NFT Initiatives Continue, Blockchain Tracing Solutions Expand, SEC Targets ICO, Crypto Enforcement Data Published, Regulators Across Globe Address Crypto

In this matter:

• NFT initiatives will continue, advertising restrictions for cryptocurrencies will be relaxed

• Blockchain traceability solutions are expanding in the grocery, shipping, and jewelry sectors

• SEC settles ICO fraud, US crypto enforcement hits $ 2.5 billion

• Regulators in Canada, the UK and Portugal deal with the cryptocurrency market

• China’s crypto penetration continues, South Korea confiscates tax evasion crypto

NFT initiatives will continue, advertising restrictions on cryptocurrencies will be relaxed

In New Dehli, a blockchain-based platform is hosting an exhibition of 27 works of art by Bengal-born artist Lalu Prasad Shaw. According to a recent press release, the artwork is certified with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and focuses on various aspects of middle-class Bengali life.

An entertainment company selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to music fans recently released a limited collection of 3,000 NFTs and launched its own music-only NFT marketplace. The company is reportedly the first to use Decentralized Funding (DeFi) NFTs to allow fans to get a share of the artist’s licenses. According to reports, users can “stake” their NFTs in “music pools” for a period of 90 days to five years and then access a portion of the revenue from license streams at the end of the stake period.

A major American television station and its animation studio have set up a $ 100 million creative fund to produce NFTs around new content. The new entity will provide a blockchain development ecosystem for creators and advertising partners to create and launch NFTs. According to reports, the first NFT in development will refer to a new comedy series and will be “the first animated series to be fully curated on the blockchain”.

Earlier this month, one of the world’s largest search engines announced revisions to its advertising services policy, restricting bans on cryptocurrency-related advertising. According to reports, as of August 3, 2021, cryptocurrency-related companies certified by the search engine will be able to advertise their products and services on the search engine’s advertising network.

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Blockchain traceability solutions are expanding in the grocery, shipping, and jewelry sectors

A major US credit card company recently announced the launch of the first blockchain-based traceability solution from E-Livestock Global to make the cattle supply chain in Zimbabwe end to end transparent. Following a tick-borne disease outbreak in 2018 that resulted in the death of 50,000 cattle, the country was unable to export beef to lucrative markets in Europe and the Middle East due to the lack of traceability in Zimbabwe’s cattle market. E-Livestock Global’s solution seeks to resolve these concerns by helping buyers guarantee product quality.

A blockchain-enabled digital shipping platform has recently added new members to general availability in the country three years after its development by a major shipping company and corporate computer company, months after its launch in China. According to reports, the platform recently added two Chinese port groups and eight intermodal and inland logistics providers.

A major jewelry maker recently announced a partnership with a large computer company to improve the jewelry company’s ability to scale its global omnichannel e-commerce capabilities. The jewelry company will reportedly leverage the computer company’s proprietary blockchain-based e-commerce platform to increase supply chain resilience, business agility, and better mitigate disruption and risk.

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SEC settles ICO fraud, U.S. crypto enforcement hits $ 2.5 billion

This week, the US Securities and Exchange Commission charged an ICO issuer and its CEO with securities fraud and the execution of an unregistered securities offering. The SEC alleged that the company and its CEO raised $ 7.6 million from investors by offering and selling digital tokens called “LOCIcoin,” and made numerous materially false statements to investors and potential investors in promoting the ICO. The order also states that LOCIcoins were securities and that the offering of those securities was not registered with the SEC or qualified for an exemption from registration. The injunction also states that the CEO misused $ 38,163 of investor proceeds to pay for his personal expenses. Among other things, the SEC order imposes a civil penalty of $ 7.6 million on the company and a bar and board of directors for the CEO.

A blockchain analytics firm recently released an analysis of US enforcement actions that shows that since Bitcoin was introduced in 2009, fines of $ 2.5 billion have been imposed on companies and individuals trading in cryptocurrencies. This also includes fines issued by the SEC ($ 1.69 billion), Commodity Futures Trading Commission ($ 624 million), Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ($ 183 million), and Office of Foreign Assets Control (US $ 606,000 -Dollar). According to the report, most of these penalties relate to unregistered securities offerings ($ 1.38 billion), fraud ($ 928 million), and money laundering violations ($ 183 million). The penalties consist of civil penalties ($ 722 million), levies ($ 1.62 billion), and restitutions ($ 161 million).

GSA Auctions, a US General Services Administration (GSA) service, recently held its latest cryptocurrency auction for 11 lots of cryptocurrencies totaling 8.93 bitcoins and 150.2 litecoins, with a combined market value of nearly $ 377,000. GSA Auctions is the federal government’s online clearinghouse for surplus federally owned assets and equipment, such as office furniture, vehicles, scientific equipment, and collectibles.

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Regulators in Canada, the UK and Portugal are dealing with the cryptocurrency market

This Monday, the Ontario Securities Commission’s (OSC) enforcement staff released a Statement of Allegations (SOA) and initiated proceedings against Bybit Fintech Limited (Bybit) cryptocurrency exchange to signal Bybit “for disregarding Ontario securities laws and around “Hold Crypto Accountable” Asset trading platforms that violate Ontario Securities Act are facing regulatory action. In March, the OSC notified exchanges with Canadian clients that the exchanges had until April 19, 2021 to contact the OSC to discuss their efforts and obligations to comply with Ontario securities laws and otherwise legally in Operate Canada. According to the SOA, Bybit never contacted the OSC. Bybit faces various penalties, including ceasing operations and paying fines.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s market regulator, said earlier this week that more than 100 unregistered cryptocurrency asset firms are high risk, volatile, unregulated and a threat to the broader financial system. In January, these firms had to apply for FCA registration before they could trade; However, only a handful did so, according to the FCA.

The Central Bank of Portugal (CBP) recently licensed two cryptocurrency exchanges for the first time. A new Portuguese law on cryptocurrency trading platforms came into effect earlier this year. Since then, the CBP has reportedly received five formal registration requests and a total of 60 informal requests.

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Crypto penetration in China continues, South Korea confiscates tax evaders crypto

According to reports this week, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), China’s central bank, has urged the country’s major financial institutions to stop facilitating cryptocurrency transactions, citing concerns about the role of cryptocurrency in criminal activity. This announcement follows the statement by the Chinese State Council last month that it intends to further tighten restrictions on the trading and mining of cryptocurrencies. In a similar development, Chinese authorities recently arrested 1,110 people suspected of laundering the proceeds of crime related to internet and phone fraud involving cryptocurrencies. And a third recent report found that authorities in Ya’an City, a city in Sichuan province, ordered the local bitcoin mining operation to close pending inspection.

In South Korea, officials recently seized more than $ 53 billion ($ 47 million) in cryptocurrencies from approximately 12,000 people accused of tax evasion. The seizures are reportedly part of a month-long investigation that officials have termed the largest “cryptocurrency back tax seizure in Korean history.”

According to recent reports, the founders of South African cryptocurrency investment firm Africrypt have allegedly disappeared – with bitcoins valued at around $ 3.6 billion. An investigation reportedly found that Africrypt’s pooled funds were being transferred from its South African accounts and client funds. Global exchanges have been warned to look for attempts to convert or liquidate the Bitcoin.

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