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INDUSTRY UPDATES & INSIGHTS

February 5, 2020

  • Iran Attempts to Avoid U.S. Sanctions with Cryptocurrency
  • Israeli Cybersecurity Startup Offers Hacker Bounty
  • Watch: CipherTrace’s Pamela Clegg on the Fight Against Human Trafficking and Fraud
  • World Economic Forum Offers Framework for Central Bank Digital Currency

Iran Sees Crypto as End-Run Strategy to Avoid U.S. Sanctions 

U.S. economic sanctions levied against Iran have substantially squeezed the country’s economy, reducing Iran’s revenue by 10 to 20 percent. In light of the sanctions, Iran has turned to cryptocurrency adoption as an alternative means to economic prosperity. 

International regulators continue to work to limit Iran’s involvement in the cryptocurrency market, but complete exclusion has proven difficult. As part of the FATF regulations, KYC compliance and travel rule standards exclude Iran from major crypto exchanges. However, Iran appears poised to continue exploiting loopholes in the regulatory framework excluding them from the crypto landscape. 

Read the full story here: https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/01/24/iran 

Startup GK8 Offers $250K Bounty to Cold Wallet Hacker 

Israeli cybersecurity startup GK8 has developed a cold wallet, which they claim to be “totally unhackable.” To that end, the startup has begun a bounty program, offering US$250,000 to the first person who is able to hack its cryptocurrency cold wallet in a 24-hour window. 

The cold wallet holds US$125,000 worth of bitcoin; an additional US$125,000 in bitcoin will be awarded to the winner. 

Lior Lamesh, GK8’s co-founder and CEO, stated, “We dare the hackers of the world to take a stab at cracking it, but they won’t be able to.” 

The company’s bounty program commenced on February 3. 

Read the full story here: https://www.theblockcrypto.com/linked/54071/crypto-gk8-offering-up-to-250k-in-bitcoin-if-someone-hacks-its-cold-wallet 

BLOCKTV Interviews Pamela Clegg 

CipherTrace announced its partnership with Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative in the fall of 2019. BLOCKTV recently interviewed Pamela Clegg, CipherTrace’s Director of Financial Investigations and Education, on the role cryptocurrency can play in human trafficking, and how CipherTrace and ATII are collaborating to disrupt the financing of modern-day slavery. Clegg also discussed CipherTrace’s recently-announced Defenders League initiative. 

Watch: https://blocktv.com/watch/2020-01-14/5e1cb83de3c91-education-alert-ciphertrace-defenders-league-unite 

Learn about the human trafficking red flags people working in the financial and hospitality industries should be on the lookout for on the CipherTrace blog: https://ciphertrace.com/fighting-human-trafficking-by-following-the-money/ 

World Economic Forum (WEF) Offers Guidelines For CBDC 

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has finalized a central bank digital currency (CBDC) toolkit to assist with policymaking. The toolkit is designed to help policy-makers determine the benefits of deploying a CBDC, and assist in the decision-making process. The WEF worked alongside a number of central banks, regulators, researchers, and international experts to develop the framework. 

The framework points out that a CBDC can improve the cost and speed of cross-border interbank payments, reduce counterparty risks, enhance financial data transmission, and improve traceability, but warns that digital currencies may not add value in domestic interbank payments where an efficient system is already present. In addition, implementing digital currencies demands cybersecurity upgrades, and inherently incurs potential risks. 

Read the full story here: https://cointelegraph.com/news/world-economic-forum-debuts-framework-for-central-bank-digital-currency 

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