Bitcoin

Clarification from Regulators can help Crypto community

Clarification from Regulators Can Help Crypto Community

Though tightening of regulations of cryptocurrency market drags sentiment at least in the near-term, regulatory clarity could lead to attraction. This is the gist of the conference on Distributed Markets that took place in Chicago a few days back. The meet attracted experts from financial and blockchain technology to shed light on the available opportunities. They have also highlighted the potential changes that the digital currency sector is currently facing. Another significant aspect is that regulations are not regarded as an unfavorable catalyst to lift sentiments.

Educating Participants

The objective of the conference is to educate the participants of the conference on integration of blockchain technology with their businesses. This would increase not only overall efficiency but also provides cost-effectiveness to the businesses, bitcoin magazine reported. A hackathon and a Blockchain Academy workshop were available to offer a chance to study blockchain macro cases to developers.

The organizer believes that it could demonstrate the developers’ skills. Significantly, the biggest issues that are haunting the regulator is how to classify virtual assets and tokens to streamline the sector. There is still ambiguity on the roles played by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

While CFTC’s jurisdiction covers bitcoin and listed bitcoin futures on regulated interest exchanges, SEC is regulating all securities and derivatives. The latter is now keen on bringing initial coin offerings (ICOs) into its fold. That meant it is subject to vigorous tactics with significant potentials of dragging their values. The securities regulator also sought to know how enterprise has issued tokens and involved in marketing them.

CMT Digital’s Colleen Sullivan, who was a speaker, reacted quickly to address the issue. She told the audience that every security should be traded on registered exchanges in the Americas. She pointed out that the securities regulator weighed in on digital currencies in July last year. At that point in time, it released an investigative report claiming that some digital coins fell under the securities category. Though there are more than 1,500 cryptocurrencies, none of them are traded in the way SEC standards prescribed.

On the other hand, Blockchain counsel Gray Sasser believes that the cryptocurrency industry is surrounded by ambiguity. He said that though he has been participating in a number of panels, his first answer to most of the questions is that he does not know. He said it in a lighter vein. However, he thinks that the SEC is clear in indicating where digital tokens should fall. But they failed to offer distributors the right path.

The influx of Institutional Capital

In her conclusion, Sullivan was clear about two things. One is that the cryptocurrency market needs solid regulation. The second is that she sees the entry of institutional capital into the digital coin market. This should finally lead to a renowned broker’s presence in the sector. As a result, it would provide stability and efficiency.

She explained further that “I think as the regulatory environment becomes more clear in the next 12 months, we’re going to see a lot more capital. Right now, most changes in the industry have applied to retail.” That is an indication that the regulated market would attract more capital.…

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Blockchain

Bunny Ranch brothel now accepts payments in Bitcoin

Lana West, a sex worker in the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, was paid a few thousand dollars in bitcoin. The news was reported by the infamous licensed brothel in Nevada as it has allowed customers to pay in digital currencies for sexual services.

Recent reports suggest that many sex workers and escort businesses have been accepting virtual currencies against their services and now, Dennis Hof owned Bunny Ranch has joined the list. Being located in the state of Nevada, the brothel operates legally as it is outside the jurisdiction of Las Vegas. Bunny Ranch became popular in Carson City as well as in the world after HBO filmed Dennis Hof and his employees in a documentary named ‘Cathouse.’

During the first week of April, Bunny Ranch’s staff member, Lana West exchanged an “intimate girlfriend experience.” West stated that brothel users could pay with their credit cards, but its statements will show up Bunny Ranch. That week West was asked by a client to accept payment in bitcoin.

She stated, “A wonderful and rather tech-savvy client came in offering to purchase my services with Bitcoin. Dennis approved it, and we executed a transfer from the customer’s bitcoin wallet to my own.”

She added, “It was a mid-four-figure payment for an intimate girlfriend experience with me that lasted just over an hour — My client walked out with a smile on his face — but little did he know we actually made history together.”

Apart from Bunny Ranch, Bubble Escorts have also started accepting bitcoin for a “dream escort.” The official website is currently displaying a bitcoin logo to hint its customers while providing an address between the booking processes.

The escort service stated, “We have taken this decision upon our desire to move with the times as we have always been dedicated to revolutionizing the way people book London escorts. “Cryptocurrency is growing in popularity, and we are delighted to be the first London escorts provider to have listened to the demand.”

It explained, “We believe that accepting bitcoin payments is a new feature which will allow our clients to pay for our adult companionship services in the most discreet and safe way possible.”

Accepting bitcoin for providing intimate services has become a trend in the US which has seen tremendous growth over the past year. Customers have been positive about the moves of the adult industry as one Reddit user stated in forum /r/sexworkers that “accepting bitcoin best thing ever decided.”

Male and female escorts have listed themselves in the web portal Adultwork to inform customers about their surety of accepting bitcoin as payments. On the other hand, US government banned Backpage.com for displaying numerous advertisements of individuals offering escort services for bitcoin.

It should be noted that use virtual currencies in the adult industry has the activity to a whole new level of discretion. As bitcoin’s value has started to regain a bit pace, it has seen a gradual increase in its users again. It’s a matter of time when smaller currencies will be used to ensure a lower profile in the adult industry.…

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Crypto News

Associates forbidden from investing in Cryptocurrencies: Capital Group

One of the oldest investment management organizations in the world, Capital Group, has prohibited its associates and family members from investing in cryptocurrencies. According to the upgraded Code of Ethics registered in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on April 19, they will also not be able to participate in any Initial Coin Offerings or ICOs.

The update in the Code of Ethics stresses attention over the new policies and guidelines towards ICOs and Initial Public Offerings IPOs. It states, “All associates and immediate family members residing in the same household may not participate in IPOs or ICOs.”

As per the document, Capital Group will have the power to acknowledge a rare exception for IPOs which will be reckoned as “on a case-by-case basis.” However, the document does not inform about any exceptional case for ICOs as its prohibition “applies to all Capital associates.” On the other hand, the updated code of ethics has not clarified whether investments made on behalf of clients are also banned.

Earlier this March, SEC announced that it would be examining around 100 hedge funds that are related to digital currencies. The main reason for the investigation is to advise the SEC over their policies and its impact on virtual currencies. Currently, the examiners are matching the assets purchased by fund managers with those advertised to investors in offering statements.

A partner at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, a firm involved in providing advice for the hedge fund, Marc Elovitz, said, “This is a way for the SEC overall to gather information and learn about important new technology and products.” These operations are conducted “to educate the commission overall about new businesses or new industries.”

The South Korean government has disallowed its employees to hold and trade in digital currencies since last month. It said that government officials indulged in the trading of digital currencies are “in violation of the prohibition of forbearance obligations under the civil servants’ law” and are liable to disciplinary actions.

The Ministry of Personnel Management issued a document named, “Virtual currency holdings and transaction-related information for civil servants.”

In similar news, Justin Schmidt was appointed as the head of digital asset markets by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to help clients gain exposure to cryptocurrencies. Galvin-Cohen, spokesperson Goldman Sachs said, “In response to client interest in various digital products, we are exploring how best to serve them in the space. We have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering.”

As of now, the reason to ban associates from using cryptocurrencies is still unclear. Being one of the largest financial service providers in the world, Goldman Sachs decision will have a great impact on other institutions. According to experts Goldman Sachs is trying to comply with the regulations launched by SEC in the US. Crypto users have always been under government radar, and Goldman Sachs is trying to stay away from any situation that harms its goodwill. It would be interesting to see if other financial services follow its footprints or not.…

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General News

Dutch’s ING is making quiet moves on Blockchain Technology

The Dutch-based ING Group is making quiet moves on blockchain technology. This is a clear indication that it does not want to lag behind and allows innovation to reach and react. The Netherlands firm is only modifying its earlier plan splashed in November last year. Its modification is called as ‘zero-knowledge proofs.’ The company believes that this is a promising tool to be explored for financial institutions. That is because the industry is depending on shared ledgers that might sometime become a cause of worry.

Revealing Data to Rivals

For instance, there is a threat of enlightening too much of data to rivals. The technique provided a way to transfer the assets of a bank’s on these networks. This would come without comprising confidentiality of clients. However, ING has come out with a modified type. This is known as ‘zero-knowledge range proofs.’ The advantage is that it could offer that a number is well within a specified range devoid of disclosing the real number. This was cited as an improvement partly since it uses a smaller amount of computational power. As a result, it runs quicker on a blockchain platform.

For instance, zero-knowledge proofs range could be made available to establish that a particular person has a salary within a range required to get a mortgage. ING blockchain program’s global head, Mariana Gomez de la Villa, said that this would come without disclosing the actual figure of salary, Coindesk reported. She believes that it could also be used to defend a transaction’s denomination without any issues in the validation of enough money in the specific account for settling the transaction.

Currently, ING is engaged in building on its past work. As a result, it would add another wrinkle to venture blockchain privacy and influence a kind of proof that is called as ‘zero-knowledge set membership.’ The Netherlands bank indicated that it would take the concept of zero-knowledge beyond numbers. That would mean adding other data types. Set membership enables to showcase that a secret fits in well with a generic set. This could be based on any information kind such as locations, addresses, and names.

The company’s official thinks that there are wide-ranging potential applications of set membership. Therefore, it is not limited to any number belonging to an interval. That would mean it could be made use for validation of any data sort that is formed correctly. She believes that set member is more powerful compared to other range of proofs.

Improving Solution

Gomez de la Villa said that with the availability of source code, ING is making a collaborative effort to improve its zero-knowledge range proof solution. She pointed out that a team is working on the theory or mutually beneficial relationship between enterprises and academic cryptographers. For its part, it would work in practice.

The Dutch firm will participate in a workshop that seeks to standardize zero-knowledge proofs. This would come along with the likes of Shafi Goldwasser of MIT. The company believes that it is now part of an extensive experts community that is looking at the zero-knowledge proofs extension.…

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Altcoin

UK’s financial conduct Authority Confirms that Crypto Derivatives is a step towards its Recognition

UK’s Financial Conduct Authority Confirms that Crypto Derivatives Is a Step towards Its Recognition

There is every possibility that the United Kingdom is moving towards recognizing the cryptocurrencies in the country. This is quite evident from various developments that are taking place in the recent past. The latest one is that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has accorded approval for crypto derivatives. Significantly, the latest move comes after the regulator launched a task force in alliance with the Bank of England. That was not only to explore regulating ways but also foster the expanding digital coin sector.

Small Steps

Though it could be termed as small steps that the FCA has been taking, there is also no doubt that it would have its impact on further regulations. The regulator specified that cryptocurrency derivatives could be described as financial instruments. This came under the purview of ‘markets in Financial Instruments Directive II.’ It required any enterprises involved in regulated derivative-based activities to meet the terms of the Handbook rules of the FCA. Aside from that, it should also comply with European Union’s applicable provisions.

According to a report in coingeek, the regulator stated that any company “dealing in, arranging transactions in, advising on or providing other services that amount to regulated activities in relation to derivatives that reference either cryptocurrencies or tokens issued through an initial coin offering (ICO), will require authorization by the FCA.” Incidentally, there are doubts expressed in some quarters about FCA’s scope on digital currencies. None-the-less, the move indicated that it is moving towards pro-stance towards the sector.

The regulator would seek some of the types of transaction to conform to its guidelines or regulations. This included cryptocurrency contracts or digital currency futures for differences, as well as, options. The handbook of the FCA offered necessary information for enterprises to conclude if their products have met the policies of the regulator. The United Kingdom thinks that the year 2018 belongs to digital currencies as the interest for it is increasing. As a result, regulations to are getting tightened.

Last month, the FCA aligned with Bank of England to take stock of the cryptocurrency market and engaged in the process of how to control it. As part of it, the task force is entrusted with a task of releasing its analytical report later this year on the growing virtual currencies market. Economics Professor at MIT, John Van Reenen, believes that the country would likely take a favorable stance on digital currencies market. However, he sees a different kind of story from the recent measures.

Attractive Hub

For quite some time, a number of analysts believe that Britain could be an attractive location for not only blockchain startups but also fintech firms. That is primarily due to the positivity demonstrated by the FCA. The country is trying to be at least one step ahead of the rest of world, which is slowly embracing the new age currencies.

The nation is also pushed to the wall to create a favorable atmosphere for cryptocurrency market to stay ahead of the European Union. In the absence of it, the country would lose a competitive edge. Significantly, other countries in the region to are showing interest.…

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