As It Ramps Up Enforcement, the SEC Has Been Looking Abroad for Assistance

As It Ramps Up Enforcement, the SEC Has Been Looking Abroad for Assistance

2018 has been a hallmark year for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s enforcement against cryptocurrency companies, and, according to one director, international collaboration with other regulatory agencies has played a supporting role in the SEC’s recent regulatory actions.
“Guidance by Enforcement”: How the SEC Is Slowly Shaping ICO Regulation

“Guidance by Enforcement”: How the SEC Is Slowly Shaping ICO Regulation

On November 27, 2018, a California judge turned back the SEC’s request for an injunction against token company BlockVest, a company the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is pursuing for allegedly conducting an unregistered securities offering. The judge, however, ruled that BlockVest’s token distribution, which was conducted via airdrop, was given freely and received without expectation for returns, so it didn’t constitute an investment contract.
Swiss Regulator Gives Clear Guidelines for Launching ICOs

Swiss Regulator Gives Clear Guidelines for Launching ICOs

On February 16, 2018, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA put the world on notice by being the first major economy to set out clear guidelines on initial coin offerings (ICOs). In an announcement, the Swiss regulator addressed plans to apply financial market legislation to different tokens as well as lay out how ICO organizers can get proper input from FINMA when planning or launching their initial coin offerings.

CFTC Advisory Committee Recommends Creation of Virtual Currency Subcommittee

On Wednesday, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Committee’s (CFTC) Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) held a public meeting at its Washington, D.C., headquarters. During the meeting, members of the Bitcoin and cryptoasset industry shared information regarding this emerging market and offered guidance on how the CFTC may approach regulating the space in 2018.

China’s Stricter Regulatory Stance on ICOs Signal Caution, Not Calamity

On February 4, 2018, at 10:10 p.m. China Standard Time, Financialnews, a rather small news agency under the administration of China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), released an article that explicitly stated that “China will continue to watch virtual currency and activities related to it closely, and will take actions including shutting down commercial presences and exchanges within China’s territory to uphold China’s financial stability.

SEC and CFTC Give Testimonies at Senate Hearing on Virtual Currencies

Today, February 6, 2018, the prospects for coherent U.S. regulation on cryptocurrencies became a little more clear, as were the impasses that were frustrating progress on the issue. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs (the “Committee”) heard joint testimony from the heads of both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

SEC Chair’s Written Testimony Hints at Moderation for Cryptocurrencies, but ICOs Be Warned

The written testimony from Jay Clayton, chairman of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), was released on February 5, 2018.

Credit Suisse Argues Irrational Exuberance Around ICOs Indicates Bitcoin Bubble

In a paper written in the fall of 2017 and published on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) on Friday, January 12, 2018, Credit Suisse’s Dietmar Peetz and Gregory Mall argue that the boom in the initial coin offering (ICO) market is the clearest indicator of a bubble in bitcoin.

Telegram’s Privacy-Focused User Base Could Become TON Blockchain’s Killer App

In December 2017, an interesting rumor surfaced: According to “sources familiar with the matter,” the messaging app Telegram, very popular among crypto-enthusiasts for its strong encryption and privacy features, would launch its own blockchain platform and cryptocurrency.

UBI Blockchain Is the Latest in Series of SEC Cryptocurrency Crackdown Targets

In a story that is getting all too familiar recently, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) halted trading on yet another blockchain-related company stock, UBI Blockchain. The SEC explained: "The Commission temporarily suspended trading in the securities of UBIA because of (i) questions regarding the accuracy of assertions, since at least September 2017, by UBIA in filings with the Commission regarding the company’s business operations; and (ii) concerns about recent, unusual and unexplained market activity in the company’s Class A common stock since at least November 2017.

Kodak Gets in on the Blockchain and ICO Picture

Kodak, the iconic photography company first established in in the 1880s, has joined the blockchain and ICO age. Today, January 9, 2018, it announced a new blockchain-based platform with WENN Digital to empower and protect image makers, photographers and artists.

CFTC to Discuss Digital Currency Futures Certification Process

Five weeks ago, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced three exchanges had self-certified Bitcoin derivatives products. Following the subsequent backlash from the Futures Industry Association (FIA), the CFTC has announced two public committee meetings to review the self-certification process, procedures and operational controls for listing and trading digital currency futures.

Our Top 5 Bitcoin “Good News” Stories of 2017

When the history of Bitcoin and blockchains is written, 2017 will be the year tagged as the “turning point” when Bitcoin and “red hot” blockchain technology went mainstream. The steadily rising bitcoin price and market cap is a key, though not the only, indicator that a tipping point has been reached.

This Russian Presidential Candidate Wants to Legalize Bitcoin

Boris Titov, a Russian businessman/ombudsman and bitcoin advocate, recently revealed he will participate in the presidential elections in 2018.

South Korean Government to Allow Institutional Investors to Participate in ICOs

According to a report by Chosun, a leading mainstream news publication in South Korea, the South Korean government is planning to allow initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the near future, with strict regulations and policies in place.

China’s Central Bank Believes Bitcoin will be Dead in a River

A People’s Bank of China (PBoC) official has stated that he thinks bitcoin will end up floating down a river as a dead body.

New Zealand’s Regulator Warns Against Teenager’s NZD$220 Million ICO

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has issued a warning to potential investors to stay away from a teen’s NZD$220 million cryptocurrency venture, fearing that its success may be overblown. In August, 19-year-old Ashutoush Sharma, a former student at Auckland Grammar, launched e-commerce site Sell My Good. This week, he began accepting investor funds with the aim of raising $220 million for his cryptocurrency SMG Cash, the New Zealand Herald reports.

Singapore’s Central Bank Issues New Guidelines on ICO Securities Laws

Singapore’s central bank has issued new guidelines on initial coin offerings (ICOs) providing guidance on how tokens should be applied under its securities laws. In its 13-page document titled ‘A Guide to Digital Token Offerings,’ the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator, wrote that: Offers or issues of digital tokens may be regulated by MAS if the digital tokens are capital markets products under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA).
European Financial Regulator Warns Investors On ICO Risks

European Financial Regulator Warns Investors On ICO Risks

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) today issued two separate statements that outline what it perceives as the risks initial coin offerings (ICOs) pose for investors and startups, respectively. Striking a concerned tone on the nascent state of the market, ESMA warned investors that the use of custom cryptocurrencies for fundraising comes with a "high risk" of capital loss. Adding to that, the authority alerted that ICOs may fall outside of EU laws and regulations, which in turn does not benefit investors.
ICO Funds Among Millions Frozen In Parity Wallets

ICO Funds Among Millions Frozen In Parity Wallets

Some high-profile token issuers are feeling the effects of a vulnerability in an ethereum wallet software revealed this week. After a developer stumbled upon the bug – "accidentally" deleting a code library for the Parity wallet and freezing more than $152 million-worth of ether – several startups and open-source projects that recently launched initial coin offerings (ICOs) have come forward, stating that theirs are among the 151 addresses impacted by the software failure.
A More Equitable ICO? Why Blockstack Said No to a Token Pre-Sale

A More Equitable ICO? Why Blockstack Said No to a Token Pre-Sale

Blockstack isn't going along with business as usual for its initial coin offering (ICO). As the new funding method gains momentum, token issuers have often allowed investors to access tokens in so-called "pre-sales" in advance of opening up to the public. The pre-sales, aimed at injecting money into projects early on, are often competitive, and for good reason, the prize can be a steep discount over market price. But Blockstack, a startup whose "modest" goal it is to create a new infrastructure for the entire internet, won't be offering a pre-sale for its new token set to go on sale Nov.

Launching a Cryptocurrency “Token Generation Event” (aka an ICO)

On October 27, 2017, disruptors in the cryptocurrency field gathered at the San Francisco Ethereal Summit. Sponsored by ConsenSys, the summit provided a diverse mix of panels and workshops that demystified the “initial coin offering” (ICO) or “token generation event.
Blockchain Startup With Disney Roots Completes $13.7 Million ICO

Blockchain Startup With Disney Roots Completes $13.7 Million ICO

Dragonchain, the blockchain startup that began as a Disney prototype, has raised approximately $13.7 million in an initial coin offering (ICO). According to the Dragonchain site, roughly 30,521 ether and 622.47 bitcoin were contributed during the two-stage token sale, which began with a pre-sale in August and ended with the conclusion of a public sale that concluded earlier this week. The pre-sale itself raised approximately $1.4 million (152.25 BTC and 2357.53 ETH). In statements, representatives for the firm said that the funding will go toward development as well as establishing a market for the firm's Dragon token.
Ex-Credit Suisse Exec to Launch ICO for Luxury Good Platform

Ex-Credit Suisse Exec to Launch ICO for Luxury Good Platform

A former executive for Credit Suisse is preparing to launch an initial coin offering (ICO) for a new ethereum-based startup. Marco Abele worked for the banking institution from 2006 until this August, serving most recently as head of digital, according to LinkedIn. Prior to that, Abele worked at Deutsche Bank in its corporate and investment banking division. Now, he's spearheading a startup called Tend, an ethereum-powered marketplace for sharing ownership of luxury assets, such as cars and jewelry.
US Government Arrests and Charges Alleged ICO Fraudster

US Government Arrests and Charges Alleged ICO Fraudster

A New York businessman accused of defrauding investors in connection with two initial coin offerings (ICOs) last month by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been arrested. In a statement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York said that Maksim Zaslavskiy had been arrested Nov. 1 and charged with securities fraud conspiracy tied to two token sales, one of which was marketed as being backed by real estate assets, and the other by diamonds.