Month: May 2020

Home / Month: May 2020

The government of Singapore has taken a step forward in recognizing cryptocurrencies as legal tender through the Payment Services Act (PSA).

The Act, which passed parliamentary legislation last January 2020 includes cryptocurrency as among the specific payment services allowed as part of the country’s payment systems; officially categorizing digital coin payments under “digital payment token services.”

The PSA sets the regulatory guidelines that the Monetary Authority of Singapore will follow in overseeing not only cryptocurrency operations but all other payment services currently being utilized in the country’s payment system.

The list of specified payment services mentioned in the new legislation includes: payment accounts creation, local money transfers, foreign or cross-border money transfers, merchant-purchases payment services, e-money issuances, digital or cryptocurrency payment services and money-changing activities.

MAS Allows 7 Cryptocurrency Firms to Operate Pending License Approval

As a demonstration of the government’s willingness to promote new and innovative payment methods, the Monetary Authority of Singapore gave 7 cryptocurrency operators temporary authority to operate.

Within a period of 6 months, Coinbase, Binance, Bitstamp, Luno, Gemini, Wirex and Upbit can offer cryptocurrencies as modes of payment, while pending the MAS’ decisions on whether to approve or reject their respective license application.

Their immediate acceptance as part of Singapore’s payment system was in line with their early compliance in notifying MAS about their cryptocurrency operations in Singapore

While the U.S. SEC sees the rise in cryptocurrency a good sign, the FBI sees the increase as a sign of more cryptocurrency frauds taking place.

Only recently, Ms. Hester Peirce, the current commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), was pleased to note that many investors are carrying out investment strategies by diversifying portfolios; including investing in cryptocurrency markets.

The SEC Commissioner, who has oft been described as crypto-friendly, said the COVID-19 crisis, albeit disrupting all industries, has underscored the significance of conducting work and business using virtual spaces. That being the case, many have also shown interest in diversifying their investment portfolio by way of the crypto space.

However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is seeing a different side when it comes to increased cryptocurrency demand. The FBI is wary that with the increase in demand for cryptocurrency, there will be a corollary increase in cryptocurrency scams and fraud schemes.

New Modi Operandi Employed by Crypto Scammers

The FBI gives advice about new cryptocurrency fraud schemes by providing details on how scammers and fraudsters carry out their crypto-malfeasances.

One of the most common is by sending out emails containing threats of blackmails. The modus operandi is to demand crypto payment in exchange for a piece of information that could embarrass you, your family or your business. Currently during the COVID-19 health crisis, blackmails come with threats of infecting you and everyone close to you, with COVID-19, regardless of whether the blackmail threat is founded on truth or conjectures. :

Some work-from-home (WFH) employees have been duped into believing that a caller is his or her employer, who is making a request to deposit crypto funds to a nonprofit organization as donation. The request is made on the pretext that the employer does not have cryptocurrency but would like to make a donation to an organization that is accepting only crypto money. The WFH employee will be given assurance that the employer will reimburse him or her as soon as the crypto donation has been confirmed.

Luring customers to buy non-existent treatments or or a piece of equipment that comes with guarantee to protect buyers from coronavirus infection. However, the seller accepts only cryptocurrency payments being a more secure form payment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These are only some examples of cryptocurrency frauds that have surfaced ever since countries have put citizens under national lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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