Coinbase Rolls Out Stellar Lumens (XLM) Trading in New York State

Major United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase that it made Stellar’s Lumens (XLM) trading available also to those users who reside in New York.

The exchange made the announcement in a tweet sent by its official Twitter account on Sept. 25. New York state residents can now trade, store, send and receive Stellar Lumens using both the service’s official website and mobile app. 

The company announced:

“Stellar Lumens (XLM) is now available to Coinbase users who are New York residents. New Yorkers can now log in to buy, sell, convert, send, receive, or store XLM on Coinbase  or using our iOS and Android apps.”

New York’s stringent crypto regulation

The state of New York is known for stringent cryptocurrency regulation after the introduction of the BitLicense in August 2015. 

The license requirement has driven various crypto companies to leave the state and stop offering services to New York residents, which some referred to as “BitExodus.”

As Cointelegraph recently reported, Coinbase is considering adding support for Telegram’s Gram and 16 additional digital assets. That being said, the exchange admitted that the trading of those assets may not start everywhere at the same time — suggesting that places like New York may once again have to wait. Coinbase stated: 

“We will add new assets on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis, subject to applicable review and authorizations.”

Source Cointelegraph

Tron’s Justin Sun to Reschedule Warren Buffett Lunch ‘Very Soon’

Tron founder and CEO, Justin Sun, says he’ll reschedule his charity lunch with Berkshire Hathaway chairman and billionaire Warren Buffett “very soon.” 

The CEO announced the news during a live stream on Tuesday, Sept. 24.

An open invitation to the leader of the free world

As reported, Sun had won a charity auction on eBay in June to have lunch with Buffett and his own choice of guests, with a winning bid of $4,567,888 — the highest bid in the event’s 20-year history.

Yet just days ahead of the much-anticipated event, the Tron CEO was forced to postpone due to medical reasons. Confirmed guests had included Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire and Litecoin (LTC) creator Charlie Lee. 

Ahead of its postponing, Sun had notably even extended an invitation to United States President Donald Trump, following the president’s scathing remarks about cryptocurrencies on social media. Sun had appealed:

“Mr. President, you are misled by fake news. #Bitcoin#Blockchain happens to be the best chance for US! I’d love to invite you to have lunch with crypto leaders along with @WarrenBuffett on July 25. I guarantee you after this lunch, nobody will know crypto more than you!”

The president had not responded publicly to Sun’s invitation.

A vivid imagination

Buffett — who has earned the moniker of the “Oracle of Omaha” for his ostensibly astute investment picks — is notorious for his by-now ritual opprobrium toward Bitcoin. 

Having memorably characterized bitcoin as “probably rat poison squared” in 2018, this year saw yet further metaphorical inventions, including the remark that:

“It [Bitcoin] doesn’t do anything. It just sits there. It’s like a seashell or something, and that is not an investment to me.”

Source Cointelegraph

Bitcoin Price Must Break $8.8K Level for Bullish U-Turn, Says Analyst

Bitcoin (BTC) lingered around $8,400 on Sept. 26 as relative stability returned to markets after their tumultuous fall earlier in the week. 

Cryptocurrency market daily overview

Cryptocurrency market daily overview. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin price ponders resistance at $8.5K

Data from Coin360 showed sideways behavior for BTC/USD on Thursday, with only a brief move to $8,600 disrupting the trend. 

24-hour lows for the pair currently sit around $4,235, while overall, markets remained 15% down versus their levels before the drop on Tuesday. 

Bitcoin seven-day price chart

Bitcoin seven-day price chart. Source: Coin360

As Cointelegraph reported, attitudes about Bitcoin’s health vary. Some argue the largest cryptocurrency is on track beyond the short term, with the stock-to-flow metric in particular remaining bullish. 

Others are slightly more nervous. In his latest social media update, regular analyst and Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe said that while markets looked sturdy, Bitcoin needed to close above $8,800 to cement more positive sentiment.

“So far, the 200 Moving Average on the daily and this block is holding. That’s a good sign,” he wrote.

He continued: 

“Altcoins / BTC pairs are also doing fine. That’s also a good sign. Now we need to break above $8,800.”

Zooming out further also gives cause for relief, the analyst highlighting Bakkt’s launch and Germany’s second-largest exchange launching Bitcoin spot trading as reasons not to be bearish. 

As Cointelegraph noted, suspicions remain around the impact of futures settlements on Bitcoin price. New research published just before the dip warned that on average, 75% of futures settlement dates for CME Group alone coincided with market drops. 

Stellar heads day of relief for altcoins

Altcoins produced unlikely gains on Thursday as Bitcoin stabilized. The market flashed green over the past 24 hours, with major tokens mostly putting in gains of between 1% and 6%.

Ether (ETH), the largest altcoin by market cap, grew 1.7% to hit just over $170. The outright winning bet on the day, however, was Stellar (XLM), which increased by 13.2%.

Ether seven-day price chart

Ether seven-day price chart. Source: Coin360

The overall cryptocurrency market cap thus also expanded by $2 billion to $223 billion, with Bitcoin’s share at 68.3% of the total.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here

Source Cointelegraph

‘Sensitive for Society’ Libra Crypto Has No Launch Date

Facebook is taking a much more careful approach to Libra than its previous projects, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed. 

Zuckerberg on Libra: Talking first, rollout second

Speaking in an interview with Asia-based news outlet Nikkei on Sept. 26, Zuckerberg appeared to show a rare display of fear in the face of mounting regulatory scrutiny of Libra. 

Facebook’s digital currency has come under fire from governments worldwide since its whitepaper appeared several months ago. High-profile regulatory hearings have so far failed to quash the negative reactions; governments fear Libra will undermine fiat currency systems.

“Part of the approach and how we’ve changed is that now when we do things that are going to be very sensitive for society, we want to have a period where we can go out and talk about them and consult with people and get feedback and work through the issues before rolling them out,” Zuckerberg told the publication.

He continued:

“And that’s a very different approach than what we might have taken five years ago. But I think it’s the right way for us to do this at the scale that we operate in.”

Coinbase calls criticism “odd and misguided”

Preemptively solving aspects of Libra critics find unappetizing strikes a notable contrast to fiat alternatives such as Bitcoin (BTC), the founder of which, Satoshi Nakamoto, simply released the code and let the network grow organically. 

Cryptocurrency sources have also cast scorn on authorities keen to stifle any innovation Facebook is attempting to introduce. 

“Libra is one of several important crypto projects on the horizon with the potential to improve the world. Whether it works or not still remains to be seen, but I find the backlash to it a bit odd and misguided,” Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong tweeted on Wednesday.

Libra could appear by the end of 2020. When pressed by Nikkei, however, Zuckerberg stopped short of committing to a timeframe.

Source Cointelegraph

Binance Now Lets Users Buy 5 Cryptocurrencies with Debit, Credit Card

Customers of major crypto exchange Binance can now purchase crypto directly using debit and credit cards via payment processing firm Koinal.

2.5% fee for buying crypto from Visa and MasterCard

Binance users can now buy crypto using their Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards, the company announced in a blog post on Sept. 25.

Using Koinal, Binance clients are able to buy five cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), XRP and Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHABC), the post notes.

The London-based payment processor charges 2.5% per transaction, with the purchased assets on average taking five to 20 minutes to reach a Binance wallet.

Supported jurisdictions

Since Koinal payment processing is subject to local bank policies, the solution is not available in a wide list of countries and regions, Binance noted

To date, Koinal does not support bank cards issued within Mainland China, Russia, the United States, Vietnam, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Algeria, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Taiwan and Cambodia.

Introducing the new service on Sept. 24, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ, stated that the new solution is a key milestone for driving mass adoption for crypto. CZ said:

“Freedom to convert easily between fiat and cryptocurrency is key to bringing crypto further mainstream. As the blockchain industry matures, there is more demand to bridge the two worlds than ever before.”

On Sept. 23, Binance launched trading on its U.S.-based subsidiary Binance.US, initially supporting 13 currency pairs. On Sept. 24, the exchange announced support for five more cryptocurrencies.

Source Cointelegraph

Bitcoin Price $8K Bounce Now Aligns Perfectly With Stock-to-Flow Chart

Bitcoin (BTC) escaped a fresh dip to $7,500 on Sept. 25, avoiding the worst scenario analysts had warned about before its major crash.

Cryptocurrency market daily overview

Cryptocurrency market daily overview. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin circles $8.3K halving prediction

Data from Coin360 showed the largest cryptocurrency paring some losses between $8,000 and $8,500 on Wednesday. 

Previously, BTC/USD had bottomed out below $8,000 on some exchanges, capping a nightmarish 12 hours in which the pair shed almost 20%. 

Previously, one trader warned markets were set for a dive to $7K-levels. 

Bitcoin seven-day price chart

Bitcoin seven-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Various theories soon emerged about what caused the rout, including a $1.2 billion transaction on an exchange which could have sparked market panic. 

Proponents also dispelled rumors that a previously alleged drop in Bitcoin’s hash rate preempted the price decline. As Cointelegraph reported, hash rate charts displayed a 40% drop earlier in the week, but commentators subsequently said the readings were inherently inaccurate.

Now, attention is turning to the run-up to Bitcoin’s 2020 block reward halving event. 

According to analyst PlanB’s stock-to-flow model for Bitcoin price, which has traditionally given accurate predictions, the mean Bitcoin price in the run-up to next May is  $8,285.

As such, under current conditions, BTC/USD is no longer trading higher than its planned levels in a year’s time. 

Bakkt heralds price discovery in action

Other sources also considered the latest drop in price to be a welcome correction. Among them was Bakkt, the institutional trading platform which launched this week. 

Arguing its product was aiding Bitcoin price discovery, Bakkt claimed the timing for the event was no coincidence. 

“Price discovery unfolding before our eyes,” officials wrote on Twitter. They added: 

“On our second day of operations, totally transparent trading in monthly Bakkt Futures Contracts shows Bitcoin ending the day at $8,560 on 166 lots changing hands.”

Bakkt had gained negative publicity due to the slow uptake upon launch, against much higher volumes for competitors’ futures products such as those from exchange Binance.

Bitcoin SV leads altcoin crash of up to 25%

In a predictable copycat move, altcoin markets followed Bitcoin downwards, with many major tokens hitting multi-month lows. 

Not all fared worse than Bitcoin, however. XRP managed to cap daily losses at 11.1%, while several managed around 12% compared to Bitcoin’s 13.5%.

Others fell considerably, with Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin SV (BSV) and EOS (EOS) all shedding more than 20%. BSV was the worst performer in the top twenty, down 25%.

Ether (ETH), the largest altcoin by market cap, was down 14.3% on the day to hit $168.

Ether seven-day price chart

Ether seven-day price chart. Source: Coin360

The overall cryptocurrency market cap also hemorrhaged value, falling to $221 billion, while the latest shifts boosted Bitcoin’s overall share to 68.9%.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here

Source Cointelegraph

South Korea’s Kakao Gets Its Klay Token Listen on Upbit Indonesia

Tomorrow, cryptocurrency exchange Upbit Indonesia will list Klay, the cryptocurrency of South Korean instant messaging giant Kakao.

South Korean news outlet The Korea Times reported the news on Sept. 25 noting that also UpBit Singapore is also expected to list Klay at a later date. A Kakao official pointed out:

“We decided to list Klay on cryptocurrency exchanges in the respective countries, as we aim for Klaytn to become an Asia-based platform.”

South Korean messaging giant’s own virtual currency

Kakao is South Korea’s largest internet conglomerate, the firm manages mobile applications and has nearly 90 percent dominance in its mobile instant messager. The company’s plans to raise $300 million through Ground X to develop Klay have been first announced in late 2018.

In August, Kakao has launched a teaser page for its forthcoming cryptocurrency wallet, Klip. The teaser page has been made available in its Kakao Talk messenger app under the “more” tab.

Adopted from the start

The mainnet of the blockchain behind the Klay cryptocurrency, Klaytn, has been launched in the second half of June. The company hopes that the network — focused on decentralized applications — will drive blockchain adoption in the country.

Several major technology brands will be using the network from the start, including Samsung and LG. More precisely, Samsung reportedly plans issue Klay tokens directly to Samsung smartphone users while LG has also confirmed it will use the network, presumably in its upcoming blockchain smartphone.

Source Cointelegraph

Binance Coin Price Sinks to 6-Month Low a Day After US Version Launch

Prior to Litecoin (LTC) kicking off a 200% rally that would spread to Ether (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC), Binance Coin (BNB) was the shepherd that signaled the altcoin herds to rally forth in what is now affectionately referred to as “altseason.”

BNB far outpaced Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum as it rallied nearly 600% compared to Bitcoin’s 300% rise from $3,100 to $13,800. 

The move seemed to be propelled by back-to-back Binance-supported initial exchange offerings, rising altcoin prices and an improvement in general sentiment amongst investors who finally felt the 15-month long bear market had ended. 

Daily Crypto Market Performance

Daily Crypto Market Performance. Source.

Since notching an all-time high near $40 on June 22, BNB hit a snag and has been in a downtrend since. It seems the real trouble started when Binance announced that United States-based users would be banned from its main platform and forced to the regional Binance America version. 

The BNB token perked up a bit once the exchange announced that a U.S. version of Binance would soon launch. But sentiment again soured as the media reported that the number of digital assets and pairings offered paled in comparison to the original platform. 

BNB is no longer immune to Bitcoin’s price action and it — along with the vast majority of altcoins — have suffered mightely since Bitcoin topped out at $13,800 and entered a prolonged period of consolidation. 

Is BNB a good long?

Despite the disconcerting news and disappointing price action, BNB still has a lot going for it. Binance.US launched on Sept. 24. As previously reported, the platform will list BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC, BNB and USDT across 13 fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto trading pairs. 

On Tuesday, Binance.US also revealed that Cardano (ADA), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Stellar Lumens (XLM) and Ox (ZRX) would be listed and deposits for the altcoins is open now. 

Another future positive for BNB is the fact that the native token is used to pay the fees for Binance’s Futures Trading platform. Two weeks ago, Binance announced that it would include all current and future BNB-based products and services in upcoming coin burns. 

Future coin burns, BNB’s utility for paying trading fees and processing margin trades on the futures platform should make BNB more “useful.”

Furthermore, there’s always the possibility that Binance.US will eventually use BNB for trading fees, staking and lending. Given Binance’s ambitious plans for expanding its reach by establishing decentralized exchanges across the globe, it’s not too far fetched to imagine that BNB could make its way onto decentralized finance — also known as “DeFi” — platforms like Celcius, Compound Finance, BlockFi and dYdX. 

With that said, BNB is not looking great in the short-term and currently continues to lose value within a descending channel. Let’s take a look at the charts to see what’s going on. 

BNB/USDT Daily Chart

BNB/USDT Daily Chart. Source: TradingView

BNB fell to $13.80, a new 6-month low not seen since March 21. Today’s abrupt 11% Bitcoin correction was strongly felt by BNB and the altcoin dropped below the descending channel. 

A strong oversold bounce on the Relative Strength Index (RSI) resulted in a 12.95% bounce from $14.47 to $16.38. But unless the market improves, the next stop for BNB could be at $13.60. A drop below $13.60 could see the altcoin drop to $9.40  

BNB/USDT Weekly Chart

BNB/USDT Weekly Chart. Source: TradingView

As shown by the volume profile visible range (VPVR) on the weekly chart, a drop below $14 extinguishes purchasing demand until $9 to $11. Though the RSI approaches oversold territory, there is still room to fall and in December 2018 the weekly RSI dropped to 31 before reversing course. 

If Bitcoin price enters a lengthy period of consolidation in the $8,000 to $9,000 range, it’s possible that BNB could drop further. The weekly Stoch has also bottomed out resting on 0.  

Ultimately, like other altcoins, BNB’s performance appears dependent upon Bitcoin’s recovery and with Bitcoin market dominance still at around 70%, altcoin traders might not have much to look forward to other than a strong oversold bounce within the altcoin market. 

Admittedly, Ether (ETH) seems to be a more lucrative trade at the moment. In the event that BNB does drop below $10, traders might consider opening a long position and scaling in on any dips that might follow. 

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.

Source Cointelegraph

Facebook’s Project Gets Challenged as ‘EuroCoin’ Looms

The ripples of the Libra effect are beginning to lap against the shores of Europe, with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire suggesting that Europe should throw its hat into the ring and launch its own digital currency. Le Maire’s announcement comes at a time when EU politicians are becoming increasingly vocal about Libra and digital currencies in general. 

Speaking at a meeting of EU finance ministers in Helsinki, Le Maire told journalists that he would discuss the feasibility of a European public digital currency with his counterparts in October. Charles Hoskinson, CEO of blockchain engineering startup IOHK, explained to Cointelegraph that a pan-EU digital currency would be a logical step for European politicians: 

“It would make a lot of sense to create a new type of central bank with a digital currency behind it because it just it’s just simply so much more useful. It also allows government better control and tuning over tax policy. So the fact that you could create a single digital european standard of European cash and all payments go digital and then you get high fidelity with your tax policy. It’s very attractive to politicians and it’s something they’d like.”

Facebook’s stablecoin project has placed digital currencies under the spotlight in recent months, and not all of the comments have been positive. Le Maire shared his concern that Libra comes with inherent risks for consumers and even “the sovereignty of European states.” 

Since their birth a decade ago, cryptocurrencies have been developed with the goal of one day replacing the current financial system. Although cryptocurrencies do not threaten sovereign states by virtue of their own existence, they do represent a financial system in which the state does not have sovereign control over all finances operating within its borders. 

Although, at this current stage of cryptocurrency adoption, such an environment is extremely unlikely. If states do not have some element of control over the financial system to the extent that they are unable to gather taxes to provide essential services, it could eventually lead to a decline in stability.

One of the main characteristics of Facebook’s proposed stablecoin initiative is the potential for its 2.7 billion users to send instant cross-border payments through its platform. As it stands, cross-border payments for individuals and financial institutions alike are costly, time-consuming procedures.

Although prices vary from bank to bank, individuals seeking to transfer funds across international borders often face transaction charges, along with additional incurred losses from unfavorable exchange rates. This is particularly problematic for workers looking to send home funds earned abroad in the form of remittances. Le Maire said that the European block needs to focus on reducing the cost of cross-border payments. 

Given Le Maire’s rousing comments for Europe to develop its own digital currency, it is unsurprising that he is not a supporter of Libra. Le Maire has repeatedly called for regulators to refuse Libra’s launch in the EU, stating that he plans to request guarantees from Facebook that its digital currency would not be exploited for illicit activities:

“We have to make sure that there is no risk for the consumer, it is our role as a state to protect consumers. […] It will allow Facebook to accumulate millions and millions of data again, which strengthens me in my belief that it is necessary to regulate the digital giants.”

Despite calling for an outright refusal of Libra, Le Maire said that the EU bloc needs to change its current approach to cryptocurrencies, in which regulators deliberate over whether to classify crypto as securities, payments services or currencies. A European Commission spokeswoman said that, “with the publicly available information on Libra, it is currently not possible to say which exact EU rules would apply.” 

Given the regulatory uncertainty surrounding the project, Le Maire has said that France will block the project in Europe, as the “monetary sovereignty of states is at stake.” Le Maire further outlined his view that, under the current circumstances, Libra will not be permitted: 

“I want to be absolutely clear: in these conditions, we cannot authorize the development of Libra on European soil.” 

Thomas Heilmann, a German politician responsible for the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) blockchain initiative in Bavaria, also poured cold water on prospects for Libra approval in Europe. Heilmann said that the grand coalition had agreed “not to allow market-relevant private stablecoins.” Mr Heilmann outlined his view that the economy is well-served by central banks and that one strong digital currency could create a monopoly: 

“Up to now, the economy has done a great job in countering crises and inflation with measures taken by central banks. Once a digital currency provider dominates the market, it will be quite difficult for competitors.”

Heilmann’s comments were echoed by German Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz during a discussion in Berlin on Sept. 17 in which he said that Libra will be rejected: “We cannot accept a parallel currency. […] You have to reject that clearly.” 

German regulators allegedly outlined their intention to work alongside their European colleagues to ensure that stablecoins do not become a viable alternative to traditional currencies, “The Federal Government will work at European and international level to ensure that stablecoins will not become an alternative to official currencies.”

Despite these latest negative comments from politicians, Germany has a federal blockchain project aiming to develop an e-euro as a stablecoin that is administered and regulated by central banks. Hoskinson told Cointelegraph that state approach to cryptocurrency often mirrors its own specific needs and status: 

“If you come from an Eastern European country, such as Ukraine, stablecoins make a lot of sense and would probably be a desirable standard over local currencies. If you come from a hegemony that tends to be in charge of things like France or Germany, your position is probably to keep the status quo.”

Fiscal power in Europe is not evenly shared, meaning that what benefits larger, typically Western countries might not be as appealing to smaller states. Consequently, Hoskinson said this is why a varied approach to cryptocurrency adoption is emerging, as smaller countries may see other benefits in the form of reduced corruption and increased market efficiencies. 

Regarding the calls from European politicians to develop a single European digital currency, Hoskinson said that while it is certainly a possibility, a number of factors still stand in the way: 

“For example, one or two populist right-wing states might leave the European union, so really the opposite of what [French president] Macron wants to do. Also we’re one economic collapse away from when people really start to develop a strong distaste for centralization and really want to start looking at private standards to replace the incumbent national standards.”

Libra falls under scrutiny of central banks

Perhaps aiming to alleviate some regulatory pressure, on Sept. 16, the Libra association met with 26 central banks in the form of the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructure (CPMI), which counts the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England among its members. The event marks the first meeting between Libra representatives and global policymakers since the project’s launch on June 18. 

Although the meeting could yield positive results, Benoit Coeure, a European Central Bank (ECB) executive who reportedly chaired the event in Basel, tweeted that the bar for regulatory approval in the EU would be very high. Speaking at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) meeting, Coeure stated: 

“Stablecoins are largely untested, especially on the scale required to run a global payment system. […] They give rise to a number of serious risks related to public policy priorities. The bar for regulatory approval will be high.

Echoing the comments of France’s Le Maire, Couere explained that Facebook still needs to convince regulators about the financial stability of Libra. Couere also emphasized that the project must be safe for users, citing privacy and rights ownership concerns. Although Couere said that he expects lengthy consideration, he also urged financial regulators to act fast to prepare for the project’s launch. 

Calibra CEO rejects claims that Libra is a threat

Midway through the landmark meeting between Libra founders and the BIS committee, Calibra CEO David Marcus tweeted in support of the Libra Association. In a Twitter thread addressing the “monetary sovereignty of Nations vs. Libra,” Marcus sought to debunk theories that the project could be an attack on state finances: 

“Libra is designed to be a better payment network and system running on top of existing currencies, and delivering meaningful value to consumers all around the world.”

Related: Libra Seen as Threat to National Currency Sovereignty, Pleads With G-7

Marcus further tweeted that the creation of new money will remain an activity strictly reserved for “the province of sovereign nations.” The executive concluded by stating that Libra will cooperate and engage with regulators to address concerns around the project. According to Gregory Klumov, CEO of the euro-pegged Stasis stablecoin, Libra does in fact threaten the monetary sovereignty of states: 

“Libra could threaten the sovereignty of both the US and EU as it represents a basket of currencies that could create an imbalance/skew leading to a capital flight. No state would welcome that.”

Hoskinson explained that while the Libra project is not a direct attempt to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, it certainly creates an existential crisis for prominent fiat currencies as the big four firms (GAFA), with their combined 3 billion to 4 billion customers, slowly become involved in crypto. He adds: 

“That really does create an existential problem for the dollar or the euro. GAFA gets involved in stablecoins, little by little, over the edges, 20 or 30 years they’ll chip away at that dominance to the extent that we lose it.”

According to Hoskinson, powerful states such as the U.K. and France are “Taking Libra seriously because it’s just too big,” and are closely watching the experiments taking place in smaller European countries for clues on how to put together their own policy.

Switzerland could be a safe haven for Libra

In recent years, Switzerland has earned itself the reputation of being a crypto hub, thanks to an influx of crypto companies and an assertive approach to blockchain projects. While other European states may be working toward a Europe-wide digital currency, Switzerland is notable for its readiness to approve Libra within its borders.

Related: Safe Space: A Guide to Special Economic Zones for Crypto, From China to Switzerland

While many of Europe’s regulators are deliberating about how best to regulate Libra, head of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), Mark Branson, stated earlier in September 2019 that the project fits perfectly into their regulatory framework.

“We have just published a guide on how to classify stablecoins under Swiss law. And we show: it does not need new laws. The risks are well known, for example regarding money laundering, customer protection, system stability. There are already regulations for all of these.” 

On Sept. 11, Dante Disparte, the Libra Association’s head of policy and communications, explained the decision to coordinate with Swiss regulators: 

“We are engaging in constructive dialogue with FINMA and we see a feasible pathway for an open-source blockchain network to become a regulated, low-friction, high-security payment system.”

Also on Sept. 11, The FINMA published a stablecoin-focused supplement to its pre-existing guidelines for initial coin offerings. In the supplement, FINMA states that it treats stablecoins exactly the same as it does other blockchain-based tokens, placing an emphasis on “the economic function and the purpose of a token.” 

Related: Facebook Libra Not Avoiding US Regulators, Switzerland a Better Fit

The watchdog also notes that an internationally coordinated approach is required due to the cross-border nature of Libra in order to establish adequate requirements for its reserve management and AML system.

Hoskinson explained that Switzerland’s surprisingly accommodating approach to cryptocurrencies is a result of an evolving financial system whereby the country needs to maintain a high revenue stream: 

“After 2001, the financial system changed and Switzerland lost its ability to operate as a private secondary banking system. As a result, they’re losing a lot of their revenue streams and other jurisdictions are starting to eat their lunch.”

Source Cointelegraph

BitFinex Can Hold On to Documents About Alleged $850 Million Cover-up

The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court has ruled that Bitfinex can hold on to documents pertaining to the alleged cover-up of an $850 million loss on the Bitfinex trading platform.

Ongoing case

In a Sept. 24 court order, appellate court justices David Friedman, Peter Tom, Troy Webber, Ellen Gesmer and Jeffrey Oing moved to stop a previous ruling by New York Supreme Court Judge Joel Cohen that required BitFinex to produce documents and information related to the $850 million loss on the exchange.

As Cointelegraph reported in April, the New York Attorney General’s office (NYAG) filed a complaint against parent company iFinex, Bitfinex and affiliated stablecoin issuer Tether alleging that the companies defrauded New York investors by covering up an $850 million loss on the Bitfinex trading platform. Attorney General Letitia James wrote at the time:

“Our investigation has determined that the operators of the ‘Bitfinex’ trading platform, who also control the ‘tether’ virtual currency, have engaged in a cover-up to hide the apparent loss of $850 million dollars of co-mingled client and corporate funds.”

Cointelegraph further reported that the Attorney General revealed that her office obtained a court filing which alleged that the companies were in violation of New York law and that Bitfinex never revealed the loss to investors. The filings claimed that Tether engaged in a series of corporate transactions in which Bitfinex got access to up to $900 million of Tether’s cash reserves and used the funds to hide losses and inability to handle clients’ withdrawals.

Bitfinex and Tether will pursue appeals

Cointelegraph reported on Aug. 20 that Bitfinex and Tether replied to Judge Joel Cohen’s ruling in the New York Attorney General ongoing case against both companies by saying that they would appeal the decision not to throw out the case due to lack of jurisdiction.

Source Cointelegraph