UK Treasury Seeks To Enhance Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Through Changes In Crypto Supervision

Here are some of the major developments in the world of crypto over the past few days.
some of the major developments in the world of crypto
some of the major developments in the world of crypto

The UK treasury has proposed changes to money laundering regulations that would impact the regulation of crypto assets. These changes aim to simplify supervision, enhance anti-money laundering (AML) efforts, and improve the way crypto firms are regulated. The proposed changes are part of a broader review of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017 (MLRs) and seek to promote "smarter regulation" by minimizing regulatory burdens and ensuring regulations are a last resort, not a first choice.

One significant change is the proposal to align the supervision of crypto asset service providers more closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Currently, most crypto firms are not supervised by the FCA and are subject to MLRs. Under the proposed changes, MLR-regulated institutions would require FCA regulation but would no longer need to seek MLR authorization. This change would expand the reach of the FCA to include activities such as operating a crypto asset exchange and custody, which are currently not under its oversight.

The consultation paper also raises the question of whether to maintain two separate standards of control for MLRs and the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA)-regulated institutions. The paper suggests aligning MLR requirements more closely with those of FSMA to streamline regulatory processes and improve consistency in supervision. Overall, the proposed changes aim to enhance AML efforts, simplify regulatory processes, and improve the regulatory framework for crypto assets in the UK.

OKX Receives Conditional Approval for Payment Institution License in Singapore

Crypto exchange OKX has received in-principle approval from Singapore's financial watchdog for a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license through its local subsidiary, OKX SG. This approval, issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), will allow OKX to provide digital payment token services and cross-border transfers in Singapore. The MPI license will also enable OKX to exceed transaction volume limitations set by the country's financial regulator.

OKX president Hong Fang expressed that Singapore has always been a priority market for the exchange due to its appeal to entrepreneurs exploring new markets. Fang highlighted Singapore's regulatory framework as "clear and thoughtful," providing businesses with the opportunity to "build better for the long-term." With this milestone, OKX plans to focus on its spot product in Singapore and expand its offerings by establishing local banking connections for its customers.

MPI-licensed companies in Singapore are permitted to facilitate multiple payment services beyond the volume limitations imposed on payment firms. This means that OKX could surpass the 3 million Singapore dollar limit for any single payment service and the monthly limit of 6 million SG$ for two or more payment services. OKX's in-principle license approval follows its conditional license acquisition from Dubai's Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority, demonstrating its commitment to offering regulated services for virtual asset service providers in various regions.

Core Scientific's Stock Drops 4% Following Q4 2023 Revenue Decline

Core Scientific, a crypto mining firm, reported a 4% drop in its shares following the release of its Q4 2023 results, which showed a decrease in year-on-year revenues. Despite, this, the company highlighted narrowing losses and increased investments in infrastructure as positive indicators heading into the Bitcoin halving. The company's total revenue for 2023 was $502.4 million, down from $640 million in 2022, attributed to its exit from the mining rig sales business and an increase in the global Bitcoin hash rate. However, its Q4 2023 net revenue increased to $141.9 million, up $20.7 million from Q4 2022, and it reported a significant improvement in yearly net losses, decreasing from $2.14 billion in 2022 to $246.5 million in 2023.

Following a bankruptcy crisis and restructuring process, Core Scientific was relisted on the NASDAQ on Jan. 23. The company mined 13,762 BTC in 2023, the largest amount mined by any publicly traded mining firm in the United States. Despite the drop in its share price, a Core Scientific spokesperson expressed confidence in the company's position, citing updates to mining rigs and a focus on increasing hash rate utilization. However, the broader market for publicly traded Bitcoin miners has seen declines, with shares of Marathon Digital falling 21% and Riot Blockchain dropping 25% over the last month. Analysts attribute these declines to investor caution ahead of the Bitcoin halving, which slashes rewards paid to miners in half.

As the Bitcoin halving approaches, Core Scientific's spokesperson remains optimistic about the company's prospects. The spokesperson emphasized the company's efforts to update its mining rigs and increase hash rate utilization, positioning it well for the event. Despite the recent market challenges, several analysts have turned bullish on Core Scientific, reflecting a broader trend of renewed interest in crypto mining companies amid the rise in cryptocurrency prices.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Business & Money