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Cryptocurrency Morning Brief

Jun 06, 2018

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  • Cryptocurrency firm Circle is in talks with US regulators to become a licensed bank. The firm is seeking a federal banking license to provide more services to its customers. Additionally, Circle stated that it intends to pursue registration as a brokerage and trading venue with the Securities and Exchange commission, so it can help investors buy and sell tokens which are classified as securities. Circle’s officials have said that they have had preliminary conversations with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as well as with members of the SEC and FINRA
  • Tron (TRX) has just made a deal with Shift Markets. The cryptocurrency is now available on nine brokerages in nine different countries. This new deal is providing TRX access to the global foreign exchange markets. Tron (TRX) additionally has also listed with Max/Maicoin, which is the largest trading platform in Taiwan, and Indodax, Indonesia’s dominant exchange
  • A hard fork has been announced for Bitcoin Gold (BTG) which will upgrade the existing Equihash algorithm. The update will require significanlty more memory for the ASIC to run in hopes of preventing another 51% attack. Last month, a hacker performed a 51% attack on Bitcoin Gold’s (BTG) protocol and was able to steal USD$18mm in BTG tokens. There is no date yet for the hard fork
  • United States universities have been making small investments into digital assets. John Lore, a lawyer specializing in cryptocurrency hedge funds, has stated that some universities on the East Coast have been investing in cryptocurrencies on a modest basis. The firm that Lore works for has already advised 30 digital cryptocurrency hedge funds. Lore also noted that most of the capital that is funding cryptocurrency hedge funds comes from high net worth individuals and some family offices
  • The SEC has recently appointed a senior advisor, Valerie Szczepanik, to the position of Corporate Finance and will be a Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation. The press release stated that she will be responsible coordinating efforts across all SEC Divisions and Offices regarding the application of US securities laws to emerging digital asset technologies and innovations, including Initial Coin Offerings and cryptocurrencies
  • Research commissioned by Mitek, a digital identity verification firm, shows that 17 out of 25 cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges examined do not have official identification or know-your-customer checks. The EU will be establishing its fifth anti money laundering directive in 2019 which will seek to bring these non-compliant platforms in line with other compliant financial firms. The research showed that most platforms only require an email address and a mobile phone number – both of which can be obtained without an ID
  • Japan is rejecting a cryptocurrency exchange application for the first time. The exchange has been suspended twice already and has received two business improvement orders. The Financial Services Authority has 15 other applications pending. It is alleged that 8 of the exchanges have indicated that they will withdraw their applications. There are currently 16 approved exchanges in Japan