On Friday, Bitcoin was close to falling under the $19,000 level while Ether was hovering above the $1,300 level.
UK clamps down on money laundering
Law enforcement bodies around the world are concerned by the role cryptocurrency plays in money laundering. Sanctioned platforms like Tornado Cash even offer ways to “mix” legitimate and stolen crypto funds to make tracing them more difficult. The UK on Thursday introduced the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill in Parliament to address these challenges.
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According to a UK government announcement, the bill gives law enforcement more powers to obtain data from businesses in order to crack down on money laundering and terrorist financing.
The reforms come after the UK’s Metropolitan Police reported a spike in cryptocurrency seizures in 2021. The new law would allow law enforcement agencies in the country to seize, freeze, and recover crypto assets.
The statement noted that crypto has helped launder funds related to fraud, drugs, and cybercrime.
Iran’s CBDC pilot
Iran is in the news as protestors rage against the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died while in custody of the country’s morality police. The sanctions-hit country, however, announced on Wednesday that it was beginning a pilot launch of the “crypto-rial” central bank digital currency (CBDC).
A release from the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture stated that the idea behind the digital currency is turning banknotes into programmable entities. The Central Bank of Iran said it will be conducting the pilot launch this week.
Human rights activists are worried that Iran’s digital currency could be used to surveil or cut the spending power of protestors like the ones fighting for Mahsa Amini.
Going green vs greenwashing
The fintech sector has been exploring the concept of buying carbon credits to offset greenhouse gas emissions in the industry. Now, crypto entrepreneurs have introduced or are adopting carbon credits via cryptocurrencies. Supporters claim this leads to greater transparency and accountability as the credits turn into crypto tokens.
A Reuters report pointed out that the Brazilian crypto company Moss, which prided itself on helping companies offset their carbon footprint, bought carbon credits it felt were not up to its standards and sold these assets at a profit.
Experts have questioned whether ethical climate finance should involve investors and companies seeing large returns on the carbon crypto market.
The news comes as several environmental groups, including the law non-profit Earthjustice reported that the U.S. Bitcoin industry’s carbon footprint is close to the emissions of six million cars a year.