Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavic believes BTC and Blockchain will be around for the long term. #NEWS
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WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization, has received a new patent application, owned by the MoneyToken project, as announced on the MoneyToken blog.
The application describes a blockchain-based technology process of decentralized lending, secured by cryptocurrency assets as collateral, that doesn’t require vouching agents and that uses smart contracts and multi-signature wallets within the crediting process.
The premise is straightforward: By taking a cryptocurrency-backed loan with MoneyToken, users can receive liquid funds and hold their crypto assets all at the same time.
To gain access to the MoneyToken Private Sale, all users should join the MoneyToken Whitelist.
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Ethereum network may be able to scale better with this $100 mln grant. #ANALYSIS
The post Intenet Archive Sees Big Donations from Vitalik Buterin and the Pineapple Fund appeared first on CCN
Vitalik Buterin last week donated 100 Ethereum to a digital media charity. At current prices this equates to $93,469, however, the charity will receive $186,938 as The Pineapple Fund is matching all donations up to one million dollars. The recipient of the cryptocurrency philanthropy was the Internet Archive, a nonprofit digital library aiming to provide “universal access to all knowledge”. It’s … Continued
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Just days before the tiny nation of Gibraltar was said to draft their first initial coin offering (ICO) regulations, Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) of Switzerland appears to have stolen its thunder in an eleven page document published today. It could be the standard by which developed countries look to install their own versions.
Also read: Citibank India Bans Bitcoin
Switzerland Publishes ICO Guidelines
“The guidelines also define the information FINMA requires to deal with such enquiries and the principles upon which it will base its responses,” an agency press release began, “creating clarity for market participants.”
ICOs have bedeviled regulators the globe over since their inception Summer of 2013 as a creative way to crowdfund projects. They deliberately mirror initial public offerings, IPOs, which are famously used to bring traditional companies to market. However, IPOs have taken all the trappings that come with success: barriers to entry making them a very expensive proposition, requiring gaggles of lawyers and regulatory hoop-jumping. ICOs, due to their nascency, have gotten around all that to the tune of 6 billion USD in 2017 alone.
“FINMA has seen a sharp increase in the number of initial coin offerings (ICOs) planned or executed in Switzerland and a corresponding increase in the number of enquiries about the applicability of regulation,” the regulator insists. Following up on their Spring of last year Guidance document, “setting out how it intends to treat enquiries from ICO organisers,” FINMA wishes to solidify “transparency at this time” as it “is important given the dynamic market and the high level of demand.”
ICOs are a participatory token economy in the literal, digital sense. They usually focus upon a specific project, and combinations and permutations on this idea are as vast as the myriad of ICOs themselves: ownership in a company, payouts, tradeable coins, some of which are expected to appreciate beyond just being a digital stock certificate. They’re an adventuresome investment, and, as these pages have well-documented, slickly written white papers and website landing pages have often amounted to little more than exit scams.
Not All ICOs are Equal
A vast majority of ICOs rely upon the Ethereum platform and its Ethereum Request for Comments (ERC20), which is used for smart contracts. Something like over twenty one thousand such contracts exist, and estimates hold that ERC20 commands a supermajority ICO marketshare.
Swiss guidelines are “not applicable to all ICOs. Depending on the manner in which ICOs are designed, they may not in all cases be subject to regulatory requirements. Circumstances must be considered on a case-by-case basis […] At present, there is no ICO-specific regulation, nor is there relevant case law or consistent legal doctrine.” As such, “FINMA will focus on the economic function and purpose of the tokens (i.e. the blockchain-based units) issued by the ICO organiser. The key factors are the underlying purpose of the tokens and whether they are already tradeable or transferable.”
Swiss guidelines subdivide tokens into three classes: payment, utility, and asset. Payment tokens are basically cryptocurrencies as most understand them; utility tokens are access to services; asset tokens function more like derivatives, bonds, equities, and can serve as interest or dividend payments.
FINMA’s deepest worry involves anti-money laundering (AML) law subversion. “FINMA’s analysis indicates that money laundering and securities regulation are the most relevant to ICOs,” and as such guidelines contain “requirements for financial intermediaries including, for example, the need to establish the identity of beneficial owners.” Revealingly, the agency baldly asserts, “Money laundering risks are especially high in a decentralised blockchain-based system, in which assets can be transferred anonymously and without any regulated intermediaries.”
Supportive of Blockchain Technology
ICOs with payment token arrangements FINMA won’t be thought of as securities, and instead be required to comply with AML regulations already in place. Additionally, utility token ICOs “do not qualify as securities only if their sole purpose is to confer digital access rights to an application or service and if the utility token can already be used in this way at the point of issue.”
Asset token ICOs, however, “FINMA regards asset tokens as securities, which means that there are securities law requirements for trading in such tokens, as well as civil law requirements.” Where there are hybrids, it appears the most regulation applies rather than a default to a less regulated token.
The Swiss body was careful to suggest it supports blockchain development, and it quotes FINMA head Mark Branson as insisting, “The application of blockchain technology has innovative potential within and far beyond the financial markets. However, blockchain-based projects conducted analogously to regulated activities cannot simply circumvent the tried and tested regulatory framework. Our balanced approach to handling ICO projects and enquiries allows legitimate innovators to navigate the regulatory landscape and so launch their projects in a way consistent with our laws protecting investors and the integrity of the financial system.”
Do you think FINMA’s guidelines will be the world standard? Let us know in the comments section.
Images courtesy of Pixabay, FINMA
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Check out Day 8 of the Crypto Olympics
Coin vs. Coin – who will be crowned the Crypto Olympics Champ?
The markets are down today, making it all the more challenging for our competitors. Today, our competitors facing off will be EOS and IOTA (MIOTA). Who do you think will reign supreme?
In case you’ve missed it, these are the rules: we start with two coins and measure their gains and losses between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm PST. When the 4:00 pm finish line ...
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Last year, Anton Rosenberg, a former employee of Russian social network Vkontakte reported that Telegram is going to launch ICO, as well as its own cryptocurrency and $1.2 bln token sale according to TechCrunch. Telegram founder Pavel Durov didn’t confirm this information, but he didn’t disprove it either. However, during an interview with Bloomberg, he … Continued
Guidebook, Inc. today announced new Integrations and an Open API to connect mobile event apps with CRM, event registration, and marketing automation software. The Guidebook Integrations help marketing, sales and event leads eliminate the hassle, errors and overhead of manual data entry to quickly make sense of unstructured event, attendee and engagement data.
The newly launched Croatian self-regulating Blockchain organization will work with the government to create an environment for Blockchain innovation. #NEWS
As cryptocurrency evolves, so does its relationship with government. While lawmakers in some countries seek to suppress a financial force they don’t understand, in the U.S., the reverse appears to have started to take hold, indicating an opportunity is at hand for a dialog between the industry and lawmakers. In a Senate Banking Committee hearing … Continued
FCC officially notifies Brooklyn resident of his BTC’s miners “harmful interference” on T-Mobile’s broadband network. #NEWS
Polish financial authorities have spent taxpayers’ money on a smear campaign on Youtube and Facebook against investing in cryptocurrencies. While issuing warnings or trying to educate the public against what regulators fear are risky investments are not uncommon around the world, in this case they tried to sway public opinion against crypto assets by paying social media influencers to attack them.
The Central Bank of Poland (Narodowy Bank Polski or NBP), in cooperation with the country’s Financial Supervision Authority (Komisja Nadzoru Finansowego or KNF), have paid over 90,000 PLN (Polish złoty) for an online smear campaign against cryptocurrency investments. The money went, among others, to a Polish Youtube content network which represents many popular young local content creators.
A rather silly video with the title “I LOST ALL MONEY?!” depicting investments in cryptocurrencies in a negative light appeared on December 8 on the Marcin Dubiel’s channel, a Polish youtube prankster who has over 900,000 subscribers. The film, which already has over half a million views, is marked with the hashtag #uważajnakryptowaluty, which is associated with a website set by NBP and the KNF to say that “Virtual currency is not money” and similar warnings.
As the local reports pointed out, the video was not marked on Youtube as “including paid promotion”, and there is also no mention in its description that it is part of the campaign for which the NBP paid. The material paid for by NBP was also published on the Polish Planeta Faktów channel on Youtube. Furthermore, judging by the quality of the content, its distribution channels and its creators, the smear campaign appears to target young kids.
After one individual sent a question to the NBP about campaigns financed by the central bank, the NBP replied in a letter dated 9 February and admitted that it “carried out a campaign on the issue of virtual currencies in social media.” As mentioned above, the campaign cost 91,200 PLN worth about $27,000 in taxpayers’ money. In addition to Google Ireland (which owns Youtube) and Facebook Ireland, its beneficiaries were Gamellon, a Polish Youtube partner network focused on gaming channels.
Can you trust Youtubers and other influencers to voluntary disclose that they are being paid to promote or criticize things? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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