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XRP Lawsuit update: Is the SEC dodging the issue with its latest response

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Back in December, the Securities and Exchange Commission sued Ripple Labs, its founder and executive chairman Chris Larsen, and CEO Brad Garlinghouse, accusing the company of raising $1.3 billion via the sale of unregistered securities. The crux of the SEC’s complaint is that XRP is not a currency, but a security, and therefore subject to strict securities laws.

In what is the latest development in the same, the SEC has filed a response to the Defendants’ letters which cited a public statement made by Commissioners Peirce and Roisman. In the aforementioned response, the SEC put forward a few reasons in its attempt to highlight Ripple’s (otherwise) “unlawful conduct.”

According to the SEC, it was established by statute as a Commission of five commissioners, with each Commissioner appointed by the President under certain parameters. Ergo, the concerned statement is not a statement of the SEC itself or any sort of binding authority on this Court, the agency argued.

“Defendants’ arguments are tantamount to arguing that they cannot be found liable for violating a statute on the grounds of certain public statements by legislators who disagree with the statute.”

Here, it’s worth pointing out that the aforementioned statements concerned the SEC’s inability to clarify crypto-regulations across the board, something the defendants themselves have highlighted via their Fair Notice defense.

The SEC went on to argue,

“Defendants ignore that the Second Circuit long ago held that even the full SEC may not waive the requirements of an act of Congress by supposedly “acquiesc[ing]” to illegal conduct.”

According to the agency, this is the reason why no defendants have been able to cite, “even one case in the 88 years of securities laws holding that the SEC may repeal Section 5’s registration requirement by a supposed failure to issue a particular kind of regulation or to bring a lawsuit sooner.”  It added,

“This baseless argument should be reject.”

What’s more, it’s also worth pointing out that the agency took issue with the contention that there is a significant lack of clarity around the application of securities laws (including the Howey Test), with the response arguing that there is “all the notice that is constitutionally required.”

Ripple Labs and the individual defendants’ arguments, the letter went on to conclude, are based on “an inaccurate legal theory,” with the same stating,

“Defendants’ arguments based on the Statement ignore that the SEC itself—through a vote of the five Commissioners—and other SEC Commissioners and officials have repeatedly warned those who sell digital assets to the public of the need to comply with the federal securities laws.”

Needless to say, the SEC’s response is quite contrary to what the individual defendants had argued, with the latter in the filings contending that the aforementioned statement supported their motion to dismiss “for failure to adequately plead that they allegedly aided and abetted Ripple’s offers or sales of unregistered securities.”

This contention, in fact, is the crux of the defendants’ entire Fair Notice defense, a defense that according to Attorney Hogan, cannot be understated.

“If the Fair Notice defense survives and Ripple wins, the SEC is going to have an uphill battle winning any other lawsuit they bring.”

In fact, Hogan was one of the many to react to the SEC’s response to the defendants citing Commissioner Peirce and Roisman’s statements.

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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/xrp-lawsuit-update-is-the-sec-dodging-the-issue-with-its-latest-response

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“Bad For Bitcoin”: Congressman Warren Davidson Blasts Last-Minute Crypto Tax Insertion In Infrastructure Bill

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Biden's Tax Plan Could be Bullish for Ethereum but Bearish for Bitcoin

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As the U.S. Senate plans to hold a popular vote on the proposed infrastructure bill under which a last-minute cryptocurrency tax law was introduced, some believe that the whole bill is ill-fitted due to its vagueness and could prove colossal to the industry and by large, the U.S. economy.

Privacy Concerns

The law, which seeks to subject players in the crypto space to the same regulatory rules placed on various securities such as stocks has disgruntled some industry players as well as legislators who feel that its language is detrimental to the crypto industry. In essence, the government aims at individuals and institutions not only reporting on gains and losses but also any activity associated with crypto, such as the sale of mining equipment.

Congressman Warren Davidson who coined the cryptocurrency language in the proposed infrastructure bill as “the big bank protection act” particularly believes that if passed, it could spell adverse problems on a big chunk of crypto-related activities that might not even need to be taxed. 

The congressman who is an ardent supporter of bitcoin speaking to Bitcoin magazine added that he was not a fan of governments spying on virtually all individual activities with one’s money, especially using the 16th amendment.

“The government just seeks to know too much about you. It really is not the government’s business as to whether you got paid or you ended up paying somebody, did you buy or sell something, gain or lose money – this extends that logic way beyond just collecting taxes, it collects all kinds of information.”  

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Sloppy Language

Davidson further criticized the language in the 16th amendment now inserted to serve in taxing crypto-related activities, terming it as sloppy, dangerous, and must have been advanced by people who were ignorant about the cryptocurrency industry or by people intending to only destroy it.

“Either this language was skilfully crafted to completely new crypto in America or it was willfully ignorant, I mean you would have to work hard to be that ignorant about how much collateral damage this kind of sloppy language would cause ” he added.

He called on Bitcoiners to raise their voices to their senators on the colossal harm the proposed bill could cause to them, and for the country as it threatened not only financial stability but also innovation.

Jerry Brito, the executive director of Coincentre had also raised alarm over the proposed infrastructure bill seeing that it has a provision that could be very bad for crypto, forcing non-custodial actors including miners to comply with IRS tax reporting obligations. He echoed Davidson’s concerns over the broadness in wording which potentially covers miners and DEXs. 

He was however relieved at the fact that arguably miners and DEXs did not have “customers” as defined in the tax code. He posited that despite the last-minute addition to a must-pass bill, he and other stakeholders were working around the clock to make sure that the bill was not passed in its current form ahead of Wednesday’s vote.

Portman spokesperson however sought to clarify the language on crypto in the infrastructure bill stating that the language did not redefine digital assets or cryptocurrency as security for tax purposes.

“It simply clarifies that any person or entity acting as a broker by facilitating trades for clients and receiving cash must comply with a standard information reporting obligation.” he said.

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Source: https://zycrypto.com/bad-for-bitcoin-congressman-warren-davidson-blasts-last-minute-crypto-tax-insertion-in-infrastructure-bill/

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Ethereum: Are you wrong to expect ‘changes’ from London

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Ethereum is days away from one of the most important system upgrades since its inception. The London hard fork, the implementation of EIP-1559, is expected to completely change the monetary and economic model of Ether and its network.

These changes are expected to take place after the commencement of the hard fork on 4 August. However, there have been other changes too, each of which has transpired over time for the altcoin.

The issue of transaction fees

One of the most discussed changes expected out of EIP-1559 is that ETH’s transaction fees will become relatively stable. Any entity wanting to conduct a transaction on the Ethereum network is required to pay a “gas fee.” The same is to be paid in Ether, to miners, to process these transactions. During the 2020-2021 bull run, these fees skyrocketed.

Source: Ycharts

In fact, according to the attached chart, the transaction fee was as high as $71 at one point. However, that aspect might end up being tackled before the hard fork itself.

Over the past few weeks, the gas fees for ETH transactions have drastically dropped on the charts. Now, many have suggested that this was due to the bearish market.

Source: Spencer Noon

However, a contradictory argument is that DeFi applications are still rampant. UNI and AAVE registered strong on-chain performances over the past few weeks, and major functionality within these assets rely on the utility of Ether. For both June and July, the Ethereum network’s fees were already under the yearly average. Such a healthy fee market allows for a stronger security budget for Ethereum.

Investment and trading are not the only ways to profit from Ethereum anymore

ETH held on Exchanges

Source: Glassnode

A common bullish argument for Ethereum in 2020-2021 was the fact that it registered massive exchange outflows. Here, the inference was that hodlers were taking the asset out of centralized platforms and simply holding their allocation. It might have been true in late 2019 and early 2020, but right now, the playing field has evolved.

According to data, exchange outflows have definitely increased but the key point remains that more and more Ethereum is flowing into smart contracts. Further, ETH users are pursuing other opportunities to earn interest and yields.

The rise of yield farming and interest lending platforms has opened new avenues for ETH users. The reason being that they are able to earn capital without depending too much on a bullish or bearish cycle.

Changes are coming but, “change” is already here

The industry is evolving at a break-neck speed and Ethereum is gunning towards its massive upgrade. And yet, users should not be expecting ground-breaking changes. In fact, those who are might as well be ‘wrong’ to some extent.

Over the past few weeks, Ethereum has already been incorporating changes that may define its functionality and usage going forward.

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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/ethereum-are-you-wrong-to-expect-changes-from-london

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Bitcoin Cash, Cosmos, VeChain Price Analysis: 01 August

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With Bitcoin soaring up to $42,000 today, other altcoins pumped too. BCH was preparing to test its immediate resistance, ATOM hiked by 8% overnight, and VET flashed signs of an uptrend. 

Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash, Cosmos and VeChain Price Analysis: August 1

BCH/USD, TradingView

Bitcoin Cash was trading at $554 on the back of a 2.1% gain over the last 24 hours. From the 4-hour chart, BCH depicted an upward movement towards its immediate resistance of $566. On failing to test the same, the prices could land near the $544 mark and then subsequently rest on $528. 

The Relative Strength Index despite noting a slight fall in buying pressure stayed well within the bullish territory. The green signal bars on the Awesome Oscillator depicted the presence of the bulls in the market.

Conversely, however, the MACD flashed red bars on the histogram at press time after a bearish crossover yesterday, although it was declining in size marking a reversal of the bearish sentiment on the indicator. 

Cosmos (ATOM)

Bitcoin Cash, Cosmos and VeChain Price Analysis: August 1

ATOM/USD, TradingView

ATOM displayed a considerable hike of almost 8% within a day. It alt was priced at $12.88 at press time. If it continued moving on the upside, the token might cross the immediate price ceiling of $12.96. 

If ATOM reaches the $12.96 mark over the upcoming trading sessions, it could expect strong resistance at $13.60. If the coin dips below its current price level, the support region lies at $12.00 and then eventually at $11.53. 

Overall technical outlook of ATOM remained quite bullish with the Relative Strength Index spotted above 60 despite a minor fall. Awesome Oscillator showed amplified green signals bars validating the same. 

Bollinger Bands widened suggesting chances of market volatility as prices kept touching the upper band. 

VeChain (VET)

Bitcoin Cash, Cosmos and VeChain Price Analysis: August 1

VET/USD, TradingView

VET had seen a period of consolidation a few days back, however, it rebounded from that and registered steady gains over the last few days. VET’s price at press time stood at $0.0913 as it recorded a 5.2% gain overnight. 

The technical analysis chart showed that VET witnessed a bullish trade, with the Relative Strength Index touching the overbought zone just 24 hours ago. At press time, however, the indicator fell below the overbought territory.

Chaikin Money Flow, over the last few days, registered increased capital inflows and was pictured in the bullish zone despite the minor fall in capital inflows at press time. 

Bollinger Bands opened up in anticipation of increased market volatility. With prices touching the upper band, the bulls might push the prices higher. The immediate resistance for VET lay at $0.93, failing to test that, the support region awaited at $0.0870 and then at $0.801.

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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/bitcoin-cash-cosmos-vechain-price-analysis-1-august

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