Indonesia set to debut National Cryptocurrency Exchange-#68!

The cryptocurrency business is thriving, but many things are happening, including, Alchemy Pay fueling European crypto adoption, the US Justice Department doubling its crypto team, the UK government rejecting a lawmaker plan to regulate crypto as gambling, and much more!


In this issue:

  • Indonesia set to debut National Cryptocurrency Exchange.
  • Evidence of crypto usage by ISIS is ‘mounting’: TRM Labs.
  • US Justice Department to double its crypto team, target ransomware crimes.
  • Alchemy Pay fuels European crypto adoption with local payment channel integration.
  • UK government rejects lawmaker plan to regulate crypto as gambling.
  • Kuwait Regulator bans crypto payments, investment, and mining.


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Indonesia set to debut National Cryptocurrency Exchange.

In an unprecedented move towards embracing digital currencies, Indonesia is set to launch its very own cryptocurrency exchange later this month. This ambitious project is the nation’s first state-backed digital currency exchange, marking a significant milestone in Indonesia’s journey toward digital transformation.

The Indonesian government’s decision to launch a national cryptocurrency exchange signals its recognition of the burgeoning potential of blockchain technology and digital currencies. With the global cryptocurrency market cap surpassing the $2 trillion mark in 2023, Indonesia’s entry into this space underscores its intent to harness this booming industry’s potential and establish a robust digital economy.

Given that Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country, with a significant proportion of its population being underbanked, the national crypto exchange could pave the way for broader financial inclusion. It will offer its citizens easy access to digital currencies, providing a novel, secure way to participate in the global financial system.

However, this initiative doesn’t come without challenges. The Indonesian government will need to implement rigorous cybersecurity measures to prevent hacking attempts and digital theft. Furthermore, to protect its citizens from volatile market fluctuations and the risk of financial losses, robust regulatory guidelines will be crucial.

In conclusion, as Indonesia gears up to launch its first national crypto exchange, the move signals the nation’s progressive approach towards digital currencies and blockchain technology. It also adds to the global discourse on integrating digital currencies into mainstream finance while balancing the need for stringent regulatory oversight.


Evidence of crypto usage by ISIS is ‘mounting’: TRM Labs.

Blockchain intelligence platform TRM Labs recently released a report that presents several case studies highlighting the use of cryptocurrency by ISIS affiliates across Asia. It linked on-chain connections between these groups and pro-ISIS fundraising campaigns in Syria.

Published on July 21, the report indicated that there was “mounting on-chain evidence” from the past twelve months that pro-ISIS networks in Tajikistan, Indonesia, and Afghanistan have utilized cryptocurrency to help facilitate operations.

According to TRM, the majority of transactions linked with the cases involved the use of Tether (USDT) on the Tron network (TRX).

On July 21, Cointelegraph covered a presentation by Tara Annison, Elliptic’s former head of technical crypto advisory, where she also emphasized that Tron and Tether were popular assets for illicit use, as criminals were shifting away from Bitcoin (BTC) in favor of stablecoins.

Annison explained that decentralized exchanges (DEXs) have deep liquidity and “excellent volume,” making it “super easy” to launder funds.

TRM further noted a significant number of individuals using Indonesian-based exchanges to send funds to addresses associated with pro-ISIS fundraising campaigns in Syria. It stated: “Over USD 517,000 was sent in 2022 by individuals using an Indonesia-based exchange to addresses identified by TRM Labs as belonging to pro-ISIS fundraising campaigns in Syria and the local exchanges that facilitate their activities.” It was reported that the fundraising campaigns declared the funds were being used to support and “help free ISIS families held in Syrian camps.” All transfers were made using USDT on Tron in increments of $10,000, TRM wrote.

The report also pointed to an instance in Tajikistan where crypto was used to recruit fighters for ISIS’s affiliate in Afghanistan. One of the fundraising campaigns, which was operational for more than a year, was linked to an address that received approximately $2 million in USDT on Tron in 2022.


US Justice Department to double its crypto team, target ransomware crimes.

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has said it will double the number of staff on its crypto crime team established in 2021. The unit will add to its number of acting prosecutors and get a new leader.

On July 20, the DoJ published the remarks made by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole Argentieri at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In her speech, Argentieri announced the merger of two DoJ teams: the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) and the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET).

After joining the CCIPS, NCET will continue its activities in investigating and prosecuting criminal offenses involving the abuse of cryptocurrency. Calling the NCET “an enormously successful startup,” Argentieri emphasized that the merger with a larger structure would provide it with new additional resources.

The number of criminal division attorneys available to work on criminal cryptocurrency matters will “more than double,” as any CCIPS attorney could potentially be assigned to work an NCET case. The NCET will also gather access to computer crime and intellectual property work.

The agency will also get a new acting director. Argentieri thanked the inaugural Director of NCET, Eun Young Choi, for her work and named Claudia Quiroz as the new head of the team. Quiroz, a former assistant attorney from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, has been a deputy director of NCET since its inception.

An immediate task for the new “super-charged” unit will be to combat ransomware crimes. The NCET will focus on tracking criminals through their crypto payments, freezing or seizing them “before they go to Russia and other ransomware hotspots.”

The NCET was launched in 2021 as a part of the DoJ’s Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework. In May 2023, ex-Director Choi stated that the department focused on thefts and hacks involving decentralized finance and “particularly chain bridges.”


Alchemy Pay fuels European crypto adoption with local payment channel integration.

Singapore-based fintech company, Alchemy Pay, is making significant strides in improving cryptocurrency adoption in Europe. The firm has recently integrated several European local payment channels into its platform, offering customers in the region a more convenient and accessible way to purchase cryptocurrencies. With this expansion, users in Europe can now make crypto transactions using popular local payment methods such as Bancontact, iDeal, and BLIK, in addition to globally accessible options like Skrill and Neteller.

The move comes as part of Alchemy Pay’s commitment to enhancing the user experience and increasing crypto adoption worldwide. By providing a broader range of payment options, customers in Europe can choose the method that best suits their needs and preferences. Furthermore, integrating local payment channels leads to higher success rates and reduced transaction fees, resulting in overall lower payment costs.

One of the key aspects of this expansion is the support for transactions in Euros. As the European Union continues its vision of a unified digital market, Alchemy Pay’s integration of European local payment channels aligns with the region’s diverse needs and preferences. Skrill and Neteller, both based in the United Kingdom, are well-established global payment providers with millions of users worldwide.

Since its founding in 2017, Alchemy Pay has remained focused on providing crypto on and off-ramp solutions, positioning itself as a front-runner in emerging markets. The company’s strong presence in Latin America and Southeast Asia has been boosted by acquiring compliance licenses in various countries, including the United States, Canada, Indonesia, and Lithuania. Notably, Alchemy Pay has gained recognition from payment giants Visa and Mastercard and is listed as an authorized payment service provider.


UK government rejects lawmaker plan to regulate crypto as gambling.

The U.K. government rejected lawmaker plans to regulate crypto like gambling, saying its existing proposals better address the risks posed by events such as the FTX collapse, in a document published Thursday.

In May, the House of Commons Treasury Committee expressed concern that government plans to apply rules broadly similar to those for traditional finance to crypto treats the sector too softly, creating a halo effect that makes people think investing in bitcoin (BTC) or ether (ETH) is safe.

“The Government firmly disagrees with the Committee’s recommendation” concerning retail crypto trading and investment, the Treasury response said.

“A system of gambling regulation, in isolation, would be unlikely to address these risk factors” such as the commingling of customer funds alleged of crypto exchange FTX, or correct problems linked to insider trading and market manipulation that are covered by traditional financial regulation, the government added.

“The recommendation to rely on gambling regulation would represent a fundamental departure from the Government’s intended approach which reflects recommendations from global standard-setting bodies,” the government said, citing recommendations from the Financial Stability Board recently endorsed by finance ministers from the world’s 20 leading economies, and warning that divergence would merely push crypto offshore.

In 2022, Rishi Sunak, then finance minister and now prime minister, said he wanted to make the U.K. a crypto hub, but the sector has warned its rule-making is trailing behind rival jurisdictions such as the European Union.

Kuwait Regulator bans crypto payments, investment, and mining.

Kuwait has prohibited the use of crypto for payments or investment to combat money laundering, according to a circular by the country’s financial regulator issued on Monday.

The Capital Markets Authority also placed an “absolute” ban on all digital asset mining, prohibited the recognition of crypto as a decentralized currency, and also warned the public that companies are not allowed to provide any type of crypto-related services.

“Securities regulated by the Central Bank of Kuwait and other securities and financial instruments regulated by the Capital Markets Authority are excluded from this prohibition,” the circular said.

The prohibitions are aimed at coming into compliance with the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) global recommendations for crypto assets, and followed a study into the sector by the National Committee for Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, according to the regulator.

Although countries are required to put up guardrails for preventing money laundering and adhere to the FATF’s travel rule – which requires crypto firms to collect and share data on transactions above a certain threshold the international watchdog has not asked countries to ban crypto, it told CoinDesk in May.

The regulator warned citizens of the risks involving volatile, encrypted currencies that do not have legal status. Any violations of the prohibitions would result in penalties, the notice said.



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