The SEC Temporarily Suspended Trading in Bitcoin Generation Miner’s Shares

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is temporarily suspending trading of shares in a little-known, self-described crypto exchange and mining firm called Bitcoin Generation (BTGN).

The regulator announced Monday that it was suspending trading until 11:59 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time on May 10, 2019 (or 03:59 UTC May 11) due to concerns that some information BTGN has made public may be inaccurate.

Specifically, the SEC is concerned about a bond that BTGN “purportedly acquired from an entity based in the United Kingdom”; how much BTGN stock is outstanding; promotional activity related to BTGN; and the “accuracy and adequacy...


Huobi Cloud Aims for 80 More Exchange Partners

Singapore-based exchange conglomerate Huobi Group has a unique growth strategy for emerging markets: partner with local entities and then split the profits 50/50.

Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, the South African exchange HIZA will launch in May and join a cohort of 150 platforms under the Huobi Cloud umbrella, according to Huobi Group’s senior business director David Chen.

“We will help them get their trading volume up and we’ll expand our business when the market is more mature,” Chen said, adding that up to 80 like-minded partnerships are currently in the pipeline.

Recent expansion isn’t unique to Huobi, however. Global exchange giants like Binance are opening independent subsidiaries in emerging markets like Uganda, or investing in local exchanges the way Bittrex did with the South African exchange VALR. Similar to Bittrex, Huobi Group offers partners like HIZA access to its global order books for prime liquidity.

Interestingly, the partnership approach allows Huobi to minimize the regulatory risks of working in under-developed markets – where banking relationships require local knowledge and repercussions for unintentional missteps remain uncertain.

“They [HIZA] own their customer data, it’s not Huobi that owns it, otherwise it would be Huobi’s responsibility,” Chen said.

He added that Huobi Group has earned $1.5 million in net profit since October 2018 from Cloud partnerships that have already gone live. One such...


Are Stiffer Bitcoin Regulations Brexit’s Surprising Side-Effect

brexit UK bitcoin regulation
When Brexit finally arrives, it could have a surprising side-effect for the UK's crypto industry: stiffer regulations on bitcoin. | Source: Shutterstock

By CCN: The prolonged process for withdrawing from the European Union may have resulted in great uncertainty, but the UK’s financial watchdog is sure about what it wants post-Brexit – more muscle to oversee bitcoin and the crypto industry at large.

According to the Financial Conduct Authority’s business plan for 2019/2020, the regulator will urge Her Majesty’s Treasury to boost its enforcement powers in the crypto sector ahead of Brexit. Per FCA’s chief executive, Andrew Bailey, UK’s EU withdrawal is the body’s most pressing and urgent challenge.

Andrew Bailey on our Business Plan 2019/20 https://t.co/4Juptx0QcY pic.twitter.com/d5guGsyJtV

— FCA (@TheFCA) April 17, 2019

The financial watchdog intends to first hold public consultation first, though, before its enforcement powers can be increased:

“Following our consultation on cryptoassets we will publish a Feedback Statement and finalised Perimeter Guidance. We will also provide technical advice to the Treasury on extending the perimeter for utility and exchange tokens and on extending our financial crime provisions to certain activities related to cryptoassets.”

Is FCA Too Eager to...


Winklevoss Reach Settlement With Charlie Shrem

 Winklevoss Twins Reach Settlement With Charlie Shrem
Winklevoss Twins Reach Settlement With Charlie Shrem

The Winklevoss twins reached a settlement with Charlie Shrem on April 16, 2019, declaring that their case against him has been dismissed with prejudice and will not be reopened.

The twins, who founded the Gemini cryptocurrency exchange, originally sued Shrem, the founder of early bitcoin company BitInstant, in November 2018, alleging that Shrem stole 5,000 bitcoin from the pair in 2012. They asserted that Shrem agreed to build a stockpile of cryptocurrency for them at their expense but then came up short by nearly $60,000 in bitcoin at the contemporary market rate, keeping this portion of the hoard secret until its worth grew to the tens of millions of dollars.

As the...


Overstock’s tZERO Exchange to Launch Bitcoin Trading App This June

Overstock’s security token platform tZERO is going full crypto.

Until now, security tokens had been the startup’s priority, but this summer, tZERO plans to launch its own mobile trading app for buying and selling bitcoin and, possibly, ether, CEO Saum Noursalehi told CoinDesk Thursday.

The app for IOS and Android devices is scheduled to launch in June and is being developed by Bitsy — a crypto startup in the portfolio of Overstock’s venture arm Medici Ventures.

“That’s part of the reason we acquired Bitsy — to accelerate time to market for our mobile app,” Noursalehi told CoinDesk, adding:

“They have an app for trading crypto, primarily bitcoin, in a beta-phase, they built a wallet and key recovery mechanism, and this will be the foundation of the mobile app for tZERO. They are also working on some cool stuff like biometric login.”

The app, he added, will allow users to hold custody of their crypto without relying on a third party, and will plug into a network of exchanges through tZERO’s partner, institutional trading platform SFox.

tZERO’s app will connect to SFox’s network of exchanges via its...


Rakuten to Launch Their Crypto Wallet March 30th

Rakuten, crypto wallet
Rakuten has set a date for its new crypto wallet launch. | Source: Shutterstock

Rakuten Inc. just announced their intention to terminate “All Bitcoins Inc.” and launch their own “Rakuten Wallet” on March 30. Businesses launching crypto wallets is nothing new, following companies like Line, KIK and KakaoTalk. The news comes after Rakuten completed their filings as a virtual currency exchange company (VCEX.)

The company stated:

Rakuten Wallet will contribute to the sound growth of the market as a virtual currency exchange company and will further enhance security and provide enhanced services so that more customers can use it safely and with confidence.

Rakuten will be filing another VCEX application for Rakuten Wallet in September 2019.

Rakuten Inc. (4755: JP) holds a market capitalization about one-tenth the size of GM’s profits, number ten on the Fortune 100 list.

What Does Rakuten Do?

Earning cashback on purchases can make large purchases a little more enticing if you pair it with decent discounts. Rakuten aggregates discounts and helps customers receive cash back on their online purchases.

Their offerings have struck a not-so-nice chord...


CoinMarketCap to Revamp Listing Metrics After Fake Volume Research

CoinMarketCap Will Alter Listing Metrics After Latest Fake Volume Research

Cryptocurrency market data resource CoinMarketCap (CMC) has promised to rearrange how it ranks member exchanges after research found overwhelming evidence of fake volume. The company confirmed the upcoming changes on social media on March 25.

CMC is arguably the industry’s best-known tracking service for the market cap of Bitcoin (BTC) and altcoins, as well as for the activity on exchanges trading them.

However, last week, research from cryptocurrency index fund provider Bitwise claimed that CMC hosts almost entirely fake volume statistics. This in turn deceives investors and inflates the profile of affected coins, Bitwise explained in the report.

Now, CMC has appeared to heed the warnings represented in the research, which Bitwise sent to United States regulators for consideration...


Silvergate ‘Bitcoin Bank’ crypto client base climbed 122% in 2018

silvergate bank, bitcoin
Silvergate, nicknamed the "bitcoin bank," says its crypto client base surged 122% in 2018. | Source: Shutterstock

Silvergate Bank, which bills itself as the “leading provider of innovative financial infrastructure solutions and services to participants in the digital currency industry,” has disclosed in a preliminary prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that despite the bearish conditions in the bitcoin market, its number of crypto industry clients surged in 2018.

Silvergate Crypto Client Deposits Rise to $1.58 Billion

By the end of last year, Silvergate revealed that it had 542 cryptocurrency-related customers. This was an increase of 122.1 percent from 2017 when the total number of customers was 244, per the prospectus. Total deposits also increased approximately by 8 percent from $1.46 billion to $1.58 billion.

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Silvergate bank, bitcoin
Silvergate Bank’s deposits and customer growth over time | Source: Silvergate Capital

Additionally, Silvergate disclosed that it was also in the process of onboarding some 232 customers.

Key Clients? Bitcoin Exchanges and Institutional Investors

Among its most notable customers, digital currency...


Mt. Gox’s Mark Karpeles Found Guilty, Given 2.6-Year Suspended Sentence

Mark Karpeles, former CEO of the long-defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, has been found guilty and given a suspended sentence of two years and six months.

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal on Friday, the Tokyo District Court found Karpeles guilty of wrongfully making electronic records connecting to Mt. Gox’s books, but innocent on charges of embezzlement and breach of trust.

However, Karpeles will be suspended for four years, meaning he won’t do time in jail if staying on good records in the next four years.

The court’s verdict comes almost five years after Mt. Gox filed for liquidation in April 2014 after claiming to have been hacked for 850,000 bitcoin, some of which was later found.

According to the WSJ report, Karpeles’ lawyers wrote in their final...


MIT Bitcoin Expo: Legislators Discuss Regulation, Potential of Blockchain Technology

Hyperbitcoinization enthusiast and writer

 MIT Bitcoin: Legislators Discuss Regulation, Potential of Blockchain Tech
MIT Bitcoin: Legislators Discuss Regulation, Potential of Blockchain Tech

On March 9–10, 2019, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hosted a two-day event, the MIT Bitcoin Expo 2019. Put together by the student-organized MIT Bitcoin Club, the conference welcomed more than just Bitcoin voices from every corner of the industry. One of those voices was that of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Hester Peirce.

Peirce sat down with Gary Gensler, ex-chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and senior advisor to the director of the MIT Media Lab, to discuss the progress of the SEC’s efforts to regulate the cryptocurrency industry. Notably, Gensler and Peirce launched into a discussion on what regulators can do better to protect investors from fraud and malicious actors.

Before the debate began, both Gensler and Peirce expressed their appreciation for the emerging technology. “It’s a new way to have tamper resistant data amongst the consensus of multiple parties,” Gensler said. “My research is mostly around the business of blockchain technology and … trying to find where are the real use cases where traditional data structures don’t work as well.”

Peirce expressed her own support for the space in relation to the SEC’s ongoing efforts to properly regulate it. “We have rules on the books that we have to enforce, but on the other hand, we don’t want to stop people from doing things that are going to make society a better place to live, that are going to make people’s lives easier, and enable people to interact in ways that they have not been able to in the past.”

Later in the presentation, the two veteran regulators went on to discuss what the government can do to protect investors by possibly regulatinged cryptocurrency exchanges.

Gensler believes that “exchanges are the gateway to get good public policy, particularly around AML laws, but also around investor protection.” He continued, “In essence, that there’s not a manipulated market with frontrunning and manipulation with the order books and the like.”

The discourse was...