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Regulation

NASDAQ Will Partner With VanEck To Launch ‘Bitcoin Futures 2.0’ In Early 2019

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In yesterday’s cryptocurrency news, we talked about Nasdaq and its apparent plans to launch a Bitcoin futures trading platform. Today, the news has quite crystallised and we have more information about this project – which is apparently set to complete in early 2019.

The world’s second largest stock exchange (Nasdaq) plans to roll out the Bitcoin futures in the first quarter of 2019 through a partnership with the investment management firm VanEck. According to VanEck’s director of digital asset strategy, the companies will re-launch a variety of Bitcoin derivatives in early-2019 such as a “regulated crypto 2.0 futures-type contract.”

According to VanEck’s director of digital asset strategy, Gabor Gurbacs, and his announcement during the Consensus: Invest conference in New York on November 27th, Nasdaq and VanEck will unveil “transparent, regulated and surveilled digital asset products such as Bitcoin futures contracts.”

Nasdaq has been working with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in order to make sure that it fully complies with any lingering regulatory concerns the country’s main swaps regulator has.

In a tweet, Gurbacs also confirmed that VanEck “ran a few extra miles working with the CFTC to bring about new standards for custody and surveillance.”

The CFTC, which is the main organization that regulates Bitcoin as a commodity, has so far approved only two crypto futures products, one being the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s (CME) futures platform and the other being the one from the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE).

Meanwhile, VanEck is still trying to win the approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in order to launch the first-ever Bitcoin ETF. Despite the SEC rejections, Gurbacs believes and hopes for SEC approval very soon.

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Regulation

US SEC Sues ICOBox For Conducting An Illegal $14M Securities Offering

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It seems like the United States Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has a lot on its hands right now. As many best cryptocurrency news sites report, there are lawsuits being prepared by the regulatory authority every day. In the recent news, we can see that US SEC sues ICOBox for conducting an illegal securities offering worth $14 million and acting as unregistered brokers. As a press release shared on September 18 showed, the US SEC claims that ICOBox and Evdokimov (the founder) sold the firm's ICO tokens to more than 2,000 investors in an unregistered coin offering back in 2017. The US SEC sues ICOBox and Evdokimov but also goes on to say that the defendants claimed that there would be a price increase in the tokens upon trading - and that the token holders would be able to swap them for other tokens at discount. The SEC Claims that the ICO tokens are now worthless, stating the following:
“By ignoring the registration requirements of the federal securities laws, ICOBox and Evdokimov exposed investors to investments, which are now virtually worthless, without providing information that is critical to making informed investment decisions.”
As we can also see in the latest cryptocurrency news, the US SEC and its complaint also states that ICOBox acted as an unregistered broker by facilitating ICOs which raised another $650 million for dozens of clients. The commission decided to charge ICOBox and Evdokimov with violating federal securities laws and is actively seeking injunctive relief, disgorgement with prejudgment interest and civil money penalties. Aside from the fact that the US SEC sues ICOBox, we recently reported that Blockstack PBC, a decentralized computing network which recently announced that it managed to raise more than $23 million in the first token offering which was approved by the SEC. The team behind Blockstack apparently spent around $2 million to gain approval from the SEC in advance of their token offering. Meanwhile, the coming altcoin news show that there are losses on the market. Bitcoin (BTC) was the first cryptocurrency to go in the red as it lost more than $500 in minutes and pulled a lot of altcoins alongside with it on the market. For what we know now, the recent updates show that the losses are extending.
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Altcoin News

OKEx Korea Delisted Monero, Dash, And Other Privacy-Cryptos Over FATF Demands

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The latest cryptocurrency news show that the South Korean arm of the cryptocurrency exchange OKEx has decided to remove support for five major altcoins. It is true that OKEx Korea delisted Monero, Dash and other coins due to new international regulations. As a blog post originally published on September 10 shows, OKEx Korea confirmed that it would halt trading of Monero (XMR), Dash (DASH), Zcash (ZEC), Horizen (ZEN) and Super Bitcoin (SBTC) on October 10. As the exchange revealed, the main reason for this is that as since they are focused on privacy, the coins fall foul of the new guidelines set out by the intergovernmental body which is the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). OKEx Korea delisted these altcoins, the blog post confirms, showing:
“Support for trading of 5 different cryptocurrencies, XMR, DASH, ZEC, ZEN, SBTC, will be terminated.”
As the news site reported, the sweeping changes to crypto transaction rules currently demand businesses to identify the two parties which are sending funds to each other - if a transaction exceeds the limit of $1,000.
"According to the statement corresponding to FATF R.16, OKEx Korea has restricted its implementation as the ' travel rule' recommends that exchanges be able to collect relevant information such as the name and address of the sender and recipient of the virtual asset. privacy-oriented cryptocurrency, aka that ' the dark Coin "has decided to take the deal end-of-support measures of the corresponding event," the blog post showing that OKEx delisted the five altcoins shows.
This comes in period when more than 200 countries are forced to theoretically implement the rules by June 2020. Still, the altcoin news show that there are concerns that doing so is physically impossible for a lot of decentralized blockchains. Now that OKEx Korea delisted the five cryptocurrencies, all of them make it possible to identify the sender and recipient of a transaction by design. An OKEx representative was also featured on many best cryptocurrency news sites a while ago, telling that the coins will only be delisted on OKEx Korea (OKEx.com.kr) but will remain listed on the global OKEx platform. The value of these coins, as the coming altcoin news show, has remained unchanged.
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Regulation

IRS Is Hunting Cryptocurrency Traders With Warning & Action Letters

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IRS Is Hunting
The latest cryptocurrency news put the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the focus. According to reports, the IRS is hunting suspected cryptocurrency holders and traders who may have misreported digital assets on their tax returns. As the sources show, there have been more than 10,000 warning and action letter sent by the authority. Letters such as the 6174-A, 6173 and CP2000 have all appeared in the mailboxes of many cryptocurrency traders all around the United States. A lot of crypto tax software companies are also on the hunt list - and have seen an influx of customers coming to them for tax help out of fear of penalties. As many best cryptocurrency news sites showed, the main problem and reason why IRS is hunting traders is the misreporting of their documents. However, traders claim that the authority does not have all of the necessary information - and that the information they have is extremely misleading. For those of you who don't follow our Bitcoin and altcoin news, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in the US are treated as a property from a tax perspective - and not a currency. Just like many other forms of property (stocks, bonds, real estate etc.) the capital gains and losses are incurred on the bills. It also doesn't come as a surprise that a lot of traders are not paying taxes on their crypto activity. This is why the IRS is hunting traders - which is also why it makes sense to start out carrying out these enforcement campaigns. In general, cryptocurrency users are constantly transferring crypto in and out of the exchanges. Therefore, the exchanges have no way of knowing how, when, where or at what cost the cryptocurrencies are acquired. They can only see what appears in the wallet on the specific platform. The second a person transfers crypto in or out of an exchange is when the exchange loses the ability to give users an accurate report detailing the cost basis and the fair market value of the cryptocurrencies. Both of these aspects are mandatory components for tax reporting. All in all, the IRS is hunting traders without all the information. So, if you receive a warning letter from the IRS, you should not panic. As long as you are properly filing your crypto gains and losses, you should be fine.
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Regulation

First Crypto Banks In Switzerland Are Seen As A “Game Changer”

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Cryptocurrency banks are a new thing on the horizon - and they are already showing up in Switzerland. As sources report, the first crypto banks in the country could open the floodgates to the integration of cryptocurrencies as well as other digital assets in the established financial sector. Some of them include the names of Sygnum and SEBA, which were among the recent provisional banking and securities dealers in Switzerland. They have been awarded licenses by the official Swiss regulator last week - and both entities are interested in becoming fully fledged banks once they complete some of the final routine regulatory hurdles. The CEO of Sygnum Swizerland, Manuel Krieger, was featured on many best cryptocurrency news sites that reported about the first crypto banks. As he said:
“This is the first time such licenses have been granted worldwide, so Switzerland is playing a pioneering role. We now have a responsibility as an enabling platform to help banks and other financial players make the step into the digital asset world.”
Other members of the bank and officials agreed that crypto will apparently "come out of the shadows once these assets are done in a 100% compliant manner" This, according to the official who runs the group's Singapore operation, is a "game changer." What is very interesting is the fact that Swizerland has been one of the leading players in the global adoption of tokenized digital assets and DLT technology. The country is in the process of updating its financial legislation to incorporate the new technology. To remind you with a piece from our altcoin news, Switzerland is also the home to Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency foundation - which was set up in Geneva. Other established players such as the Swiss stock exchange and state owned telecom giant Swisscom are also involved, as well as a number of startups. The benefits of tokenizing all types of financial assets in a purely digital format and then trading them on DLT ledgers are believed to be manifold - and instantaneous settlement might help big time in the future. Even though there are some critical voices about the adoption, the fact that Swizerland houses the first crypto banks is definitely a positive sign for the entire industry.
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