Bitcoin Regulations: SEC and CFTC Cryptocurrency Hearings ...
Bitcoin Regulations: SEC and CFTC Cryptocurrency Hearings ...
CFTC Charges Crypto Futures Provider for Violating ...
Canadian Regulators: Bitcoin Exchanges Are Not Money ...
Canada Bitcoin Regulation CryptoCoins Info Club
Regulating Bitcoins: CFTC vs. SEC? - Finance and Banking ...
The SEC, Canadians.. and Jury Duty
Well well well.. where to start?? maybe the SEC and the Ethereum ICO? A little bit of precedent.. (by Amy Castor, at www.theblockcrypto.com) -In the beginning- If Ethereum had a birthday, that would be in November 2013. That’s when Vitalik Buterin, the creator of the project, emailed a whitepaper to 15 friends, who then disseminated out to their own networks. Two months later, the project had eight co-founders and a growing army of contributing developers and supporters. Instead of raising venture capital money, Ethereum bootstrapped. Co-founders Anthony Di Ioro and Joseph Lubin lent their own money to the project. And then Ethereum held a crowdsale by which it raised money selling ether, which it called a “ cryptofuel ” for its future platform. Ethereum’s crowdsale tokens were only part of a larger premine. Premine refers to the tokens that exist the moment a platform goes live. This contrasts with Bitcoin, where all of the virtual currency has to be mined. Ethereum used some of its premined tokens for compensating its contributors—those who worked on the project in the months leading up to the crowdsale. Although, the “ Terms and Conditions of the Ethereum Genesis Sale ,” refers to those contributors as “volunteers” and their allotment of ether as a “gift.” According to the Howey test, a security is an investment of money in a common enterprise with a reasonable expectation of profits based on the efforts of a third party. Did participants in the Ethereum crowdsale expect the value of ether to skyrocket? Many in the crypto space had already witnessed bitcoin’s run up from its pizza days , when one bitcoin had almost no value, to its first price peak of $1,200 in November 2013, the same month Buterin dispatched his white paper. Morgan Peck, a journalist who was on the ground at Ethereum’s public debut in Miami in late-January 2014, wrote of Ethereum in Backchannel : “I WAS TOLD IT WOULD BLOW BITCOIN OUT OF THE WATER."(1) -The Crowdsale- Before holding a crowdsale, Ethereum had to officially set up shop. On February 28, 2014, the project registered EthSuisse (Ethereum Switzerland Gmbh), a for-profit entity in Zug. After Buterin single-handedly pushed through a decision to make Ethereum a non-profit, the project also set up a foundation ( Stiftung Ethereum ) on July 14, 2014. “ At the beginning of June , I had to fire the two people who no one liked working with. It just so happened that these people were among the main instigators of the for-profit idea. I forced through the non-profit. Some people were unhappy, but oh well,” Buterin told Tank earlier this year. And then on July 22, EthSuisse launched a 42-day crowdsale that ran to September 2. The sale was open to the general public. What’s more, there was no cap on the sale, so you could buy as much ether as your heart desired. The sale was also open to the project’s own employees. If you want to legally sell securities to U.S. citizens, Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933 requires you to register with the SEC or else file an exemption , such as a Regulation D , that allows you to sell only to accredited investors, meaning wealthy folks and institutions. Ethereum did not do either, perhaps because it didn’t view ether as a security. Instead, to avoid running afoul with regulators, Ethereum spent significant resources on lawyers (Pryor Cashman in the U.S. and legal and tax compliance specialist MME in Switzerland) working out the finer details of its crowdsale. As Lubin told the Financial Post last year, before doing that, his thoughts ran more like this: “WE THOUGHT IT WAS POSSIBLE WE WOULD LAND AT JFK ON A CERTAIN DAY AND THE FBI WOULD TACKLE US TO THE TARMAC.” (2) -Are we decentralized yet?- What is ether? Is it a utility token, a commodity, an investment, or some combination? The U.S. Commodity and Futures Exchange (CFTC), has determined that bitcoin is a commodity , but it has fallen short of issuing a clear determination on ether. The CFTC recently issued a request for information to learn more about Ethereum and how it compares to bitcoin. Meanwhile, the SEC has said that it believes current offers and sales of ether are not securities due to the network’s “decentralized structure.” That means that ether would have had to transform from a security to something other than a security at some point in time. “I kind of don’t think this is going to work,” former CFTC chairman, Gary Gensler told a crowd at a blockchain conference at MIT in April. “I don’t think there’s any precedent in the law for a security to transform to be something else.” SEC chairman Jay Clayton explained his view at Consensus Invest last month with an analogy: “Let’s say you’re the producer of a new play and you get 15 people to invest in that play and you say, ‘Your interest in this play is going to be a suite of tickets. You’re giving them tickets in exchange for their interest in the play—those tickets are securities. They’re taking those tickets back, waiting for the profits. It’s like taking 10% of the play. But when the play gets done and everybody has their tickets distributed and all you can exchange the tickets for is going to see the play, that’s decentralized.” UNTIL A JUDGE STEPS IN TO SETTLE THE MATTER AND TAKES A LOOK AT THE ETHEREUM CROWDSALE AND HOW THE NETWORK IS CURRENTLY OPERATED, THE ISSUE IS OPEN TO DEBATE. And Ethereum, along with the thousands of other projects that held ICOs, will have to wait and see to find out with certainly what laws they are supposed to comply with. -June 2018- SEC Official Declares Ether is Not A Security (BY RAKESH SHARMA Jun 14, 2018) Ether is not a security, according to Bill Hinman, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Director of Corporate Finance. “Based on my understanding of the present state of ether, the ethereum network, its decentralized structure, we believe current offers and sales of ether are not securities transactions,” he said at the Yahoo Finance All Market Summit: Crypto. After bitcoin, ether is the second most valuable cryptocurrency in the markets today and is referred to as the “gas” that powers ethereum’s blockchain. -Fast Forward, June 2019- No Judge stepped in to declare "Ether" a "non-security", this wasn't sent to Court; it was the SEC's decision alone to declare ETHER decentralized enough and not a security anymore. Also, no fines??!!! Aaaaaaaand it was their decision to sue "KIK"; the issuer of KIN.. and in the process.. a "JURY TRIAL" was demanded. -BREAK!!! (A word on Canadians) As a U.S.A. citizen, and I dont mind if you want to know or not.. this is how we see Canadians. Not only we share the same values, like the same sports.. to a U.S. citizen ,a Canadian is that sistebrothecousin/aunt/uncle/badass person that we all admire. Canadians are respectful and peaceful.. to put it simple: -Imagine it's the end of world, you have a Canadian by your side.. and that Canadian says "don't worry, it's gonna be ok".. guess what!! that Canadian meant it!! and everything is gonna be ok.- -July 2019 and the beauty of "Jury Duty"- For all of you out there, from another country.. not the U.S.A. One of the greatest rights and responsibilities of being a U.S. citizen is being able to take part in the Court system. If this case indeed proceeds past July/19 and a Jury Trial is set, some of us are gonna be summoned to take part in this trial. Oh!! what great times!! I love you Canada!! As a Juror, I would have so many questions for the SEC.. So, you didnt fine "Vitalik and friends" but you want to fine Kik? you dumb? As a Juror, I would tell the SEC.. "you consider Bitcoin to be the Gold of crypto.. Ethereum is the Silver.. and by your own standards.. KIN is the PLATINUM.. case dismissed.." Ha!! no SEC is gonna take away my wife's, my son's, my friends, my family's KIN.. good luck SEC!!! for I will be a Juror in your case against KIK.. and I already know my decision.. The SEC knows this, too.. thats why they want KIK to settle.. no SEC lawyer is gonna win against Jurors who love their rewards/virtual currency/crypto/whatever you wanna call it. Thank you all.. for these are just humble words..
Regulations Applied To Cryptocurrencies Around The World
Cryptocurrency Regulations Since the launch of Bitcoin in 2009, the economic revolution of cryptocurrencies has generated a stir in its demand, causing an increase in its popularity, therefore, increasing the transactions within the blockchain and the movements of crypto in the market. Consequently, many countries have had to implement laws and regulations to control crypto transactions within their jurisdiction, note that the blockchain are decentralized and do not respond to any public financial and legal entity, causing a lack of control over the transactions within the network. Telos Blockchain, having governance and a specific and defined arbitration system, is governed by laws and regulations that prevent many illicit actions from becoming effective, this collaborates with the cause of the countries that are implementing new regulations, becoming the ideal platform. As the demand for crypto increases, governments apply greater regulations at a global level, taking into account that cryptocurrencies are not backed by central banks, which is why many countries believe that there should be regulations that control this type of currency since it affects its local currency directly and indirectly; despite being an asset that can bring economic benefits to its users, it also lends itself to criminal actions through the network and the crypto. Any decision or economic announcement made in each country determines negatively or positively the behavior of the price of digital currencies. The regulators aim to prevent illicit actions in exchange houses, such as, for example, money laundering, terrorism financing, scams, payments to the dark web among others; According to the DEA, 10% of transactions with cryptocurrencies are used for illegal activities. During an interview with Lilita Infante of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), published in Bloomberg, five years ago the percentage of criminal activity in blockchain transactions was 90%, at present, this number represents 10%, which has become transactions for price speculation and not for other purposes. In countries of the first world, governments have established regulations and laws that control the use of crypto assets. The regulations applied in China are not the same applied in the United States or Japan. Herein will be specified some regulations of countries where crypto have marked a trend.
Regulations In Japan
Asia, is one of the continents where more transactions of cryptocurrencies are made, not all countries that constitute the continent have been receptive, but this is not the case in Japan; where there are regulations in the commercial exchange of cryptocurrencies. The amendment that approved the use of cryptocurrencies in the country took effect as of 2017; under the Payment Services Act, only exchanges with representatives that reside in Japan and have offices in the country registered as part of the Japanese financial services agency may legally operate in the exchange of digital currencies. The National Tax Agency (Dec 2017), established that all income in cryptocurrency are classified as “miscellaneous income” and are added to the total amount of other income that a citizen has; the taxes are calculated from the total amount of the incomes and then they are taxed. Investors must pay taxes at rates that range from 15% to 55%. Japan under the Act on Prevention of Transfer of Criminal Proceeds, exchanges are required to verify the identities of customers who open accounts, keep records of transactions and notify the authorities when a suspicious transaction is recognized. Following the loss of 400 million dollars in NEM tokens in one of the most used exchanges in Japan, Coincheck, the government of Japan, according to the Library of Congress,
“The local Finance Bureau ordered Coincheck to submit a report on the same day, examined it, and issued an order of business improvement on January 29, 2018. The following day the FSA requested all cryptocurrency exchange businesses to review their system-risk management plans and report the results to the FSA. On March 2, 2018, the FSA conducted an on-site inspection of Coincheck. On March 8, 2018, the local Finance Bureaus issued business-improvement orders to seven exchange businesses, again including Coincheck. A group of cryptocurrency exchange businesses publicized their decision to form a new self-regulating body on March 2, 2018, that all registered exchange businesses will join. The body aims to obtain authorization from the FSA under the Payment Services Act.”
Regulations In China
In this country, both cryptocurrencies and exchange houses have been banned by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), were completely eliminated in 2017, where 173 platforms were closed by 2018. Financial institutions cannot make any transactions with Bitcoin or another digital currency. In addition, they also banned ICOs and national currency exchanges. Additionally, as of January 2018, most of the crypto miners closed operations.
Unlike mainland China, there is a British ex-colony that in 1997 stopped being part of Britain and became part of the Chinese, but it was agreed that this region would be autonomous for half a century before Beijing takes full control over it. In other words, it is “one country, two systems”. This area called Hong Kong is governed by the same president of mainland China but does not comply with the same communist regulations. Unlike China, the cryptocurrencies are legal, currently, there is no legislation that regulates digital money, but they have an anti-crime organization which sanctions those who do not comply with requirements that stops cases of money laundering or fraud; Bitcoin is considered a virtual asset. Crypto Legal Status 2019
Regulations In The USA
Currently, cryptocurrencies are not considered as legal tender, although their exchange is; the regulations will depend on the state and the federal authorities since each one has different concepts of cryptocurrencies. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) considers that tokens are another value that replaces the local currency (Dollar), unlike the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which establishes that cryptocurrencies are taxed as a property and not like a coin. In 2015, 802 people declared and paid taxes on the cryptocurrencies profits, which means that users are evading these taxes; The IRS is apparently using a unique software that helps them locate those users who are evading taxes. This theory is promoted by Laura Walter, a certified public accountant and cryptocurrency tax specialist, who published on July 8, 2018, a document that apparently has been presented to IRS agents of the Criminal Investigation division. The document indicates that the IRS intends to serve the subpoenas to request from large technology companies (Apple, Google, Paypal among others) information on users’ download history and to confirm whether they have any application in their devices related to any cryptocurrency. The United States is considered one of the countries with most transactions in LocalBitcoin, therefore, they have placed more regulations and laws when making this type of transactions. In 2018, the US Supreme Court debated the future of Bitcoin for the first time, and this and other cryptocurrencies are regulated under United States law. The treasury of the United States classified in 2013, that Bitcoin is a “convertible decentralized virtual currency”. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, CFTC, classified bitcoin as a “good or asset” in September 2015. The US government has required all monetary service companies, such as, for example, exchanges, which carry out considerable transactions in the region, to meet several requirements: • Register in the FinCEN. • Design an anti-money laundering (AML) program. • Maintain record and make reports in case of suspicious activity (SAR). US FinCEN receives 1,500 SARs per month. • Make and deliver reports of digital currency transactions (CTR).
Regulations In Canada
Currently, cryptocurrencies are not considered as legal tender, although their exchange is, depending on the province. Since 2013, the Canada Revenue Agency has taxed the cryptocurrency transactions depending on the type of activity. Canada was one of the first countries to draw up cryptocurrency legislation, which designated exchanges as “money service businesses,” where they have to follow with anti-money laundering and know-your-client requirements among others.
Regulations In The European Union
Cryptocurrencies are legal, depending on the country the regulations will change. Exchange houses are currently not regulated at the regional level. In some cases, the exchanges have to register with the regulators of each country, where they grant these companies authorizations to operate legally within the jurisdiction of each country. In addition, each jurisdiction has different tax systems, which charge citizen’s taxes from the profits of the purchase and sale of cryptocurrency that ranges from 0% -50%.
Regulations In Australia
In Australia cryptocurrencies (treated as property) and exchanges are considered legal; In 2017 the Australian Senate declared the legality of cryptocurrencies and are subject of Capital Gains Tax. The same year, they began debating statutes for anti-money laundering to the country’s cryptocurrency exchanges; by the end of the year, cryptocurrency exchanges have to register with the country’s financial intelligence agency Austrac where they have to verify the user identity and other requirements. Currently, there are no regulations for the use of digital money as a payment method. Countries where cryptocurrency is banned or legal 2019
Consequently to the economic collapses that many developing countries have been through, there is a need for a stable economic structure that is not easily influenced by its environment. The blockchain has provided solutions to this need and many users from all over the world have had to resort to this economic model, as, for example, Third World countries, which suffer inflation, exchange controls, economic regulations by their governments, among other problems. Telos Blockchain has come to give an economical alternative to the user for the best management of their assets and their patrimony with a reliable and safe model, unlike other blockchains that have fallen into fraud, scams, money laundering among others, many countries have taken action on the matter and have placed regulations and laws that control possible security flaws in this model, such as unlawful acts.
The premise of cryptocurrency is simple, a new ICO launches, claiming to offer lucrative returns for investors. Investors can’t believe their luck and clamor to buy in. The business runs for some time on the back of the invested capital, but, sooner or later, disaster strikes and the company shuts down, often with no explanation. After a while, it becomes obvious that the company is gone for good, along with the invested funds. The poisoned chalice of crypto’s decentralized nature often means that investors are left in the dark when trying to recoup or trace their pilfered funds.
How to spot an exit scam
Many exit scams have tell-tale signs that investors should look out for. The financial content site Investopedia has a handy list of key characteristics. First, exit scams often have inconsistent or misleading information about the team behind the project. When scouting potential investment opportunities, investors should scour for information on key members of any ICO. It’s important to remember that online credibility can be faked by purchasing likes, profiles and followers on social media. Celebrity endorsements with verified accounts could also ring alarm bells for investors. A fake Twitter account purporting to be Elon Musk, with a supposedly verified twitter account, raised over $155,000 as part of a 2018 Bitcoin scam. Investors should verify the credentials of backers, team leaders and promoters of cryptocurrency projects. Although individuals may seem to be legitimate at first glance, brand new social mediaprofiles and few followers or connections should raise eyebrows. The most significant characteristic unifying exit scams in cryptocurrency is the promise of a huge return on investment (ROI) — chances are that it’s probably too good to be true. Investors should always look through even the smallest details of what they are required to invest and what the company purports to be able to give back to them. ICOs usually come with a white paper, setting out the design details of the project along with a business plan and other information. Investors should pursue all available information for ICOs, as any vagueness in the white papers should signal a big red flag. When investing in an ICO, it’s vital to get an understanding of the business model. Investopdia writes that anything powered by concept alone should be a warning to anyone tempted to buy in. Although cryptocurrency projects can and do launch off the back of technological advances, investors should be wary of projects looking to gather millions of dollars before taking a sober look at the project’s ability to return the investment from the published information. Heavy promotion of an upcoming ICO can also be a sign of an exit scam. Past scams have employed bloggers to promote via numerous forums. Ads both online and in print media could also be suspicious.
$2.9 billion PlusToken scam could be largest exit scam ever
A 2019 report shared with Cointelegraph by the cryptocurrency and blockchain forensics company Ciphertrace dubbed 2019 the year of the exit scam and highlighted the billions of dollars stolen in multiple scams this year alone. The report shines a light on what, if confirmed, could be the biggest crypto scam ever, with an estimated loss of around $2.9 billion after Chinese police uncovered an alleged Ponzi schemeinvolving the South Koreanwallet provider and exchange PlusToken. Although more is being uncovered about PlusToken, mystery still surrounds the key events. Ciphertrace reports that the platform has enshrouded several Chinese nationals, the government of Vanuatu, the Chinese police and the company’s co-founders — a South Korean man operating under the alias of “Kim Jung Un” and a Russian known only as “Leo.” The alleged PlusToken scam centers around an app with which the wallet provider claimed investors could invest in PlusToken (PLUS). According to the report, the firm claimed that the token, based on the Ethereumblockchain, was developed by a major technology company. PlusToken is also said to have falsely stated that it could deliver wallet holders an ROI of between 8% and 16% per month, with a minimum deposit of $500 in crypto assets. Ciphertrace also reported that no verifiable source of revenue existed other than the proceeds from new membership. Those were onboarded per the traditional method of a Ponzi scheme, which require a constant stream of new investment in order to support its semblance of growth. Investors were incentivized to recommend new users with an invitation, which was the only way to join. Although this was enough for some members to dismiss the legitimacy of the project outright, Leo, the company’s co-founder, published a press release that claimed he had met with Prince Charles, the future head of the English royal family, providing photos as proof. Ciphertrust reported that it had contacted the Prince Charles Foundation, which confirmed that Leo had indeed attended the event, but would not provide other information about the individual due to European Union General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. PlusToken’s fate was seemingly sealed on June 28, after members of the Chinese police touched down in Vanuatu, detained six people involved with the project and extradited them back to mainland China. Ciphertrace reported that the so-called “PlusToken Six” were either Vanuatu citizens or applying for citizenship at the time of their arrest. Soon after, PlusToken members found that they were unable to withdraw funds from their accounts. Customers were informed that withdrawals via the app were frozen due to “technical difficulties.” By June 20, the PlusToken app had ceased operations due to purported system maintenance. For investors, there seems to be no secure lead on the final resting place of the allegedly billions of dollars of stolen funds. The Chinese government has yet to comment. A July 12 post from PlusToken stated that the six Chinese individuals were simply service users and not actually involved with the running of the company itself, stating that users should ignore the rumors and not try to log in until they receive confirmation that the servers are back online.
On April 9, 2018, two ICOs — iFan and Pincoin — operating under the umbrella of company Modern Tech based in Vietnam, went silent after reports outed them as scams that had scalped 32,000 investors out of an alleged $660 million in tokens, according to Tuoi Tre News. Victims claim that the damages amount to roughly 15 trillion Vietnamese dong ($660 million) in token sales. Angered investors held a demonstration outside Modern Tech’s Ho Chi Minh City headquarters on April 8. One of the initial characteristics that could have alarmed investors was the fact that Pincoin offered service users bonuses for successfully bringing other people on board. Pincoin did initially pay out cash until January 2018, when the company switched to iFan tokens, TechCrunch reported. The owner of Modern Tech’s office building said that the company left its offices in March and that no one knew their current whereabouts. The firm left behind only an incomplete website that is now inactive. Modern Tech initially tried to pass itself off as a mere representative of both coins in Vietnam, prior to media reports confirming that seven of its Vietnamese executives were in fact behind the projects. TechCrunch reported that the ambiguous mission statement from the then-functional site is typical of the vague and jargon-filled copy used by exit scammers:
“The PIN Project is about building an online collaborative consumption platform for global community, base on principles of Sharing Economy, Blockchain Technology, and Crypto Currency”
Financial scam directory Behindmlm released a report in February 2018 that found its buy-in method was typical of an ROI Ponzi scheme. Pincoin’s website is currently down, though iFan’s is still online.
QuadrigaCX — regulators catch on
The death of 30-year old Gerald Cotten shook the crypto world — not only because Cotten was the co-founder and CEO of Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, QuadrigaCX, but also because his control of the passwords and keys to accounts rendered all the assets on the exchange forever inaccessible after his death. Cotten took over $195 million of stolen cryptocurrency with him to the grave. Related:QuadrigaCX Users Lose $190M as Speculations Over Cotten’s Death Swirl Commenting on the May 9 Ernst & Young report, Ciphertrace said Cotten had played fast and loose with customer funds for many years in order to support a lavish lifestyle for both himself and his wife. Cotten allegedly exercised complete control over the exchange and used his position to perform “unsupported deposits” — i.e., fabricated transactions not represented by either fiat or cryptocurrency. Cotten also used significant volumes of customers’ cryptocurrency via transfers from the platform into other exchanges he controlled. As per the EY report, Cotten shifted significant amounts of fiat and cryptocurrency between alias accounts, although less than 1% of these transfers was supported by documentation. Ciphertrace notes that as the admin, Cotten was in a perfect position to hide his fraudulent activities. In a pattern that may now seem familiar, Cotten used customer funds to pay for QuadrigaCX operating costs after the company suffered liquidity issues due to his reported fraudulent use of user deposits. As QuadrigaCX began to struggle to stay afloat, EY reported that Cotten gambled customer funds in off-platform margin accounts to meet margin calls. The report also states that Cotten traded unsupported deposits for legitimate funds thereby generating artificial trading markets, abused his position to override Know Your Customer requirements and hoarded all passwords:
“The Monitor understands passwords were held by a single individual, Mr. Cotten and it appears that Quadriga failed to ensure adequate safeguard procedures were in place to transfer passwords and other critical operating data to other Quadriga representatives should a critical event materialize (such as the death of key management personnel).”
As of April 12, EY estimated that Quadriga held around $20.8 million in assets and around $160 million in liabilities. The debts and assets are spread over three subsidiary companies, 0984750 B.C. LTD. (the “Quadriga Estate”), Quadriga Fintech Solutions and Whiteside Capital Corporation. On July 31, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia approved over $1.6 million in fees for parties seeking remuneration from the exchange, according to court documents.PDF) seen by Cointelegraph.
CFTC action launched after $147 million BTC scheme
On June 18, 2019, the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) initiated a civil enforcement action against now-defunct Control-Finance Limited for a scheme involving $147 million worth in Bitcoin. It is alleged that Control-Finance Ltd. defrauded over 1,000 investors by laundering around 22,858 Bitcoin. In mid-September 2017, its website was abruptly taken offline, payments to clients were suspended and advertising content from social media accounts was deleted. The firm initially said that it would reimburse customers by late 2017. However, the company allegedly began transferring laundered Bitcoin by using the crypto wallet service CoinPayments. According to Ciphertrace’s Q2 2019 Anti-Money Laundering (AML) report, the CFTC complaint charges the company and its founder Benjamin Reynolds with:
“Exploiting public enthusiasm for crypto assets by fraudulently obtaining and misappropriating at least 22,858.22 Bitcoin from more than 1,000 customers through a classic high-yield investment (HYIP) Ponzi scheme called the Control-Finance Affiliate Program.”
Per the CFTC, the company claimed that investors who buy Bitcoin through the firm would be guaranteed daily profits thanks to their team of expert cryptocurrency traders. The complaint also stated that the firm falsely claimed market volatility would ensure funds invested through Control-Finance would result in profit. The CFTC also alleged that Control-Finance misleadingly promised that it could earn customers a 1.5% ROI daily and 45% monthly. Control-Finance is also reported to have sent partial amounts of new clients’ BTC deposits to other customers, which were disguised as profit from trading, a tactic typical of Ponzi schemes. The legal action seeking civil monetary penalties and permanent trading bans continues.
Co-owner of Bitmarket found shot dead after alleged exit scam
On July 8, the Poland-based exchange Bitmarket shut down, citing liquidity issues. According to Ciphertrace’s Q2 2019 AML report, the shutdown cost users around 2,300 Bitcoin, approximately $23 million. Users attempting to log on to the site were met with the following message:
“We regret to inform you that due to the loss of liquidity, since 08/07/2019, Bitmarket.pl/net was forced to cease its operations. We will inform you about further steps.”
Ciphertrace reports that Bitmarket had a history of partners pulling out. In 2015, the firm lost payment processors CashBill and BlueMedia after the companies' banks requested they end their working relationship with Bitmarket. PKO Bank Polski, Bitmarket’s own bank, also terminated its relationship with the firm only six months after Bank BPH had done so earlier in 2015. Bitmarket’s two founders, Marcin Aszkiełowicz and Tobiasz Niemiro, have contradicting accounts about the misplaced user funds. Aszkiełowicz claimed that the exchange had been hacked for 600 BTC in 2015, an incident from which the company was unable to recover. Niemiro, however, claimed that he was not responsible for activities on the exchange. Niemiro also purported to have been told that the company was purchased with a deficit of 600 BTC, which he allegedly repaid with his own money. Niemiro said he could not confirm that his partners had indeed used the money to purchase the 600 BTC. Two weeks after the interview, Niemiro was found dead in a forest near his home with a gunshot wound to the head, which the police deemed to be self-inflicted. The District Attorney’s Office stated that it is not looking into the involvement of third parties in Niemiro’s death, but are still actively investigating the misappropriation of funds.
In case you missed it: Major Crypto and Blockchain News from the week ending 12/14/2018
Developments in Financial Services
A cryptocurrency exchange-traded product (ETP) that trades on Switzerland’s Six Exchange saw record trading volumes on Thursday and Friday last week, suggesting that institutional investors may be buying the dip in cryptocurrencies. Four major cryptocurrencies underlie the HODL ETP, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). While HODL ETP’s one-month average daily trading is 20,000 shares, on Thursday, December 6th, and Friday, December 7th, 53,233 shares and 62.986 shares were traded, respectively.
A report published last week by global anti-money laundering policymaker, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), indicates that cryptocurrency exchanges in the United Kingdom pose a, “low risk,” for money laundering and terrorist financing activities. The report, however, does highlight that such activities on UK cryptocurrency exchanges are an, “emerging risk,” although there is not yet enough evidence to suggest that these activities are occurring through cryptocurrency exchanges. In its report, the FATF urged UK regulators to, “Continue to develop an understanding of emerging risks (such as virtual currencies) and intelligence gaps, and take appropriate action.”
Andreas Utermann, CEO and CIO of Allianz Global Investors, called on global financial regulators to ban cryptocurrencies while speaking at a panel discussion in London. According to a report by Reuters, Utermann said, “You should outlaw it,” while participating in a panel alongside Andrew Bailey, the head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority. Bailey responded by saying that Utermann’s comments were, “quite strong,” before adding that cryptocurrencies have, “no intrinsic value.”
Basis, a major US-based stablecoin project, is shutting down its operations and returning most of its funds to investors, according to a report by crypto news outlet The Block. The report by The Block cited, “multiple people with direct knowledge of the situation,” in claiming that the algorithmic stablecoin project, which generated UDS$133mm of funding through private investments in April, will return funds to investors. According to the Co-Founder and CEO of competing stablecoin project Nevin Freeman, Basis’ shutdown is due to regulatory concerns around one of its token types. Freeman explained, highlighting that algorithmic stablecoins implement a “secondary token”, known as a “bond token”, to help maintain the primary token’s peg. In many cases, regulators like the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) consider these secondary tokens to be securities.
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, announced that it has added Circle’s US dollar-pegged stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC), to its combined Stablecoin Market. Circle, a company backed by Goldman Sachs, first released its stablecoin in September of this year. Binance’s combined Stablecoin Market features other notable stablecoins, like Tether (USDT), that trade against cryptocurrencies as interchangeable base pairs.
Coinone, a South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange, has officially launched Cross, a cross-border payments application that leverages Ripple’s xCurrent product to increase efficiencies. The application, released by Coinone’s payments subsidiary, Coinone Transfer, targets unbanked or underbanked South Koreans by enabling the transfer of funds to Thailand or the Philippines at a low cost.
Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange heralded by the Winklevoss twins, released an official company blog post this weekend announcing that the firm will support Bitcoin Cash (BCH) custody and trading. The exchange will support only the Bitcoin Cash ABC network at this time, adding that they, “are continuing to evaluate Bitcoin SV over the coming weeks or months, and we may or may not choose to support withdrawals and/or trading of Bitcoin SV in the future.” Additionally, the company detailed that its listing of BCH is pending regulatory approval by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Gemini, the cryptocurrency trading platform founded by the Winklevoss twins, announced the launch of a mobile crypto trading application in an official blog post today. Accompanying the launch of the crypto trading app is a new investment vehicle, dubbed, “The Cryptoverse,” that is comprised of a basket of cryptocurrencies weighted by market capitalization. While speaking to Bloomberg today, Cameron Winklevoss said that, “A lot of our decisions have perhaps given off a perception that we’re more institutional-based. The reality of the situation is that we have a diverse customer base. And the retail story is just beginning.” The Winklevoss twins went on to detail of a goal to expand reach to Asian markets by 2019’s end.
Good Money, a US neo-banking platform, has closed its Series A investment round that generated USD$30mm led by cryptocurrency-focused merchant bank Galaxy Digital and the founder of EOS (EOS) Block.one. Good Money aims to provide a variety of banking service and certain financial instruments to US account holders while exploring innovative changes to traditional banking practices. “Modern banking is a primary driver of so many issues we as a society face – from economic inequality, institutional racism, environmental destruction to political corruption,” said Good Money founder Gunnar Lovelace. Specifically, Good Money eliminates ATM fees while offering each bank user equity in the company.
Kraken, a notable cryptocurrency exchange, is seeking to raise funding with a USD$4bn valuation for the company and a USD$100,000 investment minimum, according to CoinDesk. In an email to investors, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell wrote, “There is presently a limited time opportunity available to a very small select number of clients to purchase shares.” The email goes on to detail that the exchange will close its offer on December 16th.
OKEx, the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, will begin listing Bitcoin Cash ABC under the original Bitcoin Cash ticker (BCH), as per an official announcement Tuesday. Additionally, OKEx will change the Bitcoin Cash SV ticker from BCHSV to BSV. The announcement by OKEx comes after other notable cryptocurrency exchanges have made the same switch, including Coinbase and Gemini.
PayPal, an online payments portal, has launched its own internal private blockchain platform that will allow staff to trade and exchange tokens while generating ideas and participating in programs to foster innovation, as per a report by news outlet Cheddar. The private blockchain network, which was built by 25 PayPal employees in just 6 months, will allow employees to earn more for enrolling in learning and development programs. The PayPal tokens are not tradeable, or worth anything for that matter, outside PayPal’s blockchain.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a big four consulting firm, is partnering with Bitfury Group, a large blockchain software and mining firm, to develop a blockchain accelerator specific to Russian businesses. As per an official press release by PwC, the partnership will leverage Exonum, Bitfury’s open source framework to build blockchain applications, for educational courses and seminars. The partnership aims to meet the, “current needs,” of PwC’s enterprise clients in Russia.
Revolut, a digital banking alternative with an in-application cryptocurrency exchange, announced that it has been awarded a European banking license. Seeking to become the, “Amazon of banking,” the license will allow Revolut to offer traditional banking services alongside its current cryptocurrency offerings to European customers. Nikolay Storonsky, Founder and CEO of Revolut, said in regards to the newly acquired license that, “With the banking license now secured, commission-free stock trading progressing well, and five new international markets at final stages of launch, we are living up to our reputation as the ‘Amazon of Banking’. Our vision is simple: one ap with tens of millions of users, where you can manage every aspect of your financial life with the best value and technology.”
Shinhan Bank, the second-largest commercial bank in South Korea, is launching a new project to implement blockchain technology in its internal processes with a goal of eliminating human error. According to a report by news outlet The Korea Times, Shinhan also recently completed a training program for its staff to increase their knowledge of blockchain technology across various applications. After Shinhan implemented blockchain technology for interest rate swap transactions on November 30th, South Korea’s second-largest bank is now aiming to apply the technology in its record-keeping process to enhance overall efficiencies.
SolarisBank, Germany’s second-largest and Europe’s ninth-largest stock exchange, is partnering with Stuttgart Exchange Group, a German fintech company, to jointly develop a cryptocurrency exchange. As per a report by Cointelegraph Germany, the joint cryptocurrency exchange venture, “is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2019.” This news comes after SolarisBank announced plans to launch a zero-fee cryptocurrency trading application this past May.
The Canadian city of Calgary is becoming the first city in Canada to launch a digital version of its local currency, according to a report by the Global News. Dubbed as the Calgary Digital Dollar, the digital currency will be exclusive to Calgary and operate alongside the country’s Canadian Dollar. Calgary-based businesses will now be required by law to accept at least 10% of a payment in digital currency, although they are allowed to accept up to 100%.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is launching a pilot of its Global Payment Initiative (GPI) to combat growing blockchain and fintech solutions, according to an official announcement last week. Currently, the SWIFT Network is used by global financial institutions to conduct global financial payments and cross-border transfers of fiat currency. Although the project is still in its early stages, the GPI pilot hopes to, “build the foundation of a new integrated and interactive service that will significantly improve efficiencies in the payments process and which will ultimately be made available to all 10,000 banks across the SWIFT network.”
The United Arab Emirates’(UAE) central bank is partnering with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to develop a cryptocurrency to facilitate cross border transactions between the two countries, according to a report by news outlet GulfNews. In a meeting pertaining to global banking standards and regulation in the Arab region, Mubarak Rashed Al Mansouri, the governor of the UAE’s central bank, said, “This is probably the first time ever that witnesses the cooperation of monetary authorities from different countries on this topic and we hope that this achievement will foster similar collaboration in our region.” The prospective digital currency will be used by both central banks and financial institutions in the countries.
TokenSoft, a security token offering (STO) startup, has acquired a 20% stake in regulated broker-dealer Marpine Securities LLC in order to launch its own regulated broker-dealer. After acquiring the 20% stake, TokenSoft will launch its new regulated broker-dealer entity, called TokenSoft Global Markets, that will be registered through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The new regulated broker-dealer entity will allow TokenSoft to advise token issuers through every step of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) process. Additionally, TokenSoft will now be able to legally operate in services related to insurance and management.
Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors and a notable cryptocurrency pundit, believes that the current fair value of Bitcoin (BTC) is between USD$13,800 and USD$14,800, according to a note published on Thursday. Lee arrived at this valuation by taking into account the number of active wallet addresses, usage per account, and other supply and demand metrics. Additionally, Lee forecasted that the fair value of BTC will reach USD$150,000/coin once BTC wallets account for 7% of Visa’s 4.5bn account holders.
UAE Exchange, an exchange based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is partnering with Ripple to launch a blockchain-based cross-border remittances platform by 1Q2019, as per a Reuters report on Thursday. The report details further that Finablr, a payments and foreign exchange company that owns UAE Exchange, observes a high level of remittance inflows from expatriate workers in the Middle East region. “We expect to go live with Rippel by Q1, 2019 with two other Asian banks,” said Finablr CEO Promoth Manghat, adding, “This is for remittances to start with, from across the globe into Asia.”
De Nederlandsche Bank, the Netherlands’ central bank, will soon require domestic cryptocurrency providers to obtain a license from the regulator to operate, as per a report by Dutch news outlet DeTelegraaf. The Netherlands' central bank is taking these measures in the hope that it will, “prevent such cryptocurrencies from being used to launder money obtained through crime or to fund terrorism.” In order to receive a license, cryptocurrency firms must maintain Know-Your-Customer procedures and report any suspicious activity to the Dutch central bank.
Eddie Hughes, a conservative member of the United Kingdom’s Parliament, suggested that Bitcoin (BTC) should be accepted as legal tender for tax and utility payments, according to news outlet Express.co.uk. The article discusses that Hughes, who is a self-described, “crypto enthusiast with amateur knowledge,” recently met with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which accepts cryptocurrency donations. This news comes after the US state of Ohio announced that it would begin accepting BTC as legal tender for tax payments.
Following a case in Canadian courts that resulted in a ruling ordering mistakenly sent crypto funds to be returned to their owner, a blog post from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law is noting that there could be repercussions with the case potentially setting a precedent for lost or stolen cryptocurrency claims. The Canadian court case’s ruling will require defendant Brian Wall to return USD$370,482 worth of Ethereum (ETH) tokens to the plaintiff, Copytrack. The blog post from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law reads, ‘This precedent may have major repercussions for the enforcement of claims regarding lost or stolen cryptocurrencies,” adding that the ruling allows the plaintiff to recover tokens, “in whatsoever hands those Ether Tokens may currently be held.”
Japan’s government is considering plans to ease cryptocurrency taxes in an effort to revitalize the domestic cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. This week, Japanese Congressman Takeshi Fujimaki proposed four significant changes to taxation requirements pertaining to digital assets, which include: a reduction on the cryptocurrency gains tax from 55% to 20%; elimination of taxes on crypto-to-crypto payments; elimination of taxes on miniscule cryptocurrency payments; and an adjustment that would allow cryptocurrency investors to carry forward losses across quarters and years, effectively until cryptocurrencies are ‘cashed’ out.
Jay Clayton, Chairman for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC), said during a speech that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), “can be effective,” for fundraising, but that, “securities laws must be followed.” Clayton went on in his speech to comment on the US SEC’s work regarding distributed ledger technology (DLT), digital assets, and ICOs, saying that it is an, “area where the Commission and staff have spent a significant amount of time,” and, “that this trend will continue in 2019.”
Jay Clayton, the Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), expressed his optimism for distributed ledger technology’s potential impact on traditional financial markets in a testimony before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs yesterday. According to a transcript published on the SEC’s website, Clayton said, “I am optimistic that developments in distributed ledger technology can help facilitate capital formation, providing promising investment opportunities for both institutional and Main Street Investors.” Additionally, Clayton highlighted that the SEC is, “Focusing a significant amount of attention and resources on digital assets and initial coin offerings (ICOs).”
Maxim Akimov, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, announced that no significant changes will be made to the draft of a bill concerning cryptocurrency regulation in the country, as per news outlet Finmarket. The bill was already approved by Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, in May 2018, although the bill has generated substantial discussion since. Since approval of the bill, all cryptocurrency and token-related terminology have been removed and replaced with the term “digital rights”. At the beginning of December, Pavel Krasheninnikov, Chairman of Russia’s State Duma, said that the bill needed to be, “significantly,” changed.
Pan Gongsheng, a deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, highlighted that Security Token Offerings (STOs) in China are illegal while speaking at a summit in Beijing. As per a report by news outlet the South China Morning Post, Gongsheng told the summit that, “illegal financing activities through STOs and ICOs were still rampant in the mainland despite a nationwide clean-up of the cryptocurrency market last year.” In citing reasoning for the continued ban on STOs, Gongsheng explained that, “Virtual money has become an accomplice to all kinds of illegal and criminal activities.”
Pantera Capital, a blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused investment firm and hedge fund, is warning investors that as much as a quarter of their ICO project could potentially be violating US securities laws, according to a Bloomberg report. In a newsletter to clients, Pantera Capital warned, “While we believe the vast majority of the projects in our portfolio should not be affected, approximately 25% of our fund’s capital is invested in other projects with liquid tokens that sold to US investors without using Regulation D or Regulation S”
Russia has no intention of implementing Venezuela’s state-backed digital currency, the Petro, into commercial operations, according to a report by news outlet RIA Novosti. While speaking to reporters this week, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said, “Representatives from our tax service and central bank... got acquainted with the cryptocurrency Venezuela is introducing,” adding, “But no more than that. As for payments, they’re not happening yet.”
South Korea’s representative body, the National Assembly, held its first official meeting with seven of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges on Monday. The purpose of the meeting was to debate cryptocurrency regulation between stakeholders of South Korea’s cryptocurrency industry. Cryptocurrency exchanges Bithumb, CobitCoin, Coinone, Upbit, Gopax, Coinplug, and Hanbitco were among the attendees of the debate, which reportedly focused on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) customer protections and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures.
The United Kingdom’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental financial security body, is calling on the country’s government to increase monitoring of cryptocurrency markets. According to an official report last week, the UK must overhaul its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and combat terrorist financing (CFT) efforts in order to prevent illicit activities with cryptocurrencies. “Virtual currency exchange providers are not yet covered by AML/CFT requirements,” the report details, adding, “this is an emerging risk and there is not yet evidence to suggest that broad scale ML/TF is occurring in the UK through this relatively small sector.”
The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is interested in learning more about the Ethereum (ETH) network, its technology, and the markets build around it. On Tuesday, the CFTC published a Request for Input (RFI) that requests the public’s feedback on different questions concerning Ethereum. The RFI explains that its goal is to inform the CFTC about Ethereum and similar emerging technology, saying, “The input from this request will advance the CFTC’s mission of ensuring the integrity of the derivatives market as well as monitoring and reducing the systematic risk by enhancing legal certainty in the markets. The RFI seeks to understand the similarities and distinctions between certain virtual currencies, including here ether and bitcoin, as well as ether-specific opportunities, challenges, and risks.”
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC) is ordering that cryptocurrency asset manager CoinAlpha Advisors LLC pay a USD$50,000 fine, alleging that the firm conducted an unregistered securities sale. After forming in October 2017, CoinAlpha raised more than USD$600,000 from investors to invest in digital assets. In an official release, the US SEC said that CoinAlpha did not file a Notice of Exempt Offering of Securities, meaning that the firm breached securities laws by soliciting securities investors. Additionally, the firm allegedly did not adhere to proper know-your-customer procedures to verify that investors were accredited.
Venezuela is reportedly beginning to convert its citizens’ monthly pension payments into Petros, Venezuela’s controversial state and oil-backed cryptocurrency, according to a report by local economics blog the Caracas Chronicles. The conversion of Venezuelan pensioners’ payments into Petros came after the country already sent pensioners their monthly payment in the form of a check for Venezuelan Bolivars -- normally, upon receiving their check, pensioners would deposit their funds into a bank account where they could then withdraw fiat from local branches. The Venezuelan government, however, converted pensioners’ fiat payments into the Petro upon their deposit into a bank. In the first few weeks of the Petro’s existence, its value has risen from 9,000 to more than 15,000.
Warren Davidson, an Ohio Congressman and notable advocate of blockchain and digital assets, is floating blockchain technology as a solution to fund US President Donald Trump’s prospective US-Mexico border wall. While interviewing with NPR, Congressman Davidson suggested, “the American people, or whomever should choose to donate,” could pay for the border wall, adding, “you could do it with sort of like a crowdfunding site or you could do a blockchain and you could have WallCoins.”
“The long-term value of Bitcoin (BTC) is more likely to be USD$100 than USD$100,000,” says Kenneth Rogoff, a former Chief Economist for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the current Harvard University Professor of Economics and Public Policy. While writing an article for major UK news outlet The Guardian, Rogoff highlighted that, because BTC’s use is limited to transactions, it makes the digital asset more vulnerable to a bubble-like collapse. Rogoff also cited that BTC’s energy-intensive verification processes is, “vastly less efficient,” than systems that leverage, “a trusted central authority like a central bank.”
A new report by PeckShield, a blockchain security company that monitors various cryptocurrency ecosystems, details that decentralized applications (DApps) on the EOS (EOS) blockchain have lost as much as USD$1mm in hacks since July 2018. The report details further that DApps on the EOS network have sustained 27 breaches since July, which are responsible for the up to 400,000 EOS that have been compromised from hacks. Guo Yonggang, a blockchain security expert cited in a report on the matter by crypto media firm Blockchain Truth, believes that the hacks can be attributed to security problems with the DApps themselves, rather than with the EOS network.
A new study published by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance on Wednesday finds that the number of unique ID-verified cryptocurrency users nearly doubled in in the first 3 quarters of 2018. The study details that total ID-verified users increased to 35mm in the first three quarters of 2018 from 18mm at the end of 2017, representing an increase of 94%. As per an analysis of the study by Bloomberg, the growth of crypto’s userbase despite the market decline, “could signal that an eventual recovery could be coming.”
Amid the continued cryptocurrency sell-off, only two cryptocurrency mining machines remain profitable, according to real-time data from ASICMinerValue.com. ASICMInerValue.com, which calculates the profitability of Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) miners, indicates that only indicates that only the Ebank Ebit E11++ and ASICminer 8 Nano 44Th mining models are profitable for mining cryptocurrencies based on the SHA-256 hash function -- notable cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) use this has function.
Bitmain, a large Chinese cryptocurrency mining firm, announced that it is closing its development center in Israel, citing current cryptocurrency market conditions. In closing Bitmaintech Israel, the crypto mining giant was forced to fire all 23 employees. Among the employees let go is Gadi Glikberg, head of Bitmain’s Israeli branch and Vice President of International Sales, who said on the recent market turmoil, “The crypto market has undergone a shake-up in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and to refocus its business in accordance with the current situation.”
Busan, a major South Korean city, will be the beneficiary of the South Korean government’s plan to spend 4bn Korean won (USD$3.5mm) to establish a blockchain-enabled virtual power plant (VPP). As per a report by South Korean news outlet Yonhap News Agency, the project will be angled as a national competition in 2019, hosted by South Korea’s largest electric utility, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). The VPP will integrate the idle capacities of multiple energy resources through a cloud-based distributed ledger in order to optimize power generation and decrease costs.
Church’s Chicken, a large international fast food franchise, is partnering with Dash Venezuela to accept cryptocurrencies in its Venezuelan locations. According to an official press release, 13 Church’s Chicken establishments will begin accepting Dash (DASH) as payment following, “extensive and rigorous days of training,” staff to understand cryptocurrencies. With the addition of Church’s Chicken, more than 2,200 establishments in Venezuela accept DASH as payment.
Crypto.com, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency payments platform, announced the appointment of former PayPal executive Tyson Hackwood to serve as the firm’s Vice President and Head of Global Merchant Acquisition in an official press release today. Crypto.com aims to increase cryptocurrency adoption by both merchants and consumers through their point-of-sale (PoS) transaction terminals. Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek believes that Hackwood will be integral in furthering this goal, saying, “As we develop the Crypto.com Chain to fulfill the current industry need to pay and be paid in crypto, Tyson will play an important role in expanding the number and quality of merchants that are part of our network.”
Hyperledger, a notable blockchain consortium, is continuing its robust expansion after announcing the addition of 16 new members at the Hyperledger Global Forum in Basel, Switzerland. Among the notables to join the consortium are, Alibaba Cloud, Citigroup’s Citi Ventures arm, and Deutsche Telekom. The latest addition of 16 members brings the total membership of Hyperledger to more than 260 different companies. In a public statement, Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf said that, “The growing Hyperledger community reflects the increasing importance of open source efforts to build enterprise blockchain technologies across industries and markets. The latest members showcase the widening interest in and impact of DLT and Hyperledger."
Jeremy Henrickson, the former Chief Product Officer at Coinbase, has departed the US-based cryptocurrency exchange after serving since July 2016. “Jeremy’s contributions to Coinbase over the past two years were invaluable,” said a Coinbase spokesperson, adding that, “he helped to build our scrappy startup team into a high-functioning product and engineering organization -- overseeing a 5x+ growth of the team.” Henrickson’s departure comes after long-term Coinbase executives Adam White and Hunter Merghart left the US-based cryptocurrency exchange in recent months.
LinkedIn’s, “2018 U.S. Emerging Jobs,” report released on Thursday ranks the role of blockchain developer as the fastest growing job in the United States. The report by LinkedIn indicates that blockchain developer jobs have increased 33-fold in the past 12 months alone. San Francisco, New York City, and Atlanta are among the cities with the highest demand for blockchain developer jobs.
Orbs, a unique hybrid blockchain platform, raised more than USD$15mm in cryptocurrencies to fund its development of a public blockchain, according to a company blog post. South Korean application provider Kakao lead the fundraising efforts with a representative telling CoinDesk that the company, “always seeks to invest and support innovative startups, and Orbs is a good example.” In total, Orbs raised 139,000 Ether (ETH) and 892 Bitcoin (BTC), amounting to roughly USD$15.4mm. Orbs aims to build a public blockchain with this funding that is, “universal,” and, “scalable,” for decentralized applications (DApps) with the, “liquidity of a base layer.”
Samsung has reportedly filed patent applications for three different blockchain-related trademark requests that all pertain directly to smartphones, according to news outlet Galaxy Club. Specifically, the patents named “Blockchain KeyStore”, “Blockchain Key Box”, and “Blockchain Core” all pertain to cryptocurrency custody capabilities on smartphones. This news comes amid the release of HTC’s Exodus 1 and Sirin Labs’ FINNEY, both of which are being marketed as blockchain smartphones with cryptocurrency custody capabilities.
-----Originally Posted by Ariaa_ but was removed----- So I've had the same problem with coinbase, account locked for a mistake on their system considering me being in Iran etc. What I did was I reached out to support, they didn't respond and I waited for a long time to get a response which was not the right move. Here is how you actually get a response from them: open a ticket with them and wait the 72 hours that they promise they will provide an answer. if they don't do so, you need to start the following: Contact CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) using the following link: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/ I have tried every possible channel, a nice lady from U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) answered my email with the following information which is very useful: Dear Mr. *****: Thank you for contacting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Please be advised that a search of our database indicates that Coinbase is not registered with the SEC. Please note that the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has jurisdiction over some virtual-currency related issues and investments. As such, you may wish to report your concerns to the CFTC. Contact information is as follows: Commodity Futures Trading Commission Three Lafayette Centre 1155 21st Street, NW Washington DC 20581 CFTC Toll-Free Complaint Line: 866-366-2382 Online Complaint Info: http://www.cftc.gov/ConsumerProtection/FileaTiporComplaint/index.htm. You may also wish to report your concerns to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) as follows: FTC Consumer Response Center 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20580 Toll-Free Complaint Line: 1-877-382-4357 Toll-Free Identity Theft Hotline: 1-877-438-4338 www.ftc.gov/ftc/complaint.htm CFPB P.O. Box 4503 Iowa City, Iowa 52244 Fax (855) 237-2392 (855) 411-CFPB (2372) http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/ For general information regarding virtual currency-related investments, please review our publication "Bitcoin and Other Virtual Currency-Related Investments," available at http://investor.gov/news-alerts/investor-alerts/investor-alert-bitcoin-other-virtual-currency-related-investments, as well as our investor alert "Ponzi Schemes Using Virtual Currencies," available at http://www.sec.gov/investoalerts/ia_virtualcurrencies.pdf. For information about insurance provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), we recommend reviewing the FDIC's page on the matter, "Understanding Deposit Insurance, " available at https://www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/. You can also contact the FDIC as follows: FDIC Consumer Response Center 1100 Walnut Street, Box #11 Kansas City, MO 64106 877-275-3342 www.fdic.gov Additionally, as you appear to be a resident of Canada, we recommend contacting Canadian regulators to determine if they may be of assistance. For help finding information about regulators in Canada, please visit the International Financial Regulators Gateway at http://www.utoledo.edu/law/library/financialregulators/c.html#CANADA. The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy processes many comments from individual investors and others. We keep records of the correspondence we receive in a searchable database that SEC staff may make use of in inspections, examinations, and investigations. In addition, some of the correspondence we receive is referred to other SEC offices and divisions for their review. If they have any questions or wish to respond directly to your comments, they will contact you. Sincerely, Lisa Skrzycki Attorney Office of Investor Education and Advocacy U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (202) 551-5953 (direct) (202) 551-6551 (main) (800) 732-0330 (toll free) www.sec.govwww.investor.govwww.twitter.com/SEC_Investor_Ed ref:_00D30JxQy._500t06oF5cAAE:ref Following the above steps, you will open the magic box and voila! Hope everyone gets what coinbase has withheld from them, thought I should contribute to the community although I didn't get much other than hate from coinbase fanatics in here! I'm sure by doing this, coinbase will go ahead and close my account now but hey, who cares! !
Hello! My name is Daria Volkova and I am the Head of Platinum Legal Department. Our team believes that these are exciting times for the crypto market. We supported more than 100 clients, created and promoted their STO and ICO campaigns, got from an idea to funding in a matter of 2.5 months! See the full list of our services: Platinum.fund We are more than proud to present our education project. The UBAI can help you to learn specifics about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. Learn all about ICO avenues and opportunities, plug into the world of trading cryptocurrency markets, become an expert in scam projects, promoting ICOs and STOs, launching your own campaigns and many more! What are the different cryptocurrency regulations in major countries? Find the answer after reading this article. Cryptocurrency Regulations across Major Countries Cryptocurrency and the blockchain industry may seem sufficiently exciting and attractive to you now. After all, you are taking the time and effort to study this course. You may be planning to work in cryptocurrency and the blockchain industry. Of course, we want to encourage you and help you proceed toward your goal. But it is also important you understand the regulations guiding the blockchain industry to help keep yourself out of trouble. This year, in particular, seems to be the year in which a lot of countries are looking to finally coalesce the regulations relating to the blockchain industry into a workable legal framework. Some countries are more accommodating to cryptocurrency and blockchain technological innovations while others are still more cautious. We will examine how each major country is forming their own regulatory framework for the blockchain industry. Canada Cryptocurrencies are not considered legal tender in Canada. This was clearly expressed by the country’s Financial Consumer Agency (FCA). Canada, like the US, has yet to clearly define or legislate a framework surrounding cryptocurrencies. But Canada still appears to be among the most transparent of countries for the nation’s interpretation and enforcement of the law surrounding cryptocurrencies (aside from Switzerland). For the time being, Canada has clearly stated its reluctance to adopt cryptocurrency as a legal tender, due to its high volatility. “ “The United States of America (USA) There are certain laws regarding transactions in virtual currency in the US today but there is still no comprehensive legal framework. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission currently regulates virtual currencies as commodities. The CFTC is the first US regulator to allow for public cryptocurrency trading. The Securities and Exchange Commission requires registration of any virtual currency traded in the US if it is classified as a security (e.g. by the Howey test). The regulatory authorities have not yet formulated or offered a coherent framework for regulations regarding cryptocurrencies. Typical of most legislators and regulatory agencies in the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has intensified its focus on the pressing need for comprehensive regulation. And it seems everyone is waiting for the right catalyst to coalesce into a usable set of legal guidelines that can protect the investing public and also allow for blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation as well. If cryptocurrency becomes a form of legal tender in the US, there will likely be stringent laws on its use. However, if cryptocurrency is treated like a security, cryptocurrencies would be regulated under securities law as interpreted by the SEC. Present securities laws place a large number of limitations on who is able to buy securities, how they are traded, and how to ensure transparency in the flow of information relevant to investors. Also note that non-US investors may experience their own difficulties getting a license to trade cryptocurrencies in the country. “ “Japan Japan has always been one of the most positive and forward-thinking nations regarding cryptocurrencies and the blockchain. Of course, they were cautious at first, and they knew no more than anyone else in government, which means they literally knew nothing. But they took time to research, learn, and develop an approach to regulate the industry without killing it. The official policy is clear: Protect the public interest, but also encourage the growth of the industry with a legal framework that allows for innovation in blockchain and cryptocurrencies. China The situation in China is a sad one. The country has been taking increasingly strict actions to discourage and outlaw any activity related to the blockchain industry. China has banned ICOs, frozen all accounts associated with cryptocurrency, stopped bitcoin miners and even ordered a nationwide ban on all forms of cryptocurrency trading. China has the strictest laws against cryptocurrency. Yet, despite that fact, as of 2017, 50% of the world’s mining population was from China! If you are involved with the cryptocurrency industry it is strongly advised to stay away from China, and avoid transactions with Chinese business because of the unpredictable and negative legal framework. “ “The United Kingdom & European Union Brexit is scheduled to take place in March 2019, yet the UK and the EU still remain united in their regulatory attitude toward cryptocurrencies. There are also reports that the UK and EU are planning to end anonymity for cryptocurrency traders. The UK and EU are both trying to control all the scams and frauds. They are working with cryptocurrency platforms to stop or at least report all suspicious transactions. This adds a degree of regulatory burden on the exchanges as well as increasing the associated compliance costs. Cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile. They are a high-risk investment. Governments across Europe are greatly concerned about the possibility of both retail and sophisticated investors losing a lot of money. This has led to a situation similar to that in the US. The regulatory authorities have not yet formulated or offered a coherent framework for regulations regarding cryptocurrencies. There is an intense focus on the pressing need for comprehensive regulation. And everyone is waiting for the right catalyst to coalesce into a usable set of legal guidelines that can protect the investing public and allow for blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation as well. We certainly hope for intelligent and effective legislation from all the major countries. “ “Accommodating & Unaccommodating Countries Below is a list of countries we have not specifically covered, but they have each taken an active position on a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. The following countries are either supportive or at least neutral toward cryptocurrencies: -Switzerland. -Australia. -Nigeria. -Ghana. -South Africa. -Singapore. Countries with the most stringent and negative cryptocurrency regulation: -Venezuela. -South Korea. -India. -Russia. Did you know? It is not uncommon to see Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency ATMs throughout Japan. Exchange robberies and hacks like MtGox, and the recent loss of $530 million NEM coins have led to serious debate in the Japanese government. The industry needs to provide a secure and manageable solution to these problems. Voluntary self-regulation and close cooperation with regulatory authorities is the most favored solution. It seems the regulators are working hard behind the scenes right now leading the industry in the desired direction in typical Japanese fashion. “ “Blockchain Industry Regulations in the USA Based on the information received from the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review, there was a variety of responses from different government bodies about blockchain regulations. The regulators responses ranged from indifference to suspicion, and to positive expectation and excitement. The US government has tremendous constitutional power to regulate business and industry, including of course the blockchain industry if it so desires. But basically, the federal government has been relatively indifferent and has even refused to speak on blockchain regulations despite the interest of various federal agencies. As of 2017, eight states in the US were working on bills promoting the use of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. It is even reported that a few states have actually begun the final steps before voting and passing legislation into law. On April 3, 2018 Arizona introduced a law allowing corporations to hold and share data on the blockchain. The governor, Doug Ducey, put forward the legislation after the state began accepting signatures and smart contracts recorded on the blockchain as legally valid documentation. In 2017, Delaware was the first state to pass legislation allowing for shares of stocks to be legally traded on the blockchain. Other notable developments have occurred in the US at the state or local level. Vermont makes use of blockchain as evidence in trials. Chicago uses blockchain to maintain real estate records. New York is currently evaluating four bills for the application of data storage on the blockchain. “ ” Blockchain Regulations in Europe The entire European Union has approached blockchain with a positive and welcoming attitude. The EU has taken the position that they want to actively encourage innovation. This philosophy could support the development of cryptocurrencies in two ways: -Encouraging the exploration of uses testing the impact and effect of the laws in a way that allows for a more finely-tuned and sophisticated understanding for all parties involved. -Giving entrepreneurs the confidence that their target markets will be more trusting of their solution since they are operating with the explicit legal support of the state. This approach, along with the EU’s scope as the regulator of 28 different countries, will encourage growth across the entire crypto ecosystem, and may end up transforming Europe into one of the most desirable destinations for blockchain development. Entrepreneurs are likely to move to the EU bloc to access the rich vein of available talent, as well as the positive and supportive laws. The EU has actually disclosed through its executive arm that it is working on the use of blockchain for distributed ledger based projects. EU officials have constantly stated they are looking for ways to support more innovation with distributed ledger technology. The European Commission said it was “”actively monitoring Blockchain and DLT developments”” and has work in progress to explore “”DLT benefits and challenges as well as fields for application in financial services””. The official press release stated that the commission clearly wants to “”pilot projects to foster decentralized innovation ecosystems and help reshape interactions between consumers, producers, creators and among citizens, businesses and administrations to the end benefit of society””. “ “Blockchain Regulations in Europe §2 Switzerland has gradually become the favored hub for cryptocurrency and blockchain development in Europe. This position has been enhanced through a Swiss non-profit blockchain and cryptographic technology ecosystem known as the Crypto Valley Association. The Crypto Valley Association has begun working on the development of an ICO Code of Conduct to take advantage of the ban imposed by China on token crowd sales. They are hoping to capture the Chinese and Asian entrepreneurs searching for a new home. Other countries are not as accepting of this new DLT technology and have even gone as far as classifying it as illegal and immoral behavior. There have been hyperbolic concerns most notably from China that cryptocurrencies will destabilize world financial markets. There are various pilot projects and efforts to prove the benefits of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain industry currently being tested all across Europe. Yet even now they are barely scratching the surface of the full potential of the blockchain. Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption Citizens of countries all over the world have varying attitudes about cryptocurrency. These attitudes and sentiments can be very significant to the future adoption of cryptocurrencies because politicians and regulators tend to act in consideration of the collective opinion of the public. Some countries were more accommodating at first but then became stricter, despite positive public interest, basically saying they are still not sure about the possible consequences and benefits of the technology. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption Estonia Surprisingly enough this small Baltic nation has gained a reputation for being quick to accept technological innovation. Estonia has a tech-friendly government eager to accommodate the innovative use of cryptocurrency in fields ranging from blockchain technology for healthcare and banking services; and even granting citizens the right to become what is known as “e-Residents”. As e-Residents, Estonian citizens and businesses are provided with digital business authentication. It is also one of the first countries to employ the use of a blockchain-based e-voting service that enabled people to become shareholders of NASDAQ’s Tallinn Stock Exchange. This fascinating and highly innovative country is now host to a number of Bitcoin ATMs and startups, like Paxful. They are cryptocurrency friendly, and cryptocurrency user friendly as well. Estonia also has highest internet penetration rates in the world. Estonia may be a fine place to consider basing your ICO due to the friendly legal and regulatory environment. This and a lot more you can learn on our website: www.ubai.co! “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption The United States of America The USA is the world’s dominant superpower, and it should come as no surprise that it has the highest number of cryptocurrency users in the world. It also has the highest bitcoin trading volume and the highest number of bitcoin ATMs. Powered by Silicon Valley, which is home to a lot of cryptocurrency and blockchain startups, the US stands at the forefront of all things relating to cryptocurrency worldwide. Many other nations are planning to follow the US lead concerning cryptocurrency regulations. This means the USA will serve as the testing ground for cryptocurrency and crypto-regulation in the years to come. This is likely where the future regulatory framework will take shape. Bitcoin in particular has shown massive growth in the US. This can only be interpreted as a strong tailwind for a positive regulatory environment because the population at large supports blockchain technology. For the moment, due to regulatory paralysis and the resultant legal vacuum, ICOs are strongly advised against raising funds or basing operations in the US. The SEC has been particularly strict in its enforcement of securities and investment law which require an ICO to do an oppressive amount of compliance work. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption Denmark When it comes to technological advancements and the standard of living of its citizens, Denmark is among the world leaders. It is considered one of the most developed countries in the world. It is also at the forefront of countries looking to reduce the use of cash money and advance to the use of 100% digital currency. As such, sentiment among the general public and political sphere actively supports the adoption of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. The only question left is which particular cryptocurrency system to adopt. It is still unclear whether bitcoin is the one, or BTC will mainly just be accepted as a means of exchange. There are also discussions in Denmark about when to redesign its national financial system; this would be a “world first”, and a radical leap forward for cryptocurrencies. Another fascinating thing is that the Danish Central Bank has declared BTC as a non-currency; meaning its use is not subject to the country’s currency regulations. Some of the top bitcoin startups and exchanges such as CCDEK have their foundations in Denmark. With its open market and encouraging regulatory framework, Denmark might very well rival Switzerland in Western Europe for the position of the continent’s preeminent ICO and blockchain industry hub. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption Sweden Sweden is quite similar to Denmark, for its social and demographic climate, and also for the government’s desire to eliminate cash. The Swedish Riksbank recently introduced negative interest rates. This can cause a spike in the demand for coins in the near future as citizens look for the best way to preserve their wealth. Negative interest rates like we have seen in Europe and Japan also, actively corrode savers’ wealth because people are actually paying a percentage of their savings to the central bank to hold their cash, in addition to losing out to inflation at the same time. Sweden has taken the boldest step yet in all of continental Europe to legalize cryptocurrency. The country legalized the use of BTC and other cryptocurrencies as a means of payment by official public declaration. It is however expected that exchanges should file for a license in accordance with AML/CTF and KYC regulations. Sweden is also home to a number of cryptocurrency startups such as the Safello Bitcoin exchange, and Stockholm-based KnCMiner. The gradually increasing trading volume of cryptocurrency has been a good indicator of the country’s appreciating demand for cryptocurrencies. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption The Netherlands The Netherlands is quite fascinating in its own right. How can a country not be referred to as Bitcoin-friendly when it can boast about having its own “Bitcoin City”? There are over 100 merchants that sell goods that can be purchased with cryptocurrency in Bitcoin City. There are no regulations restricting the use of BTC in the Netherlands under the Act on Financial Supervision of the Netherlands. This explains why a lot of startups, BTC ATMs, and even a Bitcoin Embassy can be found in the heart of Amsterdam (the capital of Netherlands). The friendly climate for cryptocurrency has led to a lot of very active bitcoin communities across the nation hosting regular meetups and other events. The country’s banking sector has been looking to incorporate BTC and blockchain to reduce costs and improve banking technology. The Netherlands is also a popular location for many important bitcoin conferences and bitcoin companies such as BitPay. The Netherlands is increasingly becoming a prominent place for ICOs and blockchain related businesses to base their operations. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption Finland Well-known as the home of Nokia, Finland has constantly been at the forefront of technological innovation, just like its other Scandinavian neighbors. The Finnish Central Board of Taxes (CBT) has even gone as far as classifying bitcoin as a financial service, exempting it and cryptocurrency purchases from the VAT. What more could be better for Bitcoin? Finland also boasts a significant number of BTC ATMs despite its small population. The capital of Helsinki alone is reported to have 10 ATMs for BTC. The country is also home to top exchanges such as FinCCX and Bittiraha.fi. As of January 2016, the most expensive bitcoin sale took place in Finland. It involved the sale of a Tesla Model S worth over €140,000 at Auto-Outlet Helsinki Oy. Canada Canada is home to a variety of bitcoin startups and ATMs. It is considered to be more favorable toward cryptocurrencies than the USA. The country has two cities on its eastern and western coasts, Toronto and Vancouver, that are recognized as “Bitcoin hubs”. Canada has a vibrant cryptocurrency community and is home to startups such as Decentral, the Vanbex Group and a large number of merchants who accept cryptocurrencies as payment. Vancouver is known to have over 20 ATMs while Toronto is well-known for holding large cryptocurrency conferences. There has been constant growth in cryptocurrency trading volume in the country. Canada might be the best location in North America to base an ICO or operate a blockchain business due to its supportive regulatory environment and a rich ecosystem for cryptocurrency, with human talent, ATMs and other tools, etc. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption United Kingdom The UK is one of the absolute top financial hubs in the world. It is also a center of innovation. There are a large number of bitcoin and blockchain related startups, BTMs and active communities. All of the previously listed crypto-friendly features make the UK a very desirable environment for bitcoin. The UK has identified the inevitable need for a new payment solution and is gradually bracing itself for a widespread adoption of cryptocurrency in the future. There are even a few local pubs that accept BTC as a means of payment. It is also interesting to note that the Bank of England has been closely monitoring bitcoin technology and has requested ideas from citizens on the improvement of its monetary system. Bitcoin is presently seen as “private money” where VAT is imposed from suppliers of goods and services that accept cryptocurrency as payment. Profits and losses incurred from cryptocurrency trading are also subject to capital gains tax, just as in the US. In the UK, it has become increasingly clear that BTC can be part of a bigger story, and the trading volume indicates steady growth. There are not clear laws against cryptocurrencies at the present time. But the lack of regulatory momentum suggests we may see more positive developments soon. One thing to keep in mind, while the Brexit is still in progress, the British government may be more likely to legislate on non-core issues. “ “Country-by-Country Cryptocurrency Adoption Australia The major banks in Australia have been quite hostile toward bitcoin, but at least the country has removed the burden of “double taxation” on cryptocurrency. This was good news to the local business community because blockchain startups had begun to leave the country as a direct result of unfavorable taxation and closure of bank accounts. The use of BTC still remains unregulated, there is no law or regulation restricting the use of cryptocurrencies by Australian citizens. Cryptocurrencies are regarded as a form of property in Australia, and purchases with BTC, for example, are referred to as “barter”. The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), you will remember, is transitioning its CHESS verification system to a blockchain solution that should go live at the beginning of 2019. Cryptocurrencies in Australia are seen a lot like they are in the US. Topics like the imposition of capital gains tax, concern about securities law, the legal debate about using cryptocurrency as payment for goods and services, etc., are all problematic for regulators. While the general population is quite comfortable and supportive of cryptocurrencies and blockchain solutions, at the present it is not a high priority for the government to legislate or regulate. “ “Taxation and Cryptocurrency Tax is of course one of the most important factors in financial matters on both a personal and corporate level. Taxes greatly influence investment decisions and returns, regardless of industry or size. It is one of the first things every individual or group considers before investing. Notably, in Australia and the USA, cryptocurrency gains are treated as capital gains and taxed at up to 50% of the return. Some countries have low cryptocurrency taxes specifically to encourage the blockchain industry. By offering a more competitive tax rate, countries are implicitly supporting cryptocurrency and actively trying to offer a better return profile than other countries. We will discuss the different taxation regimes in a wide range of countries so you can ascertain the financial advantages and disadvantages of a variety of locations. Belarus Belarus charges 0% in taxation until 2023. That exemption is specifically for cryptocurrency exchanges and transactions. This has been done to help Belarus build a special economic zone, referred to as ‘HTP Belarus’. Their goal is to have an economic zone strong enough to compete with the likes of Silicon Valley. The government of Belarus has also declared smart contracts as legal documents. Anyone looking to set up a blockchain company or a cryptocurrency startup should seriously consider Belarus. It has a supportive regulatory and legal environment which actively encourages the blockchain industry and does not impose punitive taxes upon those inside the industry. “ “Taxation and Cryptocurrency Portugal Any and all personal income received from cryptocurrency transactions is tax-free in Portugal at the present moment. Income from cryptocurrency trading is categorized as something legally different from traditional income or capital gains. The Portuguese government stated clearly that any kind of sale of cryptocurrency does not fall under capital income or capital gain. If an individual is however found to be carrying out professional activity, or any business activity related to cryptocurrencies, that is a different matter and such income will be subject to taxation. From a personal perspective, Portugal is one of the leading countries where an individual can carry out their cryptocurrency transactions and enjoy a decent standard of living in the same country too. However, for ICO and Blockchain businesses it is not recommended to base your operations in Portugal. China China is famous the world over for being home to some of the largest cryptocurrency mines and many active cryptocurrency investors; yet at the same time China makes it illegal to conduct any cryptocurrency related business or investment. But China still has an especially attractive environment for investors. Hong Kong runs on a policy of zero VAT or capital gains tax so it is easy to recommend you base your business there. Hong Kong also stands out as a major financial hub in the heart of Asia. “ “Taxation and Cryptocurrency Netherlands Actually, Netherlands was the first country to make use of a non-zero tax rate policy for cryptocurrencies. So, it may seem reasonable to expect a discouraging tax situation. But the fact is, Netherland’s tax policy is rather advantageous for cryptocurrency. They have a very simple, low-tax regime. Cryptocurrency assets need to be declared with the total assets owned by an individual at the beginning of the year to assess their value. Cryptocurrency gains will be taxed at the highest tax bracket for capital income of just around 5%. The Netherlands is strongly recommended as a good country to work and live in, from both a personal and corporate perspective. Germany Germany is the economic center of the EU. This makes it a great place to start a cryptocurrency or blockchain company. Financial technology has been thriving there for more than ten years, and Germany has favorable cryptocurrency laws too. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency assets have a 0% tax when used in making payments due to no VAT levied for making payments with BTC, because there is no “value added” through cryptocurrency as a fiscal product. Germany offers a moderately compelling case for both blockchain business and individuals. While the tax rate on income at the company level is not competitive, the ability to pay for services in crypto as well as hold cryptocurrency assets and sell them at zero percent taxation rate is compelling. “ “Where to Base Your ICO Let’s talk about the countries that are most accommodating with regard ICOs. Start-up ICO companies, like any company, essentially require three key principles for operation. The first is a sound legal and regulatory framework wherein the rule of law is preserved and business encouraged. The second is the ability to hire or acquire talented individuals to work at the firm. The third and final is the tax system and access to associated financial systems in order to allow the enterprise to succeed. Estonia This country is, perhaps surprisingly, widely referred to as the most digital society in the world. Estonians are known to be pathfinders deeply involved in setting up an efficient, secure, and transparent internet ecosystem. The country ranks first when it comes to the number of ICOs per inhabitant. It has an incredibly supportive tax regime, actually among the most competitive in the world, as well as a deep pool of talent across all areas of the digital spectrum. Estonia offers possibly the most supportive and friendly regulatory and legal framework in the world for an ICO. This, in combination with a zero percent tax rate at both a personal and corporate level, combine to make Estonia one of the single most appealing locations from which you can launch and operate your ICO. “ “Where to Base Your ICO Singapore Singapore is another important regional hub in Asia for its strong rule of law as well as low taxation. The country offers one of the highest standards of living in the world. It is centrally located in the heart of Asia, so it easy to travel and recruit talent from surrounding countries. At the present there are not any specific regulations targeting the blockchain industry, but it is one of the world’s largest countries by funds raised for ICOs. It has a competitive tax regime in combination with strict AML and KYC. All of these factors make Singapore Asia’s leading location to launch and base an ICO. The regulatory situation around the world may seem rather complicated. That is because it is. Laws and regulations are changing rapidly all over the world. And the regulatory framework is the most significant point of concern for a startup ICO. You should carefully study not only the current regulations surrounding your particular venture and how its tokenomics affects its classification, but you also need a reasonable sense of where the country is likely to be six months or a year later. Ideally you would base your ICO in a country that is supportive now, and all timeframes into the future with a competitive and legally sound tax system. Where to Base Your ICO Slovenia Slovenia has recently transformed itself into the leading destination for blockchain technology in Europe. The government of Slovenia has placed a strong emphasis on the study of blockchain technology in public administration, and there has been an amazing success rate for ICOs in Slovenia. While the Slovenian government is a leader in terms of adopting cryptocurrencies, its rate of taxation is still considered quite high at 19%, even though that is still lower than other European countries. ICOs are considered to be normal business activities where you are taxed based on the funds received from an ICO less the expenses of doing business. Switzerland Switzerland is trying to remain relevant for the blockchain industry and for ICOs. The Swiss finance ministry is actively trying to attract investors to the country. Switzerland is considered a very important crypto location due to fact it was home to four of the largest ICOs in the world. The country is also very attractive to investors because of its friendly regulations and digital expertise. The taxation and regulatory environment is extremely secure and positive towards the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry in general. Are there successful ICOs that have originated from the specific countries considered? Read the full article to get the answer! UBAI.co Learn more about our STO and ICO marketing services right now! Contact me via LinkedIn: LinkedIn
Cryptocurrencies are largely negative as Bakkt announces official December launch of Bitcoin futures trading
Caspian, a fintech startup based in the Cayman Islands, has completed its initial coin offering (ICO) ahead of schedule and raised USD$19.5 million in the process. Caspian was founded earlier in 2018 and aims to consolidate the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges under one single interface while also offering a full-stack of cryptocurrency asset management tools, including features geared towards compliance, algorithms, portfolio management, risk, and reporting. 40% of the USD$19.5 million raised will go towards research and development for Caspian while 25% and 15% will go towards sales/marketing and application support, respectively. Specifically, Caspian is geared toward attracting institutional clients to use their application.
Fidelity Investments’ head of blockchain research and development, Hadley Stern, has left Fidelity after 17 years to serve as COO of blockchain software startup, Bloq. Stern’s departure comes just days after Fidelity announced the launch of a new arm, Fidelity Digital Asset Services. In regards to the career move, Stern said, “I’m glad to dig deeper into the blockchain technology beyond just financial services use cases: healthcare, identity, internet of things, cross-border transactions. It really gets to this notion of tokenization of things, that anything that can be tokenized will be, and potentially what can be decentralized will be.” In his new role at Bloq, a startup that provides blockchain solutions to enterprises, Stern will focus on broad blockchain applications and delivering products to clients.
HTC, the producer of Android smartphones, has announced that their HTC Exodus is available for pre-order and must be purchased using cryptocurrency. Customers across 30 countries, including the United States, Hong Kong, and the UK can purchase the new phone, dubbed the EXODUS 1, using either Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH). The EXODUS 1 includes a ‘secret enclave’ within the device to store a user’s cryptocurrency wallet keys -- the ‘secret enclave’ is also kept separate from the Android operating system. The EXODUS 1 is known as the ‘world’s first native blockchain phone’, and features support for decentralized applications (DApps).
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange and new cryptocurrency venture, Bakkt, has announced the launch date for Bitcoin (BTC) futures on Bakkt. Bakkt is a platform meant to facilitate the trading, storing, and spending of cryptocurrencies. According to a document posted on ICE’s website, Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contracts will begin trading on December 12th, 2018. The document goes on to read, “Each futures contract calls for delivery of one bitcoin held in the Bakkt Digital Asset Warehouse, and will trade in US Dollar terms. One daily contract will be listed for trading each Exchange Business Day.”
Square, the popular mobile payments startup, has open-sourced its solution for Bitcoin (BTC) cold storage, releasing the company’s documentation, code, and tools for Square’s ‘Subzero’ Bitcoin cold storage solution. Alok Menghranjani, a security engineer with Square, said in a blog post this morning that Square utilizes the Subzero solution to hold Bitcoin on behalf of its users in an offline environment based on a hardware security module -- this hardware security module is programmable, said Menghranjani, which allows Square and users of Subzero to send BTC from a hot wallet to storage in a cold wallet at any time.
The National Bank of Canada (NBC) is partnering with IT and business consulting firm, CGI, and blockchain startup, Skuchain, to simplify the process banks use to issue transactions by leveraging smart contracts to replace current email-based procedures. The partnership will combine CGI’s Trade360 trade finance platform with Skuchain’s software to create smart contracts in order to accomplish their goal. Patrice Roy, vice president of payments, cash management, and international solutions at the National Bank of Canada said about the partnership, “This will enable us to offer a simple, fast and efficient experience to our commercial clients which facilitates managing their business.”
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has suspended trading for American Retail Group, Inc. (OTC: ARBG) after allegations surfaced that the company issued false statements involving cryptocurrencies -- the company allegedly said that it had partnered with an “SEC-qualified custodian”. The US SEC cited two August 2018 press releases by American Retail Group where the company claimed its cryptocurrency products would be offered “under SEC regulations” and that its token sale was “officially registered in accordance with SEC requirements”. The US SEC is legally allowed to suspend the trading of a stock for 10 days or until reporting requirements are met. Earlier this month, the US SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) noted concerns of companies issuing fraudulent claims referencing the regulating bodies.
Vertex Ventures, a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, a government-owned investment company, announced in a press release of an investment in Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, to facilitate Binance’s expansion into Singapore. Founded in 2015, Vertex Ventures manages portfolios in the United States, Cina, Israel, India, and Southeast Asia and is responsible for USD$2.5 billion of assets under management. Binance previously announced plans to expand operations into Singapore early in September. Wei Zhou, CFO of Binance, said in regards to the expansion that Binance, “look[s] forward to building up the blockchain ecosystem and working with all stakeholders in Singapore to support continued innovation in the local fintech space.”
War against Coinbase (How to fight for your own money)
Thanks "solly122" for starting war against Coinbase and we hope that all victim will be with you in this war. This is from "solly122" So I've had the same problem with coinbase, account locked for a mistake on their system considering me being in Iran etc. What I did was I reached out to support, they didn't respond and I waited for a long time to get a response which was not the right move. Here is how you actually get a response from them: open a ticket with them and wait the 72 hours that they promise they will provide an answer. If they don't do so, you need to start the following:
I have tried every possible channel, a nice lady from U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) answered my email with the following information which is very useful:
Dear Mr. *****: Thank you for contacting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Please be advised that a search of our database indicates that Coinbase is not registered with the SEC. Please note that the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has jurisdiction over some virtual-currency related issues and investments. As such, you may wish to report your concerns to the CFTC. Contact information is as follows:
Commodity Futures Trading Commission Three Lafayette Centre 1155 21st Street, NW Washington DC 20581 CFTC Toll-Free Complaint Line: 866-366-2382
For information about insurance provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), we recommend reviewing the FDIC's page on the matter, "Understanding Deposit Insurance, " available at https://www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/. You can also contact the FDIC as follows:
FDIC Consumer Response Center 1100 Walnut Street, Box #11 Kansas City, MO 64106 877-275-3342 www.fdic.gov
Additionally, as you appear to be a resident of Canada, we recommend contacting Canadian regulators to determine if they may be of assistance.
For help finding information about regulators in Canada, please visit the International Financial Regulators Gateway at http://www.utoledo.edu/law/library/financialregulators/c.html#CANADA. The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy processes many comments from individual investors and others. We keep records of the correspondence we receive in a searchable database that SEC staff may make use of in inspections, examinations, and investigations.
In addition, some of the correspondence we receive is referred to other SEC offices and divisions for their review. If they have any questions or wish to respond directly to your comments, they will contact you.
Sincerely, Lisa Skrzycki Attorney Office of Investor Education and Advocacy U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (202) 551-5953 (direct) (202) 551-6551 (main) (800) 732-0330 (toll free) www.sec.govwww.investor.govwww.twitter.com/SEC_Investor_Ed ref:_00D30JxQy._500t06oF5cAAE:ref Following the above steps, you will open the magic box and voila! Hope everyone gets what coinbase has withheld from them, thought I should contribute to the community although I didn't get much other than hate from coinba
CheapAir.com appears to have chosen self-hosted payment processor BTCPay for its Bitcoin payments, removing BitPay. The firm stats that
Coinbase is sun-setting their merchant platform next week which has led to a need for an alternative processor. Coinbase mentioned that it would be retiring its merchant processing function in April which the cryptocurrency industry condemned.
Caspian Partners, a cryptocurrency portfolio and risk management platform announced a partnership with Bitmex. Caspian customers will now have a unified trading module with more liquidity. The firm provides order and execution management system (OEMS), risk management system (RMS), and a portfolio management system (PMS).
US transportation company Norfolk Southern Corp (NSC) revealed it is joining the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BITA) in a company announcement yesterday. The BITA association formed in 2017 and aims to develop blockchain applications to the transport and logistics industries. BITA also includes organizations like FedEx (FDX), Uber, UPS (UPS) and GE Transportation.
Thailand’s largest bank has joined a trade finance program utilizing R3’s Corda distributed ledger technology (DLT). R3 is a consortium of over 200 companies that uses technology on blockchain to allow businesses to develop applications on top of its Corda platform.
The Bank of China will use blockchain technology to alleviate poverty in the Tibet Autonomous Region, a province with a poverty rate of 12.4%. The Bank of China has developed a cloud-based system to manage a local poverty reduction fund in the past. The bank has decided to upgrade the existing system with blockchain technology and set up a multi-node blockchain network to connect with their partners like the Agricultural Bank of China
A Czech Republic utility company will begin accepting payments in cryptocurrencies. Pražská Plynárenská is one of the major suppliers of natural gas in the Czech Republic. In June it will establish a payment payment gateway which will transfer bitcoin payments into fiat currency.
A recent study by the Warwick Business School claims that investor sentiment is driving cryptocurrency prices. The study analyzed the top 14 cryptocurrencies based on market capitalization. The primary conclusion was that hype and emotions played the most significant role in determining whether the price of a cryptocurrency rises or falls.
Bitcoin Gold (BTG) has suffered from a 51% attack resulting in a loss USD$17.5mm. The 51% attack permitted double spending to occur. According to the Bitcoin Gold (BTG) team, exchanges have been targeted rather than individual users.
South Africa’s Reserve Bank has chose to call cryptocurrencies “cyber-tokens” because they don’t meet the requirements of money.
In Colombia, two Bitcoin Cash (BCH) proponents have developed a payment processor called Bitek.co. The company offers merchants processing with payable invoices and accounting services as the Bitek platform provides merchants with the ability to accept BCH and covert all or a percentage of the funds into Colombian pesos.
Employees in Ukraine were recently caught using the police department’s resources for four months to mine Bitcoin. In April, mining equipment was found in the office of the Communications Deparment which include eight graphics cards, six power units, two hard drives, a motherboard and a complete system.
VeChain (VEN), a Shanghai-based blockchain startup is testing a blockchain application which verifies a wine supply chain and fights counterfeits. The Chinese wine industry is worth USD$2.8bn and reportedly the Chinese consume wine that is not authentic which as weakened public trust in the quality of the product.
Ireland has clarified taxation on the cryptocurrency space. In terms of direct taxes: corporation tax, income tax and capital gains tax are all applicable, but each case should be reviewed separately.
Barcelona will create a blockchain center in the city’s tech hub. The location will be next to Barcelona Tech City which opened in the Summer of 2016 and will most likely be occupied by Spanish blockchain network Alastria.
Bitfury-backed Hut 8 Mining Group mined more than 800 bitcoins in the first quarter of 2018. The company raised CAD$70mm to continue investing in hardware and generated nearly CAD$11mm in revenue.
Commerzbank and multinational conglomerate Thyssenkrupp have successfully conducted an FX transaction on a blockchain platform. Thyssenkrupp transferred 500,000 euros in an exchange rate between the euro and the Polish zloty at some point in future.
Surkus has raised USD$10mm in Series B funding led by EOS global, a USD$200mm venture fund formed earlier this year. The venture fund is making its first investment and it aims to leverage the EOSIO blockchain to catalyze the transformation of the digital assets space.
CoTrader is introducing a decentralized fund management platform that includes cryptocurrency. CoTrader is a blockchain trading platform and it plans to disrupt investment funds to become the world’s largest outlet for all assets.
The Deutsche Boerse, owner of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is considering offering cryptocurrency products according to a report. A move into the crypto space may not be immediate as Jeffrey Tessler, the firm’s head of clients, said the firm must “make sure we understand the underlying transaction which isn’t the easiest thing to do”.
Two Russian financial institutions are set to test a regulatory platform that aims to make domestic initial coin offerings (ICOs) more transparent and secure for traditional investors. The Russian National Settlement Depository (NSD) announced on Thursday that it is working with Sberbank CIB, to test an ICO issuance platform launched by the Bank of Russia.
The US Department of Justice has reportedly launched a criminal investigation into cryptocurrency traders who may have manipulated the market with old-school illicit tactics, such as spoofing. The investigation is also being conducted with the Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
American Express is exploring using blockchain technology to increase security for both users and merchants. The firm is exploring an identity wallet and whether blockchain can be used.
Russian State Duma has approved its first reading of a legislation package that regulates crypto-related matters and activities. The legal texts will open the way for legalization of cryptocurrencies in the Russian Federation, including their exchange and circulation under certain conditions.
Revolut, a British based company that created the first app to allow customers to invest in Bitcoin, has announced it will be adding Ripple (XRP) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to its platform. Revolut began as an app allowing users to transfer fiat currencies, but now has four cryptocurrencies on its platform.
Banks are losing international payments business. Banks have lost 40% of market share for consumer-to-consumer (C2C) cross border payments to non-banks over the last year. Banks have also lost 30% of the consumer-to-business (C2B) and 5% of the business-to-business (B2B) payments market over the last year.
Japanese IT giant, GMO Internet is set to roll out the world’s first bitcoin mining device based on 7nm chips within the year. The firm is launching a new B2 miner on June 6 with mass production to follow and shipment starting by the end of October.
Coinbase has acquired a service called Paradex, a cryptocurrency trading service that lets users trade many digital tokens on a decentralized exchange. The exchange relies on smart contracts to allow users to trade tokens without a centralized authority to record the transactions on a blockchain.
Money Forward, Japan’s most popular personal budgeting app, is launching a crypto asset exchange this year. The firm plans to launch a crypto media platform by Summer followed by an exchange and the construction of a digital asset remittance and settlement system.
The Marshal Islands have replaced the USD$ with its own cryptocurrency. The bill was signed March first but the news is catching attention this week. US Dollars will still be accepted, yet the nation’s cryptocurrency, the “sovereign” will need to be integrated into the country’s financial system. An initial coin offering will take place and the supply will be capped at 24mm tokens
Bank of America has been awarded a patent to let users access a certain blockchain network known as a distributed validating network. Certain users will be granted permission and data will be stored in blocks in which a system can automate this process.
Singaporean-based virtual social trading platform, TrakInvest is looking to become one of the first Asian-based projects to use Hedera Hashgraph’s distributed ledger technology.
Norway’s central bank is preparing for a future in which it might issue a digital currency due to a drop in usage of cash in the country. The Norges Bank released a report titled “Central Bank Digital Currencies” which highlighted that the bank must consider several new attributes that are important for ensuring an efficient robust payment system
Overstock.com’s Tzero is planning to launch a regulated exchange for security tokens in collaboration with Box Digital Markets. The companies will seek approval from the SEC.
A Spanish Central Bank Governor believes that cryptocurrencies will bring more risk than benefits. Luis Maria Linde said that blockchain offers interesting possibilities but that is not quite mature.
Rural banks in the Philippines are looking to adopt blockchain technology in a bid to improve inclusion for residents. The initiative is led by the Union bank of the Philippines, one of the country’s largest banking institutions.
India is considering taxing cryptocurrency at 18% as ‘intangible property’ according to a report issued today. The report detailed that purchases or sales of cryptocurrencies are considered supply of goods and those facilitating transactions should be treated as services.
Every Capital is launching Australia’s first retail crypto hedge fund with the goal of making crypto assets accessible to every Australian investor. Investors will be able to sign up in a fund that covers a range of cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
The Pentagon and Defense department are weighing on whether owning cryptocurrency is problematic for those who already have security clearances and for those individuals requesting government security clearances.
Steemit, the platform of cryptocurrency of Steem (STEEM) has announced they have over 1,000,000 users. The blockchain processes over one million transactions daily. The Steemit.com website receives over 250,000 unique visitors every day
CheapAir.com adds Litecoin (LTC) Dash (DASH) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to its payment options for travelers. The firm first begin accepting cryptocurrency by agreeing to receive payments in Bitcoin (BTC) back in 2013.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), is proposing changes to existing regulations that would ease market entry for blockchain-based and decentralized exchanges. According to a paper published yesterday, the MAS states that the single tier “recognized market operators” regulatory framework cannot meet the demand for new business models based on such emerging technologies.
Chilean President, Mario Marcel has recently made comments in favor of developing a regulatory apparatus for virtual currencies. This openness contrasts the country’s recent banking embargo targeting cryptocurrencies in Chile.
MIT is demoing a use case for bitcoin’s lightning network – how the cryptocurrency can be combined with smart contracts to not only handle millions of transactions, but also with more complexity. Verge (XVG) has experienced its second hack in less than two months.
Executives are citing a DDoS attack which is giving its blockchain a serious delay. The attack has lasted more than a few hours and has resulted in over 35mm XVG tokens being stolen. CoinGate, a payment gateway for cryptocurrencies, is planning to launch
Bitcoin Lightning Network payments on its platform. The company serves over 4,000 merchants globally and will allow companies to accept bitcoin and altcoin payments which can be transferred in BTC, EUR€ or USD$ as payouts.
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is cracking down on unlicensed companies involved in the cryptocurrency space. Companies that the Commission is targeting include investment and trading companies.
A bank in Argentina could soon become the first in the world to begin using Bitcoin for customers’ international remittances. Banco Mansventas (BMV) partnered with local blockchain financial services firm Bitex and are looking to move away from the SWIFT clearing network which has seen multiple failures and security problems in recent years.
Payments startup, Circle has launched the full version of its crypto investment app. After a soft launch, the company has rolled out an investment focused app and one of the features is a “Buy the Market” tool for new cryptocurrency investors.
China Central Television (CCTV) has said that domestic initial coin offerings (ICOs) are still rampant despite a 2017 ban. The network went on to discuss that “air coins”, or token projects that are not backed by legally registered business entities have increased by 30x since the ICO crackdown.
A new crypto teller machine is now operational in Johannesburg, South Africa. The ATM supports several digital coins and joins a growing number of terminals offering automated crypto-fiat exchange services in the country and across the continent.
Japan’s largest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is partnering with Akamai to handle up to 1mm transactions per second using blockchain technology. The platform will confirm transactions within 2 seconds or less and batches of transactions will adhere to the same schedule.
Lawmakers in Taiwan are forming a new parliamentary group aimed to foster the growth of the nation’s emerging blockchain sector. The group will be called the Taiwan Parliamentary Coalition for Blockchain (TPCB).
The Bitcoin community is celebrating the 8th anniversary of the “Bitcoin Pizza Day” which is a celebratory day of a Pizza purchased with Bitcoin. On today’s date 8 years ago, Bitcoin was trading at $.0004 and Laszio Hanyecz purchased two pizzas from Papa John’s for USD$41 using 10,000 BTC
Ohio may become the latest US state to legally recognize smart contracts and records stored on a blockchain. The Senate Bill 300, amends sections of the Uniform Electronic Transactions act and will include blockchain records and smart contracts as electronic records.
Virtuse, a Singaporean cryptocurrency exchange, is connecting crypto markets with global financial assets, commodities, government emission allowances and stock indices to eliminate the middlemen and provide transparency to the financial sector.
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has issued an advisory statement for listing virtual currency derivative products. The director of the Division of Market Oversight (DMO) has said that the CFTC staff will seek to provide additional guidance to help market participants keep pace with innovation while complying with CFTC regulations.
American aviation company TapJets is considering adding Ripple (XRP) and Litecoin (LTC) to its fleet of payment options. The company inquired about which cryptocurrencies to add via a Twitter poll, and 57,000 users voted.
Spain’s financial regulator has clarified its position on regulated investment funds investing directly in cryptocurrencies. The regulatory body stated that an investment fund registered with the countries National Securities Market Commission can make investments in cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain startup ShareRing is developing a mobile application to consolidate sharing services worldwide. The sharing economy is currently valued at over USD$100bn according to Brookings.
Polish Finance Ministry is rolling back a cryptocurrency tax and is making promises to provide smarter regulation. The ministry will be conducting an “in-depth analysis” of the crypto space to create better regulation and taxation policies going forward.
Walmart has submitted a patent application to track items the store sells to customers. The proposed system would allow a customer to register the item after it is purchased.
TradingView, a software website that many cryptocurrency traders use just raised USD$37mm in funding which was led by Insight Venture Partners. Currently the company receives 75% of its revenues from monthly subscription plans that offer more charts, data and real-time server-side alerts
A “cryptosweep” was launched today in the US and Canada by a group of securities regulators. Nearly 70 inquiries and investigations, and 45 pending or completed enforcement actions will be taken, although it is unclear when the related enforcement actions will be publicly announced
The team behind Parity Technologies have announced they are shutting down PICOPS, a service used by ICO campaigns to comply with regulations by validating that the owner of an Ethereum wallet has already passed an ID background check.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has shown in a report that crypto related fraud made up a tiny percent of scam activity in 2017. Of the 200,000 scams reporting, only 0.61% of the financial claims made were crypto related – USD$2.1mm
LMAX Exchange Group is setting up the first cryptocurrency exchange for institutional clients. The group will focus on liquid established cryptocurrencies which include: Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
Former OKEx cryptocurrency exchange CEO, Chris Lee, is now joining rival cryptocurrency exchange Huobi. In a public note, Lee suggested that OKCoin has experienced notable turnover in senior executives over the past few years which may have affected his decision.
Nearly 40% of all Chinese blockchain startups emerged in 2017, according to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The report highlighted that China currently has 456 startups focused on blockchain technology development as part of their core business.
Japan Cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck will delist Monero and three other privacy coins from Coincheck, one of the country’s most popular exchanges. Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) believes that users have too much anonymity with these cryptocurrencies.
Bankex Smart Justice is bringing arbitration to blockchain technology. If users are in disagreement, Bankex claims the firms technology can help users settle
Thomas Lee owns up to his failed prediction of Bitcoin (BTC) rising ahead of Blockchain week. In a note to clients before Consensus 2018, Lee predicted that Bitcoin (BTC) would surge anywhere from 10-70% yet during the week, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) fell
Welcome to the Daily Crypto News Update. Please use this thread as a quick overview of recent crypto news posted for the past 24 hours, and join for all crypto discussions! Please read the disclaimer and rules before participating
Disclaimer: The content of the thread and news should not be relied upon as advice or recommendations of any kind. Use this thread for informational purposes only. It will be your responsibility to take the risk trading based on the recent crypto news. Remember the golden rule - Past results are no indication of future performance. Rules: The subreddit and Reddit rules are still in force here. Please keep the discussion related to cryptocurrency news only and do not use this thread to solve your technical issues on Bitsgap platform.
A better environment for crypto business - the review on the legal systems in six countries
The free conduct of the cryptomarket causes confusion for the government and central banks. The market with $350 billion capitalization and no control is not that much appreciated. So the countries try to find the way to regulate cryptocurrencies. In this article we will outline some examples from the USA, Singapore, Great Britain, Switzerland, Japan and describe what happens in Russia, as well. The USA: the infrastructure for the ready-to-run project The legislation in the USA is complex. Every state has its own idea of cryptocurrency and Blockchain. There is still no clear definition for the cryptocurrency: some state courts acknowledge it as money and CFTC - the Commodity Futures Trading Commission - as an asset. ICO in the USA is not so popular due to the strict Securities Regulation. The government keeps a сlose eye on money-laundering and other criminal activities. The so-called “crypto clean-up” operation is in force - recently the Alabama SEC prohibited five ICO suspected foul play. Donald Trump signed the Federal Act on Compulsory taxation for the cryptocurrency transactions two months ago. Even the one-time transaction from one customer to another is a subject to tax from now on. But the Blockchain business running is the opposite in America: both technological projects and cryptomarkets and crypto ATMs and even hedge-funds investing in crypto are thriving in such conditions working well under the common economic law system. The USA have good diversified and comfortable business infrastructure for the projects to run. Nevertheless, Singapore or Cayman islands are better place to issue tokens. Singapore: the ICO support, bitcoins as goods and crypto sandbox The Singapore jurisdiction alongside the Swiss is crypto-friendly and promising. The Singapore government openly supports ICO and many projects from all over the world come here for tokens issuance. First, they develop in MAS department for High-Tech projects (with 6 months no license running and other features). Then they come out on the open market with soft laws. The Singapore IRS determines bitcoins and altcoins as goods and apply appropriate legislation and taxes to them. Tokens of the investment fund or any other system that distributes profits are defined as a security. The supervisory authorities monitor the cryptocurrency preventing money laundering and financing of terrorist organizations. These are things covered by the legislation on cryptocurrency in Singapore. To register a limited liability company in Singapore and run for a year will cost $4000 minimum. Singapore tax treatment is comfortable - for example, there is no capital gains tax. If tokens rise up in price 5 times during ICO Singapore tax men won’t show up and make the trader pay extra. However, the laws will see further development in near future: crypto projects holding tokens as a security will feel less comfortable. Other coins will be stable in crypto-friendly Singapore. Great Britain: pay taxes and relax Prudish English lawmakers react on cryptocurrencies with great dignity: they pretend to ignore it. Even if the British financial legislation is reasonable and logical, and the business system in Foggy Albion is trustworthy, many cryptocurrencies still have no legal status. Great Britain is one of the countries where cryptocurrency is like a complex digital code to legislation authorities. It is like the pound sterling would be defined in the Constitution as a piece of paper of n square cm with the picture of Her Majesty. Only the tax services, who calculate taxes for cryptocompanies according to their financial statements, made an attempt of official definition for the cryptocurrency. It is comfortable to work here: well-developed bank system, working business incubators and Blockchain friendly government. But it is better to run ICO outside the Kingdom: sooner or later their government adopt a bunch of bills on cryptocurrency exchange and who knows how it will turn out for the tokens issued in Britain. Switzerland: Singaporish but more expensive The Blockchain is widespread here. The cryptocurrency and ICO status is worked out in detail like nowhere else in the world and there is the Crypto Valley for projects in Canton of Zug where Ethereum, Cosmos Network and 200 more crypto companies established their HQs. Zug proposed to be the world capital of cryptocurrency. People can pay for utilities with cryptocurrencies there. Cryptocurrency in Switzerland is defined as a security or an asset. During ICO the regulator divides the coins into three categories: cash, utility tokens and token assets. The cash is regulated by the law on illegal transactions in currency and money laundering, ICO of token assets - by the law on Securities and Stock Market. It is easier to register the “non-profit organization” which will cover the ICO, token management functions and in addition, the technology company management due to the difficulties in Switzerland’s licensing legislation and the high-cost operations. Etherium developed that way. Low taxes, a stable banking system, the government open to cooperate - all that makes Switzerland a comfortable place for crypto business. But the launch is pretty expensive. Few of start-ups can afford to register and run their business in Zug: they should open the official residence, introduce the Swiss resident or citizen to the Board of Directors, open the bank account and pay the state fees. No less than $50 000 per year for all expenses. Japan: a sharp katana of the law In April 2017 the cryptocurrency was formally recognized as a legal way of payment. Now crypto markets are responding to the Financial Services Agency according to the law. All cryptocurrency operations are officially taxable for some years. To open the company which makes any transaction with cryptocurrency in Japan you should reserve no less than $100 000, make an external audit and get the license for $300 000. In case of license rejection money are non-refundable. Local regulators are not so friendly here. They close markets, adopt unpopular and strict laws. Yakuzas cry, honest samurais obey the law, and those who can afford it, quickly leave for Singapore, which is quite close, to run the ICO. All anonymous cryptocurrencies have become illegal to use since the 18th of June. The Japan Financial Security Agency tries to give no freedom for the fraud and launched the delisting of such big companies as Monero, Dash and ZCash within the local markets. Russia: out of the dusk into the fog Russia was considered to be a relatively safe country for ICO because the cryptocurrency was in the grey zone regarding the law. Two years ago the Central Bank of Russia claimed the bitcoin never to be the payment method, the cryptomarkets to be the financial pyramid and warned of the risk to be cheated in fraud schemes. Today the State Duma is trying to comprehend practice into the law, but with very limited success. There is no clear definition for the cryptocurrency in the highly discussed draft law. The requirement for mandatory personal identification involved in transactions with coins kills the idea of anonymity. People can exchange digital assets only in rubles and foreign currency but not in any other coins and open the e-wallet only via Russian provider. There are no smart contracts and cryptocurrency fund-raising in the draft law: there is no information about transferring the cryptocurrency in tokens. The new Russian law to be signed can kill the idea of ICO in this country. There is no law that can solve the problem of accounting and tax issues of digital assets in the country, although Russian tax authorities try their best at getting things organized and taking the profit from crypto companies. The draft law takes the crypto business in our country out of the grey zone but gives no appropriate answer to any question occurring in trading on the crypto market. From small Cayman islands to Cyprus, from Korea to Canada, from Chile to Germany - today we observe an interesting process of cryptocurrency and ICO legalization everywhere. We wonder what result we will see and whether the world regulatory system will be able to put everything in order on cryptomarket and make it easy-to-trade on. The bitcoin cannot be totally forbidden, otherwise, all countries have to negotiate and develop a common regulatory paper. There was no evidence of such unity since the First World War. That’s why the bitcoin has put down its roots for a good long while.
This entry was posted in Bitcoin News, Blockchain, blockchain legislation, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Cryptocurrency, Digital Taxonomy Act, News, politics, regulation, regulations, Securities over Assets, Technology, the Token Taxonomy Act, United States House of Representatives., US, virtual currency, Warren Davidson (R) and Darren Soto (D), Washington DC on April 12, 2019 ... Welcome to Canada, Bitcoin: Regulators Approve First Bitcoin Fund Manager Canadas first Bitcoin fund manager has been duly registered and approved by regulators The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) has approved First Block Capital Inc.s first Bitcoin registration. The Vancouver-based financial institution As a result, Bitcoin rate increased to $7.700 on Tuesday, after dropping below $6.000 just a day earlier. Chairman of the CFTC also noted that the new regulation should not prevent an expansion blockchain technologies. CFTC is ready to recognize blockchain technology as one of the most promising in the 21st century. More clearly, the CFTC would have a colorable claim to regulate derivative products of Bitcoins (i.e., Bitcoin futures, swaps, rolling spot Bitcoin transactions, etc.). However, the market for those products remains small and outside of the United States. The CFTC regulates forex pools and has brought a series of enforcement actions against fraud and Ponzi schemes relating to retail forex ... Click HERE to find out ⭐ CFTC Action Will Have Big Impact on Crypto Exchanges: Attorney Warns Crypto Exchanges that Regulator is Not Afraid to Pursue Big Market Participants. Crowdfund Insider ...
The Gentlemen of Crypto EP. 172 - CFTC Crypto Rules, Operation Cryptosweep, Happy Bitcoin Pizza Day!
CFTC to Take 'Do No Harm' Approach to Cryptocurrency Regulation In a written testimony that was published ahead of a Tuesday hearing. Commodity Futures Tradi... The Gentleman of Crypto is a daily live broadcast that explores Bitcoin and cryptocurrency market. We discuss international topics, news updates, and future innovations in blockchain, digital ... Decks Used in this Video Jumbo Playing Cards https://amzn.to/2S7xNHP Rider Waite Tarot Deck https://amzn.to/2S9JDkE Miss Cleo's Tarot Card Power Deck https://amzn.to/2Sazft9 HOW TO GET A READING ... SEC & CFTC Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Hearings Sales From the Crypto ... unlike anything we’ve seen says Canada’s billionaire Frank Giustra - Duration: 20:47. Kitco NEWS 710,111 views. 20:47 ... Our show, The Gentleman of Crypto, is a daily live broadcast that explores the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency world. We discuss international topics, news updates and future innovations everyday at ...