This week has been another busy one in the cryptocurrency world. Here are some of the top news items making the rounds today.
Deputy Treasury Secretary Calls for Global Cryptocurrency Regulation
Acting Deputy Treasury Secretary Sigal Mandelker recently called for the international community to enact stronger global cryptocurrency regulations. Mandelker, who is Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, made the remarks at an anti-money laundering (AML) conference sponsored by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). Her remarks focused on the use of cryptocurrencies by criminals, terrorists, and rogue regimes.
Treasury’s importance to the cryptocurrency market is often overlooked, with much of the focus on the SEC and CFTC, but Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is already active in holding cryptocurrency exchanges responsible for their current obligations under existing AML laws and regulations. A push by Treasury to get other countries to enact tougher AML regulations on cryptocurrency businesses could disrupt major overseas cryptocurrency markets.
Coinbase Stops Accepting Credit Cards From New Customers
Coinbase had previously announced to its customers that several large US banks had either changed the way they were processing credit card purchases of cryptocurrencies or were banning their cardholders from using their credit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies. Some of the credit card companies banning their customers from purchasing cryptocurrencies include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citi, and Capital One.
Because of that degraded payment ability, Coinbase has decided to disable the ability of new customers to purchase cryptocurrencies with a credit card. Customers who already have a credit card linked to their Coinbase account will still be able to purchase cryptocurrencies, although they may find themselves subject to cash advance fees from their card provider.
Salon Wants to Use Readers’ Computers to Mine Monero
Online news magazine Salon is attempting to use its readers’ computers to mine the cryptocurrency Monero, asking readers with ad-blocking software to use their computers’ processing power. Since Salon, like many other online publications, relies on advertising revenue to make money, ad-blocking software and plug-ins can directly harm the magazine’s bottom line by leading to decreased revenue from advertisements.
Those users using ad-blocking software are being met with a pop-up prompting them to choose between disabling their ad-blocker or allowing Salon to harness the reader’s computer processing power to mine Monero. According to Salon, the magazine will only mine Monero as long as the reader remains on the Salon website.
Given the recent emergence of malware that hijacks web browsers on users’ smartphones and computers to mine Monero or other cryptocurrencies, the idea that a well-known company might actually seek to engage in the same type of activity on its readers’ devices has put many people off. Time will tell whether Salon’s move is a financial success or whether reader backlash will force the magazine to reconsider.