Tornado Cash developer will stay in jail until next hearing; El Salvador opens Bitcoin Embassy to the US; Coinbase says they are complying with SEC’s new crypto custody rules.
Tornado Cash developer will stay in jail until next hearing
Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev, detained in the Netherlands, will remain in jail until the next hearing in April.
Dutch authorities arrested Pertsev in August after the US Treasury Department sanctioned Tornado Cash, the crypto mixer protocol. US officials accused the protocol of money laundering for people linked to Russia and North Korea.
The Dutch Financial Information and Investigation Service believes that the money flowing through the protocol is related to a hacker group linked to North Korea. This hacker group mentioned may be the Lazarus Group, which is allegedly linked to the North Korean government.
This means that Pertsev’s appeal was rejected for the third time. Pertsev, who has been under arrest since August, was rejected again in November.
Pertsev’s arrest was also among the major crises the crypto industry experienced in 2022. The sanction of a software developer has caused significant concern within the cryptocurrency industry.
The US Treasury Department announced that it has imposed sanctions on the crypto mixer protocol Tornado Cash. Crypto mixers are various protocols that prevent crypto transfers from being tracked.
After the sanction decision, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin opposed it and stated that he also benefited from Tornado Cash while providing war aid to Ukraine.
Coinbase says they are complying with SEC’s new crypto custody rules
Paul Grewal, Coinbase’s chief legal officer, stated that they are already complying with the SEC’s directives regarding crypto custody.
Grewal, the chief legal officer of the largest US crypto exchange, told Bloomberg TV that Coinbase will not be affected by the new decision of the SEC.
The SEC has proposed an expanded list of requirements for custody services that cover all assets, including cryptocurrencies. A change to the existing rules, which have been used for a long time, has the potential to negatively impact the cryptocurrency industry in the midst of a bear market.
The SEC requires investment advisors to provide assurance that they can return those assets in the event of potential bankruptcy, as a condition of being able to hold client assets.
SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said in a statement:
“Make no mistake. Depending on how crypto platforms work, many investment advisors cannot rely on them as qualified custodians”
Many businesses of Coinbase, the largest US cryptocurrency exchange, are currently under the threat of the regulator. Another exchange Kraken’s staking service has been discontinued as a result of pressure from the SEC.
The SEC has recently increased the pressure on the industry by targeting Paxos and BUSD.
During his interview, Grewal pointed out that Coinbase’s staking products in the market are not securities.
El Salvador opens Bitcoin Embassy to the US
Bitcoin (BTC), the world’s largest cryptocurrency in terms of market value, will connect many countries with the opening of a “Bitcoin Embassy” in the USA by El Salvador.
As it is known, El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as a legal currency in September 2021. Another big step for the crypto industry has come from El Salvador, which wants to become the center of Bitcoin.
El Salvador’s intergovernmental cooperation aims to establish a Bitcoin Embassy or representative office in El Salvador in Texas to work on new joint projects to promote BTC adoption.
The news of El Salvador’s new “Bitcoin Embassy” was announced by the US ambassador, Milena Mayorga, on Twitter the other day.
“At my meeting with Joe Esparza, Deputy Secretary of the Government of Texas, we discussed the opening of the second Bitcoin Embassy and the expansion of commercial and economic exchange projects,” Mayorga said.
El Salvador’s latest Bitcoin venture comes a few months after it opened its first Bitcoin Embassy in Lugano, Southern Switzerland, in October 2022. As part of the Bitcoin Embassy initiative, two pro-crypto officials have set out to create a physical government asset to encourage collaboration with Bitcoin-related education and research institutions.