Crypto Bloodbath: Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) Plummet

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC)

It’s a bloodbath out there with a bunch of cryptos barely staying afloat in a sea of red. Out of the top ten cryptos, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) are suffering the most, experiencing major losses.

The crypto market has had a rough start to the week. What began as a few coins being down led to the majority yesterday being down and more joining the dumps as the day went on. Now, all but three coins within the top 100 tokens are down in what looks to be a major crypto selloff.

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Crypto Olympics: Bitcoin (BTC) vs. VeChain (VEN)

Crypto Olympics

Welcome to the Crypto Olympics: Day 12

Check out Day 11 of the Crypto Olympics

Coin vs. Coin – who will be crowned the Crypto Olympics Champ?

Today is going to be a challenge for our competitors, who will have to race through a sea of red on the crypto markets right now. All coins but two in the top 100 are down right now. Looks like this race might come down to whoever can lose the least! Today, our competitors are Bitcoin (BTC) and VeChain (VEN).

In case you’ve missed it, ...

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Bafin Clarifies Stance on ICOs as More Germans Ask About Tokens

Bafin Clarifies Stance on ICOs As More Germans Ask About Tokens

Germany’s financial regulator has clarified its position on initial coin offerings. Bafin admitted it was receiving many inquiries about the status of tokens and cryptocurrencies distributed to investors through ICOs. The federal agency advised interested parties to refer to regulations applicable to traditional financial instruments and comply with current requirements. A new survey found out that more than two thirds of Germans know about bitcoin.   

Also read: Italy Completes Consultations on Registration of Crypto Companies

Revelation: Tokens Are Securities, Shares and Units of Account

In an advisory letter, the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (Bafin) provides some basic definitions of ICOs and related terms. A company or an individual issues tokens and sells them in exchange for traditional currencies, such as the Euro, or more commonly virtual currencies like bitcoin or ether, the agency explains. Bafin educates the public that tokens are typically generated using distributed ledger or blockchain technology, and ICOs are used to raise funds for startup projects.

Bafin Clarifies Stance on ICOs As More Germans Ask About Tokens

The federal financial supervisory authority advises participants in ICOs to check and follow rules applicable to regulated financial instruments, such as securities. Individuals and businesses should approach Bafin in case they have any doubts about regulations. The note clearly states that for regulatory purposes, ICOs, tokens, coins and cryptocurrencies are subject to the existing provisions in the field of securities supervision and other relevant national and EU laws.

Companies should also fulfil any obligations under the Banking Act and the Capital Investment Code, the Insurance Supervision Act and the Payment Services Supervision Act. Bafin’s Department of Licensing will investigate cases in which special permissions may be required. If relevant regulatory requirements are not met, respective projects or transactions may be prohibited. In addition, such violations may constitute administrative offenses and result in fines.

The legal classification of tokens requires precise examination, Bafin says. Depending on their design, tokens can be defined as securities, shares or used to issue derivatives. The supervisory body will determine their status on a case-by-case basis after studying their features. German regulators also note that a token can be both viewed as a financial instrument and a unit of account. In order to be classified as a security, it should be transferable and tradable on cryptocurrency trading platforms referred to as financial markets. Bafin recognizes that token transfers are documented on a distributed ledger or using blockchain technology.

Majority of Germans Know About Bitcoin

Over two thirds of Germans know about bitcoin, with one in five admitting interest in using the cryptocurrency, a recently published study revealed. The survey was conducted by Germany’s digital association Bitkom, which said curiosity and dissatisfaction with official monetary policies were the main reasons for the findings.

Bafin Clarifies Stance on ICOs As More Germans Ask About Tokens

Rapid gains in bitcoin, but also reports of spectacular thefts, frauds and market fluctuations, have caught the attention of German citizens. Now, 64% of them admit they have heard of the most popular cryptocurrency, twice as many as in 2016. Despite that, only 4% have used it so far, almost a fifth of the respondents, 19%, say they can imagine acquiring bitcoin. According to Bitkom’s Chief Executive Bernhard Rohleder:

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are good examples how digitization can change the financial industry.

Discontent with policies of central banks and the search for alternative currencies are major drivers of interest in bitcoin (37%). Desire to use cryptocurrency in online payments is another important factor (31%). Only 6% say they have been motivated by expectations to increase their wealth through rising bitcoin prices.

“Cryptocurrencies will enable micro transactions in the Internet of Things in the future. The service of charging an electric car, for example, can be automatically agreed and paid for without the driver having to deal with it”, Dr. Rohleder says.

A quarter of those interviewed (26%) complain that acquiring bitcoin is too complicated because one needs access to a cryptocurrency exchange. 19% of Germans admit they don’t know how and where they can buy bitcoin. One in five is afraid that crypto holdings can be stolen.

Do you think that Bafin’s advisory letter will help spread awareness about cryptos and tokens in Germany? Tell us in the comments section below.


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How South Korean Government Prevents Officials from Insider Crypto Trading

How South Korean Government Prevents Officials From Crypto Insider Trading

South Korea currently has no law against government officials insider trading with the knowledge of cryptocurrency regulations. The case against an employee of the country’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) accused of crypto insider trading has come to a standstill without grounds for punishment. However, the government has worked out a plan to prevent future occurrences.

Also read: Indians Look to Buy Bitcoin Overseas as Regulations Tighten

No Applicable Law Currently

The issue of insider trading using the knowledge of the government’s cryptocurrency regulations became prominent last month when an FSS employee was accused of crypto insider trading. The FSS has an active role in creating crypto regulations as well as inspecting banks for crypto-related money laundering measures.

How South Korean Government Prevents Officials From Crypto Insider TradingThe employee invested about 13 million won on July 3 of last year and sold more than half of his holdings on December 11, Chosun described. Then, on December 13, the government announced a set of strict regulations, including a ban on crypto trading for minors and foreigners.

Guilty or not, there is no law to punish government officials for insider trading of cryptocurrencies. While employees are prohibited from stock trading using insider knowledge, a senior FSS official was quoted by Edaily explaining:

Currently, there are no provisions in the regulation on virtual currency.

New Code of Conduct Could Help

How South Korean Government Prevents Officials From Crypto Insider TradingThe rules applicable to stocks do not apply to cryptocurrencies since they are currently not recognized as financial assets in Korea. To prevent future insider trading, Korean prime minister Lee Nak-yeon ordered the creation of a new Code of Conduct to address crypto trading by public officials.

The Korean Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission issued the “Code of Conduct Guide to Cryptocurrency” to the government and public agencies last week. It adds cryptocurrency to Article 12 of the Civil Servant Code of Conduct which, according to Tokenpost, states that:

Public officials shall not use the information learned during their duties to assist in trading or investing in property related to securities, real estate, etc., or providing such information to others to help them trade or invest.

However, the FSS Did Not Get the Memo

How South Korean Government Prevents Officials From Crypto Insider TradingThe FSS, however, is not bound by the new Code of Conduct. According to Edaily, the document was not even sent to the FSS. “This guidance document was sent to the central administrative agency, metropolitan area, basic local autonomous body, city and provincial office of education,” an FSS official detailed. A senior official of the FSS Inspectorate confirmed to the publication, “We did not receive any letters of interest.”

The news outlet explained that this is due to the FSS being under the supervision of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and the Securities and Futures Commission under the current law.

The Financial Services Administration Innovation Committee explained that “redefining the FSS as a public institution weakens the independence and accountability of supervisory institutions, making it more vulnerable to external pressures such as political parties,” Maekyung reported. Edaily continued:

As the FSS is not a government agency, FSS staff are not covered by the Code of Conduct.

Following media reports, the Korean government issued a statement clarifying that the FSC will inform the FSS of applicable notices “such as the prohibition of virtual currency transactions related to jobs.” An FSS official was quoted by News1 saying, “we will revise our own Code of Conduct through internal consultations,” adding that FSS staff will not be able to use internal information to trade or invest in cryptocurrency.

What do you think of the Korean government’s plan to prevent crypto insider trading? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Italy Completes Consultations on Registration of Crypto Companies

Italy Completes Consultations on Registration of Crypto Companies

Public consultations on a new regulatory regime for crypto companies in Italy are now closed. Interested parties were invited by the Ministry of Economy and Finance to share suggestions and comments on a draft decree introducing registration and reporting requirements in the sector. The new set of rules will come into force within 3 months of adoption.

Also read: Spain Mulls Tax Breaks for Blockchain and Crypto Firms

Italy Trying to Understand the Phenomenon

Italy Completes Consultations on Registration of Crypto CompaniesThe ministerial decree has been designed to “explore and understand the various aspects of the virtual currency phenomenon”. The legal document, aimed at implementing Italy’s updated and “strengthened” anti-money laundering laws, was published by MEF’s Treasury Department on February 2. Interested parties had two weeks to express their opinions and suggest amendments.

In May 2017 the Italian government issued another decree requiring “service providers related to the use of virtual currency”, like exchanges, to fulfil their obligations to prevent money laundering and illicit crypto transactions. The new document introduces additional responsibilities for crypto businesses. They will have to report regularly their activities to the Finance Ministry.

The text of the proposed decree clarifies that although cryptocurrency is used as a “means of exchange for the purchase of goods and services”, it is not issued by a central bank or other public authority. The embedded disclaimer also states that cryptos are “not necessarily connected to a currency that is a legal tender”.

Exchanges and Merchants to Register and Report

The new notification regime will also be applicable to commercial companies accepting cryptocurrency payments for goods, services and utilities. The Ministry wants to conduct a “systematic survey” starting with determining the number of operators in the sector. Upon commencing activity, every company should register with the Italian Agency of Intermediaries OAM in order to operate legally in the country.

Italy Completes Consultations on Registration of Crypto Companies

The Department of the Treasury has already completed a preliminary evaluation of the technical specifications for the register, the Ministry of Finance said in a press release. The new regulatory regime is to be launched within 3 months after the decree enters into force. Its implementation responds to the need to understand the new phenomenon and its dimensions, said Roberto Ciciani, Head of the General Directorate for Prevention of Financial Crimes.

Regulators point out that the revised Italian legal framework will comply with the latest EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive – 5MLD, which introduces stricter rules to prevent financial crimes. The previous directive was adopted in Italy on May 25 last year.

The use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by individuals remains largely unregulated in Italy. However, a law requiring identification of parties in crypto transactions has been introduced in the parliament. In 2016 the Italian tax authority Agenzia delle Entrate stated that cryptocurrency purchases and sales are exempt from VAT. With some limitations, personal crypto holdings and gains from transactions do not generate taxable income.

Do you think the new requirements for Italian companies to register and report will lead to more restrictions or to legalization of the crypto sector? Tell us in the comments section below.


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Stellar (XLM) and Lisk (LSK) Plummet

Stellar (XLM)

Most of the cryptocurrency market remained quite stagnant in price fluctuations throughout the day. Most coins were only seeing minor gains/losses aside from Litecoin (LTC). However, as the working day comes to a close, two top coins are seeing major losses, and many are scratching their heads.

Stellar (XLM) has a lightning fast cross-border payments system and is set to be a strong contender for the coin of the year, with a strong support group. However, the coin is losing some major steam on the market today. Lisk (LSK) just rebranded today, yet its price is ...

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Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Struggle to Make Gains

Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) struggle on the crypto market today.

More than half of the top 100 cryptocurrencies are down as of right now and within the top 10, there is an even split between coins that are down and coins that are up.

Within the top 10, Stellar (XLM) is the worst off, down 6.03%, while Litecoin has gained the most with a 9.35% increase at the time of writing.

>> Check out the Crypto Olympics

Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum peaked at just below $965 in ...

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Litecoin (LTC) Surges Despite Litecoin Cash (LCC) Lift Off

Litecoin (LTC)

Litecoin (LTC) is surging on the market today, as most of the top ten remain stagnant. LTC is currently trading for $247.59, up 10.02%, in 24 hours.

Source: CoinMarketCap

In the past week, Litecoin has surged nearly 60% in its price. The start of its surge was from LitePay Inc’s announcement of a new payment platform made specifically for Litecoin. The tweet reads, “We started because the people asked BitPay to accept LTC. They wouldn’t so we took the challenge.” The company will begin signups for its platform on February 26th, as ...

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Venezuela’s Petro Coin Could Spur a Broader Rally in Cryptocurrency Prices

Venezuela launches Petro Coin

Venezuela launches Petro Coin today – almost 84 million tokens are initially available for sale. The government expects to circulate 100 million tokens in total, in a bid to generate over $6 billion.

Several virtual currencies claimed to be back by the dollar, but backing Venezuela’s Petro coin is crude oil.

Carlos Vargas, the official in charge of managing the token, said investors could buy these tokes against “hard currencies” and cryptocurrencies, excluding fiat currency such as the bolivar.

Petro Coin Is Developed to Raise Cash

Though President Maduro faced a lot ...

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Crypto Olympics: Dash vs. NEM (XEM)

Crypto Olympics

Welcome to the Crypto Olympics: Day 11

Check out Day 10 of the Crypto Olympics

Coin vs. Coin – who will be crowned the Crypto Olympics Champ?

It’s a scattered market today with some coins up and some coins down. Today’s competitors will be Dash vs. NEM (XEM). Which coin will be able to ride the rollercoaster of the crypto market today without falling off? Vote in the comments below for your favorite.

In case you’ve missed it, these are the rules: we start with two coins and measure their gains and ...

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