The top news in the last 24 hours are shown below:

Binance-Backed OTC Firm Releases Anti-Money Laundering Compliance-as-a-Service Product

Binance-backed over-the-counter (OTC) desk Koi Trading has partnered with IdentityMind, a platform for online risk management, to develop an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance-as-a-service product. The development was announced in a press release published on March 12.

IBM Makes Quiet Entry into the Crypto Custody Space

A New York investment firm, Shuttle Holdings announced that they would launch the beta version of a custody solution for digital assets built on IBM’s private cloud and encryption technologies, later this month.

Legendary Investor Marc Faber Buys His First Bitcoin

Marc Faber, one of the world’s most revered investors, has admitted he has bought his first bitcoin, after rolling back somewhat on his initial skepticism. He has now acquired his first bitcoin stake which he revealed in a conversation with Swiss-German financial news website “Cash”. After being a long-time skeptic of the new financial technology, he said he had decided he was ready to give it a try.

Auscoin Exchange Suspended After Arrest of Sam Karagiozis

27-year-old Sam Karagiozis has been named as the individual arrested on March 7 following raids carried out by the Australian Transactions Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and Australian Federal Police. The arrest resulted in the suspension of the licenses of two cryptocurrency exchanges that Karagiozis is involved with including his controversial nationwide cryptocurrency ATM network, Auscoin.

Mexico’s Central Bank Publishes ‘Catch-22’ Rules Impacting Crypto Exchanges

The central bank of Mexico has published rules on crypto assets that put crypto exchanges in “a catch-22 type of situation,” the CEO of a local exchange explained to news.Bitcoin.com. They “essentially stipulated that they wouldn’t authorize any cryptocurrency to be offered by regulated financial companies.”

Xena Launches Leveraged Contract for Yet to Be Released Telegram Token

The Telegram token (gram) has started trading as a perpetual contract on London-based Xena Exchange. On Mar. 12, the crypto exchange launched a derivative contract for gram, with up to 100x leverage. The Xena-listed perpetual contracts are publicly tradable and are intended to provide liquidity for the gram token ahead of its release later this year.

Survey: 70% of Cryptocurrency Owners Rarely Use Crypto for Payments

A recent study has found that the majority of cryptocurrency owners rarely use it for making payments. One somewhat unexpected reason postulated for this is that some people are still nervous about making cryptocurrency transactions.

US Sanctions Moscow-based Bank Accused of Financing Venezuela’s Controversial Petro

The United States Treasury Department has added Moscow-based bank Evrofinance Mosnarbank to its sanctions list, alleging it was the “primary international financial institution willing to finance” Venezuela’s controversial national oil-backed cryptocurrency, Petro (PTR). The news was announced in an official Treasury press release published on March 11.

“When the failed Venezuelan cryptocurrency, called the Petro, launched in 2018, Evrofinance emerged as the primary international financial institution willing to finance the Petro. Early investors in the Petro were invited to buy the cryptocurrency by wiring funds to a Venezuelan government account at Evrofinance.”

Trezor Responds to Ledger Report on Vulnerabilities in Its Hardware Wallets

Trezor claims that none of the weaknesses revealed by Ledger in a detailed report on March 10, are critical for hardware wallets. As per Trezor, none of them can be exploited remotely, as the attacks described require “physical access to the device, specialized equipment, time, and technical expertise.”

Major UK Energy Company Acquires Stake in Blockchain Firm Electron

Kaluza — an intelligent grid technology company that provides software and hardware products to the energy sector has reportedly invested Electron, a London-based energy tech company that uses blockchain technology. The move aims to facilitate the Electron’s deployment of distributed energy trading platforms.

Report: Thai SEC Approves Country’s First ICO Portal

The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) board of directors has reportedly authorized the first ICO portal that allows to screen ICOs, perform due diligence, confirm smart contract source codes and conduct Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures. The operator of the ICO portal is reportedly a foreign entity.

Digital Currency Wallet Abra Adds Direct Support for ETH Instead of as Asset Derivative

Users will now be able to receive, hold, sell and buy ETH directly from the Abra wallet, as well as use the altcoin as an on-ramp to invest in other Abra-listed crypto and fiat currencies — over 30 crypto assets and 50 fiat currencies.

The growth of Crypto Industry Could Threaten Banks, Financial Stability: Basel Committee

In a statement released by the BCBS committee, they warned that the robust growth of the crypto industry could potentially “raise financial stability concerns and increase risks faced by banks.” The committee noted the risks were present despite the crypto market’s currently small scale to the scope of the global financial system.

Coinbase Links User Accounts on Its Main Platform to Its Wallet App

Cryptocurrency exchange and wallet service Coinbase has introduced a service to link users’ accounts on its main platform to its Coinbase Wallet app, according to an announcement on March 12. According to the company, Coinbase Wallet is slightly different from the main app, referred to as Coinbase.com. With the latter, a customer’s cryptocurrencies and private keys are stored by Coinbase. With Coinbase Wallet, users store their crypto protected by their unique private keys.

BitMEX Research Finds ‘Potential Bug’ in Syncing of Ethereum Parity Full Node

The alleged bug was discovered while analyzing data from Nodestats.org — BitMEX Research’s new website designed to collect critical metrics on Ethereum nodes. In the same blog post, the exchange also announced the launch of Nodestats today, which it created in collaboration with TokenAnalyst.

Digital Currency Group, Polychain Back UK Crypto Futures Exchange Coinflex

Physically delivered crypto futures exchange Coinflex has attracted two more high-profile crypto investors, Digital Currency Group and Polychain Capital, the exchange tweeted on March 12. The new investors have joined Coinflex’s investor consortium, which includes significant market making and venture capital names such as Dragonfly Capital Partners, Trading Technologies and Roger Ver.

Nasdaq Licences Its Market Surveillance Tech to Crypto Startup Bcause

United States-based crypto startup Bcause LLC will use Nasdaq’s trading, clearing, and market surveillance technology, Nasdaq announced in a press release today, March 13. According to the announcement, Bcause will use the tech for its spot cryptocurrency market, set to launch via Nasdaq’s Financial Framework platform in the first half of 2019. Paul McKeown, senior vice president and Head of Marketplace Operators & New Markets at Nasdaq, further added:

“By leveraging the Nasdaq Financial Framework, Bcause will have the scalability and modular functionality to introduce new micro-services and expand its business offerings to meet industry demands and the evolution of the digital assets economy.”

Decentralization First: Privacy Coin Monero Cuts Out ASIC Miners to Stay Independent

On March 9, Monero (XMR) network was successfully upgraded via a hard fork. The new code curbed application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC)-powered mining with a new proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm. Additionally, the new dynamic block size algorithm and improved privacy — which is considered to be Monero’s key feature — were introduced.