The Treasury Department has sanctioned two individuals from Russia for their alleged participation in a purported complicated phishing effort, according to a Wednesday (Sept. 16) press release. According to the release, the two people are also the subjects of an indictment that was made public by the Justice Department. “The individuals who administered this scheme defrauded American citizens, businesses, and others by deceiving them and stealing virtual currency from their accounts,” Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the release. All told, the “cyber-enabled activity” brought about combined losses of $16.8 million at a minimum.
And the central bank of the Bahamas will reportedly launch the Sand Dollar throughout the country next month following a test of the cryptocurrency on Abaco and Exuma in 2019, Bloomberg reported. Those who have the currency will have the capacity to conduct company or peer-to-peer transactions with their cell phones, and they reportedly will not have to be online to do so, after the technology is in operation. Just under $50,000 of Sand Dollars on the balance sheet of the monetary authority, but the effort reportedly puts the country on the leading edge of a worldwide competition to make cryptocurrencies backed by governments.
On another note, digital currency exchange Kraken has received the go-ahead from the Wyoming Banking Board for a special purpose depository institution (SPDI) charter, Coindesk reported. SPDIs, for their part, are not allowed to provide loans, and every institution has to hold all of its assets in reserve. “By becoming a bank we get direct access to federal payments infrastructure, and we can more seamlessly integrate banking and funding options for customers,” David Kinitsky, Kraken Financial's chief executive and a Kraken managing director, said per the report. Kraken will be the first newly charted bank in Wyoming as of 2006, Coindesk reported, citing the general counsel for the Wyoming Division of Banking.