Cryptocurrencies turn flat as Japan’s FSA announces that it does not consider stablecoins as cryptocurrencies
Oct 30, 2018
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- Bank of America has been awarded a patent that appears to detail a device to store cryptographic keys. In the patent awarded to Bank of America on Tuesday by the US Patent and Trademark Office, the US-bank describes a, “hardened storage device,” for storing private keys. The patent goes on to read, “in specific embodiments of the system, the authentication routine is conducted as part of a cryptocurrency transaction, a blockchain transaction, or the like.” Bank of America has been highly active in the cryptocurrency patent space -- this past June, Bank of America applied for patent rights for dozens of potential applications, citing an effort to be “prepared” for the future.
- Bittrex International is launching a cryptocurrency exchange platform available to all international customers except those from the United States, according to a company blog post on Monday. The blog post details that new tokens will be listed on the platform within weeks. Bittrex’s new international cryptocurrency exchange will operate under regulatory framework established by the European Union and Maltese Government -- after 12 months, Bittrex intends to apply for its platform to be recognized as a regulated virtual financial asset exchange by the Malta Financial Services Authority. In its press release, Bitrex detailed that, “current and new US-based customers will continue to use Bittrex.com and will not have access to international markets.”
- Changelly, a Prague-based cryptocurrency exchange service, announced that it has assisted South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb, in the recovery of 1.063 million stolen Ripple (XRP) tokens. Bithumb was hacked in June 2018 for over USD$30 million of crypto assets but soon recovered USD$14 million of its stolen assets after working with global cryptocurrency-related businesses. According to its CEO, Changelly quickly cooperated to assist Bithumb and employed Anti-Money Laundering procedures to detect malicious actors whose addresses were recognized by Bithumb. Changelly CEO, Ilya Bere, discussed the situation, saying, “This case sets a precedent for how the joint work of the key players in the cryptocurrency market can positively affect the industry, bringing security improvements to the crypto-trading projects.”
- Coinbase, a major US cryptocurrency exchange and wallet provider, has raised USD$300 million in its latest fundraising round, bringing its total valuation to USD$8 billion. Coinbase’s Series E equity financing round was led by notable investment firm, Tiger Global Management, and generated participation from well-known investors in the crypto space, including Y Combinator Continuity, Wellington Management, Polychain, and others. The primary use of Coinbase’s new funding will be to “accelerate” the adoption rate of cryptocurrencies while acting on plans to build infrastructure to support regulated fiat-to-crypto trading on a global scale. This past June, Coinbase opened its Index Fund to US accredited investors for investments between USD$250,000 and USD$20 million.
- In her speech at the 2018 Canada FinTech Forum in Montreal, Canada, former US Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen, professed that Bitcoin (BTC) is, “anything but,” a useful store of value. While interviewing after her speech, Yellen doubled-down on her comments, stating, “It has long been thought that for something to be a useful currency, it needs to be a stable source of value, and bitcoin is anything but.” Yellen elaborated, saying, “It’s not used for a lot of transactions, it’s not a stable source of value, and it’s not an efficient means of processing payments. It’s very slow in handling payments. It has difficulty because of its very decentralized nature.”
- Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) announced today that it does not consider stablecoins to be classified as cryptocurrencies. Under Japan’s Payments Services Act and the Fund Settlement Law, cryptocurrencies are defined as a method of payment that users are not required to pay taxes on. Japan’s FSA has concluded that stablecoins do not fit the criteria for cryptocurrencies, as they lack a uniform set of characteristics, making them impossible to categorize. Last week, Japan’s FSA granted Japan’s Virtual Currency Exchange Association, a group of Japanese cryptocurrency industry members, with self-regulatory status -- Japan's Virtual Currency Exchange Association will not have the authority to regulate stablecoins, however, as they are not classified as cryptocurrencies by Japan’s FSA.
- Warren Buffet’s multinational holding conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway, has invested roughly USD$600 million between two separate fintech payment firms with focuses on emerging markets, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal on Monday. The Wall Street Journal report details that both investments appear to be spearheaded by one of Berkshire Hathaway’s two portfolio managers, Todd Combs. In the past, Buffet has claimed that tech investments are beyond his area of expertise. One investment, made in August, came in the form of a USD$300 million stake in the parent company of Paytm, the largest mobile-payments service in India. The other investment, which occurred this past week, was through the purchase of shares in an initial public offering for StoneCo, a Brazilian payments processor and the country’s fourth-largest by volume.
*Data in Price Return and Updated Real-Time (with a delay), Source: StockDio