EU to Tighten Cash & Gold Controls, Surge in Bitcoin Demand Will Follow

EU to Tighten Cash & Gold Controls, Surge in Bitcoin Demand Will Follow

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On Dec. 21, the European Commission tightened controls on the inflow of cash and precious metals from outside of the EU. Describing its decision as a move to crackdown on terrorist financing, the Commission granted permission to border patrols to seize cash or gold brought in by suspects. Customs officials in EU states, as well as border controls, can seize and restrict the inflow of cash and precious metals without particular guidelines as to whom is suspected of terrorist financing or funding of militant attacks. Such ambiguity in the new proposals could potentially lead to the false confiscation of funds carried in by civilians coming into the EU. Individuals holding over $10,400 in cash must declare at EU state customs before entering a member state. If they fail to do so, individuals could be scrutinized by the newly proposed regulations. The EU executive Commission also stated in a note obtained by Reuters that authorities will be able to seize money below $10,400 upon their independent investigations and considerations. Potential regulations on other money transmission methods To date, cash and precious metals are the only two stores of value that the European Commission plans on regulating. The inflow of cash and …

Blockchain’s Perfect Storm: Removing Money Laundering from the Financial System

Blockchain’s Perfect Storm: Removing Money Laundering from the Financial System

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Today, banks and financial markets refuse to share information that can prevent money launderers and fraudsters from operating in the shadows, in the gaps between market participants. But now the situation is changing. As Grant Blaisdell, co-founder and COO of Coinfirm.io says: “Blockchain has the potential to completely eliminate fraud, money laundering and criminal activity from our financial and banking systems.” This is the first in a three-part report that looks at Anti-money laundering (AML) and the efforts of the Blockchain community to bring everyone together to rid the financial markets of fraudsters, criminals and those who seek to use the financial system for the bad ends. Compliance costs skyrocket Remembering back to 2012, HSBC had to pay the U.S. authorities $1.9 bln in fines for not identifying and distinguishing bad actors from good, through the handling of a huge volume of questionable transactions from unreliable sources. The question remains: did they really know or were the systems that are meant to flag the risks inadequate? How did HSBC get this so wrong over a long period across many sovereign jurisdictions? Does this continue to highlight the fundamental issue for banks and all financial institutions the challenge to accurately identify each party …

Multi-Million Dollar ‘Grandmother Scam’ Using Bitcoin Ends in Miami

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A Canadian man who devised an elaborate scheme to defraud elderly U.S. citizens while using monetary transmitters like Western Union and Bitcoin has been caught. Stephan Moskwyn is looking at up to thirty years in federal prison for money laundering and related crimes performed in Southern Florida. Scammed grandparents into thinking relatives were in financial trouble The basic premise was simple: Call the large elderly population in Florida from a Canadian call center and purport to be a grandchild or other relative in need of money, due to a legal issue or accident. The callers would have them send the funds in the form of pre-paid debit cards, or money orders via Western Union, which would later be cashed in foreign markets like Chile and the Dominican Republic. Then “virtual money orders” were converted to Bitcoin by Moskwyn. He had bought pre-paid debit cards in Miami-Dade and Broward counties to execute the scams, which is when he met with witnesses who were working for federal law enforcement, according to documents submitted to the court. Those who were scammed would even go the extra mile to help, sending more funds than requested multiple times, according to federal investigators. U.S. Attorney Wifredo …