Benjamin Lawsky is leaving New York’s Department of Financial Service, five banks to pay US$5.6 billion fine for rigging markets, and more top stories for May 21.

Benjamin Lawsky exits NYDFS, plans to launch consultancy firm

New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky is in the middle of a career switch. He is leaving his role at the NY Department of Financial Services to set up his own consulting firm, which will advise financial institutions on technology, cyber security and virtual currency, as well as help them overcome some of the legal obstacles he helped put in place.

As the superintendent of the NYDFS, Lawsky is the architect of the proposed BitLicense, the state’s official regulatory guidelines governing digital money transmitters.

Lawsky said in a statement:

“We have assembled a great team at NYDFS and I have full confidence that the critical work of this agency will continue seamlessly moving forward.”

Benjamin Lawsky

5 Banks to pay $5.6 Billion for Manipulating Markets

The US Department of Justice has indicated that five global banks including Citi, J.P. Morgan, Barclays, and RBS are expected to plead guilty to criminal charges of conspiring to manipulate the FX market.

The banks will pay a combined sum of US$5.6 billion as the penalty for colluding to move foreign currency rates in directions to benefit themselves.

UK gets new BTC exchange: CryptoMate

A new exchange has opened up in the UK. CryptoMate has promised to provide a fast, secure and easy way to buy and sell bitcoin in the country.

The exchange will accept money transfers from traditional bank accounts within the UK. However, in the future, the startup plans to engage foreign financial institutions so as to allow buyers and sellers from around the world to use its services.

 “CryptoMate is an easy to use platform that allows British users to purchase cryptocurrency via instant bank transfer. The service was launched to help bridge the gap between GBP and cryptocurrency exchange within the UK, and to make the most popular digital currencies available to almost anyone with a bank account.”

Augur explains its Decentralized Prediction Market in new video

Augur, the decentralized prediction market, has released a promotion video to explain how the platform works. Country Music singer Shooter Jennings provides the narration in the video.

Augur uses the blockchain’s Proof of Work to take away the possibility of mistakes and outright manipulation in the prediction market. It, therefore, ensures a fair rewarding of participants whose predictions are correct.

Augur in a statement accompanying the video release said:

“We needed a short video to convey how Augur works while also simplifying the complicated nature of a decentralized prediction market. We have created that video and are happy to share it with everyone.”

Dash has announced a push into Russia

Dash, formally known as Darkcoin, has announced its push into Russia. In line with this mission, Dash has translated its website, videos, Wiki, forums and social media into Russian and has indicated that this is a prelude to an even bigger push into China.

Recently, Russia’s Bitcoin community won a court battle with the unblocking of seven crypto-related websites after regulators shut them down in January.

In a statement to Cointelegraph, Dash said of the legal concerns:

“Of course, nobody knows what the future will hold, but in the meantime we want to keep working and share what we are doing to raise awareness about Dash in Russia. We expect that these measures will bring many new Russian dashers to the community.”

New Bitcoin NFC Android Mobile Wallet Unveiled

BitNFC is an open source Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled Bitcoin wallet for Android devices. It makes it easy to transfer funds by a simple swipe of your device. The developers of this app have promised to have an iOS version available when Apple will allow the use of the API publicly.

The mobile wallet will be used with an NFC tag, a microchip designed in button like shapes. The phone will be able to write data to the tag, enabling the signing of BTC transactions.

Coinapult Finds Solution to Crypto Regulation and Reopens Services to US

Coinapult has partnered with the regulated financial services provider Crypto Capital to service the U.S market. This arrangement will enable the exchange and brokerage firm to meet financial regulations as it outsources its anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) duties to Crypto Capital.

“Coinapult will no longer request know-your-customer (KYC) documentation. This allows anyone to utilize Coinapult's pricing services and API without restriction. Crypto Capital will be performing KYC for customers who want to deposit or withdraw fiat currencies. Additionally, limits on account volumes have been lifted.”

Coinapult Finds Solution to Crypto Regulation and Reopens Services to US

Elliptic Teams Up with Gem to ‘Decentralize’ Private Key Storage for Multisig Wallets

Elliptic has announced a partnership with Bitcoin API developer Gem, where the former will act as an independent third party and ensure the storage of clients' third private key in Gem's multi-signature wallet API.

In this arrangement, the two companies are looking to set "a new level of security standard.”

The official statement reads: 

"Distributing private keys across two trusted parties, and the addition of Elliptic’s insurance cover, provide clients with a higher level of security than can be achieved through a single multi-signature provider."

Elliptic Teams Up with Gem to ‘Decentralize’ Private Key Storage for Multisig Wallets