Bank of America, one of the world’s largest financial institutions, admitted in an annual report that cryptocurrencies are a threat to its business model. The report, which was dated Feb. 22 and filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), listed a range of economic, geopolitical, and operational risks that the Charlotte, NC-based bank faces as it heads into the new fiscal year. For the first time, rising cryptocurrency adoption made the list. The bank, which recently barred its customers from using credit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies, said that this and other similar policies could cost the firm clients. In an astounding admission, the bank — second-largest in the US in terms of total assets — said that widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies and other fintech innovations could require the bank to make “substantial expenditures” to update its existing services and remain competitive with upstart firms.
The US securities watchdog has put the kibosh on trading in three listed companies with ties to cryptocurrencies and blockchain. On Feb. 16, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it had suspended trading in these entities — all three of which have the same CEO at the helm, Patrick Johnson — based on announcements revealing the way they did business and valued cryptocurrency and blockchain assets. Cherubim Interests (CHIT), telecom company PDX Partners (PDXP) and holding company Victura Construction Group (VICT) each had announced the acquisition of AAA-rated assets with convertible preferred stock from NVC Fund, a division of a cryptocurrency and blockchain-driven private equity investor. Meanwhile, CHIT, a construction and real estate development company, also revealed its plans for an upcoming ICO in which it planned to issue the SJT coin “for financial and societal gain,” all of which made its way onto the radar of the SEC. The companies are considered penny stocks and trade in the OTC market. The SEC used the opportunity to repeat its warning to investors about listed companies jumping on the coattails of cryptocurrencies and blockchain to drive their shares higher.
The US securities regulator has charged the now-shuttered BitFunder with attempting to hide information about a major hack.
Meanwhile, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York simultaneously charged BitFunder founder, 37-year
old Jon E. Montroll of Texas who also ran digital wallet service WeExchange Australia, with two counts of perjury and
obstruction of justice. He faces decades in prison for the combined charges. Chief among the charges by the SEC is that
former bitcoin exchange BitFunder failed to disclose that hackers stole 6,000 bitcoins from customers on the BitFunder
platform, worth an estimated USD 70 million in today’s terms, that BitFunder was unable to cover. The hackers did so by
exploiting a weakness in the exchange’s code. The hack occurred in July 2013, and Montroll allegedly misled regulators by
testifying then that the exchange’s systems were successful at blocking it. He went to great lengths to conceal the breach,
even transferring some of his personal bitcoin to disguise the losses. Meanwhile, after misrepresenting the health of the
exchange’s balance sheet, he allegedly lied to regulators yet again, saying he learned of the hack only after regulators
Cryptocurrency prices began to creep back into positive territory after two top US market regulators signaled a cautious approach to cryptocurrency regulation during Tuesday’s high-profile Senate hearing. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo spoke before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs for more than two hours, delivering prepared remarks and answering pointed questions from regulators. As CCN reported, Clayton and Giancarlo largely stuck to the script during the hearing, calling for “carefully tailored” regulation of cryptocurrency exchanges at the federal level but cautioning legislators against acting too quickly — or with a heavy hand.