Week of Crypto-Regulations: Governments in the US, China and India Take Heed

The past week saw a lot of progress made by the authorities in relation to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Libra announcement by Facebook last month gave the impetus to Governments all around the world to finally take immediate notice of the matter.
Cryptocurrencies could be regulated as an asset, commodity, currency or even financial security in some cases. Bitcoin began a new age of digital asset which is not yet defined by the laws of Governments. Subsequently, after Bitcoin’s popularity began to increase a lot of ‘other Bitcoin’ or altcoins were released. This made matters worse for the authorities trying to regulate these new asset types.
The total market capitalization of the cryptocurrency markets is close to $290 billion. Over the past decade, it has been exploited for a number of illicit activities. However, the benefits and the belief around cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin, is starting to outweigh the flaws.
The United States of America and China are two of the world’s biggest economies and the biggest contributors to the crypto-market. China with its mining ecosystem, and the US with its projects and investors.
The Governments of both these countries including India for long have tried to curb the illicit activities around cryptocurrencies through warnings. However, this week they made progress in promoting it.
The US Senate Holds Discussions on Libra, Bitcoin, and Crypto
The US Senate Hearing on the 16th and 17th of July marked a historic moment for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Two Houses of the US Senate – The Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee and the Financial Committee addressed the issue profoundly.
While it did not end well for Facebook’s plans, it was a big win for Bitcoin and some cryptocurrencies. Both the committees ‘grilled’ Facebook’s head over their plans were in agreement to disapprove it.
David Marcus, Head of Libra Association
Nevertheless, David Marcus, the head of the Libra Association and Facebook’s representative at the hearing was still optimistic. He suggested that the announcement was made prior to the launch to address these concerns at their very best.
Some of the positives for crypto-markets involved a strong understanding of cryptocurrencies. Also, a number of US Congressmen and women who were recognized were actually in favor of cryptocurrency. Senator Patrick McHenry concluded the session by saying,
Due to the nature of the technology of Bitcoin, Governments cannot kill it, nor should they and you can’t kill digital currencies broadly.
Anthony Pompliano, the founder of Morgan Creek digital noted about the politics of the country, he tweeted,
Facebook is forcing the Bitcoiners in positions of government power to self-identify themselves. Don’t be surprised if this becomes one of the hottest topics for 2020 elections.
China Recognizes Bitcoin Legally
China has been so strict with cryptocurrencies, that many around the world believe that Bitcoin is illegal in China. China for long has cracked down on cryptocurrency by banning online Exchanges. Recently, it also planned to prohibit the mining activities in the country.
Hangzhou Court of the Internet (China)
Many reports over the years have suggested that China dominates the mining industry in the world. Moreover, OTC desks have also prevalent in the country along with peer-to-peer exchange on WeChat since the Exchange ban was imposed.
In the first-ever property infringement case relating to Bitcoin in the country. China’s Hangzhou Internet Court recognized Bitcoin as a legal ‘virtual property.‘ Therefore, it confirms that investing in Bitcoin is not illegal in China.
India: Ban or no Ban?
The case is similar to India. In India, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency Exchanges are practically non-existent and there is a strong dislike for it in the higher-ups. However, recent revelations suggest otherwise.
India, for long, has opposed the idea of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Reports of complete ban and imprisonment up to 10 years have created a lot of apprehensions in the citizen. Moreover, apparently, the Government is also trying to implement its own central bank digital currency on the blockchain.
Indian Finance Ministry
Nevertheless, the recent parliamentary Q and A session with the members of the Finance Minister and other lawmakers, it was revealed that ‘work is still in progress.’ Hence, it confirmed that no ban has been imposed for now.
Also Read: German Central Bank President Shows Support For Libra, Calls It “Attractive” To Customers
Last but not least, G7 Cryptocurrency Task Force, currently headed by France is broadly assessing the laws pertaining to cryptocurrencies. The Task Force is specifically looking at the possible impacts and implications of Libra. However, such discussions provide a platform for discussion and clarity around things.
The post Week of Crypto-Regulations: Governments in the US, China and India Take Heed appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Not Banned in India, Government Official Confirms

India is usually recognized as a country where cryptocurrency is banned. The recent reports on the draft bill and its’ leaders stance have often been against it. However, no official statement or law is yet passed by the Government. Moreover, the Indian Central bank, which is actively involved in the decision, has formally denied any knowledge of a ‘draft bill.’
Hence, in such an uncertain environment, it is necessary for the Government to step up and clarify the doubts.
The members of the Upper House of the Indian Parliament, Mr. Dharmapuri Srinivas and S. Gnanathiraviam raised the questions on it in the Parliament. Mr. Anurag Singh Thakur, the Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, addressed their queries.
BAN or NOT?
Mr. Srinivas and Mr. Gnanathiraviam first question were to clear the Government’s stand on cryptocurrency.
a) whether the Government has prohibited cryptocurrency in the country;
b) if so, the details thereof;
Mr. Thakur confirmed that cryptocurrency hadn’t been banned in the country yet. He said,
The issue of permitting trading in crypto currencies is currently under examination by an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC).
Banking services have been prohibited for ‘Virtual Asset Service Providers’ in the country since July 6th, 2018. Moreover, licenses to firms operating with Cryptocurrencies haven’t been provided as well; a small number of firms which operate in India have been registered outside the country. Mr. Thakur noted,
Presently, there is no separate law for dealing with issues relating to cryptocurrencies.
Progress Made by the Government on the Issue
The Government of any country cannot outright impose a ban on an ambiguous thing without proper consultation and weighing the ramifications. Moreover, the global presence of cryptocurrencies makes it nearly impossible to kill. Hence, the Governments must survey the prevalence and undergo a decision-making process. Mr. Sinivas also enquired about the progress made there. He asked,
c) whether the Government has taken note about the prevalence of cryptocurrency in the country;
d) if so, the details thereof; and
Mr. Thakur reiterated in reply that the IMC had been set up under the purview of the Finance Secretary of India. Mr. Takur noted that the,
The IMC has submitted the Report to the Government.
No further details were provided on the issue. He cited the absence of a global regulatory framework and the risk associated with virtual currencies. This is the primary reason for the delay – caution, and delay from Governments all over the world. He also said,
No decision on licensing and authorizing any entity or company to operate such schemes or deal with Bitcoins or any virtual currency has been made as yet.
On Legal Matters On Cryptocurrency at the Moment
The recent media reports and a draft bill of the ‘Crypto Ban’ in India suggested that even investors, miners, and other Service providers stand to face ten years of imprisonment. Hence, the questions around the existing laws which govern the cryptocurrencies, the following question was raised,
e) the action was taken against the persons who are responsible for running the cryptocurrency in the market?
Mr. Thakur replied that due to the absence of any rules pertaining to crypto, the general penal codes are applied to cryptocurrencies also at the moment. Moreover, the Central Bank and IRS equivalent in the country also relies on existing laws to address cases on cryptocurrencies.
The discussions in the parliament come as temporary relief for the investors and even service providers in the game. However, the matter is still unclear about how the report submitted to the Government by the IMC has viewed crypto laws in the country.
Do you think India will or can impose a complete ban on Bitcoin? Please share your views with us. 
The post Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Not Banned in India, Government Official Confirms appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Libra: Germany’s Central Bank Head and Finance Minister at Loggerheads

The Senate hearing on Libra in the US put an indefinite stop to Facebooks’ cryptocurrency plans. Moreover, the Chinese were more apprehensive as they do not have access to Facebook currently. However, not all Central Banks see Libra as a threat.
Reportedly, the President of the German Federal Bank, Jens Weidman, recently addressed a news conference at a meeting of the G7 Finance ministers and Central Bankers. While he advised caution against it, he also perceived the benefits of stablecoins.
He told the media,
“There’s no reason to be alarmed but there’s reason to be vigilant,”
However, Germany’s Finance Minister, Olaf Scholz, shared similar concerns that some of the US senators raised. The Libra Reserve, along with the Libra currency; if it grows too large, it will threaten the power and liquidity of Central banks. He told the media on 16th July 2019,
“The issuance of a currency does not belong in the hands of a private company because it is a core feature of a sovereign state”
David Marcus, the head of the Libra Association, has tried to reassure both the Houses of the US Senate on 16th and 17th of this month on Libra’s plans and Facebooks’ integrity. He also mentioned that Libra was in talks with the working committee of the G7 group.
Also Read: G7 Countries Form Cryptocurrency Task Force For Facebook’s Libra; Here’s Why
G7 includes the following member countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Currently, France is heading the bloc. The G7 group has recognized Libra as a concern for immediate importance. The French official told the media,
“On Libra, we had a very constructive and detailed discussion with a very large and shared consensus on the need for action.” He added, “Concerns (were) expressed by all the participants about the current situation and the need to act quickly,”
Do you think that G7 will ease the regulatory burdens being imposed on Libra? Please share your views with us. 
The post Libra: Germany’s Central Bank Head and Finance Minister at Loggerheads appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Bitcoin [BTC] Death-Cross Looms as Price Holds Above $10,500

Bitcoin [BTC] price gained about $1000 in 30 minutes on 18th July 2019 which came as a surprise for most traders. While the traders perceive whale action as the reason behind, reportedly, a revelation of China’s stand on Bitcoin might have something to do with it.
It was an important milestone for the future of Bitcoin and its holders in China. However, the bullish action seems to have exhausted yesterday itself. The price of Bitcoin [BTC] at 5: 00 Hours UTC on 19th July 2019 is 10,511. It is trading 7.07% higher on a daily scale.
BTC/USD 1-Day chart on Bitstamp (TradingView)
However, the Techincal Analysis of Bitcoin also continues to baffle the trader at the moment. This is because most traders had turned bearish after Bitcoin’s below $10,000 and subsequently below $9600. B. Biddles expressed counter trading sentiments in the market. He said,
My take: If L:S ratio really is 4:1 rn, then a lot of money to be made shaking out longs… Atm I think crypto is just Game of Squeezes.
Moreover, Sawcruhteez also suggested a bearish reversal looking at the resistance from the Exponential moving averages and sequential analysis on the 4-Hour. He tweeted,
$BTC on a 4h green 9 as it tests the 50 and 200 EMA’s for resistance. Last candle shows signs of a reversal as does this one. As long as we are below $10,700 I am viewing this as a selling opportunity.
BTC/USD 4-Hour Chart on Bitstamp (TradingView)
Furthermore, in his Hyperwave channel on YouTube, he also talked about the death-cross that is forming in Bitcoin [BTC] at the moment. The 50-Day EMA already moved below 100-Day 100 and is now looking to cross the 200-Day EMA which could be a massive bearish signal.
Moreover, derivates trader, Tone Vays also indicated that the rise was surprising and the direction that Bitcoin will follow is uncertain. According to his analysis.
“$10,000 – 11,200 is in a no-trade zone for me.” He also said, “The next time Bitcoin [BTC] breaks and closes above $12,500 that’s when I’ll be convinced new All-Time Highs are coming. Until then I am looking for new lows.”
Do you think that regulatory and media attention would confer otherwise or you are currently bearish as well? Please share your views with us. 
The post Bitcoin [BTC] Death-Cross Looms as Price Holds Above $10,500 appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Breaking: Bitcoin Legally Recognized in China, Is this Why BTC is Rising?

Bitcoin was just recognized as a legal ‘virtual property’ in China. At the hearing of the first property infringement case in China’s Hangzhou Internet Court, Bitcoin was recognized as “virtual property.” According to the court’s order,
Bitcoin holds the attributes as property – valuable, scarce and disposable. We should recognize it as a virtual property.
It was first brought into light by Dowey Wan, Crypto-analyst and Trader who pointed out that,
This case is a major milestone that manifested BITCOIN IS ACTUALLY LEGAL in China so please STFUDup on Bitcoin is illegal in China from now on
The case was between the plaintiff – Wu and the defendant – Shanghai technology company and the defendant – Taobao. The plaintiff accused the defendant of network infringement liability. While the court denied all of the plaintiff’s claim, it was a massive win for Bitcoin in China.
This is because as Bitcoin is recognized as a virtual asset with real value, from now on, it will be protected by the Civil laws in China. These would relate to financial theft, inclusion in contract laws, and other types of disputes like electricity theft. Wan tweeted,
According to “The General Civil Law”, virtual property is legally protected by laws of People’s Republic of China”
Reportedly, it is not because of a recent implementation of any new legislation. It has been for a very long time. According to Xiao Wei, a director of the Bank of China Law Society; In 2013, China clearly defined the legal attributes of Bitcoin itself: specific virtual goods, that is, the status of recognition of its “property.”
Bitcoin’s Sudden Rise
This is big positive news for Bitcoin and Chinese investors who have been living in uncertainty. Bitcoin [BTC] shot up a couple of hours after the story started breaking in the Chinese media. Wan also pointed out this fact, she tweeted,
I was browsing Weibo and Wechat on sentiment around the sharp Bitcoin rally, instead of Libra, folks attributed the rally to the case above then I realized it’s indeed a big milestone
BTC/USD 4-Hour Chart on Bitstamp (TradingView)
At 14: 30 hours yesterday, Bitcoin rose from around $9400 to $10,400. The rise came as a surprise for most traders, and they suspected a bull trap.
However, if the buying pressure catches on in China, the FOMO could ensue again. Nevertheless, the price seems to be holding around $10,500 at the moment. Moreover, the Chinese investors and miners who are already engaging with cryptocurrencies are probably bought in already.
Moreover, Dovey Wan also noted that while holding Bitcoin is alright, at the moment, it does not extend to allowing trading on Exchanges.
Do you think that the demand from China in light of this news will drive Bitcoin to new highs? Please share your views with us. 
The post Breaking: Bitcoin Legally Recognized in China, Is this Why BTC is Rising? appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Is Ripple’s Data on XRP Circulating Supply and Inflation Fake? Messari Report Suggests

The cryptocurrency Exchanges were accused of ‘fake reported volume’ which was a demerit for the entire crypto-markets. However, the fake reported volume data did not have any significant impact on price. This is because ‘wash trading’ is used to increase the apparent volume of Exchanges only.
However, it does create an illusion of a lot of value being traded on the Exchanges and the cryptocurrencies. According to research by Florent Moulin, published on the Messari site, Ripple might be using the fake reported data to mislead the investors into something bigger.
The report compared the Q1 financial report submitted by Ripple with their estimates. The most important highlight from their report was,
They [Ripple] may mislead investors because key information regarding sales and estimated trading volumes significantly understate the pace of selling pressure from Ripple and its founders and affiliates. We find that XRP’s circulating supply inflated by 11.5% in the past six months vs. the 4.5% implied by its API.
According to Ripple, it made $169 million from these combined sales, with two-thirds of that sold on defined exchanges and the rest coming from direct institutional sales in Q1 2019.

Moreover, the company’s Q1 2019 reported sales represented 0.32% of the global XRP exchange trading volume from the quarter, up from 0.24% in Q4 2018, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Estimated Distribution of XRP (Source) 

However, the research estimates found a lot of hogwash in the report. As they are considering the volume from CoinMarketCap data, they are incorrectly calculation their sales. Moreover, the research also found that XRP is still most primarily been held by its creators and Ripple.

we believe that more than 75% (75 million) of the current XRP outstanding supply (units identifiable on-chain) is currently managed by Ripple and its founders and affiliates. Circulating supply data is sourced from known on-chain addresses. 

The value presented is our best estimate for the Maximum circulating supply of XRP.

Last but not least, Ripple is due to submit its Q2 report in the near future. According to CoinMarketCaps data, the sales at Ripple has been just short of the volume recorded in Q4 of 2017, when Ripple was trading at around $3.

XRP Inflation – Reported and Real (Source)

However, the research points otherwise, if the deflation in XRP is as high as it is projected, the selling pressure from the creators might be much larger. Moreover, it also puts significant doubts on the security laws on XRP.

Do you think that Ripple will come out clean from these allegations? Please share your views with us.
The post Is Ripple’s Data on XRP Circulating Supply and Inflation Fake? Messari Report Suggests appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Crypto-Market Update: BTC Closing 10k; Alts ETH, XRP, LTC Bounce above Critical Support

The cryptocurrency market has a positive day in terms of price reaction. Bitcoin [BTC] which was looking to break bearish levels $9000. However, it has bounced back above as the confidence in Bitcoin continues to grow.
The rise can be attributed to Libra once again. Ever since its release, it has been a win for Bitcoin. The US Senate Hearing yesterday heard from experts on Bitcoin and Libra. All the panelist including innovators in the cryptocurrency space, lawyers, economics, and Professors were against Libra and for Bitcoin.
Even other US Senators expressed positive views on cryptocurrency and blockchain innovation, especially Bitcoin [BTC]. Congressman, Patrick McHenry concluded in his remarks,
“Due to the nature of the technology of Bitcoin, Governments cannot kill it, nor should they and you can’t kill digital currencies broadly.”
BTC/USD 4-Hour Chart on Bitstamp (TradingView)
The revival of Bitcoin from bearish pressures has also fueled the rise in altcoins. The altcoins were falling at an alarming rate since the past couple of weeks.
Ethereum [ETH], Litecoin [LTC] and Bitcoin [BCH] Cash
Recently, Ethereum which tested the $200 support level and was looking to break lower. However, as Bitcoin reversed its trend, Ether too gained around 10% to trade around $220.
ETH/USD 1-Day Chart on Bitstamp (TradingView)
Litecoin was one of the highest gainers of the day as it gained more than 16% on the daily scale. It rose back above $90 after testing lows near $78. Bitcoin Cash [BCH] also tested resistance at $300.
XRP Drops Back to $0.3 Range
XRP laid the hopes down of numerous investors all over the world last week. It price touched a low near $0.284. This is essentially the low during the bear market which XRP held for more than two months at the beginning of the year.
Nevertheless, the bounce in Bitcoin has revived also positively affected the altcoins sentiments. The price of XRP at 7: 20 hours UTC on 18th July 2019 is $0.314.
XRP/USD 4-Hour Chart on Bitstamp (TradingView)
Bitcoin’s dominance has increased by more than 15% since the beginning of the year. The total dominance of Bitcoin over the cryptocurrency market also saw a slight revival below 65.5%.
Some of the other altcoins like Binance [BNB] Coin, Chainlink, Tron [TRX] and NEO also gained in double digits. Hence, while trend reversal in one the cards for altcoins, traders must be wary of a dead cat bounce. 
Do you think the bull season in cryptocurrency is back? Please share your views with us. 
The post Crypto-Market Update: BTC Closing 10k; Alts ETH, XRP, LTC Bounce above Critical Support appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Historic Senate Hearing Discuss Bitcoin and Libra with Experts – Here are the Closing Views

The Libra hearing has been one of the most enticing topics as media houses from all over the world aired the live hearing before the US House Committee on Financial Services. David Marcus, the head of the Libra Association, was grilled for hours on the autonomy of the Libra network and specifically about Facebook’s role in it.
As it happened the day before, at the hearing with the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Facebook’s reputation is setting a bad precedent for the Libra network.
Both the Committees have expressed complete disregard for the Social Media Giant and hence, express dislike for its cryptocurrency endeavor as well. Moreover, the Financial Committee also established that Libra is not a cryptocurrency.
Libra US Senate Hearing: Panel II
The meeting today also included a second panel of speakers. It included experts from different fields like law, economics, marketing, etc. who chose to speak on the topic. The panelist included cryptocurrency enthusiast. However, even they expressed concerns around Libra.
You can download their testimony here. At the hearing, in contrast to the one with David Marcus, the panelist and the Senators agreed. Not only, they together do not trust Facebook, but also acknowledge that ‘Libra is not a cryptocurrency.’
Libra: Mutual Fund or ETF?
The testimony that the panel presented pleased the Senate as it spoke of similar concerns around Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans. While it is usually difficult to classify these new-age tokens, the board was quick to conclude this. As Mr. Gensler noted, “It is either a mutual fund or an ETF.”
Ms. Demirors went on to say that,
Libra is a private for-profit that benefits large corporations and profit for entities that already have a tremendous amount of power.
On Bitcoin 
Ms. Demirors also noted,
“The SEC has long deliberated over security laws… and recently established Bitcoin is not a security. The CFTC treats Bitcoin and some of the products around Bitcoin as a digital commodity. However, the IRS treats them as property.”
Switzerland – Jurisdictional Hub for Cryptocurrencies – But, Why?
The choice of moving the Libra Association to Switzerland was regulatory and according to the panel, served as an advantage for conducting illicit activities.
Mr. Gensler note,
Under Swiss Law, it’s probably less likely that it’s security than under US law
Ms. Demirors noted,
“Facecook has set up an Association that is supposed to be non-profit and use to it to plow back its profit to its members.”
Mr. Brummer also replied to Senator Sherman on similar lines. He raised concerns around the weakness of the Swiss Financial laws. He said,
“US would not comply… And the biggest challenge lies with those jurisdictions… that are falling outside of international agreements that the once that FATF has recently agreed to in June. Certainly, Swiss rules particularly relating to both privacy and financial not just different but have certainly historically been considerably weaker.”
Moreover, the panel even unanimously seems to agree that eventually, when the thing becomes big, they would not comply with the US sanctions laws as well.
Shitcoins, Token taxonomy and Security Laws
Senator Davidson brought into the attention of the community the necessity of further trimming the Security Laws. The current Howey test does not entirely define the conditions for the new age digital assets.
Nevertheless, the SEC has progressed a coming up with new laws that cater specifically to cryptocurrencies. Moreover, as Mr. Grenseler mentioned that a ‘good lawyer could easily exploit a simple black and white test.’ Hence, they need to be cautious while defining those laws. Furthermore, he also called upon the Senate and the lawmakers to move to escalate the token taxonomy laws.
Trust but Verify, Ronald Regan Style
Mr. Gensler noted earlier in the hearing that all business is based on ‘trust’, and the fact that we cannot trust Facebook is coming in the way of Libra. He also remarked about the Anti-Competition effects that Facebook and the members of the Libra organization can promote using this proposed network. He said,
No other company can do what Facebook can do.
Mr. Weissman then went on to elaborate on how the members will help unfair competition in the global markets that are mostly moving to the internet for conducting businesses. He said,
“If Facebook becomes both the Social media oligopolist or monopolist that it is and a major Financial Service Provider… All of a sudden they can combine financial information with their social media platform. They can advertise to based on what you’re buying. They can go into business and provide goods and services and give you discount in Libra… Unjust competition and Squeezing out any rival who is not part of the system.”
McHenry closed the hearing for the Congress. He reciprocated the doubts around Libra
Despite Facebook
“Due to the nature of the technology of Bitcoin, Governments cannot kill it, nor should they and you can’t kill digital currencies broadly. They will be enduring, they will be strong. That is the new framework of the next generation of the internet.”
He added, “And in a generation, I hope that there are some statements here today that will still be pointed to as factual incorrect about what we will live through in this iteration of financial technology.”
Chairwoman broke a rule and gave the panelist a round of applause. In her closing speech, she noted that in all likelihood, a private organization or a group of private organizations would not be granted this tremendous amount of power to control the monetary policy. She noted that she would not let ‘billion-dollar boys’ take over the Financial Services industry.
Finally, she adjourned the meeting after the following statement
“And we should get Mr. Zuckerberg himself. I’m with that”
How do you perceive the future of cryptocurrencies from here? Please share your views with us. 
The post Historic Senate Hearing Discuss Bitcoin and Libra with Experts – Here are the Closing Views appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Libra Hearing: “We Need to Bring Mark Zuckerberg here”, demands Senator Sherman

The second phase of the Senate Hearing for Libra with David Marcus began with his testimony. The first phase with the Housing, Banking, and Urban Affairs Committee focused on the privacy and security issues of the proposed cryptocurrency by Libra.
Today, the Committee on Financial Services headed the hearing titled, ‘Examining Facebook’s Proposed Cryptocurrency and Its Impact on Consumers, Investors, and the American Financial System.’ 
Their concerns were focused around the nature of the business, their plans, degree of autonomy, and most importantly, its vision in the Financial Service Industry. The Senators were evidently concerned about the challenge that Libra is currently posing to the Federal Reserve. Senator Meeks noted that,
“[it could bring] down the entire Federal Reserve and affect the Financial Services industry”
Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the Committee, headed the meeting. She began with the fact that even though David emphasizes that Facebook will be one in a hundred members of the association, it is currently leading the Association. She said,
“No money has been invested by other members of the Association”
David Marcus Accepted the fact, however, noted that the code is open source and they will not control the codebase.
Is it an ETF, Commodity, or a Currency?
Senator Foster raised the questions around the volatility and the fact that they need to clear the 1940 act, which is designed to protect rent payers from paying excessive rent on different months. He said, “this looks like an ETF to me.”
David replied by saying,
“No will buy Libra as an investment because of its stability… You cannot use an ETF for payments.”
Similar doubts were raised in the beginning by other regulators as well. David noted that,
“Libra is not a security, not an ETF, maybe a commodity. Designed to be a payment tool.”
Chairwoman Waters noted, “That is not a commitment.”
Congresswoman Moloney was firmly against the idea and noted that currencies and economic stability are issues that must be managed by the Government. He also put a healthy condition over the release. She asked for a recorded commitment for a pilot program to be released on a small scale before the actual launch. She said,
“Creation of a currency is the work of the Government… Will you commit to a small pilot program with 1 million users with the permission of regulators… Are you willing to make that commitment right now?”
Marcus deferred in making any commitment apart from the fact that they will be dedicated in their efforts to impose KYC and AML regulations and complying with the rules.
It seemed like David Marcus has mastered the art of diplomatic replies. He refuses to make any commitment and has also deferred many questions with a strong statement that underlines the following statement,
We will take the time to get this right
“Zuckerberg can’t print money.”
Senator Sherman had the most influential views among all the others as he warned David Marcus and the Libra Association of the ramifications that they would be faced within this project. He said,
“A hundred lawyers will tell him [Mark Zuckerberg] what he is doing is legal and he, therefore, is safe. But someone within the polictic of this country needs to explain to Zuckerberg, that if cryptocurrency is used to finance the next terrific terrorist attack against Americans. A hundred lawyers standing in a row charging $200 an hour are not gonna protect his rear end from the wrath of the American People.”
Furthermore, he firmly asked for Mark Zuckerberg’s attendance before the committee. According to him, in the end, Mark is the sole orchestrator of this plan, and that could make him a higher security risk that he currently posses with privacy issues.
The senators do not feel comfortable with handling the approval to this project given that Facebook’s role in it. However, some of them have praised the initiative and innovative insight. Nevertheless, delay and a lot of regulatory hurdles are projected in the future for the Libra Associations.
The Senators continued to question about Libra and Calibra. Currently, at press time, the meeting is in a recess. Bitcoin price has reacted positively given its decentralized nature.
BTC/USD 15-minute chart on Bitstamp (TradingView)
Bitcoin touched a low around $9000 earlier today. However, it has been on the rise since then. The price of Bitcoin rose from $9577 when the meeting began to touch a high above $9800 momentarily.
Do you think Libra will eventually be given a green signal? Please share your views with us. 
 
The post Libra Hearing: “We Need to Bring Mark Zuckerberg here”, demands Senator Sherman appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Not All US Politicians are Against Libra and Bitcoin – Here’s What They Have to Say

The Senate Committee on Banking, urban affairs and housing grilled Libra Associations’ head David Marcus over numerous concerns. Facebook’s dominance with over 2 billion users and its history with unethical privacy policies and violation of human rights acted a strong precursor in the hearing – more like the elephant in the room.
Nevertheless, while the majority expressed concerns around it, here’s one Senator who feels it will eventually be released. Senator Pat Toomey from the Banking Committee told the media in an interview that eventually there is a high chance that Libra will get through. He said,
“I got a gut feeling it probably will. I think there are legitimate concerns that can be addressed. I think for instance the digital wallet vehicles that are the entry point for consumers and anybody using a currency like Libra.”
Moreover, the regulatory checkpoints established for Libra which will be in compliant with the rules could ultimately be beneficial for the Financial Services industry. He added,
“I think it is still extremely expensive to execute ordinary payment transactions… The fees could over a percent or 2%, that’s a lot of money to move money. And so it seems to me that maybe there could be some innovation in the space.”
Furthermore, the one thing that was missing from yesterday’s address was mention about Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. Senator Pat Toomey thinks that Libra is superior to Bitcoin because of its lack of volatility. According to him, Bitcoin’s intrinsic value is based on weak fundamentals, while Libra is an innovative payment system.
Nevertheless, while financial innovation is always on the cards, another Political leader feels has opposing views to the above fact. According to House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, Bitcoin is better than Libra because of its decentralized control. Bitcoin prophet, Joe Kernen also argued the same point with Pat Toomey – Bitcoin’s intrinsic value lies in the ‘decentralized distributed ledger.’
Also Read: As the Regulators Close in on Libra, It’s Time to Double Down on DeFi
Congressman Patrick McHenry also spoke with the media today ahead of the next phase of the Libra Senate Hearing with the Financial Committee. He said,
“I think there’s no capacity to kill bitcoin. Even the Chinese with there Firewall and their extreme intervention in the society could not kill Bitcoin”
According to his, Bitcoin was the “first mover” in the space and its widespread distributed at the moment is the most important characteristics of it.
Do you think that Bitcoin will win after the fiasco with Libra is over or the crack-down will further extend to crypto? Please share your views with us. 
The post Not All US Politicians are Against Libra and Bitcoin – Here’s What They Have to Say appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Bitcoin [BTC] Price Drops Below 10k as Libra Senate Meeting Concludes – Here’s What Happened

Various members of the United States Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs questioned David Marcus regarding Facebook’s plans with Libra. Mr. Michael Dean Crapo, the Chairman of the committee headed the meeting.
The meeting which was broadcasted live here addressed the concerns of the senators one by one; all senators were given five minutes to question Marcus. Their concerns varied on a variety of topics which not only raised security concerns but also included other questions around the governance of Libra Association.
While the senators were not entirely against the payment module, their doubts were focused around privacy and money laundering to finance illicit activities.
So much so that, Senator Martha McSally began with her questioning with the statement, “I don’t trust Facebook.” Senators were concerned around the alleged use of Facebook’s data in 2016 Presidential elections for which the FTC has fined $5 billion to Facebook.
Furthermore, Senator Smith also questioned the governance model of Libra – “Who is in charge of the Libra Association?”. David Marcus replied by saying that the charter for the governance model and the procedure for nomination of lead representatives is yet to be decided. They intend to seek advice from the members and the regulatory body on the issue.
On the Association’s Accountability
A couple of senators also question Libra on its accountability that the Association will hold in case of fraud, theft, and issues involving cross-country transactions. Senator asked about the responsibility that Libra will hold as creators of a medium for fraud, “Will they act as Criminal Defendant?”
To this, David replied that local constituencies would be set up and it will comply with FinCEN regulations.
Facebook’s Revenue Model with Libra
On questions about Facebook’s monetary policy with Libra, David Marcus said,
Facebook has 90 million businesses that advertise on Facebook. Libra could lead to more commercialization and hence would mean more money for Facebook.
However, Senator McSally suggested that they would sell more of consumer data with Libra and Facebook would continue its unethical practices.
David Marcus welcomed each concern with care. Moreover, he reassured the Senate that the whitepaper was announced before the launch to address the concerns around it. They would be changed and adapted to the requirements accordingly.
Last but not least, he also said,
“We will not move or launch libra on the Facebook platform if required”
He reiterated the fact the Libra is an independent organization with its own set of rules and that it would provide for regulatory inclusion and interoperability.
Bitcoin Price Analysis
The meeting concluded with a profound disregard for Facebook and questions around its activities. The senators were not evidently not convinced at the moment. However, they expect Facebook and the Libra Association to work along with the Senate in making the innovative idea a success.
BTC/USD 5-Min Chart on Bitstamp (TradingView)
Nevertheless, the extreme grilling, negative concerns, and the eventual delay have affected Bitcoin prices negatively. Bitcoin [BTC] dropped below $10,000 as the proceedings concluded. The price of Bitcoin at 14: 30 hours UTC on 16th July 2019 is $9980.
Do you think David will get a positive response from the Financial Services Hearing tomorrow? Please share your views with us. 
The post Bitcoin [BTC] Price Drops Below 10k as Libra Senate Meeting Concludes – Here’s What Happened appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Bitcoin [BTC] Price Logs $11,000 as Crypto Market Hails Secretary Mnuchin’s Speech

The Secretary of the US Treasury held a press conference to address the concerns around the popularity of cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin and Libra. Since Facebook’s announcement of Libra, many regulating and statutory bodies in the US have come out and expressed their doubts.
Secretary Steven Mnuchin issued the address as an emergency announcement on cryptocurrencies. The highlight of the speech was primarily security concerns around the illicit use of cryptocurrencies. These include money laundering, trafficking, and terrorist financing.
Nevertheless, he seemed comfortable with the prospects of it being used as a speculative instrument. He said,
I’m not speaking on the investment merits of bitcoin, and using it for speculation. I am speaking on stopping the illicit financial activity.
BTC/USD 4-Hour Chart on Bitstamp (TradingView)
Although it was an emergency speech that made many traders apprehensive at the moment. However, the market has gained about $750 since then. The price of Bitcoin at 3: 45 hours UTC on 16th July 2019 is $10786. It was trading around $10,200 before the announcement and touched a 12-hour high around $11,050.
Mati Greenspan, the Senior Market Analyst at eToro, shared the price analysis of Bitcoin as the speech was made. He tweeted,
Bitcoin is up 5% since Mnuchin started his emergency crypto speech 1 hour ago.
BTC/USD 1-Minute Chart Analysis – The market region represents the time of the Speech (Source)
Nevertheless, he also mentioned that cryptocurrencies are considered “national security at the moment.” Hence, even while the traders and investors seem to be in the clear, various regulations and new law impositions can be expected from the US. Mati Greenspan said,
This attack seems to be targeted at Libra and not at bitcoin but there’s no doubt they’re about to crackdown on the entire industry.
Moreover, Secretary Mnuchin explicitly mentioned that the primary reason behind the emergency address was the attention grabbed by Libra. On Friday, the President of the US, Trump, also expressed similar views. He said that he wasn’t a ‘fan of Bitcoin.’ Both Mnuchin and Trump believe that its value is based on thin air.
Nevertheless, the crypto-community still sees it as a triumph. The mainstream attention and even a partial acceptance at the moment in welcomed by the traders. Vinny Lingham, crypto-Analyst and trader tweeted about these sentiments of progress for a crypto-trader, as he said,
2009: What’s a Bitcoin?
2014: Bitcoin is dead!
2019: Should we ban Bitcoin?
2024: What’s a Dollar?
Watch the full video here,

Do you see this as a win for cryptocurrencies or an issue of concern? Please share your views with us. 
The post Bitcoin [BTC] Price Logs $11,000 as Crypto Market Hails Secretary Mnuchin’s Speech appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Libra Head Publishes Testimony for the US Senate Hearing Tomorrow

The Senate Banking Chair in the US had scheduled a meeting with the executive of Facebook to question about Libra for 16th July 2019. Reportedly, Marcus David, the Head of the Libra Association, will be representing the Tech Giant’s plans.
David has shared the written testimony on the government website where he diligently explains the development and the plans with Libra. Moreover, Marcus David was also the President of one of the largest payment network in the world, PayPal. In the beginning, he revisits this fact and association with Facebook to further converge on the issue.
On Libra, he emphasized the utility of the payment system and its viability. He wrote,
Libra is about developing a safe, secure, and low-cost way for people to move money efficiently around the world. He also added, “In fact, I expect that this will be the broadest, most extensive, and most careful pre-launch oversight by regulators and central banks in FinTech’s history.”
He mentioned that Libra would work with the Governments and that “monetary policy is properly the province of central banks.” Nevertheless, the structure proposed by him mimics that of a central bank. It involves a Libra Reserve and a Libra Association, and the transactions would be conducted on the blockchain. He said,
Libra brings together attributes of the world’s best currencies: stability, low inflation, wide usability, and fungibility.
However, he emphasized that the fact that Libra would not compete with the functions of the sovereign Central Banks in any country. While a basket of currencies will back Libra, the Reserve will be distributed all around the world. Regulated custodians will hold the reserves in specific geographical locations. He wrote,
The assets in the Libra Reserve will be held by a geographically distributed network of regulated custodians with investment-grade credit ratings to provide high auditability.
On the regulatory front, it is currently being governed by FINMA in Switzerland and is registered as a money service business. Moreover, the Non-Government Organisation plans to gain appropriate regulatory license and approval from all countries it will operate in.
Gabor Gubacs, the CEO at VanEck tweeted,
#Libra / David Marcus’ written Senate testimony is published. Quick-take:
+ “Libra is a payment tool, not an investment.”
+ Functions as an NGO. + Regulator: Switzerland/FINMA.
+ Compliance: OFAC
+ registered as money services business
Last but not least, the announcement laid the foundation of an innovative system that has a lot of potential in improving the Financial Services Industry. Moreover, it also began the probation period, where healthy engagement with the Authorities around the world will help bring the plan to fruition.
Do you think that the Authorities will consider the testimony to continue its crackdown? Please share your views with us. 
The post Libra Head Publishes Testimony for the US Senate Hearing Tomorrow appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Indian on Crypto Ban: Alleged ‘Draft Bill’ Reveals Plans for “Digital Rupee”

The Indian Authorities have always been unclear about their stand on cryptocurrencies. However, they are actively adopting an opposing stand since the last couple of years.
It began with the banning of banking services to businesses and entities engaging in Virtual Currency transactions in June 2018. Nevertheless, P2P exchange platforms still flourish as crypto enthusiast continue to trade ethically in cryptocurrencies.
However, Koinex, one of the largest peer-to-peer platform in India announced its closure due to extreme scrutiny and hindrances caused by the policing authorities.
Draft Bill Shared By Blockchain Lawyer
Moreover, a report which came out in June 2019 regarding the draft cryptocurrency bill which seeks a ban on cryptocurrency transactions, ethical or unethical. While the authorities have made no confirmations or official statement, Varun Sethi, Indian Tech Lawyer and a crypto-enthusiast, has shared the alleged draft bill. He tweeted,
The complete draft of the ALLEGED #Banning of #CryptoCurrency and Regulation of Official #Digital Currency #Bill 2019 #India
The Alleged Draft Bill Shared Online (Source)
Coincidently, the contents of the draft bill leaked are in agreement with the previous reports which provides more authenticity to the document. Hence, the doubts around it seem to be diminishing by each revelation.
According to the leaked document, India does seek ban storage and usage of cryptocurrencies.
No person shall mine, generate, hold, sell, deal in, issue, transfer, dispose of or use cryptocurrency in the territory of India.
The drafting committee has also proposed fine and punishment for people engaging in crypto activities. The penalty will be decided by the Governments and can be up to three times the value of profit or loss generated. Moreover, imprisonment from one to ten years can also be expected.
Reportedly, there are more than 5 million cryptocurrency enthusiasts in the country. Moreover, India will be the first country to conduct crack-downs on such a large scale with such strictness. China, US, Japan, and countries in Europe have sought to deter the unethical activities, but a broad scale ban seems improbable at the moment.
Also Read: The Reserve Bank of India Denies Knowledge of Draft Bill on Cryptocurrency Ban
Nevertheless, the blockchain application and distributed ledger technologies will still be viable in the country. The bill also proposed that the Central Government, with approval from the Central Bank in India, will seek to approve the “digital rupee.” 
The nature and design of the digital sovereign currency were not explicit. However, the application of blockchain can be expected with the currency being backed by the Central Bank Reserves.
#IndiaWantsCrypto Campaign
Some of the blockchain and cryptocurrency leaders in the country have started a campaign to seek appropriate representation and presentation of reasoning before the Central Government or the drafting committee.
Nishal Shetty, the CEO, and founder of WazirX, and the forerunner of the online campaign tweeted,
The objective of this campaign is to be heard by our law makers. India needs to be at the forefront of the crypto revolution and by being vocal about it, you and I can make that happen. If we do not speak, they will never know. #IndiaWantsCrypto
Moreover, he also spoke about the authenticity of the leaked draft bill. According to him, the bill will probably come out with a lot of changes and will public comments before becoming a law. However, he also reiterated a joint effort by the community in engaging with the authorities is paramount at this point.
Do you think that an outright ban on cryptocurrency is the solution or it will create more problems? Please share your views with us. 
The post Indian on Crypto Ban: Alleged ‘Draft Bill’ Reveals Plans for “Digital Rupee” appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Bitcoin [BTC] Plunges by 11% as Regulatory Hurdles and Analysts Project Further Downside

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies created a colossal wave last week as the US President finally decided to speak about them. While he spoke against it, the price jumped the following by nearly 7% as Bitcoin supporters seemed to take it positively.
BTC/USD 4-Hour Chart on Bitstamp (TradingView)
The price of Bitcoin at 4: 00 Hours UTC on 15th July 2019 is $10,280. It is trading 9.8% lower on a daily scale. The low recorded during the bearish action in the past 24 hours is around $9850.
Furthermore, Ethereum suffered an even bigger blow as it plummeted about 18% to lest $220 levels. Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin as also dropped by 17% and 11% respectively on a daily scale.
Price Analysis
The bulls seem exhausted at the moment as Bitcoin broke below its parabolic advance. This was earlier also emphasized by Peter Brandt, who sent a very subtle tweet about a “rendering BTC” pointing to a graph. We believe that it signifies a surrender from the bull run.
Bitcoin Price Analysis of the 1-Day chart (Peter Brandt)
Sawcuhteez, a crypto-trader, and analyst suggested that from the weekly analysis that the medium-term outlook was bearish. According to candlestick analysis on a weekly scale suggested a continued bear move looking at the prior two candles.
This is definitely pointing towards continuation to the downside over the next few weeks as far as I am concerned. We did have this shooting star followed by a bit of a hanging man… Not a very bullish looking candle between a hanging man and a spinning top. Both are reversal candles.
BTC/USD 1-Week Chart on Bitstamp (TradingView)
On the long term analysis, Sawcrhteez referred to the Ichimoku cloud, which is still bullish in the long term. However, in the medium term, a break to $7500 is possible in the next few weeks. Tyler Jenks, another crypto-trader and analyst, reiterated his bearish stand.
Just the fact that both the two numbers $7500 and $8500 were the old highs as we came down in the bear market in 2018. And that’s the only reason I had picked them up and technical indicators are beginning to zero-in in the same area.
The other worrying signal at the moment for Bitcoin bulls is the fact that NVT analysis pointed out by Willy Woo is bearish. Essentially, it signifies that the on-chain volume compared to the total Mcap at the moment does not validate a bull run at the moment.
Furthermore, the institutional inclusion of Bitcoin and blockchain has grown tremendously in 2019. However, the ambiguous regulations around it have still kept things on hold, and as the governments continue to take a negative view of it, the rate development around crypto is hindered — recent developments in the US point at a complete closure of the Libra project.
Recently, the comments by Trump and Fed Chairman’s against Bitcoin and Libra, which were initially welcomed as healthy criticism of the industry seem to have halted the euphoria around prices.
Do you think Bitcoin will break bearish or will pullback will further strengthen the bull run? Please share your analysis with us. 
The post Bitcoin [BTC] Plunges by 11% as Regulatory Hurdles and Analysts Project Further Downside appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape