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SEC Officially Delays VanEck Bitcoin ETF Decision: New Date Is February 27th



In the latest crypto news centered around regulation, we have the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and its official delay on the long-awaited decision regarding VanEck’s Bitcoin ETF (exchange-traded fund) application. According to the SEC, the decision will be postponed until February 27th, 2019 which may also lead to an ongoing crypto bear market.

As the SEC announced in an official statement on their website yesterday:

“The Commission finds it appropriate to designate a longer period within which to issue an order approving or disapproving the proposed rule change so that it has sufficient time to consider this proposed rule change.”

Hours before that, Gabor Gurbacs who is the director of digital asset strategy at VanEck, expressed confidence that SEC approval was around the corner. He told Cheddar:

“It’s fairly certain to us that America wants a bitcoin ETF. We think that we’ve met all market structure obstacles and requirements on pricing, custody, valuation, and safekeeping, so we are cautiously optimistic.”

However, the SEC had the last say and delayed making a decision on the ETF by VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust many times this year. The organization has been understandably strict so far – especially after August this year when it rejected 9 Bitcoin ETF applications, citing their failure to demonstrate how they could prevent fraud and market manipulation.

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New Regulatory Framework From Bahrain Set To Regulate Virtual Currencies

More information on regulation floods the crypto news space today when Bahrain’s Central Bank announced its regulatory framework on trading cryptocurrencies and regulation virtual currencies overall. The Executive Director of Banking Supervision Khalid Hamad pointed out:
 “This regulatory framework will address the demand from the market for these services and the need to also recognize this innovation in financial services. The CBB’s (Central Bank of Bahrain) experience with the participants within the Regulatory Sandbox was insightful in shaping these rules.”
If you are wondering what the sandbox part means, Hamad refers to Bahrain FinTech regulation framework for companies to test their ideas while under stricter regulations. The guidelines come as a boost to the companies that wanted to be a part of reducing government spending through the blockchain technology. The draft bill that was introduced by the Central Bank of Bahrain will cover all of the requirements for financial resources and licensing as well as protecting customers’ interests and precautious cybersecurity measures. The draft paper is available on the website of the Central Bank and the Bank is even open to feedback and opinions about the draft until the year ends. Bahrain is currently starting a fintech revolution in the country starting with the creation of the Fintech Bay which is a home to more than 30 companies that work with the blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, and digital payments. The entire Middle East is now becoming slowly an attractive destination for crypto startups mostly because of the easy access to great infrastructure and great geographical position.
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European Asset Manager Encourages Regulators To Outlaw Crypto

The head of Allianz Global Investors (GI) Andreas Utermann is in the latest crypto news, mainly because of his recent call for a Bitcoin/crypto ban that occurred during a conference held in London. The CEO of Allianz GI directed his thoughts towards Andrew Bailey who is the head of Britain's Financial Conduct Authority, stating:
“You should outlaw it [crypto]. I am personally surprised that regulators haven’t stepped in harder.”
Recently, the G20, which is a global forum that hosts government officials from 20 of the largest world economies, came to a consensus to regulate the crypto space primarily and ensure that digital assets are not used to fund criminal activities or launder money. As a declaration released by the G20 stated:
“We will regulate crypto-assets for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism in line with FATF [Financial Action Task Force] standards and we will consider other responses as needed.”
With this initiative to regulate crypto, many governments could refrain from imposing a blanket ban on this industry. Doing so could leave governments in the dark while individuals and institutions continue to use consensus currencies for different use cases. So, the need for building a sustainable crypto ecosystem is bigger than ever. Some smaller economies such as Malta, Singapore and Switzerland have recently brought multi-billion dollar businesses and fast-growing startups by doing so. Still, the risk of money laundering and crime financing is still big - mainly seen through two banks (Danske and Deutsche Bank) which suffered two big scandals that surpass the entire market cap of cryptocurrencies.
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Altcoin News

CEO Of Allianz: Regulators Should Step In Harder And Outlaw Cryptocurrencies

While speaking at a panel discussion in London, CEO of Allianz Andreas Utermann urged market watchdogs to ‘’outlaw’’ cryptocurrencies and in today's crypto news we read more about his opinions. Utermann believed that a direct ban was actually preferable and he said to the regulators that they should outlaw cryptocurrencies by saying:
 “I am personally surprised that regulators haven’t stepped in harder.”
He was especially addressing the head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority Andrew Bailey who was sitting right next to him at the panel discussion. Bailey noted that Utermann’s opinions were ‘’quite strong’’ but he did agree that cryptocurrencies don’t have intrinsic value. Bailey made sure that the FCA is watching closely and that they have the initial coin offering sector under surveillance. Utermann’s stance doesn’t leave any room for negotiation but some of his colleagues at Allianz are more optimistic about the use of blockchain technology. The chief economist at Allianz Mohamed El-Erian said that he also doesn’t believe that cryptocurrency will ever be able to replace fiat money but they will become more widespread. He said:
 “Cryptocurrencies will exist. They will become more and more widespread, but they will be part of an ecosystem. They will not be dominant, as some of the early adopters believed them to be.”
El-Erian explained that crypto is not dead and the technology isn’t dead also. He is sure that we are about to see more widespread adoption by the private sector but also from the public one. El-Erian concluded that the last year’s frenzy was ‘’unwarranted’’.
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Danish Tax Agency To Go After Its Nationals Who Secretly Trade Bitcoin

The Danish tax agency, Skattestyrelsen (SKAT) is in our crypto news today for announcing a massive crackdown on more than 2,500 nationals who traded bitcoin in secret on Finnish crypto exchanges. According to their information, more than 2,500 people bought about $5.80 million worth of bitcoin from the Finish exchange and managed to sell them back for more than $6 million in their local Danish currency. The price sums up to $12 million bitcoins that were traded unreported over two years time. The Directorate of SKAT Karin Bergen confirmed the announcement that they are now reviewing each case individually and will go after each person that didn’t report their offshore bitcoin trades:
 “If you have traded with bitcoins on the specific Finnish bitcoin exchange and have not specified any winnings, then you can hear from us so we can get your taxes in place’’.
The tax inspectors in Denmark are carefully going over each case so they can sum up the gains and losses made by these offshore trades. The chairman of the personal data department of SKAT explained that there are two types of trades, one called a curious trade where you invest a few thousand dollars and then there’s trading that involves huge amounts. Lawyers from Denmark confirm that bitcoin is taxable in the country and the country will impose charges when an asset such as BTC isn’t purchased properly or even sold properly for profits. Bergen noted:
“It’s probably just the tip of the iceberg. Although the Finnish company is a relatively small bitcoin exchange, the information they have revealed is a precious source, which clearly shows trends and patterns in the area.”
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