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According to the chairman of the US SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), Jay Clayton, ‘all ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) are not fraudulent’. These remarks were made by Clayton, on 5th April, during a speech at Princeton University. Clayton also added that stamping out fraud in the cryptocurrency market is perilous to protect customers. As well as, the improved regulatory analysis will essentially benefit the industry by removing fraudsters from it and con artists who give the whole place a bad name. Since there’ve been many ICO fraud cases before, the remarks of Clayton became viral.

SEC Investigation

Jay Clayton’s Remarks

Clayton said:

“Is the approach taken in Washington by the SEC adversely affecting distributed ledger technology in other areas? My hope is that it’s actually helping because this technology is being used for fraud… And to the extent that it’s being used for fraud, history shows that government comes down harshly on that technology later.”

He also added:

“If we don’t stop the fraudsters, there is a serious risk that the regulatory pendulum – the regulatory actions – will be so severe that they will restrict the capacity of this new security.”

Clayton signalled about SEC investigations, in February 2018, that his agency would be investigating cryptocurrencies and at that time, he said:

“I believe every ICO I’ve seen is a security.”

However, a few weeks later, ICOs were again targeted by the SEC as it issued dozens of subpoenas to the tech-companies related to cryptocurrencies, and counsellors to explore how ICOs are organized.

ICOs Ceased for Scam

Fraud charges were filed against the co-founders of Centra Tech, Robert Farkas and Sohrab Sharma on April 2, by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Centra tech co-founders were accused of raising $32 million by vending unregistered securities throughout the Centra ICO, as it was promoted by Floyd Mayweather (boxing champ) and DJ Khaled (record producer).

According to public documents, the SEC is now looking forward to two bitcoin exchange-traded funds for listing on the NYSE Arca, which is the first “all-electronic” exchange in the US. The name of these two-bitcoin exchange-traded funds are:

  • The ProShares Bitcoin ETF
  • The ProShares Short Bitcoin ETF

 

SEC to Allow Cryptocurrency ETFs

Cboe president, Chris Concannon advised the agency to permit crypto ETFs and soon after that, the SEC consideration of bitcoin ETFs showed up. In a letter, that was sent to the SEC, on23rd March, Concannon sacked criticism that virtual currencies are extremely volatile to be treated like other dependable commodities.

Concannon wrote in the letter:

“Because of its innovative features as a digital asset, bitcoin has gained wide acceptance as a secure means of exchange in the commercial marketplace and has generated significant interest among investors.”

Concannon also added that there is sufficient reliable price info from the bitcoin futures market on CME and Cboe Futures Exchange that must alleviate the regulatory uncertainties about its impenetrability as an asset-tool.

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Four New Crypto Funds Are Being Launched by Bitcoin Investment Trust Creator

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On Tuesday, “Grayscale Investments” (company behind the Bitcoin Investment Trust) announced that four new investment products had been opened by it, through which investors will be provided with exposure to cryptocurrencies in a more acquainted wrapper.

Four New Crypto-Funds

So, let’s enlighten you about the new funds!

After Bitcoin Investment Trust, four latest crypto-funds have been also launched which are; Litecoin Investment Trust, Ripple Investment Trust, Ethereum Investment Trust, and Bitcoin Cash Investment Trust, as each of them will hold positions in single cryptocurrency.

bitcoin investment trust

Managing director of Grayscale Investments, Michael Sonnenshein stated;

“We are thrilled to expand Grayscale’s offerings to meet rising investor demand. Our team is committed to bridging the gap between the global investment community and the digital currency asset class. We remain focused on product creation and will continue to launch more single-asset and diversified products to provide exposure where investors are looking for it.”

Just like other products of Grayscale investments, new trusts like these will be offered in a private placement to the investors, who buy at least $10,000 worth of shares and succumb to a one-year conferring period. Ultimately, it’s expected that the trust sponsor will possibly seek to list these shares on OTC (over-the-counter) platform. If these shares are publicly-quoted, they’ll definitely have a lot more liquidity and through retail brokerage accounts they could be purchased.

Due to its heavy premium on the secondary market, it’s an anathema to many financial analysts, however, the Bitcoin Investment Trust has turned out to be very popular among buyers, and especially among those, who are worried to hold crypto-assets directly and want to gain exposure to the top-cryptocurrency through tax-fortunate retirement accounts.

Preceding to recent stock split of GBTC, it was a move that made the trust even more tempting to retail investors and left the trust among the most-purchased assets on investing app Stockpile, allowing investors to buy small shares of expensive stocks.

Grayscale Trust Offers Eight Investment Products

Overall, different eight cryptocurrency investment products are being offered by Grayscale, including;

  • Ethereum Classic Investment Trust
  • Zcash Investment Trust

Digital Large Cap Fund was launched by Grayscale last month, which is a cryptocurrency index fund, holding market cap-weighted positions in the top five cryptocurrencies. All of these cryptocurrencies are now available in separate funds, which means that when they’d be publicly-quoted, and investors could easily invest in the huge cap fund but, short any of the individual-assets on which they were bearish. Apart from GBTC, these products are available exclusively now, through private placement.

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A Hard Drive Worth $75 Million That Won’t Recover

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James Howells, the IT laborer who unwittingly disposed of a hard drive containing what is currently valued at around $75 million worth of bitcoin, knows where the missing hard drive is, but he can’t try to recover it. That’s because the city in which the fortune is covered won’t enable him to delve into the landfill.

The missing hard drive is sitting somewhere under 200,000 tons of junk in a Newport, South Wales landfill.

Howells used an old PC to mine a sum of 7,500 bitcoins in 2009. Presently, he sold the parts to the Dell M1710 on eBay after his girlfriend complained about the mining’s clamor. He kept the hard drive in a cabinet, just in case the bitcoins increased in esteem. However, he overlooked the hard drive, and after four years, he disposed of it with the trash.

Howells has not been able to get consent from city chamber to dig into the landfill to recover the hard drive. Doing as such would require particular hardware that is typically used as a part of criminal examinations.

He was informed that a situation where even the police needed to go digging would require a group of 15, incorporating diggers with compulsory personal protection equipment. He couldn’t reserve such an operation, so he set up a wallet for donations:

https://twitter.com/howelzy/status/405690499593699328

City Council Denies Permission:

A Newport City Council representative said somebody has reached them in the past about recovering IT equipment containing bitcoins, but the chamber has shied away because of the expenses of uncovering the landfill and treating the trash, as per Wired. Such an exertion would cost millions and be environmentally destructive, with no assurance that a working drive would be recuperated. Around 50,000 tons of waste is added to the landfill every year.

A city chamber representative said the drive has likely experienced genuine galvanic corrosion from landfill leachates and gases. The landfill isn’t open to the public use.

Howells has the public address for his bitcoin, so he knows the bitcoins have not been moved. Since the information is encrypted, any individual who finds the hard drive would require Howells’ assistance to get to it.

 

Story credits: ccn.com

Image: Google images

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Bitcoin in Business – What Role Bitcoin May Play in B2B Community

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What Role Bitcoin May Play in B2B Community

Since the introduction in 2009, Bitcoin has been on an incredible rise. The value is always going up, and so is the speculation about BTC’s future.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin had already gone past the $2500 mark – and the trend is still expected to continue. Incredible! Isn’t it?

Considering bitcoin’s popularity, it is clear as rain that this currency is surely going to play a huge role in the B2B (Business to Business) community in future. However, the question is; what role will it play and how will bitcoin affect the B2B community worldwide?

Anyone with the slightest of the knowledge of business community would know that the volume of B2B transactions is way too higher than the volume of P2P (Person to Person) transactions.

Moreover, bitcoin in business has all the potential and tech to replace traditional payment systems – wire transfer being the most common one. In terms of speed, wire transfer is quite slow. The transfer between two countries may take up to a week; which, in business terms, is a waste.

Another traditional payment method used in the business community is ACH (Automated Clearing House). The method is cheaper but slower than the wire transfer, so it needs replacing too.

On the other hand, the client, as well as the merchant prefer instant Bitcoin payments and is a perfect fit for it. The crypto can be used to send/receive payments within a short period of time which may range from one to a couple of hours.

After reading all that, one might wonder: “if Bitcoin is instant and convenient, what’s stopping it from breaking into the Bitcoin B2B community?” It’s the acceptability and lack of usage. Bitcoin payments can only work if both parties are willing to use it – and considering the risks associated with this currency, not many are ready to accept bitcoin as a payment method.

However, if the business community decides to go with bitcoin, here are some benefits that they can enjoy:

Speed:

Compared to conventional payment methods, Bitcoin is super-fast. The ability to complete international transactions within a few seconds/minutes can solve the speed issues.

Cost:

Low transaction cost is another advantage of Bitcoin. Where other methods cost up to 10-40 USD, transactions through Bitcoin only cost a few cents.

Ubiquity:

The majority of the adult population relies on services like Money Gram or the Western Union for money transfer. Services like these follow a set of rules and restrictions imposed by the government; which greatly affects one’s ability to do business.

However, Bitcoin can solve the issue as it is regulated by a third party to impose restrictions on users. It ultimately provides users with more freedom and makes the transfer process simple. Anyone with a regular PC and access to the internet connection can transfer the coins to whichever part of the world they want.

These are some of the pros that Bitcoin brings with it for the business community. However, all is not that simple. Bitcoin adoption in B2B community can also bring about some harms with it – security and price volatility being the most common ones in Bitcoin community.

Security:

One of the biggest issues with Bitcoin is that the security is the responsibility of the individual making payments. For example, if someone is sending a certain number of bitcoins to someone else, the first thing they will need to make sure is to send it to the right address. A slight mistake and the coins are gone forever.

Another issue is that your computer at which bitcoins are stored must not have any spyware and other suspicious programs installed on it. It compromises the security of the bitcoins.

Volatility:

Another issue with Bitcoin is high volatility. The value of Bitcoin changes in a matter of minutes. With such instability, it’s almost impossible for the business community to adopt Bitcoin payments.

Conclusion:

Although Bitcoin is the most popular form of cryptocurrency and allows instant transfers, there some issues with it – stopping it from a wider adoption. Once these issues are dealt with, there is no doubt that bitcoin will rule the business world.

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How to Store Bitcoin with a Paper Wallet

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One of the concerns every Bitcoin user has is how to keep their bitcoins safe from criminals. Well, the answer to that is to store them in a paper wallet, completely away from the internet in an offline environment.

If you do it right, you’ve just initiated one of the safest ways to store your bitcoin. Although, if you mess up in between, it’s still more secure than storing coins in any Bitcoin exchange platform.

Creating a Simple PapeWallet

Start off with a desktop that is clear from all virus.

If you’re having doubts about this, install a copy of the OS on a USB. This is just for safety purposes, you don’t have to do this step. Although, make sure your computer is completely free from all sorts of malicious and nasty viruses. We don’t want your operating system wiping out on you.

Use incognito mode on your browser, and go on to a bitcoin paper wallet creation site

The most well-known paper wallet creation site is said to be bitadress.org, so use your incognito mode to log on to the site.

Turn off your internet connection once bitaddress.org loads

After the site has loaded, turn off your Wi-Fi or unplug your ethernet cable. This will completely remove any leads for your private keys to leak through the internet without your knowledge.

Don’t worry, bitaddress.org was programmed to function perfectly fine even without an internet connection.

Follow the instructions given to the side and move your cursor randomly across the screen

This is the fun part. You’re required to randomly move your cursor around the screen to generate a seed that will be used by BitAddress to generate your personal wallet.

You have now created two QR codes with a combination of random letters and numbers

Congratulations! You’ve officially created your first paper wallet.

The two QR codes are:

  • Bitcoin Address- It will be a long string of letters and numbers jumbled together. This is what you’re going to be sharing with others in order to send and receive Bitcoins.
  • Private Key- This too is a lengthy combination of alphanumeric, but you’re supposed to keep this secret. You CANNOT share your private key with anyone nor can you store it on a computer and, definitely not on the web.

Remember this. If you lose your key, your bitcoins are lost forever and if someone else gets a hold of your private key, they can easily empty your wallet.

Keep your paper wallet safe

The next step is having an offline copy of your Bitcoin Address. While you’re still disconnected from the internet, print the address (make sure your printer is not connected through wi-fi either). Now you have created a hard copy of your Bitcoin address, which you can later add Bitcoin to for a final cold storage solution.

Always keep a backup of your wallet in another location and make sure it is completely secure. If someone gets their hands on it, you’ve lost everything.

Adding funds to your cold storage wallet

You need to use your online wallet for this. Scan the bitcoin address on the paper wallet or just copy it, then send your fund to your cold storage.

 

TIPS

  • Make sure to store your wallet someplace away from moisture, because you don’t want it getting damaged. Try storing it in a Ziploc bag or laminate it, in order to avoid it from coming in contact with any liquid.
  • Use an Operating System that never goes online, to prevent your PC from leaking out your private keys. Print your wallet offline and never go online from that computer in the future.
  • You can store large sums of bitcoins in your cold storage rather than carrying it with you in an online wallet. Keep small amounts of bitcoin in your online wallet for daily transactions and the rest offline, in a secure spot.

 

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Crypto Fraud Cases: CFTC Is Stepping Up Against Market Manipulation

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Commodity Futures Trading Commission is making a quick move to declare its jurisdiction to police scam in the cryptocurrency trading. Jack B. Weinstein, a Judge of the Eastern District of New York, favoured the CFTC and affirmed its definition of cryptocurrency as a commodity. A notice of supplemental-legal-authority was given to My Big Coin Pay Inc, which is a crypto-services company that got charged with deception and misuse of funds in January.

cryptocurrency trading

This ruling was basically the outcome of a distinct crypto fraud case that CFTC is pursuing against a crypto-trading-scheme known as CabbageTech. Mentioning from that ruling, the notice directs My Big Coin Pay that;

Virtual currencies ‘fall well-within…the [Commodity Exchange Act’s] definition of commodities and the Commission has the standing to exercise its enforcement power over fraud related to virtual currencies sold in interstate commerce.”

The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), the IRS, and the CFTC, all have a different meaning of cryptocurrencies at this time and have selected them as securities, property, and commodities individually.

Now for My Big Coin Pay, the Commission asserts that the stable and related parties; Randall Crater and Mark Gillespie embezzled over $6 million from their clients, as well as by transferring funds of customers into their private accounts and later, spending their funds on purchasing their luxury goods and personal stuff.

cryptocurrency tradding

Many novel cases have been also filed by the CFTF in the past months, which includes three linked to virtual-currency fraud. These cases were the first ones that were brought to the commission since it allowed the launch of bitcoin commodities contracts, the past month. The notice also revealed how CFTC is working hard to establish legitimate precedent and potentially provides a vision of how it will endure regulating the industry.

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