Crypto Markets Showing Signs of Recovery, Bitcoin Hovers About $8,200


Monday, Sept. 30 — Bitcoin (BTC), together with most altcoins, has been trading relatively flat in the last 72 hours, but the overall crypto market seems to be ready to turn around.

Cryptocurrency market daily overview. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin has not yet been able to recover from last Tuesday’s double-digit losses, but the coin is showing signs that a recovery phase might be on the horizon.

While billionaire technology investor Mark Cuban said that he would be happier owning bananas than Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency has been trading around the $8,000 price mark for most of the day. Since hitting an intraday low of $7,835, BTC has been slowly crawling upwards to its current price point of $8,258, up by 2.62% in the last 24 hours.

Cuban claims that Bitcoin is too complicated for the average person, and that the world’s best-known cryptocurrency is actually really like gold:

“I say it’s like gold. Gold is a religion: people who are really into gold — they’ll tell you that there’s a bad depression and things go to hell in a handbasket, if you own gold then you’ll be okay. No, you won’t! You carry around a gold bar — someone’s gonna hit your ass, knock you out and steal your gold bar and it’s gonna happen again and again and again. I’d rather have bananas, I can eat bananas. Crypto… Not so much.”

Bitcoin seven-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Ether (ETH) has been showing an impressive gain of nearly 5% on the day. The altcoin hit its intraday low in sync with BTC and has since found its way to $177 per coin at publishing time.

Ether seven-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Ripple’s XRP is showing a gain of almost 7% over the past 24 hours and is trading at about $0.256 at press time. Following Monday’s trend in the cryptocurrency markets, XRP might be on its way to recover from its weekly loss of 12%.

XRP’s seven-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Altcoins showing much-needed recovery

Altcoins have been reeling since Tuesday’s double-digit losses, but seemingly entered another consolidation phase over the past three days. However, Monday’s prices are showing green candlesticks across the board.

According to data from Coin360, the top 20 coins are all reporting gains, with Tron (TRX) taking the lead with an increase of more than 7% on the day. Bitcoin SV (BSV) is also showing gains of about 6% at publishing time.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap increased from $212 billion to $215 billion, with Bitcoin making up 68.4% of the total.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here





Source Cointelegraph

Bitcoin Price Bounces Back to $8.4K but Bearish Bias Remains


Bitcoin (BTC) price has had a volatile start to the week. Asia kicked off the trading week with a 4% selloff that brought Bitcoin price from $8,050 to $7,700. The ball was then passed to the Europeans who started a rally which continued through to the New York trading session. By the end of the day, Bitcoin had rallied 8% from the bottom to highs of $8,325, which was near a 3.5% gain for the day. 

Altcoins have also been moving higher on the same basis, with Ethereum and XRP being notable gainers of 6% and 9% respectively. 

The crypto market has largely been following the risk-on price action today, with traditional markets moving higher and commodities moving lower. We will take a closer look at the key timeframes to try and examine if Bitcoin is nearing a bottom.  

Daily Crypto Market Performance

Daily Crypto Market Performance. Source. Coin360.com

Weekly Bitcoin price chart

BTC/USD Weekly Chart

BTC/USD Weekly Chart. Source: TradingView.com

Bitcoin closed the week decisively bearish, breaking and closing below the 20-week moving average (WMA) for the first time since breaking earlier in March. This was of particular note given that this is something that did not occur in 2016/2017 and is typically seen as being a very bearish indicator on the weekly chart. 

Despite this, Bitcoin has returned towards the weekly support at $7,600 and is in the proximity of the 61.8% retracement of the 2019 run-up. This is also a key area for Bitcoin and should act as an intermediate support. At the very least it is an ‘auto-buy’ zone for many investors.

It remains to be seen what the real market sentiment is. Bears will see the 20 WMA as lost, and the descending triangle breakdown could be interpreted as a sell the rally scenario. Meanwhile, the bulls will see the retracement into support as being a buy the dip opportunity, so it is unsurprising that Bitcoin is experiencing volatility. 

Daily Bitcoin price chart

BTC USD Daily Chart

BTC USD Daily Chart. Source: TradingView

A closer look at the daily chart reveals that today’s drive lower was bought up very swiftly demonstrating a swing failure pattern (SFP) which occurs when new lows are made but the candle closes higher than the open. This is typically a bullish indicator and once the daily closes and confirms this to be the case, it may see some continuation as a result.

Bitcoin has been stopped dead at the 200 daily moving average (DMA) which was lost last week and now acts as resistance. If the bulls can break this key level and find support it will go some way to confirming that the bulls are back in business. 

Despite the bullish start to the week, it’s important to note that the bulls must regain the 200-DMA quickly.

Looking at the order book can be of some use as it helps to determine if there is any pent up demand. It can be somewhat misleading as large traders are unlikely to ‘show their hand’, but generally speaking it is useful to see if there is growing demand versus supply. 

Combined Bitcoin Order book

Combined Bitcoin Order book. Source: data.bitcoinity.org

Looking at the books, there is clear buying interest at Coinbase, Bitstamp, and Kraken, all of which are notable fiat onramps. Market participants rarely get what they desire and with the narrative of many being that they are looking to buy the weekly support or the 61.8% retracement in the low $7,200s, it could be that the opportunity simply gets front run. Time will prove to be telling this week, with the initial objective for the bulls being to regain the 200-DMA.

BTC USD Daily Chart

BTC USD Daily Chart. Source: TradingView 

Bearish scenario

While Bitcoin is off to a good start to the week, there is still the possibility that the 61.8% retracement fails and sellers pile on in significant size. There is also some confluence at the 78.6% retracement at $5,400 which aligns with the descending triangle breakdown measured move and the next high volume node for 2019 which is also in the vicinity of the 200- WMA.

As it currently stands, many investors refuse to believe that these levels could be revisited and it would be seen as unprecedented in a Bitcoin bull market. With that said, it’s still worth bearing in mind.

4 Hour Chart

BTC USD Daily Chart

BTC USD Daily Chart. Source: TradingView 

The 4-hour chart illustrates that Bitcoin rebounded off lower lows into the 200-DMA and off the back of a bullish RSI divergence. A bullish divergence occurs when price makes lower lows but the oscillator makes higher lows. 

Today’s rebound is coupled with a low timeframe W-Bottom pattern, which nicely coincided with the 200-DMA resistance. If this is broken, the bulls will target a move higher towards $9,000 which will be a critical level for the bulls to break. 

The prior multi-month support in the $9,000s will be a tedious task for the bulls to overcome should they make it to those levels. A rejection would most likely set the tone for a move to retest the $8,000 level once more. 

Looking forward

Overall, the Bitcoin market is in a state of uncertainty. There is clearly buying interest in the low $7,000s, but the weekly timeframe illustrates a critical technical breakdown. It is likely that there will be significant volatility ahead given the situation. 

Bears will be looking to aggressively short bounces and bulls are appearing to be patiently waiting to buy the dip.  

If the bullish buying is to be exhausted and absorbed by the bears, there will likely be continued downside. As the block reward halving looms, miners might begin sweating as the higher cost of production could result in lower realizable marginal revenue. 

What is certain is that the next couple of weeks will be decisive for the remainder of the year and possibly longer.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.





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Early Arrival of Ethereum’s Istanbul Hard Fork Causes Testnet Split


Ethereum’s system-wide activation of the Istanbul hard fork has arrived two days early and caused a split of the Ropsten testnet.

Huge miner pushing the non-forked chain

On Sept. 30, the community manager of the Ethereum Foundation, Hudson Jameson, explained on Twitter that there are miners still relying on the old Ropsten testnet, while others are already mining on the new one.

Cointelegraph previously reported that Jameson said that the testnet launch of the hard fork was scheduled to take place at the beginning of October. He added:

“For anyone listening in who doesn’t know how this works, we pick a block number that we estimate to be around the 2nd of October. […] However, that might be one or two days behind or forward from that date based on how fast blocks are produced between now and then.”

However, blockchains are complex systems and their updates are difficult to predict precisely. Istanbul arrived two days earlier than expected, which was due to unusually fast block confirmation times, according to Jameson. 

Most of the miners on the Ropsten testnet network were unaware that Istanbul had arrived, which resulted in a split of the testnet between those mining on the newly upgraded chain and those continuing to mine on the old chain.

Team lead at the Ethereum Foundation Péter Szilágyi wrote on Twitter that “the Ropsten Ethereum testnet Istanbul forking is a bit unstable due to a huge miner pushing the non-forked chain.”

Jameson further pointed out that this is what testnets are for and that the Ropsten testnet will be unstable until “this all plays out.” It is unclear if this “hiccup” will have any effect on the Istanbul hard fork activation.

Ethereum blockchain almost full?

Cointelegraph previously reported that Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin fears the Ethereum blockchain is almost full, which could keep potential contributors from joining. He added:

“Scalability is a big bottleneck because the Ethereum blockchain is almost full. If you’re a bigger organization, the calculus is that if we join, it will not only be more full but we will be competing with everyone for transaction space. It’s already expensive and it will be even five times more expensive because of us.”





Source Cointelegraph

Are Trading Vehicles Dragging Crypto Into Maturity?


Just a decade ago, speculating on cryptocurrency prices meant figuring out a way to buy Bitcoin (BTC) and add it to your blockchain wallet. This was a feat that was worthy of bragging rights: In 2010, there were few exchanges, low liquidity and barely any infrastructure, meaning that crypto was less a financial instrument and more a digital novelty. 

Larger centralized exchanges unlocked the idea that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have relative value and made it possible to speculate on their value versus fiat currency. Since then, a slow proliferation of a variety of crypto derivatives has transpired. This has given traders many new ways to mobilize their capital in the young ecosystem.

The newness of cryptocurrency and its unique decentralized characteristics mean that new financial instruments and their terms are introduced gradually to the ecosystem, and with effects that are hard to predict. It’s actually an excellent experiment in how money markets mature and change when ideas considered old by the fiat market are initiated. 

There are many instruments for enterprise Bitcoin traders that now exist, raising important fundamental questions while giving us a glimpse of where the crypto market as a whole may end up.

Theoretical side to derivatives

A derivative is a financial instrument that can be used by traders to speculate in different ways on the underlying asset. It is literally “derived” from something else. In the case of Bitcoin — a scarce asset that can only be minted by mining blocks to support the blockchain — the notion that one can go long on Bitcoin without directly purchasing or mining has significant implications. 

Not only is much of Bitcoin’s value derived from scarcity due to its mining difficulty but to own BTC means you’d have control over its associated private key. If derivative traders are trading Bitcoin they don’t own, exposure is possible without buying physical BTC. In this case, is the fundamental value of blockchain being mortgaged for the promise of easier speculation?

However, some of the most mature market places, such as equity markets, maintain their integrity despite an enormous and more diverse derivatives market. In fact, the proliferation and maturity of derivatives may even be what’s holding back crypto from achieving the status and market capitalization it deserves. The CEO and founder of a BTC options and futures exchange, John Jansen, told Cointelegraph:

“In the past, traders have been afraid of the impact of incumbent markets launching BTC derivatives. While I can understand where the fear is coming from, I don’t agree with it. I truly believe in the benefits of derivatives for the entire ecosystem and that they are essential for institutional adoption. With liquidity on the rise, more ‘adoption doors’ are finally opening.”

What form does adoption take for derivatives?

There are many emerging cryptocurrency derivatives, some launched by well-known financial firms in the fiat money market and some new ones with new value-added blockchain elements. These come in many shapes and sizes and allow various strategies to be pursued in the crypto market. For example, the first derivative milestone for Bitcoin was the launch of futures contracts on the Chicago Board Options Exchange in late 2017. 

The XBT instrument, as well as the other futures offering from CME, are cash-settled contracts that use BTC prices from other sources. This means they’re effectively separate from the blockchain and Bitcoin itself, and so supply of BTC remains untouched regardless of demand for XBT futures.

Related: First Week of Bakkt: Slow Start Unlikely to Dampen Long-Term Prospects

Bakkt is a new exchange venture from Intercontinental Exchange — or, ICE — that recently launched to offer physically settled Bitcoin futures in traditional markets. What this means is that the first brick in the path to institutional investment in BTC has been laid. The pension funds and venture capital firms already investing in the underlying asset can hedge their positions — and instead of realizing gains or losses in cash, the result of their positions simply affects a Bitcoin balance. This means these are the first futures to stimulate the supply and demand equation inherent in Bitcoin’s price momentum.

Options are a newer type of instrument yet to be deployed by big exchanges like CME, but they’re planned for the first quarter of 2020, pending regulatory review. Seed CX has recently announced its intention to take it a step further, with physically settled swap contracts on BTC futures, adding leverage into the picture. 

This will give people who buy futures contracts a way to buy or sell them at specifically executed price points and on margin, expanding the ways in which individuals and institutions manage their capital when crypto is involved.

The future of decentralized derivatives

Half the battle for new derivatives and crypto instruments has been tied to figuring out how to loop in the traditional fiat economy, and it’s a testament to this struggle that it took Bakkt until 2019 to create the first derivative to link these two worlds. However, now that there are enough infrastructure and custody solutions available, as well as transparency about tax liability, institutions have begun dabbling in crypto in larger numbers. 

Related: 10 Global Enterprises Looking to Issue Their Own Cryptos

Soon, new derivative instruments allowing exchanges to settle in physical BTC will be available to the wider public using special products like exchange-traded notes (ETNs). The CEO of asset management firm Iconic Holding, Patrick Lowry, told Cointelegraph:

“An ETN will be the first genuine exchange traded product with crypto as the underlying that we will see in regulated marketplaces. It’s the perfect investment product to facilitate the adoption of crypto as an asset class with institutions as it tracks the performance of Bitcoin or another crypto one-to-one, provides superior liquidity relative to the exchange traded certificates available today, and provides many institutional managers an International Securities Identification Number (ISIN) so they may legally diversify their portfolio into crypto.”

A maturing market and a mysterious future

As liquidity due to derivatives increases, economists have estimated that crypto markets will be less volatile, providing a more enticing lure for funds that wish to expose their capital to inclusive growth strategies. 

At the end of the day, derivatives are meant to control risk as much as they’re good at encouraging speculation, and their comfortability and fast growth in crypto is a characteristic that undoubtedly resembles development. It’s easy to say that incumbent fiat ideas have changed crypto. 

Now, as new derivatives like the upcoming OKEx margin futures for Tether (USDT) encroach on similar instruments in the forex market, questions arise about how the small upstart market will affect the old, established one. If we know anything for certain, however, it’s that with crypto, we must learn as we go.





Cointelegraph News

Price Analysis 30/09: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC, EOS, BNB, BSV, XLM, LEO



Price Analysis 30/09: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC, EOS, BNB, BSV, XLM, LEO



Source Cointelegraph

Launch of Binance US Can Have Far-Reaching Effects on Crypto Market


From the outside looking in, the United States seems to present a host of amazing financial opportunities. However, when it comes to launching cryptocurrency exchanges or altcoin trading platforms, these possibilities start to dwindle and fade quite rapidly. 

In this regard, over the past few years, the U.S. regulatory landscape has seemed so hostile toward the crypto industry that a number of prominent exchange operators have preferred not to serve U.S. citizens at all — a case in point being Bancor, a decentralized liquidity network, that recently decided to block American citizens from using its website to convert its tokens.

Related: US a Crypto Exchange Scarecrow — What Needs to Change?

All of these negative developments have their roots traced back to America’s lack of clear regulations — especially when it comes to securities legislation. However, despite all these hurdles, Binance recently announced the launch of its U.S. trading desk, a decision that has been welcomed by many from within the global crypto community. Speaking on his company’s recent launch, CEO Changpeng Zhao (better known as CZ) was quoted as saying:

“The U.S. has always been a very important market; globally it’s one of the biggest markets for any business, including in cryptocurrency. We want to be fully compliant.”

With Binance finally making its long-awaited plunge into the U.S. market, the question that now begs an answer is: “Will other established ventures will now follow?” On the subject, Cointelegraph reached out to Dmitriy Berenzon, research partner at Zenith Ventures, a multistrategy venture fund for blockchain and cryptocurrency. 

Berenzon believes that Binance’s entry into the market will open new doors for other similar firms for the simple reason that the U.S. market is too large for any crypto exchange to ignore. Berenzon pointed out that almost 30% of the world’s spot Bitcoin volume takes place on U.S.-based exchanges, so it’s more of a question of which exchanges have the resources to meet the country’s regulatory requirements than anything else. He further added:

“Exchanges and crypto firms have left the U.S. primarily due to the lack of regulatory clarity. While regulators are taking it slow with consumer protection in mind, they are continuing to lay the groundwork with clearer rules and expectations. I think it’s a question of “when” rather than “if” around regulatory clarity for this new asset class, and it’s important for firms and exchanges to continue proactively engaging with regulators to expedite the process.”

Lastly, the launch of Binance US is currently restricted to only 12 states (including New York, Texas and Florida) and it seems that it may take some time for the company to expand its operations geographically. However, just the initial launch in itself should provide other exchanges with the impetus needed to enter or re-enter the U.S. crypto market.

Are more exchanges set to enter American soil?

Even though America’s regulatory regime currently treats crypto assets more like commodities rather than currencies, the country’s finance market is too important to be ignored in the long run. 

Christophe de Courson, CEO of Olymp Capital, an asset management fund dedicated to blockchain and crypto, told Cointelegraph that even though a lot of exchanges have previously left (or encounter difficulties) with U.S. regulators — with many of them having to delist their digital offerings in the past — in the end, everyone realizes the immensity of what the U.S. has to offer, and thus they will all look to, in one way or another, re-enter the market in a compliant way.  

In the past CZ has been quite reluctant to subject his company to U.S. regulations, so if he has had a change of heart, it will most likely prompt a number of other operators to reconsider their positions. In this regard, Daniel P. Simon, the CEO and co-founder of Vested, an integrated communications firm, pointed out:

“Crypto may be a global phenomenon but no country can compete with the liquidity and demand from the U.S. market. There’s no doubt investors are keen to get into this space, but the digital currency industry still has a lot of growing up to do before these folks feel comfortable jumping in.”

Moreover, Marc Bhargava, President of Tagomi — a digital asset prime brokerage, which is integrated with nine different crypto exchanges and several different over-the-counter (OTC) desks in the U.S. and abroad — pointed out that large funds, index products, venture capitalists and family offices simply can’t afford not to participate in U.S. markets, especially if they want to be viewed as global players. Bhargava further told Cointelegraph:

“I think the key is to map out a regulatory strategy early and plan for significant spend there in terms of hiring the right people and for the various applications and filings. One thing that would make the US more regulatory friendly would be an increased standardization of rules and regulations across the different states.”

In order for other exchanges and trading platforms to make their way back into the U.S. market, they will have to emulate Binance’s way of doing things — which is basically registering as a money services business with the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and comply with all of the state laws in which the proposed venture will be operational. 

The core difficulty, however, for exchange operators that will continue to persist is how they will distinguish between cryptocurrencies or tokens that are securities under existing laws as opposed to those that are not. On the subject, Ken Witt and Marc Staines of Kutak Rock — a U.S. law firm — told Cointelegraph:

“Securities can’t be traded unless the exchange is registered with the SEC and FINRA as a securities exchange.  Although there has been some progress, because of the inaction of Congress and the SEC, U.S. law on this point is still based on a 1946 Supreme Court Case — SEC v. W. J. Howey Co.”

Has the U.S. regulatory landscape become more welcoming for crypto?

Another thing important to determine in this case is whether the U.S. government has made any significant changes to its existing legal framework surrounding cryptocurrencies. To the average person, the position of U.S. regulatory agencies seems to have stayed the same. 

However, one aspect that has definitely changed over time is the way in which exchanges are beginning to understand which cryptocurrencies they are able to trade under certain specific conditions.

Related: A Clear Path for Ethereum

To understand the situation, Cointelegraph approached Dixon Gardner, an attorney at Madison Law APC. He pointed out that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) now requires private issuers of digital currencies to register their offerings as securities unless the issuer agrees to repurchase the assets at less than their original issuance price to avoid any possibility of a buyer realizing gains on his/her purchase. Gardner further added:

“See the SEC No Action Letter to Turnkey Jet, Inc. dated April 3, 2019. This decision will promote private issuers to issue a digital currency that functions more like money with a set value than a commodity and/or a security. This will support demand for existing digital currency (i.e. Bitcoin, EOS, Ethereum, Litecoin).”

Similarly, the SEC’s approval of Blockstack and Props under Regulation A+, as well as FinCEN’s guidance on crypto regulations, has set important precedents for token-based projects fundraising or operating in the U.S. However, in the long run, the U.S. government will have to create a conducive ecosystem at the federal level that offers clear guidance, as well as preempts all 50 states from creating a regulatory tower of babel, as Witt told Cointelegraph:

“The Token Taxonomy Act that has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives may be a good start, but it wont see any action in the near-to-mid term, now that Congress is consumed with impeachment”. 

Looking ahead

While the U.S. government and various other agencies have been moving forward to implement necessary rules and regulations to govern the crypto industry, it is also important to note that many pertinent changes have been slow to come by. 

On the subject, Mitesh Shah, CEO of Omnia Markets, told Cointelegraph that despite some early negative indications of clamping down on the industry, local authorities have yet to take any draconian steps, such as outright banning cryptocurrencies. Essentially, Shah believes that the go-slow, thoughtful approach of the SEC has been very positive for the industry — a sentiment that might not be shared by many from within the global crypto community. 

Additionally, there are still many people that believe that as time goes on, the SEC’s rules and regulations combined with the increase in protective protocols will allow for the industry to continue to grow and become a safe place for investments and fundraisers.





Source Cointelegraph

BitPay Undergoes Security and Confidentiality Certification Audit


Major cryptocurrency payment services provider BitPay has undergone a security and confidentiality compliance review, the Service Organization Control 2 (SOC 2).

Per a Sept. 30 press release, business advisory company Aprio confirmed BitPay’s compliance with the SOC 2, a tech audit and a requirement for technology companies that assures that customers’ personal data is kept secure and confidential.

Passing an SOC 2 review means that the firm has met criteria set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in regard to confidentiality, security, privacy, processing integrity and availability. Commenting on the evaluation, Dan Schroeder, partner-in-charge of information assurance services at Aprio, said:

“After thorough review, we have confirmed the design and application of BitPay’s payment system meets the standards set forth in SOC 2 for protecting customer data. SOC 2 reporting is an industry best practice standard that evaluates a company’s controls relative to matters such as securing transactional and other sensitive customer data.”

In mid-August, BitPay introduced new security measures on its platform, where users are required to undergo a one-time verification process that requires the input of data such as their Social Security number or passport number, as well as a photo ID. The measures were met with some skepticism, given the resistance that many in the cryptocurrency community have toward seeing their personal data stored in centralized troves.

SOC 2-compliant crypto and blockchain projects

In January,  cryptocurrency exchange Gemini announced that it had completed an SOC 2 Type 1 certification.

In April, blockchain security firm BitGo, which last year gained an SOC 2 Type 1 certification from Deloitte, upped its procedures to conform to the Type 2 requirements of the same standard.

Last month, about 15 global jurisdictions, including the G7 countries, announced that they will reportedly develop a system for tracking crypto transactions to prevent illicit uses of cryptocurrencies by collecting and distributing personal data on individuals.





Cointelegraph News

Bittrex Announces New Trading Platform Based in Liechtenstein


Cryptocurrency trading platform Bittrex has announced Bittrex Global, a new platform headquartered in Liechtenstein.

Per a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Sept. 30, Bittrex is expecting to roll out Bittrex Global at the end of October in the city of Vaduz, Liechtenstein. A fundamental reason for Bittrex’s choice to set up a new trading platform in Liechtenstein is the country’s regulatory clarity toward digital currencies and blockchain technology.

New products in accordance with European Union law

Bittrex Global is planning to develop new features and products, including customer reward programs, credit card interoperability, private token sales under EU law and a mobile app for trading cryptocurrencies. Following its launch, Bittrex Global also intends to register under the Transaction Systems Based on the Trustworthy Technologies Act, also known as the Blockchain Act.

As part of the platform’s launch, Bittrex Global made new appointments, with Kiran Raj as the first chief executive officer and Stephen Stonberg as chief operating officer. Prior to joining Bittrex Global, Raj was a partner at Los Angeles-based law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP and served as the Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Stonberg has a 25-year career in financial markets.

Liechtenstein’s approach to regulating crypto and blockchain

The government of Liechtenstein passed the Blockchain Act this spring. Alongside stringent rules on Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer requirements, the act essentially provides a clear legal basis for the ownership, transfer and safe storage of security tokens.

Following that, the government passed the Token and VT Service Providers Act, which aims to improve investor protection, combat money laundering and establish clarity. The government expressed confidence that the new regulation will create an adequate regulatory environment that counters the risks, provides regulatory clarity and facilitates the development of the token economy.





Source Cointelegraph

Attorneys Seek Bank of Ireland Execs’ Testimony Against OneCoin Scammer


Executives at the Bank of Ireland (BOI) could join a trial in the case against Mark Scott, who allegedly helped launder nearly $400 million via cryptocurrency scam scheme OneCoin.

Four BOI witnesses to testify remotely

On Sept. 29, the government of the United States submitted a court motion seeking the testimony of four witnesses via closed-circuit television from a remote location in Ireland.

Initially set for Oct. 7, 2019, the trial has been recently adjourned to Nov. 4, 2019, while a final pretrial conference is scheduled for Oct. 28, as reported by fintech publication FinanceFeeds in early September.

All four witnesses are current or former employees of the BOI, where Scott had corporate bank accounts through which he has allegedly laundered over $300 million in OneCoin fraud proceeds. 

The list of witnesses includes Diane Sands, the head of BOI’s Anti-Money Laundering team, BOI foreign direct investment team member Deirdre Ceannt, former executive VP and relationship director Derek Collins, and Greg Begley, who is reportedly expected to provide evidence for Scott’s involvement in the fund transfers.

Fenero funds

Specifically, Scott is charged in a one-count indictment with conspiracy to commit money laundering. At the upcoming trial, the government will try to prove that, from 2016–2018, the defendant laundered almost $400 million in proceeds from OneCoin in a series of private equity funds in the British Virgin Islands with accounts at banks in the Cayman Islands, known as Fenero Funds. 

Six unserved defendants as of Sept. 3

Established in 2014, OneCoin is known as a major crypto exit scam along with famous crypto scam BitConnect. After a U.S. District Attorney charged OneCoin founders Konstantin Ignatov and his sister Ruja Ignatova in March 2019, a number of defendants in a lawsuit brought by OneCoin clients reportedly remained unserved as of Sept. 3. The six unserved defendants reportedly included OneCoin, Ignatova, Sebastian Greenwood, Irina Andreeva Dilinska, David Pike and Nicole Huesmann.





Source Cointelegraph

Tech Billionaire Mark Cuban on Bitcoin


Billionaire technology investor Mark Cuban said that he would be happier owning bananas than Bitcoin (BTC).

Cuban made his remarks in a video Q&A published on YouTube by technology news outlet Wired on Sept. 27. During the Q&A session, he answered to a Twitter user asking why Cuban hates crypto if he is “into providing opportunity for people to grow their net worth.” 

First, Cuban seemingly suggested that the issue he has with Bitcoin is that its price is determined by the market’s demand for it:

“Here’s the thing about crypto, particularly Bitcoin: Bitcoin is worth what somebody will pay for it.”

BTC has no intrinsic value

Cuban continued, suggesting that Bitcoin has no intrinsic value. To better explain his thoughts on the matter, he compared the crypto asset to artwork, comic books and baseball cards:

“Did you ever see someone who collected baseball cards? And they were really, really, really proud of their baseball cards because they kept saying they were going to go up in price? Comic books — same thing, even artwork. There’s no real intrinsic value, you can’t eat a baseball card […] Your artwork might look good on the wall but not much you can do with it. Bitcoin — there’s even less you can do with it: at least I can look at my baseball card […] I can look at artwork.”

Bitcoin is like gold, it’s like a religion

Then Cuban raises the concern that Bitcoin is too complicated for the average person, given the great number of options for its storage and theft prevention needs. This is where he notes that Bitcoin, often called digital gold, is actually really like gold:

“I say it’s like gold. Gold is a religion: people who are really into gold — they’ll tell you that there’s a bad depression and things go to hell in a handbasket, if you own gold then you’ll be okay. No, you won’t! You carry around a gold bar — someone’s gonna hit your ass, knock you out and steal your gold bar and it’s gonna happen again and again and again. I’d rather have bananas, I can eat bananas. Crypto… Not so much.”

This idea is in line with what Cuban said in August when he noted that Bitcoin is fundamentally similar to gold and defined them both as collectibles. Lastly, Cuban admits that he is not “against cryptocurrencies.” He only warns investors “to be very careful”, and notes that “at best, they’re stored value.”

As Cointelegraph reported in July, Mark Cuban defined Facebook’s Libra stablecoin as a big mistake. He noted that “globally and in countries where there isn’t a lot of rules of law, or a lot of government stability, or currency stability, then it could be dangerous.”





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