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Bipartisan Bitcoin Bills to Step up Consumer Protection in the U.S.

December 8, 2018 |

Two United States congressmen have introduced two pieces of legislation to help prevent alleged cryptocurrency price manipulation while aiming to position the U.S. at the forefront of innovation within the digital asset industry.

Also read: Chilean Court Rules in Favor of Closing Bank Accounts of Crypto Exchange Orionx

Protection From Price Manipulation

The Virtual Currency Consumer Protection Act of 2018 and the U.S. Virtual Currency Market and Regulatory Competitiveness Act of 2018 task U.S. financial regulators with researching means to protect retail investors from price manipulation, while staking the global economic powerhouse’s share in the evolving financial technology.

Bipartisan Bitcoin Bills to Step up Consumer Protection in the U.S.
Darren Soto

In a joint statement, congressmen Darren Soto, a democrat, and republican Ted Budd approvingly noted the potential of virtual currencies, and the technology that powers them, to facilitate economic growth as well as the need for security guarantees for users.

The lawmakers pointed out the need to “ensure that the United States is at the forefront of protecting consumers and the financial well-being of virtual currency investors, while also promoting an environment of innovation to maximize the potential of these technological advances.”

In terms of the two bills, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which regulates futures and option markets, as well as other financial regulators will make critical recommendations on fine-tuning the regulatory environment for consumers and businesses.

The congressmen observed that the bills are particularly important following concerns raised in the New York Attorney General’s recent report on cryptocurrency exchanges, showing how they are prone to the risk of manipulation. The Wall Street Journal also recently detailed potentially abusive software, whereby bots can manipulate the price of bitcoin.

The representatives said:

The Virtual Currency Consumer Protection Act directs the CFTC to describe aspects of how price manipulation could happen in virtual markets and then to make recommendations for regulatory changes that can improve the CFTC’s monitoring procedures in preventing price manipulation.

Driving Innovation

The second bill, titled the U.S. Virtual Currency Market and Regulatory Competitiveness Act of 2018, seeks to keep the U.S. at the cutting edge of blockchain technology. The bill directs the CFTC to run a comparative study of the regulation of virtual currency in other countries and then table recommendations for the U.S.

Bipartisan Bitcoin Bills to Step up Consumer Protection in the U.S.

Based on the CTFC’s recommendations, the U.S. will craft for regulatory changes to promote competitiveness in the industry, with a view of providing regulatory clarity and bringing in alternatives to cumbersome regulations that may be currently discouraging innovation in virtual currencies.

“For example, it asks the CFTC to clarify the virtual currencies that qualify as commodities and examine the costs and benefits of a new, optional regulatory structure that could replace the current state money transmission system,” the congressmen explained in their statement.

What do you think about the planned legislation on crypto in the U.S.? Let us know in the comments section below.

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The post Bipartisan Bitcoin Bills to Step up Consumer Protection in the U.S. appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Senate confirms new consumer financial protection chief: Kathy Kraninger, protege of industry-friendly Mick Mulvaney

December 7, 2018 |

The Senate, in a party-line vote Thursday, confirmed White House aide Kathy Kraninger to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and experts predicted a continuation of the industry-friendly shift it has taken since President Trump installed an acting director last year.

Kraninger is a protege…

L.A. Times – Business

Ivy and Hiveex Launch Ivypay to Facilitate Consumer Bill Payments in Australia

November 19, 2018 |

Ivy and Hiveex Launch Ivypay to Facilitate Consumer Bill Payments in Australia

Ivypay, a cryptocurrency-based payments platform, was launched in Australia on Nov. 19. The service — built by blockchain company Ivy in partnership with Hiveex, a cryptocurrency broker — allows Australians to use digital currencies to pay bills and transfer money directly into their bank accounts.

Also Read: Islamic Countries Challenge USD ‘Sanctioning Tool’ With Planned Common Cryptocurrency

Mainstreaming Cryptocurrency Use

The developers of Ivypay, which was released in beta earlier this month, aim to bring cryptocurrency into the mainstream by streamlining the spending process. Users pay a 2 percent fee on the total amount of each transfer. The application currently supports bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and ripple.

Ivy and Hiveex Launch Ivypay to Facilitate Consumer Bill Payments in Australia

“Our partnership … will enable everyday Australians to use cryptocurrency to pay their bills, pay off their credit cards, or convert to Australian dollars deposited in their bank accounts at some of the lowest rates on the market,” Ash Shilkin, president of Ivy, said in a statement to

Shilkin acknowledged that virtual currencies are still far from reaching widespread adoption as a means of payment. However, applications such as Ivypay are starting to bring such objectives closer to reality, he claimed.

“We are pleased to have Ivypay on the market, while we build out the Ivy network as a bridge between those with cryptocurrency, and traditional financial institutions,” said Shilkin, adding that the company will roll the service out in countries such as the U.S. later this year.

Limited Cryptocurrency Use for Bill Payments

Ivy and Hiveex Launch Ivypay to Facilitate Consumer Bill Payments in Australia

A recent survey by Hiveex and Ivypay indicated that about 2.58 million Australians now own cryptocurrencies of some form, with more than 2,500 bills paid in virtual currencies in the country every month. Of those who don’t own digital assets, 49.5 percent said they would buy some or consider doing so if they could transfer funds directly into their bank accounts. One in 10 respondents who said they don’t own cryptocurrencies stated that they are hesitant to invest because they can’t easily transfer such currencies into their bank accounts, according to the companies, which surveyed 1,997 Australians.

“Despite cryptocurrency being around for the past decade, it still has quite a while to go before it’s as widely used as fiat currencies, like the Australian dollar,” said Fred Schebesta, co-founder of Hiveex, a company that was established in February to help people buy and sell cryptocurrencies, particularly large trades of more than 50,000 Australian dollars ($ 36,500).

Schebesta added:

We wanted to help build a platform to bridge the gap between fiat and crypto. It’s inevitable that cryptocurrency will have mass adoption when we create more ways to use it that are easier and cheaper alternatives to traditional banking. It’s going to shake up the way we pay for everything.

Founded in 2017, Ivy is partly owned by Australian Stock Exchange-listed Change Financial. It raised over $ 17 million at the start of this year in a private sale of tokens to build out its blockchain-based payments technology.

What do you think about the Ivypay payments platform? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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The post Ivy and Hiveex Launch Ivypay to Facilitate Consumer Bill Payments in Australia appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Richard Cordray was the nation’s consumer financial watchdog. Can that propel him to governor of Ohio?

October 12, 2018 |

You can call Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray a nerd (he’s a five-time “Jeopardy!” champion who likes to tweet state trivia).

You can even call him boring (asked by the Columbus Dispatch to name his favorite beer, wine or liquor he answered, “grapefruit juice”).

Just don’t…

L.A. Times – Business

150% interest on a loan? Consumer advocates hope the threat of a ballot measure will get lenders to ease up

October 4, 2018 |

When LendMark started offering subprime loans to California residents a few years ago, it noticed something odd: a vast and growing number of big loans offered by rival firms at interest rates of 100% or higher, and relatively few smaller, cheaper loans.

To executives at the suburban Atlanta company,…

L.A. Times – Business

California regulator probes links between high-cost lenders and consumer finance sites

September 26, 2018 |

The state’s top financial regulator launched an investigation Wednesday of high-cost consumer lenders after the failure of several bills in the Legislature that would have tightened oversight of the industry.

The Department of Business Oversight sent letters to 20 high-interest lenders, asking…

L.A. Times – Business

Congress wants to hear from everyone but consumers in a hearing on consumer privacy

September 25, 2018 |

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation will hold a hearing Wednesday on “Examining Safeguards for Consumer Data Privacy,” intended as an opportunity for lawmakers to learn about “possible approaches to safeguarding privacy more effectively.”

That’s great except for two small…

L.A. Times – Business

Trump’s pick for consumer agency, backed by GOP, ‘has no qualifications for this job’

August 23, 2018 |

Now that White House aide Kathy Kraninger has received the blessing of the Senate Banking Committee’s Republican majority to become the nation’s top consumer financial watchdog, it’s worth highlighting who’s in her corner and who isn’t.

Kraninger is supported, of course, by President Trump, who…

L.A. Times – Business

Can consumer loans ever be so expensive they break the law? The California Supreme Court says yes

August 13, 2018 |

California’s high court has ruled that interest rates on consumer loans can be so high that they become “unconscionable” and, therefore, illegal — a decision that could upend the state’s subprime loan market.

In a unanimous opinion released Monday morning, California Supreme Court justices said…

L.A. Times – Business

Stocks slip as Netflix plunge hurts tech and consumer companies

July 17, 2018 |

U.S. stock indexes are slipping Tuesday as investors back away from some of market’s highest-flying companies. Netflix is plunging after the streaming video company gained fewer subscribers than Wall Street had hoped in its latest quarter and also projected weak results over the next three months….

L.A. Times – Business