Crypto exchanges holding large amounts of Bitcoin saw a significant increase in their reserves. Coinbase, for example, holds 1 million Bitcoin worth $8.4 billion.
Although several hacks took place in 2019, crypto users are still holding huge amounts of digital assets.
In a recent report, Chainalysis has indicated that crypto hackers became smarter. “2019 saw more cryptocurrency hacks than any other year. But of the 11 attacks that occurred this year, none of them came close to matching the scale of major heists such as ’s $534 million Coincheck hack.”
In 2019, the crypto firms lost nearly $283 million due to malicious hacks.
Huobi took the second position with 462,000 Bitcoin worth $3.8 billion and 1.8 million Ethereum. Meanwhile, Binance ranked third with approx. 307,000 Bitcoin and 2.6 million Ethereum. It was followed by Bitfinex with 290,000 Bitcoin, then Bitmex with 274,000 Bitcoin, Bitstamp (242,000 Bitcoin).
There are other companies that hold huge digital assets such as Bitflyer and Gate.io.
It is worth mentioning that, with the rapid spread of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in all fields, the need for regulation is an ever-increasing necessity. However current regulation efforts may present too much of a constraint that may hinder growth for the still new sector.
The EU 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5ALMD) came into effect on January 10. The new law, which was first introduced on July 9, 2018, is considered as an effort to bring increased transparency to financial transactions for pushing back against money laundering and terrorist financing across Europe.
The 5ALMD will give European financial regulators increased access to information via centralized bank account registers. According to a 5ALMD fact sheet, it will also tackle terrorist financing risks linked to anonymous use of virtual currencies.
However, crypto companies in the EU are struggling to meet the guidelines set by the new law. Cryptocurrency firms are to register with local authorities and obtain information about the source of funds from their users. Extensive practices like know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) are encouraging a number of firms to shut down their operations in the EU and move overseas.