Bitcoin Bull John Mcafee to Lead 2020 Presidential Campaign While Fleeing IRS Indictment

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Bitcoin Bull John Mcafee to Lead 2020 Presidential Campaign While Fleeing IRS Indictment

Cryptocurrency proponent John McAfee revealed that the IRS has convened a grand jury to charge him, his wife, and four of his campaign workers, with ‘unspecified’ crimes of felonious nature.

Bitcoin Bull John Mcafee to Lead 2020 Presidential Campaign While Fleeing IRS Indictment

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Top 5 Crypto and Blockchain Events We’re All Waiting for in 2019

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Top 5 Crypto and Blockchain Events We’re All Waiting for in 2019

While that the cryptocurrency industry is going through a very rough phase, here are the five events expected to set the growth trajectory of the crypto market in 2019.

Top 5 Crypto and Blockchain Events We’re All Waiting for in 2019

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CBOE May Have Withdrawn Bitcoin ETF Filing to Avoid Automatic Rejection

The advent of a U.S.-based, fully-regulated Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) has long been a hope for crypto’s most fervent dreamers. Yet, these dreams, deemed quixotic by most, was quashed on Wednesday, as reports arose that the foremost cryptocurrency ETF application was withdrawn from the care of the (partially-defunct) U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Related Reading: 58% of US Investors Would Invest in Bitcoin via ETF: Major Hedge Fund
CBOE Pulls Out Of VanEck Bitcoin ETF Deal
On Wednesday afternoon, the SEC released one of the most important crypto-related documents to-date. The two-page document, authored by SEC deputy secretary Eduardo A. Aleman, revealed that the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) had withdrawn its proposed rule change that would have facilitated the listing of VanEck and SolidX’s collaborative Bitcoin ETF.
Therefore, the exchange, U.S.’ largest options market, effectively killed the proposal, which garnered mounds of support heading into 2018’s year-end. This document was filed on January 22nd, just earlier today.
Crypto’s analysts, industry commentators, and researchers quickly took to Twitter to touch on this unfortunate occurrence. Jake Chervinsky, a crypto-friendly attorney based in Washington, D.C., explained that the withdrawal “implies” that CBOE and its partners were already expecting an eventual denial.

CBOE has withdrawn the VanEck/SolidX bitcoin ETF proposal (https://t.co/812Ym7U7Hh).
They haven't given a reason yet, but withdrawal implies that they expected denial & didn't want another SEC order setting bad precedent for the future.
There will be no bitcoin ETF in Q1 2019.
— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) January 23, 2019

Chervinsky, who has quickly become a leading Bitcoin ETF commentator, added that the CBOE was likely acting in crypto’s favor, as it “didn’t want another SEC order setting a bad precedent for the future.”
Long story short, the Kobre & Kim lawyer made it clear that there will be no formal approval of a Bitcoin ETF in Q1 of 2019.
U.S. Government Shutdown?
While Chervinsky’s logic is sound, more speculation has raged regarding the application’s denial. More specifically, thoughts surrounding the ongoing U.S. shutdown, which has entered its second month, were rife.
Some claimed that if the ETF was approved by default, due to the SEC’s potential inability to issue a proper denial, the government entity would take swift action to take down the VanEck initiative. On the other hand, the SEC might have had to issue an automatic denial. Both of these scenarios would have likely dealt a larger blow than CBOE’s Wednesday withdrawal.
According to a Twitter user, who cited a purported Wednesday CNBC interview with VanEck chief Jan, the company claimed that the withdrawal of the proposed rule change was related to fears that the application wouldn’t get a green light. The Twitter user added that VanEck claimed that it needs more time to convince the SEC and other regulatory incumbents that Bitcoin’s market conditions can adequately support an ETF vehicle.

Jan Van Eck stated on air on CNBC ETF that it was because it wasnt getting passed and they needed more time to convince SEC about overseas bitcoin trading issues.
— JV (@JVWVU1) January 23, 2019

A tweet from Gabor Gurbacs, the head of VanEck’s crypto division, recently corroborated this. Gurbacs claimed that his firm still has ambitions to work with stakeholders and market makers to create a healthy ecosystem for such an investment instrument.
Interestingly, the crypto market has barely reacted to this news. At the time of writing, BTC has held above $3,550, while altcoins have also stood the ground. Yet, considering former crypto ETF developments, a move lower could hit the broader industry in the near future.
This news comes just days after Bitwise Asset Management and Wilshire Phoenix filed Bitcoin-related ETF proposals to the American financial regulator. Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has also made comments on crypto exchange-traded vehicles, claiming that it currently isn’t looking into approving such an offering, contrary to other reports.
This is breaking news, but NewsBTC will be sure to keep you in the loop in the hours and days to keep. Keep on checking in. 
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Davos 2019: Crypto is Not a Threat to Traditional Banks, Believe Bank of England’s Officials

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Davos 2019: Crypto is Not a Threat to Traditional Banks, Believe Bank of England’s Officials

According to Huw van Steenis, senior adviser to Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, cryptos have no value and fail fundamental tests of financial services.

Davos 2019: Crypto is Not a Threat to Traditional Banks, Believe Bank of England’s Officials

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Legislators in Wyoming Set to Legalize Crypto Custody at Banks

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Legislators in Wyoming Set to Legalize Crypto Custody at Banks

With the new legislation, Wyoming may become the first state in the U.S. where banks are allowed to provide custodial services for digital assets.

Legislators in Wyoming Set to Legalize Crypto Custody at Banks

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Coinbase Exec Unveils What 2019 Will Bring for Bitcoin Regulation Globally

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Coinbase Exec Unveils What 2019 Will Bring for Bitcoin Regulation Globally

The unfolding year is said to bring many changes to cryptos and an intense regulation framework is going to be one of them according to Coinbase’s lead counsel in the UK.

Coinbase Exec Unveils What 2019 Will Bring for Bitcoin Regulation Globally

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Ongoing U.S. Shutdown Casts Shadow on VanEck Bitcoin ETF Approval

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Ongoing U.S. Shutdown Casts Shadow on VanEck Bitcoin ETF Approval

American lawyer Jake Chervinsky explains that despite the U.S. shut down the SEC has provision to act on VanEck Bitcoin ETF. However, ETF executives remain confident.

Ongoing U.S. Shutdown Casts Shadow on VanEck Bitcoin ETF Approval

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Security Token Offerings (STOs) Could be Big For Korean Crypto Industry

If 2017 and early 2018 were seen as the year(s) of the ICO then 2019 could well be the year for the STO, security token offering, according to latest research from South Korea.
Security Tokens Still Need Regulation
Initial coin offerings were seen as a great way to launch a project by selling tokens for it in cryptocurrency, which was predominantly Ethereum. However the scammers and shysters soon took advantage of this relatively easy way of making money at the behest of the uninitiated, and on the back of the wave of fomo that was gripping the digital world this time last year.
A large number of ICOs were revealed to be scams with fake teams and non-existent projects. This caused a tsunami of regulatory pressure and kick started the crypto bear market which is still ongoing today.
Security tokens could well be the answer as unlike the majority of crypto tokens they are actually backed by physical assets. They share traits with conventional financial products such as stocks, bonds and derivatives and provide a way for investors to buy a digital stake in a commodity by owning a crypto token backed by it.
According to Business Korea the country’s leading blockchain research centers, Chain Partners’ CP Research and Coinone Research Center, have identified STOs as the next big thing for the crypto industry.
CP Research added that they provide a solution for assets that are difficult to liquidate such as real estate or art. It said that 2019 will see the establishment of an STO infrastructure and the market will grow to an estimated $2 trillion by 2030. The research noted that real estate and venture capital funds have already become tokenized but adoption may still be hindered in South Korea due to its current regulatory stance. According to the report, regulators still claim that cryptocurrencies and blockchain are two different things which could be sending domestic companies abroad to launch STOs.
Coinone Research released a similar report but had a different take on the situation stating;
“STOs which focus only on the liquidation of assets will eventually create a lemon market where only worthless assets are traded. Concentrating only on the possibility of liquidation is a dangerous thought,”
The warning is that this type of investment practice could cause another economic crash similar to 2008 where mortgage backed securities were issued excessively. The purpose of such research was to push the Korean government into formulating clear and concise STO regulations in order to promote healthy investment markets.
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Thanks US Shutdown: Why Bakkt and Others Will Likely be Delayed

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Thanks US Shutdown: Why Bakkt and Others Will Likely be Delayed

The ongoing government shutdown achieved a new milestone on Friday by hitting the record for the longest shutdown in US history. While all the spheres are negatively affected, this has laso put key developments in the crypto space on hold.

Thanks US Shutdown: Why Bakkt and Others Will Likely be Delayed

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SEC Puts Top Priority on Cryptocurrency ‘Examination’ in 2019

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SEC Puts Top Priority on Cryptocurrency ‘Examination’ in 2019

The regulatory watchdog has recently published a report which talks about the examination and compliance inspection of the emerging cryptocurrency market.

SEC Puts Top Priority on Cryptocurrency ‘Examination’ in 2019

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India Still Cautious Over Crypto, RBI Shelves Plans For Own Cryptocurrency

The situation in India regarding cryptocurrency is no clearer as we enter the new year. The government and central bank are clearly still very cautious towards the industry and are unlikely to make things easier in the near future.
No Specific Timeline
The Indian government has reportedly issued an update on its progress, or lack of, towards cryptocurrency regulation. Ministers are clearly in no hurry to finalize a timeline for a movement towards clearer regulation and acceptance of digital currencies.
According to Quartz the minister of state for finance told parliament;
“In absence of a globally acceptable solution and the need to devise technically feasible solution, the department is pursuing the matter with due caution. It is difficult to state a specific timeline to come up with clear recommendations,”
With no further clarity the state of the crypto industry in India remains clouded. A committee which includes members from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Reserve Bank of India, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, and the Central Board of Direct Taxes has been established to further “study all aspects of cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets including bitcoin.”
The panel was expected to draft a report this month which many hoped would bring about the legitimization of cryptocurrencies in the country. When questioned about the legality of crypto assets the minister added “The government has not recognised cryptocurrencies as legal tender. The issue of permitting trading in cryptocurrencies is currently under examination by an inter-ministerial committee.”
RBI Shelves Digital Currency Plans
The Reserve Bank of India, which has been vehemently anti-crypto, has axed plans to launch its own digital currency according to reports. In April last year it was considering its own Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) following a series of crackdowns on exchanges across the country. According to a source who spoke to the Hindu Business Line “The government doesn’t want the digital currency any more. It thinks it is too early to even think about a digital currency,”
The RBI is still citing money laundering and cyber security threats as its primary reasoning for the anti-crypto stance. Most central banks have adopted this policy as it is their job to control and monitor the flow of finances to and from their respective countries.
According to the founder of cyrptocurrency exchange Belfrics, Praveen Kumar, “It is premature for RBI to launch crypto-rupee, as more understanding of the crypto economy need to be achieved. It is a right decision to delay the process and see how the publicly traded peer-to-peer economy is shaping up.”
So it seems that the new year has not been a very happy one for crypto aficionados in India where there is still no progress on adoption and acceptance.
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Crypto Year in Review: How Bitcoin (BTC) Performed in 2018 and What Hides in 2019?

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Crypto Year in Review: How Bitcoin (BTC) Performed in 2018 and What Hides in 2019?

On December 17th, 2017 the price of Bitcoin neared $20,000. Optimists hoped that was just the beginning. They were right: that was the beginning.. but maybe the beginning of end? Check out how BTC performed in 2018 and what is likely to hide in 2019.

Crypto Year in Review: How Bitcoin (BTC) Performed in 2018 and What Hides in 2019?

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India Likely to Legalize Cryptocurrencies Under Strong Regulations

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India Likely to Legalize Cryptocurrencies Under Strong Regulations

India is likely to soften its stand on cryptocurrencies while giving them legal status but under strict regulatory measures.

India Likely to Legalize Cryptocurrencies Under Strong Regulations

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Crypto Assets Won’t Be Classified As Securities With Proposed U.S. Bill

Since Bitcoin (BTC) was formally classified as a pseudo-commodity, crypto investors have been pestering regulators, namely the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), how their favorite cryptocurrencies stack up. Ethereum (ETH), in its “current decentralized state,” was hinted at being in the same boat as BTC. But for a majority of other cryptocurrencies, primarily those issued via initial coin offerings (ICOs), pundits have hinted that they can be classified as securities.
SEC Commissioner Jay Clayton, for instance, recently took to CNBC and Coindesk’s Consensus Invest conference to state that while ICOs can be an effective way to build war chests, such efforts should adhere to traditional securities laws.
This de facto classification has led to tumult in the token subset, as made apparent by the recent crackdowns on AirFox and Paragon, two projects that raised funds by the way of a token sale, and EtherDelta, a popular decentralized exchange that facilitates the trading of Ethereum-based ERC-20 tokens.
Lawmakers Want The U.S. To Become Leaders In Crypto
Yet, an exclusive report from CNBC’s Kate Rooney indicates that on Thursday, two American congressmen have introduced a bill that would turn the regulatory tide in crypto’s favor. Per Rooney, the so-called “Token Taxonomy Act,” headed by Warren Davidson of Ohio and Darren Soto of Florida, will disallow the SEC from classifying fully-fledged “digital tokens (crypto assets)” as securities.
Speaking in a statement on the matter, Davidson noted:
“In the early days of the internet, Congress passed legislation that provided certainty and resisted the temptation to over-regulate the market. Our intent is to achieve a similar win for America’s economy and for American leadership in this innovative space.”
CNBC did not specify when the bill, likely the first of its kind, will be run through governmental proceedings. Yet, many crypto diehards have faith in the bill, which is slated to discredit the regulatory uncertainty that has plagued this industry in recent memory.
And while cynics are skeptical that this act will succeed, the joint effort from Davidson and Soto likely already have the support from a number of fellow congressmen. As reported by NewsBTC previously, Colorado’s Jared Polis and California’s Gavin Newsom, two forward-minded, pro-Bitcoin politicians, were elected into office in America’s most recent midterms, which were finalized in early-November. Newsom was one of the world’s first political incumbents to accept Bitcoin donations, while Polis actively heads pro-blockchain efforts.
While two is far from a crowd, the recent elections of Polis and Newsom, coupled with the advent of the “Token Taxonomy Act,” could indicate that once 2019 hits, the crypto industry will begin its journey to a clear status in regulators’ eyes.
This unexpected move comes after talk ramped up regarding XRP’s status in the regulatory realm, as rumors have hinted that Ripple’s go-to asset will be listed on Coinbase if XRP is formally classified as a non-security.
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Crypto Exchange Coincheck to Receive Full Licensing from Japanese Authorities

Coincheck, the crypto exchange that lost over $500 million in investors funds in early-2018, is now close to receiving full licensing from Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA), signaling that the exchange tightened their platform’s security and cleaned up the management practices that led to the hack.
The news regarding the regulatory authority’s decision to issue the exchange their operational licensing was first reported by Nikkei Asian Review, who stated that the license will be issued by the end of 2018.
Crypto Exchange Regulation to Reduce Chances of Future Hacks
As reported by Nikkei in January of 2018, the hack, which resulted in the theft of NEM tokens, was the direct result of poor security features and exchange mismanagement, which led to multiple vulnerabilities that encouraged hackers to target Coincheck over other, more secure, platforms.
Koichiro Wada, the chief executive officer of Coincheck, spoke to Reuters about the reasons behind the platform’s vulnerability, and blamed the lack of experienced employees for the platform’s flaws.
“We were aware we didn’t have enough people working on internal checks, management and system risk. We strived to expand using headhunters and agencies, but ended up in this situation,” he said.
Following the hack, the FSA swiftly moved to enforce regulations on crypto exchanges that would hold them to similar requirements that banks are held to, scrutinizing their business plans, ensuring that anti-hacking measures are in place, and that the management team is being held to high standards.
The FSA issued two separate improvement orders to Coincheck after the hack occurred, and on both occasions found that it lacked sufficient safeguards to protect investor’s funds and to prevent money laundering from occurring.
Coincheck Trading Volume Drops, Exchange Begins Restoring Trading Services
Although the exchange refunded all the lost funds to investors, the news regarding their platform’s issues has led to a declining trading volume that signals that the damage to the exchange may be irreversible, regardless of the receipt of their licensing from the FSA.
The exchange’s trading volume, which has been continuously dropping due to the declining crypto markets and decreased investor confidence in the platform, is currently sitting at just under $24 million USD according to CoinMarketCap.
Coincheck resumed new account openings and customer deposits in late-October, initially only resuming trading for four cryptocurrencies, and limiting new accounts to Japan residents exclusively. It wasn’t until November that the platform resumed NEM trading, and only a few weeks ago they revealed that they would resume trading for XRP and FCT tokens.
A translated statement from Coincheck regarding the re-listing of XRP and FCT reads in part:
“In connection with unauthorized remittance of the virtual currency NEM…the Company suspended the services partially in order to investigate the cause of customer asset protection and unauthorized remittance, and formulated a business improvement plan. In implementing this plan, we have tried to improve our management control system and internal control system. In addition, with the cooperation of external experts who carried out a step-by-step safety audit, we have restarted the service that enables the receipt, purchase and exchange of XRP and FCT.”
It is likely that the exchange will be slowly restoring full trading services leading up to the issuance of their licensing at the end of the year.
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