Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Crypto crackdown: South Korean banking regulators have begun on-site inspections of the country's six largest banks to monitor their compliance with anti-money-laundering laws and cryptocurrency trading. The inspections come 10 days after the government banned the use of anonymous accounts for trading the currencies.
The price of some popular digital currencies, including bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple's XRP, fell sharply Monday after a South Korean website removed quote data following the government's action.
Meanwhile, the debate over the legitimacy of cybercurrencies goes on.
"You might think the current price run-up is a bubble; you might think that bitcoin will never become widely adopted as a currency," writes Daniel Roberts at Yahoo Finance. "But bitcoin is legitimate technology, built on a system that has attracted major interest from big financial companies. It is not a trick or a hoax.
"When bitcoin was created in 2009, it was envisioned as a 'peer-to-peer electronic cash system,'" he continues. "You can certainly argue that the coin and the larger ecosystem has gotten away from that early intention, or that the trading activity around bitcoin and other coins right now is full-blown mania. But it's not a scam."
Don't tell that to the Washington Post's Matt O'Brien. "Bitcoin changes prices too quickly to be a currency and processes transactions too slowly to be a payments system, but it is juuust right for teaching libertarians everything they don't know about economics," he writes. "Bitcoin is a revolutionary technology built on reactionary economics. That first part has blinded people to the second — how could something so clever be so useless? — but it's true."
Think you know fintech, a subject that embraces everything from mobile check deposit to cryptocurrencies and blockchain? The Journal presents a quiz on the subject.
Wall Street Journal
Follow the money: Banks, regulatory agencies and law enforcement authorities are working on creating a national database of corporations and their true owners to fight money laundering. The database idea is part of a bill making its way through Congress. "The financial industry's support for the plan, which would require new and existing corporations to register with the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, could be pivotal," the Journal said.
Warning: The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority wants Wall Street banks to ensure that they are adequately disclosing the risks to customers of taking out loans backed by their securities portfolios. The move "could crimp a money-spinning product line for the likes of Morgan Stanley and Bank of America," the FT said.
Banished: The U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority fined a former Royal Bank of Scotland trader £250,000 for his role in the Libor-rigging scandal and banned him from the industry. The trader, Neil Danziger, "improperly and routinely" asked Libor submitters to report yen rates that would benefit him and other traders.
New York Times
Undeterred: Consumers' reluctance to give up paper money "poses challenges for the firms that are vying to offer electronic payments" in India, the Times reports. "People prefer cash for most routine transactions, despite intensive efforts by the government and global technology companies to lure them onto digital platforms. Even so, tech companies see India's low rate of digital payments as an opportunity. They all cite China, where in just a few years, mobile payments became so popular that it is now difficult to get through the day with cash alone."
"We've come to see this as the right thing to do and a good thing for the banks." — Greg Baer, president of the Clearing House, about the creation of a national database to help thwart money laundering.