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2019 Year in Review

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The FATF, Cryptocurrencies, and the Philippines

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In an earlier article on BitPinas, we briefly looked at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the international body tasked to promote measures against money laundering and terrorist financing. With 200+ member countries, the FATF recommends what the countries must do with regards to money laundering and terrorist financing. By the way, these are not just recommendations. It simply must be complied, otherwise there will be consequences. In this article, we’ll expand more on the FATF.

The FATF’s Power

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Consider the year 2000, when the FATF blacklisted the Philippines for failing to address money laundering issues. At that time, the FATF said the country lacked basic anti-money laundering regulations and specific legislation to criminalize the activity. When the FATF blacklisted a country, apart of course from the spectacle of being shamed in the international community of countries, any financial transaction going into the country would be scrutinized more by banks, thus foreign companies might be discouraged from doing business here, while companies here would find it hard to do business transactions with foreign partners.

Nevermind that at that time, the country was about to force a president out of office and was in a transitory phase. The peso-dollar exchange rate would eventually rise up to around Php 56.56 four years later. Not to mention that in 2001, after the September 11 attacks in the U.S., global efforts to AML reporting intensified to combat financing of terrorism as well (CFT). It was also in that year when the Philippines passed the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 (AMLA).

So what I’m saying is that the FATF is pretty powerful. And their recommendations have consequences if a country did not comply. Case in point, the Philippines barely escaped being blacklisted again in 2017. However, in more recent news, it appears the country is on the verge of being blacklisted again if certain amendments to the AMLA are not passed.

The FATF Recommendations

First published in 1990, the 40 Recommendations are the primary policies of the FATF it tasked its member countries to act upon, through ways like legislation and of course implementation. These recommendations are the global standards in anti-money laundering and they are continually updated to keep up with the changing techniques of criminals and simply to keep up with the times.

In 2018, the FATF updated the recommendations to include cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency companies within its scope, effectively integrating the entire industry into the global financial system, at least on paper. The countries then have to create their legislation in order to enforce these rules to cryptocurrency companies, or virtual asset service providers (VASPs), a very broad term that includes cryptocurrency exchanges and platforms except non-custodial platforms.

Briefly, the 40 recommendations require the following:

  • Criminalize money laundering
  • Enable authorities to confiscate proceeds from money laundering
  • Establish a financial intelligence unit
  • Implement relevant international conventions
  • Implement customer due diligence
  • Implement record keeping
  • Implement suspicious transaction reporting
  • Coordinate with other countries when investigating and prosecuting money laundering

The FATF has also added 9 special recommendations in relation to terrorist financing. You can check the entire forty recommendations here.

What about the Cryptocurrency Industry?

As for much of the recommendations as well as other finance-related laws, at least here in the Philippines, locally-licensed virtual currency exchanges are following the guidelines from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Circular No. 944 in 2017 established the guidelines for virtual currency exchanges, which include transactional requirements and strict following of the country’s anti-money laundering law. It’s the reason why your go-to local cryptocurrency platform has tiered limits and thresholds in how much you can transact depending on the amount of information about yourself that you submit to them.

Globally, of particular concern is the “Travel Rule”, which is no. 16 in the FATF recommendations. Simply put, it requires that when doing a cryptocurrency transfer, the sender’s personal information, such as his name, should “travel” along with the transaction. Meaning, if Sender from Exchange A sends bitcoin to Receiver in Wallet B, Exchange A must pass along personal information of Sender to Wallet B. More on the subject is explained here.

The problem is that the blockchain simply does not transfer personal information. If you are familiar with a bitcoin transaction, in the blockchain, you will only see the sender address, the amount, the fee, and the receiver address. That’s it. It does not need other information because every transaction completed on the blockchain is final.

So with the FATF instructing countries to commit to these recommendations and apply it to cryptocurrency companies within their jurisdictions, it falls upon the cryptocurrency companies to comply. Otherwise the countries, in order to not suffer consequences from the FATF, would force them out of their jurisdictions.

At the moment, there are companies working on solutions to address the travel rule for cryptocurrency companies. Examples include CipherTrace’s TRISA and openVASP. Another initiative, interVASP, looks into standardizing the payload instructions so that VASPs can better communicate with each other. Finally, solutions like Elliptic, help in making VASPs more compliant with existing anti-money laundering rules.

I recommend the article “What is the FATF Travel Rule” as next the reading material if you find this topic enjoyable. Up next, we will briefly look at the 2020 report from the FATF about potential red flag indicators.

This article is published on BitPinas: The FATF, Cryptocurrencies, and the Philippines


About BitPinas:

BitPinas is an independent blockchain, finance, and cryptocurrency news site covering the crypto and blockchain news and developments in the Philippines. We aim to be the website where you can find all information on blockchain and crypto in the Philippines. We are read by investors and enthusiasts alike, including crypto/blockchain company founders and government personnel. Contact [email protected] for more information, consulting advice, and partnerships. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Source: https://bitpinas.com/feature/the-fatf-cryptocurrencies-and-the-philippines/

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Ethereum Price Analysis: ETH Poised For Rebound To $360

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  • Ethereum price retests support at $310 twice in September.
  • A double-bottom pattern in the 4-hour range predicts recovery to $360 in the near term.

After trading highs of $489 at the beginning of September, the smart contract token has tested support at $310 twice. Recovery has been capped under $400 with Ether suffering rejection at $390 severally. The recent slump saw Ethereum dive below key support areas at $380, $360, and $340. The unstoppable declines continued to $310 before a reversal came into the picture.

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At the time of writing, Ethereum is trading at $323 even as bulls rush to take back control in a bid to stop losses from extending below the critical $310. Note that if ETH dips below $300, the price could explore lows towards $250 before a significant correction comes into the picture.

A double-bottom pattern has been spotted on the 4-hour chart. If the pattern is confirmed, Ethereum could be on the verge of a significant correction. Double-bottom patterns highlight areas of demand and are often used in technical analysis to predict reversal points and the extent to which the incoming bullish momentum will go. However, it is essential to realize that double-bottom patterns must be used with other technical indicators to validate the upward movement in the price.

Read also: Ethereum’s Accumulation Trend Remains Unfazed by Price Downturn

ETH/USD 4-hour chart

ETH/USD price chart
ETH/USD price chart by Tradingview

The ongoing bullish momentum is supported by the Relative Strength Index (RSI) as it recovers from the oversold region. Similarly, IntoTheBlock’s IOMAP shows a lack of a formidable supply area with the power to delay the price action to $360. However, the strongest seller congestion zone lies between $362 and $373. Here, near 700,000 addresses previously bought $10.50 million ETH.

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ETH IOMAP chart

ETH IOMAP chart
ETH IOMAP chart by IntoTheBlock

On the flip side, the most critical support holds in the range between $295 and $304. Around 850,000 addresses purchased 1.93 million ETH in the area. In this case, buyers have a task to hold Ethereum above $310 if not $320, and focus on recovery towards the toughest supply area.

Ethereum Intraday Levels

Spot rate: $323

Relative change: 2.93

Percentage change: 0.91%

Volatility: Low

Trend: Bullish

Read more: Ethereum Locked in DeFi Soars to a Fresh ATH


To get the daily price analysis, Follow us on TradingView

Author: John Isige




John is a talented writer with over two years of experience actively contributing to the cryptocurrency industry by providing credible, interesting and easy to read the content. His main focus is on cryptocurrency price analysis and industry news coverage. Lets follow him on Twitter at @jjisige

Source: https://coingape.com/ethereum-price-analysis-eth-poised-for-rebound-to-360/

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No Compensation for MakerDAO Vault Owners After Governance Vote

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MakerDAO vault holders who lost about $2.5 million during Black Thursday will not receive any compensation following a governance vote that ended on Tuesday. While decentralized finance (DeFi) continues to garner attention, issues like the type suffered by the MakerDAO project earlier in the year continue to plague the market as a whole.

MKR Holders Vote Against Compensating Affected Vault Owners

Following the conclusion of voting on the revised MakerDAO governance poll, vault owners affected during the Black Thursday crash of mid-March will not receive any compensation. This outcome is due to the fact that 65% of the participants voted against compensating the $2.5 million losses incurred by vault owners.

Some reactions to the news on social media say the decision to not compensate vault owners sets a not so ideal precedent. With Maker (MKR) token holders unaffected by the forced liquidations of March 12, 2020, it appears only vault owners were the real losers.

Amid the Black Thursday panic, the crypto arena saw a massive sell-off of tokens leading to a sharp decline in price across the market. The situation mirrored the events seen in the larger investment scene as fear over the coronavirus pandemic saw investors electing to liquidate their assets for cash.

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A Black Swan Event

For the MakerDAO project, Black Thursday turned out to be a ‘black swan’ event. As the price of Ethereum (ETH) fell on that fateful Thursday, the network suffered massive congestion which prevented price oracles from updating ETH/USD price in real-time.

With the price oracles failing, undercollateralized vault owners suffered forced liquidations. Some users took advantage of the situation to launch opportunistic profiteering attacks with zero bid and half bids. These rogue actors were able to liquidate ETH from vault owners with little or no DAI given in collateral.

MakerDAO lost $6.65 million in DAI stablecoin during the incident with $4 million of this shortfall being actual “bad debt” for the project. The DeFi lending project was able to service the bad debt via debt auction a few weeks later.

In the aftermath of the forced liquidations on Black Thursday, some affected vault owners sued the Maker Foundation for not providing adequate information about the risks involved in holding collateralized debt positions (CDP).

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/no-compensation-for-makerdao-vault-owners-after-governance-vote/

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