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Here’s the one thing CEOs of Ripple, Coinbase, and Square all agree on

Republished by Plato

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Regulatory action against cryptocurrencies has always had an impact on markets, and that will be the case for the foreseeable future too.  Or, as MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor puts it, over the next decade, “regulatory FUD,” would be the most “logical challenge” for investors in the crypto-community. 

With Bitcoin becoming more popular, officials have begun calling for global regulations to monitor the asset. This includes U.S Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen who thinks cryptocurrencies facilitate illicit financing. In fact, she wants to examine ways to curtail their use in order to prevent anti-money laundering through Bitcoin. 

Meanwhile, the United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission is also taking a strict approach. To date, it has not approved the many crypto-tracking ETFs proposed by investment firms, with New York-based fund manager VanEck applying for registration of its upcoming Bitcoin Trust with the SEC in December 2020. 

This was a month after VanEck listed a Bitcoin-focused exchange-traded note on Germany’s Deutsche Borse Xetra exchange.

Does this indicate that regions outside the USA have taken positive steps? For instance, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) mandates that citizens in E.U member states do not need to pay value-added tax for gains on crypto-investments. Across the region, government agencies in Swiss Cantons of Zug accept digital assets as a means of payment too. 

Post-Brexit, UK’s HM’s Treasury has proposed a detailed regulatory approach to digital assets and stablecoins for 2021. The British government wanted to “ensure its regulatory framework is equipped to harness the benefits of new technologies, supporting innovation and competition, while mitigating risks to consumers and stability.”

In fact, the U.K’s FCA recently detailed the nation’s approach to the Fintech sector, based on the recommendations of Ron Kalifa who urged authorities to set up a Digital Economy taskforce. In this report, Kalifa reasoned that the U.K could become a global center “for the issuance, clearing, settlement, trading, and exchange of crypto and digital assets.”

And yet, it remains to be seen whether the U.S Treasury Department will attempt to take similar steps. 

Ripple effect

The U.S has never been candid about regulating cryptocurrencies. At least, this is what heads of crypto-focused companies believe. In fact, Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, even considered moving the company’s headquarters to London over the lack of clear regulations on cryptocurrencies in the United States.  

The CEO had previously called the state of U.S regulations on crypto “unfortunate.” He emphasized the lack of a single national regulatory framework, something that was putting U.S companies, such as Ripple itself, at a disadvantage. According to Garlinghouse, Ripple has been yearning for a “level playing field” 

Now, some argue that U.S regulators clarify their laws on a case-to-case basis. This could not be more true in the Ripple v. SEC case, which could result in a clear definition of cryptocurrencies, and whether XRP, in particular, is a security or not. 

While Ripple itself maintains that XRP is not a security, the lawsuit inspired SEC Commissioner Hester Pierce to claim that U.S federal agencies are not aligned in their views, stating,  

“…We have this very open-ended category called an ‘investment contract…So something might be characterized as one thing by another agency, yet still be a security under our rules, and that can be frustrating for people.”

She added,

“That’s why I have called for more clarity, because I actually think it can be difficult to determine whether something fits within the security bucket or not, and we could do more to provide some guideposts for what that would be.”

In a nutshell, Ripple executives claim that XRP does not meet the Howey test, as opposed to the SEC’s allegations that it does and is, therefore, a security. Ripple claims that it does not enter into investment contracts with XRP buyers, who apparently do not receive the company’s revenues. In fact, the laws of the U.K, Singapore, and Japan, deem XRP as a currency.

Coinbase’s dilemma

Crypto-firms have their own separate demands from regulators, with Coinbase also coming to the fore. The leading exchange, which is registered as a Money Services Business with the FinCEN, recently published a “transparency report.” This showed 1,914 “legitimate government” requests it received in 2020 that mainly came in the form of subpoenas and sometimes included search warrants and court orders. Agencies in the U.S alone sent a bulk of it with 1,113 requests or 60% of the total. 

Although, the Coinbase team noted that the exchange had an “obligation to respond” since the requests were “valid under financial regulations and other applicable laws,” the exchange made an interesting statement in this regard and said, 

“Yet we do not hesitate to push back where appropriate, even when it is inconvenient or costly to do so.” 

On 5 January 2021, Coinbase submitted “formal comments” to U.S Treasury’s FINCEN that highlighted their concerns about new regulations on user-controlled wallets proposed right before the new year began. Citing it as “unreasonable proposed crypto regulations,” Coinbase alleged that Treasury’s proposed rule would have a significant impact on users’ privacy.

With Coinbase going public soon, regulators may call for more scrutiny, keeping such companies in mind. This could initiate standards for crypto-exchanges such as collecting and reporting data, which, in turn, could lead to imposing taxes. However, Coinbase seems to welcome at least some regulations as it said in its IPO prospectus, 

If the world economy ran on a common set of standards, that could not be manipulated by any company or country, the world would be a more fair and free place, and human progress would accelerate.

A cause for unnecessary friction?

Meanwhile, FINCEN’s proposals have influenced another prominent voice in the crypto-economy, Jack Dorsey, to state his rather unhappy views. The CEO of Square and Twitter believes that upon enacting the rule, his firm would face unnecessary friction from investors. He argued, 

“The burdensome information collection and reporting requirements [from Treasury] deprive US companies like Square of the chance to compete on a level playing field to enable cryptocurrency as a tool of economic empowerment.”

“Delays in modernizing old regulations, or issuance of new regulations that are not risk-based […] creates a drag on innovation, economic growth, and American competitiveness. “

Dorsey also alleged that the proposal would diminish FinCEN’s responsibility to protect the financial system. However, according to him, FinCEN “has an opportunity to lead” with regulations that “support American-grown innovation.”

Even Argo Blockchain PLC, a mining company has similar expectations. Peter Wall, CEO of the mining firm that is up 1,400% in the past year, said,

“Like any sector, there will be a dance with regulators, a push-and-pull. We think some guardrails are good.”

What next?

Ergo, it wouldn’t be surprising if “tensions between innovation and regulations” persist, as noted by former Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Timothy Massad who said,

“The basic, overarching issue is that digital asset innovation has outpaced our regulatory framework…Regulation won’t stop innovation…unless it’s done badly.”

Meanwhile, the outlook for regulations in the U.S remains uncertain, but perhaps a light-handed approach could provide companies the reassurances they seek. Such an environment may even attract more institutional investors and benefit the overall market.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/heres-the-one-thing-ceos-of-ripple-coinbase-and-square-all-agree-on

Blockchain

MicroStrategy Directors Now Receive Board Fees in Bitcoin

Republished by Plato

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MicroStrategy, a publicly-listed company spearheaded by Michael Saylor, who’s arguably one of Bitcoin’s biggest proponents, will now pay the board fees to its non-employee directors in bitcoin.

  • According to a new filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), MicroStrategy has modified the compensation arrangements for non-employee directors.
  • Per the document, they will “receive all fees for their service on the Company’s Board in bitcoin instead of cash.”
  • Going even further, the filing reads that “in approving bitcoin as a form of compensation for Board service, the Board cited its commitment to bitcoin given its ability to serve as a store of value, supported by a robust and public open-source architecture, untethered to sovereign monetary policy.”
  • As to the technicalities of the payments, the amount of the compensation payable to each non-employee director will remain unchanged and nominally denominated in USD. However, at the time of payment, the fees will be converted from USD into bitcoin using a payment processor and deposited to the wallets of the applicable non-employee directors.
  • With this move, the company cements its already bullish stance on Bitcoin and highlights its strong belief in the primary cryptocurrency and the technology that underpins it.
  • The company is also getting closer to owning almost 100,000 bitcoins.
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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/microstrategy-directors-now-receive-board-fees-in-bitcoin/

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Blockchain

ConsenSys-Backed Virtue Poker Closes $5 Million Strategic Investment Round

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Virtue Poker, a project backed by the blockchain mogul ConsenSys, has completed a strategic investment round of $5 million.

Strategic Investment Ahead of Mainnet Launch

The news comes ahead of the mainnet launch, which is scheduled to happen in May 2021.

Virtue Poker is the only blockchain-based company that’s received an official license from the Malta Gaming Authority, Virtue Poker has closed a $5 million strategic investment round led by notable investors ConsenSys, DFG Group, Pantera Capital, and Jez San from FunFair.

In a press release shared with CryptoPotato, the project’s CEO, Ryan Gittleson, said:

“After years of consultation, in-person meetings, and effort, Virtue Poker can proudly say we are the only licensed blockchain-based poker application in the market.”

The project tackles some of the pressing issues that are currently riddling major poker platforms by leveraging the capabilities of distributed ledger technology.


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“Blockchain technology provides modern and secure payment infrastructure that provides global accessibility to consumers, unlike our competitors.

By working with regulators to become a licensed online gambling company, Virtue Poker now has the legitimacy to crossover and compete for customers from legacy providers to bring blockchain-based wagering mainstream.”

The Virtue Poker team, as well as the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), worked together for more than two years in establishing a regulatory framework that’s suitable for blockchain-based gambling applications. The company is now allowed to operate legally and compete in most global markets to deliver the promise of fair pair playing, as well as transparency to mainstream adoption.

What’s Next?

Next in the pipeline for Virtue Poker is the release of the mainnet, which is scheduled for May 2021. Phil Ivey, the legendary player and member of the Poker Hall of Fame, who’s also a stakeholder in Virtue Poker, said:

“I’ve been working with the Virtue Poker Team for over 3 years,” says Ivey. “Their innovative blockchain platform can be a major part of poker’s future.”

The project is among the first ones to be incubated by ConsenSys – it was founded not much after the debut of Ethereum.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/consensys-backed-virtue-poker-closes-5-million-strategic-investment-round/

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Litecoin, Dogecoin, Chiliz Price Analysis: 12 April

Republished by Plato

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Funding rates for many major altcoins were quite high, prompting that a shakeout to reset funding could occur sometime soon. On the spot trading side, Litecoin and Dogecoin saw heavy demand in the past few days as they flipped crucial levels of resistance to support. Chiliz continued to slide down the charts.

Litecoin [LTC]

Litecoin, Dogecoin, Chiliz Price Analysis: 12 April

Source: LTC/USD on TradingView

On the hourly chart, LTC formed a rising wedge pattern (white) and dipped from $228 to $217 before resuming its move upwards. The $220 area of demand lived up to its name, and the $230 and $244 levels have been flipped to support.

LTC was trading at $256 at the time of writing. The $270 and $287 are levels of overhead resistance.

While the Awesome Oscillator was forced to retreat to the zero lines, on longer timeframes, momentum was strongly bullish.

Dogecoin [DOGE]

Litecoin, Dogecoin, Chiliz Price Analysis: 12 April

Source: DOGE/USDT on TradingView

Dogecoin flipped the $0.062 level from resistance to support a few days ago and has seen strong buying volume since. The RSI reached into overbought territory and pulled back to 66 as DOGE also saw a pullback from $0.075 to test the $0.0716 retracement level.

A deeper retracement to $0.066 is also possible. After this correction, DOGE would likely begin another move toward $0.08, and some extension levels are plotted in gray.

Dropping beneath the 50% retracement level at $0.062 will see DOGE descend toward $0.05 once more.

Chiliz [CHZ]

Litecoin, Dogecoin, Chiliz Price Analysis: 12 April

Source: CHZ/USDT on TradingView

Chiliz was in a steady downtrend since reaching highs at $0.94. CHZ has support at $0.47 and $0.42, and a further drop could see demand step in at $0.37. However, there was no sign that CHZ was ready to begin recovery toward $0.9 again.

The A/D line showed strong, steady selling pressure on CHZ which has forced the coin to trend lower down the charts in recent weeks. It appeared to be only a matter of time before CHZ broke beneath the $0.4 mark.


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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://ambcrypto.com/litecoin-dogecoin-chiliz-price-analysis-12-april

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