Europe

Welcome to another weekly blockchain news roundup from around the world. Here, we present to you all the latest Bitcoin news, continent by continent and country by country.

United Kingdom

Financial Regulator Keeping Tabs on Unauthorized Cryptocurrency Presence: With the Britishers being a stickler for rules, the local regulator, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) stays vigilant to crack down on unauthorized cryptocurrency firms. In November, the regulator had a whopping 67 inquiries. So far, it has run through 49 of them, with 39 consumer alerts and 10 firms being warned of their illegal activities.

Of the 18 left, the regulator is still looking into them. Most of them are Cryptocurrency CFDs and the regulator says that since digital money is a part of the nation’s financial market, they are subject to the same level of laws and therefore, each firm offering a crypto related derivative or financial service needs to be properly registered.

Ireland

Government Approves Anti Money Laundering Bill: West of the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland’s legislation has approved a bill that caters for anti-money laundering. The bill also referenced cryptocurrencies as one of the sources that are used for terrorist funding. The new law limits the use of prepaid cards and other virtual currencies. The bill, if enacted into law, will have a major impact in the local industry, since every service might need to go through a new wave of anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) procedure.

In other Irish news, Dublin’s tram operator (Luas)’s website was taken down by a hacker over the weekend. The hacker claimed in the note he left on the main page of the tram operator that he had contacted the authorities, letting them know of their security weaknesses which they failed to respond to. The hacker said that he had taken down the website in order to make the authorities realize their mistake. Then onwards, the hacker demanded a ransom of 1 Bitcoin or he would release the sensitive information on the operator’s users which he had stolen. As of writing this roundup, the website is still not operational.

Switzerland

Bitcoin ATM Operator to Move Operations to Switzerland: The Bitcoin Automated Teller Machine (ATM) manufacturer Lamassu has decided to move its operations to Switzerland since it was facing difficulties to secure banking channels in other countries. With a crypto friendly atmosphere and proper regulations, the Scandinavian country allows Lamassu Industries AG to set up its crypto dispensing ATM operations with ease.

The firm had previously applied for accounts in more than 15 banks, with all of them rejecting the application since it only acted as a terminal for transferring Bitcoin to users. Payment processor Stripe had also rejected the company since it had the “Bitcoin” on its website.

Romania

Cryptocurrency Exchange Founder to be Extradited to the US: Coinflux founder, Nistor Vlad Călin, has been ordered to be extradited to the U.S. from his home country of Romania. Reported by a local news outlet, Călin had been arrested for alleged financial crimes such as money laundering and fraud. The crypto exchange founder is accused of using his trading services to transfer and launder money from criminal activities that were committed on US soil

This is the second time a crypto exchange founder has been extradited for illegal activities. Last month, Alexander Vinnik, the operator of BTC-e exchange (now not operational), was allowed by the Supreme Court of Greece to be handed over to French authorities for money laundering.

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