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Ripple Court Case: SEC’s Failure To Produce External Communication Evidence Could Lead To Monetary Sanctions

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The never-ending legal battle between the U.S. SEC and Ripple has taken a new turn, as Ripple Labs filed a motion that compels the United States Securities and Exchange Commission to produce evidence of internal documents and communication regarding dealings with other cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, and Ripple’s XRP.

The plaintiff, SEC, has been intsructed twice to turn over the evidence but the government body has been adamant and refused to produce the documents despite Judge Netburn’s insistence.

“The Court has ordered the SEC to “search all of the relevant repositories for documents and discovery” for communications between the SEC and external third parties relating to XRP, bitcoin or ether. After the SEC resisted, the Court reaffirmed that “the SEC must produce communications with third-parties, including external agencies and market participants.

“Despite that repeated instruction, the SEC persists in refusing to search an obvious repository for responsive evidence on external communications”, the defendant said.

Ripple’s motion asks the court to order the SEC to search for and produce documents about bitcoin, ether, and XRP from the SEC’s FinHub electronic mailbox, and produce the SEC’s trading policies related to digital assets and virtual currencies no later than June 18, 2021.

Given the SEC’s most recent request to the court – to extend the deadlines for both fact and expert discovery by 60 days – it seems that the SEC is looking to stall the case, Ripple argued.

“The SEC has repeatedly delayed its production while telling Judge Torres that the ordered discovery was “irrelevant and needless,” and asking the Court to extend the discovery deadlines based, inter alia, on the fact that Defendants “have raised a number of concerns regarding the SEC’s review and production of internal documents and communications responsive to Judge Netburn’s April 6, 2021 order.”

“In other words, the SEC cites its own delay as a reason for extending the schedule. The only way to solve this problem is with a strict deadline”, the motion stated.

It should be noted that the Judge can order monetary sanctions against the Securities and Exchange Commission or even dismiss the case altogether should the plaintiff remain uncooperative regarding the ordered discovery. A dismissal, however, is highly unlikely at this stage.

In its request to extend the deadlines, the SEC admits the “defendants do not consent to the SEC’s request because they contend that the SEC had sufficient time to investigate this matter before filing suit and because Ripple wants to move for summary judgment as soon as possible.”

In addition to this SEC’s request, both parties have filed a joint motion to extend the time until June 9, 2021, to meet and confer regarding document redactions and sealing of certain exhibits hoping “to avoid burdening the Court with unnecessary disputes”.

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eNaira

eNaira App Grosses 100,000 Downloads Despite Drops in Rating to 2.0 in 24 Hours

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Barely 24 hours after the eNaira was launched, the eNaira speed wallet application (eNaira App) recorded over 100,000 downloads despite its rating plummeting to 2.0 on Google store as multiple users complained about glitches while using the eNaira app.

Apart from the Google store, the application can be downloaded from the Apple store, however, the number of downloads from this store is unclear as of now.

Users have to download the ‘speed wallet’ to access the eNaira.  Downloading the speed wallet allows users to conduct transactions with speed and ease. It is the digital storage that holds the eNaira and is held and managed on a distributed ledger.

Users however complained of major glitches they experienced while using the app. A user said “Very poor user experience so far. It is a known fact that having an email address wasn’t a mandatory requirement when setting up BVN, now this app wants me to provide my BVN email address.”

Another user said “I am trying to sign up using my bank, but it keeps complaining of my name not matching. Later it says too many attempts have been made for my BVN. You people need to play along with other countries with this crypto matter. At least since I have provided my BVN, the app should be able to access my data automatically. Nigeria has made a great step, but it needs to be improved. Because what is the essence of inputting my BVN and NIN if it can not automatically access my data?

And another user said “Telling me to contact my bank for email validation despite knowing that banks can make life miserable with things like this. In my opinion, it is best if you provide a place where someone can put preferable email on the app because that’s the beauty of using the app not ‘yeye’ old ways of the banking system.

A very big proportion of the complaints seem to be about email addresses and BVN. In a response to one of the email queries, the CBN said “Before you begin, you need a valid and active email address linked to your BVN profile”. The system fetches your BVN-linked email address based on the KYC info. You also need your correct personal information such as your first name and last name, state of origin, and date of birth associated with your BVN details.”

The eNaira speed merchant wallet which is designed for businesses and allows merchants to offer a convenient way to receive money fared better. The app had 10,000 downloads on the Google Playstore and a 2.8 rating.

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eNaira

CBN Releases Document on Roles of Players Regarding eNaira

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Following the launching of eNaira by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the central bank has now published Regulatory Guidelines on eNaira for all stakeholders.

In the document, which was signed by the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation, Chibuzo Efobi, the CBN provided step-by-step guidelines for all eNaira players, the roles of the Central Bank, Financial Institutions, Merchants, Ministries, Departments and Agencies and Customers.

According to the details of the document, the roles of the CBN regarding the eNaira include:

(1)  Managing unresolved eNaira issues and complaints escalated from the Financial Institutions and disputes arising between Financial Institutions.

(2)  Minting, issuing, distributing, redeeming and destroying the eNaira.

(3)  Determining the technical, regulatory, and operational standards for the eNaira.

(4)  Monitoring compliance with applicable regulations.

(5)  Issuing directives and reviewing Guidelines on eNaira periodically as may be required.

 The roles of Financial Institutions include:

(1)  Facilitating eNaira speed wallet onboarding for bank customers (merchants and individuals) including sensitizing them on the need to familiarize themselves with details of their BVN particulars, especially Email addresses.

(2)  Integrating the eNaira speed wallet feature into their electronic banking channels.

(3)  Managing eNaira across its branches.

(4)  Requesting eNaira from CBN for self and on behalf of its customers.

(5)  Developing and/or updating reports and internal frameworks to ensure compliance with KYC and AML/CFT requirements.

(6)  Receiving and resolving customers’ complaints on eNaira (including a prompt update of customers’ BVN particulars in NIBSS.)

(7)  Ensuring that eNaira inquiries and complaints are included in the periodic reports to CBN.

The roles of merchants are:

(1)  Providing cashback services for customers.

(2)  Providing customers with alternative channels for making transactions using eNaira.

(3)  Publicising the option of eNaira payment for transactions at merchant locations.

(4)  Protecting their eNaira speed wallet credentials against fraudulent access.

The roles of Ministries, Departments and Agencies are:

(1)  Receiving revenue in eNaira.

(2)  Making payments in eNaira.

The roles of customers are:

(1)  Utilising eNaira as an alternative payment option for legitimate transactions.

(2)  Creating eNaira speed wallets and funding them.

(3)  Creating eNaira speed wallets and funding them.

(4)  Notifying financial institutions in the event of fraud/complaints/disputes.

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Cryptocurrency

Blockchain Hackers Have Stolen Over $1 Billion in Q3 2021

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Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency hype have gotten a lot of attention in the past years.

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, blockchain hackers have stolen over $1 billion worth of cryptocurrencies in the third quarter of 2021. While blockchain-related hacks and scams continue to rise, the Ethereum ecosystem suffered from the most significant number of hack events and lost the most money during attacks.

The Ethereum ecosystem suffered 20 hack events and lost over $800 million in the third quarter of 2021. One of the most significant hacks was the Poly Network heist, in which the hacker stole $610 million from the cryptocurrency platform.

Next up, cryptocurrency exchanges had 5 hack events in which they lost $114 million. A noteworthy hack happened to a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, Liquid, as cybercriminals took away about $90 million worth of digital coins.

Other types of hacks and scams have accumulated 28 events, throughout them losing $193 million. Such events include attacks against smaller ecosystems or rug pull scams.

Blockchain manipulations

The success of blockchain-related hacks and scams is bringing more and more cybercriminals looking for a quick buck.

A significant increase in blockchain-related hacks happened in 2019 when 133 events were seen. It indicates a 58% percent growth since 2018 when 84 hack events took place.

Through three quarters of 2021, there were more hack events than over the past three years — 146. It signifies a 20% percent increase since last year when 122 hack events and scams were seen.

While comparing more statistics from now and 2020, the Ethereum ecosystem and cryptocurrency exchanges remain the primary targets for hackers.

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