Category: Initial Coin Offering ICO news

October 11th, 2017 by VK-edit

This summer, the Moscow Exchange was considering including Bitcoin-based derivatives and exchange traded funds to its portfolio. And last month, Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said there was “no sense banning” digital currencies, but instead that there was “a need to regulate them.”

However, Russia’s deputy finance minister Alexey Moiseev recently called Bitcoin a pyramid scheme and announced his intention only to allow “qualified investors” rather than “ordinary people” to buy Bitcoin.

Russian government-owned RT has now reported that Vladimir Putin has decided to block crypto-currencies in general, and Bitcoin in particular. Putin believes digital currencies could be used for criminal activities money laundering, tax evasion, fraud scheme and even terrorism financing.

Putin also stated that Bitcoin itself is a pyramid scheme. Russia’s central bank followed suit, calling Bitcoin a pyramid scheme: “We have seen how Bitcoin has transformed a payment unit into an asset, which is bought in order to obtain a high yield in a short period of time. This is the definition of a pyramid.”

The Bank of Russia has now started to block all Bitcoin exchanges in the country.

Surprisingly, and despite the Chinese ICO and exchange ban last month, followed by South Korea’s ICO ban, and now Russia’s Bitcoin ban, Bitcoin’s prices remain strong and close to their highest point.

Posted in Bitcoin news, Cryptocurrency exchange news, Initial Coin Offering ICO news

October 6th, 2017 by VK-edit

In August, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) clarified its views on initial coin offerings (ICOs), and stated that it considers tokens as securities. “MAS has observed that the function of digital tokens has evolved beyond just being a virtual currency. For example, digital tokens may represent ownership or a security interest over an issuer’s assets or property. Such tokens may therefore be considered an offer of shares or units in a collective investment scheme under the [Securities and Futures Act]. Digital tokens may also represent a debt owed by an issuer and be considered a debenture under the SFA.”

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has now unveiled the second phase of “Project Ubin”, whose purpose is to test how a tokenized version of the Singaporean dollar could be created. Project Ubin has grown to include prototype tools from various parts of the interbank settlement process.

The MAS stated “The three software models developed are amongst the first in the world to implement decentralized netting of payments in a manner that preserves transactional privacy. Existing netting programmes used in inter-bank payments rely on a single payment queue visible to the operator to find offsetting payments. Decentralizing the queue, however, potentially exposes payment details to an unauthorized party. The latest models in Project Ubin achieve a superior combination of decentralization and privacy.”

Sopnendu Mohanty, the MAS chief fintech officer, added “We are sharing our learnings and knowledge from Project Ubin to encourage greater experimentation amongst central banks and financial institutions. We look forward to working with other central banks on the use of DLT for cross-border applications”.

 

Posted in Cryptocurrency market news, Initial Coin Offering ICO news

October 5th, 2017 by VK-edit

Virtual Kash previously reported that Malaysia was planning to set guidelines on crypto-currencies by the end of 2017. Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim, Bank Negara’s governor, has now said that they would “in less than 3 months” make a decision on whether crypto-currencies can be a legal investment scheme in Malaysia.

Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahimsaid that if Bank Negara decided to accept crypto-currencies, guidelines would soon be issued. A possibility is that Bank Negara could place a ban on cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, following China’s example.

In January 2014, Bank Negara stated that bitcoin is not recognised as legal tender in Malaysia. 

Some countries, the main one being Japan, have legalised crypto-currency and allowed legal crypto-currency exchange operators.

But China recently banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) and China-based crypto-currency exchanges had to  end trading by end of September. Then recently, South Korea also announced a ban on domestic ICOs and margin trading in cryptocurrencies.

 

Posted in Cryptocurrency market news, Initial Coin Offering ICO news

October 4th, 2017 by VK-edit

In an effort to help protect consumers, the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced  the creation of two new units – the Retail Strategy Task Force and the Cyber Unit – in its Enforcement Division to combat cyber-based threats and protect the interests of retail investors.

The SEC wants to implement stricter rules and regulations for companies looking to raise funds through Initial Coin Offering (ICO). The SEC will also have clearer grounds to control companies that do not comply with its rules.

Cyber-related threats are among the greatest risks facing investors. The Cyber Unit will enhance the SEC’s ability to detect and investigate cyber threats through increasing expertise in an area of critical national importance.

The Retail Strategy Task Force is mandated to develop proactive and targeted programs to identify illegal activities that adversely affect retail investors such as the sale of unsuitable structured products and micro cap pump-and-dump schemes.

The task force will include SEC enforcement personnel across the country and will collaborate with the agency’s units, including the National Exam Program and the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy.

The Cyber Unit will focus on identifying and preventing cyber-related misconduct, such as market manipulation scams through electronic and social media, violations involving distributed ledger technology (DLT) and initial coin offerings (ICO) and cyber-related threats to trading platforms and other critical market infrastructure.

 

 

Posted in Cryptocurrency market news, Initial Coin Offering ICO news

October 2nd, 2017 by VK-edit

Following China’s ban on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) last month, South Korea’s financial regulator have now followed suit and have banned local businesses from participating in ICOs. 

South Korea’s Financial Services Commission now prohibits all forms of the blockchain funding method  as well as margin trading of virtual currencies. They stated that they will crack down on offenders with severe penalties.

The FSC also intends to review the operations of digital currency companies, which may lead to on-site inspections and the analysis of digital currency accounts.

Arrest were recently made and companies shut down after a scan marketing fake crypto-currencies defrauded local investors. 

South Korea has recently benefited for China’s ban on exchanges, with a sharp increase in crypto-currency trading, with South Korean digital currency exchanges such as Bithumb seeing a strong influx of transactions. A number of Chinese exchanges are likely to shift their operations to Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Ether prices have been impacted as a result of this new ICO ban, but slightly rebounded shortly afterwards.

Posted in Cryptocurrency exchange news, Cryptocurrency market news, Ethereum and Ether news, Initial Coin Offering ICO news

September 25th, 2017 by VK-edit

Before 2017, there were only five completed ICO projects in China. In the first half of 2017, this mushroomed to 65 ICO projects in China, for a total amount of RMB 2.6bn.

This bubble is likely to burst as 17 crypto-currency trading platforms have now publicly announced that they are going to stop crypto-currency trading in Shanghai. BTCChina, Binance, SZZC, Lhang, ETCWin, Bitekuang, 51SZZC, Hanbiwang, Bitbill, 19800Net, FreeWillex, ICOAGE, 91ICO, ICOrace, ICOfox, ICORaise and ICO17 will no longer be involved in ICOs.

This follows the announcement earlier this month PBOC that ICOs are illegal. The government of Shanghai later instructed crypto-currency trading platforms to stop trading by end of September. 

The management of these platforms have been asked to cooperate with the refunding activities and stay in Shanghai until it is done. 

Investors are being offered refunds, and more than 90 percent of ICO projects have been refunded. However a number of investors have expressed they would prefer not to accept these refunds, as the prices of some tokens have increased. 

 

Posted in Cryptocurrency exchange news, Cryptocurrency market news, Initial Coin Offering ICO news

September 18th, 2017 by VK-edit

In June, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin seemed to support the development of the blockchain technology. Several crypto-currency projects in Russia have been progressing fast. For instance, Russia’s largest bank is considering offering crypto-currency accounts at its Swiss branch. Also a project co-owned by the president’s internet ombudsman plans to raise $100 million in an ICO to fund a crypto-currency mining operations. 

However, the Russian government is expected by the end of the year to set a framework to regulate crypto-currencies as securities. And Russia’s central bank appears to be skeptical about digital currencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

It is still unclear whether Russia should legalize crypto-currencies, according to Governor Elvira Nabiullina. She has spoken out against regulation that would classify crypto-currency as a traditional financial instrument. In addition, deputy governor Dmitry Skobelkin compared ICOs with pyramid schemes, which may “collapse at any moment”.

This, coming on the heels of China’s recent decision earlier this month to ban all ICOs, could have a strong negative impact on the development of crypto-currencies in Russia, and hinder attempts at legalizing the Russian crypto-currency market.

 

 

Posted in Cryptocurrency market news, Initial Coin Offering ICO news

September 13th, 2017 by VK-edit

The Bank of China has indicated it would ban Chinese exchanges from providing virtual-currency trading services, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Both Bitcoin and Ethereum fell this weekend after Chinese regulators said they planned to shut down exchanges that buy and sell Bitcoin in the country. There has been a small rebound in the value of digital currencies since then, but Bitcoin is still 20% over the peak it reached a few weeks ago.

Chinese authorities previously announced plans to limit the use of digital currencies, such as last week’s ban of initial coin offerings

Chinese regulators are concerned with the dramatic increase in value of digital currencies, as more Chinese people began to use crypto-currencies as a way to bypass banks and move money outside of China’s borders. Digital currency is also seen as a way to launder money.

 

Posted in Bitcoin news, Cryptocurrency market news, Ethereum and Ether news, Initial Coin Offering ICO news

September 8th, 2017 by VK-edit

According to a new report from Chainalysis, a leading provider of Anti-Money Laundering software for Bitcoin, there have been 30,000 victims of cybercrime on Ethereum losing on average $7,500 each.

This year alone, to date, of the $1.6 billion invested in ICOs on Ethereum, cyber criminals have generated more than $150 million in revenues. On average, the financial loss incurred per victim has increased by 20% from $6,700 to $8,000 in one year.

A bug in “The DAO” smart contract in June 2016 was the first major Ethereum-related cybercrime incident. Hackers exploited the vulnerability and got away with $74 million out of $150 million invested by 11,000 victims. And then $30 million were stolen from Parity in June 2017.

Cybercrime on Ethereum falls into four main categories:

  • phishing (gaining access to personal information by pretending to be someone else),
  • exploits (taking advantage of a vulnerability in a system to gain information),
  • hacking (getting unauthorized access on a computer),
  • ponzi schemes (fraudulent investment operation where the operator generates returns for older investors through revenue paid by new investors)

Phishing impacted nearly 17,000 victims and generated $115M of revenues for cybercriminals, while exploits impacted 11,000 victims for $103M.

Ethereum, and in general crypto-currency investors, are advised to take all necessary precautions to reduce the risk of joining the log list of cyber crime victims.

 

Posted in Cryptocurrency market news, Ethereum and Ether news, Initial Coin Offering ICO news

September 6th, 2017 by VK-edit

The crypto-currency market has lost 20% in two days as it fell to $142 billion yesterday. A few days ago, its total market cap was $180 billion. The bigger crypto-currencies have also been affected, with Bitcoin down more than 16% and Ethereum over 23%.

Clearly the ban on ICOs from the Chinese government, which ordered all ICOs to return funds to investors, has played a strong role. This is likely to impact smaller crypto-currencies like NEO, a Chinese-based crypto currency, down 50% in a few days.

However, this crash is relative, as Bitcoin for instance is still worth double the price it was four months ago. A correction may have been overdue: Bitcoin recently hit an all-time high of nearly $5,000.

Is this the start of a longer market correction or just a natural cool down from an over-heated market, coupled with a reaction to the announcement from China? Crypto-currency prices are already showing signs of a rebound.

Posted in Bitcoin news, Cryptocurrency market news, Ethereum and Ether news, Initial Coin Offering ICO news