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Cryptocurrencies Mixed; FCA Probing Crypto-Companies

Cryptocurrency NewsDec 30, 2018 11:09PM ET
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Major cryptocurrencies were mixed on Monday morning in Asia – Major cryptocurrencies were mixed on Monday morning in Asia, ending a year in which the industry's market capitalization fell more than 80 percent.

Bitcoin inched up 0.68% to $3,754.9 and Ethereum gained 0.79% to $134.12 at 11:11PM ET (03:11 GMT) on the index.

XRP rose 0.13% to $0.35748 on the Poloniex exchange, while Litecoin dropped 0.79% to $30.652 on the Bitifinex exchange.

The total market capitalization of digital currencies plummeted from $815 billion in early January to $128 billion as of Dec. 31, according to CoinMarketCap.

Britain’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), told the Financial Times that it is probing 18 firms involved in the sales of digital tokens. It also issued warnings on suspected crypto-investment scams.

The U.K. has no regulations covering cryptocurrency transactions, but companies that sell regulated investments with cryptocurrency elements might need the FCA’s nod.

Scams aside, the U.S. is also concerned about drug cartels and criminal organizations in Asia conducting money laundering via cryptocurrencies.

In a recent U.S. congressional hearing into Mexican drug cartels, a few government officials spoke of the emerging threat posed by the crime syndicates, according to the Asia Times.

“The participation of Asian money launderers has become more prominent in some areas. The shift toward Chinese and Asian money launderers is believed to be, in part, due to the natural relationship created by the large volume of both licit and illicit trade goods and chemicals imported from China,” Paul Knierim, deputy chief of operations in the Office of Global Enforcement at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, was quoted as saying.

Elsewhere, Singapore-based Huobi Group’s cryptocurrency mining arm, Huobi Pool, announced on Sunday that it would launch its first exchange dedicated to EOS in the first quarter next year.

Users can trade EOS on the platform against a number of other cryptocurrencies, but Huobi did not disclose any names.

Cryptocurrencies Mixed; FCA Probing Crypto-Companies

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