Blockchain Bites: Apple Recruits to Explore Alternative Payments; The DCEs call for regulation following competitors who have become phantom; Cryptocurrency education remains essential
Apple is hiring to explore alternative payments
A recent workplace has sparked curiosity about Apple’s stance on digital currencies. The new role “Business Development Manager – Alternative Payments” goes beyond the current payments area offered by Apple and seeks to explore “what is another way to do it”.
The role will consist of leading alternative payment partnerships and more specifically calls for:
Over 5 years of experience working in or with alternative payment providers, such as digital wallets, BNPL, fast payments, cryptocurrency, etc.
In-depth knowledge of the alternative payments ecosystem, understanding the complexities of fund flow, roles / responsibilities for settlement, relevant industry regulations and standards and the wide range of FinTech products.
While Apple has not made any public statements about the potential expansion of digital currencies, speculation is rife about what this could mean for the industry. Forbes Reports that Apple’s support for digital currencies could “give the market its strongest approval yet“.
If Apple is embracing digital currencies, Coindesk suggests that this could expand the scope of payments accepted in the Apple App Store that previously forced “apps to use Apple commerce rails and follow Apple rules. “
The idea of partnership deals to facilitate digital currency payments also suggests that Apple may not be looking to reinvent the wheel and could quickly roll out a solution with existing infrastructure. Hopefully this is the first of many hires by Apple in this space.
DCEs call for regulation following phantom competitors
Last month there was intensify discussions around the social and environmental footprint of digital currencies. But, as DCE’s ghost mode count gradually increases, this month’s hot topic is shaping up to be the under-regulation of DCE (digital currency exchanges). It turns out that rising concerns aren’t just for those watching from the fences. “Insufficient regulation and slow policymakers“are problems equally disturbing to market players within the crypto space.
The respected Sydney Morning Herald, recently interviewed Partner of Piper Alderman – Michael Bacina, and Managing Director of a leading exchange, Independent Reserve – Adrian Przelozny, on the subject.
Przelozny shared with reporters his concerns about the hazard of regulation and what it means for companies that intend to do legitimate business:
There are no consistent sets of rules that exchanges have to follow, he says. You basically rely on people doing the right thing just because they want to do the right thing.
Large exchanges like Independent Reserve, which has roughly $ 1 billion in assets for more than 200,000 customers, is doing the right thing. But it goes without saying that awareness shouldn’t be the only driving force behind promoting industry-wide best practices.
The reality is that consumers can have a hard time discerning the difference between exchanges that follow best practices and those that don’t. This behavior messes up everything in the industry, like Independent Reserve, which takes great care with the assets of others.
A recent example is the ACX, the Australia-based digital currency exchange, which has dramatically stopped responding to user withdrawal requests and stopped updating token pricing on its website with around A $ 10 million in client assets still unrecorded and no action by regulators towards the company. MyCryptoWallet has faced a similar situation with reports of withdrawing funds from stranded clients after the exchange reported undefined “issues” that appear to remain unresolved.
Bacina was quoted by the SMH as saying:
Digital exchanges are rightly concerned about the scams and myths that persist around the digital currency used by criminals, he says. There is a real concern that there will be a major hack or scam, which may impact an exchange that does not follow best practices, and instinctive regulation could be imposed in response.
As Caitlin Long put it very well a recent publication online, the government must ensure that regulation does not stifle innovation.
Blockchain Australia applies a certification process and subscribes to its code of conduct. If more members are certified when the Code of Conduct version 2.0 is released, it will help raise industry standards and best practices. Either way, there’s no denying that the development of better global standards by regulators could help raise the bar for customer experiences in the digital asset space.
Cryptocurrency education remains essential
Although Bitcoin was created in 2009 and the recent anniversary of the first bitcoin retail transaction, which happened on May 22, 2010 when Laszlo Hanyecz bought 2 pizzas for 10,000 BTC, it is still claimed that cryptocurrencies are still reserved for criminals.
In a recent Senate hearing on estimates, narrowly focused questions were asked of Nicole Rose, CEO of AUSTRAC, regarding the use of ELDs by ransomware groups. Such a review of the use of digital currency exchanges for ransomware suggests that significant training is still required.
A recent Chainalysis Crypto Crime report noted that there are 270 wallet addresses that are connected to 55% of all money laundering.
Todd Lenfield, Australia’s Country Manager for Chainanalysis, at a recent event, noted that only 11% of these addresses are associated with Australian digital currency exchanges and 0.34% of digital currency transactions are associated with illicit activity. … We have seen a dramatic reduction this year. .
Due to the traceability of cryptocurrencies, the use of cryptocurrencies for ransomware payment is illogical. As the senator pointed out, there has been “research showing that only 199 deposit addresses receive 80% of all funds sent by ransomware addresses in 2020.“We expect AUSTRAC registered Australian cryptocurrency exchanges to have processes in place in their transaction monitoring process (as part of their anti-money laundering and terrorist financing program) to monitor transactions against blacklisted wallet addresses (such as those used for ransomware).
Also noted in the Senate Estimates Committee, it was also recently announced that AUSTRAC may be audited by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), which will assess the effectiveness of AUSTRAC’s regulations on DCE providers.
If the audit continues, it will review how AUSTRAC:
communicate new registration and reporting requirements to CED providers;
maintains a digital currency exchange ledger;
assesses and addresses the risks associated with recording and reporting compliance; and
uses the information reported.
The audit will also determine whether AUSTRAC has developed an evaluation framework to assess the effectiveness of the regulatory regime in achieving the strategic objective of crime prevention and detection.
As a result of such an audit, you can expect that the way AUSTRAC communicates with industry may change.