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SEC Commissioner: Crypto Markets Should Self-Regulate When Possible

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The US Securities and Exchange (SEC) Commissioner Hester M. Peirce is in the crypto news today for arguing in favor of self-regulation for cryptocurrency markets when possible. Peirce spoke in a public talk together with the former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman Gary Gensler at the MIT Bitcoin Expo 2019 on March 9th.

Peirce’s comments were mainly focused on a proposal from Gensler that a more robust and a unified national level regulatory framework is desirable. According to her, this would cover not only the trading platforms that offer security tokens or complex investment instruments – but also the ones listing commodities such as Bitcoin (BTC).

“One really important thing to remember is that people regulate each other in their interactions with one another, and that’s the whole purpose of the Bitcoin idea, that it would be a community that would be able to regulate itself. As problems arise, people in that community are thinking about how to deal with those problems. One model would be to have a government regulator, but I don’t think that’s the only model,” Peirce explained.

Gensler, on the other hand, argued in favor of extending national level regulation over a broader spectrum of crypto trading that is centered on improving investor protection, coordinating money laundering prevention as well as addressing the current regulatory and enforcement discrepancies across different users.

Peirce emphasized the status quo that is ongoing in this regulatory fragmentation and then stated:

“That’s the regulatory model we’ve chosen. I think, again, these markets could regulate themselves if we lived in a world where we allowed that.”

She continued to advocate for a lighter regulatory effort whenever possible, affirming that security offerings must comply with the SEC’s registration requirements while supporting the ongoing efforts by major crypto trading platforms to register with the agency as either exchanges or alternative trading venues so that they could list security tokens.

All of this has made the latest news in our regulation category. What’s clear at this point is that SEC’s and CFTC’s involvement rises when it comes to regulating new coins and markets. For more information and news about such decisions, keep on reading our website!

DC Forecasts is a leader in many crypto news categories, striving for the highest journalistic standards and abiding by a strict set of editorial policies. If you are interested to offer your expertise or contribute to our news website, feel free to contact us at editor@dcforecasts.com

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Regulation

US Actor Steven Seagal Pays $350k For Illegal ICO Cryptocurrency Promotion

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The US Securities and Exchange Commission, known as the SEC, is in the regulation crypto news today for charging the US actor Steven Seagal for unlawfully participating in an ICO cryptocurrency offering. The initial coin offering (ICO) that the popular Hollywood star promoted now faces him with a penalty of $350,000 for violating the anti-touting law. All of this started when the ICO bubble of 2017 and 2018 bursted and raised many concerns among some world regulators like the SEC. The US watchdog at the time warned that tokens sold as ICO cryptocurrency offerings may be securities. Ever since then, the SEC has been eagerly looking over on the matter and Seagal recently felt this impact. An official document which was disclosed yesterday informed that the SEC settled charges with the actor. During the ICO bubble, he was promoting an initial coin offering conducted by Bitcoiin2Gen (B2G). The US actor advertised the upcoming token on his public social media accounts and encouraged his fans "not to miss out" on the opportunity. B2G even released a press release at the time, titled “Zen Master Steven Seagal Has Become the Brand Ambassador of Bitcoin2Gen.” For using the US actor's name and his promotional skills, B2G promised Seagal $250,000 in cash and $750,000 worth of their native cryptocurrency once the sale was completed. However, the SEC charged the actor for this ICO cryptocurrency promotion - specifically for failing to disclose those payments. After two years, Seagal agreed to pay $157,000 in disgorgement which was the penalty - plus an undisclosed amount of prejudgment interest. He also agreed not to promote any more ICO cryptocurrency projects for three years. The regulation crypto news show that the actor has violated the anti-touting provisions of the federal securities laws. Speaking on the matter in the altcoin news was Kristina Littman who is the Chief of SEC Enforcement Division's Cyber Unit. She noted that celebrities should not take advantage of their popularity on social media:
“These investors were entitled to know about payments Seagal received or was promised to endorse this investment so they could decide whether he may be biased. Celebrities are not allowed to use their social media influence to tout securities without appropriately disclosing their compensation.”
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Regulation

Steven Seagal Charged For Unlawfully Promoting 2018 ICO

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it has settled charges with Steven Seagal, the well-known actor because he failed to disclose payments that he received for promoting an initial coin offering (ICO) in 2018. The actor paid penalty $314,000 big, for promoting the controversial ETH-based token, Bitcoiin2gen, known for the implementation of a multi-level marketing scheme with the goal of recruitment of ICO backers. The 69-year-old actor has been charged for failing to disclose payments that he received for the promotion of the Bitcoiin2Gen’s (B2G) ICO. Seagal did not disclose that he was guaranteed $250,000 in cash and Bitcoiin2gen tokens worth something about $750,000 as a payment for his promotion of the ICO on social media. The actor communicated to his fans not to “miss out” on the ICO of the company and stated that he endorsed the company “wholeheartedly” the SEC said in the press release. Also, Seagal had published a press release titled “Zen Master Steven Seagal Has Become the Brand Ambassador of Bitcoiin2Gen.” While Hollywood endorsements of crypto projects are not new under the sky, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has moved on celebrities that did not disclose that they were paid to endorse projects.
 “Celebrities are not allowed to use their social media influence to tout securities without appropriately disclosing their compensation,” said Kristina Littman, the chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit.
The order of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission found that Seagal violated the anti-touting provisions of the federal securities law and ordered him to pay a fine and a penalty. But Seagal has not admitted or denied the findings of the Securities and Exchanges Commission, however, he agreed to abstain from any promoting activities for securities, digital or otherwise, in the duration of three years. The actor also agreed to pay $157,000 in disgorgement, this sum that he paid is the actual promotional payments that he got. In 2018, he became an ambassador to Bitcoiin2Gen in 2018, a project that had the goal to create a “superior” and “more advanced version of Bitcoin.” Cryptocurrency projects that offer tokens with the promise of building a decentralized network will probably fall under the jurisdiction of the securities laws of the United States. The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has over and over again repeated their stance both through public statements and high-profile enforcement actions.
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Bitcoin News

JPMorgan Is Closely Exploring Bitcoin Options, 74-Page Report Shows

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A new viral report is showing that the leading global financial services firm and one of the largest banking institutions in the world, JPMorgan is closely exploring Bitcoin options. As we can see from the latest Bitcoin news, the situation on the market is not good but the BTC derivatives are doing well. The lifetime aggregate volume on BitMEX's XBT swap future recently surmounted $2 trillion and the CME has been registering hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin futures trades each and every day. The growth in derivatives markets has not gone unnoticed. We can see that JPMorgan is closely exploring Bitcoin options after releasing an extensive cryptocurrency-focused report in which it revealed that it is keeping a close eye on the derivatives markets. If you were around in 2017 and 2018, you probably know that there were reports from mainstream media revealing that JPMorgan's CEO, Jamie Dimon, was not the biggest fan of Bitcoin. In interviews, he lambasted the dominant coin and called it a "fraud" that global governments were going to "crush." The sentiment has not stopped JP Morgan from delving into cryptocurrency and blockchain, running its own Quorum blockchain and releasing reports on the developments in Bitcoin. However, the recent report shines a light on the financial services giant. Written by "Global Research" team at JP Morgan, it shows that there is a "genuine demand for non-linear institutional trading products in crypto markets.” What JPMorgan also indicated is that this "genuine demand" for Bitcoin comes via the trading products and is likely driven from institutions. Analysts and traders were quick to see this and post on social media. https://twitter.com/zhusu/status/1232516108629856256 Optimists right now are positive on the fact that JPMorgan is closely exploring Bitcoin. They know that options give the buyer the right to buy or sell an asset at a specified price on a specified date - something that makes them very popular. The derivatives are most often used by traders to hedge risk. As the cryptonews also show, JPMorgan's observation of "genuine demand" means that the company is prepared to step into trading Bitcoin, especially considering Jamie Dimon's disposition towards cryptocurrency. However, even keeping a close eye on the space is not a bad sign.
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Regulation

New Jersey Is Regulating Cryptocurrencies At State Level

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The regulation crypto exchange news that we have been covering are nothing compared to a recent decision by an actual state in the United States. We are referring to the state of New Jersey which is now considering a new bill that would require cryptocurrency businesses to obtain a proper license to operate. As the cryptonews first hinted, the assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez proposed the Digital Asset and Blockchain Technology Act on Feb. 20. as part of a legislation which would establish new requirements for virtual currency businesses and create consumer-friendly protections by requiring crypto firms to disclose their legally registered names, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Anti-Terrorist Financing (ATF) policies, as well as their licensing and legal history to the State of New Jersey and the Department of Banking and Insurance. Even though the largest surge was the Bitcoin news showing how BTC got to $20,000 in December 2017, there were no state regulations surrounding cryptocurrency in New Jersey at the time. Unlicensed crypto operators had to be tried on a federal level then through the Department of Justice. This is why Lopez highlighted the need to address the issues today and said:
“People see and hear about [Bitcoin] in their day-to-day lives, but most are not quite sure what it is. We must take steps to protect consumers looking to invest in cryptocurrency, while also allowing the sector to continue to develop and expand in New Jersey.”
The bill apparently requires crypto companies to disclose their terms and conditions for consumer accounts. As such, they will be protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Cooperation (FDIC) as are traditional bank account holders. The US crypto regulation news also show that anyone applying would need to provide a schedule of fees and any information regarding the risks of investing in digital assets.
“With this legislation, consumers will be better-informed of the risks involved when investing in virtual currency.”
This is what is new in the US crypto regulation news. What is important now is that with the introduction of a state-level licensing scheme, New Jersey would join its neighbor New York in requiring crypto firms to obtain special permission to operate - something that has been known as the BitLicense which the regulators in New York introduced in 2014.
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