In this edition of The Daily, we look at the latest regulatory development in Europe – Belarus High Technologies Park has adopted new regulations for cryptocurrency companies. We also cover Galaxy Digital’s report into its third quarter financial results and an alert issued in Texas about a new scam promising refunds to Bitconnect investors.
Belarus Expands Crypto Regulatory Framework
Belarus, which legalized business activities related to digital assets earlier this year, has now expanded its crypto-friendly regulatory framework. The High Technologies Park (HTP) in Minsk, where companies from the industry are welcome to register and operate, has announced new regulations aimed at creating even more favorable conditions for cryptocurrency startups.
The former Soviet republic became one of the first jurisdictions in Europe to adopt legislation designed to attract crypto and blockchain companies when President Lukashenko’s decree “On the Development of the Digital Economy” came into force in March. According to a press release, now the HTP is introducing additional tax exemptions, advanced anti-money laundering rules, strict data and consumer protection requirements and improved business standards.
The new regulations have been approved by the supervisory council of the business park and published on its website on Nov. 30. They introduce comprehensive requirements for companies applying for HTP residence, operators of cryptocurrency platforms, including digital asset exchanges, projects conducting initial coin offerings (ICOs) and internal control rules that registered entities should implement.
Galaxy Digital Announces Q3 Financial Results
Galaxy Digital Holdings has released the third quarter financial results of both GDH LP, a merchant bank operating with digital assets, and GDH Ltd., a company that holds a minority interest in the crypto bank. GDH LP, also known simply as Galaxy Digital, was established by famed investor Michael Novogratz. It offers an array of services to companies in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry.
According to the report, as of Sept. 30, GDH LP’s digital assets and investments totaled $323 million. A press release details that the $9.5 million increase came as a result of additional purchases and capital deployed during the quarter. Galaxy Digital has also registered $38.1 million of net realized losses on digital assets and $4.2 million of net unrealized losses on investments.
As part of the corporate highlights published in the Q3 report, Galaxy Digital confirmed previously announced plans to reposition its advisory services business away from small ICO advisory and technical blockchain consulting. Instead, the bank wants to focus on institutional clients in the crypto space. The company has already closed its Vancouver office and intends to expand its team in New York.
Texas Securities Regulator Warns About Bitconnect Refund Scam
The Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) has issued an investor alert about a new crypto scam related to Bitconnect. According to its announcement, a fraudulent notice tells people they can receive partial refunds of their investments in the crypto project by completing a form and submitting a $250 fee. The “Bitconnect update” notice claims to be from the regulator and promises to recover 35 percent of the funds they’ve invested.
Texas Securities Commissioner Travis Iles explained that the false webpage, set up by an unknown entity, looks like the TSSB’s website. He added that it is an attempt to further defraud Bitconnect investors and described it as an “advance fee” scam.
Iles issued a cease and desist order against Bitconnect in January of this year. TSSB now says the order has become final. It remains in full force and effect, the regulator explained, because Bitconnect, which is an overseas cryptocurrency company, has failed to request a hearing to modify or vacate it. TSSB also notes that “the order does not provide for the payment of restitution to Bitconnect investors.”
What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, HTP.
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