering fuels serious crime and terrorism. The threat of criminal and terrorist misuse of virtual assets is serious and urgent. The FATF expects all countries to take prompt action to implement the FATF Recommendations in the context of virtual asset activities and service providers.”

Back in April 2020, the FATF assessed South Korea’s efforts in combating money laundering and terrorist financing. At the time, the intergovernmental body praised the country’s “sound legal framework” while calling for more work to be done in the anti-graft arena, especially concerning corruption among government officials.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/south-korea-faces-strict-crypto-regulation-and-fears-of-centralization

Blockchain

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says he would forever work to make bitcoin better.

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey expressed his support for the leading cryptocurrency bitcoin on his microblogging platform Twitter, in response to a tweet by the Square chief financial officer, Amrita Ahuja. “Our bitcoin strategy hasn’t changed. We’re deeply committed to this community, including working towards a greener future through our Bitcoin Clean Energy Initiative,” Ms Ahuja wrote on Twitter. These comments came a few days after Elon Musk’s Tesla suspended bitcoin payments. 

Square’s Bitcoin asset is valued at $410m. 

Square is a digital payments company founded by Twitter chief executive and Jim Kelvey and launched in 2020. The company valued at over $100 billion in 2020 is evaluating Bitcoin as an investment opportunity. Square has purchased a total of $220 million Bitcoin to date. Its Bitcoin asset is valued at $410m. Bitcoin was trading at $48,523.20 on Saturday and is down 13 percent over the past five days since Tesla announced to drop the cryptocurrency as a payment method. “Square is doing exactly this for bitcoin with @SqCrypto,” Jack Dorsey had tweeted last year. 

Tesla suspends the bitcoin payment option citing environmental reasons. 

Less than two months after Elon Musk had announced to accept the leading cryptocurrency bitcoin payments for Tesla vehicles, the company discontinued its support. Elon Musk announced that the reason they are suspending bitcoin payments is because of environmental concerns. Bitcoin mining uses specialized computers that use massive energy for the process of mining. However, Tesla would continue to retain bitcoin holdings that it acquired sometime in January this year. The leading electric car maker had purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoins earlier this year, sending the price of the leading cryptocurrency to new highs. 

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://coinnounce.com/twitter-ceo-jack-dorsey-says-he-would-forever-work-to-make-bitcoin-better/

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What is Party Parrot Finance?

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Party Parrot Finance is a non-custodial lending market equipped with a Virtual Automated Market Maker (AMM).

From humble beginnings to today, decentralized finance (DeFi) has grown exponentially. Currently, billions of dollars of value are locked into numerous DeFi systems, which are being turned into different yield generating tokens, such as the Uniswap LP tokens, or the AAVE interest-bearing tokens.

For the most part, the values of LP tokens are locked in the many ecosystems that make up DeFi and are ultimately inaccessible to the crypto community. Unfortunately, the value locked in DeFi as LP tokens are unavailable to the larger blockchain community because their risks are non-transparent, and their units of account are unsuitable for human consumption.

Thankfully, The Party Parrot is fully equipped to deal with such inconvenience, and is supported by well-established networks such as Solana.

Table of Contents

Background

Although not much is known about the Party Parrot’s team, it is fair to imply that the Parrot ecosystem was designed and built to be scalable. The team behind the platform has shown great enthusiasm and expects the protocol to be among the top crypto solutions of its category within the market very soon.

Additionally, the team has expressed its vision of a world with full-scale blockchain adoption, where all crypto or blockchain-related solutions ought to possess the following attributes, ensuring that as the world’s technology grows, the blockchain’s throughput grows as well.

Here are some of its perks:

  • Ability to process tens of thousands of trades per second and hundreds of thousands of orders per second
  • Ability to process 10 billion social media interactions per day, which is around 100k per second
  • Gas costs of less than $0.001
  • Scaling with the world
  • Ability to process all submissions on a human-reaction-time scale.

What is Party Parrot Finance?

Built on the Solana blockchain network, Party Parrot is a non-custodial lending market equipped with a Virtual Automated Market Maker (AMM). In general, the platform seeks to leverage locked LP tokens by making their value accessible through its highly efficient liquidity and lending network.

Additionally, The Parrot protocol is furnished with a margin trading algorithm designed to enable value locked within DeFi accessible. The protocol relies primarily on LP tokens used as collateral for all operations within its ecosystem.

The blockchain venture is an ambitious attempt to further the expansion of DeFi worldwide. The team behind its protocol aims to disrupt the worldwide DeFi ecosystem through its very first product, the stablecoin PAI, which will be backed by LP tokens as collaterals. In return, this will incentivize all LP token holders to trade with each other confidently.

Party Parrot is set out to create a margin trading product or virtual AMM, where the PAI token would be used as a tool to benefit the whole Parrot community.

Party Parrot Finance interface

Furthermore, through the Parrot lending market, LP token holders can enjoy the full potential of their tokens, as they are given the possibility to benefit from their locked value by borrowing against lender liquidity.

Overall, The Party Parrot financial venture is a for-profit project; so, all goods and services within the platform come with fees. But innovatively, the team behind the protocol will use the fees collected to purchase back the PRT token as protocol incentives.

Across the platform, the fees are collected from stability fees from the stablecoin PAI, as well as borrow interests on the PAI supply. Additionally, the blockchain ecosystem will be able to strive off borrow fees from the lending market, liquidation penalties, And trading fees for the vAMM.

The project is set to be following the roadmap below, ensuring a smooth implementation of all products:

  • 2021 Q2 April-June: Stablecoin with LP collaterals.
  • 2021 Q3 Solana DeFi Summer: Crypto lending with LP collaterals.
  • 2021 Q4 -2022-Q1: Margin trading with vAMM, using PAI.

PAI Stablecoin

Also built on the Solana blockchain ecosystem, the PAI stablecoin the Protocol’s very first product. Once fully operational, the token will play an important role within the platform’s ecosystem. Currently, the token is available on devnet for testing purposes and open to all crypto enthusiasts.

The PAI stablecoin will primarily be used to bridge LP tokens to Solana. It will also enable the staking of ETH and BTC tokens on an L1 swap where holders can earn LP yields. PAI holders will be able to also mint PAI, with LP tokens as collaterals, and buy BTC or ETH using PAI under the Serum ecosystem. 

Party Parrot Tokens (PRT and gPRT)

PRT is the Parrot protocol utility token, while gPRT is the platform’s governance token.

The PRT token is responsible for all operations and transactions within the platform and currently has a total supply of 1,000,000,000, where 35% is locked as protocol incentives, 17.5% control by the team, 10% as the reserve, and 20% saved for the platform’s ecosystem and partnerships.

As for the gPRT token, it is used as a tool to further long-term participation in governance within the system. gPRT tokens will be given to all individuals who lock up their PRT tokens, where the longer the lockup period, the greater the amount of gPRT tokens are minted for the supply locked.

For every gPRT in an individual possession, additional voting power and protocol incentives boost are granted. The lockup periods range from 1 to 4 years, guaranteeing various benefits depending on the number of years, which is as follow:

  • 1 year: 1x (gPRT1)
  • 2 years: 1.5x (gPRT2)
  • 3 years: 2x (gPRT3)
  • 4 years: 4x (gPRT4)

Conclusion

The Party Parrot protocol is a dynamic implementation and combination of already existing solutions powered by the blockchain. The growing DeFi ecosystem has revealed the need for such a solution within the market.

The blockchain solution not only empowers users and token holders but also enables them to benefit from all the services on the platform. Furthermore, through the PRT and gPRT tokens, users can potentially grow to become huge actors within the Parrot ecosystem, allowing them to take part in decisions and processes that affect the platform directly and indirectly.

Party Parrot is a unique protocol and is on pace to have an echoing impact within the blockchain ecosystem for years to come and eventually become a leader within the DeFi space.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.asiacryptotoday.com/party-parrot-finance/

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Bitcoin (BTC) Transactions Worth Over $1 Million Hit All-Time High As BTC Price Struggles to Hold at $50,000

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The world’s largest cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) has been struggling under the $50,000 levels. After Tesla dropping BTC payments earlier this week, BTC registered more than a 15% price crash and is currently trading 3.64% down at $48,703 with a market cap of $911 billion.

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Merchant Token

On the other hand, Bitcoin (BTC) whale transactions have been ascending steeply. As per on-chain data provider Santiment, the Bitcoin whale transactions over $1 million are approaching another all-time high.

CryptoQuant CEO Ki-Young Ju recently noted that long-term Bitcoin investors don’t need to worry since most of the institutional investors in the U.S. have purchased it above $50,000 levels. However, he noted that derivative traders have to be careful in the short term since the number of whale deposits on the exchange has been increasing.

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Earlier today, Chinese crypto analyst Wu Blockchain noted that Bitcoin’s dominance in the overall crypto space has dropped to under 40% for the very first time in three years. This happens as altcoins continue to gain strength over the world’s largest crypto.

A Look Into the Institutional Positions In Bitcoin (BTC)

Over the last few months, institutional buying in Bitcoin has continued mostly at levels around $55,000. As Wu Blockchain notes institutions that have purchased Bitcoin after March are currently under losses with the recent BTC price crash. However, one Chinese firm Meitu has managed to offset these losses by purchasing a good quantity in Ethereum (ETH).

In March 2021, Meitu announced the purchase of an additional 16,000 $ETH for $28.4 million and 386 $BTC for $21.6 million. This makes Meitu the first public listed firm to invest heavily in Ethereum (ETH). Wu Blockchain writes:

“Institutions that bought Bitcoin after March have suffered losses due to the recent sharp drop. However, the Chinese listed company Meitu took out more funds to invest in Ethereum in April, so it gained 3x the income, offsetting the losses caused by Bitcoin”.

To keep track of Crypto updates in real time, Follow us on Twitter & Telegram.

Disclaimer
The presented content may include the personal opinion of the author and is subject to market condition. Do your market research before investing in cryptocurrencies. The author or the publication does not hold any responsibility for your personal financial loss.
About Author
Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.

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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://coingape.com/amid-struggling-under-50000-bitcoin-btc-whale-transactions-over-1-million-hit-all-time-high/

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