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The Korea Times has recently reported that local financial authorities are planning to legalize ICO (Initial Coin Offering) soon. An anonymous source has told The Korean Times:

“The financial authorities have been talking to the country’s tax agency, justice ministry and other relevant government offices about a plan to allow ICOs in Korea when certain conditions are met”

initial coin offerings

What’s the reason behind ICOs legalization?

Few South Korean mainstream media outlets have revealed that “Kakao” is concentrating on assimilating cryptocurrencies for its 100 million users. Kakao is basically the largest internet firm of South Korea, and there’ve been many reports that it’s planning to integrate cryptocurrencies on its each and every application, which will let the users to utilize KakaoPay for both sending and receiving cryptocurrencies.

Kakao is also planning to conduct an ICO and issue its own token. However, it’s been also reported that due to the present regulations on local ICOs, Kakao is preparing to conduct its ICO outside of the country, South Korea. If ICO of Kakao is conducted somewhere else, it may lead to an extensive loss for the economy of South Korea, particularly in the Blockchain sector.

It’s expected that the government of South Korean is on its way to legalize ICOs in order to prevent the leading conglomerates of South Korea from leaving the country to conduct ICOs, as it might also have a bad impact on the cryptocurrency industry as well as local Blockchain sector.

Apprehension about ICO protection 

Financial Services Commission chairman, Choi Jong-Ku has recently shown his concerns to the local ICOs, mentioning that high risks are involved for investors inside the crypto-market.

However, even with the concern of investor’s protection by the FSC, there are still many sources inside the government that explain how local financial authorities are trying to allow local ICOs by enabling strict AML (Anti-Money Laundering), KYC (Know Your Customer), and taxation policy for investors.

 

Is South Korea and U.S. SEC on the same line?

The government of South Korea is willing to let companies conduct ICOs on condition that the token sales are registered with the government, which is on the other hand similar to the stance of the U.S. SEC Securities and Exchange Commission.

At this time, the South Korean government is on the same line with the U.S. SEC and is ready to allow only those ICOs that are registered with local financial authorities. Kang Young-soo (FSC cryptocurrency trading policies director) has confirmed that there are rumours about the legalization of ICOs, as he stated:

“There are many speculating about the possibility of allowing ICOs. The FSC has acknowledged a third-party view regarding the issue, but there’s nothing that we can say officially at the moment.”

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What Should Be Considered in an ICO Whitepaper?

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As the popularity of ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) is mounting along market’s instability and other cryptocurrencies fraud around the world, a debate has emerged about the appropriate regulatory policies for cryptocurrencies and ICOs. The most frequently asked questions include the proper division of authority amid the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission), whether authority of these commissions should reach the core of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, as others are expecting that a whole new regulatory rule is required for cryptocurrency and token fundraisers. This blog illustrates the congressional testimony on cryptocurrencies, which aims to reflect the existing regulatory approach that is being used by the regulators to observe and manage ICOs and cryptocurrencies, and how more regulatory clarity can be achieved in such markets.

ICO whitepaper

US Securities laws disclosure system is the prime one, where promoters can easily share information related to their company and management, openly. With SEC, this information is filed later. By dissimilarity, most of the ICO disclosures are enabled via “whitepapers” which are unregulated at this time, focusing mainly on the current technology and on such technologies that are under-development.

Investors and buyers of ICO tokens that are looking for a good return or technology users that are looking forward to contribute and support in an advanced product would have to expect certain disclosures for making a purchase in a conversant way. Some of the disclosures that have been identified by the entrepreneurs themselves are specifically relevant to ICOs transition.

Location of Promotors

According to a study, in 32% of ICOs, it is literally impossible to identify the promoter’s origin. From an investor’s point of view, this is a serious information asymmetry. It won’t be possible to identify what legal protections and rules are. without this information. Moreover, there are few ways through which investor can interact with related public authorities especially in case of fraud, like; loss or theft. So, ICO whitepaper should set out a comprehensive report of where the issuer and its key management are placed.

Issues

If we talk about the history of US Securities law, there was no such information important for investors than the financial statements of the issuer. Investors could easily evaluate the past performance of the company by scrutinizing income statements, cash flow and balance sheets, and by doing so, they could make well-versed guesses about the future performance of the company as well as its profitability.  A whole ecosystem of third-party auditors, credit rating agencies, and accountants, were settled due to the criticality of financial statements in securities offerings, to make sure the accuracy of financial statements.

ICOs serves for a different purpose as compared to most of the traditional IPOs (Initial Public Offerings). Rather than funding trading companies, ICOs involve products industrialized by startups identifying technology-based issues and offering the sale of solutions based on technology.

It’s not the past performance of the company or financial statements for most of the offerings, but it’s the venture’s technology plan. Therefore, guaranteeing that investors/retail buyers comprehend the crucial contours of the fundamental technology solution is ultimate as ICOs turn out to be a more and more popular way of fundraising.

Moreover, further technical chunks of the ICO whitepaper would be a perfect subject to a system of third-party authentication, especially for larger fundraises. Also, when describing the solution, hyperbole should be avoided by the promoters which are an endemic problem in whitepapers. Plus, investors should be required to identify an objective base for all the upcoming statements as well.

Blockchain

Investors should be well-versed about how the secondary infrastructure works, and how it is going to affect the governance of the token. Also, the consensus method for a virtual currency’s Blockchain should also be revealed as well, along with a summary of how the governance decisions, plus other decisions affect the network, such as; software upgrades, which will be synchronized amid the several investors such as designers, miners, and users.

Token’s Description

This is obvious that tokens can have a number of different economic and qualitative features, like; currency, utility, or securities. The disclosures would have to elucidate what it means to a typical holder, if the tokens are created in a technological format, complying with firm guidelines, like; ERC20 standard.

Likewise, if some efforts will be made for listing a token, for example, to list a securities token on an ATS (alternative trading system), or if there are trading limitations on the security, then such facts have to be disclosed in a way that is clear to the owner of the token. The description of token should specify the envisioned use of the coins that are issued in the offering, their quantity, plus whether the advisors will keep the reserve coins, and if they do, then how they’d liquidate them. Promoters should be required to reveal their intellectual ownership of the company’s protocol.

Technical Team Qualification

Common disclosure requirement in registered offerings is the information about the business experience of executive officers as the investors are given a sense of the quality of management and are probably the success of the company once it goes public. In ICOs, companies have restricted histories and the problem may be exceptional, if same information about the offering’s technical team could be evaluated. At the same time, coders have diverging backgrounds, as some are more qualified and experienced than others. Also, to provide investors with an intellect as to the proficiency and reliability of the white paper, many founders should provide all info linked to key engineering experience, skills, qualifications and other relevant features. Plus, it should also be mandatory for developers to provide links to their previous work.

Risks

ICOs should involve disclosures regarding the most substantial risk aspects affecting token holders in the offering document. Even though many investors will probably understand that even successful ventures can be later disintermediated by more effectual nonentities. A token holder may get astonished to discover that the product doesn’t function as it’s intended or might develop a purpose all-in-all contingent on the progress of the technology, possibly even less in all likelihood, the requirements of the contributors in the ecosystem. Shareholders should comprehend as well that the greater sectoral risks, including variations in the trade that could demote some designs of blockchain into further parts of the sector, making many tokens worthless. Buyers had to be completely aware of their latent susceptibility to hacking, disruption, and data-loss, also authorized subjects like privacy concerns and information transportability across borders.

No doubt, there are other imperative disclosures as well that should be operationalized in means that are way too much effective.

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Bithumb Partners with BitPay – What Does Sonny Singh have to say about it?

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Bithumb, which is the largest cryptocurrency exchange of South Korea has joined with BitPay. On 13th March, it was announced by an executive, that the main purpose of this partnership is to compete in the global remittance market. As the major South Korea Exchange Bithumb merges with BitPay, there’s no doubt that it’s going to impact the crypto-market.

Chief commercial officer of BitPay, Sonny Singh noted while talking to CNBC, that now the businesses will have the ability to change invoices to Bitcoin and utilize BitPay for settling them more economically and faster than the ordinary bank-based remittance networks.

south korea exchange

What does Sonny Singh have to say about this partnership?

Sonny Singh told the network;

“Cross-border payments between Korea and the West will be a $200 bln industry this year”

Singh continued by saying;

“Right now, people are doing cross-border payments […] and paying bank wires, FX fees around 4% and it takes about four days. Using Bithumb and BitPay, we’re able to make this a 1% fee in one business day”

A chain of regulations on crypto-markets has been introduced by South Korea, since December 2017, for banning unidentified trading, foreign use of local exchanges, local ICOs, and in addition to that, banning all the government officials from trading and holding cryptocurrencies. Even with such massive trading volumes, South Korea is still an ambiguous market for cryptocurrency users and businesses.

Singh also confirmed that BitPay is on its way to process $4 billion worth of payments this year and is disconcerted by the potential for regulatory disruption.

Singh said;

“We welcome regulation.”

Later, he continued by saying;

“So, I think all the Korean exchanges like Bithumb — they welcome regulations too. We make sure they do proper AML/KYC checks.”

At the beginning of this month, it was announced by the South Korean bank, named “Woori Bank,” that its aim is to start commercialized cross-border payments by using Ripple. According to a report, Bithumb still continues to grow consumer-awareness of cryptocurrency within the country, South Korea, by familiarizing payment terminals to restaurants as well.

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Bitcoin On The Verge Of Hitting $60,000 And Then A Huge Crash In 2018 – Predicts Saxo Bank

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Saxo Bank forecasts that the bitcoin cost will take off above $60,000 in 2018 before crashing more than 98 percent to its essential production cost’ of $1,000.”

 

The Danish investment bank issued this conjecture in its yearly “Over the top Predictions” publication that implies to recognize “highly unlikely events with overlooked potential.”

 

“The ascent of Bitcoin and different cryptocurrencies has been a standout amongst the most fabulous marvels of financial markets in recent years,” two Saxo experts wrote. “Bitcoin will keep on rising – and ascend high – during the most part of 2018 but Russia and China will together architect a crash.”

 

The bank predicts that fueled by delayed bullishness over the approach of Bitcoin derivatives, the bitcoin cost will rise around 400 percent from its present level to crest above $60,000 — bringing its market cap to $1 trillion.

 

However, Saxo cautions, bitcoin’s transient climb will be squared with by the rate of its downfall. Worried about capital flight, China and Russia will release a multi-pronged strike on the decentralized digital money ecosystem to “move the concentration away from Bitcoin”. In addition to creating their own, state-supported cryptographic forms of money, the two governments will boycott mining, referring to environmental concerns while in reality, their approach is keeping a check on domestic monetary policy.

 

Bitcoin fans won’t surrender without a battle, but the bank predicts that state-run digital forms of money will prove to work better as payment frameworks, putting a conclusion to the two-year crypto fever and causing the bitcoin cost to lurch down to $1,000.

 

“The smoother working of the state-run conventions for actual payments and value dependability, and additionally the substantial hand of state intervention, drives a diminishing interest for all digital forms of money and totally sidelines the Bitcoin and crypto phenomenon from a price speculation angle even as the innovative guarantee of the blockchain jogs on,” Saxo concludes. “After its peak in 2018, Bitcoin crashes and limps into 2019 at around $1,000.

 

Keep in mind, these expectations are fairly whimsical — the bank intentionally comes up with improbable situations. However, Saxo foretold “gigantic increases for bitcoin” in last year’s release, although the bank’s “ludicrous” forecast that bitcoin would ascend as high as $2,100 has ended up being shockingly conservative.

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Is the Value of Bitcoin Interrelated to its Google searches?

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The price of Bitcoin has a 91% correlation to its volume of Google searches, according to a search engine marketing agency known as SEMrush.

 

Image credits: steemit

 

Basically, this means that the number of Google searches related to “Bitcoin value” fluctuate with the price of google Bitcoin. In simple words, when the price goes high, more people are attracted to it and as it begins to drop, people become less interested.

How was this study conducted?

SEMrush discovered from a database of 120 million US keyword searches that were linked to bitcoin. Some of them are listed below:

“Bitcoin”

Bitcoin price”

“Bitcoin news”

“Bitcoin value”

The total number of Bitcoin and Bitcoin search volume was said to be approximately around 51,400,000 last year.

 

Is the case study simply approving the obvious?

Perhaps. As mentioned earlier, the interest of people is dependent on the price. The higher the price, the more the number of searches online.

Regardless, it’s quite interesting to note this connection and to discover that the numbers actually support what we might be assuming.

image credits: steemit

Statistics:

Since April 2017, the number of bitcoin searches has climbed up by 450%.  During this time, the value of bitcoin had gone up from around $1,076 to a new hit of $5,000 just a couple of weeks ago.

 

Will it Predict the Price of Bitcoin? – That is the Question

Unfortunately, no. That is not the case and it’s silly to think that a search engine would be easily able to predict the price of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.

 

Story Credits: steemit

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