Is a Wake up Call Needed in the Crypto Industry?

December 18, 2018 | AtoZ Markets – U.S. Justice Department has accused Vlad Nistor, CEO of Coinflux, of “running a fraud scheme, committing computer fraud, leading an organized crime group and money laundering”.

CEO of Romanian Crypto Exchange Accused of Money Laundering

Crypto world in Romania has been living that news since a couple of days already. The accusations are really serious, and the businessman now is awaiting the decision of the court in Bucharest and facing possible extradition. His case is not the first of this kind in Europe in the past few years.

In the summer of 2017, Greek police arrested the suspected operator of the infamous Btc-e exchange, Alexander Vinnik in Thessaloniki on a warrant from authorities in the U.S. He is accused of laundering billions of dollars through the now-defunct crypto trading platform, including bitcoins stolen in the Mt. Gox hack.

That kind of cases still are happening even though, the crypto market is becoming more mature and less and less fraudulent actions take place in the space. However, there is still a long way to go to avoid such a situation in future, especially connected with the regulations.

Romania Interest in Bitcoin on the Rise

Estimations are that around 50 million people own cryptocurrencies, and that number grows fast. Romania is no different. Latest Google Trend report showed that the phrase “what is Bitcoin” was the most popular search in 2018 in the country. However, it seems that regulators and banks across Europe are not moving fast enough to look into the industry and how best to regulate it.

We all know that the regulatory space doesn’t always move at the same pace as fast-moving startups. Many are struggling to define Bitcoin; it has properties of an asset, a payment mechanism, a currency, and therefore new or unique regulation to cryptocurrencies have been slow.

Luno Works to Drive Crypto Regulation

In many jurisdictions it will take many years to be properly regulated, which is why at Luno, we are actively working with a number of banks and financial regulators across multiple countries and continents to drive regulation in the cryptocurrency field.

This includes helping on defining policy and practical training. While we are not required by law to do so, we self-regulate, which means we are behaving as if we were fully regulated by applying stringent KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti Money Laundering) processes. We believe this is the responsible approach to ensure situations like the one happening in Romania do not continue.

Romanian case should be wake up call for regulators to finally come to conclusion and set the proper frame as soon as possible, to control risks but also to exploit the potential of the industry and its underlying Blockchain technology.

About the Author

This article was written by Magdalena Gołębiewska, the Country Manager of Luno. If you have any questions or simply want to talk, do not hesitate to contact her per email or phone +44 7904 389 285.

About Luno, it is a leading platform offering digital currencies (Bitcoin and Ethereum) that enables everyone to buy and trade them easily and safely. The company operates in over 40 countries and has offices in London, Singapore and Cape Town.

It employs over 200 experienced technology and finance professionals. Its main shareholders include Naspers, a global IT and e-commerce tycoon and owner of well-known platforms such as PayU, Kreditech and Showmax. In 2018 Luno was recognised as the fastest-growing tech company in the UK in the Tech5 competition organised by Adyen and TWN.

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