The year is coming to an end and we are all excited to celebrate the beginning of 2022. Let’s have a look at some of the biggest crypto news in 2021!
This past year has been very exciting for Scorechain. Indeed, we have been able to develop the product to better meet the market’s needs and to grow the team to make this possible.
Also, 2021 has been interesting for the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem with booming crypto markets. For example, we have seen the DeFi surge and the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) craze. Besides, there has been an increasing adoption of cryptocurrencies by the traditional finance sector and governments which contributed to the crypto boom this year.
Democratization of cryptocurrency regulations
In 2021, there have been several developments on the regulatory side. Let’s see what were the major crypto news in 2021 in terms of regulation.
First, one of the major updates took place in South Korea in March. The updated cryptocurrency regulation came into force to include virtual asset service providers (VASPs) as financial institutions. VASPs must now conduct real-name verification, due diligence policies, and reporting processes. However, a good majority of VASPs had to cease operations in September after failing to implement all the requirements by the due date.
In the same manner, a new regulation came into force in Ireland in April. It imposes AML/CFT requirements on VASPs such as ML/TF risk assessment, customer due diligence, reporting, etc.
In June, the new Law on Digital Assets came into force in Serbia. The law regulates digital assets and digital asset service providers. Providers are required for example to secure a license from the regulator.
Then, in July, the FATF released a report on the 2nd 12-month review of the implementation of the revised standards on VAs and VASPs. The report recognizes efforts made by jurisdictions but also identifies gaps in the implementation of these standards. Later in the year, in October, the FATF released its updated guidance on a risk-based approach to virtual assets (VAs) and virtual asset service providers (VASPs).
Read more: FATF’s updated guidance – 4 things to know
There have also been some regulation developments in Thailand, Israel, Singapore, and Australia for example.
With more and more businesses moving towards cryptocurrencies, there will surely be more regulatory developments on the matter next year. Do you have questions about cryptocurrency regulations?
Crypto ecosystem news in 2021
2021, a year marked by crypto hacks
First, in January, the Russian exchange, Livecoin, announced it would cease operations after reporting a hack the month before. Also, in January, Bitcoin reached its first all-time-high price of the year surpassing $40,000. The second all-time-high was reached in April at above $60,000. Last, the third all-time-high of the year took place in November at more than $68,000.
In August, hackers hit two major cryptocurrency platforms, Poly Network and Liquid, and stole over $700 million. Poly Network hack is even said to be the largest DeFi hack to date.
Finally, at the beginning of December, we learned that another two major cryptocurrency platforms have been hacked, BadgerDAO protocol, and Bitmart exchange. The total amount of lost funds for the 2 services surpass $300 million.
Crackdown on ransomware
In 2021, there have also been a lot of companies and organizations hit by ransomware with a crypto ransom.
Then, in June, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it has seized $2+ million worth of Bitcoins related to the ransomware paid by Colonial Pipeline. The country also announced taking harsh measures to tackle ransomware activities later this year. For example, in September, OFAC sanctioned for the first time a cryptocurrency exchange, Suex. The exchange participated in the facilitation of ransomware payments laundering.
Moreover, Australia equally announced that it would take measures against ransomware activity. For example, it announced the implementation of the Ransomware Action Plan. Indeed, ransomware activity surged by 15% over the last year in the country.
Read more: Regulators’ crackdown on crypto-related ransomware
Increasing adoption of cryptocurrencies
In September, big news shook up the cryptocurrency community. El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, announced that the country will adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender. This is the world’s first! Since then, the country has been regularly buying more Bitcoin.
Then, in October, it has been Twitter’s turn to announce that it would support Bitcoin through its “Tips” feature. The feature allows people to send some Bitcoins to others on Twitter via Stripe, an application offering Bitcoin payment services through the Lightning Network.
Read more: Institutional investors’ growing interest in cryptocurrencies
2021 has also been a busy year for Scorechain, with a lot of nice features released.
First, we officially launched Scorechain Academy in March. It allows professionals to assess their skills and knowledge in the domain of crypto compliance and get a certificate.
Then, in April, we announced our partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, Frankfurt am Main to introduce a common solution for complying with AML requirements towards transaction monitoring of crypto-asset providers. The partnership resulted in the creation of a joint solution to help obliged entities under the German Money Laundering Act.
In October, we were thrilled to announce the closure of our €2$ million pre-series A financing round. This funding will allow us to further develop the product and the compliance features.
The month after, we released two highly-anticipated features, Tron Analytics, and the Exploration Tool. With the onboarding of Tron, users can perform risk-AML analysis and TRX, TRC10, and TRC20 tokens and adopt a risk-based approach to transaction monitoring.
Just after that, we released an updated version of our KYA and KYT reports to better support our customers through their compliance work and reporting processes.
Read more: KYA KYT reports – 5 reasons our customers love them
Last but not least, Scorechain has been chosen by industry experts as a REGTECH100 company, proving the robustness of our solution to help financial institutions develop their RegTech and digital transformation strategies
Getting the right crypto compliance provider in 2022
So, what can we learn from crypto news in 2021? On one hand, 2021 has been specially marked with the greater adoption of crypto by governments, financial institutions, and the general public. On the other hand, more and more regulators are taking interest in regulating the fast-evolving crypto market to avoid malevolent actors taking advantage of it.
This is why, companies operating with cryptocurrencies must quickly adapt to updated regulations and requirements, which can be a hassle.
Scorechain has helped more than 200 companies in their crypto compliance journey since 2015, from crypto businesses to financial institutions and regulators. Our complete risk-AML solution empowers compliance teams to easily implement risk management and mitigation requirements on cryptocurrencies.
Interested in learning more about the solution? Don’t hesitate to contact us for a tailored demo.
Scorechain is a Risk-AML software provider for cryptocurrencies and digital assets. As a leader in crypto compliance, the Luxembourgish company has helped more than 200 customers in 40 countries since 2015, ranging from cryptocurrency businesses to financial institutions with crypto trading, custody branch, digital assets, customers onboarding, audit and law firms, and some LEAs.
Scorechain solution supports Bitcoin analytics with Lightning Network detection, Ethereum analytics with all ERC20 tokens and stablecoins, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, XRP Ledger, Tezos, and Tron with TRC10 and TRC20 tokens. The software can de-anonymize the Blockchain data and connect with sanction lists to provide risk scoring on digital assets, transactions, addresses, and entities. The risk assessment methodology applied by Scorechain has been verified and can be fully customizable to fit all jurisdictions. 300+ risk-AML scenarios are provided to its customers with a wide range of risk indicators so businesses under the scope of the crypto regulation can report suspicious activity to authorities with enhanced due diligence.