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DENIED: Binance Blocks Relatives of Senior Russian Officials

The world’s largest cryptocurrency trading platform warned that the sanctions against Russia could mean tougher checks on people trying to buy from its system.

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Digital asset exchange, Binance blocks trading accounts tied to relatives of government officials in Moscow, including children of Top Russian Figures.

Bloomberg reports that several accounts linked to high-ranking members of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration have been blocked by Binance, the world’s leading crypto exchange.

Sanctions are continuing to fall on Russia over its military assault on its neighboring country, Ukraine. Some believe that this move was put into place to hurt the Russian economy.

The stepdaughter of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Polina Kovaleva, and the daughter of the Kremlin Spokesperson are among the few that have been denied access in the past two months since Russian troops crossed the Ukrainian border.

Kirill Malofeev, son of Russian billionaire Konstantin Malofeev, was also banned after being accused by the US of funding pro-Russian rebels. Malofeev, who is a Putin supporter, has been on the U.S. and EU sanctions list for years due to his involvement in the war in the Donbas region.

The news of the limited accounts comes after an earlier announcement in April where Binance curbed its services to Russian users to comply with the latest round of sanctions approved by the European Union. Russian nationals, residents, and legal entities that have more than €10,000 ($10,800) in value have been subject to the restrictions.

In early March, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said that the exchange was freezing the accounts of Russians who had already been hit by sanctions, but that blocking all Russians would be considered “unethical”.

Yesterday, Changpend Zhao tweeted that it blocked Peskova on March 3, upon attempting to use the exchange through a third-party brokerage. She was later sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department the following week.

Kovaleva’s account was closed on March 24, the day she was sanctioned by the U.K. Malofeev was designated by the U.S. Treasury on April 20, and had his Binance accounts restricted this week, the company added.

Chagri Poyraz, the platform’s global head of sanctions assured that the exchange will continue its efforts to identify other people connected to sanctioned individuals. Stating:

“What’s different is that our compliance screen operations are ‘proactive,’ aiming to detect and deter financial crime risk before any regulatory or legal action towards these individuals or entities.”

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Inflation is Killing The Poor: Bezos Blasts Biden Admin

Inflation is Killing the Poor. Amazon Founder, Jeff Bezos Blasts the Biden Administration Over Comments on Inflation in a Tweet on Sunday.

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Inflation is killing the poor: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and President Joe Biden Discuss Inflation

Inflation is killing the poor.

President Joe Biden was criticized for the second time this week for his comments on inflation by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who said on Sunday that inflation is most harmful to the least affluent in the United States.

“In fact, the administration tried hard to inject even more stimulus into an already over-heated, inflationary economy and only Manchin saved them from themselves,” Bezos wrote on Twitter. “Inflation is a regressive tax that most hurts the least affluent. Misdirection doesn’t help the country.”

The comments from Bezos were in response to a thread in which President Joe Biden claimed the US was on track to see its largest yearly deficit, totaling $1.5 trillion.

Is Inflation Slowing Down?

According to data recently released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumers’ prices rose less than expected last month. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid for a market basket of consumer goods and services.

The year-over-year increase in the consumer price index was 8.3% in April, not adjusted for seasonal factors, compared to historic increases in February and March.

The spike in the inflation rate in March was the greatest in more than three decades, where the CPI rose 8.5 percent. Prices reached historic highs in February 2022, with inflation rising by 7.9 percent.

The numbers in April didn’t shatter any records, however. Real estate, gas, food, airline fares, and new vehicles are some of the items that are hurting American pocketbooks due to inflation.

Inflation is Killing Gas Prices

National Average Gas Prices | Source: AAA

Taxing the Wealthy

On Friday, Bezos called out President Biden for suggesting that taxing wealthy corporations could lower inflation, urging a newly formed Disinformation Board to take a look at the statement.

“Raising corp taxes is fine to discuss,” Bezos wrote on Friday.

“Taming inflation is critical to discuss. Mushing them together is just misdirection.”

Comments from both President Biden and Bezos come as mass corporate layoffs hit numerous industries.

As of March, roughly 64.4 percent of American families, or 166 million adults, reported they were living paycheck to paycheck, according to research by LendingClub and PYMNTS.

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Fed: ISO 20022 Reserve Banks to Globally Merge Cash Transfer Regs

ISO 20022 Standards will enhanced efficiency of domestic and global payments that may help banks and other entities with sanctions and AML requirements.

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ISO 20022 Federal Reserve Banks to Merge Wire Transfer Regulations Globally - DEEDE News Media
  • Fed Announces that Reserve Banks will adopt ISO 20022 Standards
  • Current banking language makes it difficult to efficiently process wire transfers globally.
  • ISO 20022 compliant cryptos include Bitcoin, Iota, and Algorand.

On Monday, May 2, 2022, the Federal Reserve Board announced that Federal Reserve Banks will adopt the ISO® 20022 message format for the Fedwire® Funds Service.

According to a press release by the Federal Reserve, this new format will allow for an “enhanced efficiency of both domestic and cross-border payments, and a richer set of payment data that may help banks and other entities comply with sanctions and anti-money laundering requirements.”

Virginia Senate Passes Bill Allowing State Banks to Offer Crypto Services

ISO 20022 was presented by the organization as a means of developing communication between financial institutions. The new standards propose that it will make financial transactions more efficient, unlike today’s standards. Currently, banking institutions are using their own programming languages, making it difficult to transfer funds internationally.

The ISO 20022 was developed by the International Organization for Standardization, an independent, non-governmental organization that addresses and issues standards for a wide range of industries, including financial institutions.

The revised plan for migrating the Fedwire Funds Service to the new message format was invited for public comment by the Board, saying:

Comments are due 90 days after publication in the Federal Register, which is expected shortly.

The Board wants the Reserve Banks to adopt the new message format on a single day instead of in three separate phases as previously proposed.

Cryptocurrencies to keep an eye on that are compliant with ISO 20022 proposed messaging standards include: Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD), XDC (CCC:XDC-USD), Iota (CCC:MIOTA-USD), and Algorand (ALGO-USD).

Ripple (CCC:XRP-USD), and Stellar Lumens (CCC:XLM-USD) are not only ISO 20022-compliant, but they are also members of the ISO 20022 Standards Body, according to the Registration Management Group Member List website.

The Fedwire Funds Service is a real-time gross settlement system that’s owned and operated by the Federal Reserve Banks.

It allows businesses and financial institutions to transfer funds quickly and securely, and it’s a vital tool for the global economy.

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Gov. Newsom Issues Executive Order on Crypto and Blockchain

Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order allowing California to assess using blockchain technology in state operations – DEEDE News Media

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Governor of California Gavin Newsom issues executive order on crypto - DEEDE News Media
  • Governor Gavin Newsom issues executive order on blockchain aligns with the Biden administration proposal in March.
  • The governor is calling on the state of California to look into using the technology in state operations.
  • California aims to create a transparent and consistent business environment for companies operating in Web3.

Over the course of a decade, tech investors and businesses in California have bet on the future of digital currency. Just recently, the governor of the State with the largest economy is now a part of the movement.

On Wednesday, the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom issued an executive order on cryptocurrencies, laying out a road map for regulatory and consumer protections and examining ways the state can take advantage of the technology.

This comes as the Senate of the State of Virginia passes House Bill 263, allowing state banks to participate in the services of cryptocurrencies.

Senior advisor to Newson, Dee Dee Myers, tells CNBC:

Of the 800 blockchain businesses in North America, about a quarter of them are in California, dramatically more than any other state. We’ve heard from so many that they want to be here, and we want to help them do that responsibly.

The goal of the order is to create a transparent and consistent business environment for companies that are operating in Web3 technologies. New regulatory frameworks for companies that operate in California will also be helped by this.

Agencies within the Newson administration are required to submit their findings and recommend next steps.

According to the order, it will “reflect consultation with relevant state agencies regarding the forthcoming federal reports on the relationship of crypto assets to priorities in energy, climate, and preventing criminal activity.”

Myers said the agencies plan to hold roundtables and listening sessions with industry leaders, consumer advocates, and even critics.

The White House is in the process of economic reform and new legislation continues to be introduced almost daily. With cities like Miami aiming to become the “Wall Street of Cryptocurrencies,” we may see a spike in adoption much sooner than expected.

Currently, there are over 30 States drafting legislation in support of Biden’s Executive Order, which addresses the responsible development of digital assets.

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