The authorities in Ukraine and the United States have jointly shut down nine crypto exchanges that were allegedly being used to launder the proceeds of ransomware attacks and other fraudulent activities. The Ukrainian cyberpolice, Main Investigative Department and Prosecutor General’s Office were supported by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in a cross-border action to disrupt a network of platforms that facilitated anonymous cryptocurrency exchange. The services provided by a number of the exchanges were advertised on hacker forums and were used to convert ill-gotten gains from malware attacks and other frauds into legitimate digital assets.
The servers used to host the Ukrainian-based exchanges were spread across a number of countries in Europe and the US. The police and FBI action is said to have involved the seizure of the exchanges’ infrastructure and the identification of everyone thought to have been involved in criminal activities. Websites previously hosting the exchanges now carry a message explaining that the domains have been seized by the authorities.
Ukrainian law enforcement has been working to build its expertise in cryptocurrency affairs in recent months. Representatives of the Cyberpolice, Asset Recovery and Management Agency and Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) took part in training classes organised by Binance earlier in the year. In November 2022, an alleged cryptocurrency fraud worth more than $200m per annum was dismantled and a $40m Russian cryptocurrency pyramid was taken down in April.
The shares of Tesla fell in after-hours trading on Wednesday after the firm revealed that its third-quarter profits were lower than analysts had expected, despite a 68% year-on-year increase. The firm made $1.62 a share in earnings, trailing estimates of $1.88 a share. However, revenues rose by 39% to reach $10.7bn for the period. The company, which has been stung by supply shortages during the pandemic, sold 237,823 vehicles in Q3, beating expectations but down on the 201,250 sold in the previous quarter. Tesla has faced production challenges caused by the global demand for chips, and its CEO Elon Musk revealed that the company has suspended its full self-driving subscription service.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US has given the green light to a new rule governing vehicle repairs, requiring manufacturers to provide independent garages and consumers with the necessary information, tools and equipment to fix their vehicles themselves. Proponents of the new guidelines say that manufacturers have employed electronic means to secure access to parts and systems, and requiring consumers to use only authorised dealers has led to an increase in repair fees. The new regulations will come into effect from the end of December.
Vanguard has said that it plans to limit the number of shares customers can trade through its popular Health Care Fund. The move comes after hedge funds, including GameStop and AMC, drove up the value of a range of stocks earlier this year through intense bouts of trading. Vanguard has said it will undertake a 10-for-1 share split to reduce the price of the fund, but this will not have any effect on trading. Vanguard said that the move was aimed at improving the experience of retail investors, many of whom were locked out of trading during the market turbulence created by the hedge funds.