Will SEC and CFTC Ever Come to a Compromise?

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Will SEC and CFTC Ever Come to a Compromise?

Konstantin Rabin, financial expert and crypto enthusiast, takes a look at how regulatory institutions are different in terms of Bitcoin regulation and whether they will come to an agreement at all.

Will SEC and CFTC Ever Come to a Compromise?

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SEC and CFTC Set to Collaborate To Regulate Bitcoin ETFs and Other Investment Products

Reports revealed that the high profile regulators of the crypto market, SEC and CFTC is open to collaborating to regulate crypto investment products, including Bitcoin ETFs.
SEC Commissioner Hints To Collaborate
However, during ‘a Bipartisan Policy Center event’ last week which themed on ‘The Year Ahead for Capital Markets’, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) discussed the better approach on regulating crypto products such as futures and ETF based on Bitcoin. At the event, so-called Crypto Mom, the SEC commissioner, Hester Peirce says that;
“At the SEC we’ve been unwilling to … sign off on a bitcoin ETF, an exchange-traded product based on bitcoin. My concern about our approach in that area is it looks a little bit like a merit-based approach judging the underlying bitcoin markets.”
An Exchange-traded fund based on Bitcoin is on rich bulletins every new day – since SEC is reluctant to approve ETF filings. In fact, Coingape reported that SEC has forced ‘a partial bitcoin ETF proposal, submitted by ‘Reality shares’ to withdraw it.

SEC staff requested to withdraw the ETF proposal submitted by @RealityShares On Next Day of Filinghttps://t.co/gCq8GPFQVU#SEC #ETF #BitcoinETF #Bitcoin #Cryptocurrency #Crypto #Finance #Bitcoinfutures
— CoinGape (@CoinGapeMedia) February 14, 2019

CFTC Follows Self-Certification Rule
Although regulations on Bitcoin and Crypto isn’t certain at many locations of the world the firms are building many projects on top of it. In Peirce view, regulators should be at their best diligence to decide on any product which are built on top of the market and those that are not regulated yet. With this, she argued that;
There are lots of markets that aren’t regulated but we nevertheless build products on top of them.” She said“I think we have to be very careful with that kind of reasoning’.
As such, the discussion took over by Brian Quintenz who is the CFTC Commissioner. He explains that any contract before they present will ensure that it meets the requirements of the Act. He notes that;
“We have a process in the Commodity Exchange Act that allows the exchanges to self-certify a contract if they believe it meets the requirements of the Act.
With the self-certification process, CBOE and CME will proceed with the contract that they see has good potential and opportunity to take forward. Elaborating this, CFTC commissioner argues that we disagree you when we really see a project has a better opportunity and ‘we self-certify that contract’.
 “[Both CBOE and CME Group] pursue that self-certification [route] so these contracts get listed without our approval but also without our disapproval.”
Interested in Working Together
Taking these sneaky points, Peirce goes on discussing the current market scenario which is quite confusing on regulatory stance. While explaining the better way on deciding crypto assets, Peirce hints to collaborate SEC and CFTC to serve better on providing guidelines. In her words;
“[This is] an area where I think Brian and I are interested in working together.”She continued, there [are] questions about where your jurisdiction ends and ours begins and again we don’t want to have overlap there so you know my main concern has been that I think we need to do a better job providing guidance,”
So readers, what do you think of SEC and CFTC collaboration if it happens? Do you think it onboard the clarity in the crypto market? share your opinion with us.
The post SEC and CFTC Set to Collaborate To Regulate Bitcoin ETFs and Other Investment Products appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

What Has Caused Ethereum to Surge and How Far Will it Go?

Crypto markets have started the week on a positive note with a $5 billion rally that has resulted in most tokens posting solid gains. The top performer at the moment however is Ethereum has it surges 12% and increases its lead over XRP in third.
Ethereum Beating Bitcoin on Recovery
Currently outperforming every crypto asset in the top 25, Ethereum has pumped 12% over the past few hours to take it to $138. Conversely XRP has not enjoyed much attention in this current rally so the market cap gap between the two of them has now widened to almost $2 billion.

Daily trade volume for Ethereum has also jumped from $2.8 billion to $4.7 billion after spending the past week hovering just above $120. Since its low for 2019 on February 6 of $103 Ethereum has made 34%. Bitcoin in the same period has only managed to gain 10% to its current levels.
Ethereum momentum is likely to be driven by the approaching Constantinople hard fork which introduces a number of network improvements. The estimated date now is March 1 according to this countdown timer to block 7280000. There will be two events taking place, Constantinople introducing several Ethereum Improvement Proposals, and Petersberg to remove one buggy EIP.
Some have speculated that the hard fork is actually bearish for Ether as postponing the difficulty bomb will result in a diminished supply reduction. The block reward adjustment buys a little more time until Proof of Stake is implemented with the Casper upgrade. At the moment though ETH is getting a solid boost as it heads towards $150.
Ethereum Futures Revisited
ErisX boss, Thomas Chippas, has recently revived interest in long awaited Ethereum futures by filing a letter to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) outlining their importance for market health. The company, a designated contract market and pending derivatives clearing organization, has close ties to fintech industry giants such as Nasdaq, ConsenSys and TD Ameritrade and has largely been seen as a rival to Bakkt.
“ErisX believes that the introduction of a regulated futures contract on Ether would have a positive impact on the growth and maturation of the market for Ether, as well as the Ethereum Network more broadly,” the letter stated.
Chippas added that the CFTC has previously approved of Bitcoin related products and Ethereum is built upon some of the architectural principles of Bitcoin to extend its functionality. The letter continues to laud the benefits of Ethereum and how a regulated investment vehicle based upon it would ‘promote responsible innovation and development in the derivatives market.’
Ethereum is showing the love today at least as it outperforms the top twenty five crypto assets by a clear margin.
Image from Shutterstock
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Bakkt Is Our ‘Moonshot Bet’ Says ICE CEO, Plans to Launch the Platform Later This Year

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Bakkt Is Our ‘Moonshot Bet’ Says ICE CEO, Plans to Launch the Platform Later This Year

ICE CEO Jeff Sprecher talked about how his team is working diligently for the launch of Bakkt and why he continues to hold utmost faith in Bitcoin.

Bakkt Is Our ‘Moonshot Bet’ Says ICE CEO, Plans to Launch the Platform Later This Year

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Source: CoinSpeaker

U.S. Shutdown to Have a Long-Lasting Effect on Arrival of Crypto Institutional Products

CoinSpeaker

U.S. Shutdown to Have a Long-Lasting Effect on Arrival of Crypto Institutional Products

Analysts predict that amidst the long pending work, regulatory agencies won’t give any attention to crypto investment products in the near time.

U.S. Shutdown to Have a Long-Lasting Effect on Arrival of Crypto Institutional Products

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Seed CX Launches Bitcoin Spot Trading Market with ‘Truly Institutional Level Support’

CoinSpeaker

Seed CX Launches Bitcoin Spot Trading Market with ‘Truly Institutional Level Support’

Seed CX has launched a Bitcoin spot trading market for institutional investors providing them with a regulated platform with a deep book of liquidity.

Seed CX Launches Bitcoin Spot Trading Market with ‘Truly Institutional Level Support’

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The Much-Anticipated Bakkt Platform Announces High-Ranking Vacancies

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The Much-Anticipated Bakkt Platform Announces High-Ranking Vacancies

The Bakkt platform is not letting multiple delays cringe their business strategies. They have announced vacant positions targeting to hire experienced and top-ranking executives.

The Much-Anticipated Bakkt Platform Announces High-Ranking Vacancies

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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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Ethereum Consensus Shift Could Delay Any Derivatives Products

The biggest thing on the launch pad this year is the Bakkt crypto exchange which is currently in a holding pattern while US government employees twiddle their thumbs during Trump’s shutdown. Several other contenders are hopeful about Ethereum futures but according to one crypto exchange boss they are unlikely to be seen soon.
Regulatory Concerns Mounting
According to Paul Chou, chief executive officer of LedgerX, odds of an Ethereum derivative product launching in 2019 are 50-50 at best. The company is one of several which already have Ethereum options ready to trade. But just like Bakkt it is currently in the queue waiting for the CFTC to wake up from the prolonged government shutdown.
According to The Block regulators still don’t really understand Ethereum and are waiting for a ‘request for input’ which solicits information from market participants; “The RFI seeks to understand similarities and distinctions between certain virtual currencies, including here ether and bitcoin, as well as ether-specific opportunities, challenges, and risks,”
In addition to LedgerX are ErisX and Seed CX which also have Ethereum based derivatives on offer. CBoE Global Markets, which was one of the first to get Bitcoin futures off the ground in late 2017, also has an Ethereum product but is doubtful that regulatory approval will come soon.
Former fintech adviser to the CFTC, Jeff Bandman, said “They understand what a proof of work network is like because that’s how bitcoin works, but proof of stake raises new questions. Specifically, what are the risks?” He added that once the agency has gained more knowledge on the product it could start to deliberate in the first half of 2019 … providing the government shutdown comes to an end.
The Casper update will usher in proof of stake for Ethereum and change the landscape entirely, at least in the eyes of the CFTC. The delayed Constantinople update which was due yesterday is a preliminary step for a shift from PoW to PoS for the network. Crypto attorney Nelson Rosario told The Block;
“There is a lot of uncertainty, regulators see this and they think ‘what exactly are we giving you permission to sell a futures product on’,” with one industry insider adding “Staking mimics a derivative product. If you are holding ether as a stake than you are essentially betting it will go up and if you are not you are effectively betting it will go down, at worst, or at best you don’t want it sitting on the network. If you have a future on top of that then you are adding a level of complexity that developers have not worked through,”
The shift in consensus for Ethereum has been heralded as the biggest progression for the network but from a regulatory perspective it could be another big headache.
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Here’s Why Bitcoin Price Swings to $3,700 & Crypto Market Turns Green

Bitcoin and altcoins are seeing the greens between 2 to 5 percent range with Ethereum surging over 8 percent. The market turned green as Bakkt announced its first acquisition declaring they are not sitting idle while awaiting regulatory approval from CFTC. Meanwhile, Vontobel, a Swiss multi-billion dollar bank announced its entry into the crypto industry via custody services.
Bitcoin & Altcoins Turn Green
AT the time of writing, Bitcoin has been trading at $3,700 according to Coinmarketcap data with over 3 percent gains in the past 24-hours. The leading cryptocurrency is managing the daily trading volume of $5.5 billion.

Source: Coinmarketcap
Currently, the entire crypto market is seeing greens in tandem with Bitcoin as total market cap goes to $123 billion. About the surge in altcoins’ price, Joshua Frank, the co-founder of crypto analytics platform TheTIE.io stated,
“Interestingly, we saw that the sentiment of four of the five other largest cryptocurrencies: XRP, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and EOS moved positive prior to the jump this morning. In the case of Bitcoin sentiment was actually pretty negative during the increase.”

Source: Coinmarketcap
Technical Analysis Favours the Greens
Apart from Bakkt and Vontobel, the technical analysis also supports the price rise as Mati Greenspan, the senior analyst at eToro shared,
“The support area between $3,000 and $3,500 is holding, just as we’ve been discussing these last few months.”
According to Jon Pearlstone, publisher of CryptoPatterns newsletter, though Bitcoin struggled with $3,500 on the weekend, it rose above this level on “solid volume” which he said showed “a successful retest of key support.” It could lead the cryptocurrency to “test higher resistance levels at $4000 and above,” he stated.
Bakkt Acquisition & Multi-Billion Dollar-Swiss Bank’s Entry into Crypto
The greens entered the market as Bakkt announced its first acquisition of “Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG), an independent futures commission merchant with nearly 100 years of earning clients’ trust.” This acquisition is to expand its risk management, compliance, and treasury operations.
According to Kelly Loeffler, this ensures that,
“We’re not standing still as we await regulatory approval by the CFTC for the launch of regulated trading in our crypto markets.”
Moreover, Vontobel, a Swiss multi-billion dollar bank officially announced its entry into the crypto custody business. Roger Studer, the Head of Vontobel Investment Banking stated,
“Digital Asset Vault represents the logical next step in the development of our range of services for digital assets. With our innovative strength and experience, we have thus closed the gap between existing and digital assets. By incorporating digital assets into our own banking infrastructure, we have also become the first provider to already meet the high standards required by financial intermediaries and their regulators.”
The post Here’s Why Bitcoin Price Swings to $3,700 & Crypto Market Turns Green appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

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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Year-Long Crypto Winter Increases Lay Off, Turning Former Employees to Whistleblowers

As the market continues to experience the declining graph, some major crypto companies have announced the plan to start a massive round of layoffs. The latest tweet by Jake Chervinsky, a government enforcement defense lawyer, indicates ‘more layoffs in near future and it may turn former employees to become whistleblowers’.
The tweet reads;

As the bear market deepens, more crypto companies will have to lay off employees to keep the lights on.
This creates a new risk: disgruntled former employees often become whistleblowers, especially if they have valuable intel that entitles them to an SEC or CFTC bounty reward.
— Jake Chervinsky (@jchervinsky) December 29, 2018

Crypto Industry Wide Layoffs
Recently, two of the world’s largest market players, Huobi (cryptocurrency exchange ) and Bitmain Technologies (Cryptocurrency mining chip maker) appeared on bulletins to lay off their staff for various reasons. The official announcement of Bitmain’s lay off on December 17, 2018, states that;
“It’s affirmative. The layoff will start next week and involves more than 50 percent of the entire Bitmain’s headcount.”
In like manner, Huobi’s lay off was discussed on social media and it reveals;

Overexpansion is a common problem in bubbleish cycle. Comparing with its competitors, Bitmain’s 3000 ppl army before the layoff is very clumsy, 80% of their personnel were hired in 2018.
Another weight loss exercise is coming up for another big firm – Huobi. Details 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/z3kbogMvdt
— Dovey Wan 🦖 (@DoveyWan) December 27, 2018

Since Bitcoin has reached to a bottom of the graph, major firms are stepping ahead to optimize their staff but at the same time, ‘it can create a new risk’. However, Jake’s analysis states that these employees will have a potential opportunity ‘if they have valuable intel that entitles them to an SEC or CFTC bounty reward’. Very soon the tweet was engaged with numerous opinions from crypto enthusiasts.
CFTC’s Bounty to Encourage Whistleblowers
Moreover, in early 2018, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced a new bounty to encourage ‘whistleblowers’ who can be vocal about ‘pump-and-dump’ schemes happening within the firm. CFTC’s announcement further read;
“If you have original information that leads to a successful enforcement action that leads to monetary sanctions of $1 million or more, you could be eligible for a monetary award of between 10 percent and 30 percent.”

Interestingly, the former employees of crypto firms (those were in connection with ‘pump-dump- scheme’) might become whistleblowers to enjoy bounties by regulators like CFC and SEC.
So, do you think the lay off will occur across other crypto firms as well? What’s your stake of a prolonged bear market in cryptocurrencies? Let’s share!
The post Year-Long Crypto Winter Increases Lay Off, Turning Former Employees to Whistleblowers appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Bitcoin Price Falls Below $4,000 Again: Is Another Big Drop in Store?

This year the Boxing Day sales seem to have started a day early for anyone hoping to get exposure to the number one digital asset at a discounted rate. The Bitcoin price and those of other cryptos have been dropping hard since the clock struck midnight last night and this trend has continued since.
At exactly the moment that Christmas Eve turned into Christmas Day (in the UK at least), the Bitcoin price was sitting comfortably at around $4,080. Its total market capitalisation has since shed close to $5 billion and the cost of a single Bitcoin is $3,816 at the time of writing.
Xmas Bitcoin Price Drop: Is a Bakkt Delay Behind it?
The precise cause of the market selloff this morning is unknown. However, some are speculating that it may be related to the rumour that the launch of the Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt platform is getting postponed for a second time:

what i see for today and tomorrow for $btc. only thing that will hurt this is the panic sellers cause of #bakkt being extended pic.twitter.com/ol8IOiPA7D
— W҈o҈l҈f҈O҈f҈C҈r҈y҈p҈t҈o҈ (@MaxieX9) December 25, 2018

Although several cryptocurrency news publications have already reported on the story, there has been no official word yet from the Bakkt itself that suggests the launch will indeed be delayed. Given that it is Christmas day, however, this is to be expected.
Reports suggest that the Bakkt platform does not have the necessary approval from the US Commodities and Futures Trading Commission yet. Of course, this does not mean that Bakkt will not eventually get a green light from the regulator but it seems unlikely that it will come in time for the late January launch day, that has already been rescheduled once before, in November this year.
Bitcoin Price Continues to Lead the Rest of the Cryptocurrency Market
It is not just the Bitcoin price that is tanking this Christmas Day. As seems to be the norm, the rest of the cryptocurrency market is taking a nose dive. The likes of Ether, XRP, Stellar, EOS, and Litecoin have all suffered double-digit percentage declines.
Leading the top ten in terms of losses, however, is Bitcoin Cash (formerly known as Bitcoin Cash ABC). The cryptocurrency which forked off from the original Bitcoin chain in August 2017 and, more recently, split into Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin Cash Satoshi’s Vision has shed almost 20% of its price over the last 24-hours.
A likely cause for the current BCH selling pressure is that Bitmain, one of the largest supporters of Bitcoin Cash, us rumoured to be in the process of letting go of more than 50% of its workforce.
Blockstream’s Samson Mow Tweeted:
“Bitmain has quietly laid off their entire Copernicus team. Only 1-week notice. Some had just joined the company. Layoffs just in time for Christmas.”
Some believe the actual number to be far higher too:

Our insider says more like 75% of all people will be let go https://t.co/F5lVB04waC
— BTCKING555 (@btcking555) December 25, 2018

The rumours have emerged less than one month after the mining hardware giant announced that were closing their Israeli dev centre, which, of course, involved a large number of layoffs.
NewsBTC will bring you more on this story, as well as the Bakkt delay rumours as they develop.
Related Reading: Bakkt and Intercontinental Exchange CEOs Weigh in About Bakkt
Featured Image from Shutterstock.
 
 
 
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Launch of ICE’s Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Platform Likely to Be Slightly Delayed

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Launch of ICE’s Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Platform Likely to Be Slightly Delayed

It seems that we’ll have to wait some more for Bakkt to get its Bitcoin futures contract approved. A new report claims that the CFTC’s decision-making process has been progressing slow regarding Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures contract.

Launch of ICE’s Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Platform Likely to Be Slightly Delayed

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Why Proposed ”Token Taxonomy Act of 2018” is Important for Crypto Market?

We recently reported, what might be the rise of a cryptocurrency war between the U.S. and China. Previously in Oct. 2018, Ripple Lab’s chief strategist, Cory Johnson, was quoted saying in a wide-ranging interview with crypto-focused magazine Breaker that U.S. administration is interested in Ripple and is their choice to fight back Chinese dominance over Bitcoin.
What is “Token Taxonomy Act of 2018”?
In short  “Token Taxonomy Act” is a bipartisan bill proposed by Reps. R-Ohio, Darren Soto and Warren Davidson, D-Fla. — defines a “digital token” and specifies that securities laws would not apply to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum once they become a fully functioning network.
So in a nutshell, if passed this bill will be an update to past  Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which define the currently used structure for what “security” is.
If the bill passes:

The digital tokens would likely fall under the purview of the Federal Trade Commission or the CFTC.
IRS would have to adjust taxation of virtual currencies, create a tax exemption for exchanges of one virtual currency for another and to create a de minimis exemption from taxation for gains realized from the sale or exchange of virtual currency.
SEC is already clamping down ICOs considering them as securities but exempted bitcoin & ethereum as not securities due to their decentralized nature. So, it will essentially open doors for other cryptocurrencies and not categorized as securities.

What are the chances of “Token Taxonomy Act of 2018” is passed?
China is, by far, the undisputed world leader in bitcoin mining — with Chinese mining pools controlling more than 70% of the bitcoin network’s collective hash rate, the measuring unit of the processing power of the bitcoin network.
While China’s dominance is fairly visible, the United States doesn’t want to stay behind in this race. According to the reports coming in from the White House, it appears U.S. president Donald Trump’s White House is also worrying about China’s bitcoin dominance and Ripple Labs executive, are suggesting the U.S. administration is interested in ripple (XRP) adoption to offset China’s bitcoin strength.
Ripple Lab’s chief strategist, Cory Johnson, was quoted saying in a wide-ranging interview with crypto-focused magazine Breaker that,
The White House, in particular, seems to be thinking about what it means to have 80% of bitcoin mining taking place in China and a majority of ether mining taking place in China,”
“When you look at XRP, there is no mining, so from a foreign-control aspect or from an environmental aspect, XRP is a very different beast. And in conversations we’ve had with the administration, they seem to get that and think that might matter. 
Amidst these growing tensions between U.S. & China, there is actually a fair chance that this bill might get a green signal from Congress.
Please don’t forget to let us know your views on this bill in the comments below.
The post Why Proposed ”Token Taxonomy Act of 2018” is Important for Crypto Market? appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape