Ontario Man Operated Unlicensed Crypto Exchange

A man has agreed to plead guilty to running an unlicensed company exchanging tens of millions of dollars in bitcoin or cash, a press release from the Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Central District of California stated.

Hugo Sergio Mejia, 49, of Ontario, allegedly operated his virtual currency business from May 2018 to September 2020, according to the release. There, he purported to allow exchanges from bitcoin to cash and vice versa, charging commissions for the transactions. He exchanged around $13 million during the aforementioned period. The company wasn’t licensed with the proper authorities at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

Mejia was found out through meeting with an undercover law enforcement agent, exchanging bitcoin for tens of thousands of dollars in cash, the release stated.

In other news, Hashmasks, a new non-fungible token product, has raised over $10 million from the sale of more than 15,300 collectible cards, according to a report from Cointelegraph.

The owner of Hashmasks No. 1 sold a card named after former President Donald Trump for around 97 Ether, which comes out to about $126,000 at the current Ether price, the report stated. Hashmarks No. 1 was acquired for 0.1 ETH, according to the timetable, signaling that the original collector came away from the deal with a 96,900 percent profit on his original investment.

The Hashmasks are all supposed to be a unique art design, part collectible and part digital art. Cardholders right now don’t know the identities of the Hashmasks they own, and the final reveal is slated for Feb. 11, Cointelegraph reported.

Lastly, Sygnum Bank and Fine Wine Capital have tokenized a number of premium investible wines, according to a press release.

The new tokens will be issued under the new Swiss DLT law, with the first provisions going into effect as of Monday (Feb. 1), the release stated.

High-growth attractive items, such as premium wines, fine art and diamonds are often illiquid and difficult to access, but with Sygnum’s platform, issuers can make their own individual investment properties more easily accessible, easier to afford with fractional ownership, and more ready to trade, according to the release.



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