The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a warning about investing in nine digital tokens and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), which have not been accredited by the regulator, news outlet Bangkok Post reported Oct. 26.

The SEC reportedly initiated an investigation into digital tokens and ICOs being promoted on social media platforms for investment, and found nine cases wherein promoted digital assets had not been authorized by the market regulator.

Per the SEC, the alleged digital assets and ICOs have neither filed an application for the SEC’s approval, nor have they met the necessary qualifications and had smart contracts assessed by ICO portals. The SEC said that those who have invested in the alleged assets should be wary of associated investment risks.

The SEC reportedly reiterated a warning about Ponzi schemes that persuade people to invest in digital assets by promising investment returns generated from tokens. “Information disclosure for investment decision-making is also inadequate, while these digital assets might not have sufficient liquidity to trade and cannot be converted into cash,” the regulator added.

In August, the SEC said that almost 50 ICO projects expressed interest in becoming certified following the Finance Ministry’s announcement to introduce ICO regulations. The authorization process takes up to five months as upon submission of an application, the SEC will transfer the document to the Finance Ministry within 90 days. After that, the Ministry has 60 days to make a decision whether to approve a license.

Later that month, the SEC approved seven businesses to conduct cryptocurrency operations as part of the formalization of the country’s domestic market. The move forms part of a package of “transitional” rules governing crypto businesses operating in Thailand prior to the first tranche of regulations that came into force May 14.

The 100-section law defines cryptocurrencies as “digital assets and digital tokens,” and brought them under the regulatory jurisdiction of the SEC. Thai Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong reportedly assured that the new measures are not intended to prohibit cryptocurrencies or ICOs.

*This post is credited to CoinTelegraph

Bakkt confirms the first contacts to be physically delivered Bitcoin futures contracts against fiat currencies like USD, GBP, and EUR. With the focus on regulated institutions, Bakkt has the crypto community excited.

Physically delivered Bitcoin futures contract: Bakkt

Bakkt is less than two months away from launching its platform and it is leaving no stone unturned to ensure this step is seamless and progressive one at that. According to the latest developments, Bakkt has announced that the first of its contracts will be physically delivered ones as stated:

“Our first contracts will be physically delivered Bitcoin futures contracts versus fiat currencies, including USD, GBP, and EUR. For example, buying one USD/BTC futures contract will result in daily delivery of one Bitcoin into the customer’s account.”

Just to reiterate,

Bakkt

@Bakkt

Bakkt is designed to serve as a scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant, and consumer participation in digital assets by promoting greater efficiency, security, and utility

Bakkt has previously stated that physical bitcoin futures would be involved:

“Bakkt uses the existing, time-tested, regulated futures market infrastructure to introduce physically delivered Bitcoin and warehousing to global markets.

All aspects of the existing futures market will, for the first time, be part of physical delivery and warehousing of Bitcoin.”

This came onto the heels of Bakkt’s previous statement that they won’t be offering any marginal trading or allow any leverage with regards to Bitcoin. Moreover, the focus here by Nasdaq’s parent company Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is on regulated institutions as shared by Bakkt on twitter a few days back,

“While there are many aspects of Bakkt that we’ll continue to develop and share, our initial focus is supporting regulated institutions in serving customers in this emerging asset class.”

Bakkt has only emphasized this point time and again as it has shared:

Bakkt

@Bakkt

Bakkt is working to address the unique requirements of regulated institutions, their clients and stakeholders, such as merchants and consumers. Our goal is to make digital assets more liquid, trusted and accessible; allowing meaningful innovation to follow.

Excited community, bullish on Bitcoin & crypto market

For the time being, crypto and bitcoin enthusiasts are excited and anticipating Bitcoin ETF approval by SEC which will not involve any physical bitcoins like Bakkt’s futures contracts.

People and market are getting extremely excited on the prospect of new money coming into the market as one Redditor shared,

“If you’re a holder, you would be a fool to sell at any point over the next 3-5 years. No way in hell I am selling in that time period. Lots of new money is coming in.”

Another Redditor shared,

“Let the market digest this one. Things are still moving as planned.”

Moreover, a giant from the mainstream financial market involved in the crypto market is a step in the right direction apparently as this Redditor shared in part,

“This is a good way to get physical bitcoin pretty quickly (1-day) while falling into a well known regulatory regime. Future contracts are regulated by the CFTC and have clear rules. Also, BAKKT is owned by ICE and they have tons of futures trading already so it’s something they’re skilled in. And finally, institutions trust ICE and the CFTC.”

With scheduled to release in November, the entire crypto market is looking forward to this launch and its impact on Bitcoin and crypto market.

*This post is credited to Coingape

Supported with proceeding with adoption, crypto holidays have turned into a reality. Now, flights and lodgings all around the globe can be reserved with Bitcoin (BTC). All things considered, a few urban areas are more prepared to acknowledge your BTC — and major altcoins — than others, contingent upon the neighborhood framework and crypto-related strategies.

As per information from Coinmap, at present there are around 13,150 settings, shops and ATMs supporting Bitcoin on the planet, and that number has been unhesitatingly developing since late 2013.

Nonetheless, as Gili Gershonok, a crypto wanderer who purposely decides not to have a bank account, disregarding fiat cash while voyaging turns out to be more troublesome, as the majority of the crypto prepaid cards she vigorously depended on were dropped in mid 2018.

“I feel like an ever increasing number of hindrances are being set against people who set out to have a way of life that is off the financial framework… The way toward going crypto-to-money is getting more confounded, particularly for the individuals who want to keep their protection and dodge high expenses — both exceptionally organized qualities over the crypto network.”

The majority of that being stated, Gershonok consoled that going with BTC is as yet conceivable, drawing a parallel among crypto and easygoing tourists:

“I don’t believe there’s an immense contrast in the financial practices of [the two]. In Prague, I for the most part keep to money, which I can without much of a stretch pull back out of one of numerous crypto ATMs over the city. I endeavor to discover crypto installment alternatives for online transactions and as the banality goes, for everything else — there’s plastic.”

Gershonok prompts the individuals who need to have a go at voyaging without fiat for themselves to begin with their present area, and remember security:

“Go crypto for seven days in the place where you grew up and see what inquiries and difficulties you run over. It would likewise be prudent to think about some security situations, similar to, what you would do if your telephone, PC, baggage are lost or stolen — and have possibilities set up.”

As the finish of the late spring nears, here are probably the most crypto-accommodating goals that may be worth attempting.

Prague, Czech Republic

Home to SatoshiLabs, the producer of the Trezor hardware wallet, Prague has the most BTC-tolerating settings in the world, according to Coinmap information. There, Bitcoin can be utilized for leasing lofts, paying for nourishment and beverages in different bars and eateries, or notwithstanding visiting a crypto-accommodating film. Gershonok confirms that Prague is a standout amongst the most agreeable urban communities for virtual monetary forms, naming it her undisputed top choice:

“Businesses with crypto POS and ATMs are not everything [there]. Prague likewise has an extremely very much educated, all around associated and dynamic crypto network. I feel like there’s more individuals here who calmly think about cryptocurrencies and blockchain nuts and bolts than in different spots I’ve visited.”

Approaches

At state level, the Czech Republic inclines toward a liberal way to deal with cryptocurrencies. In 2017, the nearby central bank proclaimed that virtual monetary forms don’t speak to a danger to the customary banking framework through a declaration named “Don’t fear Bitcoin.” In it, the guard dog contended that fiat monetary forms are still most reasonable for business, and the conventional financial framework can’t be underestimated by cryptocurrencies in view of crypto’s unpredictability.

In any case, before the finish of 2017, the Back Service presented an Anti Money Laundering (AML) law incompletely limiting BTC. The bill requires neighborhood crypto exchanges to uncover the personality of clients so they will never again have the capacity to “hole up behind phony names or epithets.”

 

Ljubljana, Slovenia

While Ljubljana does not really ring a bell when considering most crypto-propelled urban communities, the capital of Slovenia has a ‘Bitcoin city‘, apropos named BTC city, inside itself — a complex with 500 retail locations spread crosswise over 475,000 square meters. An exceptional cryptocurrency exchange framework called Elipay is set to be coordinated into BTC City after a testing round. In any case, various bistros, a water stop, shoe shops, and so on., have just started accepting cryptocurrencies. The executive of Slovenia, Dr. Miro Cerar, has apparently visited and empowered the idea of BTC City, which additionally has the country’s biggest mining rig. Furthermore, there are around 20 BTC-tolerating scenes in Ljubljana’s downtown area, as indicated by Coinmap.

Approaches

There’s no unmistakable regulation for cryptocurrencies in Slovenia right now. In 2017, nonetheless, the Slovenian Financial Steadiness Board issued a notice to Slovenians, encouraging them to be careful when putting resources into ICOs and advanced monetary forms, as there are no laws policing those zones.

In any case, neighborhood government is obviously inspired by blockchain. In October 2017, the government of Slovenia declared its intends to position the nation as the main goal of blockchain innovation in the European Association, while additionally contemplating the potential uses of the innovation in broad daylight organization.

 

The Caribbean

In April 2018, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) collaborated with Barbados-based blockchain startup Bitt Inc. to encourage “the execution of more proficient installment forms for tourism-related items and administrations.” Basically, CTO needs to investigate how cryptocurrencies can enhance the neighborhood tourist industry, which is one of the fundamental wellsprings of salary in the Caribbean, particularly after extensive U.S. banks began to pull back capital from the locale due to the ‘de-gambling’ strategy. Hugh Riley, the CTO’s secretary general, told nearby media:

“The Caribbean means to completely look at the favorable circumstances offered by new financial innovation… specifically, blockchain financial administrations can possibly propel the targets of particular projects and exercises inside the tourism division. The CTO has an obligation for our individuals to completely investigate those conceivable outcomes.”

While the real result of that cooperation is as yet impalpable, if the Caribbean keeps on moving toward that path, neighborhood shorelines may pull in a variety of cryptobusiness people willing to spend their funds there.

Approaches

Caribbean nations are moving toward crypto adoption at the state level also. In Spring, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) declared a national cryptocurrency called the Advanced Eastern Caribbean Dollar (DXCD), which is intended to be presented close by fiat cash in eight Eastern Caribbean nations. Donaldson Romeo, chief of Montserrat, announced not long ago:

“The choice to draw nearer to a cashless society is with regards to our general improvement methodology, and furthermore that of the ECCB.”

 

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is one of the spearheading urban areas as far as virtual monetary standards. It broadly houses the Bitcoin International safe haven, a network center close-by the nearby sex exhibition hall where crypto fans accumulate to go to and sort out workshops or do informal communication in the neighborhood bistro. Moreover, there are around 40 more BTC-accommodating scenes, including a bicycle rental, among others. The yearly Bitfilm celebration committed to all things crypto has likewise been facilitated there.

Approaches

In Walk, a Dutch court arranged Bitcoin as a “transferable esteem” after the court decided for an offended party who was owed 0.591 BTC.

In May, the government issued a report which viewed cryptocurrency as comprehensively “generally safe” in connection to financial steadiness. Be that as it may, before long, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) addressed whether substances managing in cryptocurrency had adjusted to authorizing laws, because of the high dangers being included.

 

Tokyo, Japan

Coinmap demonstrates that there are around 80 crypto-accommodating businesses in Tokyo, one of the biggest sums on the planet. For example, prominent transport line sushi eatery Numazuko acknowledges cryptocurrencies, and also Programmers Bar which has live programming sessions, not to tally various crypto ATMs.

Approaches

Such transparency with respect to cryptocurrencies does not shock anyone considering that Bitcoin and altcoins can be utilized as a lawfully acknowledged methods for installment in Japan. Neighborhood guard dogs manage the business through careful AML and Know Your Client (KYC) consistence checks, while the Japan’s self-administrative crypto trade body tries to participate with the state.

 

Berlin, Germany

Bitcoin’s prominence in Germany’s capital was featured by The Watchman in 2013, back when standard culture was rejecting the computerized money as exclusively a crypto-anarchic apparatus. In Berlin, Bitcoin can be utilized not exclusively to drink and eat at neighborhood bars and eateries (more than 50 inside the downtown area region acknowledge crypto), yet for more complex things also — for example, the European School of Administration and Innovation situated in Berlin has been tolerating BTC as a methods for installment since December 2016.

Approaches

Cryptocurrencies are not lawful delicate in Germany, but rather they have been perceived as ‘private cash’ by the German Back Service since 2013. Strangely, as indicated by the German Wage Duty Act, if speculators hold their assets (cryptos) for over one year, their coins turn out to be completely assess absolved, making Germany additional alluring to hodlers.

 

Zug, Switzerland

While Zug might be not also prepared for normal BTC-financed tourist exercises as different urban communities on the rundown, it in any case speaks to a chronicled city for crypto devotees. Gladly supporting the title of “Crypto Valley,” Zug is home to various blockchain new companies. Cryptocurrencies can be utilized for city related exercises, for example, paying rent or notwithstanding enrolling an organization.

Approaches

In Switzerland, “cryptocurrencies are neither cash nor an outside money, nor a financial supply for products and ventures assess (GST) purposes.” Its misty legitimate status, in any case, does not keep the government from trying different things with blockchain, such as utilizing the innovation for city voting, for example.

 

Malta

When you get to Malta, make a beeline for the Bitcoin and Auto Dealer situated in Qormi to guarantee your compulsory Lambo with your crypto funds — without a doubt, expecting that you have enough coins, clearly. From that point forward, you can drive to a crypto-accommodating sushi eatery to praise the new buy. While the neighborhood foundation for BTC utilize is still to some degree youthful, the circumstance may change not long after more positive regulations are presented — and there are motivations to presume they are coming.

Approaches

In Spring, the biggest crypto trade in the world, Binance, reported it was moving its base camp to Malta. Accordingly, Malta’s head administrator, Joseph Muscat, uncovered the island’s intend to wind up the “worldwide pioneers in the regulation of blockchain-based businesses.”

On July 4, the nearby government passed three laws that enable companies to issue new cryptocurrencies and exchange the current ones. Above all, on that day, Malta turned into the principal nation in the world to give a lucid administrative system in the field of blockchain. This week, it proceeded with its way to wind up the ‘blockchain island,’ as the College of Malta declared a €300,000 blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) grant support related to the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA).

 

San Francisco, U.S.

San Francisco brags around 120 crypto-accommodating settings, being a globally perceived center for crypto evangelists. There’s the popular Crypto Château, a central hub for crypto brokers imagining to duplicate their speculations and join the positions of crypto tycoons, and also various BTC-tolerating businesses. Actually, San Francisco is so best in class as far as crypto that even a nearby government court acknowledges bail bonds paid in BTC.

Approaches

Cryptocurrencies are still in an indistinct administrative zone in the U.S., regardless of being viewed by different controllers like the Securities and Trade Commission (SEC)and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), who characterize computerized monetary standards relying upon their domain. In any case, the U.S. has been creating a plan for crypto regulations, giving the rights to exchange BTC prospects and issuing an uncommon exchanging permit in New York.

 

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires has been informally named the capital of Bitcoin in Latin America. It flaunts an amazing measure of crypto businesses — around 140, according to Coinmap — being up in the main three along San Francisco and Prague. As indicated by a neighborhood crypto-related media outlet, Buenos Aires has a Bitcoin distributing house and a taxi benefit among businesses tolerating BTC. Additionally, singular experts like picture takers, educators, originators, specialists and clinicians have supposedly been tolerating cryptofor their administrations there.

Approaches

Bitcoin’s achievement in Argentina could be credited to the swelling of the national cash and controlled trade rates — those financial issues drove a few subjects to decentralized monetary forms.

The legislative leader of Argentina’s central bank was in charge of proposing the July 2018 due date for administrative recommendations at the G20 summit in Spring — in any case, the date has been delayed until in any event October.

*This post is credited to Coinnounce

The former CEO of a cryptocurrency company has been sentenced to prison time and ordered to pay $9 million in restitution due to his company’s role in a major Ponzi scheme that cost hundreds of investors millions of dollars. The hearing comes as the U.S. government and regulatory agencies step up their crackdown on cryptocurrency-related fraud.

A District Court Judge in Connecticut sentenced 33-year-old Josh Garza to a 21-month prison sentence followed by six months of house arrest for his role in a Ponzi scheme based around the issuance of a cryptocurrency – called PayCoin – which entitled investors to a portion of another company’s mining profits.

The scheme was conducted between May of 2014 and January of 2015 through four companies owned by Garza. These companies sold the rights and access to cryptocurrency mining operations and allowed investors to buy a portion of these operations through “PayCoin “and “Hashlets,” which claimed to give investors the rights to a portion of the profits from the mining operations.

John Durham, the U.S. District Attorney for Connecticut, spoke about the scheme, saying that “hashlet customers, or investors, were buying the rights to profit from a slice of the computing power owned by the companies.”

Although the operation seems legitimate on the surface, Garza made multiple claims that should have raised red flags for investors, including the guarantee that the price of the virtual currency wouldn’t drop below $20 per unit, because the company would prop the price using their $100 million digital currency reserve.

After pleading guilty for defrauding investors and committing wire fraud, Garza was ordered to pay full restitution to all the investors that had lost their entire investments after the operations were found to be illegitimate. The judge required that Garza pay all the investors a total of $9,182,000 in restitution and was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

Garza’s Sentencing Comes as the US Government Increases Its Crackdown on Cryptocurrency Scams

This past week, a New York federal judge ruled that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) fall under the umbrella of securities offerings, opening up the gates for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to move to shut down fraudulent, or potentially fraudulent, ICO operations.

The ruling came about in a case regarding a man who has defrauded ICO investors by claiming, and providing falsified evidence, that the virtual currency was physically backed by diamonds and real estate.

Judge Raymond Dearie, the judge handling the case, commented on his ruling, saying that:

“Congress’ purpose in enacting the securities laws was to regulate investments, in whatever form they are made and by whatever name they are called… Stripped of the 21st-century jargon, including the defendant’s own characterization of the offered investment opportunities, the challenged indictment charges a straightforward scam, replete with the common characteristics of many financial frauds.”

Following this ruling, the SEC immediately moved to shut down and charge two cryptocurrency scams that were defrauding investors. The first company charged was TokenLot, a self-described ICO superstore, that was charged with operating as an unregistered broker-dealer. The TokenLot team cooperated fully with the SEC, which led to light charges.

The second company that was shut down by the SEC was a cryptocurrency hedge fund, called Crypto Asset Management LP, that had falsely claimed to investors that it was the first fully regulatory compliant crypto hedge fund. The operator of this fund, Timothy Enneking, had taken over $3 million from investors, and more than 40% of his fund’s investments were considered as securities by the SEC.

It is likely that the SEC and other regulatory authorities in the U.S. will continue to crackdown on cryptocurrency-related scams in the near future.

*This post is credited to News BTC

The Philippines’ market regulator said it would release a draft rule on cryptocurrency exchanges with the aim of creating a healthy business environment for digital currencies.

The Philippine market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), announced on Monday that a new draft regulation on digital currency exchange operations would be out this month, as the government seeks to limit the number of companies willing to offer virtual currency trading platforms in the country.

Speaking to reporters after an en banc meeting, SEC Commissioner Ephyro Luis B. Amatong said they hope to come out with final rules before the end of this year.

“We will put out a draft rule for the virtual currency exchanges hopefully within the first half of September,” he said. “Virtual currency exchanges (VCEs) have licenses similar to that of money changers. They can exchange from cryptocurrency to fiat currency. But many of the VCEs, all of the VCEs are applying to allow them to act as trading platforms. When the trading platforms come in, this is a concern of SEC that we will discuss with BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) we will have a joint cooperative oversight.”

At the same time, the SEC commissioner said his agency is in talks with BSP to create a joint cooperative oversight over the cryptocurrency exchanges.

The BSP defines digital currencies as a “type of digital currency created by a community of online users, stored in electronic wallets, and generally transacted online.” As such, the bank said the government and the central bank do not guarantee cryptocurrencies. The BSP noted that VCEs are businesses engaged in the trading and converting cryptocurrencies into fiat currency or vice versa.

In a circular, the BSP said VCEs are required to have security measures and safeguards to address the risks associated with digital currency exchanges, such as basic controls on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing, consumer protection, and technology risk management.

According to Amatong, the proposed regulations on digital currency exchanges seek to promote investor protection while allowing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) an alternative means to raise capital.

He added that the government aims to create a business climate that provides investors’ confidence where they can invest in securities that have a digital form. “Instead of paper or securities that are housed within PDTC (Philippine Depository & Trust Corp.), the depository they’re being proposed to be accommodated on a blockchain.

“Previously you had to go through all of the infrastructures of the PSE (Philippine Stock Exchange) or a PDEx (Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp.), a traditional stock to raise funds but what the fintech promises are you can achieve that through technology at a lower cost,” Amatong added.

*This post is credited to Cryptovest