OKEx Halts Operation in Korea Due to New AML Rules

Crypto exchange OKEx announced that it will close down its office in South Korea. The decision was a result of the country’s implementation of new anti-money laundering rules. 

The exchange advised its users to withdraw their digital and fiat assets on or before April 7.

“After the end of the service, OKEx Korea will not be held liable for any losses arising from failure to withdrawal by customers.” 

An OKEx spokesperson further revealed:

“In addition to several other factors, actual profits from our Korean operation don’t add up to much, so we decided to cut our losses.”

According to reports, the revised Financial Transaction Reports Act, virtual asset service providers (VASPs) requires strict compliance of inspections and verify customer identities.  Providers are also required to file suspicious transaction reports to the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit and are liable to the Financial Services Commission (FCS).

A six months grace period was given to all crypto businesses to fully comply with the new rule.

Rigid regulations implemented in the country coupled with low revenue has resulted in exchanges shutting down their operation in the country. 

Binance closed down its operation earlier this year with only eight months after its launching citing tight liquidity and low transaction volumes as the main reason.

Binance Welcomes Two Former FATF Officers as Part of Team

Binance welcomes two former FATF officials as part of its team

The world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, Binance welcomes two former FATF officers as part of its regulatory strategy team. According to the exchange, this is in line with its commitment to strict compliance and to address fraud concerns.

As stated in a press release, serving as its advisor on global compliance and regulatory strategies is former Executive Secretary Rick McDonell and former head of FATF’s Canadian delegation Josée Nadeau. 

Also, the duo will also take part in communicating with regulatory agencies worldwide. 

This is not the first time that Binance added a former high-ranking official to its team. On March 11, the crypto exchange announced that it has tapped U.S. senator and ambassador to China Maxwell Baucus as its government relations adviser.

The move was made before Binance came under fire with allegations of violating the U.S. rules by allowing its US-based customers to trade derivatives on the cryptocurrency exchange. Binance has strongly denied this accusation and CZ even stated that “it has no teeth”.

New Zealand Retirement Fund Allocates 5% in Bitcoin

KiwiSaver Growth Strategy allocated 5% of its $350 million assets in bitcoin.

In New Zealand, KiwiSaver Growth Strategy allocated 5% of its $350 million assets in bitcoin.

In his statement, James Grigor, the chief investment officer at New Zealand Funds Management, the company that operates the retirement plan had this to say.

“If you are happy to invest in gold, you can’t really discount bitcoin.”

The company’s first exposure to bitcoin with its purchase in October 2020 at $10,000 according to Rigor.

But despite its massive adoption, its competitors stated that they don’t see bitcoin as part of their investment portfolio. 

David Beattie from Booster stated:

 “At this stage we would say, ‘no’ because it’s an investment that doesn’t demonstrate risk-return properties that are acceptable from our point of view.”

He even added that it’s speculative at this point.

The adoption by institutional investors has driven bitcoin to new heights. A remarkable increase of investors worldwide that now sees bitcoin not as a bubble but as a haven against inflation. Wall Street behemoths have also joined the throng with Morgan Stanley as the newest addition to the growing list of bitcoin adopters.

Leading Toy Manufacturer to Join NFT Craze

Lego rumoured to join NFT craze

Lego, a leading manufacturer of plastic block toys that rose to popularity in the 20th century in a mysterious tweet hints to join the latest NFT craze.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Lego posted a message that bears #NFT together with a short video clip. Though it was deleted after, the tweet indirectly implies the company’s interest in NFT. 

But with the growing concerns on the effect of NFT due to its carbon footprint, Lego enthusiast are less likely to join the bandwagon. 

Jumping to NFT may not be good for Lego’s reputation that clearly violates its mission on “balanced by renewable energy.”

NFTs are fast becoming a trend in the crypto space. The most expensive art piece ever sold in history to date is an NFT digital artwork by Mike Winkelmann, “Everydays: the First 5,000 Days”. It was sold at Christie’s auction house for $69.3 million. 

The mining of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is also under fire due to its effect on the environment. Efforts were being made to come up with renewable energy that will less likely cause harm to nature.