CipherTrace noted in a report that digital currency theft has nearly topped $1 billion over the first three quarters of the year at $927 million, Reuters reported. By contrast, crypto thefts from exchanges only reached $266 million for all of last year. The firm also indicated that smaller thefts between $20 million and $60 million were growing, and reached $173 million for the third quarter. CipherTrace Chief Executive Officer Dave Jevans told Reuters, “the regulators are still a couple of years behind because there are only a few countries that have really applied strong anti-money laundering [AML] laws.
To bolster development of FinTech firms, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) wants to help startups in the crypto space to have domestic banking services, CoinDesk said. MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon told Bloomberg that his institution wants to “bring the banks and cryptocurrency FinTech startups together to see if there’s some understanding they can reach.” Banks may not want to open bank accounts for crypto startups as some the industry’s aspects might be “obscure and dangerous” in the eyes of financial institutions and regulators.
In other news, the pace of crypto hedge fund launches is picking up: In the first nine months of the year, 90 funds in the space have come on the scene, and the 120 scheduled to open this year may make up 20 percent of all the 600 hedge funds that are forecasted to open this year, CoinDesk reported. By contrast, crypto hedge funds comprised 16 percent of new hedge funds last year and a much smaller 3 percent in 2016. Crypto Fund Research Founder Joshua Gnaizda noted, “While we don’t believe the rate of new launches is sustainable longer-term, there are currently few signs of a significant slowdown.”
The Financial Stability Board (FSB) noted in its “Crypto-asset markets: Potential channels for future financial stability implications” report that digital assets and cryptocurrencies are not a threat to financial stability — as of now, according to CoinDesk. The organization noted that digital currencies are not an effective store of value, unit of account or payment means. In a press release, however, the group said, “vigilant monitoring is needed in light of the speed of market developments.”
On another note, the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) is rolling out competition for the vehicle technology designed for smart cities in the future — and tokens are the prize, CoinDesk reported. The MOBI Grand Challenge is scheduled to begin in mid-October and have a BMW-hosted demo for the public in Germany next year. It is described as a hybrid between an XPRIZE and the DARPA Grand Challenge, and it is just the beginning of a three-year mobility networks project.