CFTC Chairman Confirms That Just Like Bitcoin Ethereum Is Also a Commodity

CFTC Chairman Confirms That Just Like Bitcoin, Ethereum Is Also a Commodity

                                

The CFTC chairman confirmed that Ethereum qualifies to be a commodity

and all the forked assets like the Ethereum Classic shall be subjected to similar regulatory considerations.According to the latest report from Yahoo Finance, the chairman of the United States Commodities and Futures Trading Commission called Ethereum (ETH) a commodity. Speaking at the Yahoo Finance Summit, CFTC chairperson Heath Tarbet said that the ETH token falls under the regulatory oversight of CFTC. He further added that in the near future, one cannot rule out the possibility of having Ethereum futures in the market.

Tarbet said:

“We’ve been very clear on bitcoin: bitcoin is a commodity. We haven’t said anything about ether—until now. It is my view as chairman of the CFTC that ether is a commodity.”

Besides, the CFTC chairman also expressed his wish of the U.S. taking the leading role in the blockchain and digital assets market.

He said:

“I want to stress the importance of blockchain and digital assets to the United States, and in particular, as CFTC Chairman, I want the U.S. to lead in this technology.”

Besides, he also stated that the CFTC is closely working with the SEC on these two cryptocurrencies. These two regulators commonly agree that Bitcoin and Ethereum are not securities. Speaking on this matter, Compound Finance General Counsel Jake Chervinsky pointed out:

 

Forked Digital Assets to Get the Same Regulatory Status

Chairman Tarbet was also asked whether the same rules are applicable to forked cryptocurrencies. He said that any forked asset, Ethereum Classic, in this case, will get the same regulatory status as Ether.

He added:

“It stands to reason that similar assets should be treated similarly. If the underlying asset, the original digital asset, hasn’t been determined to be a security and is, therefore, a commodity, most likely the forked asset will be the same. Unless the fork itself raises some securities law issues under that classic Howey Test.”

Apart from Ether, Tarbet also answered questions on Facebook‘s Libra project. He said major regulators are looking into it and yet to determine is the Libra stablecoin falls under the security classification. “Is it a security, first and foremost. And if it isn’t a security, it is most likely a commodity,” he said. When it comes to having regulations for digital assets, Tarbet’s views are quite similar to his predecessor Christopher Giancarlo. The ex-CFTC chairman is known popularly as ‘Crypto Dad’ for his pro-crypto stand.

Article Produced By
Bhushan Akolkar

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.

https://www.coinspeaker.com/author/bhushan_akolkar/

 

Top 5 Pain Points of Companies and How Blockchain Can Solve Them

Top 5 Pain Points of Companies and How Blockchain Can Solve Them

In this article, we’re going to explore the challenges of managing Enterprise IT infrastructure,

how blockchain helps Enterprise IT infrastructure, and unique challenges of integrating blockchain technology into your organization.Technology is constantly changing the way companies do business. Some technologies, ‘game-changing’ ones, actually go further than that and change the way companies are constructed and built. The competitiveness of a company these days is a direct function of its technological adoption and prowess.

However, it’s very challenging to manage new implementations of technology in a cost-effective way. IT solutions implemented incorrectly might be needlessly complex, and might be too transformative, requiring substantial retraining of employees in the organization. By harnessing technology appropriately, your organization can gain a competitive advantage – but you do need a roadmap to prevent you from becoming lost in the jungle of solutions. Blockchain technologies are currently becoming a hot topic for organizations, and I’d like to help provide this blockchain roadmap for companies out there.

5 Common Pain Points Companies Face

Trust Is Expensive Which Makes Collaboration Hard

There are obvious benefits when two organizations collaborate effectively. Many organizations form consortiums to leverage mutually beneficial ways to collaborate. Naturally, the challenge always comes down to trust. Organizations are run by groups of people, and groups of people don’t trust each other readily. Companies – even the ones who are in decade-long partnerships – may have competing interests and differing agendas. Who owns the servers that the shared system uses? Who has access to the cloud account that runs the apps? What happens when one organization wants to leave the consortium? How are decisions made between separate entities?

Data Jealousy Leads to Less Valuable Data

In 2017, the Economist proclaimed that data is more valuable than oil. Ginny Rometty of IBM declared it a ‘natural resource.’ The biggest and most powerful companies on our planet (Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, etc.) own the most data. Unfortunately, this mindset has led some companies into the rabbit hole of ‘data jealousy.’ This is the practice of refusing to share data, even with partnering companies. Big Data is only valuable if it’s big enough, and most companies only own data from “their point of view.” They struggle to leverage their data effectively because they only have access to the limited dataset they produce.

This is, of course, another systems issue. Companies that try to share data with each other on regular centralized systems come directly face to face with the questions: Who owns the actual data? Who can access the data and how frequently? How can I be sure that no one in my partner company tampered with the data? How can I be sure that my own data is accessed on a ‘need to know’ basis? The inability to answer these questions has led to investments in big data and analytics that do not show an ROI to an organization.

Reliance on Physical Documents Makes Audits Slow and Expensive

Most companies today still heavily rely on physical documents to ensure their business runs smoothly. This causes all kinds of headaches, especially during audits. It’s easy to digitize the documents. The challenge is keeping sensitive digital information secure. Since digital documents are easy to tamper with, they often cannot be relied upon for audits. This makes the audit process tedious and costly. During an audit, each division has competing interests with other divisions. Every division wants to pass the audit, even if it means another division fails. This is why we can’t use centralized systems’ digital documents as a basis for audit – they can be tampered with, and even server logs can be tampered by the IT division.

Automation Between Separate Companies Is Hard to Execute Fairly

While many companies seek to automate their operations, the challenge becomes ensuring that automation between companies is completed in a fair manner. For example, if two companies are partnering and have a business process automation solution in place to manage their collaboration, which company gets to own the server that runs the solution? No matter how well designed the centralized system is, the company that owns the server will have more control over the initiative. Even if you have a system that is really well-programmed, a server owner can still – literally – pull the plug on the automation.

Disaster Recovery and High Availability Systems Get Really Complicated and Pricey

Here’s how you create an Enterprise system these days: Maintain production uptime by adding a High Availability (HA) server. Maintain a failover system between Prod and HA. To ensure disaster preparedness, find another data center far away and put a server in there to act as a DRC. In case of further paranoia, get the DRC site an HA server as well. What about ‘putting it on the cloud’? Behind every cloud, there are computers too. Enterprise infrastructure is very familiar with declarations of ‘down for maintenance’ from every brand-name cloud. So you still set up DRCs or HA servers that interlink multiple cloud infras, just to make sure the business does not lose money from the downtime.

Companies today must maintain high availability of their IT systems. They must also ensure proper disaster recovery processes are in place. Unfortunately, these tools are continuing to rise in cost, which makes it hard for companies to stay profitable. Although technologies have become cheaper, customer expectations have become sky-high for constant access to apps and services, and are continuously increasing. This creates more demand for high-availability and DRC – not less. Even as companies shift towards cloud services, these enterprise data services can still become cost-prohibitive. Lower margin businesses are going to be priced out first.

How Blockchain Technology Helps Enterprise IT

Blockchain Enables Trusted Partnerships

The biggest challenge when creating systems of collaboration in a business consortium or partnership revolves around ensuring fairness between the parties. A blockchain can be used to ensure that each partner in the collaboration has control of the system – since each partner has a node of their own. If one partner tries to change the data in his or her node, the other nodes will immediately ostracize that node and ‘heal’ the data. Rather than having every partner put absolute trust to the company that runs the system, each partner can be secure in the understanding that its partners cannot tamper with decisions, data, or control.

Blockchains Enable Smaller Companies to Benefit From Big Data

Instead of small companies being stuck with their small silos of data, they can combine their data with other companies through the use of a blockchain, while maintaining the sovereignty of their data and their customers’ data. This enables more companies to access big data analytics instead of only the largest companies benefiting.

Blockchain Eliminates the Need For Physical Documents

Currently, it’s really hard to keep digital documents secure and safe. This forces many companies to keep paper records which are notoriously clumsy to work with. Imagine how much time is wasted trying to reconcile data across piles of paper? Time wasted is money wasted. Thankfully blockchains increase the ability to keep digital documents secure, which reduces the need to maintain physical paper documents for audit purposes or otherwise. This enables companies who leverage blockchains can reduce the time and money required to complete audits which will save money.

Blockchain Enables Business Process Automation With Smart Contracts

One of the most powerful concepts that blockchains enable is the use of smart contracts. Smart contracts are software contracts that execute predefined logic based on the parameters coded into the system. In other words, you can replace many business processes with software. For example, instead of hiring a team to handle contracts and procurement, you could run smart contracts that enforce the same procedures more effectively at a lower cost.

Some blockchain technologies (e.g., Nxt) use ‘smart transactions’ instead of smart contracts. Unlike smart contracts, which embed code inside the blockchain every time, smart transactions put the code inside the node that runs it, while referring to and using process templates inside the blockchain. This is less prone to coding errors and allows easier future tweaking of the code in Enterprise environments.

Other blockchains use different ways to ensure this type of flexibility, which is important since business processes in Enterprise environments constantly change. You need to be able to revise code you’ve deployed, in an agile fashion, quickly. This same concept can be more broadly applied to any business function that relies on multiparty business logic. Here’s a cheat code: Automation between parties enables better business SLAs, and blockchain enables automation between parties.

Blockchain Can Improve Data and Infrastructure Resilience

Traditional network architectures are heavily reliant on high availability & DRC servers to make sure the network data stays in sync. If there is a disaster scenario where one node is compromised, then the network is reliant on the backup server. This architecture is vulnerable to being compromised, whether by attacks, exploits, mismanagement, or disaster situations. In an equivalent blockchain architecture, there are two key advantages: data resilience and infrastructure resilience.

Data resilience is gained from the increase in total nodes on the network. Each node enforces consensus rules and prevents attackers from spreading false information. Infrastructure resilience is gained because each node can act as a backup server in case some nodes are taken down or compromised. This is a huge improvement over traditional infrastructure where the network might only rely on a single backup server. Lastly, the more nodes in a blockchain network, the more resilient the system is, whereas the opposite is true with traditional IT architecture.

Challenges When Implementing Blockchain Technology

While blockchains have the potential to improve the IT infrastructure of your organization, getting them integrating into your current systems requires some effort. Here are a few challenges to overcome when implementing a blockchain inside your organization.

Getting Buy-in From Upper Management

In order for any strategic initiative to be successful, the project leaders need to get support from management. Hiring a top tier blockchain consulting firm helps convince upper management that blockchain is worthy of company resources.

Ensuring Your Staff is Capable Of Supporting Blockchain

Whenever you’re considering adding new technology into your organization, it’s critical to consider your current staff. How advanced is your current IT staff? Do they have the time and ability to get skilled up?

Choosing the Right Blockchain For Your Needs

Not all blockchain projects are created equally, and each blockchain implementation makes necessary tradeoffs to maximize the intended use case. Be sure to define your needs upfront and ensure the correct blockchain is matched to your needs. Starting with a pilot project makes sense for many organizations.

Architecting the Right Solution Is Challenging

In order to maximize the chance of a successful implementation, it’s crucial that your organization gets the high-level architecture right. The best tool in the world is only effective if it’s used properly. If you don’t have expertise in house, consider hiring a consulting firm to guide the solution architecture.

What Should Be On-chain? What Should Stay Off-chain?

Blockchain technologies are incredible tools, but that doesn’t mean we should try to run our entire business on a blockchain. In fact, there are many use cases where a distributed ledger doesn’t make sense. Spend time upfront planning before moving into the implementation phase. It’s better to start small than trying to bite off more than you can chew.

Let’s Wrap Up

Blockchains are incredible tools, but they need to be approached with care. In order to maximize their benefit, consider hiring a reputable consulting firm to see if blockchain can help your business, and starting with a pilot project. As your team gets more comfortable with the technology, you can continue to build your footprint, letting the technology grow in value as you collaborate more.

Article Produced By
Ms. Pandu Sastrowardoyo

Ms. Pandu Sastrowardoyo is a Co-Founder of Blockchain Zoo, Supervisory Board Member of Asosiasi Blockchain Indonesia, Senior Partner of Blocksphere, Co-Founder of Human-ID.org and Kendi.io, Former IBM ASEAN Senior Consultant & Territory General Manager of MSPs. Listed among 100 global blockchain leaders.

https://www.coinspeaker.com/pain-points-blockchain-can-solve/

SEC Halts Telegram TON Sale: How Does it Differ From the EOS Case?

SEC Halts Telegram (TON) Sale: How Does it Differ From the EOS Case?

News broke yesterday that the US Securities and Exchange Commission has temporarily halted the token sale of Telegram’s TON cryptocurrency. According to documents, the SEC’s reasoning is that the token sale is unregistered and fails to comply with regulations. Let’s examine the differences between this episode and what recently happened with EOS. 

Telegram’s Token Sale Halted

Back in January 2018, Telegram raised a substantial amount of capital – over a billion dollars worth – to develop its own blockchain, dubbed the Telegram Open Network. As CryptoPotato reported, the company was supposed to launch its cryptocurrency wallet in either October or November of this year. However, it appears that Telegram’s plans may be for naught, as the SEC has stepped in, obtaining a restraining order against Telegram and the Telegram Open Network. According to an official release, the commission found that the cryptocurrency sold during last year’s sale was done so unlawfully. 

Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, noted:

Our emergency action today is intended to prevent Telegram from flooding the U.S. markets with digital tokens that we allege were unlawfully sold. […] “We allege that the defendants have failed to provide investors with information regarding Grams and Telegram’s business operations, financial condition, risk factors, and management that the securities laws require.

Adding to the point was Steven Peikin, another co-director of the Commission, who stated that Telegram had sought to obtain the benefits of a public offering without complying with existing regulations. Just last week, the SEC slapped EOS with a $24 million fine for conducting an unregistered ICO which raised upwards of $4 billion. 

What’s Different With the EOS Case?

Following the SEC action against EOS, CryptoPotato spoke to Tomer Ravid, CEO at BloxTax, who explained at length the merits of the charge and why the amount was insignificant given the amount of capital that Block.one had managed to raise. Following the Telegram action, we reached back out to Ravid, and he explained how the two situations differed. According to him, the main difference is that EOS had little to no business activity prior to its Initial Coin Offering. Hence, there was little to disclose. On the other hand, Telegram is a real company with real activity, so there is the expectation that it would have needed to disclose a lot of information. He also said that the SEC seemingly believes that there may have been fraudulent activity, which is something that wasn’t part of the case against EOS. 

Additionally, Ravid noted a similarity with the claims that the SEC made against Kik. He said that there had been a lack of disclosure and a failure to provide information that a reasonable investor would need to have in order to formulate an investment decision. This was also claimed in KIK’s case, which was the basis for the fraud claim against the company. Although we have yet to see how the situation will develop, it’s clear that the SEC is stepping up and taking serious actions against companies that seek to access the US capital market through an initial coin offering or other kinds of token sales. 

Article Produced By
George Georgiev

Georgi Georgiev is CryptoPotato's editor-in-chief and a seasoned writer with over two years of experience writing about blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Georgi's passion for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies bloomed in late 2016 and he hasn't looked back since. Crypto’s technological and economic implications are what interest him most, and he has one eye turned to the market whenever he’s not sleeping.

https://cryptopotato.com/secs-telegram-ton-halt-why-is-it-different-from-the-eos-case/

Want to Buy Bitcoin? Sweden’s Debt Collection Agency Is Auctioning Some Off

Want to Buy Bitcoin? Sweden’s Debt Collection Agency Is Auctioning Some Off

                                  

Kronofogden, the Swedish Enforcement Authority, is about to auction off 4.59 BTC. This will be the agency’s second auction, as another one took place back in 2017. The auction is set to take place today, and it will be conducted entirely online.

A Bitcoin Online Auction in Sweden

Kronofodgen, Sweden’s Enforcement Authority, has obtained 4.59 BTC and is ready to auction it off to the highest bidder. The market price is currently around 370,000 kronor ($37,600), or about $8,191 per Bitcoin. The agency’s operations developer, Johanees Paulson,

explained:

“Many people ask us why we’re auctioning off the currency and not converting it ourselves. The answer is that there isn’t an infrastructure which meets our needs. We need to do it in a quality-assured way, in order to be sure that the money won’t disappear on the way.”

History is on the agency’s side, as it conducted a successful auction before. In 2017 Kronofodgen sold 0.6 BTC with an estimated market value of 27,600 kronor at the time. The winning bid was placed by an undisclosed buyer who paid 43,000 kronor. Back then, the agency claimed that it had acquired the cryptocurrency by assessing a debt against a company. This year, there is no official word on where the significantly higher amount of Bitcoin has come from.

Other Governments Have Held Bitcoin Auctions

Bitcoin auctions have been held by other governments and entities. In 2016, the U.S. Marshals Service seized 2,700 bitcoins from the illicit Silk Road marketplace and later sold them for $1.6 million. Only 5 people placed bids, and the winner was anonymous. Bitcoin’s price has skyrocketed since then, and today the same amount would be worth over $22 million. An even more sizable portion of bitcoins was sold by Ernst & Young in 2017. The Australian government had confiscated 24.518 bitcoins from yet another Silk Road user a year prior. It was reported that the auction was successful, with 5 winners obtaining around $16 million worth of Bitcoin. The aforementioned Silk Road was the biggest anonymous black market for illegal drugs. It was shut down by the FBI in 2013, and the agency reportedly seized 144,000 bitcoins. Later, 44,000 of them were sold to 4 winners and they gathered $14.6 million.

Article Produced By
Jordan Lyanchev

Jordan got into crypto in 2016 by trading and investing. He began writing about blockchain technology in 2017. He has managed numerous crypto-related projects and is passionate about all things blockchain.

https://cryptopotato.com/want-to-buy-bitcoin-swedens-debt-collection-agency-is-selling-in-an-auction/

How China Is Waging All-Out War Against Bitcoin Trading

How China Is Waging All-Out War Against Bitcoin Trading

                                   How China Is Waging All-Out War Against Bitcoin Trading

 

As bitcoin has gained traction over its decade-long existence,

it has attracted quite a number of adversaries and fans in equal measure. One of the most notable powerful antagonists is the second-largest economy in the world, China, which has relentlessly expressed its distaste for cryptocurrency and also shown how it is capable of influencing it. China banned Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in 2017, causing a significant drop in the price of bitcoin. Also, earlier this year, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) announced that it “would block access to all domestic and foreign cryptocurrency exchanges and ICO websites”. According to the official statement issued, China would ban foreign exchanges in an effort to curb cryptocurrency trading. The recent development is aimed at combating cryptocurrency transactions in the world’s most populous nation.

Alipay And WeChat Do NOT Support Bitcoin Transactions

In the most bizarre turn of events, Alipay and WeChat have come out to publicly denounce that they support bitcoin transactions unlike what earlier reports had suggested. Here is the backstory: two days ago, Binance announced that it had launched P2P trading for Chinese yuan with support for ETH, BTC and USDT and initial access to android users. Shortly after this announcement, a twitter user asked Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao whether this meant that Chinese-based traders can use messaging platform WeChat and also payment platform Alipay to deposit funds, to which Zhao responded confidently with a “YES”.

Crypto community was thrilled by this news as these two platforms have large user bases which would have been a boon for bitcoin adoption. However, the joy was short-lived. Alipay was quick to diffuse any suggestion that it allows bitcoin transactions, responding to Zhao’s tweet with a resounding “NO”. They went ahead to state that they had received “several reports” claiming that Alipay is being used for bitcoin transactions. Alipay noted that it closely monitors transactions and it “immediately stops” payment services if a transaction is suspected to be related to bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.

An Alipay spokesperson, Vick Li Wei reached out to ZyCrypto with a statement:

“Alipay closely monitors over-the counter (OTC) transactions to identify irregular behavior and ensure compliance with relevant regulations. If any transactions are identified as being related to bitcoin or other virtual currencies, we immediately stop the relevant payment services.”

Worth noting, Alipay has been here before. In August last year, Alipay imposed a similar ban that focused on OTC bitcoin trading. The founding partner of Primitive Ventures and analyst of Chinese markets, Dovey Wan gave her insight into this matter via a Twitter thread. Wan suggested that this move by WeChat and Alipay could be due to pressure from the Chinese government. As of August this year, the Chinese OTC market has stalled because payment platforms and local police were taking action against anyone conducting crypto transactions. In another tweet, Wan translates an announcement made by WeChat in the local language. “WeChat will never support cryptocurrencies trading and has never integrated with any crypto merchant. We welcome any whistleblower to report such behavior,” says WeChat.

Facebook opened a proverbial Pandora ’s box in China with its Libra announcement. Filled with the fear that Libra could pose a threat to the Renminbi and China’s monetary sovereignty, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced its plans to develop its own digital currency. All these tough restrictions dictated by WeChat and Alipay could be as a result of China eliminating competition as it prepares for its imminent central bank digital currency (CBDC). Per speculations, PBoC intends to make the digital currency available through platforms like Alipay, WeChat and Tencent.

Does This Mean There’s No Hope For Bitcoin In China?

Although we might not be seeing China soften its stance towards bitcoin any time soon, its development of its CBDC could be a step in the right direction. Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse believes China increasing its efforts on the digital yuan is a call to action for the United States. Speaking with Fox Business, Garlinghouse advised the US government to step up to the plate or risk being left behind. Moreover, Garlinghouse alluded that China taking the lead in developing a central bank digital currency while the U.S does nothing could trigger the yuan dethroning the dollar as a reserve currency. In plain terms, even though China is not particularly interested in bitcoin, its undertakings in developing a digital yuan prove that bitcoin is a viable technology that has long term potential. To put it perfectly as Mahatma Gandhi did: first, they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

Community Response To This Alipay, WeChat  Vs Binance Dilemma

Binance CEO announcing that Binance users can use Alipay and WeChat to deposit funds for purchasing cryptocurrency and then the two companies firmly countering Zhao’s announcement has left many in the crypto industry dumbfounded. One Twitter user going by the name truthseeker (@truthurtm) posited that smaller exchanges in China have been hosting peer-to-peer bitcoin trading via WeChat and Alipay without encountering challenges. The fact that Alipay and WeChat are state-owned gave them no choice but to reaffirm their anti-bitcoin stance. Dovey Wan pointed out that her friend who has in the past engaged in OTC trading – though not often- was trying to buy coffee but instead received a WeChat error message saying, “This transaction is risky, in order to keep your funds safe we can’t proceed with this transaction”. Other crypto enthusiasts suggested that this confusion was a major PR disaster for Binance, for obvious reasons.

Article Produced By
Brenda Ngari

Brenda is a crypto and Blockchain enthusiast and has been crafting articles for at least a year. She has a solid background in Economics and Finance. When she is not writing crypto stories, she’s spending quality time with her family and friends or trying out different cuisines in the kitchen.

https://zycrypto.com/how-china-is-waging-all-out-war-against-bitcoin-trading/

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse: Transparency Is Ripple’s Uniqueness Makes the Firm Appealing to Governments and Banks

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse: Transparency Is Ripple’s Uniqueness; Makes the Firm Appealing to Governments and Banks

                                 Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse_ Transparency Is Ripple's Uniqueness; Makes the Firm Appealing to Governments and Banks

From its birth in 2012 to the multiple lawsuits, Ripple (and XRP) has experienced its fair share of ups and downs.

XRP has constantly been plagued by spectacular price crashes and questions about its possible manipulation by Ripple. Thankfully, the crypto industry is no longer defined by stunning high price and speculation, but rather by genuine projects with substance. Ripple, the San Francisco-based startup best-known for strongly promoting its native cryptocurrency, XRP, and funding its bank-friendly technology with billions of dollars is driven by its vision of finding real-life use cases for XRP. Garlinghouse attributes the success achieved so far to the company’s transparent framework in his recent podcast interview with bitcoin maximalist Anthony Pompliano. 

Ripple: A Paragon Of Transparency

Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, was a guest in a recent episode of Anthony Pompliano’s Off the Chain. According to Garlinghouse, the cryptocurrency ecosystem is riddled with deviousness and Ripple is here to serve as an epitome of transparency and clarity. He also asserted that Ripple’s defense against the hardline stance towards cryptocurrencies taken by the United States government and other countries is transparency.

What makes Ripple stand out from other companies like SWIFT – as Garlinghouse noted-  is the fact that RippleNet passes information in a much more reliable way compared to SWIFT, and this appeals a lot to governments and banking institutions. Garlinghouse then spoke about the possibility of expanding Ripple operations to US-sanctioned countries like Cuba and Iran. Between enforced sanctions under Trump administration and decreased funding from allies, these two countries are in trouble. However, Garlinghouse stated that they are still part and parcel of the global banking infrastructure and as such, Ripple would not mind extending its foothold there.

The Contentious Issue

The question of whether Ripple is responsible for XRP’s laggard performance refuses to go away. Yet, Garlinghouse and other Ripple executives have addressed this nagging issue more times than I can count. Speaking with Pomp, Garlinghouse asserted that the welfare of XRP is important because Ripple owns at least 55 percent of the XRP in circulation, therefore impeding the growth of XRP would mean impeding the overall growth of Ripple. He assured the XRP community that Ripple would not contemplate dumping XRP tokens because it does not work for the benefit of the firm and also because it will be considered as the depreciation of value. Meanwhile, Ripple is continuing with its expansion plans. After scoring a huge partnership deal with one of the largest global money transfers provider MoneyGram, Ripple has continued to join hands with more banks to foster cross-border payments. It currently has more than 200 banks and payments institutions using their RippleNet solution.

Speaking of which…

Ripple recently announced a collaboration with London-based financial software firm, Finastra. Through this collaboration, Ripple’s blockchain-based cross-border solutions will be available for Finastra customers. This means that Finastra users will be able to access over 200 RippleNet users worldwide.  RippleNet users will then be able to connect with Finastra’s vast number of banking partners. XRP fans anticipate that these partnership deals that keep coming will lead to increased use cases of XRP in the future, which could improve the value of the cryptocurrency.

Article Produced By
Brenda Ngari

Brenda is a crypto and Blockchain enthusiast and has been crafting articles for at least a year. She has a solid background in Economics and Finance. When she is not writing crypto stories, she’s spending quality time with her family and friends or trying out different cuisines in the kitchen.

https://zycrypto.com/ripple-ceo-brad-garlinghouse-transparency-is-ripples-uniqueness-makes-the-firm-appealing-to-governments-and-banks/

EU Financial Services Chief Hints at Broad Cryptoasset Regulation

EU Financial Services Chief Hints at Broad Cryptoasset Regulation
                                 

During a parliamentary confirmation hearing, the European Commissioner for Financial Stability and Financial Services,

Valdis Dombrovskis, said that the E.U. is planning to regulate cryptoassets following the unanticipated wake-up call from Libra. Bloomberg reports that Libra has shocked global regulators into action, and the E.U. is determined not to be left behind, October 8, 2019.

Regulators Finally Open Their Eyes

Regulation is coming to cryptoassets in Europe as it has finally been confirmed that multiple agencies in the region are working on a framework for the treatment of virtual currencies and cryptoassets. While the organization has not said anything particularly negative, Dombrovskis believes that these currencies must be evaluated based on their risk to financial stability, monetary stability, data protection, and the ability to thwart money laundering.

Nearly one week ago, the European Commission sent Facebook a detailed questionnaire regarding their plans for Libra. The Libra Association and Facebook have yet to reply to the request. France and Germany have vehemently opposed Libra, even though the European Commission seems to be fairly open-minded. Germany went as for as vowing to stop Libra from entering the bloc, so this creates a fairly confusing situation. The primary fear with Libra is that regulators believe it will cause “financial instability”. What this really means is that Facebook has the firepower and resources to establish a private currency that can compete with traditional money.

Libra as a Driver of Fear

Regulators only started to care about cryptocurrency when Bitcoin peaked at $19,700 and started to fall. However, they only started to legitimately act once Libra was announced. Libra is now acting as a catalyst for global regulation of cryptoassets as well as an awareness generator. By dominating headlines in mainstream newspapers, the advent of cryptoassets is being projected to the masses. With Libra now at the forefront, people who have in crypto thus far are finally awakening to the real value proposition of Bitcoin. While “number go up” is fun rhetoric to watch, it is becoming abundantly clear that the censorship-resistant nature of Bitcoin is its most valuable trait. No regulator can shut it down or stop people from using Bitcoin.

Article Produced By
Ashwath Balakrishnan

Ashwath is a financial market and technology junkie. He is a cryptocurrency investor, trader, and enthusiast. He has expertise in market psychology and explaining complex technology in a simple way. He aims to battle misinformation in the cryptocurrency space.

https://btcmanager.com/eu-financial-services-chief-broad-cryptoasset-regulation/?q=/eu-financial-services-chief-broad-cryptoasset-regulation/&

IRS Offers Fresh Guidance for Cryptocurrency Holders

IRS Offers Fresh Guidance for Cryptocurrency Holders
                                

The IRS has released its first cryptocurrency taxation guidance since 2014,

when it ruled that all virtual currencies are property and taxed as such. According to Bloomberg, several notable accountants and lawyers see this is a great move, as it gives investors more clarity and paves the way for reasonable regulation, October 9, 2019.

Treatment of Cryptocurrency

The IRS has released a ruling and a Q&A document to help investors in the space understand what the tax agency expects from them. To call the ruling cumbersome would be an understatement. Tax assessees are expected to report each and every transaction they make in order to prove that the price and tax rate they are paying for their cryptocurrency is justified. Holdings that have been accumulated for over a year are charged as per the rate for long term capital gains, while trades under a year are subject to short term capital gains. If an investor transfers cryptocurrencies from one wallet of theirs to another, they have to prove that fresh cryptocurrency wasn’t sent to a particular account by showing the transaction between the two addresses.

If unable to prove this through requisite transactions, the assessee will be double taxed. Thus far, the IRS has grappled with how to tax and treat cryptocurrencies. The first sign of their intent to bring stringent regulation to the space came in the form of warning letters to investors who used Coinbase. It was further revealed that the agency is building tax evasion cases against several entities that deal with cryptoassets. One of the more important takeaways is that hard forks and airdrops are considered taxable events.

Reception of IRS Guidance

Professional tax auditors and accountants are, on the whole, satisfied that the IRS has helped offer some amount of clarity. However, they do acknowledge that there is still a lot left unanswered and this is just the first step to better taxation. One fairly common criticism is that the IRS expects this guidance to be retroactively applied. This means investors could be hit with a penalty for the mistreatment of cryptocurrency during 2018. Although tax professionals aren’t really concerned about this, clients are getting incredibly anxious due to the mixed signals from various regulators. Most professionals in the space acknowledge that while the IRS can issue tax guidance, they don’t have much other power. Before setting up a detailed framework for the treatment of cryptocurrency, Congress and the Treasury must decide the course of action.

Article Produced By
Ashwath Balakrishnan

Ashwath is a financial market and technology junkie. He is a cryptocurrency investor, trader, and enthusiast. He has expertise in market psychology and explaining complex technology in a simple way. He aims to battle misinformation in the cryptocurrency space.

https://btcmanager.com/irs-guidance-cryptocurrency-holders/?q=/irs-guidance-cryptocurrency-holders/&

This is Why Ripple Removed xRapid xVia and xCurrent from their Site

This is Why Ripple Removed xRapid, xVia and xCurrent from their Site

                             

The Cryptoverse was abuzz recently when it was discovered that Ripple

made some noticeable changes to their website. We asked the company what happened. Recently, the company has removed mentions of their products xRapid, a source of on demand liquidity, xVia, used by businesses to plug into RippleNet to send payments, and xCurrent, a banking payment solution, from their website, which prompted debates in crypto forums.

Now, “instead of buying xCurrent or xVia, customers will connect to RippleNet — on-premises or through the cloud — and instead of buying xRapid, clients will use On-Demand Liquidity,” explained a spokesperson for Ripple. So these are not new products, bur the existing ones rebranded. However, aside from the cosmetics, that is, renaming of their xProducts, “very few things have changed and will not affect our customers.” Ripple moves towards building a network instead of a software suite, the spokesperson said. The company believes that combining all the different products into a unified network is a natural evolution of the company and its offerings, given the growth of their customer base, as well as the development of their standard and technology. "RippleNet is more than just a suite of software," the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Ripple's CEO Brad Garlinghouse said in August that the company is in talks over "multiple" potential investments and acquisitions, and the company followed that up with two new recent acquisitions. Also, as previously reported, Ripple made several announcements in the last week alone: Ripple’s developer initiative, Xpring, partnered up with a major global blockchain payments provider BitPay, with cryptocurrency wallet BRD Wallet, blockchain analysis company Chainalysis, and digital asset custody Anchorage; there is a new Xpring SDK (software development kit) available; and other new features to the core XRP Ledger and Interledger projects were introduced.

And while XRP price jumped on the acquisition news, the other announcements at the time did not seem to help it, as it continued trading sideways. This week, however, brought good news for XRP, as the price appreciated 11%, as well as 5.6% in the past month, though it fell 2% in the past 24 hours (05:06 UTC). Also, Ripple joined hands with U.S.-based major money transfer company MoneyGram a few months ago, after the acquisition rumors had been flying in the Cryptoverse since June. The company already started using xRapid product, now On-demand Liquidity, “to buy a portion of our currency needs in major receive markets.”

Article Produced By
Sead Fadilpaši?

Sead is a staff journalist at Cryptonews.com who covers cryptocurrency and blockchain news daily, writes analysis pieces, tests blockchain and cryptocurrency products. He's based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prior to joining Cryptonews.com he was a freelance, also was a journalist for Al Jazeera web. He spends his free time in music studios, recording songs for movies and cinema. Loves to break gadgets so he could fix them, enjoys exploring new music and loves tasty and equally unhealthy food.

https://cryptonews.com/news/this-is-why-ripple-removed-xrapid-xvia-and-xcurrent-from-the-4817.htm

Binance Makes Major Move into P2P Trading 9 More Crypto News

Binance Makes Major Move into P2P Trading + 9 More Crypto News

                                    Binance Makes Major Move into P2P Trading + 9 More Crypto News 101

Crypto Briefs is your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Cryptocurrency exchange news

  • Major exchange Binance has launched peer-to-peer (P2P) trading functionality with BTC, ETH and USDT available for trading against Chinese yuan. Moreover, the company is now accepting fiat onramp with Alipay, a major Chinese online payment platform, and WeChat, another major Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app, confirmed Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance. Initially, this P2P functionality is available to Android users that have Binance accounts registered for over 30 days, the company said. The CEO added they "will expand the service to other regions soon." As previously reported by Cryptonews.com, fiat-to-crypto conversion is a big thing for Binance and “there’s a lot of initiatives happening.” Binance Coin (BNB), the native token of Binance, is the best performing coin among the top 10 tokens today. At pixel time (10:24 UTC), it trades at c. USD 17 and is up by more than 8% in the past 24 hours and by almost 10% in the past week.

Investment news

  • Major German real estate developer, Bauwens Group has acquired shares of Fundament Group, the end-to-end security issuance solution for asset tokenization, the latter announced. The company did not provide any further details about the deal. "Attaining strategic investment from Bauwens, Fundament Group gains a long-term partner in the real estate development market as well as access to an extensive pipeline of projects in Germany’s key metropolitan areas including Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, and Frankfurt," it said in a press release.
  • One of the largest cryptocurrency asset managers in the world, Grayscale, has raised a total of around USD 85 million from investors in Q2, 84% of which came from institutional investors, Grayscale's director of sales and business development Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary told The Block.
  • ACINQ, one of the developers of the Bitcoin Lightning Network, said it raised USD 8 million, in order to grow its team, improve the Lightning protocol and expand its businesses as a major operator and liquidity provider. The investment round that increased their total funding to USD 10 million, was led by Idinvest Partners, with participation of Serena and Bpifrance, the partially state-owned French investment bank.

Adoption news

  • The Swiss National Bank said it will collaborate with SIX Group, the operator of the SIX stock exchange, in order to examine the integration of digital central bank money into a distributed ledger technology infrastructure. "This new form of digital central bank money would be aimed at facilitating the settlement of tokenised assets between financial institutions," the bank said.
  • UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, said it will now be able to receive, hold and disburse donations of ether and bitcoin, through its newly-established UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund. "In a first for United Nations organizations, UNICEF will use cryptocurrencies to fund open source technology benefiting children and young people around the world," the organization said.

Crypto gadget news

  • Casa, the U.S.-based private key security specialist, launched a new version of their plug-and-play Bitcoin and Lightning node, Casa Node 2. The company claims the new device is faster and comes with more memory. "Under the hood, Casa Node 2 has a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with 4 GB of RAM, along with a fast 1 TB SSD drive," according to the startup.

Libra news

  • Nick Read, chief executive of telco giant Vodafone, said that Facebook's Libra needs to have an independed chief executive to fully separete it from Facebook, The Telegraph reported. However, Vodafone, which is one of the founding members of the Libra Association, reitareted its support for the troubled token project.

Gram news

  • Major messaging app Telegram claims it has no control over the TON Blockchain network, which is about to be launched in October. We "do not have the ability to facilitate any cancellation or modification requests to transactions you have submitted," the company added in their Grams Wallet's terms of service.

Legal news

  • Two law firms, Silver Miller and Levi Korsinsky said they have commenced a class action lawsuit on behalf of investors in Nano f/k/a RaiBlocks (XRB), alleging that Nano and key members of its core team violated federal securities laws. The Complaint further alleges that, in their push to introduce XRB to a wide market of investors, the defendants recklessly directed investors to open accounts and place their assets with a little known, and severely troubled, Italian cryptocurrency exchange called BitGrail, where USD 170 million of the investors' XRB allegedly "disappeared" in February 2018, according to the announcement. At pixel time (09:44 UTC) NANO trades at c. USD 0.8 and is up by 6% in the past 24 hours.

Article Produced By
Linas Kmieliauskas

https://cryptonews.com/news/binance-makes-major-move-into-p2p-trading-9-more-crypto-news-4825.htm