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Amid Crackdown, SEC Chairman Emphasizes Compliance Requirements

December 1, 2018 |

Amid Crackdown, SEC Chairman Emphasizes Compliance Requirements for ICOs

Jay Clayton, the chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), recently discussed the current regulatory climate surrounding initial coin offerings (ICOs). Clayton emphasized that all ICOs must register with the SEC to ensure compliance with U.S. law.

Also Read: Estonia to Tighten Rules for Licensed Crypto Companies

Requirements for Regulatory Compliance

Amid Crackdown, SEC Chairman Emphasizes Compliance Requirements for ICOsThe SEC chairman reiterated that the SEC does not see bitcoin as a security. However, it does view the tokens that are offered in many ICOs as securities. “If you’re going to offer and sell securities, you have to do that in compliance with our laws,” Clayton said.

Recent regulatory moves by the SEC against ICOs “further emphasize that our securities laws do apply to the ICO space,” he added. “If people are going to raise money using initial coin offerings, they either have to do so in a private placement, or they have to register with the SEC … when you register with the SEC, you’ve got to provide financial statements and disclosure along the lines that we would expect.”

When asked if all ICOs are noncompliant, Clayton responded by simply noting that he hasn’t seen any ICOs register with the SEC. He acknowledged that ICOs “conducted off-shore” or those that are “pursuant to a private placement exemption” could fall outside of the SEC’s regulatory purview. However, he added that “to the extent that you’ve conducted a public offering in an ICO, it’s noncompliant.”

No Comment on Timing of ETF

Amid Crackdown, SEC Chairman Emphasizes Compliance Requirements for ICOsWhen asked about the proposed Vaneck bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), Clayton declined to “comment on timing.” However, he asserted that the SEC has been clear about several matters of regulatory concern. Among the issues it has identified are “whether there is reliable price information on trading markets.” The SEC has also looked at concerns about custody, particularly “whether people who hold those assets can count on those assets to be there in the same way you can with other assets that underlie an ETF.”

In a recent appearance on the “What Bitcoin Did” podcast, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce discussed the SEC’s decision to reject nine proposed bitcoin ETFs earlier this year. She stated that the the commission has a tendency to “sometimes look at crypto and … say, ‘well it is very different from any other asset class’.” However, she added that while the notion is “to some degree true … there are similarities with other asset classes if you look at something like gold.”

Do you think that ICOs will begin to register with the SEC as cryptocurrency becomes more mainstream? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Amid Crackdown, SEC Chairman Emphasizes Compliance Requirements appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

United Airlines raises requirements for loyalty reward program’s most elite premium status

October 10, 2018 |

Starting next year, United Airlines will make it more difficult to reach the MileagePlus plans’ most elite status level — Premier 1K — but the carrier is offering a new perk for such top-tier fliers.

Starting Jan. 1, members of the loyalty reward program must spend a minimum of $ 15,000 and accumulate…


L.A. Times – Business

PR: NewChain Testnet Officially Launched and Fully Meets Commercial Requirements

September 7, 2018 |

NewChain Testnet Officially Launched and Fully Meets Commercial Requirements

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Newton Project has officially launched its blockchain product NewChain TestNet, along with Newton’s wallet NewPay and browser NewExplorer.

This marks that Newton now has a product which embodies its visions for the future, namely a gradual and steadfast process to commercialization.

With regards to transaction processing speed, technical solutions and product functions, Newton’s NewChain TestNet and other products have achieved a very high level of technological sophistication in order to meet commercial requirements.

According to Newton’s official announcement, NewChain TestNet has been able to reach 10,000 TPS; in real WANs, it can reach 5,000 TPS. Meanwhile, the same indicator of EOS and BTS is about 3,000 TPS, and of the global mainstream clearing center VISA is 2,000TPS.

NewChain consists of a main chain and many sub-chains. The main chain supports account management, Newton token management, sub-chain management, human-machine network governance, etc. The sub-chain supports various business scenarios, and multiple consensus mechanisms and data structures, and is highly scalable. The main chain adopts the Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism, and the super nodes are elected through voting and deployed globally.

Newton’s wallet NewPay supports functions including the creation of wallets, importing and exporting wallets, scanning for payment, NFC and so on. Two IoT devices used in combination with NewPay are ready for use. Newton’s browser NewExplorer provides block browsing, transaction query, account inquiry and other functions. According to Newton’s official disclosure, the two major products will continue to be updated in the future.

From a technical point of view, the security, the transaction processing speed, and the scalability of the products are sufficient to provide a solid foundation for commercialization. According to Newton team, they have already planned several major application scenarios and are assiduously preparing for upcoming ventures and opportunities.

With the launch of NewChain products, the Newton team has planned several major application scenarios such as retail, supply chain, finance, entertainment, etc. Chain-commerce retail will be the first practical application for the Newton project and will be Newton’s first showcase scenario.

It is natural that Newton should choose retail as its first application scenario. Newton founder Mr. Jizhe Xu was the CTO of of OKbuy.com, which is China’s largest footwear e-commerce platform and has received a substantial investment of $ 77 million from Sequoia Capital and Tencent. Mr. Jizhe Xu has already gathered several veteran entrepreneurs of E-commerce as a “Newton Core Community of Common Interest”. Therefore, for the Newton team, retail industry is their most familiar battlefield with their moat already built.

At present, several applications of Chain-commerce retail industry, including NewMall, are under developing and are expected to cover many countries and multiple models.

According to Newton team’s forecast, in 2019, Newton Chain-commerce retail will reach the GMV of 3 billion yuan. If the goal is achieved, Newton will probably rank among the leading blockchain projects in terms of transaction size.

Newton Website: https://www.newtonproject.org/#

Contact Person: pengqingying

Contact Email: pengqingying@newtonproject.org

Telegram: https://t.me/Newtonproject

Company Name: Newton Universe Limited

Email:
pengqingying@newtonproject.org

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

The post PR: NewChain Testnet Officially Launched and Fully Meets Commercial Requirements appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Japan Introduces New Screening Requirements for Crypto Exchanges

September 3, 2018 |

Japan Introduces New Screening Requirements for Crypto Exchanges

Japan’s financial regulator has reportedly introduced new screening requirements for crypto exchanges seeking approval to operate in the country. The agency now extends its focus beyond the registrants’ financial health and system safety measures. Among additional criteria are the assessment of the companies’ decision-making process and their links to antisocial groups.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

New Exchange Requirements

Japan Introduces New Screening Requirements for Crypto ExchangesJapan’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), has “tightened its registration screening for cryptocurrency exchanges to see whether they are properly conducting risk management,” the Japan Times reported, quoting unnamed sources.

Specifically, the sources revealed on Saturday that the agency has “increased the number of questions asked when screening applications to about 400 items, up fourfold,” the news outlet conveyed. “Previously, the questions only covered such items as an applicant’s financial status and measures to ensure system safety.”

The sources also told the news outlet:

It [FSA] now obligates applicants to submit minutes of board meetings so it can check whether enough discussions have been held about measures to sustain the company’s financial health and ensure the security of its computer system.

Japan Introduces New Screening Requirements for Crypto ExchangesThe agency plans to “assess whether company executives are properly involved in decision-making by perusing the records of board meetings,” the sources clarified. “The upgraded screening process also regularly reviews the composition of an applicant company’s shareholders, while examining if an internal system is in place to check for links to antisocial groups.”

On-Site Inspections Reveal Sloppiness

After the hack of Coincheck in January, the FSA started the on-site inspections of 23 crypto exchanges. The agency recently released a report of its findings which “revealed sloppy internal controls,” including a “lack of board meeting minutes,” the publication detailed.

Japan Introduces New Screening Requirements for Crypto ExchangesDuring the inspections, the agency issued business improvement orders to six fully-licensed cryptocurrency exchanges. In addition, 13 of the country’s 16 quasi-operators, or those crypto exchanges that are allowed to operate while their applications are being reviewed, have withdrawn their applications. Only three quasi-operators are left: Coincheck, Lastroots, and Everybody’s Bitcoin. This week, the e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc. announced that it is acquiring Everybody’s Bitcoin and will begin operating the exchange under the group’s name.

Meanwhile, about 160 crypto exchange operators are now interested in entering the Japanese market, the FSA told news.Bitcoin.com last week. This is a substantial increase from the agency’s previously disclosed total of 100 companies.

What do you think of the FSA’s new requirements? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Japan Introduces New Screening Requirements for Crypto Exchanges appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

North Carolina Banking Bill Passes — Adds Virtual Currency License Requirements

June 20, 2018 |

North Carolina Banking Bill Passes — Adds Virtual Currency License Requirements

The state of North Carolina has pushed the passage of House Bill 86 and some digital currency advocates and firms like Coinbase believe the bill makes the state more friendly towards cryptocurrency businesses. At the moment North Carolina’s House Bill 86 has been presented to Governor Roy Cooper and awaits his signature.

Also read: Major Korean Crypto Exchange: $ 31 Million Vanishes

North Carolina House Bill 86 Includes Money Transmission Changes and Licensure Guidelines in Regard to Virtual Currencies Passes Unanimously

North Carolina Banking Bill Passes — Adds Virtual Currency License Requirements On June 14, 2018, North Carolina’s general assembly unanimously ratified House Bill 86 which adds new language to the state’s permissible investments and statutory trust under the Money Transmitters Act. The bill’s final revision includes legal definitions concerning virtual currencies like bitcoin and other tokens. North Carolina’s legislation also requires the licensure of businesses that work with cryptocurrency activities. Furthermore, the state’s Commissioner of Banks Ray Grace can request data from the licensed cryptocurrency firm at any time. North Carolina House Bill 86 states:   

If the licensee possesses virtual currency as permissible investments under this Article, the Commissioner may at any time request that the licensee verify, in a manner acceptable to the Commissioner, aggregate virtual currency transmission obligations outstanding and virtual currency held as permissible investments, including virtual currency stored offline.

Coinbase Believes North Carolina’s Bill ‘Helps Cryptocurrency Companies Comply With the Letter of the Law’

North Carolina Banking Bill Passes — Adds Virtual Currency License Requirements
Coinbase executive Mike Lempres

Commissioner Grace had also helped write the revised edition which included virtual currency definitions and licensee requirements. The firm Coinbase applauded the passage of House Bill 86 and formally thanked the banking commissioner, representatives Tim Moore, Dan Bishop, Jon Hardister, Bill Rabon, Stephen Ross, Jason Saine, and Jeff Tarte for helping bolster the legislation.

“Passage of House Bill 86 exemplifies how regulators and legislators can work together to foster innovation by either licensing cryptocurrency money transmissions or exempting cryptocurrency from money transmission laws,” the Chief Legal and Compliance Officer at Coinbase, Mike Lempres said last Thursday.

By helping cryptocurrency companies comply with the letter of the law, leaders in both states are paving the way for the economic and social benefits of this new technology to flourish within their communities.           

The firm also complimented the state of Wyoming for recently passing its blockchain and cryptocurrency legislation after it had issues with the state prior to the passage of Wyoming’s guidelines. A while ago Coinbase suspended its services to Wyoming residents and the firm said at the time that the state’s Division of Banking made Coinbase operations impractical. As both North Carolina and Wyoming change their money transmissions laws the state’s look like they may see more business operations due to the legislative changes.

What do you think about North Carolina’s House Bill 86? Do you think more states will adapt virtual currencies into their laws? Or do you think these regulations are bad for cryptocurrencies in general? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.


Images via Pixabay, Wiki Commons, North Carolina Emblem, Coinbase, and Medium. 


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post North Carolina Banking Bill Passes — Adds Virtual Currency License Requirements appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Dutch AFM on Licensing Requirements for Institutions Invested in Crypto

June 17, 2018 |

Dutch AFM on Licensing Requirements for Institutions Invested in Crypto

The Dutch financial regulator, The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) has published a letter addressed to new and currently existing institutions invested in cryptocurrencies. The letter seeks to inform that certain cryptocurrency investment activities may require licensing from the AFM, however, expresses “serious doubts” as to “whether managers of investment institutions in cryptos can meet the requirements for licensing.”

Also Read: Censorship, Bans, and ETH Scams: Twitter Suspends Bitmain’s Official Account

Dutch Financial Regulator Issues Letter to Investment Institutions Operating With Cryptocurrencies

Dutch AFM on Licensing Requirements for Institutions Invested in CryptoThe letter seeks to address individuals seeking to apply as an administrator of an investment institution in cryptos, in addition to “existing […] administrator[s] of an investment institution active in cryptos, or [individuals] planning an investment institution to manage cryptos.”

The AFM states that it is placing the “heavy requirements” on institutions investing in cryptocurrencies due to “strong concern[s]” as to whether managers of investment institutions who invest in cryptos are able to meet the full licensing requirements. The AFM’s concerns principally regard “the sharp increase in interest in new market parties to provide these services in combination with the usually limited knowledge about applicable regulations,” which generally results in “ignorance” as to how to meet “supervisory standards in practice.”

The AFM also requests that investment institution inform the agency regarding “any desired expansion of [cryptocurrency] product offering[s]” well in advance of providing such.

Licensing Requirements for Dutch Investment Institutions

Dutch AFM on Licensing Requirements for Institutions Invested in CryptoThe AFM to clarify what circumstances in which the administrator for an investment institution will be required to seek licensing from the regulator. The letter states that the “threshold value for an administrator of (an) open-end investment institution (s) [is] €100 million [approximately $ 1,162 million USD].”

“An administrator of an investment institution must obtain a number of important licenses to [meet] licens[ing] requirements,” the AFM continues. “These requirements are intended to include to protect the interests of retail investors and to ensure the proper functioning of retail investors market. No distinction is made between different forms of investing.”

The AFM has “drawn up a number of questions” that administrators of institutions invested in cryptocurrencies will be required to answer in order to apply for the required licensing. Said requirements pertain to the institution’s liquidity management, valuation protocols, the product development process, and storage considerations.

What is your response to the AFM’s new licensing apparatus for institutions invested in cryptocurrencies? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, www.afm.nl


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Dutch AFM on Licensing Requirements for Institutions Invested in Crypto appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Fed proposes raising capital requirements for big Wall Street banks in major rules change

April 11, 2018 |

Wall Street banks could face higher capital hurdles under a Federal Reserve proposal that would mark the most significant rewrite of requirements put in place after the 2008 financial crisis.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the Fed said it is considering implementing a “stress capital buffer” to…


L.A. Times – Business

Credit card companies eliminating signature requirements

April 5, 2018 |

It’s the end of an era that few people seemed to notice.
FOX News

KYC Requirements Are Making ICOs Riskier, Not Safer

February 12, 2018 |

It’s Easier to Open a Bank Account Than It Is to Participate in an ICO

Once upon a time initial coin offerings were open to everyone. That time was last year, and since then gaining entry to ICOs has become increasingly difficult. In response to regulatory attention from the SEC, crypto startups have begun to perform due diligence on aspiring investors. Thanks to onerous KYC requirements, the pendulum has swung the other way, presenting hackers with an additional prize – the data of tens of thousands of investors.

Also read: Many Token Crowdsales No Longer That Open to the Crowds

KYC Requirements Are an Accident Waiting to Happen

It’s Easier to Open a Bank Account Than It Is to Participate in an ICOLast year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission went after a number of ICOs for failing to perform due diligence to ensure their investors didn’t hail from the U.S. Spurred partially by a desire to avoid censure or shutdown from the SEC, ICOs have taken things to the opposite extreme, using Know Your Customer procedures to weed out investors from the U.S., China, and a handful of other countries. To date, all of 2018’s major crowdsales have required some sort of KYC in order to gain admittance to their whitelist, with many outsourcing the task to third parties that specialize in such matters.

To merely be considered for a token sale, it is now commonplace for an individual to have to submit a passport scan, bank statement, and various other documents and to answer a string of questions about their background and the origin of their cryptocurrency. Legolas, for example, requested that investors “Provide as much detail as possible about the origin of the BTC”. Being whitelisted for a token sale is no guarantee of participation either. Oversubscribed ICOs such as Arcblock returned ether to hundreds of participants who had failed to contribute in time or who were deemed to have “cheated” by using over the prescribed gas limit. Twitter traders now encourage investors to submit KYC to as many promising ICOs as possible, just in case they later decide to participate.

A Data Leak In the Making

It’s Easier to Open a Bank Account Than It Is to Participate in an ICO
In Sentinel’s Telegram chat, investors were deeply critical.

With ICOs now holding the passports and other identification documents of thousands of crypto investors together with their emails and wallet addresses, hackers have an added incentive to target crowdsales. Even if they’re unsuccessful in altering the contribution address, the raw data of tens of thousands of crypto holders is a honeypot of significant value in its own right. Some of that honey was stolen from The Bee Token, whose email database was accessed and used to send out phishing emails which raised over $ 1 million.

This week, Sentinel ICO had an even bigger fail after the passport data of its users was leaked. In a Medium post, the startup confessed that a website vulnerability had allowed uploaded files to be accessed by another user. To compound the problem, the user who discovered the flaw then claimed to have been reported to the police by Sentinel for their actions, despite having done nothing wrong.

KYC: Good for ICOs, Bad for Investors

It is hard to put a figure on the success rate for ICO whitelist applicants, though it’s likely to stand at less than 50%. At least half of the time, in other words, participants are submitting personally identifiable documents in exchange for nothing, be it due to whitelist oversubscription or network congestion that prevents them from contributing ether in time. The likelihood of that data being leaked is low, but cumulatively, over the course of dozens of KYC applications, those odds start to mount up. It only takes one failure to expose an individual’s data once and for all time. Email and wallet addresses can be changed; passports and driving licenses are permanent.

Gaining approval to participate in pre and public sales is now viewed by many ardent ICO participants as a game. The price for admission is the time it takes to complete the KYC registration process and the chance that none of the countless ICOs they apply to will suffer a catastrophic data breach. As if investing in ICOS wasn’t risky enough, KYC requirements have ironically made crowdsales even more hazardous.

Do you think KYC requirements for ICOs are excessive or necessary? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post KYC Requirements Are Making ICOs Riskier, Not Safer appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Delta Air Lines adds new requirements for passengers flying with service animals

January 19, 2018 |

Responding to an increase in such incidents as animal bites, barking and defecation, Delta Air Lines has announced new requirements for passengers who want to fly with a service animal or emotional support animal.

Starting March 1, all passengers who want to fly with an animal in the cabin need…


L.A. Times – Business