This Week in the Crypto Space: Bitcoin Plunges; Altcoins Follow Suit




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Crypto week

This week started with the crypto market deep in the red. For the first time since May, Bitcoin (BTC) plunged below the $7,000 level. The leading coin opened trading on Monday trading at $7,039 after diving below $8,000 on November 21. BTC traded as low as $6,617 before gaining slightly to close the day at $7,146.  On Tuesday, the coin continued trading sideways closing trading at $7,218. At the time of writing, BTC is trading at $7,177 after shedding 0.6 percent over the past 24 hours.

Bitcoin price | Crypto week

After Bitcoin’s deplorable performance on Monday, the rest of the crypto market followed suit. On Monday, all coins in the top-10 were bleeding with losses ranging from 0.5 percent to 12.20 percent according to data from Coinmarketcap. Ethereum (ETH) and Binance Coin (BNB) were the biggest losers with 10.80 percent and 12.20 percent losses respectively. At the time of writing, most coins have had slight upward corrections, but still have a long way to go before resuming their initial prices.

Thai SEC Plans to Amend Crypto Laws to Boost Innovation

Stepping away from the crypto market, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seeks to amend its digital asset business laws in the coming year. A report unveiled this news on November 25, noting that this move seeks to make the laws more suitable for crypto assets.

Thai SEC crypto laws | Crypto week

According to the report, the SEC also seeks to protect investors from unnecessary risk through this move.

Speaking to the press, Thai SEC’s general-secretary, Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol said,

The regulator must be flexible to apply the rules and regulations in line with the market environment. For example, laws should not be outdated and should serve market needs, especially for new digital asset products, and be competitive with the global market. We need to explore any possible obstacles.

This news comes after Thailand embraced crypto rules in May 2018 through a royal decree. While this move sought to boost crypto adoption, its impact was not significant. This is because not many firms came out to get authorized and start their operations. At the moment, Thailand only has five companies that have earned digital asset exchange licenses.

OneCoin’s Lawyer Found Guilty of Money Laundering and Fraud

Moving on, Mark Scott, OneCoin’s lawyer has been found guilty of fraud and money laundering. This news comes after he made $50 million by routing $400 million on behalf of the OneCoin. A report unveiled this news, noting that this judgment came after a three-week trial.

OneCoin lawyer crypto scam | Crypto week

During the trial, Scott’s lawyers said that he did not know that OneCoin’s crypto asset was worthless at the time he routed the funds. They added that he simply followed the orders of Ruja Ignatova, the co-founder of OneCoin. However, a federal jury in Manhattan rejected these claims, finding him guilty of both crimes.

Geoffrey S. Berman, a Manhattan US Attorney said,

Mark S. Scott, an equity partner at a prominent international law firm, used his specialized knowledge as an experienced corporate lawyer to set up fake investment funds, which he used to launder hundreds of millions of dollars of fraud proceeds. He lined his pockets with over $50 million of the money stolen from victims of the OneCoin scheme. Scott, who boasted of earning ‘50 by 50’ now faces 50 years in prison for his crimes,

As such, Scott is facing a maximum sentence of 50 years, 20 years for money laundering and 30 years for bank fraud. His sentence is set for February 21 in the coming year.

Bitbay Announces that It Seeks to Delist Monero to Curb Money Laundering

In other news, Bitbay, a Europe-based crypto exchange announced that it had terminated support for Monero (XMR). The exchange unveiled this news through an official statement, noting that this decision is a result of XMR’s privacy-based nature. Bitbay added that it would implement this decision in February in the coming year.

Bitbay Delist Monero to Curb Money Laundering | Crypto week

In the statement, Bitbay said,

Monero (XMR) can selectively utilize anonymity features among projects. This feature of XMR is a subject to end of transaction support. The decision was made to block the possibility of money laundering and inflow from external networks.

The exchange added that it would stop XMR deposits from November 29. Explaining why it would block deposits so early, Bitbay noted that there is an upcoming XMR fork on November 30. However, withdrawals would go on until May 20 in the coming year.

This news comes after other leading exchanges delisted the privacy-based coin in the past for the same reason. These include OKEx and Upbit.

Voyager Joins Hands with Avant-Garde Trading to Offer Crypto Trading

Regarding new developments in the crypto space, Voyager Digital has joined hands with Avant-Garde Trading in a crypto deal. A report revealed this news on November 26, noting that this partnership will see the duo start offering crypto trading. Reportedly, the broker-dealer is set to go live in the first quarter of 2020.

Voyager partners with Avant-Garde Trading | Crypto week

Per the publication, Avant-Garde has already laid down plans to provide its clients with forex, futures, ETF’s, futures, and stock trading. The firm also unveiled that it would add crypto trading to the list of services it will offer through this collaboration.

Steve Ehrlich, the CEO of Voyager Digital believes that this partnership is unique. He noted that it has great revolutionary visions for the crypto sector. On top of this, Ehrlich added that this deal also seeks to connect investors to the top crypto platform.

This partnership will also offer Avant-Garde Trading smooth execution services and a proprietary market data stream. These features will help the firm aggregate data from some of the leading crypto exchanges in the space.

In crypto-related government affairs, South Korea’s National Assembly is progressing a bill that will offer a legal basis for cryptocurrencies in the country. The bill classifies virtual currencies as digital assets. It also seeks to introduce regulatory clarity and transparency to crypto markets in the country.

South Korea Legal Foundation for Crypto | Crypto week

According to a report unveiled this news, noting that the National Assembly’s national policy committee passed this bill. However, the judiciary committee still needs to approve it. Should the judiciary approve it, the bill will come into effect in the coming year. The bill outlines that all crypto businesses in Korea will have to register with the Financial Service Committee (FSC). Apart from this, they will also have to register with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and report to the authority.

To get approval, all businesses will have to get an Information Security Manager System Certificate from the Korea Internet and Security Agency. The FSC noted that the legislation would make crypto markets more transparent. Also, it would legitimize investments in crypto assets.