Regulation

Securities Laws Are ‘Written to Be Dynamic’

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Securities laws are “written to be dynamic,” a senior official at the United States securities regulator claimed in a recent panel at Consensus 2019 on May 13.

Amy Starr, chief of the office of capital markets trends at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), expressed the regulator’s willingness to interact with local crypto and blockchain-related businesses in order to gain a better understanding of how securities laws can be applied in various cases.

Speaking at a panel titled “Perspectives on SEC engagement concerning digital assets,” Starr noted a high level of integration with the crypto industry and the SEC, particularly citing  the engagement via the SEC’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology, as well as a number of peer-to-peer meetings conducted by the SEC’s “Crypto Czar” Valerie Szczepanik.

The SEC official stated that an active engagement with the regulator is the only way to facilitate a change in securities laws regarding crypto markets. She said:

“The more interaction, and willingness that people want to engage with us, the happier we are because we want this to work. We want there to be innovation in these markets. We want there to be change.”

During the panel, Starr also expressed her stance on the recent no-action letter to cryptocurrency startup TurnKey Jet, which allowed the firm to issue TKJ tokens for the purpose of paying for a private jet charter, since the tokens were not considered to be securities. In particular, the official noted that the decision by the SEC fell “on one end of the spectrum” of similar cases in terms of both the decision and the speed at which it was reached.

Following the SEC’s panel, SEC Commissioner Hester “Crypto Mom” Peirce delivered a speech devoted to the future of cryptocurrencies. In her speech, Peirce encouraged internal regulation between crypto actors, claiming that “testing each other is really healthy.” While still noting that the SEC will be able to detect certain malpractice actions on the market, Peirce suggested that people in crypto should “police one another,” adding that a “lot of regulation can happen without a government regulator.”

Previously, the SEC was criticized for being the biggest regulatory obstacle preventing the crypto markets from growing. In January, CEO and co-founder of Goldman Sachs-backed crypto finance company Circle claimed that the SEC was lacking clarity over how to define various crypto assets.

Recently, U.S. SEC Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation Valerie Szczepanik suggested that platforms seeking to list initial exchange offering tokens for a fee could face a regulatory problem.




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Altcoin

Winklevoss: Buying Bitcoin isn’t “as crazy as sitting on the sidelines”

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While it could be argued that investing in Bitcoin is certainly a risk, Cameron Winklevoss, – one-half of the famous Winklevoss twins – believes that it’s not as risky, or as he puts it “crazy” as waiting on the sidelines.

The Winklevoss brothers are known for their bullish ways, especially when it comes to Bitcoin (BTC); and today is no exception with Cameron offering his famous rhetoric on the #1, encouraging speculators to jump in and invest.

According to Cameron while some think you would be mad to invest in BTC, he states that you would be crazy not too, equating the rise of cryptocurrencies to the “future of money”



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Blockchain

Update From New York City’s Blockchain Week

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PHOTO:
Kai Pilger

For the last five years, every spring CoinDesk has been hosting its blockchain technology conference Consensus in New York City. The idea is to bring together the top brands and developers in the cryptocurrency and blockchain spaces to learn what’s new and what’s next. The event has grown to include the surrounding Blockchain Week, which includes both official and unofficial events thanks to the volume of attendees.

Related Article: Blockchain Will Stall Until it Finds Its Killer App

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Cryptocurrency is moving past the toddler stage and people are starting to pay more attention to the underlying blockchain technology. The CryptoNouveau event was a great place to meet the top thinkers in the blockchain space and learn where they think the technology is going next.

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Regulation

Central Bank of Russia Expects Crypto Draft Bill to Be Adopted in Spring 2019

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The central bank of Russia believes that the draft bill on crypto regulation is prepared enough to be adopted in the spring of 2019, local news agency TASS reports on May 22.

Olga Skorobogatova, first deputy governor of the Russian central bank, has stated that the bank expects the crypto bill, “On Digital Financial Assets” (DFA), to be adopted during the spring session in 2019 in accordance with the order of the country’s president, Vladimir Putin.

Speaking at a recent meeting of the Parliament, Skorobogatova argued that the DFA, as well as a draft law on crowdfunding and other crypto-related bills, are at a “sufficiently high degree of preparedness” to be adopted during the session.

The official has also emphasized that all those draft laws are “crucial for the country and will allow for the implementation of new projects.” Conversely, Russian prime minister and former president Dmitry Medvedev had…



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Bitcoin

Goldman-Sachs Backed Circle Blames ‘Restrictive’ US Laws for Layoffs

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Bitcoin and crypto are rising, but Goldman Sachs-backed Circle laid off 10 percent of its workforce blaming a ‘restrictive’ regulatory climate. But is that just a smokescreen to mask Circle’s dwindling user base?


SEC Bullish on Bitcoin, Bearish on Alts

OK, so we may not call the SEC exactly ‘bullish’ on Bitcoin. In fact, quietly cautious at best, downright suspicious at worst.

But at least the regulatory body has it clear that Bitcoin is not a security. It’s even considering Bitcoin ETF proposals, albeit at a glacially slow pace.

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Ethereum

Bitcoin Falls Under $7,900 as US Stock Market Sees Minor Uptrend

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Wednesday, May 22 — most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting moderate losses on the day by press time, as bitcoin (BTC) falls under the $7,900 mark again.

Market visualization courtesy of Coin360

Bitcoin is down over .5% on the day, trading at $7,850 at press time, according to CoinMarketCap. Looking at its weekly chart, the coin is down over 1.83%.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

This week, Cointelegraph reported that CME Group, the second global exchange to list bitcoin (BTC) futures, is about to record the biggest trading month for BTC futures trading.

Ether (ETH) is holding onto its position as the largest altcoin by market cap, which currently stands at $26.9 billion. The second-largest altcoin, XRP, has a market cap of $16.5 billion at press time.

CoinMarketCap data shows that ETH is up over .5% over…



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