Japanese Financial Regulator Issues ‘Punishment Notices’ For 7 Crypto Exchanges: The Japanese regulators are working overtime. These exchanges where sent these notices regarding their internal control systems. Two exchanges, Bit Station and FSHO, are closed for one month. Japan has the most hands-on regulation so far. The rest of the world can only hope they set an example that doesn’t suffocate the industry.
US Officials Praise Blockchain Amid ICO Concerns: The general mood was positive on blockchain tech. Everyone is starting to realize the potential it has for changing every industry. Regarding regulation there is still ambiguity in the US. What to consider crypto is still up to debate considering every agency is claiming domain over it. Some see that good as it forces the issue to be talked about rather than swept under the rug and over regulated. Hopefully we get complex crypto laws that recognize different crypto fall into different asset types. A one size fit all will not work here.
Sierra Leone Holds First-Ever Blockchain Presidential Vote + First Results of Sierra Leone’s Blockchain Vote Are In: Sierra Leone has used blockchain to reduce voter fraud utilizing a permissioned blockchain, by the Swiss company Agora. It only occurred in one district but shows it can be applicable at a larger scale. The blockchain is just for logging each vote after it is counted so there is still chance for fraud, but it untampered record in case a recount must happen. Don’t expect blockchain to be the sole thing for elections though. It is just one of the many ways used to control and monitor fraud. Blockchain may be able to solve fraud, but only in a peaceful environment or having the technology is useless.
Ripple CEO: Cryptocurrency Market Has ‘Outsized’ Reaction to SEC Announcement: The SEC announcement he is referring to is the one regarding exchanges. Exchanges must be registered with the SEC if they hold ICO tokens. This forces exchanges to de-list ico tokens, register, or close. Bitcoin is suffering from the ghost of Mt. Gox while Ethereum will feel the wraith of ERC-20 tokens forced to shape up or suffer the SEC wraith. The market is looking incredibly bearish until one of these events subsides.
Major Russian Social Networking Sites to Accept Cryptocurrency Payments: VK and OK are offering advertisers the option to pay in Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash. Additionally, employees may have the options to accept their salary in crypto. Both sites are controlled by the Mail.Ru Group and payments will be done through Bitpay. Considering Russia’s new positive outlook to pursuing blockchain it isn’t surprising to see a major company embrace Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
Winklevoss Twins Hint At Gemini Support for Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash; Big Implications for CBOE Futures?: Since the CBOE is in an exclusive deal with Gemini, the coins the CBOE supports depend on Gemini support. Currently Gemini only supports Bitcoin and Ethereum. At a recent conference there has been sentiment to expand coins that are offered. I expect Gemini to take it slow like Coinbase does with adding coins. Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash are the most likely contenders. I doubt we will find ERC-20 tokens on major US exchanges like Coinbase or Gemini until this SEC & ICO issues are resolved in the industry.
EU Unveils ‘Enabling Framework’ For Blockchain And Fintech, Wants To BE ‘Global Hub’: Here is the areas the EU is concentrating on for their frame work. “creation of an EU FinTech Laboratory, the Blockchain Observatory, promoting the digitization of information from registered companies, cybersecurity efforts and “best practices on regulatory sandboxes,” which the Commission says will be “based on guidance from European Supervisory Authorities.”
OKCoin CEO Hints at China Cooperation In Leaked chat: The CEO briefed the country’s central bank on the company’s overseas expansion plan, blockchain research and the CEO made a commitment that the company is “prepared to donate it to the country anytime in the future.” It is unclear on what will be donated to the country, but that could be a deep range of things overtime
CFTC Ex-Chair: Crypto ‘Bubble’ Won’t Burst Without Set Regulation To Bring In Big Money: This makes perfect sense. Just think how bad the market would be right now if majority of the money in Bitcoin cared more about profit then the ideals or tech. They wouldn’t be holding if one of those didn’t motivate more than just pure profits. The recent dip was influenced by massive dumping by the Mt. Gox Trustee. Imagine if most of the market was filled with big money that primary concern was short term fiat withdrawals rather than a year or more long vision.
Praetorian Group Files To Be First ICO To Sell Registered Security Tokens In US: The Praetorian Group, referred to as a “Cryptocurrency Real Estate Investment Vehicle,” might be the first registered security. They decided to try to go the exemption route and go directly with registering. They are real estate related and are looking to develop residential and commercial properties in lower income areas that they think will rise in value. Gentrification with a crypto twist.
Crypto Exchange Bittrex” We’re Compliant With SEC’s ICO Rules: Bittrex is trying to alleviate concerns regarding the SEC calling for exchanges to delist ICOs or register with them. Bittrex defends their token selection process stating that they get a US-qualified law firm that “presents the factual and legal basis” that a token “is not a security under applicable securities laws” and that trades of the token “would not be subject to regulation under any applicable laws applicable to trading of commodities.”. I’m sure you could find at least one token that counts as a security though.
Wall Street Analyst Creates ‘Bitcoin Misery Index’ For Traders: It’s cool thing to see, but you don’t need an index to see all the recent news is making people incredibly bearish. I think this is the time we will see a lot of coins be culled off for failing to fit regulatory demands. Just hang in there while the market recovers later in the year.
Buterin Presents Blockchain Scaling Solution That Could Make Exchanges ‘Hack Resistant’: Seems like Buterin is trying to make some platform that governments would adopt. The original scaling solution is called and Plasma works by optimizing data that is passed onto the root Blockchain, reducing the transaction fees for smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps). However, it requires everyone to download the network for it to work as intended so Plasma Cash was born. With a deposit to an exchange for example, Plasma coin would be created with the same value of ether and a unique ID that cannot be merged or split. Personally, it sounds too conceptional for now. I’d like to see it in action. You never know what problems might occur until it is in use.
South Korea’s Largest Crypto Exchange Bithumb To Supply Crypto Kiosks To Restaurants: Good things for the actual utilization of crypto. Korea and Japan are the only countries I’d be able to see common people using crypto regularly right now. Especially since Korea’s mania for crypto is insane compared to other countries. Success in Korea could spread in other places. Hopefully it gives rise to utilizing crypto for it’s original purpose, a currency.
Venezuelan President Claims Petro Pre-Sale Raked in $5 Billion: If the stats are true then Venezuela has done it. It has surpassed US sanctions with a crypto ICO. $5 Billion more than they ever would have had doing anything else. Maduro says it will be used to reinvigorate the country. I’m still skeptical that the Petro will represent their oil but looks like it works out in the short term.
Crypto Advertisers On Google AdWords Report Ad Suspensions And Account Terminations: If you’ve listened to me I mentioned that this probably would happen. As soon as I saw Facebook banning crypto ads I knew it was only a matter of time for other platforms. The ad industry itself is filled with fraud and it’s not surprising they rather just eliminate all crypto than try to regulate the good from the bad. The main validation was that the ICOs that typically advertise are not properly warning users the risk of investing. So because these bad actors, legit business are suffering due to not be able to utilize AdWords for their blockchain business.