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Crypto Founder Charged With $700m Financial Crimes

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Authorities have seized cryptocurrency exchange Bitzlato, and detained its co-founder, accusing the business of fostering a “high-tech axis of crypto crime”.

The US Department of Justice charged Anatoly Legkodymov, a Russian national residing in China, with running a firm that catered to what he previously called as “crooks”.

They said Bitzlato handled more than $700 million (£567 million) in unlawful funds, in violation of money-laundering regulations.

In Miami, Mr Legkodymov was apprehended.

“Institutions that trade in cryptocurrency are not above the law and their owners are not beyond our reach,” US Attorney Breon Peace said at a press conference on Wednesday, announcing the arrest.

“As alleged, Bitzlato sold itself to criminals as a no-questions-asked cryptocurrency exchange, and reaped hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of deposits as a result. The defendant is now paying the price for the malign role that his company played in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.”

According to the lawsuit, the Hong Kong-registered exchange has processed over $4.5 billion in cryptocurrency transactions since 2018.

The business demanded little identification from its customers, allowing it to become a “haven for illegal proceeds and funds intended for use in criminal activities,” according to authorities.

They claimed that the business was aware of the problems, citing an internal memo in which Bitzlato was defined as processing “bad money” without following regular customer-vetting processes.

Authorities said the company was intimately associated with Hydra Market, a darknet bazaar for narcotics, money laundering, and stolen financial information that was shut down by international authorities last year.

Bitzlato claimed it did not accept American consumers, but prosecutors said it did “significant” business with Americans.

The operation was carried out in collaboration with law enforcement in France and other nations.

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Biden Moves to Halt US Exports to Huawei, Reports Say

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Huawei Sales Up, But Growth Slows Under Virus, U.S. Pressure

According to reports, the US government has stopped allowing licenses for American corporations to sell most things to Chinese technology giant Huawei.

It comes as the Biden administration continues to tighten restrictions on US technology exports to China.

Huawei has already been accused by Washington of posing a threat to US national security and of collaborating with the Chinese Communist Party.

Both the firm and the Chinese government have refuted the charges on several occasions.

According to the Financial Times, which broke the story first, the US Commerce Department informed certain American corporations that it would no longer give licenses for US technology exports to Huawei.

According to the report, the action comes as Washington works toward a comprehensive prohibition on the sale of US technology to the Chinese telecom equipment behemoth.

“We routinely examine our rules and regulations and communicate regularly with external stakeholders, working closely with our interagency export controls colleagues at the Departments of Energy, Defense, and State,” a US Commerce Department official told the BBC.

“We do not comment on conversations with or deliberations about specific companies,” they added.

Huawei did not respond to the reports.

As political tensions between Washington and Beijing over Taiwan, where the majority of the world’s computer chips are manufactured, the Biden Administration has continued to tighten restrictions on Huawei.

Alan Estevez, the US Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security, stated in October that “the danger landscape is continually evolving.”

“We are appropriately doing all in our ability to preserve our national security and prevent critical military technology from being obtained by the People’s Republic of China’s military, intelligence, and security agencies,” he said.

Huawei, located in Shenzhen, has battled US export restrictions on high-speed fifth generation (5G) telecommunications equipment and artificial intelligence technologies for several years.

During Donald Trump’s administration, US officials added the corporation to a so-called “entity list” in 2019.

It implies that US corporations must get a government license before exporting or transferring certain technology, especially if they are concerned that they may be utilized by the Chinese military.

However, during that period, certain US businesses, like Intel and Qualcomm, were granted licenses to provide Huawei with technology unrelated to 5G.

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Netflix Sets Date To Stop Passwords Sharing

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Netflix Sets Date To Stop Passwords Sharing

Netflix has announced its plans to start cracking down on subscribers who share their passwords by the end of March 2023.

Back in October, the streaming giant said it would begin charging subscribers who share their accounts but did not give a specific date or information for when the new policy would be enacted.

Netflix shared during their shareholders’ meetings last week that they recognise this is a drastic change for members who share their subscriptions with others.

There are also plans to make password sharing a bit complicated for users and might include an additional fee.

It said on its website that the company uses “a person’s geographic location, IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity from devices signed into the Netflix account” to determine which devices are in the same household.

The company told investors last week that it would roll out more stringent sharing rules by the end of March. More than a hundred million households currently share Netflix passwords, the service said.

The company said that “undermines our long-term ability to invest in and improve Netflix.”

It added, “As we roll out paid sharing, members in many countries will also have the option to pay extra if they want to share Netflix with people they do not live with. As is the case today, all members will be able to watch while travelling, whether on a TV or mobile device,’’ the company said.”

However, Netflix assured shareholders that, despite the recent changes, engagement will grow “over time as we continue to deliver a great slate of programming and borrowers sign-up for their own accounts.”

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Nigeria’s New Debit Card Will Impact Payments – Omoniyi Kolade

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