Owner of Infamous Crypto Platform Bitzlato Faces Sentencing for Illegal Activity
The founder of controversial cryptocurrency exchange Bitzlato has pleaded guilty to operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. Anatoly Legkodymov entered the plea in a New York court, following charges last January from the Department of Justice that accused Bitzlato of facilitating criminal activity. As part of the conviction, Legkodymov agreed to dissolve the Hong Kong-based platform and forfeit around $23 million in seized assets.
The DOJ shutdown Bitzlato in January and alleged it exchanged over $700 million with sanctioned Russian marketplace Hydra, which was also taken down this year. Bitzlato had touted itself as a no-questions-asked exchange but drew suspicion from law enforcement. The guilty plea represents a major victory for authorities targeting illicit crypto businesses and marks the culmination of a criminal case against one of the more shadowy exchanges.
Do Kwon Launches Final Appeal to Avoid Extradition from Montenegro
Do Kwon is making a final effort to avoid extradition from Montenegro as his legal issues surrounding the Terra crypto project collapse continue. Lawyers for the co-founder have appealed a previous ruling that approved his potential extradition to either the US or South Korea. Both countries want to question Kwon regarding Terra's implosion and $40 billion wipeout in May. He has been detained in Montenegro since June after being arrested at an airport while traveling.
Kwon faces legal action abroad, including a fraud lawsuit from the US SEC related to Terra. The Ministry of Justice in Montenegro will now re-examine the initial extradition order and deliver a conclusive decision by December 15th on whether Kwon will be extradited to the US or South Korea to potentially face prosecution tied to Terra's failure. This represents Kwon's last attempt to fight extradition from the European nation where he has remained for over half a year fighting every step of the process. Whichever country receives Kwon could ultimately see him stand trial.
Société Générale Delves into Stablecoins with Euro-Backed Token Plan
Société Générale has revealed plans to explore developing a euro-backed stablecoin according to recent reports. The French banking giant is consulting on a potential digital currency that would be pegged 1:1 to the Euro. If launched, the token could be used to power new payment and remittance services for Société Générale's customers.
The bank acknowledged growing customer demand for cryptocurrency solutions and said a stablecoin may help enhance its offerings. It could allow quicker cross-border transfers versus traditional wire payments. Société Générale suggested the stablecoin project remains in early stages and regulatory approval would be required before any official launch. Still, the development shows growing interest from major financial institutions in cryptocurrencies, especially in powering new use cases with fiat-collateralized digital assets.
Activists Turn to Blockchain to Bypass Restrictions on Aid to Iran
A non-profit organization called Iran Unchained has launched an updated grant platform to facilitate cryptocurrency donations directly to anti-government protestors and activists operating within Iran. The NGO's stated goal is to ultimately overthrow Iran's Islamic Republic and install a secular democracy. Through the new website, which is a customized version of fundraising platform Gitcoin, donors can send crypto funds to verified Iranian recipients in an effort to bypass restrictions on foreign aid to the sanctioned nation.
Compliance is still required to be listed as a U.S. non-profit, but organizers believe the blockchain-based approach allows for greater transparency and access compared to legacy financial systems that often block Iran-related transactions entirely. Grants are put up for governance voting by an associated DAO and have already supported initiatives around internet access, art, and conference attendance.
New Coingecko Report Counts 119 Nations Where Digital Assets Are Legal vs 22 Bans Globally
A new research analysis from CoinGecko has estimated the legal status of cryptocurrency across 166 countries worldwide. The report found that cryptocurrency is currently permitted in 119 countries, representing over half of all jurisdictions surveyed. However, only 62 nations out of the 119 were found to have comprehensive regulatory frameworks in place, indicating a need for further oversight in many locations allowing digital assets.
Separately, 22 countries were identified as banning cryptocurrency altogether. Additional insights included that only El Salvador currently uses Bitcoin as legal tender, while 25 states maintain a neutral stance. The study provides a comprehensive breakdown of global cryptocurrency laws and how the legal landscape and adoption environment varies immensely in different regions and nations.
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