Bitcoin’s price continued to drop on Monday, sliding below the $7 mark – its lowest level in more than two months. Analysts have attributed the ongoing price weakness to a steady stream of bad news for the cryptocurrency industry, including new regulatory concerns and recent announcements that several big banks will no longer allow their credit cards to be utilized for cryptocurrency purchases.
In the last eighteen months, cryptocurrencies have stormed onto the financial scene with a very loud bang. The cryptocurrency market is now valued at north of $500 billion and growing exponentially every year. At this rate, the cryptocurrency market will be worth trillions of dollars in just a few short years. This multi-trillion-dollar pot of gold is now firmly entrenched in global finance. As a result, what was once scorned, ridiculed, and considered little more than a pipe-dream is now being taken very seriously by almost every major financial institution worldwide
The global elites who gathered at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week had much to say about digital currencies. One of the attendees, Swedish Riksbank Deputy Governor Cecilia Skingsley, expressed a sentiment that seemed to be shared by many, if not all, of the world leaders in attendance, as she asserted that Bitcoin and its digital currency peers are “not a very good version of money.”
Popular Japanese digital currency exchange Coincheck announced Friday that it has lost customer assets totaling roughly 523 million NEM coins, estimated to be worth 58 billion yen or $533 million. If those estimates are true, the losses would be greater than those suffered during the Mt. Gox theft in 2014.
Bitcoin and other digital currencies have been a hot topic at the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as political leaders have called for increased regulation of the industry. Many of those leaders have expressed concerns about cryptocurrency’s potential use by criminals and other bad actors.
South Korea’s government has been tightening the reins on its vibrant digital currency trading market recently, and that trend shows no sign of slowing. Officials now plan to require more transparency in digital currency transactions by forcing digital currency traders to ensure that they use their real names on crypto exchange accounts, according to reporting from Reuters.
Contained within several notices from the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), are clarifications of the regulations in place that can determine the legality of Initial Coin Offerings (also called Initial Token Offerings). The CSA’s main concern with ICOs in their current form will most certainly be the lack of investor protection for Canadians. Like securities laws in the United States that provide investor protection, Canada also has regulations regarding the sale of ICO tokens to its citizens.
One of the main sources of frustration for those of us who are blockchain and cryptocurrency enthusiasts is the degree to which big companies and large financial institutions still don’t understand our industry. Earlier this week, one of New Zealand’s largest banks ASB released a blog post by their General Manager of Global Markets, Nigel Annett. We believe that post offers tremendous insight into how financial institutions and other major organizations are thinking about cryptocurrency and blockchain adoption.
The former Chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) recently said that regulators should move to monitor and regulate digital currencies, but argued that the government should not move to ban them. She made the remarks in an appearance on CNBC’s Fast Money, during a panel discussion about a potential crypto crackdown.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced two new enforcement actions related to alleged fraud in the cryptocurrency industry. The commission filed actions against US-based Cabbage Tech, Corp. DBA Coin Drops Market (CDM) and The Entrepreneurs Headquarters Limited, which is registered in the UK. Both entities are accused of various types of fraud involving digital currency tokens.
If you’ve been paying any attention at all to the recent headlines describing the rise and fall of Bitcoin and hundreds of other digital currencies, it’s only natural to wonder whether the coverage could possibly be any more sensational. Just weeks ago, we were teased with headlines that predicted that Bitcoin’s price would soon reach $50,000. Many of those same media outlets are now bombarding us with headlines that are equally as dramatic – but with a far different tone
Governments around the world have been struggling to respond to the digital currency revolution. In nations like China, regulators have moved to restrict cryptocurrency-related activities like ICOs and trading at local digital currency exchanges. Other nations have moved to implement new regulations to ensure that cryptocurrencies are covered by existing anti-money-laundering and terrorist financing rules. According to a board member at the Deutsche Bundesbank, however, an even more centralized solution is needed.
As Bitcoin and other digital currencies exploded in value in the last year, many investors enjoyed a dramatic return on their investment. Some of those fortunate investors have apparently decided to harness some of that newfound wealth and use it to purchase real estate in the UK. On the surface, that might seem like a prudent decision, given the ongoing volatility in cryptocurrency markets. In practice, however, many UK investors are experiencing unexpected resistance from the country’s lenders.
Treasury Sec Mnuchin: US Will Work With G-20 Partners to Prevent Cryptocurrency from Becoming “Swiss Bank Account”
In remarks offered at an Economic Club of Washington event on Friday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin acknowledged that the United States will work with other nations to ensure that digital currencies are not misused by “bad people.” Much of that effort will focus on preventing people from using cryptocurrencies in the same way people once used Swiss bank accounts.
Venezuela’s legislators weighed in on President Nicolas Maduro’s plan for the so-called “petro” digital currency on Tuesday, declaring it illegal and open to corruption. The country’s legislature, which is controlled by Maduro’s political opponents, suggested that the scheme was little more than a plan to sell off the nation’s oil reserves. One of those lawmakers, Jorge Millan, observed:
Bank of Israel Deputy Governor Nadine Baudot-Trajtenberg sought to clarify the central bank’s position on digital currency Monday, in remarks offered at a parliamentary finance committee meeting. According to a Reuters report, she said that the central bank does not recognize cryptocurrencies as currencies:
Groundbreaking technology, spectacular returns in 2017, and a lack of cryptocurrency knowledge among the general public, is presenting a once in a lifetime opportunity for con artists. They can promise anything, deliver nothing, and collect a small fortune from unsuspecting investors. Misleading people to believe they will see spectacular returns from these activities is setting off red flags with investor protection agencies.
British media reported in late December on the Bank of England’s possible plans to introduce a reserve bank digital currency linked to sterling. According to those reports, the BOE had created a research unit to investigate the possibility of launching the cryptocurrency as early as this year.
Initial coin offerings have been in the news quite a bit in recent months, as blockchain and digital currency startups have become increasingly reliant on them for their capital formation needs. By some estimates, more than 4 billion dollars in capital have been raised using this funding mechanism. The fact is that ICOs have become an increasingly popular option for raising capital. However, that popularity has been accompanied by increased government scrutiny.
A report in the Financial Times on Monday suggests that the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin is moving forward with plans to develop its own digital currency. According to media reports, Putin personally gave the order to create the so-called cryptoruble, which will be a digital version of the nation’s existing hard currency.