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Sixty-four year old Dharam Prakash Gopee has been convicted of being an illegal money lender. At Southwark Crown Court in London last week he was sentenced to three and a half years in jail. But it's the Financial Conduct Authority's action that makes the case interesting.

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The World Bank, the leading provider of natural disaster risk insurance for emerging and developing countries, has issued catastrophe bonds that will provide a total of USD1,36 million in earthquake cover to Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

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There is something off here: you can use your credit card to buy pornography of the most awful and depraved kinds ,you can use your credit card to place illegal wagers or take part in illegal gambling, you can use your credit card to buy drugs, legal and illegal from illegal or at least dubious sources or to put money at risk in pump and dump schemes and the banks and credit card companies are adamant that they cannot identify and prevent such transactions. And yet, when their own business models are under threat, suddenly they are able to identify and prevent the purchase of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple plus many, many more.

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A report published by FinMark Trust (a charity funded by the UK, the UN and private organisations) seeks to explain the reasons behind the " termination of mobile money services" in South Africa and the likely effects. More positively, the report also " identify barriers to launching effective mobile financial services (MFS) in South Africa with a specific focus on the regulatory environment required to enable such opportunities. " But, as extracts show, there might be an element of a solution looking for a problem. It all seems a little too much as if someone has decided that mobile financial services are essential. What do you think? Subscribers can comment.

AUSTRAC statement

Are you a digital currency exchange provider?
16 January 2018 (updated 18 January)

It's going to cost ANZ about AUD5 million to compensate victims of the scheme that operated through the bank's Esanda car finance business. That's just part of what ASIC describes as "a package of regulatory actions against Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ)" But there's an anomaly of the kind that excites our colleagues on the financial crime publications group of PleaseBeInformed. But we got to this one first! Even more, the story looks like a simple management failure but on closer inspection it demonstrates a fundamental lack of attention to the most basic money laundering / terrorist financing KYC/CDD requirements. ASIC may think it's over. AUSTRAC needs to take a look.

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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has licensed the first crowd-sourced funding (CSF) intermediaries under the new CSF regime.

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IN an order issued today, the Securities Commission of Malaysia has ordered CopyCash Foundation to cease and desist from all commercial activities, including an ICO planned for tomorrow (10th January 2018)

Kuala Lumpur, 5 January 2018
Media Statement on Initial Coin Offerings

Following a public statement released on 7 September 2017 regarding Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has noticed an increase in activities by new ICOs to solicit investments in crypto-currencies from the public at large, including senior citizens.

In this article, Ajay Shamdasani , Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence, takes soundings on what might be expected from the FATF's Mutual Examination of Hong Kong, the results of which are expected soon.

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There are many countries around the world where the numerical value of the currency is so high that even the smallest purchases are calculated in thousands. To be a millionaire may mean having less than the equivalent of USD100 in your pocket. While official inflation may be low, unofficial inflation, from rounding up or, even, simply inflating unpublished prices, can have a startling effect on costs. And, of course, in environments where cash is the normal means of settlement, creates a profit that is secret from victims and, even, from employers and Revenue officials. But countries are reluctant to redefine their currencies. Why?

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The Dubai Financial Services Authority and ASIC yesterday signed a Cooperation Agreement which provides a framework for cooperation to support and understand financial innovation in each jurisdiction.

How many tags can we add to this article? LexTech (as in legal technology)?, LegalTech? FinTech, contracting? Cloudflare? DNS Laundering? ICO? Regulation? If nothing else, the story is a warning to regulators to stop and think: are they really doing it right or just being swept along on a wave of other people's self-interest and enthusiasm?

Confido described itself as "using smart contracts with a unique shipment tracking feature." The idea was that it would become a trusted third party (remember that term from the early days of internet payments? It's still useful) as, in effect, an escrow holder. In fact, what the company was offering was far more prosaic:

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The Australian Financial Services (AFS) Licence of a financial adviser in Brisbane was cancelled yesterday but the announcement was made first thing this morning Sydney time . Today, at least one LinkedIn profile says that the company holds an AFS licence proving that social media and due diligence are not good bedfellows. The case also shows that penalties for failure to comply with orders by regulators to undertake more effective management can have serious repercussions.

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When internet security is talked about, it's usually either that someone is trying to sell you something, or something has gone wrong in the biggest possible way.

But it's all OK for your bank, etc. isn't it. After all, you trust your systems to Amazon's AWS cloud service and if anyone's got internet security taped, it's going to be Amazon.

Right?

Wrong......

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