Bitcoin Daily: US Sanctions Two Russians For Alleged $16.8M+ Crypto Theft; Bahamas' Sand Dollar To Launch

Bitcoin Daily: US Sanctions Two Russians For Alleged $16.8M+ Crypto Theft

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.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.