The New York Department of Financial Services has denied a virtual currency license for Bittrex, an American digital asset exchange.
The DFS cited deficiencies in capital, according to Reuters, and “failure to demonstrate that it will conduct its business honestly, fairly, equitably, carefully, and efficiently.”
Bittrex was ordered to stop operating in New York and close shop within 60 days. Bittrex said it “fully disputes the findings” and that the decision “harms rather than protects New York customers.”
“Corporate responsibility is in our DNA and our commitment to regulatory and compliance guidelines is second to none,” Bittrex said. “More specifically, today’s letter (from the DFS) contains several factual inaccuracies.”
In other bitcoin news, two men in Singapore were arrested on charges that they promoted OneCoin, a multi-billion dollar cryptocurrency pyramid scheme.
Singapore residents who were scammed were sold courses on the “coin” and promotional tokens meant to “mine” OneCoin, but the tokens were worthless and couldn’t do anything.
The men face five years in prison and a maximum fine of $147,000.
In New Haven, a bitcoin phisher was sentenced to a year in prison for a dark web scheme to rob people of cryptocurrency, according to reports.
Michael Richo was ordered to forfeit $352,000 in electronic devices, computers and cash. He also had to give up some valuable coins and metals he bought.
Richo would target people on the dark web by posting false links to online marketplaces. The links sent users to fake login pages that copied real ones. Once logged in, Richo would steal credentials, watch a person’s bitcoin balance at an actual marketplace and then withdraw the coins once they were deposited.
He was arrested in 2016 and pleaded guilty to money laundering and access device fraud on June 27, 2017.
On a more positive note, a Luxembourg cryptocurrency broker called Bitstamp was awarded a BitLicense by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
The company can now expand to New York.
“Obtaining a BitLicense is a key element in ramping up our presence in the United States, especially when it comes to working with institutional investors,” Bitstamp said.