Feathers have been ruffled in the world of crypto this week with many fascinating developments making for some stimulating table-talk in crypto circles. Binance CEO in the US announces shock resignation; Russia plans to monitor crypto criminal activity with new tool; Alchemy Pay plans roll out of crypto linked virtual card; and Ukraine proposes cryptocurrency payment bill.

Binance CEO announces shock resignation

CEO of Binance USA, Brian Brooks, has tendered his resignation just three months into the job. This shocking news comes amidst heavy criticism of Binance from regulators across the globe. Authorities in Britain, Japan, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy and Thailand have been particularly hard on the global cryptocurrency exchange mainly due to investor protection. There has been growing consensus that increased interest in cryptocurrencies across the world has aided money laundering activities and increased systemic risks.

The announcement was made on Twitter as Brooks tweeted, Letting you all know that I have resigned as CEO of @BinanceUS. Despite differences over strategic direction, I wish my former colleagues much success. Exciting new things to come!”

Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance Global, reflected on Brooks tenure as he tweeted, “Brian’s work for Binance US has been invaluable and we hope he will continue to be an integral part of the crypto industry’s growth, advocating for regulations that move our industry forward.”

The news couldn’t have come at a worse time as Binance recently announced that it will cease operations in Hong Kong due to non-compliance with the financial regulator in the country.

Russia plans to monitor crypto criminal activity with new tool

Russian authorities have taken steps to create a cryptocurrency tracking tool that hopes to combat illicit activity on the blockchain. Financial watchdog group, Rosfinmonitoring, has announced that an innovative crypto-crime tracking tool is in the pipeline and has enlisted a third-party contractor, RCO, to develop it after a $200,000 contract offer was accepted.

RCO is a leading IT company in Russia and will be tasked with the implementation of work on the creation of a module for monitoring and analysing cryptocurrency transactions using Bitcoin. This new tracking tool will specifically target crypto wallets that are linked to criminal activities or the financing of terrorism.  Additionally, the software will monitor the behaviour of the crypto market to identify those individuals who partake in illegal activities.

The Federal Financial Monitoring Service in Russia said, Monitoring of the behaviour of participants in the cryptocurrency market was provided in order to identify them, compile profiles of participants and assess their role in economic activity, as well as identify the likelihood of their participation in illegal activities.” This announcement underscores Russia’s commitment to root out illegal crypto activities within its borders.

Alchemy Pay plans roll out of crypto linked virtual card

Crypto payment giant, Alchemy Pay, has put plans in place to roll out a crypto-linked virtual card that is accepted by both Mastercard and Visa payment networks. The company announced that the virtual crypto-linked cards is capable of accepting over 40 popular cryptocurrencies in circulation. The virtual cards can be linked to digital wallets such as Google Pay and PayPal, and popular e-commerce platforms such as eBay and Amazon.

Alchemy Pay stated that they have concluded the software development and launched beta testing across various key markets with the roll out anticipated at the end of 2021 or early 2022. This exciting initiative was launched due to the increasing demand for crypto-linked card transactions.

This product will provide tremendous help for crypto businesses that will now be able to offer a complete range of services to its users. Moreover, traditional institutions will find it easier to integrate crypto-related solution as part of their offering. Wisly will keep you posted on the latest developments!

Ukraine proposes cryptocurrency payment bills

One of the world’s most active cryptocurrency nations, Ukraine, has proposed a package of bills that aims to integrate cryptocurrencies into its financial and legal system. One of the proposed bills will enable businesses to make and accept cryptocurrency payments freely. According to Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation, Oleksandr Bornyakov, the draft bill has already been prepared in parliament for a second reading.

Bornyakov believes that it should be legal for citizens to pay with crypto assets within its borders through payment intermediaries that allow for fiat-crypto conversions. He did emphasise that while the bill advocates for crypto payments in the country, it will not be regarded as legal tender.

Once the bill has been ratified, it will legalise cryptocurrency holding, reporting and trading activities in the East European country. Bornyakov brimmed with excitement as he stated, “We expect that there will be a whole market of intermediary services for payment of goods by cryptocurrencies, their storage, and exchange. This will expand the possibilities of their use.”