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Walmart Files Several Crypto, NFT and VR Gaming Patents

Niche Gamer | Michael Valverde | January 18

Walmart files crypto and NFT patents - Walmart Files Several Crypto, NFT and VR Gaming PatentsSeven recent patent filings suggest retail giant Walmart is embracing crypto, NFTs, and more as they’re entering the Metaverse with a new business venture that incorporates VR gaming, cryptocurrency, and NFTs.

These trademarks were filed to the US Patent and Trademark Office on December 30, 2021, outlining several potential applications that Walmart can pursue that incorporates the growing (and controversial) world of Web 3.0.

One patent describes “downloadable e-commerce software” that would allow users to “perform electronic business transactions” by providing them with a “virtual marketplace” that accepts “digital currency, crypto currency, and virtual currency.”

See:  Walmart to launch fintech startup with partner Ribbit Capital

An example of this potential marketplace went viral earlier this month, when a video created by Mutual Mobile for SXSW 2017 resurfaced on Twitter. This video showcased a tech demo of a virtual Walmart shopping experience using Oculus virtual reality technology.

Instead of the traditional e-commerce experience that involves clicking on a picture of an object to add it to a cart, this video shows how the user can manipulate specific products as physics objects placed inside a virtual representation of a real shopping cart, with FMV-style cutscenes of workers providing unsolicited feedback and other shoppers crowding the aisle. Bafflingly, this video also implies that removing items from your cart requires you to place them back in their original location on the store’s shelves.

Another patent application filed by Walmart’s parent company focuses on “financial services, namely, providing a virtual currency for use by members of an online community” that includes both “exchange” and “issuance” of “virtual currency in the field of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).”

Also see:  Amazon, Walmart, the Secret Battle for FinTech Supremacy: Part II

This implies that Walmart’s proposed platform would allow them to mint their own NFTs for trade while also facilitating the exchange of other NFTs through an integrated wallet. Based on the tech demo, these NFTs would likely be found on the gift card rack and would require you to physically scratch off the foil with a Walmart Coin to redeem it.

The fact that the aforementioned tech demo was created four years prior to the trademark filing indicates that this is not an impulsive decision made by a company that’s worth nearly $400 billion. Instead, this appears to be the next step in a longer plan to carve out space in the still very theoretical concept of the Metaverse.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Walmart Files Several Crypto, NFT and VR Gaming Patents The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Financial Health Network: Employer FinHealth Toolkit

Financial Health Network | Jan 20, 2022

financial health network - Financial Health Network:  Employer FinHealth Toolkit

Why Invest in Employee Financial Health?

Now more than ever, employees at all income levels are struggling with their finances, especially those with low to moderate incomes. When people worry about their finances, they struggle to stay focused and productive at work. What’s more, employees have come to expect that their employers will provide wages and benefits that support their financial health.

See:  Financial Health Network Report: Financial Data – The Consumer Perspective

Investing in the financial health of your workforce can create a win-win for your employees and your business. But beyond being a smart thing to do, many companies recognize that investing in employee wellbeing is the right thing to do. Caring for the financial health of your workforce shows that you value your employees and the contributions they make to your company’s success.

Diagnose Needs

Employee needs are diverse. One-size-fits-all financial health solutions can result in low uptake and limited impact, because they don’t address the needs of the employees who could benefit most. Before designing solutions, take the time to understand your employees’ needs and prioritize the most acute challenges.

Identify Solutions

To find the right solutions for your employees’ most pressing financial needs, begin by looking for gaps that could be addressed with enhancements to existing programs or new solutions.

See:  How Employers and Leaders Can Help With Our Mental Health Crisis

Design for Engagement

For many employers, encouraging employees to use their benefits optimally is an age-old challenge. Use these strategies to promote engagement with your financial health programs.

Measure Impact

You’ve begun diagnosing your employees’ needs, rolling out solutions to meet those needs, and designing your program to maximize engagement. Now how do you know if it’s working? A robust approach to measuring impact of your programs is a critical component of an effective employee financial health strategy.

Continue to the full resource --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Financial Health Network:  Employer FinHealth Toolkit The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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PBOC White Paper: e-CNY’s Path to Cross-Border Payments

CloudTree Ventures | Winston Ma | Jan 19, 2022

E CNY Cross border global payments - PBOC White Paper: e-CNY’s Path to Cross-Border Payments

Today, China and the United States are competing and growing their technological capabilities in a wide array of sectors. The cutting-edge area of America and China’s technological war that’s been heating up recently is around who will dominate the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.

Although China has cracked down on cryptocurrencies, shutting down all domestic crypto exchanges and banning all ICOs, blockchain technology itself is recognized as a revolutionary development by the government. In a speech October 2019 speech, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared blockchain would play “an important role in the next round of technological innovation and industrial transformation.” That marked the first major world leader to issue such a strong endorsement of the widely hyped – but still unproven – distributed ledger technology (DLT). (By contrast, most governments in the West have been far more cautious.)

See:  The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Central Bank Digital Coins (CBDCs)

Calling for blockchain to become a focus of national innovation, President Xi’s speech detailed the ways the Chinese government would support blockchain research, development, and standardization. China’s leadership position in the global competition of central bank digital currency (CBDC) is the prime example.

In April 2020, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), China’s central bank unveiled the world’s first sovereign digital currency that is based on blockchain-like technology. (PBOC has started research and development for a digital version of the yuan, known as e-CNY, since 2014.) Since then, China has been steadily expanding its digital yuan pilot programs while also cracking down on cryptocurrencies. In July 2021, the PBOC issued a white paper detailing the current workings of the digital yuan, also referred to as the e-CNY, which is the first comprehensive disclosure of its plans.

The release of the white paper probably marks the near end of the testing phase, and the official launch may occur soon at the Winter Olympics in Beijing next year. As such, China is likely to be the first major economy to introduce a sovereign digital currency.

The rapid development of the e-CNY is only an inevitable result of China's robust digital economy. Even before the digital economy, mobile pay has grown rapidly in the last several years to become the dominant form of payment in China. Since 2020, China has been steadily expanding its digital yuan pilot programmes, given the country's rapid development of internet industries such as e-commerce and social network platforms that provide a myriad of application scenarios.

See:  CBDCs 2022: China first-mover advantage

The digital yuan wallet supports several functions, including scan to pay, top-ups and money transfers. According to the white paper, as of June 2021, participants have spent 34.5 billion digital yuan ($5.3 billion) in trials. Uses include paying utility, dining, transportation, shopping, and government services. The new digit yuan would allow users to spend it even without an internet connection, and it will bring convenience to foreigners, too.

“Foreign residents temporarily traveling in China can open an e-CNY wallet to meet daily payment needs without opening a domestic bank account,” said the white paper.

That means even foreigners traveling in China can have access to the digital yuan without a domestic bank account. This is a particular benefit given the difficulties that foreigners have had using mobile payment apps like WeChat Pay (of Tencent) and AliPay (of Alibaba), because those apps must be linked to banking accounts.

Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that in its white paper, the PBOC cited the rapid growth in cryptocurrencies as a driver for research and development of the e-CNY and said that "cryptocurrencies are mostly speculative instruments, and therefore pose potential risks to financial security and social stability". This is the first time that the PBOC, in an official document, linked its sovereign digital currency issuance with cryptocurrencies’ potential challenges to the international monetary system.

According to the PBOC, “cryptocurrencies' lack of intrinsic value, acute price fluctuations, low trading efficiencies and huge energy consumption make them unfit for use in daily economic activities”.

See:  China catches fraudsters using central bank digital currency for money laundering

Of course, the profound impact of e-CNY is likely to be more than China’s retail markets. Many believe the e-CNY will bolster Chinese currency's global status and eventually challenge the US Dollar’s preeminent position as the world’s reserve currency. For example, the e-Yuan could bypass western-operated cross-border payment networks, such as Swift, which the US has used to enforce sanctions.

But it’s likely a long march for the e-CNY.

“Though technically ready for cross-border use, e-CNY is still designed mainly for domestic retail payments at present.” the paper reads. For the e-CNY, its real test only starts after its official launch.

Authored by:

Winston Ma - PBOC White Paper: e-CNY’s Path to Cross-Border PaymentsWinston Ma, CFA & Esq. (@Winston_W_Ma), is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of CloudTree Ventures and an adjunct professor at the NYU School of Law. He is the former managing director and head of the North America office at China Investment Corporation (CIC), and author of Investing in ChinaChina's Mobile EconomyThe Hunt for Unicorns, and The Digital War.

 


NCFA Fintech Confidential Issue 4 250 - PBOC White Paper: e-CNY’s Path to Cross-Border Payments

This article is featured in NCFA's digital magazine, Fintech Confidential (Issue 4). Click to read the latest thought leadership, insights and trends about Fintech in Canada:

Checkout NCFA's digital magazine, Fintech Confidential (Issue 4) --> here

 

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - PBOC White Paper: e-CNY’s Path to Cross-Border Payments The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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UK Equity Crowdfunding Platform Seedrs Achieved Record Funding Levels in 2021

Crowdfund Insider | | Jan 12, 2022

Seedrs office - UK Equity Crowdfunding Platform Seedrs Achieved Record Funding Levels in 2021Seedrs, a leading UK-based securities crowdfunding platform that is merging with Republic, has provided a retrospective of 2021 performance.

According to Seedrs, 2021 was a year that delivered record-level funding. The top-line numbers are as follows:

  • £696 million invested into securities offerings
  • 310 funded deals
  • 102 securities offerings of over £1 million
  • A 90% funding success rate
  • 12 portfolio companies delivered profitable company-level exits in 2021.

See:  $100M Crowdfunding Deal: Republic acquires the UK’s Seedrs for European expansion

The largest private offerings listed on Seedrs include:

  • Lick – £15 million – most funded
  • Ziglu – £7.326 million or 724% as the highest percentage funded
  • Chapel Down – £6.95 million involving 4172 investors – the most investors of any securities offering

Seedrs not only facilitates capital formation in the UK but is active in continental Europe having funded 33 EU businesses during 2021. Investors harken from 74 different countries.

A key feature of the Seedrs platform is its successful secondary market – a service that has been years in the making as private securities trading is a challenging task. Seedrs reports that during 2021 trading increased by 60% versus 2020 with £8 million in securities traded.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - UK Equity Crowdfunding Platform Seedrs Achieved Record Funding Levels in 2021 The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Binance CEO’s net worth make him (at least) the world’s 11th richest person currently

Fortune | Grady McGregor | Jan 10, 2022

CZ binance wealth - Binance CEO’s net worth make him (at least) the world’s 11th richest person currentlyNew estimates claim the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, Changpeng Zhao, is the world’s richest crypto billionaire, with a net worth rivaling the sums amassed by tech billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg.

On Monday, Bloomberg calculated that Zhao’s net worth is $96 billion, which would make him the 11th richest person in the world. On the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Zhao, known as “CZ” in crypto circles, is now sandwiched between No. 12, Mukesh Ambani, CEO of Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries, and No. 10, Larry Ellison, cofounder of Oracle, who’s worth an estimated $107 billion.

See: 

Binance hires ex-regulators and incorporates in Alberta to charter compliance course in Canada

OSC to Binance Investors ‘Not So Fast’: Binance Canada Receives License to Operate as Money Service Business

Bloomberg says its estimate is based on Zhao’s stake in Binance, reporting that the exchange generated upwards of $20 billion in revenue in 2021 and that Zhao owns 90% of Binance’s shares, according to a review of the firm’s regulatory filings.

Zhao’s net worth may be even higher than $96 billion since Bloomberg did not account for Zhao’s personal holdings of Bitcoin and Binance Coin, the cryptocurrency issued by Binance. Factoring in Zhao’s personal crypto holdings would likely give him a fortune on par with that of Bill Gates, the world’s fourth richest person with a $135 billion net worth, and Zuckerberg, the world’s fifth richest with $124 billion.

Zhao has not publicly commented on the size of his personal crypto holdings, but he told the Associated Press last November that his personal holdings make up the “majority” of his net worth.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Binance CEO’s net worth make him (at least) the world’s 11th richest person currently The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Binance hires ex-regulators and incorporates in Alberta to charter compliance course in Canada

The Logic via FP | Claire Brownell  | Jan 11, 2022

Exchange the world - Binance hires ex-regulators and incorporates in Alberta to charter compliance course in CanadaBinance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency-trading platform by volume, has registered three new corporate entities in Calgary and hired two senior employees with experience working for Canadian securities regulators as it seeks to comply with the country’s rules.

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency-trading platform by volume, is looking to Canada’s West as it changes course and seeks registration with securities regulators after announcing in June its high-profile exit from Ontario amidst a crackdown. The company has made two high-level hires with experience working at Canadian securities regulators and has seven active job postings in Canada, including one for a junior regulatory analyst and another for fraud and risk operations.

See:  OSC to Binance Investors ‘Not So Fast’: Binance Canada Receives License to Operate as Money Service Business

Lawrence Truong, former chief compliance officer of Toronto-based cryptocurrency-trading platform Coinsquare and a former regulatory analyst at the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC), is Binance’s new vice-president and general manager of Canada. Darren Gross, now Binance’s compliance director based in Calgary, has worked as enforcement counsel at the ASC as well as at the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).

By incorporating in Alberta, Binance has two options, Burgoyne said—seeking full registration as a securities dealer directly through IIROC, or going through the ASC for permission to operate as a restricted dealer first while it seeks full registration. Had it incorporated in Ontario, Binance would have had to deal with the OSC as its principal contact for registration.

“Maybe there’s a perception that Alberta might be a more receptive province to be regulated by versus Ontario,” Burgoyne said.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Binance hires ex-regulators and incorporates in Alberta to charter compliance course in Canada The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Last year, illicit crypto addresses received all-time-high $14 billion but that was only 0.15% of total volume

ChainAnalysis | Jan 6, 2022

Crypto scams - Last year, illicit crypto addresses received all-time-high $14 billion but that was only 0.15% of total volumeCryptocurrency-based crime hit a new all-time high in 2021, with illicit addresses receiving $14 billion over the course of the year, up from $7.8 billion in 2020.  BUT those numbers don’t tell the full story.

Cryptocurrency usage is growing faster than ever before. Across all cryptocurrencies tracked by Chainalysis, total transaction volume grew to $15.8 trillion in 2021, up 567% from 2020’s totals. Given that roaring adoption, it’s no surprise that more cybercriminals are using cryptocurrency. But the fact that the increase was just 79% — nearly an order of magnitude lower than overall adoption — might be the biggest surprise of all.

In fact, with the growth of legitimate cryptocurrency usage far outpacing the growth of criminal usage, illicit activity’s share of cryptocurrency transaction volume has never been lower.

See:  NASAA: Crypto scams are the leading threat to investors in 2022

Transactions involving illicit addresses represented just 0.15% of cryptocurrency transaction volume in 2021 despite the raw value of illicit transaction volume reaching its highest level ever.

However, we also have to balance the positives of the growth of legal cryptocurrency usage with the understanding that $14 billion worth of illicit activity represents a significant problem. Criminal abuse of cryptocurrency creates huge impediments for continued adoption, heightens the likelihood of restrictions being imposed by governments, and worst of all victimizes innocent people around the world.

DeFi’s rise leads to new opportunities in crypto crime

In 2020, just under $162 million worth of cryptocurrency was stolen from DeFi platforms, which was 31% of the year’s total amount stolen. That alone represented a 335% increase over the total stolen from DeFi platforms in 2019. In 2021, that figure rose another 1,330%.

percentage of ilicit funds received by service type - Last year, illicit crypto addresses received all-time-high $14 billion but that was only 0.15% of total volume

See:  Blockchain Vulnerabilities, Forensics And Legal Challenges

We’ve also seen significant growth in the usage of DeFi protocols for laundering illicit funds, a practice we saw scattered examples of in 2020 and that became more prevalent in 2021. Check out the graph below, which looks at the growth in illicit funds received by different types of services in 2021 compared to 2020.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Last year, illicit crypto addresses received all-time-high $14 billion but that was only 0.15% of total volume The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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