CCN recently reported on the case of CoinFlux CEO Vlad Nistor. The Romanian bitcoin exchange executive has been arrested on suspicion of money laundering and other crimes and is currently fighting extradition to the United States.

Earlier this week, CoinFlux posted to Medium.com to inform followers that they are unable to access parts of their platform including those which would allow them to deliver information in the usual way.

“Another unpleasant consequence of the investigation is the fact that our access to some parts of our platform has been restricted, thus we are unable to send this announcement through the usual communication channels: e-mail and website. Our expectation is that we will gain control back, within the next days.”

They said at the time that they were working to regain access to exchange funds so they could determine what the next course of action would be. Currently, they remain legally disallowed from doing any sort of cryptocurrency exchanges.

Exchange Returning All Funds, Might be Shutting Down

bitcoin exchange conflux vlad nistor arrest romania
CoinFlux, a cryptocurrency exchange based out of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, has halted activities following reports that its CEO, Vlad Nistor, was arrested in connection with a money laundering investigation.

Saturday, the exchange posted another update. In this update ,they said that they are working with the financial institution who manages all of their bank accounts, MisterTango, to have all funds returned to clients.

The wording of the update is unclear, in that it says:

“We’ve sent MisterTango (the Financial Institution hosting our frozen bank account) a list of people who have money blocked in CoinFlux wallets, as well as the exact associated balances, and the instruction to transfer those funds back into the clients’ bank account.”

As any reader knows, crypto balances are not held by banks.

Thus, the post does not seem to address crypto funds held in the exchange’s wallets, but fiat. They have not yet issued an announcement about how and when they intend to return client crypto balances. As we said, in the Thursday post they mentioned that they were unable to use their platform for legal reasons.

The case against Vlad Nistor centers on activities of Romanian scammers in 2014 and 2015. He is alleged to have actively helped scammers via Telegram in disposing of their ill-begotten gains. This would involve the conversion of knowingly stolen funds for cryptocurrencies. The crypto gains from then to now would be substantial, 2015 being a downturn year for Bitcoin.

The number of affected individuals in this situation is likely low, as the volume is so minor that places like CoinMarketCap.com, which lists hundreds of small exchanges, does not even report CoinFlux volume.

This post is credited to ccn

Australia is proving that they are, arguably, one of the leading crypto-friendly countries out there. A system created by the country’s postal service is drastically streamlining the crypto exchange registration process.


Australia is definitely no stranger when it comes to blockchain adoption. From driver’s licenses to disability payments, the country is fully embracing the technology. Their interest in cryptocurrency is also quite positive, with platforms even available for residents to pay their bills.

Innovation Courtesy of the Australia Post Service

The next step, according to Micky, is to give potential crypto customers a simple way to sign up to exchanges and in doing so, open up the world of innovative disruptive technology to all. Ironically, this will be achieved via a very un-disruptive establishment – the Australia Post service.

The 200-year-old business created Digital iD. As the name suggests, it is a digital identity service that will allow its users to quickly sign up to a Bitcoin exchange. By cutting out actual identity documents, exchanges will be able to quickly verify customers and allow them to trade as soon as they’re vetted.

One such exchange, Digital Surge, is already making use of this revolutionary service and have only good things to say. The platform’s Director, Josh Lehman, elaborated:

Digital iD allows us to verify the identity of a prospective Bitcoin buyer in minutes, instead of the days it takes other exchanges. For the first time, an Australian can log on to a computer, punch in their driver’s licence or passport details, and be buying Bitcoin within minutes. We wanted to create an exchange that is safe, simple and quick to use, and Digital iD has enabled us to do that.

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Helping with Data Privacy Concerns

However, it’s not just about making the exchange application easier for those involved. It also allows people to only give the information that is required in certain situations, nothing more. This is becoming increasingly important in an age where data privacy is a real concern. Cameron Gough, who is the General Manager of Digital iD, explained:

Digital iD gives people more control over the personal data they share with organisations. For example, most people hand over their driver’s licence to prove they can legally go to a bar, but all that is needed is a name and birth date – not that information plus your full residential address.

The platform is also working with Coinjar and Coin Loft, both of which are Australian-based exchanges.

Disruptive technology is all about simplicity and efficiency brought about by removing intermediaries and time-consuming processes. This is exactly what Digital iD seems to be doing. Since providing a necessary service two centuries ago, the Australian Post is showing that they can not only adapt with the times, but can also embrace it to provide a necessary solution to a major issue facing exchanges today.

Do you think that Digital iD could be setting a trend for other crypto-friendly countries? Let us know in the comments below!

This post is credited to livebitcoinnews

Users of the long-troubled cryptocurrency exchange WEX have begun filing police reports after more than three months of being unable to withdraw major cryptocurrencies or fiat, CoinDesk has learned.

A WEX trader named Ruslan, who has been encouraging other users to seek an official investigation, told CoinDesk that as many as 35 such reports have been filed thus far online through the website of the Russian Interior Ministry. At least seven such reports have been filed since October, based on confirmation numbers reviewed by CoinDesk and checked against the Interior Ministry’s website.

The fact that users of a cryptocurrency exchange that has operated at the fringes of the market would seek help from the government is itself notable. WEX was built on the ashes of BTC-e, the mysterious, long-running exchange that ultimately collapsed after U.S. officials seized its domain and then slapped BTC-e and its suspected operator with a massive $110 million fine.

But this summer, the initial enthusiasm around what was effectively a rebirth of BTC-e gave way to growing complaints around withdrawals, which manifested in sky-high prices well beyond those reported on more well-known exchanges. Those issues continue to this day, with the price of USDT – a controversial stablecoin that lost its parity with the U.S. dollar last week – trading for a whopping $6.99 on WEX.

As such, WEX traders – after months of demanding answers (WEX’s last public message on Twitter was posted in late August) – are taking matters into their own hands, seeking an investigation in an effort to get their money back. What’s more, recent developments continue to further stoke questions over who is actually running WEX and, by association, who is safeguarding user funds.

Ruslan told CoinDesk that he hoped to make law enforcement take measures against WEX’s CEO Dmitri Vasiliev and “his conspirators” to prevent them from initiating any new projects in crypto.

“The main idea has been to show other users that they are not alone, that we can act together and fight for our rights by legal means,” he said.

Neither WEX’s CEO Dmitrii Vasilev nor WEX’s official Twitter account responded to CoinDesk’s requests for comment for this story.

Questions amid eye-watering prices

To be sure, users say they’ve been able to withdraw certain coins from WEX since the troubles began – but at a very steep cost.

Specifically,  tether (USDT), zcash, namecoin and peercoin have been available for withdrawal. But their prices on WEX are extremely high compared to the rest of the market, so buying them just to get money off the platform is an expensive proposition.

Other cryptos also maintain extraordinarily high price tags on WEX, with bitcoin trading at $8,602 (compared to about $6,450) and ether at $319 (versus roughly $204).

At some point, around late July, fiat withdrawals were opened but with commissions ranging as high as 45 percent. Even at that price, some users in WEX online chats said they were considering taking their money out, since the longer they waited, the less they trusted the exchange’s management. But now, even this option is no longer available, users have told CoinDesk.

It was around that time that it became public that the owner and CEO, Dmitrii Vasilev, was going to sell the exchange to Dmitry Khavchenko, a militia fighter in Eastern Ukraine, according to a report by Russian media service RBC. Withdrawals were frozen in the wake of that report, and Vasilev later told CoinDesk he hadn’t been in control of the exchange and that the administrators weren’t communicating with him. The identities of the exchange’s administrators, as well as those who actually custody user funds, has never been openly disclosed.

Khavchenko told CoinDesk last week that the deal was signed and the money passed to the seller. Yet according to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore, where WEX is registered, as of Monday, Vasilev was still listed as the owner.

With traders devastated by the situation, trading volume on WEX, once in the tens of millions, has plunged to less than $1 million daily.

This post is credited to coindesk

Zebpay was the biggest crypto exchange in India before the banking ban, where the Indian government outlawed crypto exchanges from using banks. Peer to peer trading platforms have since proliferated in India, but Zebpay determined that meaningful business could not be done without bank accounts closed down on 28 September 2018. This caused Zebpay to lose 3 million investors, which is actually half of the total investors in India. Now Zebpay has moved to Malta, which has the nickname blockchain island, and will be serving 20 European countries. Zebpay is now incorporated under the name Awlencan Innovations Malta Limited.

India is notably absent from the list of 20 countries which Zebpay is available in. Exchanging crypto in India is impossible from a distance due to the continued banking ban. The European countries Zebpay now serves include Malta, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, and Sweden.

Zebpay’s abandonment of India and proliferation into the global market is reminiscent of the major Chinese exchanges after the 2017 fiat to crypto ban in China. Huobi, OKCoin, and Binance were the biggest exchanges in China, and after some temporary turbulence they have re-established themselves overseas in many different countries and are stronger than ever. Indeed, Binance and OKEx, which is intimately linked to OKCoin, have also established businesses in Malta, which is part of the reason it has been nicknamed blockchain island.

It seems Malta is the place to go when a crypto exchange has to flee a hostile nation. The Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, considers crypto to be the inevitable future of money and warmly welcomes any blockchain or crypto firm.

This post is credited to bitcoinnews