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Hester Peirce Interview: ‘The Crypto Community Has Helped the SEC’

The crypto community and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have not always seen eye to eye, but there is one relationship that is likely to stand the test of time. SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, widely known as Crypto Mom, has been an ally to investors and entrepreneurs alike in the name of innovation […]

The post Hester Peirce Interview: ‘The Crypto Community Has Helped the SEC’ appeared first on BeInCrypto.

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The crypto community and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have not always seen eye to eye, but there is one relationship that is likely to stand the test of time.

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, widely known as Crypto Mom, has been an ally to investors and entrepreneurs alike in the name of innovation and liberty.

Commissioner Peirce took some time to speak with BeInCrypto about the landmine that is the crypto regulatory landscape. She delves deep into the recent modernization of the infamous accredited investor definition, which has piqued the interest of cryptocurrency investors.

But the conversation didn’t stop there. Crypto Mom fielded questions ranging from decentralized finance (DeFi) to the heated race for a central bank digital currency (CBDC), all of which will unfold in a two-part series starting with this article.

Happy Steps

Just last week, the securities regulator published a modernized definition of the accredited investor, shifting the focus from a person’s wealth to their investment acumen. Commissioner Peirce described the move as “a happy step forward,” explaining what she hopes to see happen from the change,

What we also did is to say if there are certain credentials you think make sense to count as an accredited investor, come and tell us about it. Part of what I hope is that we are recognizing the commitment it signals when people have, for example, taken courses on investing. If you show that kind of an interest, why shouldn’t you be allowed to invest in what you want and where? I’m hoping we see more of an opening from the open door we created with the rule making. It remains to be seen if people come in and do that.

Commissioner Peirce looks at the accredited investor idea through a broad liberty lens, saying,

We trust people in this country. One of the tenets of our country is that we trust you to make decisions for yourself. As a nation, we generally let you do what you want…and that is the basis for how we made a lot of progress. Letting people make their own decisions. That’s kind of a fundamental thing. Then a regulator comes in and says, ‘No, you can’t do something.’ We must have a good reason for saying no. When there’s liberty on one side and regulation on the other, we should make sure we have a good reason for saying no.

Time for Change

The crypto community knows all too well that the SEC has no problem saying no. It’s been three years since Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss submitted their first Bitcoin ETF application. There have been multiple submissions from the industry since, but a BTC ETF has yet to see the light of day.

One example is how we handled exchange traded products based on bitcoin. I think the approach we’ve taken has a tinge of merit regulation to it. But it’s certainly not restricted to crypto. We put out a rule proposal recently that would have included a merit-based approach for a particular kind of product unrelated to crypto. We do sometimes do that. It’s really tempting when you’re sitting in a regulator seat and seeing a lot of things going on, seeing people make decisions to say, ‘Wow, I would not advise that for someone’s portfolio.’ That isn’t our role. We don’t know people’s entire circumstances. And I think we have to make sure what we’re doing is getting good information to people so that they can make decisions based on circumstances they know better themselves…We also don’t know people’s risk tolerances. I think we have to have more humility.

Indeed, Commissioner Peirce warned that that the “accredited investor concept has caused the Commission to don a merit regulator’s cap,” a phenomenon that has seemingly spilled over into the cryptocurrency space.

In fact, she touted the crypto community’s persistence in its pursuit of liberty and for holding regulators accountable,

Crypto is interesting in this regard. People that would not otherwise have paid attention to an accredited investor definition paid a little more attention to it. I certainly appreciate the sentiment among a lot of people engaged in crypto asking questions about, ‘Why shouldn’t I be allowed to do this?’ It’s a healthy conversation to have, and I think the crypto community has helped us to have that conversation. It has forced us to have that conversation in a way that more refined and demure investors wouldn’t have pushed as much.

BitcoinBitcoin

What Worries Her

That’s not to say, however, that there aren’t characteristics of crypto and investing in general that keep her up at night,

I worry about people getting taken advantage of and fraud. And that is certainly a part of my job that can be pretty stressful. It makes me sad when I see people doing terrible things to each other. But one message that is important to remember as a regulator is that no matter how good a regulation is, people are people and some people are going to do things that are bad. You as an investor or purchaser of crypto need to go in with your eyes wide open. The onus is on you. Be skeptical. When something looks too good to be true, you have to run in the other direction. You can’t assume that you have just found the best investment of all time that somehow defies all the parameters of investing and you’re going to get rich in a week.

Overall, moving the industry forward will require walking a tightrope of freedom and responsibility,

The SEC has guardrails in place. But ultimately, you’ve got to be alert. We would be in so much of a better place if people stopped assuming someone else has done their homework for them on something and started to ask really good questions before they spend their money somewhere.

Stay tuned for Part II of BIC’s interview with Commissioner Peirce, aka Crypto Mom, in which we discussed DeFi, central bank digital currencies, and more, coming soon.

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/sec-hester-peirce-interview-the-crypto-community-has-helped-us/

Blockchain

Norwegian Oil Mogul Sets Up $58 Million Entity to Buy Bitcoin

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The institutional bitcoin frenzy continues to spread like an epidemic. After several United States mega corporations added the digital currency to their balance sheet, the floodgates have been opened to major institutions across the world. Norwegian holding company Aker ASA said today that it will establish a new unit dedicated to bitcoin investment and the digital asset’s underlying technology.

Miss Out? “No Way”!

Asian smartphone giants, Meitu yesterday joined the league of institutional bitcoin adopters, as reported by CryptoPotato. With the future of modern-day finance hanging in the balance, companies investing reserve cash in bitcoin is widely becoming a norm rather than an exception. The latest to embrace bitcoin is Norwegian holdings, Aker ASA. It made the announcement in a press release this morning.

Aker ASA is going a step beyond investing in the leading digital currency. It will set up a company devoted to investing in bitcoin and blockchain technology. The new company called “Setee AS” will actively participate in the cryptocurrency space by collaborating with other industry players. It will also invest in other companies with healthy prospects in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.

The company which majors in offshore fishing, construction, and engineering said it would convert all its liquid assets to bitcoin. The new dedicated bitcoin unit will have a capital of around 500 million Norwegian crowns (approximately $58.6 million).

.. With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

According to Aker, the operation of the new entity will span beyond bitcoin investment. The unit is expected to leverage the capabilities of its parent organization to pursue innovations in cybersecurity, financial transactions, and emissions-free verification operations. As part of the latter, the company will research and work on alternative ways to verify bitcoin transactions in a more environmentally friendly manner.

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To set the ball rolling, Setee is collaborating with a Canadian global leader in Bitcoin and blockchain technologies, Blockstream. President and CEO of Aker ASA, Øyvind Eriksen, spoke on the launch of Setee and its first partnership.

“With the launch of Seetee, the Aker Group makes another move into software and fintech. We are very excited about the industrial opportunities that will be unlocked by Bitcoin and blockchain technology, and want to contribute forcefully to that effort. These technologies have the potential to reduce frictions in our day to day lives, enhance the security of our digitally driven economies, and unlock new business models for innovation. We look forward to addressing these and other applications together with Blockstream and other partners”

Aker AS is owned by Norwegian billionaire businessman Kjell Inge Rokke. Rokke shared a letter concerning the latest development to the company’s stakeholders. In the letter, he wrote:

First, we will use bit­coin as our trea­sury as­set and join the com­mu­ni­ty. In Bit­coin speak, we will be hodlers. We will be dif­fer­ent, but ad­di­tive.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/norwegian-oil-mogul-sets-up-58-million-entity-to-buy-bitcoin/

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Blockchain

Another One: Galaxy Digital and CI GAM to Launch a Bitcoin ETF in Canada Tomorrow

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Yet another Bitcoin ETF is to reach the markets in Canada as the country’s securities regulator has issued “a receipt for the final prospectus” for CI Global Asset Management’s application. Dubbed CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF (BTCX), it’s expected to launch on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) on March 9th, and Mike Novogratz’ Galaxy Digital Capital Management will act as the sub-advisor. 

  • Founded in 1965, CI Global Asset Management is an asset manager with over $180 billion in AUM as of January 2021. The firm announced the nod of approval received from Canada’s securities regulator necessary to launch its own Bitcoin ETF earlier today. 
  • The statement described BTCX as a tool that could “provide investors with a convenient way to gain exposure to bitcoin through an institutional-quality fund platform.” It will invest directly in the primary cryptocurrency with its holdings priced using the Bloomberg Galaxy Bitcoin Index. 
  • CI GAM will serve as the manager of the ETF, while Galaxy Digital Capital Management, whose founder and CEO is the long-time BTC proponent, Mike Novogratz, will act as “the bitcoin sub-advisor.” Meaning, that GDAM will execute the BTC trading on behalf of the ETF 
  • “We believe the emerging digital asset class presents compelling growth and diversification opportunities. The CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF offers a simple and secure access point for traditional investors to gain exposure to bitcoin.” – commented Partner and Head of Asset Management at GDAM, Steve Kurz. 

  • Apart from BTCX, the two parties have also filed for launching the “first ETF in the world to invest directly in Ether” – CI Galaxy Ethereum ETF (ETHX). 
  • It’s worth noting that BTCX would not be Canada’s first Bitcoin ETF. CryptoPotato recently reported the first approval for the Purpose Bitcoin ETF, which enjoyed a highly-positive start, accumulating more than $400 million in a few weeks. 
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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/another-one-galaxy-digital-and-ci-gam-to-launch-a-bitcoin-etf-in-canada-tomorrow/

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Blockchain

Ethereum, Monero, FTX Token Price Analysis: 08 March

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Ethereum recaptured a key resistance mark at $1,687, a level that had not been breached since the broader market pullback in late-February. Monero lacked the trading volumes and buying intensity to flip the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level. Lastly, FTX Token eyed a rise above its overhead resistance but the indicators presented the chances of a short-term reversal.

Ethereum [ETH]

Source: ETH/USD, TradingView

Ethereum retook the $1,680 level from the bears thanks to a surge of 6% in the last 24 hours. Gains in the last eight days amounted to over 30% and underscored ETH’s bounce back from the $1,300 level. The On Balance Volume showed strong buying at two key support levels – one at the $1,300 mark and the other at $1,437 as the price headed northbound on the charts. However, the OBV made steady highs over the past few sessions and even dipped at the time of writing.

The RSI pointed lower from just below the overbought zone and showed weakening bullish strength in the market. This reinforced the idea that a hike in trading volumes could be needed before steering clear of the next test at $1,834.9 and especially if the uptrend were to sustain itself.  In the event of a pullback, the newly flipped resistance at $1,687.65 could act as a crucial line of support.

Monero [XMR]

Source: XMR/USD, TradingView

Low trading volumes and short-bodied candlesticks on Monero’s 4-hour chart showed a dearth of interest in the market but the bulls still held on to the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement level. A breakout above the 38.2% level could depend on stronger cues from the broader market, which would spur buying in the Monero market as well.

The ADX pointed lower and towards the 10-mark, showing a lack of a strong trend. The flow of capital towards the cryptocurrency created some optimism, but the price remained within its channel even as the CMF rose sharply above the half-way mark. The index reversed direction and pointed towards the half-line at the time of writing.

FTX Token [FTT]

Source: FTT/USD, TradingView

The Bollinger Bands on FTX Token expanded at press time and showed rising volatility as the price looked to flip $31.49 resistance. The presence of volatility allowed for large price swings and a break above the upper ceiling looked imminent over the coming sessions. Even though the Stochastic RSI traded in the overbought region, it pointed upwards after retesting the upper line and indicated a delayed stay in its current region.

However, there was also a possibility of a short-term pullback due to saturation in the market. A fall below the press time support level would highlight the next line of defense at $24.67.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/ethereum-monero-ftx-token-price-analysis-08-march

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