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
By Shayne Heffernan April 26, 2018
New recommendations promote the liberal and responsible regulation of Switzerland’s blockchain industry
Switzerland’s Blockchain Taskforce presents its White Paper to Federal Councilor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann
The Blockchain Taskforce today released its recommendations on regulating and promoting the industry in the city of Zug, Switzerland’s Crypto Valley. Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann received the recommendations, presented in a White Paper drawn up by around 50 industry leaders at the Blockchain Summit. The Taskforce will change its name to the Swiss Blockchain Institute in the course of the year, while continuing to develop further recommendations. An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) will be used to finance future activities.
Zug, 26. April 2018 – Federal Councilor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann was today presented with a document containing a host of recommendations for the development of the Swiss blockchain industry at the Blockchain Summit in the Swiss city of Zug. The paper was compiled by the Blockchain Taskforce, an industry-led group intended to complement the work of the governing Swiss Federal Council’s Blockchain/ICO Working Group.
At the core of the White Paper is the matter of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and the tokens issued by Blockchain companies. A second important topic is the difficulty experienced by the blockchain industry in accessing Switzerland’s financial market infrastructure. At present, companies in Crypto Valley have to switch to foreign banks to open business accounts.
More at: Switzerland’s Blockchain Taskforce presents its White Paper to Federal Councilor – Live Trading News
By Wolfie Zhao April 2, 2018
The Central Bank of Taiwan is eyeing new rules that would bring bitcoin under the island’s existing anti-money laundering regulations.
During a meeting with Taiwan’s legislative arm Monday, central bank governor Yang Chin-long was questioned over how the banking authority would address the current “opacity” in bitcoin trading in the country, as highlighted by the recent price plunge, according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency.
Responding to parliament member’s enquiries, the governor said the central bank has increased its efforts in monitoring the volatile movements of bitcoin prices and will issue warnings to investors over the risks of cryptocurrency transactions.
Further to that effort, Yang said the banking authority has also recommended to Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice that bitcoin trading should be regulated under current anti-money laundering (AML) rules in the financial sector.
More at: Taiwan Central Bank Proposes Money Laundering Rules for Bitcoin – CoinDesk