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Crypto Moves — Bitcoin and Ethereum fall; Dutch detain suspected Tornado Cash developer

RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded lower on Sunday, falling by 0.72 percent to $24,566.39 as of 7:59 a.m. Riyadh time.

Ethereum, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $1,990.18 falling by 0.17 percent, according to data from Coindesk.

Dutch detain suspected Tornado Cash developer

Dutch authorities on Friday said a 29-year-old man had been arrested for his alleged role in developing Tornado Cash, a crypto mixing service that the US put on its sanctions list earlier this week, Reuters reported.

On Monday, US sanctions were announced following allegations that Tornado Cash was helping North Korean hackers conceal billions in capital flows.

The online service conceals the origin and destination of digital payments by mixing cryptocurrencies.

The US Treasury identified Tornado Cash as one of the largest crypto blenders as problematic.

In 2019, Tornado was suspected of laundering more than $7 billion worth of virtual currency, according to the Dutch public prosecutor’s office for serious fraud, environmental crimes, and asset confiscation.

According to the Fiscal Information and Investigation Service, also known as FIOD, the man was arrested in Amsterdam on Wednesday. He is suspected of helping facilitate criminal activity, including the theft of funds by a group linked to North Korea.

A criminal investigation into Tornado Cash was launched by the Financial Advanced Cyber Team of the FIOD in June, according to the statement. Tornado Cash had been used to conceal large-scale criminal money flows, including cryptocurrency thefts.

Prosecutors have not ruled out further arrests.

As a result of Monday’s move, all crypto mixer assets in the US were frozen and Americans are generally prohibited from dealing with it.

Credit cards will end in Brazil, says central bank chief

Despite the growth of the open financial system, Brazil’s central bank chief Roberto Campos Neto said on Friday that credit cards will cease to exist soon, according to Reuters.

Since 2021, open finance has been implemented in phases by the central bank.

During an event about cryptocurrencies, Campos Neto said that users would be able to control their entire finances from a single app, rather than having to use multiple banks’ apps.

By using the Pix instant payment system, users will be able to choose between debit or credit payments, allowing them to manage their cash accordingly.

“I think that credit cards will cease to exist at some point soon,” said Campos Neto, noting that banks have already started offering credit through Pix.

Pix was launched by policymakers in 2020 and has already surpassed credit and debit card transactions in Brazil, allowing real-time transfers and payments.

Pix could expand first to Latin America, according to Campos Neto. Canada has also expressed interest in the system, he said.

Despite his opposition to heavy regulation of crypto assets, Campos Neto stressed his concerns about custody concentration, as four companies currently hold 80 percent of crypto assets.

The Brazilian central bank chief said that regulators want to ensure that cryptocurrencies are traded, created, and transacted transparently.

(With inputs from Reuters)