Ukraine Passes Law on Money Laundering With Crypto Policy Based on FATF

The Ukranian government has approved the final version of a money laundering law that will handle virtual assets and virtual asset service providers (VASPs) per FATF guidelines.

On Dec. 6, the Rada, Ukraine’s legislative body, published a final version of the law that considers virtual assets to be a store of wealth, while also recognizing its potential use in financial crimes, such as money laundering, fraud, and the financing of terrorists.

Applying verification to both sender and receiver

The new law includes some guidelines on how the government intends to monitor and regulate the trading of cryptocurrencies. One of the guidelines focuses on individual crypto transactions worth less than 30,000 hriven ($1,300), from which the government will only collect the public key of the sender for the purpose of financial monitoring. 

However, once the transaction exceeds that amount, the government will apply verification to both sender and receiver. The process will include identity verification, as well as the verification of the nature of the business relationship.

For VASP’s the threshold sits above the 40,000 hryvnya ($1,600) price level. In that case VASP’s should provide the authorities with information when traders are registered in jurisdictions that do not comply with anti-money laundering recommendations, when traders are family members, when traders are foreigners, and when cash transactions occur.

Konstantin Yarmolenko of Blockchain4Ukraine provided Cointelegraph with guidance on Ukrainian law in this sector. 

Binance helps Ukraine to prepare crypto legislation

Major global crypto exchange Binance is reportedly collaborating with Ukrainian authorities to establish cryptocurrency-related legislation in the country. Binance signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine to jointly work on the legal status of cryptocurrencies. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) said in November that the legalization of cryptocurrencies and the adoption of progressive legislation can play a key role in bringing positive growth in the economy as well as attract additional investments.

As part of the agreement, the Ministry and Binance intend to form a working group focused on the strategy of blockchain implementations as well as the creation of “new virtual assets and virtual currencies market in Ukraine.”

Binance Crypto Exchange Seeks Staff to Lead Its Efforts in Turkey

Major crypto exchange Binance is looking for managerial staff to establish its office in Turkey, according to job postings on LinkedIn.

Binance listed a total of five open positions on its LinkedIn company page as of Dec. 6 to establish a local presence in Istanbul, Turkey. The company is seeking managers for its finance, compliance, marketing, and PR divisions. 

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao recently detailed the exchange’s plans for Turkey in an interview with Cointelegraph. He described Turkey as “a vibrant country that has illustrated one of the strongest demands and fast-growing interest in crypto,” adding that they would build a local team of 10–20 people. He also stated that Binance will soon add direct Turkish lira bank transfers to the platform.

Compliance is a key metric for efforts in Turkey

Zhao noted in the interview that Binance is taking regulatory issues very seriously, which is reflected in their search for a compliance officer. The local compliance officer will assist the Binance Turkey team “in all compliance and regulatory matters with international regulatory bodies including supporting for registrations,” per the job posting.

As Cointelegraph reported on Nov. 15, Binance added support for the Turkish lira and Bitcoin (BTC), XRP, Ether (ETH) trading pairs with local digital wallet partner Papara. 

Binance continues rapid expansion 

Binance has significantly expanded its offerings and services in different jurisdictions. Recently, the exchange added four trading pairs for the Russian ruble including Bitcoin, XRP, Ether and Binance Coin (BNB). 

Earlier this week, the exchange acquired decentralized app information startup DappReview. DappReview said that the platform’s independence will not be compromised by the acquisition.

Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange Adds Support for Tezos Staking

Binance — the second-largest crypto exchange by daily trade volume — has announced support for Tezos (XTZ) staking, according to an announcement published on Dec. 3.

Starting on Dec. 4, Binance’s users will be able to trade with XTZ, with XTZ rewards to be calculated daily based on live snapshots and distributed monthly. The distribution is set to end before Jan. 20, and after that on the 20th day of each following month.

Binance said that users must hold at least 1 XTZ in order to qualify for staking rewards. Tezos is currently trading at $1.30.

Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao had hinted at the possibility of staking in September, when the exchange initially listed the coin with three trading pairs against Bitcoin (BTC), Tether (USDT) and Binance Coin (BNB).

Other major exchanges have added Tezos staking rewards to their available offerings. Coinbase added the feature in early November before transitioning its custody arm, Coinbase Custody, to an internationally based staking service on Nov. 21. 

Staking, in general, refers to the practice of holding a cryptocurrency in a wallet to support a blockchain network’s operations. In addition to allowing holders to vote on blockchain operations, staking also generates periodic rewards for the holder staking their funds. 

Binance’s recent additions

Tezos staking rewards come on the heels of the listing of four Russian ruble trading pairs on Dec. 2. The first trading pairs featuring the ruble include Binance Coin (BNB), Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and XRP.

In November, Binance launched support for the Turkish lira through its local digital wallet partner Papara and also became the first exchange to add the Fiat Gateway developed by stablecoin operator Paxos.

Apart from that, Binance partnered with crypto travel startup TravelByBit to launch a rewards card that facilitates cryptocurrency payments on major travel website. The card will function like a traditional prepaid card with access to additional discounts and rewards that users will be able to load with Bitcoin, Binance USD (BUSD), Binance Coin and Ontology (ONT).

Binance Acquires Decentralized App Information Startup DappReview

Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance acquired decentralized app (DApp) information startup DappReview, according to a press release on Dec. 2.

Per the release, DappReview’s platform provides its visitors with data analytics, user insights and information for over 3,900 DApps on 13 public blockchains.

DappReview founder Vincent Niu explained that the company also provides support for DApp developers in fundraising, product development and marketing. When asked by Cointelegraph whether he believes the acquisition by a crypto company could damage the platform’s independence, he said:

“DappReview provides accurate data analysis, users insight and market trends by aggregating the on-chain data, which is transparent to everyone. So our reports and views will not be affected by who we are. The data talks.”

Per the release, DappReview will maintain its independence in technical development and operations as well, while Binance will offer support in non-technical fields such as marketing and business development.

Niu also explained that the acquisition will provide his company with the resources to grow faster and that the firm’s next objective is to land more DApp data-integration partnerships with blockchain protocols and developers. He did not disclose the price of the acquisition.

While many hope that DApps will drive blockchain technology’s mass adoption, the market has not yet seen a decentralized application to reach mainstream use. As Cointelegraph reported at the beginning of October, a new study has shown that DApp transaction volumes and user activity slumped in the third quarter of 2019.

Binance scoops up blockchain firms

Binance has made a number of acquisitions in the blockchain and crypto space in recent months. In September, the exchange acquired JEX — a crypto-asset trading platform that offers spot and derivatives trading services — while just a few weeks ago it bought the well-known Indian crypto exchange WazirX.

The major exchange made its first public acquisition last year when it bought Trust Wallet with a reported mixture of fiat money, Binance stocks, and its native cryptocurrency Binance Coin (BNB).

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