Bitcoin gains in week where most cryptos see notable losses, crypto market cap sheds $3 billion
Apr 12, 2019
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Developments in Financial Services
- A majority of tax and financial executives are not prioritizing the adoption of blockchain technology, that is, according to a new survey from Big Four auditing firm KMG. The poll, “Understanding Blockchain – It's Not Just About Crypto,” surveyed roughly 450 executives from the tax and finance industry regarding blockchain and other emerging technologies. In regards to eliminating routine tasks from team operations, the survey finds that executives are seeking different solutions from blockchain technology. Of those polled, 67% of executives are not using blockchain technology at this time while 27% are not sure if their company is using it.
- The Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX) officially announced the listing of blockchain-powered securities on its GSX Global Market practical listing venue in a press release Tuesday. Starting Tuesday, the Gibraltar Stock Exchange is listing an number of new products called digital, smart, or tokenized securities -- these include instruments such as corporate bonds, convertible bonds, asset-backed securities, derivative securities, open-end funds, and closed-end funds.
- The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has denied cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex a BitLicense, according to a letter sent by the regulator to CEO Bill Shihara. In the letter sent to the Bittrex CEO, the NYDFS explained that the crypto exchange lacks adequate policies and controls regarding its Anti-money Laundering (AML), Know Your Customer (KYC), and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) standards. Bittrex initially applied for the BitLicense with the NYDFS in August 2015.
- Trading volume of institutional Bitcoin (BTC) investment products relative to trading on crypto exchanges has risen for the fourth-straight month, according to new research by Diar. According to Diar’s latest weekly report, “Fungibility Woes Threaten to Unravel Bitcoin’s Throne,” institutional BTC trading made up 10% of volumes in December 2018 -- since, institutional BTC products’ share of trading volume has increased to 15% in January 2019, 17% in February 2019, 18% in March 2019, and now 19% in April 2019.
- The Mauritius Financial Services Commission (FSC), the country's financial regulator, officially issued a second guidance note regarding its security token offering (STO) regulation. The document released by the Mauritius FSC states that security tokens are considered to be digitally-represented securities as defined by the Securities Act of 2005. As a result, STOs conducted in or from Mauritius are required to follow local security regulations, which include a required prospectus.
- The new, “Digital Taxonomy Act of 2019” introduced by US regulators on Tuesday would allocate USD$25mm to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to stop crypto-related crime. Introduced by US House of Representatives member Rep. Darren Soto (D), a known crypto advocate, the bill aims to bolster the FTC’s role in preventing, “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in transactions relating to digital tokens.” The annual USD$25mm funding period would extend from 2020 through 2024.
- The US subsidiary of Bitstamp, a major European crypto exchange, was granted a coveted BitLicense by the New York Department of Financial Services. According to an official press release from the state financial regulator, BitStamp is now the 19th company to receive a green light from the New York Department of Financial Services to conduct digital currency operations in the state. Back in 2016, Bitstamp Europe SA received a payment institution license to operate in all 28 member nations of the European Union.
- US lawmakers have once again introduced a bill to give cryptocurrencies a clearer legal standing in the country. On Tuesday, US Representative Warren Davidson reintroduced the, “Token Taxonomy Act,” to amend the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1940 to grant regulators like the US SEC clarity on how to enforce securities laws that may or may not apply to cryptocurrencies. In a statement included alongside the bill, Davidson explained that signing the bill into law would, “send a powerful message,” to innovators in blockchain and cryptocurrencies that, “the US is the best destination for blockchain technology.”
- Fewer Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) raised funds in 1Q2019 compared to 4Q2018, that is, according to a report published by ratings site ICObench. According to the, “ICO Market Quarterly Report,” published by ICObench, there were nearly 350 ICO projects in 1Q2018 compared to 585 ICO projects in the prior quarter. Among the nearly 350 ICO projects to attempt to raise funds in 1Q2019, only 107 raise any funding altogether compared to 207 in 4Q2018.
- Popular open-source browser Mozilla Firefox has officially launched new measures to protect users against crypto mining malware, according to a blog post from the company on Tuesday. In the latest Firefox Nightly 68 and Beta 67 versions, Mozilla included new features to specifically protect users from crypto mining and fingerprinting hack attacks. To accomplish this feat, Mozilla worked closely with privacy and security software firm Disconnect.
- The South Korea Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) will improve the reliability and accuracy of data in the arms industry through use of blockchain technology, according to a press release form the agency today. The South Korea DAPA will seek to use a blockchain platform to securely share data of military acquisition projects within governmental organizations. Back in January 2019, the South Korea DAPA launched a pilot to develop blockchain applications for the defense industry.
*Data in Price Return and Updated Real-Time (with a delay), Source: StockDio