Bitcoin Daily: Australian Crypto Fraudsters Racked Up $4.3M In 2018; Regs Tells Finland Crypto Companies To Register

Billionaire Michael Novogratz’s cryptocurrency investment firm lost $272.7 million during its first year of operations.

Galaxy Digital Holding revealed that it had $249.1 million in digital assets and investments as of Dec. 31, compared to the $323 million at the end of September. The decrease was mainly due to $48.7 million of net realized losses on digital assets, as well as $25 million of unrealized loss on investments.

“While 2018 was a challenging year for the industry, I am pleased with the ways in which our team navigated difficult market dynamics, and believe we are well-positioned to scale our business strategically over time,” Novogratz said in a press release. “The first few months of 2019 have yielded a notable increase in activity across our business lines.”

In other news, a new report has revealed that crypto fraudsters in Australia earned $4.3 million (AU$6.1 million) last year— a 190 percent increase compared to the previous year.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said that it received 674 reports of scams that requested crypto payments in 2018, with almost half of the victims being men aged 25 to 34. In addition, over 80 percent of victims were contacted through the internet via social media, forums, or email.

“Scamwatch has also received reports from victims of various types of scams being directed by a scammer to the nearest bitcoin automatic teller machine to convert money to bitcoin and then transfer it to the fraudster,” said the ACCC.

A planned luxury development that was going to be sold in bitcoin has been put on hold.

The £250 million Dubai-based project, which was promoted by the Conservative peer Baroness Mone, and her partner, Doug Barrowman, is 25 percent complete, according to its website.  But government inspectors described the development as “on hold,” and construction has stopped, according to The Sunday Times.

And a new regulation in Finland will require cryptocurrency businesses to register with the nation’s financial watchdog.

The Act of Virtual Currency Providers goes into effect May 1, ordering businesses to follow requirements, including holding and protecting client money, segregating client money and their own funds, and ensuring compliance with anti-money laundering regulation.

“Going forward, only virtual currency providers meeting statutory requirements are able to carry on their activities in Finland,” reads a statement issued by the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA), according to a statement. “Virtual currency providers which do not comply with statutory requirements will be prohibited from continuing their business activities, enforced by a conditional fine.”


New PYMNTS Report: Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook – July 2020 

Call it the great tug-of-war. Fraudsters are teaming up to form elaborate rings that work in sync to launch account takeovers. Chris Tremont, EVP at Radius Bank, tells PYMNTS that financial institutions (FIs) can beat such highly organized fraudsters at their own game. In the July 2020 Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook, Tremont lays out how.