May 31, 2018
Complaint charges self-described ‘blockchain evangelist’ Titanium President Michael Alan Stollery in ongoing ICO fraud case.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has obtained a court order halting an ongoing fraud involving an initial coin offering (ICO) that raised as much as $21 million from investors in and outside the US. The court also approved an emergency asset freeze and the appointment of a receiver for Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services Inc, the firm behind the alleged scheme.
More at: SEC charges ‘blockchain evangelist’ behind alleged $21 million scam – The Global Legal Post
By John Moore May 31, 2018
Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple (the company) has spoken about breaking bitcoin’s hold on prices in the wider cryptocurrency markets.
As analysts continue to search for a way to both predict the machinations of the cryptocurrency markets, and Bitcoin et al‘s effect on other financial indicators such as the stock market, Ripple (the company) CEO Brad Garlinghouse is claiming that the world’s first – and still number 1 – crypto could soon lose its influence over the price of other cryptocurrencies.
It’s a widely accepted truism that, when Bitcoin rises in price it drags up the value of other cryptocurrencies – certainly the major ones – with it. However, Garlinghouse – interviewed by CNBC – believes that “over time you’ll see a more rational market and behaviors that reflect that.”
More at: Ripple boss says “more rational market” will see cryptos come out from BTC’s shadow – Crypto News Review
May 24, 2018
The state of South Carolina slapped a cease-and-desist order to a blockchain startup due to an alleged statute violation. The company is called ShipChain and is involved in freight product tracking using ethereum-based blockchain tech. It’s also a member of the Blockchain in Transport Alliance, which counts JD.com, FedEx, and other major companies in the shipping industry among its echelon.
To be specific, the order highlights that ShipChain continuously proffered investment opportunities to South Carolina residents via digital token despite the startup being unregistered to conduct such business. If the order passes, it will mandate ShipChain to cease “participating in any aspect of the securities industry in or from the State of South Carolina.”
The fledgling shipping business has 30 days to request a hearing on the case. When granted audience, the startup can dispute that the tokens offered do not qualify as an unregistered securities offering. The company writes on its website that customers can pay via tokens to book freights for shipping products. The tokens are the only form of payment that the platform acknowledge.
In Texas, a Bitcoin investment startup has also been hit with a cease-and-desist order earlier this month due to the company conducting business without being registered to the proper agency. The order outlined that the startup lured investors with blinding numbers that return on their investments is 100 percent guarantee in just 21 days with no risk whatsoever. This type of businesses are classic scams that are taking advantage of the growing popularity of blockchain and cryptocurrency.
More at: Blockchain Startup Slapped with Cease-and-Decease Order – EconoTimes
From Nima Tabatabai, Westminster Business School, London E8, UK May 17, 2018
The article, “ MBA view: will bitcoin regulation undermine its value? ” (May 16), made disappointing reading, as my fellow MBA colleagues were unable to go deeper than the superficial analysis of bitcoin prevalent in mainstream discourse.
Firstly, bitcoin is not simply a new asset like oil or equities. Bitcoin is a monetary asset, and thus, by definition, is entirely speculative in nature. Bitcoin is thought to be the hardest money created to date, epitomising the school of Austrian Economics. Due to totally inelastic supply and variable demand, volatility will remain high until the rate of entry of new money into the ecosystem is dwarfed by that already inside.
More at: Regulators will struggle to rein in resilient bitcoin – Financial Times
By Aaron Wood May 10, 2018
HB 1426, a piece of state legislation that would have created guidelines for identifying “open blockchain tokens” as securities, was voted down in the Colorado state Senate on May 9, according to public records.
The bill passed handily in the state House of Representatives, but was more controversial in the senate. According to the Denver Post, the final hours of the legislative session saw a split in both political parties. Lawmakers initially passed the measure by one vote, but the senate took another vote moments later, and “shot down” the bill 18-17 after some senators switched sides.
Senator Tim Neville (R), who co-sponsored the bill, said he had hoped it would encourage blockchain innovation in the state without having to wait for legal clarity on cryptocurrencies from federal regulators. Following the vote, Neville said:
“We usually come together to create more opportunities for Colorado companies and startups. In this case, this was an epic fail for those who chose not to support it.”
More at: Colorado Blockchain Bill Voted Down In State Senate – Cointelegraph
By Christopher Udemans May 10, 2018
China has begun establishing national standards for blockchain technology, hoping to complete the process by the end of 2019.
While cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) are prohibited in China, both regional and national governments have shown increasing support for the technology behind these platforms. Chinese authorities are looking at implementing top-level, or “top down,” standards to compete in the global market.
According to reports, the plan for the standards has been published, and a committee to handle their development will be set up.
More at: China to set up national standards for blockchain · TechNode
By Siamak Masnavi April 26, 2018
In an interview on CNBC yesterday, Adena Friedman, the President and CEO of the world’s second-largest exchange (by market capitalization), revealed that “Nasdaq would consider becoming a crypto exchange over time.”
Although she stressed that a clear regulatory framework would need to be put in place first, she generally presented a bullish stance on cryptocurrencies:
I believe that digital currencies will continue to persist it’s just a matter of how long it will take for that space to mature… Once you look at it and say, ‘do we want to provide a regulated market for this?’ Certainly Nasdaq would consider it.
This news came on the same day that Gemini Trust — the digital asset exchange started by the Winklevoss twins in 2015 — and Nasdaq made the announcement in a press release that Gemini was going to use Nasdaq’s market surveillance service for monitoring bitcoin and ether trading as well as the auction process Gemini uses for determining the settlement price for Bitcoin futures:
Gemini Trust Company, LLC (Gemini) and Nasdaq Inc. (Nasdaq:NDAQ) announced today that Gemini will be leveraging Nasdaq’s SMARTS Market Surveillance technology to monitor its marketplace. The technology, which is considered the most widely deployed surveillance system in the world, will enable Gemini to monitor across all of its trading pairs, including: BTC/USD, ETH/USD and BTC/ETH. Further, SMARTS will also surveil activity across the Gemini auction process that is used to determine the settlement price for the Bitcoin XBT futures contracts that trade on Cboe’s CFE Exchange.
More at: ‘Nasdaq Would Consider Becoming A Crypto Exchange’, Says CEO – CryptoGlobe