Decision Archives -
The Reserve Bank of India has filed an affidavit with the country’s supreme court in response to one of the petitions against its crypto banking ban. The central bank reportedly argues that it has acted within its power and that none of the petitioners have shown reasonable grounds for the supreme court to intervene.
No Reasonable Grounds
Last week, the Supreme Court of India was scheduled to hear all of the petitions against the crypto banking ban by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India. However, the case was postponed the second week in a row from the original hearing date of Sept. 11. According to industry participants, the court is now scheduled to hear the case on Sept. 25.
In response to a petition filed by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the central bank filed an affidavit with the supreme court on Sept. 8, Inc42 reported on Sept. 21. “Inc42 has the copy of the petition filed by IAMAI as well as the response filed by RBI on September 8, 2018.”
In its affidavit, the central bank argues that the IAMAI petition, along with other petitions challenging its ban, “is not maintainable either in law or on facts and, hence, liable to be dismissed as such,” the publication noted.
Since the RBI issued its April 6 circular banning banks from providing services to crypto businesses, a number of petitions have been filed against the ban. They allege that the central bank’s action “violates Articles 19 (1) (g) and 14 of the Indian Constitution,” which “will lead to the closure” of affected firms, the news outlet explained. However, the RBI detailed in its affidavit:
The impugned circular and the impugned statement neither violate the right to equality guaranteed under Article 14 or the right to trade and business guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution…The petitioner cannot seek to exercise the extraordinary jurisdiction of this Hon’ble Court to avail a right which they do not have.
RBI’s response further reads, “There is no statutory right, much less an infringed one, available to the petitioner to open and maintain bank accounts to trade, invest or deal in virtual currencies.” In addition, the central bank claims that IAMAI and others “haven’t got any reasonable or tenable ground for interference by this court.”
RBI Defends Its Circular
The central bank argues that its April 6 circular is in line with its three previous statements regarding cryptocurrencies – one in 2013 and two in 2017.
Calling the circular an essential step, the RBI claims that cryptocurrencies “are associated with multiple risks such as lack of customer protection, high volatility, vulnerability of wallets and exchange houses to cyber-attacks, money laundering, etc,” the news outlet conveyed.
“Unlike a currency which is defined as something that can be a medium of exchange, a store of value and a unit of account,” the central bank asserted that cryptocurrencies, “given their volatility, lack of intrinsic value and low adoption, satisfy none of these criteria.” Emphasizing that “Their value is merely derived from the parties to a transaction willing to pay a particular amount” for them, the RBI maintained:
The impugned circular and the impugned statement have been issued in a manner that is consistent with the powers conferred on the RBI by the law and the same are legal and valid.
What do you think of RBI’s response to the petitions against its ban? Let us know in the comments section below.
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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has extended the time period it needs to make a decision on the Vaneck Solidx bitcoin ETF based on the proposed rule change filed by Cboe BZX Exchange. Meanwhile, the ETF team has submitted to the SEC key changes addressing all concerns cited as reasons for rejecting Solidx Bitcoin Trust ETF last year.
The SEC announced Tuesday that it has extended the time it will take to make a decision on the proposed rule change to list and trade shares of Solidx Bitcoin Shares issued by the Vaneck Solidx Bitcoin Trust.
Cboe BZX Exchange filed the proposed rule change with the SEC on June 20, which was published in the Federal Register on July 2. This bitcoin ETF has received a lot of attention from the crypto community. “As of August 6, 2018, the Commission has received more than 1,300 comments on the proposed rule change,” the agency wrote.
The Commission explained that the Securities Exchange Act provides that within 45 days of the publication in the Federal Register a longer period may be designated, elaborating:
The Commission is extending this 45-day time period. The Commission finds that it is appropriate to designate a longer period within which to take action on the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider the proposed rule change.
The SEC now “designates September 30, 2018, as the date by which the Commission shall either approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove, the proposed rule change.” However, this may not be the last time the SEC postpones its decision on this bitcoin ETF. According to the Exchange Act, the Commission can extend it 240 days from the date published in the Federal Register.
Key Concerns from Last Rejection ‘Resolved’
In March last year, the SEC rejected the proposed rule change filed by NYSE Arca to list and trade shares of Solidx Bitcoin Trust.
A document published on the SEC website dated August 1 details a meeting the previous day between 15 SEC officials and six representatives from Van Eck Securities Corporation, Solidx Management LLC, and Cboe BZX Exchange Inc.
A presentation was submitted by Solidx Management and Van Eck Securities to the Commission staff outlining the reasons why this proposed rule change should be approved, addressing concerns the SEC had in March. The presentation reads:
Issues identified in [the SEC’s previous] disapproval order have been resolved.
In July, Van Eck submitted a 13-page report to the Commission addressing various concerns the SEC has related to the ETF such as valuation, liquidity, custody, arbitrage, and potential manipulation.
Major Changes From Last Rejection
The presentation points out that there have been major changes since the SEC decided to reject the proposed rule change for Solidx Bitcoin Trust in March last year.
The first significant change is that “multiple derivatives markets now exist for bitcoin.” The presentation lists as examples CME bitcoin futures, Cboe bitcoin futures, Ledgerx bitcoin swaps and options contracts, and Cantor Exchange self-certified bitcoin swaps contract. The first two have a combined daily trading volume of “approximately $ 150 – $ 200 million,” the presentation details, reiterating that they are all regulated by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Secondly, the product pricing has changed as the proposed trust will use OTC index for pricing and NAV. Citing that the “CFTC has jurisdiction over OTC bitcoin trading,” the presentation emphasizes:
Potential manipulative activity would be identified immediately, providing the ‘necessary deterrent to manipulation’ described in the March 2017 disapproval notice.
In addition, there has been a “proliferation of information sharing agreements” that were not previously put in place in March last year.
Furthermore, citing the SEC’s “concerns regarding bitcoin ETFs and retail investors,” the presentation notes that “the initial share price will be set at a level designed to ensure that only institutional and ‘non-retail’ investors will be able to purchase shares,” which is a price per share of $ 203,750 as of July 30. The presentation also claims that existing bitcoin investments do not provide investors with sufficient protection, naming GBTC and XBT Provider as examples.
What do you think of the SEC postponing its decision on Vaneck/Solidx bitcoin ETF? Do you think the SEC will eventually approve this bitcoin ETF? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Solidx, Van Eck, and the SEC.
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The post SEC Postpones Decision on Vaneck Solidx Bitcoin ETF but Previous Concerns ‘Resolved’ appeared first on Bitcoin News.
A commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has voiced her opinion that the agency overstepped its bounds to reject a bitcoin ETF recently based on the underlying asset, bitcoin. She believes that the role of the SEC is to consider the market for the ETF, not the underlying asset itself.
No Jurisdiction to Look at Underlying Assets
Following the SEC’s recent decision to reject the proposed rule change for a bitcoin ETF, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce voiced her opinion in an interview with Cnbc on Wednesday. She explained that the agency has no jurisdiction to look at the underlying asset when considering whether to approve a proposed rule change for an ETF.
While Peirce voted for the approval, three other commissioners voted against. She explained that her colleagues cited “a number of reasons for that decision, and specifically what I think they did is they looked through to the underlying asset – in this case, that would be bitcoin, and they raised some concerns about the market for that underlying product.” She asserted:
I think by doing that they went beyond what the statute allows us to do and we should have really focused on the market where the exchange-traded product would trade as opposed to focusing on the underlying bitcoin markets.
During the interview, she was asked, “One of their [SEC’s] concerns is that there may be price manipulation in bitcoin, the underlying asset, and what you are saying is that the SEC has no jurisdiction to look at the underlying asset, is that correct?” Peirce replied, “that’s correct.”
She then elaborated that, just like with other underlying assets such as gold or oil, “it’s not within our purview to go and look at how those markets are actually working. We should be focused on the market that’s trading the security which in this case would be the exchange-traded product.”
Rejecting Bitcoin ETF
Regarding the SEC’s recent decision to reject a bitcoin ETF, Peirce noted that her colleagues went through an analysis and concluded that the proposed rule change is not consistent with the Securities Exchange Act. However, Peirce clarified:
I take the position that actually the change that was before us was consistent with the Exchange Act. There’s no reason for us not to allow this product to go ahead and trade on the exchange so I would have let it go forward whereas my colleagues believed that it should not go forward.
Vaneck/Solidx Bitcoin ETF
Currently, the SEC is considering whether to approve the proposed rule change filed by Cboe BZX Exchange to list and trade shares of Solidx Bitcoin Shares issued by the Vaneck Solidx Bitcoin Trust. This proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on July 2.
Peirce explained that the SEC staff will make a decision on the rule change. They are required to take action within 45 days after the date of the publication in the Federal Register. However, the agency or the exchange can extend the deadline for another 45 days.
Furthermore, the SEC may “institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove a proposal, in which case the Commission is required to take final action to approve or disapprove a proposed rule change no later than 240 days after the proposal is published in the Federal Register,” the agency wrote:
If the Commission fails to meet any of the deadlines for final action on a proposed rule change, that proposed rule change is, pursuant to the Exchange Act, deemed to have been approved by the Commission.
What do you think of the SEC looking at bitcoin to make its decision on bitcoin ETFs? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Hester Peirce, and the SEC.
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The post SEC Has No Jurisdiction to Look at Bitcoin for ETF Decision, Admits Commissioner appeared first on Bitcoin News.
Following several announcements of plans for global expansion, this week crypto exchange Huobi has reportedly informed Indian users of its intentions to present them with a P2P platform that allows trading in Indian rupee. The email notice published by local media promises zero transaction fees for exchanging BTC, ETH, and USDT.
Reports: Huobi to Launch P2P Platform for Indians
Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has announced in an email to Indian users its decision to offer peer-to-peer trading services in their country, local crypto media reported. The notice states that they will be entitled to zero transaction fees for trades in bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH), and tether (USDT). Users will be able to buy and sell these cryptocurrencies with support for transactions in Indian rupees (INR), according to a copy of the correspondence published by Crypto News, India.
The exchange says that “[…] we do think it’s time that we provide a solution of buying/selling digital assets with INR for all Indian users: Huobi OTC – a proprietary peer-to-peer (P2P) platform that allow[s] users and merchants to trade digital assets with your local currencies.” The crypto company also notes that “every registered Indian user of Huobi can log in to https://otc.huobi.com to trade digital assets with INR.” Customers are also advised to transfer to Huobi Global if they want to trade more cryptocurrencies with high liquidity.
The announcement was made after Huobi recently sent a questionnaire to its Indian users. In another email, the exchange also invited them to become “Global Merchants”. The message read, “After becoming a global merchant of Huobi OTC, you will be entitled to: post-fiat-to-token advertisements to gain more earnings during “Buy & Sell” processes; enjoy zero transaction fee and obtain 24/7 customer support.”
The launch of the Indian P2P platform has yet to be officially announced by Huobi with a release expected on its social media channels. However, the authenticity of the emailed message has been confirmed already by a spokesperson reached by Crypto News: “For OTC supports INR currency. Yes. It’s legit,” the representative is quoted as saying.
Peer-To-Peer Trading Expands After Ban, Before Regulation
Huobi’s announcement comes in difficult times for the Indian crypto community. In recent months, Indian companies and individuals working with cryptocurrencies had to deal with a bank crackdown that followed a ban imposed by the Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank. The measure came into force on July 5, after the Supreme Court upheld it in a hearing on July 3, when it did not grant a stay before the compliance deadline, and then in another one on the 20th, when it did not overturn the ban. The final hearing on the matter was scheduled for September 11.
In April, the RBI ordered regulated financial institutions to quit providing services to entities and citizens dealing in cryptocurrency. The restrictions have since forced Indian crypto exchanges to suspend fiat transactions and offer crypto-to-crypto trading options. Comprehensive regulatory guidelines are expected in September, as news.Bitcoin.com reported earlier this week. A draft has been prepared already and consultations are underway to finalize the framework.
Until the important decisions are made this fall, P2P platforms are offering a viable option for Indian traders who want to exchange cryptos with rupees. Cryptocurrency exchanges, Koinex and Wazirx, are already offering peer-to-peer trading services.
If Huobi fulfills its promise to Indian users, the launch of its P2P platform will become the latest in a series of moves aimed at expanding its global reach. Huobi’s plans include Europe, Asia, America, and Australia. In June, the Singapore-based exchange confirmed its intentions to open an office in London. In early July, the third largest crypto trading platform launched a platform in Australia with 10 pairs against the AUD. Huobi is also eyeing opportunities in Toronto, San Francisco, and São Paulo.
Do you trade cryptocurrencies on P2P exchanges? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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A great deal of cryptocurrency proponents are hoping for a positive outcome when the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) decides on whether or not they will approve the latest bitcoin-based ETF application file by Cboe. The US regulator had asked for public opinion concerning the ETF again, and this time around the number of responses sent to the regulator is 10X the amount that was sent this past April.
SEC Receives 10X the Number of Responses for the Upcoming Bitcoin ETF Decision
Virtual currency enthusiasts really want a bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) approved by US regulators. Over the past few weeks, since Cboe filed an application with the SEC, so it can list shares backed by the Vaneck Solidx Bitcoin Trust (“the Trust”), the SEC office received a large swathe of opinion letters from more than 90 individuals according to recent reports. The number of responses sent was 10X the amount of opinions written last April during a prior bitcoin ETF decision.
Reports also detail that Cboe’s bitcoin-based ETF has been so popular that the SEC has pushed another cryptocurrency related listing off until this September. The attempted Cboe ETF has been a popular discussion among cryptocurrency enthusiasts and some speculators believe digital asset prices will rise in anticipation of the SEC’s decision. Cryptocurrency markets have seemingly already reversed their bearish trend and a good amount of proponents believe this decision will cause a spike either before and after the ruling if it is positive.
SEC Decision Date Discrepancy and a Possible Crypto-Bull Run if the Ruling Is Positive
There’s also been a discrepancy on when the official decision would be made as many people and publications assumed the verdict would be on August 10. However, according to a Reddit user, who claims to be a securities lawyer, on the forum r/cryptocurrency, an August 10 decision is impossible.
“The way this works is that the SEC issues a notice, which is then published in the Federal Register — As you will find stated clearly in the notice, the period is within 45 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register — not the date the notice is released by the SEC (edit: failure to understand this distinction is the source of the incorrect August 10th date),” explains the post.
The date of publication in the Federal Register was July 2nd — This means they have until August 16th. Bear in mind that it can be extended, and even once the period ends, the SEC may “initiate proceedings” to assist in making a decision.
A Possible Crypto-Bull Run if the SEC Ruling Is Positive
If an ETF judgment is made on August 16 there is well over a month until that date, so a lot could happen to cryptocurrency spot markets between now and that time. People who hope this ETF will happen believe it might be approved because of Cboe’s previous experience with bitcoin futures markets introduced this past December. So far the derivatives markets offered by both Cboe and CME Group have done well, and growing volumes show there is interest in these mainstream cryptocurrency investment vehicles. Arthur Hayes the co-founder and CEO of Bitmex exchange explains on the CNBC broadcast Fast Money that a positive ETF ruling could prime the next massive bull run.
“We’re one positive regulatory decision away — maybe an ETF approved by the SEC — to climb through $ 20,000 and even to $ 50,000 by the end of the year,” the Bitmex CEO states.
What do you think about the SEC being swamped with letters about the bitcoin ETF decision? Do you think a positive decision will cause a cryptocurrency bull run to happen? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.
Images via Shutterstock, Wiki Commons, and Pixabay
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