The Blackmoon Crypto platform, which touts itself as the go-to marketplace for Telegram’s forthcoming tokens, is shutting down its business amid tightening regulations and Grams legal battle with the SEC, CEO Oleg Seydak told CoinDesk.
Following on a strict new regulatory regime that is dawning upon European firms handling cryptocurrency, namely AMLD5, Cayman Islands-registered exchange Blackmoon will cease trading and from April 24 will start to convert its native into USDC stablecoins.
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“After in-depth analysis we concluded that running a crypto exchange in compliance with all modern [European Union] regulation including the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive and licensing requirements (that are constantly changing unpredictably and unfavorably) is not competitive to unregulated alternatives that are available in the market at the moment,” Seydak told CoinDesk in an email.
A wave of new regulations is introducing stricter requirements for companies operating in the cryptocurrency industry, in particular measures stemming from EU’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5). Even before the new rules go int effect in January, smaller crypto firms were facing increasingly daunting challenges, with many forced to cease operations.
According to Blackmoon CEO, its support staff will be on hand to provide technical assistance to customers during this period, while the BMC/USDC conversion rate will depend on “the amount of requests and outstanding reserves.”
Gram launch hits a snag
Before its demise, Blackmoon Crypto has been operating as a Fintech blockchain-based company that raised $30 million during its ICO in 2017. The company presents what it calls a one-stop solution for asset managers to create and manage legally compliant tokenized funds.
The holders of the Blackmoon Crypto tokens (BMC tokens) were able to register as “continuous contributors” to the platform and receive a share of all the funds that operate on the platform.
The business, however, wasn’t flourishing as the platform attracted less than 4,000 users. Blackmoon tried to benefit from is its association with Telegram as its Oleg Seydak, a prominent figure in the Russian venture scene is also the CEO of the Swiss custodian Gram Vault.
Riding on the coattails of the popularity of Telegram’s token sale, Blackmoon sweetened its platform as the only marketplace for yet-to-be-launched Grams directly from legitimate investors as soon as the token goes live by the end of April 2020.
Nevertheless, the ambitious plans to sell real grams has suffered a new blow over the last few weeks after a federal judge ruled in favor of the SEC, denying the request by Telegram to allow the messaging giant to distribute its GRAM tokens, at least, to non-US investors.