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Showing posts from July, 2018

SEC, the Winklevi and the Bitcoin Boogeyman

On Thursday, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’ proposed rule change to allow for the creation of a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) was once again denied. The bitcoin market reacted accordingly (i.e., sell-off). If you’re not a follower of the efforts on all fronts to make the crypto space more inviting for institutional money, you probably don’t know that this is just a footnote in what is shaping up to be a long saga (for the Winklevi and institutional investors generally). However, this week’s news is not really news or surprising as the Winklevi were previously denied earlier this year. Many have argued that the SEC’s refusal to grant authority to create bitcoin ETFs is actually counterproductive. The thought is that ETFs will give investors (retail and institutional alike) the ability to gain exposure to bitcoin without the hassle of exchanges and wallets and keys and so on and so forth. ETFs also open up the markets to investors that can only hold securities (think: retirement acco

Eye-Catching | 7.27.18

My bytes of the week... - The Agreements Network gets smart with lawyers - Bermuda, Malta and Gibraltar walk into a bar ... - (More) fraud in pharma - 7 categories of cryptoassets - Baby born on the blockchain

House Call: Two Hearings. One Day. No Clue.

Last week, two House committees held hearings on cryptocurrency on Capitol Hill. I would bet a single bitcoin that you couldn't guess both committees. If you guessed the Committee on Financial Services (well, the Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade (MPT)), you're right. If you guessed the Committee on Agriculture (Ag Committee), you might be a policy wonk and you probably know all that follows already. The hearings were as illuminating as one would expect. The Ag Committee's hearing was entitled, "Cryptocurrencies: Oversight of New Assets in the Digital Age." The purpose of the hearing was to "shed light on the promise of digital assets and the regulatory challenges facing this new asset class." Their difficulty in conceptualizing when digital assets are securities or commodities or neither was pretty apparent. We can't really fault them for that because no one seems to have a comprehensive legal framework. However, there was an apparent inte

King Coinbase

There have been a lot of winners and a lot more losers in the rise (and fall and rise again and so on and so forth) of cryptocurrency. One clear winner has been Coinbase. With more than 12 million users, Coinbase is the biggest cryptocurrency platform in the country. The buzz surrounding the possible addition of new coins has been nonstop for much of the past year. Most recently, the company announced that it is “exploring” the addition of five specific coins: Cardano (ADA), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Stellar Lumens (XLM), Zcash (ZEC), and 0x (ZRx). This is a pretty diverse group from use standpoint: Cardano is developing a smart contract platform; Basic Attention Token focuses on digital advertising in the Brave browser; Stellar Lumens is in the cross-border payments business; Zcash is a privacy coin; and, 0x hopes to offer a decentralized exchange for Ethereum tokens. Mass hysteria quickly ensued following this announcement. Additional buzz surrounding Coinbase has arisen from its

Eye-Catching | 7.20.18

Check out five of the blockchain bytes that caught my eye this week: DOJ targets digital currency fraud Coinbase inches closer to trading securities Photos for tokens? Yes, please. IBM wants blockchain to benefit the environment IRS launches compliance campaign against crypto #EyeCatching #DOJ #IRS