Barclays, 300 Year-Old UK Legacy Bank, Files Crypto Patents

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Barclays, 300 Year Old UK Legacy Bank, Files Crypto Patents

The UK’s Barclays, arguably the most powerful international corporate bank in the world, filed two crypto-related patents this week. The 300 year-old legacy bank gobbled up exclusivity over cryptocurrency transfers and distributed ledger data storage. There appears to be a trend for companies, both in and out of the ecosystem, aiming to lock up the potential of money’s future.

Also read: Philippines Embraces Cryptocurrency: Exchanges Issued Provisional Licenses

Barclays Files Two Crypto Patents

Maybe it’s a sign of things to come. Barclays, founded in London around the late 17th century, filed two patents with the United States Patent and Trademark Office this week. One concerns a method “and system for transferring digital currency from a payer to recipient comprising receiving an identifier of data describing the first entity,” application number 1511964.7 reads.

The other is a method “and system for recording data describing a first entity, the data endorsed by a second entity comprising the second entity validating data describing the first entity, wherein an identifier is associated with the data, the identifier being generated from a public key of the first entity,” crediting inventors Julian Wilson and David Fulton, both of Cheshire, Great Britain.

Barclays, 300 Year Old UK Legacy Bank, Files Crypto Patents

It doesn’t get more legacy financial than Barclays. It is a staple on English stock exchanges, along with a definitive seat on the New York Stock Exchange. At least one study published just a few years ago pins it as the most powerful bank in the world.

The bank has been particularly active in the cryptosphere the past two years. Summer of last year, it openly worried about crypto’s threat to its industry. Spring of the present year saw it team with Coinbase, and rumors are it’s considering its own crypto trading desk. The above patents will only add to speculation the bank is positioning itself in light of future fiscal reality.

Patents All Around

This week, no less than Mastercard appears to be flirting with crypto patents. Ecosystem company, Nchain, has steadied in this way, collecting three more recently. Another bank, Bank of America, officially became the crypto patent king this year.  

Barclays, 300 Year Old UK Legacy Bank, Files Crypto Patents

The Barclays patent, “Secure Digital Data Operations,”  involves retrieving “an entry from a block chain based on the received identifier. Authenticating the entry using a public key of the second entity. Extracting the data describing the first entity from the retrieved entry. Authenticating a block in the block chain containing the entry using a public key of a third entity,” it reads choppily.

Barclays, 300 Year Old UK Legacy Bank, Files Crypto Patents

Its other patent, “Data Validation and Storage,” seems to be cryptographically “signing data corresponding with the data describing the first entity using at least a private key of the second entity. Posting a transaction to a block chain including the cryptographically signed data. Method and system for obtaining data describing a first entity the data endorsed by a second entity comprising. Receiving an identifier of data describing the first entity. Retrieving an entry from a block chain based on the received identifier. Authenticating the entry using a public key of the second entity. Extracting the data describing the first entity from the retrieved entry,” it listed.

Are patents such as Barclays’ meaningful? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, Barclays.


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BCH Roundup: Markets Spike While the Community Debates Token Protocols

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BCH Roundup: Markets Spike While the Community Debates Token Protocols

There’s been a lot happening this week within the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) ecosystem, and much of the community’s discussion revolves around tokenization concepts on the BCH chain. Meanwhile, the network has been running smoothly, and BCH markets seem to be reversing their trend after cryptocurrencies values were experiencing bearish sentiment for the past six months.

Also read: Ross Ulbricht Joins Twitter

This Week’s BCH Network and Market Action   

In twelve days the Bitcoin Cash community will be celebrating the anniversary of the blockchain split that occurred last year on August 1. There’s been a lot going on within the BCH environment as far as infrastructure support and development. At the time of publication, the BCH chain is 7,031 blocks ahead of the Bitcoin Core (BTC) chain and BCH is operating at 12.47% of BTC’s difficulty. There are roughly 13 mining pools three of which are unknown and the BCH hashrate over the past seven days has been between 4.3 to 4.9 exahash per second. There have also been a few big blocks processed recently like one that measured 7.9 MB and was mined by Viabtc.

BCH Roundup: Markets Spike While the Community Debates Token Protocols

BCH markets this week have done well as the cryptocurrency’s value is up 19.5 percent over the last seven days. Today on Thursday, July 19 at 2 pm EDT the digital asset is worth $814 per BCH. Right now BCH has a $14Bn market valuation and it’s seeing $700Mn to $900Mn in daily trade volumes. The top BCH exchanges today include Coinex ($84.84 Mn), Huobi Pro ($83.15 Mn), Okex ($70.45 Mn), Binance ($59.14 Mn), and Hitbtc ($36.41 Mn). The top currency today paired with BCH is tether (USDT) commanding 47.7 percent of BCH trades. This is followed by BTC (29.9%), USD (11.2%), KRW (3.1%) and ETH (2.9%).

A Flurry of New Tokenization Projects and the Criticism Against OP_Return Token Systems

This week there were three tokenization projects announced that aim to add more depth to the Bitcoin Cash network. The first project revealed was called ‘Wormhole’ which is a fork of Omni Layer and is reportedly being developed by Bitmain developers. The next two projects announced is a Color Coin protocol implementation designed by the Cryptonize.it developers and also the Simple Ledger Protocol paper written by six well known BCH developers. However, the following day after these two ideas were made public a new discussion revolving around the flaws of OP_Return operations.

BCH Roundup: Markets Spike While the Community Debates Token Protocols

One blogpost on Yours.org, fully critiques the two papers that utilize OP_Return within their framework and further states that there is no friendly, simplified payment verification (SPV) support. The writer @lawn states that token systems that rely on BCH OP_Return operations must choose from reduced SPV wallet security, light wallet based validation, and trusted third-party validation or a combination.  

“I think token schemes based on OP_Return is a dead end and we should focus our energy on miner validated and fully SPV capable tokens,” explains the critique. “Thus far only GROUP fits the bill,” the writer adds.

Bitcoin Unlimited’s Andrew Stone Analyzes the Tokeda Project

BCH Roundup: Markets Spike While the Community Debates Token Protocols
BU’s lead developer Andrew Stone.

Then on Wednesday the lead developer for Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) Andrew Stone published a paper that reviews the Tokeda paper written by Joannes Vermorel. Stone’s ‘Tokeda Criticism’ says that the “Early Draft: Incomplete” paper written by Vermorel has been presented as a viable option against GROUP so it should be analyzed. The BU developer concludes that a lot of specifics within the Tokeda idea are general and unspecified and further would likely require some sort of “authority-based system.”    

“Although much of Tokeda is completely unspecified, it seems to propose a system where token holders control a UTXO that should only be spent to the issuer, who has the opportunity to apply arbitrary policy before forwarding the spend to its actual destination — It is, therefore, an authority-based, SPV capable system,” Stone’s criticism explains.   

However, it ineptly deploys the power of authority-based systems resulting in problems easily solved by other authority systems. By placing its UTXO on the blockchain, and requiring 2 transactions per transfer, it compares very unfavorably with respect to scalability with many other token proposals, including the permissionless Group tokenization. Authority-based tokens should be able to do much better in their ability to shard the UTXO.  

Stone continues, “For example, authority-based extension block systems such as FSHblocks can move all token transfers completely off-chain — out of history AND UTXO. The only on-chain transfers required are those that are actually moving BCH value between the BCH blockchain and the extension block.”

Given its lack of interactivity with BCH and authority-based architecture, there seems to be no reason whatsoever for Tokeda’s implementation on a blockchain.

With So Much Going On, BCH Proponents Hardly Notice the Market Uptrend

Overall the Bitcoin Cash community seems to enjoy evaluating these proposals, and the criticisms have also been welcomed to some degree. There are definitely developers who believe that their systems that utilize OP_Return operations are not dead ends and will continue in this permissionless environment — After all, no one can stop them from producing these tokenization systems.

BCH Roundup: Markets Spike While the Community Debates Token Protocols
Over the past year, BCH supporters have seen apps like Joystream, Memo.cash, Blockpress, Chainfeed, Cointext, Cashpay, Read.cash, Cash Shuffle and more.

Furthermore, BCH proponents seem pleased with the current development progress from programmers like Unwriter since the upgrade took place this past May. Markets have been better all around for most cryptocurrencies including bitcoin cash but the BCH community seems more focused than ever on the people building with the BCH chain. Most would agree that eventually, market uptrends will follow cryptocurrencies that show steady innovation.

What do you think about the latest events and announcements taking place within the Bitcoin Cash environment? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.


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Study Shows Many ICO Protocols Fail to Match White Paper Promises

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Study Shows Many ICO Protocols Fail to Match White Paper Promises

On July 19, a group of interdisciplinary researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, with guidance from the esteemed Penn Law professor David Hoffman, published an in-depth study of initial coin offerings (ICOs) that promise innovative concepts like autonomous governance and operate by the belief that ‘code is law’. However, most of the ICOs the group researched failed to match the original contractual promises and the so-called ‘trustless trust’ offered by these projects had very little merit.

Also read: Japan Tax Agency Says Individuals Earning $1,800+ in Crypto a Year Will Declare Tax

University of Pennsylvania Study Looks Into Whether ICO White Paper Promises Match the Project’s Codebase  

Study Shows Many ICO Protocols Fail to Match White Paper PromisesThis week, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Law professor David Hoffman have published an interesting working paper on ICOs called “Coin Operated Capitalism.” The paper was authored by university members Shaanan Cohney (computer science PHd),  David Wishnick (a fellow at Penn Law’s interdisciplinary Center for Technology), and Jeremy Sklaroff (Penn’s JD/MBA program).    

The study’s authors surveyed and audited the top 50 ICOs that raised the most funds in 2017 and researchers looked at whether or not the ICO promises made by the promoters and white papers actually matched the technology’s codebase. The study finds that there are glaring differences between what the ICOs’ code delivers and what the creators promised to their investors.

“The automated mechanisms found in code—known as ‘smart contracts’—are not the only way entrepreneurs can deliver on their promises,” Wishnick explained.

But, according to proponents, they are what make ICOs innovative.

Study Shows Many ICO Protocols Fail to Match White Paper Promises
Researchers from Penn Law looked at ICOs such as Tezos, Filecoin, EOS, Bancor, Tron, Tenx, Civic, Chainlink, Storj, Power Ledger, and many more.

Only 20% of 50 ICO Codebases Matched the Promoter’s Promises

Out of the 50 ICOs surveyed, using both the white papers (contracts) and the codebases (delivered or non-delivered promises), a great deal of the ICO code and their associated ICO contracts did not match. In fact, only 20 percent of the 50 contracts surveyed matched their promises to code 100 percent of the time. “Nearly 60 percent made a least one governance promise that was missing from the code, and 20 percent had two or more mismatches,” the study’s authors emphasize.

“Surprisingly, in a community known for espousing a techno-libertarian belief in the power of ‘trustless trust’ built with carefully designed code, a significant fraction of issuers retained centralized control through previously undisclosed code permitting modification of the entities’ governing structures,” the working paper explains.

In Contrast to Traditional Law, the Smart Contract Community Is Full of Energy But So-Called Autonomous Protocols Need Vetting and Code Auditing

The paper concludes that the informality of smart-contract production does lead to “risks” but also “creativity”. Smart contract developers are far more creative than a “community of lawyers who tend to recycle language from agreement to agreement without much thought,” the study states. In contrast, the smart contract community has a lot of passion and energy, the researchers explain. But the study shows the manufacturing of smart contracts and blockchain promises must be evaluated and scrutinized closely.   

“Beyond the production of smart contracts and blockchain code, our study also highlights the importance of the ecosystem through which crypto code is vetted, audited, and made legible to the outside world,” the paper concludes.

What do you think about the Penn Law working paper that details most ICO code does not match the promises tied to the project? Let us know what you think in the comment section below. 


Images via Shutterstock, and the University of Pennsylvania


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PR: SoPay – Blockchain Payment Platform Lists on Three Major Exchanges to Create Digital Assets “Alipay”

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SoPay - Blockchain Payment Platform Lists on Three Major Exchanges to Create Digital Assets “Alipay”

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

SoPay has announced its arrival in three exchanges (CoinEx, Gate.io and BCEX) with an emphatic announcement of the trading contest that will feature 30 million SOP tokens.

SoPay is a new blockchain payment platform that brings a disruptive experience in the money market. Also, it has innovative operating models that it wants to leverage to make the digital asset trading environment more convenient.

Besides, SoPay will allow users to transact at no handling fee and with quicker processing duration of just 1 second. The platform supports transaction between numerous digital assets as well as cross-platform transactions. Furthermore, users can exchange digital assets for goods and services available in traditional offline and online businesses.

SoPay for Users
The SoPay experience is truly disruptive for users since it introduces a human touch to transactions. The platform eliminates the need for complicated passwords, elaborate processes and unnecessarily long confirmation durations. It has a simple, safe and user-friendly interface that is only comparable to Alipay.

How SoPay Works and its Reward Model
The simple process at SoPay involves registering a mobile phone number and a 6-digit transaction password. These two are equivalent to the average login information. This is all that users need to be able to make payment.

The platform hopes that this simple process will make blockchain payments open to everyone. Right now, the global population of participants in the blockchain space is a paltry 30 million. The platform foresees this number growing to 200 million by 2020 following the advantages that SoPay offers.

The SoPay platform rewards people that use the platform through its payment-mining model. This model gives incentive to users that deposit, lock assets or pay using the platform. The mine pool on SoPay comes from the income of service provider.

The First Target – The Gaming Space
SoPay is alive to the consumption barrier of digital assets among the gaming companies. To this end, it already has 40 gaming companies from the Orient, Europe and the U.S. in its pocket. These companies represent some 20 million players.

Market predictions estimate that blockchain payments in the gaming environment will reach US$ 100 billion in just three years. SoPay, therefore, sees it as a good starting point on its onslaught that also targets enterprises operating in the financial management, e-commerce and other allied industries. This strategy will enable it provide comprehensive services to all kinds of digital asset holders.

A New Consensus with Heightened Safety and Efficiency
SoPay is a product of extensive research and innovation in technology. The efforts intended to create a product that is different from existing payment platforms. Importantly, it’s SO Chain application gives users a chance to create accounts and virtual assets, transfer, confirm, transact, pledge and witness transactions, to name just a few among many other basic online transaction functions.

In addition, the platform offers users increased privacy at high operational speeds and enhanced security. The improvements and innovations are possible because the platform combines the benefits of EOS and third-generation consensus Delegated Proof of Stake (DPos).

More information about the SoPay platform:
Official website: https://sopay.org/
Telegram group 1: https://t.me/sopay_en
Telegram group 2: https://t.me/sopay_en02
Facebook: https://ift.tt/2Lnpt6t
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SoPayORG

Press Contact Email Address
aditya@inboundment.com

Supporting Link
https://sopay.org/

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Ross Ulbricht Joins Twitter

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Ross Ulbricht Joins Twitter

Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, serving life in prison without parole, has joined Twitter. While denied direct internet access from behind bars, he is now able to communicate with the Twittersphere, in a fashion, with the aid of hand-written notes posted to a Twitter account in his name. It is hoped the account will keep his case in the spotlight as he fights for his freedom.

Also read: Change.org Petition Attempts to Fight for Ross Ulbricht’s Freedom

Ross Ulbricht Finds His Voice

For approaching five years, Ross Ulbricht has awoken each morning inside a federal penitentiary. Barring a miracle, that pattern will repeat every day for the rest of his life. Despite all conventional avenues of appeal having been exhausted, hopes remain that the Silk Road mastermind may eventually taste freedom. Until such a time, the 34-year-old now has a means of conveying his thoughts to the public, many of whom have been campaigning for his release.

Ross Ulbricht Joins Twitter

@RealRossU is the handle of the Twitter account that launched today to convey the thoughts of Ross Ulbricht. “I’m hoping to find my voice here after all these years of silence. It has been a strange journey, but I’m so grateful for all those who’ve shown love and support and held me up through the hard times. You give me strength,” he writes in a note that has been transcribed and shared on his behalf. A photo of the original letter, hosted on freeross.org, attests to its authenticity.

“This is My First Time on Twitter”

“This is my first time on Twitter,” writes Ross, “so I’m not sure yet what I’ll be tweeting about. I guess we’ll figure it out together. It’s coming up on five years that I’ve been in prison though, so I’m hoping this will help me feel more connected to the outside. Thank you for supporting me and for all your support in my struggle for freedom.”

Ross Ulbricht Joins Twitter

Ross Ulbricht is serving his sentence in USP Florence High, a maximum security penitentiary in Colorado, which has a population of 776 inmates. Policy governing the electronic communications granted to prisoners differs on a state by state and case by case basis. However, individuals whose cases have become a cause célèbre have been granted this right in the past, albeit under tight restrictions. Chelsea Manning was able to join Twitter in 2015 while imprisoned and dictate communications over the phone to a third party who published them on her behalf.

If Ross’s updates are to be delivered by mail only, as appears to be the case, followers will have to content themselves with sporadic updates. That said, given the amount of free time the Austin, Texas native has at his disposal, he may be able to despatch multiple missives that are shared in installments. Within an hour of his first tweet being published, @RealRossU had already attracted 500 followers, a number that is sure to grow significantly in the coming days. While social metrics and the minutiae of Twitter are the least of Ross Ulbricht’s concerns, knowing that an army of followers are hanging on his every word is sure to fortify him as his fight for freedom steps up.

Do you think Ross Ulbricht will ever receive clemency? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Twitter and Freeross.org.


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Japanese Minister Denies Ties to Unregistered Crypto Exchange Under Investigation

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Japanese Minister Denies Ties to Unregistered Crypto Exchange Under Investigation

Seiko Noda, Japan’s Minister for Internal Affairs & Communications, and Minister in charge of Women’s Empowerment, was questioned by the Japanese press on Thursday over her involvement with an unregistered cryptocurrency exchange, which was allegedly violating the Japanese fund settlement law.

Also read: Japan Tax Agency Says Individuals Earning $1,800+ in Crypto a Year Will Declare Tax

It was revealed on Thursday that, on January 30, Noda’s secretary and aide allegedly invited an agent of the FSA and the representative of an unnamed unregistered cryptocurrency exchange operator to her parliamentary office. The said exchange operator was under investigation by the FSA for operating without registration, Jiji Press reported. The FSA had slapped the Tokyo-based company with a warning on January 12, saying it was suspected of violating the law.

Given Her Position as a Cabinet Minister, Noda Risked Being Accused of Exerting Pressure on a Government Investigation

Japanese Minister Denies Ties to Unregistered Crypto Exchange Under Investigation
Seiko Noda, Minister for Internal Affairs

“Because there has never been any administrative ties between this company and my office, I believe there is no exerting pressure on the front of this government investigation.” Noda told the press at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, on Thursday.

According to Noda, her secretary and aide solicited an FSA agent for general background briefing regarding crypto exchanges’ legal framework and organized a meeting at her parliamentary office with an acquaintance who represented the company. Noda said she was not present at the meeting. The unnamed company was under government investigation on suspicion of violating the fund settlement law at the time, but Noda’s team claims it was not aware of that fact. An FSA official visited Noda’s office at the Diet members’ building on January 30 to explain Noda’s aide and the representative of the company under investigation the FSA’s positioning on regulations concerning funds raising by issuing cryptocurrency and other matters.

A senior agency official noted that the request from Noda’s office for a briefing could be interpreted as pressure. “A public servant will likely take it as pressure if an aide to a sitting Cabinet member calls for a meeting in which an employee of a company the agency is looking into is also present,” the official was quoted saying to Asahi newspaper.

Noda told reporters that she hasn’t received any political contribution, nor had she made any investment with the company. “I promise I will take more prudent responses in the future.” She added.

The company, which began dealing in its own cryptocurrency in October 2017, received administrative guidance in February 2018 not to continue selling cryptocurrencies.

The Amended Settlement Act

Japanese Minister Denies Ties to Unregistered Crypto Exchange Under Investigation
The National Diet, the seat of the Japanese government

Japanese lawmakers amended the Act on Settlement of Funds in May 2016 to regulate businesses handling virtual currencies. This law was amended after Mt. Gox went bankrupt in Japan in February of 2014 due to the misappropriation of customers’ assets by its operator.

In response to these background events, Japanese lawmakers enacted the Amended Settlement Act with three pillars of regulation as follows:

  • Registration requirements on virtual currency exchange business in Japan;
  • Regulation against money laundering and terrorist financing; and
  • Introduction of rules to ensure customer protection.

What do you think of this Minister’s implication in government investigation into the crypto exchange operator? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Jiji Press and Japan Times.


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Malta Stock Exchange to Develop Two New Platforms for Security Tokens

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Malta Stock Exchange to Develop Two New Platforms for Security Tokens

The Malta Stock Exchange has separately announced today that MSX, the innovation, digital and fintech arm of the group, will be developing two new platforms for listing and trading security tokens. Neufund is developed in partnership with Binance, and OKMSX in collaboration with Okex.

Also Read: No Insider Trading, Market Manipulation and Misleading Ads – Malta’s New Crypto Law

Neufund

Malta Stock Exchange to Develop Two New Platforms for Security TokensA subsidiary of the Malta Stock Exchange and Binance, Neufund aims to become an end-to-end primary issuance platform for security tokens, equity tokens in particular. It will allow for secondary trading of equity tokens and enable companies from around the world to raise funds in a legal way while offering liquidity. Seven companies are already slated to conduct an Equity Token Offering (ETO) on the platform: Founders Bank, Brille24, Uniti, Myswooop, Next Big Thing, Blockstate and Emflux Motors. A pilot project is promised later in 2018 which is said to include the public offering of tokenized equity on Neufund’s primary market which may later be tradable on Binance and other crypto exchanges pending regulatory and listing approvals.

“We are thrilled to announce the partnerships with Malta Stock Exchange and Binance, that will ensure high liquidity to equity tokens issued on Neufund. It is the first time in history, that security tokens can be offered and traded in a legally binding way. The upcoming pilot project will allow us to test the market’s reaction and realize the overall project idea in an environment with minimized risk,” commented Zoe Adamovicz, CEO and Co-founder at Neufund.

OKMSX

Malta Stock Exchange to Develop Two New Platforms for Security TokensOKMSX is meant to leverage Okex’s digital asset operations and security expertise, along with the Malta Stock Exchange’s 26-year experience in regulatory compliance and client due diligence. It aims to develop an institutional grade security-tokens trading platform. The two parties say they strive to finalize the joint venture by Q3 2018 and that this new platform will launch by Q1 2019 to service clients globally from Malta.

“Malta is taking the helm of regulating the blockchain technology and cultivating a regulated cryptocurrency and ICO epicentre. This joint venture marks our confidence in the Maltese government as well as our commitment to providing an efficient, secure, and transparent blockchain trading environment to clients worldwide. We believe OKMSX will be a milestone in the economic development of Malta,” said Tim Byun, Chief Risk Officer and Head of Government Relations of Okex.

“Today Malta opened up a way for legally binding listing and trading of tokenized securities. We are proud of Malta Stock Exchange to enter a partnership with a worldwide leader in primary offerings on blockchain such as OKEx. I look forward to the fruitful collaboration in the future,” commented Silvio Schembri, the Maltese minister for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation.

Are security tokens listed on stock exchange-backed platforms really more safe to invest in? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Fed Chair: Crypto Has No Intrinsic Value, Not a Store of Value, Great for Money Laundering

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Fed Chair: Crypto Has No Intrinsic Value, Not a Store of Value, Great for Money Laundering

The Federal Reserve’s new chairman made his stance on cryptocurrency clear to the US House of Representatives on Wednesday. In his view, cryptocurrencies have no intrinsic value, are not used often as a means of payment, are not a store of value, but are great for money laundering. He also dismisses the idea that cryptocurrencies could pose a significant risk to the country’s financial stability at their current size.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Powell’s Testimony

The chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve who took office in February, Jerome Powell, answered questions about cryptocurrencies in his testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.

Fed Chair: Crypto Has No Intrinsic Value, Not a Store of Value, Great for Money Laundering
Jerome Powell.

This committee has jurisdiction over issues pertaining to the U.S. economy, banking system, housing, insurance, securities, exchanges, monetary policy, international finance, international monetary organizations, and efforts to combat terrorist financing.

U.S. Representative and vice-chairman of the committee, Patrick T. Mchenry, asked Powell to outline his thinking on cryptocurrencies. The chairman replied that there are “significant” risks to “relatively unsophisticated investors” who “see the asset going up in price and they think this is great; I’ll buy this [but] in fact there is no promise behind that.” He elaborated:

Cryptocurrencies are great if you’re trying to hide money or if you’re trying to launder money…it doesn’t really have any intrinsic value so I think there’re investor or consumer protection issues as well.

Furthermore, regarding whether the Fed is considering issuing its own digital currency, the chairman clarified, “that’s not something we’re looking at,” reiterating, “we’re not looking at this at the Fed as something that we should be doing.”

As for whether cryptocurrency is a currency, Powell claims that “it’s not really a currency,” clarifying:

If you think about what currencies do, they’re supposed to be a means of payment and a store of value, basically. And cryptocurrencies…they’re not really used very much in payment. Typically people sell their cryptocurrencies and then pay in dollars. In terms of a store of value, you know, look at the volatility and…it’s just not there.

Regulatory Framework

Fed Chair: Crypto Has No Intrinsic Value, Not a Store of Value, Great for Money Laundering
Patrick T. Mchenry.

While questioning Powell, Mchenry outlined the current regulatory framework for cryptocurrency in the U.S. He detailed that each of the 50 states has its own requirements for crypto businesses operating locally such as obtaining a money service license.

There are also regulators such as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that have some jurisdiction over cryptocurrency when it falls under their domain, he described, reiterating:

There’s some broad [regulatory] framework of it but not a concerted effort by the federal government to understand what’s happening in cryptocurrency.

No Serious Risk to Financial Stability

Fed Chair: Crypto Has No Intrinsic Value, Not a Store of Value, Great for Money LaunderingMchenry further asked Powell whether the Fed sees cryptocurrency impairing its ability “to act on monetary policy, given the current shape and scope of the size of the market.” The Fed chair replied, “not at all today.”

Powell additionally explained his previous statement regarding the impact of crypto on the country’s financial stability. He recalled being asked, “do cryptocurrencies currently present a serious financial stability threat?” He clarified:

They’re not big enough to do that yet. That’s really what I was saying, not that they’re not a longer-term thing.

Powell believes that the recent BIS report and others have adequately outlined risks associated with cryptocurrency “and called on the appropriate regulatory bodies to address them.” He emphasized, “we don’t have jurisdiction over cryptocurrency. We have jurisdiction over banks,” adding that those with jurisdiction such as the CFTC and the SEC can address the investor protection aspects of crypto.

This week, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) also said that “Crypto-assets do not pose a material risk to global financial stability at this time.”

What do you think of Powell’s view on cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the U.S. government.


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PR: trade.Io Appoints Banking Veteran David Hannigan to Run OTC Desk

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trade.Io Appoints Banking Veteran David Hannigan to Run OTC Desk

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Wednesday Lugano, Switzerland – trade.io, a leading cryptocurrency exchange and innovator of the industry’s leading liquidity pool, today announced that David Hannigan has joined the company as its Chief Dealer. David brings almost 30 years of trading and risk management experience, most notably his position as Senior VP at National Australia Bank, to his new role.

David will lead trade.io’s risk management department, and will be responsible for building out its OTC Desk, allowing for both retail and institutional fiat-to-crypto exchange functionality. Up to 50% of all OTC Desk revenues will be allocated to the forthcoming liquidity pool, which can only be accessed by using trade.io’s utility token, TIO.

trade.io’s CEO Jim Preissler said, “We’re very lucky to have someone with David’s experience lead the risk management team and spearhead our OTC Desk. David has an impeccable track record in trading and risk management, which is invaluable when dealing with the size of deals in the crypto space. It’s not uncommon to have a $10m deal come through the desk multiple times per day.”

David Hannigan also commented, “I see a lot of similarities in how trade.io runs its business to many of the large banks I’ve worked for in the past. With my prior experience in the banking sector, I am cognizant on how profitable an OTC Desk can be. I am thrilled to hit the ground running to provide this service to the trade.io community.”

David will also be providing daily commentary on the crypto markets which can be accessed by registered trade.io users.

About trade.io
trade.io is a next-generation financial institution based on blockchain technology, providing the ultimate in security and transparency. By leveraging decades of experience in the investment banking, trading & FinTech sectors, and combining them with the power and transparency of the distributed ledger, trade.io has created a truly unique exchange that will revolutionize asset trading and investment banking.

Press Contact Email Address
marilia.kountouridou@trade.io

Supporting Link
https://exchange.trade.io/

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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The Daily: Anti-Crypto Politician Backed by Payments Firm, Grayscale Raised $250m in H1

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The Daily: Anti Crypto Politician Backed by Payments Firm, Grayscale Raised $250m in H1

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we cover an American anti-crypto politician who is financially backed by a legacy payments firm, a positive change of leadership at Goldman Sachs, Grayscale’s performance during first half of 2018 and much more.

Also Read: Mastercard Patents a Method to Manage Cryptocurrency “Fractional Reserves”

He Who Pays the Piper Calls the Tune

The Daily: Anti Crypto Politician Backed by Payments Firm, Grayscale Raised $250m in H1Whenever you hear politicians talk about something and it sounds like they don’t have a clue about it, it’s important to remember that they may have a vested interest in misunderstanding it that way. An example of this came as US Representative Brad Sherman (Democrat-California) blasted cryptocurrencies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing entitled “The Future of Money: Digital Currency” on Wednesday.

“We should prohibit U.S. persons from buying or mining cryptocurrencies,” Rep. Sherman proclaimed. “Mining alone uses electricity which takes away from other needs and-or adds to the carbon footprint. As a store, as a medium of exchange, cryptocurrency accomplishes nothing except facilitating narcotics trafficking, terrorism, and tax evasion.”

And indeed members of the crypto community where quick to point out on social media and forums that, according to Opensecrets.org, his top financial contributor for 2017-2018 is Allied Wallet. This company is an online payments processor offering credit card, ACH and other legacy services that stand to lose out once wider cryptocurrency adoption makes them redundant.

DJ D-Sol Takes the Helm at Goldman

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE: GS) has announced that Lloyd C. Blankfein will retire as Chairman and CEO on September 30, 2018, and that the Board of Directors has appointed David M. Solomon to succeed him in both roles. The move caught the interest of cryptocurrency investors as, while Blankfein was more hesitant, Solomon is considered to be open to trading the new instruments. “We are clearing some futures around bitcoin, talking about doing some other activities there, but it’s going very cautiously,” Solomon said in an interview on Bloomberg TV last month. “We’re listening to our clients and trying to help our clients as they’re exploring those things too.” Goldman Sachs must “evolve its business and adapt to the environment,” he explained.

On a side note, Solomon is also known for moonlighting as a DJ at exclusive parties around the world. Yes, really.

Great to get some time on the decks at #theEMAwards.

A post shared by D-Sol (@djdsolmusic) on

Grayscale Raised $250m in H1 2018

Grayscale Investments, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Digital Currency Group which offers trusts for BTC, BCH, ETH, ETS, XRP, ZEC, and LTC, has released a report that analyzes the activity across its product range during the first half of 2018. The figures show that the company raised almost $250 million ($248.4 million) in its investment products, making it the strongest fundraising six-month period since Grayscale launched its first product in September 2013. The company also notes that institutional investors accounted for 56% of all new investment dollars into Grayscale products, a pronounced increase in allocations to the asset class despite a broad-based price reduction across digital currencies during 2018.

The Daily: Anti Crypto Politician Backed by Payments Firm, Grayscale Raised $250m in H1

Coinbase Not Approved for Securities After All?

Earlier this week Coinbase claimed that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) had approved its takeover of Keystone Capital, Venovate Marketplace, and Digital Wealth, the three entities that Coinbase sought for their securities licenses. Now the company appears to be walking back from these statements.

“It is not correct to say that the SEC and FINRA approved Coinbase’s purchase of Keystone because SEC was not involved in the approval process,” Coinbase spokeswoman Rachael Horwitz told Bloomberg. “The SEC’s approval is not required for the change of control application,” Horwitz claimed. “Coinbase has discussed aspects of its proposed operations, including the acquisition of the Keystone Entity, on an informal basis with several members of SEC staff.”

Stellar Sharia

The Daily: Anti Crypto Politician Backed by Payments Firm, Grayscale Raised $250m in H1The Stellar Development Foundation has announced a couple of days ago that it obtained a Sharia compliance certification for the network from the Shariyah Review Bureau (SRB), an international Sharia advisory agency licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain. The foundation hopes that this certification will help grow the Stellar ecosystem in regions where financial services require compliance with Islamic financing principles. Whether or not many potential crypto investors were really waiting for a token with a Sharia-compliant sign of approval, the move certainly didn’t hurt Stellar as XLM is now worth over 50% more than just a week ago.

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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