Crypto Compliance Weekly Newsletter: February 8, 2023
Updated: Mar 10
This week, Silvergate under investigation, Transparency International publishes CPI 2022, Russians donated millions of crypto to Ukraine, and Charlie Munger proposes crypto banning.
1. Silvergate is under investigation by the DOJ following the FTX case.
The ripple effect caused by FTX and Alameda’s collapse continues in the crypto sector, and its new victim is Silvergate, the California-based bank that specializes in serving cryptocurrency companies. The United States Justice Department (“DOJ”) has extended its investigation to include the bank for money laundering, specifically looking into their “hosting of accounts tied to Sam Bankman-Fried’s businesses”.
As a result of the DOJ’s report, the shares of the crypto bank tanked by almost 30%.
2. Transparency International published their Corruption Perceptions Index 2022
This year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (“CPI”) has been published and has revealed that “124 countries have stagnant corruption levels, while the number of countries in decline is increasing”. The index ranks the countries on their perceived levels of public sector corruption, relying on a 0-100 scale. More than 68% of the countries listed scored below 50, having a global average of 43.
This year, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, and Sweden were the best-ranked countries. Meanwhile, the worst-ranked countries were Yemen, Venezuela, South Sudan, Syria, and Somalia.
3. Russians opposed to the invasion have donated millions to Ukraine via cryptocurrencies
Since the beginning of the Ukraine invasion, cryptocurrencies have been used to send significant amounts of donations to help Ukraine battle. However, Alex Bornaykov, Ukraine’s deputy digital minister, recently stated that Russian citizens who oppose Putin’s invasion have been donating significant amounts of money through crypto.
Since the traditional Russian financial systems have been affected internally and externally, “there is no way for them to do this other than through crypto”.
4. Charlie Munger proposes to follow China's example and ban cryptocurrencies
Charlie Munger has stated, once again, that there is no good to come from cryptocurrencies since they represent the opposite of what investors should consider as value. This time however, Munger has said that “the U.S. should follow the example of China—which famously banned cryptocurrencies in 2021—and pass laws that prevent both crypto trading and the formation of new cryptocurrencies”.
Following these statements, several crypto supporters have responded to Munger. One of them has been Michael Saylor, co-founder of MicroStrategy, who has stated that the reason for Munger’s skepticism is that he hasn’t had the time to study it, and "if [Munger] was a business leader in South America or Africa or Asia and he spent 100 hours studying the problem, he would be more bullish on bitcoin than I am".
Canaria Consulting LLC is a boutique consultancy specializing in developing, enhancing, and maintaining regulatory compliance programs for virtual currency firms. Canaria Consulting was founded to help virtual currency firms meet their regulatory obligations in a way tailored to the unique characteristics of virtual currency and decentralized blockchain technologies.