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Community reacts to new DoJ crypto enforcement guidelines

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The new cryptocurrency enforcement guidelines by the Department of Justice (DoJ) have received a negative response from segments of the crypto community. 

Published earlier today by the attorney general for the U.S. William Barr, the DOJ report aims to address the “uniquely dangerous threats to public safety” cryptocurrency poses.

Citing the words “crime” or “criminal” 168 times in the 83-page document, many in the community have interpreted the DoJ’s position as a direct attack on crypto that labels the entire sector as an avenue for crime.

Coinshares’ CSO Meltem Demirors described the policy document as “a commercial reel of every financial crime known in crypto,” asserting that the DoJ’s over-emphasis on providing examples of criminal use-cases for crypto fails to address the myriad of legitimate utilities for crypto assets.

This sentiment was echoed by many on Twitter, with fairly typical response coming from ‘CryptoPennyCO25’ who believes the DoJ report is simply trying to paint crypto in a bad light:

Some in the Ripple (XRP) community took umbrage at a line in the report that states: “Ripple Labs willfully violated several requirements of the [Bank Secrecy Act] BSA.”

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse suggested the report, and the overall U.S. approach, fell a long way short from providing clear guidance:

“An 70+ page contradictory report is not regulatory clarity — many responsible private players are trying to follow the rules, but that becomes increasingly hard when there’s no single arbiter of the law.”

Agreement echoed throughout the XRP Army with Twitter user Massimo saying that the report is another spin on the, “non-sensical merry go round that doesn’t address what we really need here for the space to mature and progress in an organic, safe and meaningful way.”

Earlier this week, Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen said the firm is considering moving to the U.K., Switzerland, Singapore, or Japan due to the government’s lack of regulatory clarity.

This new framework by the DoJ might fast-track Ripple’s decision — and Garlinghouse suggested other companies may follow suit. He added that unless clearer guidelines are provided, “companies will move their investment (or whole company) overseas.”

However not everyone in the crypto community was against the new framework. General counsel for Compound Jake Chervinsky identified it as a positive development:

“Guidance like this doesn’t come often & is very helpful for understanding the government’s regulatory & law enforcement priorities. We should all read this closely.”





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London Stock Exchange-listed firm inks FCA’s approval for crypto services

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Mode Global Holdings, a London Stock Exchange-listed fintech group, has secured major regulatory approvals for cryptocurrency and fintech operations in the United Kingdom.

The company announced Thursday that Mode has secured its Electronic Money Institution license and AMLD5 registration from the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.

The AMLD5 registration has been granted to Mode’s crypto arm Fibermode Limited, establishing it as an official crypto asset firm in the United Kingdom, pursuant to the amended regulations on money laundering, terrorist financing and transfer of funds.

The AMLD5 registration is a requirement for crypto-related businesses in the country that fall within the scope of money laundering regulations. According to the announcement, Mode is the fifth company to have received this registration to date since the FCA became the official AML supervisor of the crypto industry in the U.K. in January 2020.

Alongside the AMLD5, Mode’s subsidiary Greyfoxx Limited also acquired the EMI license, which enables Mode to offer a “range of innovative financial services” to both businesses and consumers in the United Kingdom, the announcement notes.

Following the acquisition of new regulatory approvals, Mode is planning to further expand its crypto services, including decommissioning its investment product known as the “Bitcoin Jar.” The product aims to allow Mode customers to use Bitcoin (BTC) to generate BTC interest rather than simply holding it in a wallet or on an exchange.

Mode CEO Ryan Moore noted that the new regulatory developments provide a major step in Mode’s mission to deliver a trusted and regulated environment. “It means we now have the ability to scale our operations and continue delivering innovative payments products for our customers under our own EMI licence. Both the EMI licence and the AMLD5 registration ensure business transparency, strong oversight and give our customers confidence in our offering,” he said.

Related: UK regulator warns against 111 unregistered crypto companies… and FOMO

The latest news comes shortly after a member of the British Parliament pointed out major difficulties in the process of registering crypto firms under the FCA’s AML regulations in late May. Economic secretary John Glen elaborated that FCA was not able to process and register all applications by its previous deadline due to a significant number of firms failing to adopt robust AML control frameworks as well as employ proper staff.