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Japan’s two cryptocurrency associations have reportedly decided to merge in order to restore trust in the industry and accelerate self-imposed rules. Once approved by the Japanese financial regulator, the new organization will have the power to set penalties for breaches of self-regulation.
Two Crypto Associations Merging
Japan currently has two cryptocurrency industry associations: the Japan Blockchain Association (JBA) and the Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association (JCBA). The former is headed by Bitflyer CEO, Yuzo Kano, and has a total of 88 members, while the latter has a total of 154 members, according to Minkabu publication.
The two organizations have reportedly been in talks to merge after the hack of one of the country’s largest exchanges, Coincheck, where 58 billion yen worth on the cryptocurrency NEM were stolen. They “are hurried to restore trust in the industry,” Forbes Japan reported.
They “will be integrated to establish a new self-regulating organization,” to focus on areas such as safety management system and compensation of customer assets, the news outlet added. In addition, the new entity will also focus on the reliability of crypto exchanges that have already been approved by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA). Currently, there are 16 approved exchanges and 16 under review, including Coincheck.
On Thursday, Nikkei reported:
Two cryptocurrency industry groups in Japan [JBA and JCBA] have agreed to merge in an effort to accelerate the establishment of voluntary regulations and regain public trust in the aftermath of a massive virtual currency heist.
Set to launch on April 1, “The new organization’s chairman will likely be JCBA Chairman Taizen Okuyama, president of Money Partners Group,” the news outlet detailed, adding that Kano is “expected to become the self-regulatory body’s vice chairman.”
Commenting on the news of its merger with the JBA, the JCBA issued a statement on Thursday, stating that no details have been decided at this time.
The new entity will need the approval of the FSA. Under Japan’s revised payment services law which went into effect in April of last year, cryptocurrency operators are allowed to form a self-regulatory organization. They can “set industry rules, conduct investigations on members, and impose punishment,” the Japan Times elaborated.
However, the FSA previously “refused to allow two self-regulatory bodies, urging the industry to create a unified organization by merging the JBA and the JCBA,” Nikkei explained on Thursday, adding that:
Once the new body is approved by the agency, it will gain the power to set penalties for breaches of its self-imposed rules. This should also help address calls by banks and other businesses in the conventional financial industry for virtual currency businesses to establish a robust self-regulatory regime.
Do you think the merger will help the crypto industry gain more of the public’s trust? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Dear Liz: I am 85 and my wife is 76. We have a house free of mortgage worth about $ 1 million. We have market investments above $ 4 million and life insurance of $ 1 million. We do not have a trust, just a will. Our financial advisor says that we do not need a trust because we have named both of our…
Bitcoin payment specialists Bitgo have announced the acquisition of Kingdom Trust, an investment firm with custody of over $ 12 billion in assets. The move will enable the South Dakota-based Kingdom Trust Company to offer custodial cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ripple, and ethereum to its investors. This will make it easier for traditional investors to enter the lucrative crypto markets without needing to assume responsibility for safeguarding their holdings.
Bitgo Expands Its Kingdom
Bitgo is the web’s best known cryptocurrency payment processor, responsible for over $ 10 billion of transactions a month, much of which comes from major bitcoin exchanges. Its purchase of Kingdom Trust is an interesting one for a number of reasons. Two years ago, it would have been hard to envisage a day when a bitcoin company would be acquiring a firm from the world of traditional finance, not least one with 100,000 customers and $ 12 billion of assets in its care.
Announcing the news, Bitgo CEO Mike Belshe said: “Global financial markets have longed for an end-to-end solution offering both the technology to secure digital currencies as well as the legal and compliance controls necessary to integrate into mainstream financial portfolios…Kingdom Trust has served as a 40 Act qualified custodian for almost a decade and has developed the expertise required by institutional investors necessary for compliance with the Act.”
Double Digit Gains for the 1%?
The move, subject to approval, will suit both parties, enabling Bitgo to grow its brand and tap into a previously inaccessible market, and giving Kingdom Trust a means to ease into the burgeoning world of bitcoin, ethereum and all the rest. As an independent qualified custodian, Kingdom Trust enables registered investment advisors (RIAs) to manage the assets of high-net worth individuals – the 1% in other words. These are the sort of people who have neither the time or inclination to open a Coinbase account, but who are happy for RIAs to make astute investments on their behalf, and right now, crypto is where the money’s at.
Kingdom Trust provides custody solutions for “individual investors, investment sponsors, family offices, advisory firms, broker-dealers and various other investment platforms”. In addition to stocks, bonds, and commodities, those monied individuals now have another item to add to their basket in the form of cryptocurrency.
Do you think bitcoin companies buying up traditional finance companies is likely to become a trend? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Bitgo.
Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.
The post Bitgo Snaps Up Kingdom Trust, Paving the Way for Custodial Cryptocurrency Offerings appeared first on Bitcoin News.
This week the sponsor of the Bitcoin Investment Trust, Grayscale Investments has announced the launch of a 91-for-1 stock split of the Trust’s issued and outstanding shares. According to Grayscale, the division will take place on January 26 and shareholders will receive 90 shares for each their original shares held.
The Bitcoin Trust Is Creating a 91-1 Stock Split
Grayscale Investments, Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCQX: GBTC) is a popular investment fund based on the price of bitcoins held in reserves. Most investment trusts own a fixed amount of the asset and investors purchase shares of the Net Asset Value (NAV). One GBTC share is worth around 1/10th of BTC and users also pay portfolio maintenance fees. Investors like GBTC because it is considered one of the only stock tied to real bitcoins that are offered on a public stock market. Because BTC values have rallied for well over a year GBTC prices have followed suit making the price per share a bit expensive for some. Unlike purchasing bitcoins in fractions, investors have to buy an entire share to get in on GBTC investing. The increased price has made it harder for ordinary retail investors to buy shares so Grayscale has decided to create a stock split.
From $ 1,800 Shares to $ 18 Per GBTC
Basically, a stock split or divide increased the number of shares allocated to the investment vehicle. For instance right now Grayscale holds 1,916,600 shares of GBTC and one share is worth 0.09242821 BTC. If a user purchases ten shares, then they have the equivalent of 1 BTC and Grayscale holds a total of roughly 170,000 BTC. With the launch of a 91-for-1 stock split every share that’s worth .092 BTC will drop to 0.00101 BTC. After the split, there will be 174,410,600 GBTC shares in circulation. Grayscale believes the move will make GBTC shares more affordable and it will entice retail investors. Currently, one GBTC share is roughly around $ 1,767 USD, and after the split, it will be worth about $ 17.60 respectively.
“It is the only product (of its kind) available to investors for purchase at net asset value,” explains the Grayscale director Michael Sonnenshein in a recent video interview.
The Possibility of Even More Shares and Automatic Issuance
Grayscale also reveals that the stock split could result in more shares than estimated on January 26.
“After the close of business on the record date, the Trust will announce the total number of shares that will be issued and outstanding immediately after effectiveness of the stock split on January 26, 2018, which will give effect to any such new shares created after the date of this press release and up through the record date,” Grayscale Investments details.
Shareholders are not required to take any action to receive the shares in connection with the stock split and they will not be required to surrender or exchange their shares in the Trust — The transfer agent will automatically issue the new shares in the stock split.
Stock Splits Can Affect a Stocks Overall Value Either Negatively Or In a Positive Way
Stock splits happen all the time in the financial world, but it’s interesting to see the method applied to an investment fund based on actual bitcoins held in storage. There are two scenarios that could happen when more GBTC shares become available as far as the stock’s price. One, the market could get over diluted, and the price drops in value at some point after the split; or, the split shares could make the overall asset holdings increase in value while also creating more accessibility to ‘average Joe’ investors. Grayscale is hoping for the latter outcome.
What do you think about Grayscale splitting GBTC? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Images via Pixabay, Grayscale, and Google Finance.
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The post Grayscale Will Launch Stock Split for Bitcoin Trust Shares appeared first on Bitcoin News.
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