The Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced on Thursday that its first Bitcoin-related anti-fraud enforcement action had yielded a significant victory, after a Federal court in New York ordered Nicholas Gelfman and Gelfman Blueprint, Inc (GBI) to pay civil penalties and restitution totaling more than $2.5 million. The defendants had been accused by the CFTC of operating a Bitcoin Ponzi scheme.
South Korean Financial Services Commission Chairman Choi Jong-koo has been a critic of initial coin offerings in the past. Judging from comments he made during a recent National Assembly audit session of his agency, he still views them as an unacceptable risk and a potential threat to investors.
A new report from cybersecurity company CipherTrace was released this week, and its findings suggest that the first nine months of 2018 saw a dramatic rise in thefts involving cryptocurrency. The report found that $927 million in cryptocurrency was stolen from digital currency exchanges and other platforms between January and September, according to Reuters.
U.S. Senators who attended the Banking Committee hearing on cryptocurrencies Thursday were provided two vastly different assessments of the technology and its potential, according to a report from the Washington Examiner. The hearing featured testimony from Bitcoin skeptic Nouriel “Dr. Doom” Roubini and Coin Center research director Peter Van Valkenburgh.
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) announced today that it has granted a cryptocurrency asset management license to Crypto Finance AG subsidiary Crypto Fund, according to reports from Swiss media outlet Swissinfo.
Norway’s Financial Supervisory Authority has announced that its new money laundering regulations will go into effect on the 15th of October. The new rules will require Norway’s digital currency exchanges and cryptocurrency storage services to properly register with regulators and comply with the provisions of the Money Laundering Act.
In August, the Securities and Exchange Commission confirmed that it would be reviewing its rejection of nine Bitcoin ETF applications just one day after it rejected them. This week, regulators provided a deadline that suggested a final decision could be rendered before the end of October.
During a question and answer session at the Swell by Ripple Conference in San Francisco yesterday, former U.S. President Bill Clinton discussed his presidency, government’s role in preventing financial and other disasters, and aspects of the current cryptocurrency and blockchain revolution. Clinton praised blockchain’s potential benefits but cautioned that those benefits could be lost due to divisiveness and bad policies:
Bank of Canada deputy governor Timothy Lane recently confirmed that the bank is currently exploring “key questions” related to the potential issuance of a central bank digital currency, according to a report from Toronto news outlet CP24. He reportedly made the comments during a University of Calgary speech.
Malta’s Prime Minister, Dr. Joseph Muscat, addressed the United Nations General Assembly this week in a speech that touted his country’s leadership role in embracing and promoting new technological innovation. He noted that his country has worked to “regularize” blockchain technology and told the assembled world representatives that cryptocurrencies are the “inevitable future of money.”
Members of Congress met this week with more than 50 representatives from the worlds of cryptocurrency, finance, and investment capital at a roundtable discussion in the U.S. capital. The crypto representatives reportedly urged congressional representatives to provide greater regulatory clarity for the industry. The lawmakers have responded to those calls by delivering a letter to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton that urges the agency to clarify how it intends to approach regulation for the cryptocurrency industry.
The government of Malta has announced that its new legislation for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology will go into effect on November 1, 2018. The measures had been approved in June by the nation’s Parliament and are designed to provide guidance and oversight for cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
U.S. Representative Warren Davidson is reportedly hosting a roundtable gathering on Tuesday to discuss cryptocurrency oversight, CNBC reports. The gathering will bring together lawmakers and roughly 50 representatives from the cryptocurrency and financial industries to find a balanced approach to regulation that provides oversight without stifling growth and innovation.
California’s Fair Political Practices Commission voted this week to determine whether the state would permit political candidates for statewide offices to accept cryptocurrency donations for their campaign. By a 3-1 vote, the commission moved to ban those donations, according to a report from the Associated Press on Friday.
U.S. Congressmen Tom Emmer and Bill Foster were named as co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Blockchain Caucus on Friday and will now be part of a caucus leadership team that also includes Representatives Jared Polis and David Schweikert. In an announcement released after Emmer’s appointment, the Congressman confirmed that he will soon introduce new legislation “to support blockchain technology and digital currencies.”
When the New York Attorney General’s Office released its “Virtual Markets Integrity Report” this week, the report included an assertion that Coinbase was responsible for roughly one-fifth of trading transactions on its exchange. After media reports suggested that the company was engaging in proprietary trading for its own benefit, Coinbase Chief Policy Officer Mike Lempres responded in a blog post denying the allegation.
MPs on the UK’s Treasury select committee released a new report today calling for the government to implement regulatory oversight to end the cryptocurrency industry’s ‘Wild West’ environment, according The Times. The report suggested that the government’s current ambiguous stance leaves consumers at risk and fails to properly prepare the country to become a leading center for crypto trading and innovation.
On Tuesday, New York’s Attorney General’s Office published the results of its several months-long investigation of cryptocurrency exchanges. The 32-page report found that those exchanges remain vulnerable to manipulation, have not yet implemented protective measures used by traditional trading exchanges, and lack those traditional exchanges’ consumer protections.
The Supreme Court of India has reportedly postponed a final hearing on a case involving the Reserve Bank of India’s ban that forbids the nation’s banks from doing business with crypto-related entities. Originally scheduled for a hearing on September 11, the case is now expected to be heard by the court on Tuesday, September 18..
Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo told CNBC today that U.S. regulators need to adopt a “do no harm” approach to cryptocurrencies, in much the same way that officials did during the early days of the internet revolution. He suggested that the government would need a balanced approach that guards against fraudulent and manipulative activities without stifling innovation or growth in the industry.