Regulators worldwide have experienced various challenges in their attempt to regulate the Crypto sector. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been playing a leading role in regulating initial coin offerings (ICOs). According to the regulator’s co-director of the enforcement division Steven Peikin, collaboration with international regulators is helping in investigating ICOs.
SEC Finds It Hard To Identify Misconduct
While speaking at Harvard Law School, Peikin said that SEC is having difficult times ferreting out misconduct. According to the senior official, the agency is recommending enforcement actions where necessary. Some of these recommendations include delisting of securities, suspensions and bars of involved parties, penalties, cease-and-desist orders, injunctions etc. These decisions are taken to protect the interests of investors.
Peikin said that working closely with international regulators is critical in enabling SEC to achieve its goal of preventing the misuse of ICOs. He added that many ICOs are located outside the US, from where they raise funds from people within and outside the country. Consequently, it is hard for the agency to track fraudulent activities without collaboration with relevant authorities.
Previous Collaboration With Quebec Regulator Worked
According to Peikin, SEC has two types of securities laws violation with ICOs. First, there are ICOs that meet the agency’s definition for a security. However, they don’t comply with federal securities laws when being traded, brokered, or sold to the US investors. Second, there are ICOs that are just frauds. In this case, the issuers of such tokens are simply relying on the excitement and popularity of Cryptocurrencies to rip off money from unsuspecting investors.
Peikin termed the assistance SEC has received from international regulators “essential.” In one case, for instance, the agency worked closely with Canada’s Autorité des marchés financiers in Quebec province to charge two Canadian residents linked to the fraudulent Plexcoin token sale. The agency will continue collaborating with the other regulators around the world settle ICO investigations according to Peikin.
Popularity Of ICOs Growing Despite Risks
Recently, ICOs have become a popular fundraising method for most startups in the Crypto sector. According to Peikin, in the last two years, the sector has grown by around 22,000 percent. Investors wishing to take part in these projects only need to have an internet connection. On the part of entrepreneurs, they only need to have great ideas making it easy for almost everyone to launch an ICO.
Thousands of startups around the world have been able to raise funds through ICOs. However, there have been concerns about lack of regulation in the sector. Although some projects have lived up to their promise, they are others that have failed to launch leading to huge losses on the part of investors. This year, over $22 billion has been raised through ICOs.
According to Peikin, the rapid growth of this sector has obscured the risks associated with such investments. He added that some of these issuers lack established track records. Some projects also do not have a workable business model or even viable projects. The other risk is a lack of the capacity to protect the coins from hackers.
Money Forward, a publicly traded Japanese company has announced that it will be launching a Cryptocurrency exchange in the country next year. The firm has said that initially, the exchange will support three coins. Financial Services Agency (FSA), the agency in charge of regulating the virtual currency sector in Japan has not yet granted any Crypto trading platform a license.
Money Forward To Get Into The Crypto Space
Money Forward Financial Inc. will be launching a Cryptocurrency exchange in Japan between January and March next year. The company has released a few details about the project. The name of the exchange has yet been disclosed. According to the company’s representatives, the exchange will first support BCH, ETH, and BTC. Although margin trade will not be offered on the platform, the users will be able to use live order books.
Money Forward Financial Inc. is a subsidiary of Money Forward Inc. (TYO: 3994), which is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Money Forward Me is a personal financial management service by this company. According to its website, this product has around 7 million users. The company’s representatives have said that the exchange will be linked to this service.
About Money Forward
Money Forward Inc. was established in 2012. The Tokyo-headquartered firm now has nine subsidiaries and seven offices in the country. Some of the products provided by this firm include financial services portal and automatic savings app. The users also have access to payroll, invoicing, return, accounting, and information management system. The company was listed on the country’s stock exchange last year.
The company has faced various challenges during the registration process according to its president, Junichi Kanda. In a press conference, the senior executive revealed that it has been a challenge in dealing with the Financial Services Agency (FSA). He added that in the beginning, the process was “relatively light.” However, after hacking cases emerged at the start of this year, the regulator tightened the evaluation of Cryptocurrency exchanges. Since then, the agency has not awarded any company a license.
Kanda also revealed that his company has been in close talks with FSA. He added that he is optimistic that they will get a trading license and launch their exchange before the end of March 2019. During the press, Yamane Hidero, the FSA inspector, was announced as the company’s internal control department head.
Cryptocurrency Regulation In Japan
Japan has one of the most Crypto friendly policies in the world. Recently, the country revised Payment Services Act which introduced a clause requiring the Cryptocurrency exchanges to register with FSA. So far, the agency has registered 16 operators. Three other exchanges have been allowed to operate while awaiting the final decision from the regulator.
Japan has emerged as an important Cryptocurrency hub. Many Crypto and blockchain-based country have already moved to the country. The nation has one of the largest Cryptocurrency markets in the world. The government has been working around the clock to put in place regulations that will protect the interest of the investors while at the same time supporting the young industry.
A United States federal court has ruled in favor of ICO (Initial Coin Offering) project Blockvest in its case against the US SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission).
Blockvest ICO Not Security
In his statements the chief legal officer and president for Blockchain, Mark Santori said that the SEC had filed an enforcement action against the ICO project with the allegation that it was a securities offering. The SEC had asked the court to order a freeze of the ICO project’s assets so that the case could be heard.
The ruling stated that the SEC had failed to show that Blockvest ICO was indeed a security. The court also refused to accept the labeling of the digital token as a security on the sole basis of its distribution method.
This unexpected decision that has been arrived at by the federal court in however not a complete win for the crypto sector nor a loss for the SEC. this is because, as was pointed out by the chairman of the commission Jay Clayton, most ICOs taking place in the United States are deemed as securities by the current US regulations.
Method Of Token Distribution Not Relevant
Nevertheless, the decision made by the federal court has established a precedent for the crypto sector as more ICOs could now have grounds for challenging the SEC in court, But this would only be successful in the event that the ICO projects have sufficient evidence to challenge the SEC before a legal court.
Although this decision also makes it a bit more complicated for the SEC and investors to file a lawsuit against an ICO project. A court will require the plaintiff to describe in entirety why the asset should be considered as security without roping in the method of introduction or distribution to the market. Both parties would, therefore, have to be extra cautious when considering this step.
Santori, who is the operator for the most used wallet platform in the globe, stated that the federal court had gone out of its way to declare the argument put forth by the SEC as null. The court stated that the mere act of distribution could not warrant a token to be declared a security when the token itself was not a security.
This ruling that has been arrived at by the federal court has made it harder for the SEC as well as investors to challenge the issuers of tokens in an ICO. It has also made it harder to argue that a digital token is indeed a security regardless of what the current laws state.
Major Precedence Set By Ruling
Santori added that the ruling made in the Blockvest case has established a higher standard to be met by any plaintiff seeking to challenge an ICO project in court. He said that although the SEC received what it was after when it comes to Blockvest, the precedence of the case would be one that would last adding that going after ICOs would henceforth be more complex than initially thought.
There are many countries that have decided to regulate different aspects of the virtual coins. On the other hand, others have the matter in the air. However, this might be a thing of the past as pressure is mounting on governments have it regulated. Leaders in the latest G20 summit vowed to ensure the crypto assets are regulated.
The Cryptocurrency’s Mitigating Risks
The latest G20 Summit came to a close on Saturday, 1st December in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires. The heads of states that attended the summit made a joint declaration on sustainable and fair development of the technology. This statement by the G20 Summit heads of state, affirmed one thing. It proved that an open financial system can help in supporting economic growth. At the same time, they also called for the international agencies to regulate fast-rising technologies like cryptocurrency.
Plan To Tackle Rising Risks In The Broader Fintech Industry
While hosted by the president of Argentina Mauricio Macri, the G20 summit leaders agreed to tackle certain issues in the market. This will go on even as they monitor and fix the vulnerabilities in the broader financial market. They also agreed, with one voice, to address the issue of fragmentation. This will be made possible through endless supervisory and regulatory supervision. The summit also affirmed their commitment to achieving what other industry leaders had promised to deliver on. This is a continued commitment to attaining a flexible non-bank financial intermediation.
They promised to upgrade their efforts in ensuring that the good side of this new technology is felt in the market. This will be done as risks are mitigated in a proper professional way. They also agreed to regulate the virtual coins for anti-money laundering. This will also assist in tackling terrorism financing in line with the standards of the Financial Action Task Force – FATF. These world top leaders also vowed to put into consideration other responses that might be of great importance.
The Road To 2019’s G20 Summit
The G20 is a global summit that incorporates heads of states and central bankers. They are drawn from the world’s leading economies. But there are certain important facts that few people know about the G20 members. The members of the summit represent 85% of the world economic output. It also represents 75% of the global trade as well as 66% of the total world’s population.
In February 2019, a letter was issued by top-ranking German and French officials. These leaders were asking for a discussion on the effects of regulating the virtual coins. The letter was circulated to all the Finance ministers of the G20 member states. Japan had also been earlier reported to be rooting for agreement on crypto regulation international rules. This happened in March 2019. Japan is one of the countries where the adoption of the virtual coins has been so widespread. Fast forward to July 2019, the Finance ministers and central bankers from the G20 member states aired out their view. They stated that the digital assets do not pose any risk to financial stability and should just be adopted.
Mobile banking startup Revolut has secured licenses in Japan and Singapore. Established only three years ago, the London-based startup now has over three million customers and claims to register between 6,000 and 8,000 new members every day. The decision to expand to Japan and Singapore is strategic, as it will allow the company to enter a region that has adopted a Crypto-friendly policy.
Revolut To Be Available In Japan and Singapore Soon
A London-based startup Revolut has announced that it is planning to enter the APAC region in the first quarter of next year. The mobile banking startup has already received full authorization from Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) and a remittance license from regulators in Singapore. The company is now in a position to get a share of the regions mobile payments market.
Revult was established in 2015. In June, its customer base had reached two million users but has now surpassed three million. The mobile banking startup claims to register between 6,000 and 8,000 new users on daily basis. In the next five years, the company projects to reach 100 million users.
Revolut Optimistic On The Asian Market
Revolut has revealed that it has over 50,000 applicants on its waiting list in the APAC region. This demonstrates how the Asian market is eagerly waiting for its services that will be available from the first quarter of 2019. The company recently held a Series C funding that raised $250 million.
Revolut’s CEO Nikolay Storonsky recently expressed optimism on the newfound market. He said that the company is planning to continue developing exciting new services for customers in the APAC region and beyond. Japan has one of the largest Crypto markets in the world making it attractive to companies in the sector. Singapore has also emerged an important market with a local-based consortium acquiring Bithumb, the largest Cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea.
About Revolut Financial Technology Firm
Revolut allows its customers to send money worldwide in 120 currencies without fees. Crypto traders can purchase, sell, and hold different Cryptocurrencies on the platform at a competitive flat rate of just 1.5 percent. There are no other hidden fees. This makes the company among the cheapest for Crypto traders given that some exchanges charge as much as nine percent of the transaction amount. Users on this platform can send digital assets to the other Revolut accounts in just 30 seconds.
Revolut recently introduced a metallic card accessible at only £12.99 per month or £120 per annum. Some of the services the card offers include booking festival and flights tickets, and travel insurance among others. On top of this, the cardholders can also cash back in virtual currencies.
At the beginning of this year, the company introduced a new version of its app that attracted a lot of interest. The number of Crypto users on the platform has been increasing since the introduction of the app. The company recently revealed that about 100,000 Crypto exchanges take place on the platform every day. About one in five users of the app users have unlocked digital asset trading according to the company.
This new bill has been introduced by Kim Sun-dong, a lawmaker in South Korea. In addition to that, he is also a member of the Political Committee of the South Korean National Assembly. He made it clear that he had initiated a bill named Digital Asset Trading Promotion Act earlier last week. It includes a detailed plan for establishing a guideline that would be used in the market. The guideline will help in developing and promoting the cryptos and blockchain technologies. It will also look into measures that would curb hacking, as well as tax exemption and reduction.
Need For A New Law
Kim Sun-dong stressed on the need for a law dedicated to promote the operations of the virtual coin. He said this is the only way firms wouldn’t exit Korean market, with Bithumb as a good example. Cryptocurrency operations in South Korea accounted for a huge portion of the domestic stock market operations early this year. However, that didn’t prevent Bithumb from being sold to consortium based in Singapore as Kim observed. He also pointed out that Japan has finished legislative processes to make crypto operations institutionalized. The US, on the other hand, has also enabled the trading of crypto derivatives.
Details Of The New Crypto Bill
In the bill, this is how digital assets are defined. They are virtual content with apparent value like points, online money, virtual currencies, and game items. The operators dealing with the cryptos are also defined in this bill. Here they are referred to as digital asset trading companies. There are also various requirements for those who want to operate a crypto trading enterprise. They must have more than $2.66 million won in capital, computerized systems and sufficient manpower. Their physical equipment must also be approved by the FSC – Financial Services Commission.
Looking At The Interests Of The Exchanges
The bill also recognizes that the exchange might be hacked and its crypto clients suffer losses. In such a case, the new bill suggests that the exchange must assume the liability for the traders’ damage. The bill has also mentioned certain industry promotion. They include the promotion of research and development projects, as well as the establishment of a digital asset trading committee. It also includes tax reduction, professional training, and financial support.
The committee will still be responsible for a number of roles. This is if the publication on the Metro Seoul newspaper is anything to go by. The main role of the committee will be to resolve certain matters as asked by the Financial Services Committee. Some of these issues are setting policies and standards that are related to the cryptocurrency assets. The committee will also coordinate between the concerned administrative bodies.
Traditionally, blockchain has mainly been used in Cryptocurrencies. However, the technology has continued to gain more areas of application and has even given rise to security and asset-backed tokens. Some experts are optimistic that the security tokens will grow to become a multitrillion-dollar market and even replace Cryptocurrencies as the most popular assets on blockchain. Here are some of the factors that are favoring the growth of security tokens.
Regulators Are Comfortable With Security Token Offerings (STO)
Most blockchain-based startups have turned to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to raise the required capital to start their businesses. However, there have been complaints that most ICOs have not lived up to their promise. This has seen many investors lose millions of dollars in such projects. This has prompted the regulators to come down hard on the new fundraising methods.
Most investors are more comfortable dealing with a regulated sector than one that is not. Luckily, most STOs are compliant with the legal requirements. Sophisticated investors prefer such investment opportunities, as they are more transparent and efficient. Furthermore, investors also enjoy a high level of indemnity.
Companies seeking to benefit from STOs only need to achieve compliance with regulations at both the local and international levels. Businesses that tokenize early will have an advantage over those who join the sector later. Moreover, a tokenize ecosystem enables businesses to raise the required capital fast.
Lack Of Recover Feature In Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies have become so popular in the last few years and many businesses are now accepting them as a form of payment. However, many Crypto enthusiasts know the risks of losing access to their digital wallets. Virtual currencies lack fund recovery feature making them unfavorable in the investment arena.
STOs shareholders do not have to worry about recovering their funds, especially when dealing with properly constructed STOs. Such firms can reissue the tokens to the investors. However, such benefits are subject to confirmations, checks, and balances. This is another reason that would make most investors to prefer STOs to ICOs.
STOs Have An Intrinsic Value
ICOs only represent a future access to the products or services of the firm issuing the tokens. However, unlike the ICO tokens, securities tokens have an intrinsic value. Security tokens are associated with benefits such as voting rights, dividends, and profit sharing among others. Investors are more likely to invest in projects that provide value at present than those that whose value will be determined after a later date.
Apart from reducing the risk, securities tokens give the investors a significantly greater value. There are various ways to calculate a security’s intrinsic value that include discounted cash flow, residual income method, and the dividend discount method among others. When you buy securities token, it has its value.
Securities Tokens Are KYC/AML Compliant
Know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) protocols are not an issue with STOs. Most companies offering security tokens are familiar with KYC/AML requirements and have no difficulty in ensuring they are followed. This reduces the likelihood of conflicts between token holders, companies issuing the tokens, and the regulators.
Cryptocurrencies were initially designed to allow anonymous transactions. Consequently, most of the products that were introduced in the early years did not follow KYC/AML protocol. However, regulators around the world are determined to stop the use of virtual currencies in money laundering. Although many exchanges have already complied, it remains a big challenge where wallet addresses are anonymous.
Bitcoin Satoshi Vision Has The Greatest Potential For Growth
According to Ryan Charles’ analysis, the future of the newly split Bitcoin Cash lies in the B SV. Bitcoin Satoshi Vision has the potential of going amazingly high when other cryptos are at their lowest points. All these illustrations were contained in his latest tweet. Ryan has two long-term possibilities. The first one is the possibility of all virtual coins going to zero.
The second possibility is of Bitcoin Satoshi Vision going to $1 million per coin when all other coins go to zero. According to this expert, the newly created Bitcoin Satoshi Vision has the powers of hitting $1 million per coin. This is because its economics have been created to work long term. But that’s not all he had to say; he had another point. Should there be no huge growth in the market, even the promising BSV would fail.
Adoption Trumps Everything
That was the last bit of the tweet Ryan Charles made. He fully acknowledges that there are several possibilities for the future growth of all the virtual coins. He also confident that all versions of Bitcoin also have several futures. However, the main message lies in the last part of the tweet. This is where he concluded that “Adoption trumps everything.”
Bitcoin Cash’s First Launched Services
After working with Reddit and venturing into business, Ryan Charles launched yours.org. this is one of the first services launched on the new BCH. For a long time, Ryan had been calling for larger blocks in the Bitcoin network. He believes that the power to process millions of operations in a simultaneous manner is very important. It is not only important to Bitcoin’s viability but also to its long-term success. He felt the best time to launch yours.org was the time Bitcoin Cash went live. This site would need on-chain payments for readers to access its content. Payments as low as one penny are being processed here on a regular basis.
The Idea Of Yours.org
Yours.org can just be described as a hyper-monetized Tumblr or WordPress.com. But, this is without building its own blockchain just as it was done by Steemit. Charles listed for some time after he left Reddit. He even thought of creating a decentralized version of Reddit but the idea to create yours.org came.
Ryan X. Charles has been lately active on Money Button, a Bitmain-backed payments project. Money Button makes it easy for sites to accept payments that are done on the virtual coins. But now this crypto expert is eying something new. He is determined that Bitcoin Cash will attain the $million per price mark. He believes sensationalizing such statements is so important.
Ohio has become the first state to accept tax payments in Cryptocurrencies. In a press release Josh Mandel, Ohio Treasurer said that the payment option will provide the locals with more alternatives for tax payment. He added that the state’s leadership has a strong support for blockchain technology.
Tax Payments In Bitcoins
The new service will be available on OhioCrypto.com, a new service launched by Mandel. For now, those wishing to use the new tax payment method can only use Bitcoin as it is the only Cryptocurrency that is supported. BitPay will be the one responsible for processing all payments. The users will only be required to pay a “minimal fee” to enjoy this new service.
The new tax payment method is expected to give the Ohioans an opportunity to enjoy the benefits linked to Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. OhioCrypto.com will provide the residents with real-time tracking and offer transparency. This means anyone will now be able to view all the transactions unlike in the current system.
Mandel made it clear the state will not store any of the Cryptos. Instead, for any tax payment made in Crypto on OhioCrypto.com, the Treasurer’s Office will convert it immediately to dollars and then deposit in the state account. It is still early to say whether other states will follow Ohio in embracing the new technology. Furthermore, it is also early to analyze how the locals have taken the new move.
Ohio To Host A Major Blockchain Summit
The introduction of the Crypto payment method has come at a time when the state is about to host the Blockland Solutions Conference. The conference is a Bernie Moreno’s Blockland Initiative that intends to make the region an important technological hub. It is expected that those who will attend the conference will get a chance to see the real-world application of blockchain and Cryptocurrency. Furthermore, the conference will expose the attendees to the Crypto-friendliness of the state and this will probably encourage more Crypto and blockchain-based firms to move to the state.
XRP Back On Coincheck Again
It’s exactly 10 months since Crypto traders traded XRP on Coincheck. However, the exchange said that XRC and FCT trading pairs will now be available on the exchange from November 26, 2018. In a statement on its website, the exchange clarified that sales and deposits of the two tokens will now be available. President Toshihiko Katsuya, the exchanges leader signed the statement.
On January 26, 2018, the Japanese exchange was attacked forcing it to suspend its services. However, the Crypto trading platform has been trying to bring back its services. Apart from XRP and FCT, there are now another seven altcoins available on the exchange. They include NEM, Lisk, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin.
The exchange has already informed its customers that due to increased traffic, it may be hard to access the website sometimes. Furthermore, the exchange has said that it may suspend any transaction without prior notice in case of sharp transaction volumes. For the better part of this year, it has been unclear whether the exchange will resume its services and it is great to hear it is back.
Bitex has officially opened its Cryptocurrency exchange services in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to become the latest Crypto trading platform in the country. The new exchange is expected to allow the locals to buy the listed coins on its platform using the local currency. UAE has been working towards regulating the Crypto sector with the aim of becoming a Crypto and blockchain hotspot.
Bitex Cryptocurrency Exchange Launches Dubai
Cryptocurrency traders in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have a reason to smile after Bitex exchange officially launched in the country. The newest Crypto trading platform will initially list Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin Core. According to the local media reports, the exchange also announced the launch of its own wallet. This will enable the exchange to provide coin storage services to its customers.
The exchange will use a multi-signature HD wallet to store their clients’ coins securely, Trade Arabia reported. Bitex UAE added that the use of the three-key system will require the users to provide two of the three keys making the three-key system even more secure. On its Linkedin page, the exchange said the Bitex UAE will securely store the first key, while the Bitext UAE’s wallet partner stores the second key. The two will be used to access funds. The exchange has said that the other key will be the recovery key.
Bitex UAE To Provide Various Benefits To Crypto Traders
UAE-based residents are expected to enjoy various benefits from the newest exchange in the country. According to Bitex UAE’s chief executive officer Monark Modi, the new exchange will provide the locals with more payment alternatives, which include debit and credit cards and bank transfer. Furthermore, the exchange will allow its customers to schedule a cash pickup. Within 24 hours of deposit, the funds will be available for trading.
The senior executive also added that the local Crypto traders have been eagerly waiting for more options that allow them to buy and sell different Cryptocurrencies in a safe and secure way. Despite the accessibility of international exchanges in the country, they are not as convenient as the new Dubai-based exchange. For instance, whereas Crypto traders are forced to exchange the local currency with other currencies to trade on the exchanges, the new exchange will allow them to make a deposit in the local currency.
Change In Crypto Regulation In The UAE
The Crypto sector in the UAE has been undergoing various changes that have enhanced its growth. The recent changes in regulation in the country have gone a long way in encouraging more Crypto firms to move to the country while at the time boosting the growth of its Crypto market. According to Bitex’s CEO, Blockchain Strategy 2021, a vision by the government to make the country a Crypto and blockchain hub has helped in making Cryptocurrencies more accessible in the country.
In the past few months, UAE has been putting various regulations in place with the aim of attracting more Crypto firms in the country while at the same time protecting the interests of investors and the locals. In June, for instance, the Abu Dhabi Global Market’s regulator the Financial Services Regulatory Authority released new regulations that affect Crypto trade in the country. The framework addresses the use of Cryptocurrencies in illegal activities such as money laundering.