HSBC Whistleblower Falciani to Launch Anti-Fraud Cryptocurrency

If the project is approved by Spanish regulators, 5 million Tabu tokens will be put up for sale.

Famous French whistleblower Hervé Falciani is going to be launching a new cryptocurrency according to a Reuters report published on Friday.
Called Tabu, Falciani hopes that the new token will be picked up by regulatory authorities and used as a means of ensuring money is clean and transactions are not conducted fraudulently.

Falciani says he has 5 million Tabu tokens, worth 2 million Euros ($2.3 million), that will be offered to investors once the National Securities Market Commission, Spain’s financial regulator, gives the project its approval.

The project has managed to raise 1.3 million Euros ($1.47 million) thus far but needs the additional 2 million euros to ensure that it can succeed. Tabu was created by Tactical Whistleblowers, a non-profit organisation which Falciani founded.

Based in Valencia, the organisation includes a number of academics, mostly mathematicians, from the Valencia Polytechnic University in eastern Spain.

Blockchain for government
Alongside his cryptocurrency project, Falciani plans on launching a blockchain system that can be used to authenticate government procurement contracts.
Across the globe, such contracts are regularly used as a means of putting money into the pockets of corrupt government officials and their buddies in the private sector.
The new system will be called ‘Aletheia,’ which, as our classics-loving readers will already now, is a Greek term which translates to ‘disclosure’ in English.

“Fake information is the basis of any kind of fraud,” Falciani told Reuters. “The same way that we have to deal with fake news, the same technology can [be] applied to fake invoices.”

A former computer programmer with HSBC, Falciani shot to fame in 2008 after he leaked a huge spreadsheet containing the names of 130,000 potential tax evaders.
Fearing extradition to Switzerland, where he faces up to five years in prison, he moved to Spain six years. He was arrested in the summer of last year by local authorities but released shortly afterwards, with a Spanish court saying it does not recognise the charges made against him by the Swiss government.

Author: David Kimberley
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US Regulator Suspends Swedish Crypto Products

American regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an immediate suspension order for trading in two Swedish cryptocurrency investment products over the weekend, claiming traders had become confused as to whether the products could be considered as exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

The SEC is opposed to the use of ETFs as a means of investing in cryptocurrencies, and has attempted to ban them altogether from the United States market. A number of companies have been trying to find a way around the regulations, however, as many in the country would like to trade cryptocurrencies in the same way as conventional stocks and shares are bought and sold.

One of the ways was Bitcoin-based ETN (exchange traded note) listed on Nasdaq Stockholm exchange, under the ticker CXBTF, as reported.

However, now, per a statement on the SEC’s website, investors will now be frozen out of trading in XBT Provider AB’s Bitcoin Tracker One CXBTF.PQ CXBTF.PK and Ether Tracker One CETHF.PQ CETHF.PK until September 20 at the earliest.

Although they are not listed on any United States stock exchange, XBT Provider AB’s products are both listed on a Nasdaq-registered exchange in Sweden, and over the counter (OTC) transactions are common in America.

The SEC cited a “lack of current, consistent and accurate information” as its reason for action, and claimed “application materials submitted to enable the offer and sale of these financial products in the United States […] characterize [the products] as ETFs.” The SEC also alleges that “certain trading websites” are currently referring to the products as ETFs.
“During such trading suspension, however, a broker-dealer may engage in activities within the United States solely for the purpose of assisting non-broker-dealer customers with the liquidation of owned positions held as of the date of this order in a transaction (or series of transactions ending with a sale) effected on the Nasdaq Nordic or other trading platform located outside the United States or with non-US persons located outside the United States including the issuer,” the SEC added.

ETNs are close cousins to ETFs (exchange traded funds), but there are some key differences. ETNs are structured products that are issued as senior debt notes, while ETFs represent a stake in an underlying commodity. ETNs are more like bonds in that they are unsecured. ETFs provide investments into a fund that holds the assets it tracks, like stocks, bonds or gold.

Meanwhile, now all eyes are still on the much-discussed VanEck ETF that the SEC is expected to decide on by September 30.

Author: Tim Alper
Image Credit:  iStock/Starcevic