the filter: the five most important stories in crypto [15 july – 22 july 2020]

The FBI is leading an investigation into an unprecedented Twitter hack that saw some of the largest accounts on the social media platform accessed illegally to promote a Bitcoin scam. Binance comes to blows with the Malaysian securities regulator as it is accused of operating illegally in the country. That news doesn’t bode well for the cryptoexchange, as it seeks a UK rollout in 2020. On the regulation side, the FATF continues to cast a long shadow as South Africa proposes new laws in line with the anti-money laundering body’s ‘travel rule’ guidelines. Paypal will follow Revolut and pick Paxos for its crypto trading service, according to reports, while another multinational bank tries to muscle in on the cryptoasset custody space.

FBI launches investigation into twitter hack [17 july 2020]

Federal agents will lead a probe into one of the biggest security breaches in recent memory, where prominent figures like Elon Musk, Joe Biden and Barack Obama had their Twitter pages hacked to post a cryptocurrency scam. It’s not a particularly good look for Bitcoin, but as others have pointed out, the cryptocurrency isn’t to blame. Twitter’s poor cybersecurity must be the number one priority for the investigation. Read more here.

binance chiefs face $2bn fine, 10 years in jail for operating illegally in malaysia [18 july 2020]

It’s been a volatile month for Binance: plans to open in the UK, buying payments giant Swipe, but the regulatory problems keep coming for the world’s biggest cryptoexchange. Now the Malaysian Securities Commission (MSC) says CZ Zhao’s exchange is operating illegally in the South East Asian country. The MSC has blacklisted Binance and says its operators could be liable for a $2.3bn fine, 10 years in prison, or both. Read more.

standard chartered latest international bank to enter crypto custody market [20 july 2020]

Noting the rise in institutional and high net worth investors buying cryptocurrency, British bank Standard Chartered is pushing ahead with its plan to enter the custody market. The bank’s Singapore arm SC Ventures is expected to lead a trial run in Q4 2020. “If digital assets are here to stay as an asset class, then you will need the infrastructure to keep them safe,” the bank’s lead Alex Manson told Coindesk. Read more here.

paypal picks paxos to run new crypto trading service [20 july 2020]

Paypal’s 300 million users will be trading crypto with Paxos Crypto Brokerage, according to reports. Paxos’s brokerage service has another financial giant as its first customer, the disruptive challenger banking unicorn Revolut. Read more.

south africa adds FATF rules to new cryptocurrency regulation [15 july 2020]

Africa’s largest cryptocurrency market, South Africa, has proposed new crypto regulations in line with the FATF’s travel rule. That intergovernmental body has a huge influence over the future of the worldwide cryptocurrency market, with its stringent anti-money laundering guidelines. The new regulation puts more responsibility on cryptoasset service providers both inside and outside the country, including registering with South Africa’s financial intelligence unit and reporting cash transactions above $1,300. Read more here.