Connect with us
Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

News

Cryptocurrencies:  Solving New Problems with Old Solutions

gbafNews28

By David Bitkower, Michael Ross, Jolene Negre, Partners, and Emily Bruemmer and Jessica Martinez, Associates, at Jenner & Block 

Despite continuing volatility in the markets, the buzz surrounding digital assets persists, and evidence continues to mount in support of both the promise and the peril of cryptocurrencies.

Companies dealing in or with cryptocurrency, such as payment processors or exchange operators, need to keep up with—or better yet stay ahead of—the concerns that regulators have expressed, and approach their compliance strategies with the same energy and ingenuity they bring to their financial products.  This article discusses some ways in which businesses that come into contact with cryptocurrencies can avoid letting their platforms become conduits for criminality, by being on guard for signs of fraud or market manipulation, and by employing traditional tools such as know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) programs.

Over the past year, regulators have brought cases alleging that a cryptocurrency was used in furtherance of a fraud scheme—or that the cryptocurrency project was itself a fraud scheme.  Among the first wave of enforcement actions brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s new Cyber Unit were several cases involving garden-variety fraud charges.  The very first such action involved a Canadian entity called PlexCorps, which as part of its supposed initial coin offering (ICO) purported to issue “PlexCoins” or “PlexCoin Tokens” that would enrich investors in under a month.  The SEC’s complaint alleged that, rather than being a legitimate ICO, the “outlandish” promises made by PlexCorps were in fact a fraud scheme.  Along similar lines, in April the SEC announced charges related to a different alleged fraudulent scheme involving Centra Tech Inc.’s ICO in 2017.  Meanwhile, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) rang in 2018 by charging multiple virtual currency operators with fraud.  And in April, the CFTC filed another complaint against multiple individuals and corporations, alleging operation of a fraudulent scheme involving the virtual currency ATM Coin.

Most recently, as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, a federal grand jury indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for crimes aimed at disrupting the 2016 presidential election.  According to the indictment, these activities were in part facilitated by cryptocurrency, as the individuals sought to “capitalize on the perceived anonymity of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin” when “purchasing servers, registering domains, and otherwise making payments in furtherance of hacking activity.”  They even mined bitcoin in order to fund computer infrastructure purchases.  The hackers attempted to cover their tracks by providing payment processors with obviously fake addresses such as “usa Denver AZ,” “gfhgh ghfhgfh fdgfdg WA,” and “1 2 dwd District of Columbia.”  The existence and content of the indictment suggests the attempts at covering their tracks were successful only up to a point.

As a whole, these recent enforcement actions and others indicate that regulators will expect companies dealing with cryptocurrencies to be up to date on the risks that come with the territory.  Such companies should therefore be on heightened alert for signs of fraud, which can often be spotted in the cryptocurrency context just as in a more traditional setting.  Traditional principles involving KYC, AML, and efforts to prevent market manipulation can be applied in this new setting to protect businesses that interface with cryptocurrencies.

KYC and AML.  The threats posed by ICO and cryptocurrency fraud schemes can sometimes be addressed through the application of old-fashioned due diligence and good judgment, such as policies and procedures that ensure a company has knowledge of its clients and their business purposes.  For example, in the PlexCorps case, legitimate businesses whose platforms were used by the alleged perpetrators could have identified (and, in fact, did identify) the potential risks of doing business with PlexCorps due to the lack of information provided about the business purposes of the company that opened an account with their platforms, the statements in the publicly posted promotional materials for the ICO, and prior regulatory action in Quebec.  Following established principles of due diligence, several of the payment processors at issue flagged PlexCorps-related accounts for suspicious activity and suspended them or reversed the payments at issue.

Conducting due diligence on the users of a platform may sometimes involve new techniques, however, given the unique anonymity characteristics of some cryptocurrencies.  Regulators throughout the world have already identified this danger and targeted cryptocurrency exchanges, along with those who seek to use cryptocurrencies to launder money.  In June, for example, Japan’s Financial Services Agency ordered multiple cryptocurrency exchanges to improve their AML programs.  And last December, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton cautioned in a statement on cryptocurrencies and ICOs that companies should ensure that “their cryptocurrency activities are not undermining their anti-money laundering and know-your-customer obligations.”

Taking the same approach as regulators, private companies can harness the traceability of the underlying blockchain technology to facilitate review of cryptocurrency transactions and to comply with their KYC and AML obligations.  Law enforcement authorities have certainly taken advantage of that feature:  in June, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the results of a nationwide undercover operation targeting Darknet vendors, which led to the arrest of over 35 individuals selling illicit goods and laundering money.  Government agents involved in the operation seized more than $20 million in cryptocurrencies, in addition to bitcoin mining equipment.  This operation was unique because the government effectively operated an undercover currency exchange, posing as willing money launderers for criminals using cryptocurrencies for their crimes.  It appears that the agents then used the ledger technology to trace and identify specific vendors.  These features of digital assets can similarly be used by private companies to ensure that they are in compliance with applicable regulations, including anti-money laundering regimes.

Market Manipulation.  A second area where regulators appear to be focusing energy is the risk posed to otherwise legitimate cryptocurrency markets by another danger familiar to any securities lawyer: market manipulation, including spoofing and wash trading.  Both of these practices aim at influencing market prices through artificial means: spoofing involves the submission of bids or offers with the intent to cancel them before execution, in order to give other investors a false impression of the market; wash trading involves a person buying and selling at the same time in order to create an illusion of activity in the market.  There is already growing evidence that cryptocurrency markets are particularly susceptible to such manipulation because of their comparatively limited size, the lack of transparency surrounding key market participants, and the gold rush mentality held by even legitimate traders.  In January, for example, the authors of an article in the Journal of Monetary Economics concluded based on transaction history from the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange that suspicious trading activity by one trader caused a spike in bitcoin prices from $150 to $1,000 during 2013.  In late May, Bloomberg reported that DOJ had opened a large-scale criminal probe into potential market manipulation of cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and Ether, sold in spot markets.  Although DOJ has not publicly released any information regarding the investigation, it reportedly focuses on spoofing and wash trading.  Finally, in June, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin published a paper theorizing that the rise in prices of cryptocurrency such as bitcoin may have been caused by market manipulation related to the cryptocurrency token Tether.

The reported DOJ investigation highlights the potential for market surveillance by regulators to identify suspicious patterns and other indications of manipulative conduct in cryptocurrency markets.  Market surveillance, however, can also serve as a powerful deterrent if employed by cryptocurrency exchanges themselves.  Recognizing this, some exchanges have begun to use market surveillance systems to monitor for potentially abusive trading of digital assets on their exchanges.  In the short run, participants in the markets may fear the specter of increased enforcement action, as the CFTC and other regulators analyze trade data to find potentially manipulative trading behavior.  Ultimately, however, the emergence of institutionalized market surveillance may positively impact the future of cryptocurrency markets by protecting against price spikes and market volatility.  Indeed, in the absence of such monitoring, the prevalence of fraud and manipulative conduct could result in exchanges being shut out of certain markets, subject to even stricter regulations, or abandoned by the customers they need in order to thrive.  Companies seeking to establish a record of trust for customers, and avoid negative repercussions from regulators, should ensure their own policies are ahead of the curve.

Other Risk Areas.  Digital assets present additional compliance issues beyond the ones highlighted above.  For example, even companies that are not issuers should be aware of whether digital assets with which they interact are deemed to be “securities” and whether their platforms could be abused by third parties issuing or marketing those securities.  Indeed, a number of companies, such as social media platforms, have banned or given closer scrutiny to communications relating to ICOs due to the risk of fraud or illegal securities offerings.  Companies must also be alert to legal risks stemming from transacting in or holding cryptocurrencies, relating to fiduciary responsibilities or pricing, for example, due to the volatility of the digital assets markets.Finally, any companies that buy or sell cryptocurrencies should be aware of the potential tax consequences of their transactions given the treatment of cryptocurrency as property.

In all, participants in the cryptocurrency market are exposed to risks associated with fraud, money laundering, market manipulation, and other misdeeds that can occur as the space continues to develop.  The lesson for such companies is to employ the same principles of due diligence and critical thought as they would in operating in any market, including common-sense due diligence and monitoring efforts based on the information that blockchain technology makes readily accessible.  Moreover, companies operating globally must be attentive to local legal developments in the cryptocurrency space just as in any other regulatory area.  Employing these practices can help keep market participants on the right side of the line in the event bad actors try to use their platforms to further illegal ends and put those market participants in better standing with regulators should they ultimately come knocking.

News

WPO expands in Asia by supporting The Blue Circle in the management of its Vietnamese wind farm

gbafNews28

WPO, the leading European group of independent platforms for asset management and services specialized in renewables, is now supporting the developer The Blue Circle in the management of its wind farm in Vietnam.

PARIS, Sept. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Blue Circle, the leading renewable energy company in Southeast Asia, identifies, develops, finances, and operates renewable energy projects in geographical areas throughout the Asia-Pacific region. As part of its contract with The Blue Circle, WPO will now provide data management services for the Dai Phong wind farm located in the Bình Thuận province in Southeast Vietnam.

The Dai Phong wind farm, with a total capacity of 42 MW, includes ten Vestas V150-4.2 wind turbines. These turbines, with blades as tall as 27 storeys building, are first of their kind in Asia and to be connected onto WPO’s systems.

Thanks to its expertise, WPO supports The Blue Circle in its commitment to building responsible and sustainable projects not only using the most advanced turbines but also the most advanced tracing technologies such as Blockchain.

Olivier Duguet, founder and CEO of The Blue Circle, comments: "We are looking forward to working with WPO and support their expansion in Southeast Asia. Their expertise and range of services will be a great asset for managing the performance of our wind power site in Bình Thuận. As The Blue Circle is rolling out construction of its pipeline of projects, we need reliable and experienced partners such as WPO".

The first step in WPO’s regional development

European leader in its sector, WPO is now diversifying into new territories including Asia and more specifically South-East Asia. With its expertise, WPO hopes to develop its activities in the region, especially after the GreenToken Public Offering timely launched on the 8th of September.

"Our company has been growing steadily for more than a decade in a particularly fast-growing European market. Asia is our next target on which we place a lot of hope, I am convinced that our unique know-how will allow us to further develop our presence here. Given the growth of installed wind power capacity forecasted for the region, we are particularly excited by the prospects of this first contract", adds Barthélémy Rouer, CEO of WPO.

About WPO

Founded in 2008, WPO is Europe’s leading independent asset management platform and service provider in renewable energy (wind and solar). The company oversees 600 production sites in 12 European countries with a capacity of more than 5 gigawatts, comprising 2,000 wind turbines and 12 million photovoltaic modules. Today, WPO is involved in the production of electricity from renewable sources for the equivalent of about two million people, i.e. almost the population of intramural Paris. It offers technical, commercial, and financial management solutions and counts more than 360 companies among its clients, including investment funds, insurers, reinsurers, developers, banks, semi-public companies, and independent electricity producers.

In a world where energy management is becoming more and more erratic, WPO’s mission is to ensure energy sustainability by creating the conditions for trust by issuing the first reliable and traceable renewable energy certificates on the global market.

WPO is listed in the Financial Times FT1000 – Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies 2017 ranking.

For more information: www.wpo.eu

About The Blue Circle

The Blue Circle, founded in 2013, identifies, develops, finances, owns and operates renewable energy projects in complex and challenging geographical areas of the Asia-Pacific region. The Blue Circle uses the most advanced technologies to build responsible and sustainable projects. With offices in Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok and Phnom Penh, The Blue Circle is the leading renewable energy company in Southeast Asia. Its team is committed to changing the world one green electron at a time.

For more information: www.thebluecircle.sg

Related Links :

http://www.wpo.eu

Continue Reading

News

Nomination Committee appointed for Electrolux Annual General Meeting 2021

gbafNews28

– The members of the Nomination Committee for Electrolux Annual General Meeting in 2021 have now been appointed

STOCKHOLM, Sept. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — In accordance with decision by the Annual General Meeting, Electrolux Nomination Committee shall consist of six members. The Nomination Committee shall include members selected by each of the four largest shareholders in terms of voting rights that wish to participate in the committee, together with the Chairman of the Electrolux Board and one additional Board member.

The members of the Nomination Committee have now been appointed based on the ownership structure as of August 31, 2020. Johan Forssell, Investor AB, is the Chairman of the committee. The other members are Carina Silberg, Alecta, Tomas Risbecker, AMF – Försäkring och Fonder, and Marianne Nilsson, Swedbank Robur Funds. The committee will also include Staffan Bohman and Fredrik Persson, Chairman and Director, respectively, of Electrolux.

The Nomination Committee will prepare proposals for the Annual General Meeting in 2021 regarding Chairman of the Annual General Meeting, Board members, Chairman of the Board, remuneration for Board members, Auditor, Auditor’s fees and, to the extent deemed necessary, proposal regarding amendments of the current instruction for the Nomination Committee.

The Annual General Meeting will be held on March 25, 2021, in Stockholm, Sweden.

Shareholders who wish to submit proposals to the Nomination Committee should send an email to [email protected].

For further information, please contact:

Electrolux Press Hotline, +46-8-657-65-07

This information was brought to you by Cision http://news.cision.com

https://news.cision.com/electrolux/r/nomination-committee-appointed-for-electrolux-annual-general-meeting-2021,c3200232

The following files are available for download:

 

Continue Reading

News

Johns Manville Breaks Ground on New Polyiso Production Plant in Texas

gbafNews28

Johns Manville (JM), a global building and specialty products manufacturer and a Berkshire Hathaway Company, broke ground this month on a new production plant in Hillsboro, Texas.

The plant, which is projected to be completed by mid-2022, will manufacture polyiso products including ENRGY 3 roof insulation, ProtectoR HD high density cover board, AP Foil Faced Foam sheathing and GoBoard tile backer. These products are preferred in the market due to their high R-value per inch and the strength and durability they offer.

We continue to invest in our business, customers and communities, said Joe Smith, President of Roofing Systems at Johns Manville. Increasing the availability of our products while creating new jobs is a win-win.

When complete, the Hillsboro plant will employ more than 50 people and include a JM roofing distribution center. The warehouse will stock many JM products, including TPO and accessories to expand customer service. Hughes Commercial Real Estate and Development will develop the site and FA Peinado Construction will be the general contractor.

The groundbreaking in Hillsboro comes on the heels of a recent expansion of JMs Milan, Ohio, roofing products plant. That expansion increased the facilitys production capacity and added approximately 50 jobs.

Career opportunities at all JM facilities can be found at JM.com/en/Careers.

About Johns Manville

Johns Manville, a Berkshire Hathaway company (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B), is a leading manufacturer and marketer of premium-quality building and specialty products. In business since 1858, the Denver-based company has annual sales over $3 billion and holds leadership positions in all of the key markets that it serves. Johns Manville employs 8,000 people and operates 46 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and China. Additional information can be found at JM.com.

Eric Brown

1-303-809-2853

[email protected]

Continue Reading
gbafNews28 gbafNews28
News1 hour ago

Nomination Committee appointed for Electrolux Annual General Meeting 2021

– The members of the Nomination Committee for Electrolux Annual General Meeting in 2021 have now been appointed STOCKHOLM, Sept....

gbafNews28 gbafNews28
News1 hour ago

WPO expands in Asia by supporting The Blue Circle in the management of its Vietnamese wind farm

WPO, the leading European group of independent platforms for asset management and services specialized in renewables, is now supporting the...

gbafNews28 gbafNews28
News2 hours ago

Johns Manville Breaks Ground on New Polyiso Production Plant in Texas

Johns Manville (JM), a global building and specialty products manufacturer and a Berkshire Hathaway Company, broke ground this month on...

gbafNews28 gbafNews28
News2 hours ago

Matador Resources Company Announces Initial Boros Well Results in the Stateline Asset Area  

Matador Resources Company (NYSE: MTDR) (Matador or the Company) today announced the results from the first four Boros wells completed...

gbafNews28 gbafNews28
News2 hours ago

Fivetran Integrates With dbt for Automatic Data Transformations

Fivetran, the leading automated data integration provider, today announced an integration with dbt, the popular open-source analytics engineering tool maintained...

gbafNews28 gbafNews28
News2 hours ago

H.I.G. Capital Completes Investment in Construction Forms, Inc.

H.I.G. Capital (“H.I.G.”), a leading global alternative investment firm with $40 billion of equity capital under management, is pleased to...

gbafNews28 gbafNews28
News2 hours ago

Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles Files Preliminary Injunction Motion Against the City of Los Angeles

The Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA) announced that it has filed a Preliminary Injunction Motion against the City...

gbafNews28 gbafNews28
News2 hours ago

Tutor Perini Announces $47 Million Naval Facilities Project in Guam

Tutor Perini Corporation (NYSE: TPC) (the Company), a leading civil, building and specialty construction company, announced today that Black Construction-Tutor...

gbafNews28 gbafNews28
News2 hours ago

Vidyard Powers New Video Insights and Reporting Tools in HubSpot Video

To support the growing appetite for video in business, Vidyard worked with HubSpot to develop new analytics and reporting functionality,...

gbafNews28 gbafNews28
News2 hours ago

Nearly 40% of Parents Who Didn’t Plan to Apply for Federal Aid Now Say They Will as a Result of Covid-19 Pandemic

As COVID-19 has generated much uncertainty in this years college experience for both students and their families, a survey from...