$19.5 million worth of crypto was seized in the operation against Bitzlato; Gemini cuts workforce as problems with Genesis persist; IMF releases 5-point crypto regulation plan.
$19.5 million worth of crypto was seized in the operation against Bitzlato
In the operation carried out jointly by European and US authorities, five exchange-linked people, including Bitzlato founder Anatoly Legkodymov, were arrested.
Europol announced the seizure of wallets containing more than $19 million in crypto, as part of authorities’ sanctions action against Bitzlato.
Europol announced on January 23 that approximately 46% of assets transferred by Bitzlato are linked to illegal activities. According to the analysis of the government agency, Bitzlato had more than 2.1 billion euros in cryptocurrencies, mostly converted into Russian rubles.
US authorities announced the arrest of Bitzlato founder Anatoly Legkodymov on January 18 as part of crypto-focused sanctions actions. Europol stated that 4 people, 1 in Cyprus and 3 in Spain, were arrested in the operation, which included the support of authorities in Belgium, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands.
In addition to the arrests, Europol stated that it had seized wallets worth $19.5 million and frozen more than 100 accounts on other crypto exchanges controlling 50 million euros.
It was stated that Legkodymov was tried in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida on January 18. It remains unclear what charges their partners in Europe will face.
Gemini cuts workforce as problems with Genesis persist
The company’s co-founder, Cameron Winklevoss, wrote in a letter to his employees that they had to reduce their headcount, citing unfavorable macroeconomic conditions and unprecedented fraudulent activity in the crypto industry. The layoffs marked the company’s third batch of layoffs in the past eight months.
The Gemini exchange, founded by brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, faced a major crisis after its collaborator Genesis stopped withdrawals. Funds from clients involved in Gemini’s Earn program were in Genesis. The suspension of withdrawals resulted in loss of access to Gemini customers’ funds.
Noting that it was crucial to get clients’ assets back after Genesis filed for bankruptcy, Gemini set up a committee to find a solution.
IMF releases 5-point crypto regulation plan
While crypto influencers struggled in Davos, the IMF issued recommendations for global regulators on crypto regulations.
The IMF recommends crypto regulations to avoid these concerns. According to the institution, it is necessary to determine global standards that can be applied together in this regard.
The five-point crypto regulations proposed by the IMF are as follows:
- Crypto platforms must be licensed, registered and authorized.
- Crypto assets should be prohibited from performing certain functions that may create a conflict of interest within a single platform.
- Regulations like traditional banks should be applied to stablecoin issuers.
- Establish clear requirements for traditional financial institutions to interact with crypto.
- Establish a consistent and global approach to crypto regulation and oversight.
Although it may seem difficult for the whole world to use similar standards, even the possibility of a potential global regulation puts the pressure on the crypto industry to increase. Because when Bitcoin was first invented, it emerged as a way to escape from the traditional financial system.