SEC Chairman Jay Clayton to Step Down By Years End; Will Crypto Regulations Ease?

Jay Clayton is set to step down as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman by the end of this year.

Clayton, who has been at the agency’s helm since May 2017, stated he would be departing six months from his scheduled exit. He was expected to step down in June next year.

Appointed by President Donald Trump and sworn in as chair in May 2017. His early departure could have accelerated by the apparent election of Joe Biden as the next president, it still remains to be seen who might replace him. Stating,

“I would like to thank President Trump for the opportunity, and the support and freedom, to lead the women and men of the SEC.”

The chair also thanked Secretary Mnuchin as well as the entire treasury for their support and assistance. He also praised other agencies in the treasury department for their close working relations.

According to a statement from the SEC, Through Clayton’s leadership, the SEC improved the capacity of businesses of different sizes to raise capital and strengthen the enforcement of programs. The report said:

“The Commission obtained orders for over $14 billion in monetary remedies, including a record $4.68 billion in fiscal year 2020, and returned approximately $3.5 billion to harmed investors.”

“In addition, during Chairman Clayton’s tenure, the Commission paid approximately $565 million to whistleblowers, including the largest single award in the program’s history ($114 million).”

The SEC also stated that Clayton was steadfast in the enforcement of different policies and regulations within the crypto space. His tenure coincides with the recent largest Bitcoin’s bull run and the 2017 ICO’s wave.

Clayton was a controversial figure in the crypto space for his hard stance that almost all the ICOs were offering unregistered securities. Notably, however, Clayton opined that Bitcoin was not a security as well as Ethereum too. Later, the SEC reaffirmed this opinion.

In his tenure, Clayton has seen the SEC institute fines on numerous crypto projects which ran ICOs. Over the last year alone, the SEC collected about $1.26 billion as fines from different crypto projects. His departure is seen as a welcome move from the crypto and blockchain community.

Read Original/a>
Author: Joseph Kibe

Uniswap (UNI) Farming to End Today, Billions of Dollars to be Released

Launched in the mid of September, the governance token of DEX Uniswap, UNI, is currently down over 10%. In the first week of November, the DeFi token crashed 72% from its all-time high, achieved right after its launch.

Since then, the 26th largest cryptocurrency by market cap of $803 million has doubled in value, trading at $3.56.

Uniswap actually has been the first DeFi project to hit $3 billion in total value locked (TVL), which is currently down at $2.84 billion. Meanwhile, it has 3.1 million ETH, 29.5k BTC, and nearly 190 million DAI locked.

The project, however, maintains its dominance in the market at 21.18%.

Interestingly, in the next few hours, UNI farming on Uniswap Protocol will end with about $1 billion to be released into the market.

As it stands, around $2.3 billion funds are deployed farming the native token, and with Ethereum being the reference token, it means there is currently $1.1 billion ETH locked. Although it remains to be seen how much ETH will actually leave, the portion that chooses to stay will get to enjoy the high fees.

This could still mean some selling pressure for Eth, which is trading just around $462, already “at resistance with a potential double top.”

DeFi-Inflow-of-Money
Source: IntoTheBlock

With this new influx of money flowing into the DeFi sector, it’s to be seen where it will exactly move to.

It is possible this money flow will potentially make its way to SushiSwap. While liquidity has been coming off its recent highs on Uniswap, SushiSwap’s liquidity has increased substantially.

Even SUSHI token is currently enjoying gains of over 17% at $1.36, up 109% month-to-date (MTD) basis compared to Uniswaps’ 62%.

However, both are still cheap when it comes to their valuations based on the price/sales ratio. While Uniswap P/S is around 10x and SushiSwap’s even much lower than that, its competitors like Curve and Balancer trade close to 80x.

In other news, over the weekend, the decentralized exchange Uniswap’s app interface went down due to issues with its gateway provider Cloudflare.

The automated market maker (AMM) built on top of Ethereum took to Twitter to share the outage issues and point out how “now is a good time to remember the benefits of decentralization.”

Unlike a CeFi, which, if goes down, has no way to access it, a “true DeFi on Ethereum there are no central points of failure” and “there is no downtime,” as pointed out by Uniswap creator Hayden Adams.

As can be seen with Uniswap, it is available on other IPFS gateways, can be run locally, easily be forked and re-hosted, and can be traded over Uniswap natively from Dharma and other Ethereum wallets. One can also trade on Uniswap through a wide range of aggregators, a command-line, and over Etherscan.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Apple Can Buy 145k Bitcoin With Just 1% Of Its $191 Billion of Dollars Held in Cash

Apple has a total of $191.83 billion cash on hand, down from quarter third of 2020, when it was $193.8 billion. Apple is known for having one of the largest cash piles among the companies.

At Bitcoin’s current price of $13,300, if the tech giant Apple, hypothetically, decides to buy as much BTC as it can with the cash on hand, it can gobble up 14,423,308 BTC.

Currently, 18,529,856 BTC is circulating in the cryptocurrency market.

This represents 88.24% of Bitcoin’s total 21 million supply but doesn’t include millions of coins lost forever.

Apple is the biggest asset by market cap of $1.9 trillion, while Bitcoin is just 13% of this with a $246 billion market cap at 21st place.

Follow in the footsteps of MicroStrategy

When it comes to other tech giants, Microsoft had $137.98 billion at the end of its fiscal first-quarter. In comparison, Google and Amazon had $121.08 billion and $71.77 billion, respectively, at the end of the second quarter.

With so much money sitting in cash and short-term investments at these big companies, it has captured the crypto community’s attention, especially following publicly listed MicroStrategy and Square replacing a portion of that with Bitcoin.

“Apple’s cash is decreasing in value. Perhaps they should follow in the footsteps of MicroStrategy and test the waters with even 1% percent in BTC,” wrote one trader.

Even with just 1% of its investment, Apple can buy 144,233 BTC.

MicroStrategy was the first one, and since then, others have come forward to announce Bitcoin as a reserve asset as a hedge against the debasing US dollar. MicroStrategy CEO Micahel Saylor actually revealed this week that he personally owns 17,732 BTC and has been running a full node of Bitcoin Core version 0.20.1 for over a month now.

Bitcoin is at the early stages still, and in 2020 it sees increasing adoption with PayPal, JPMorgan, and billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones all feeling its effect.

Compared to gold’s trillion market cap, this digital gold is just starting and has a long way to go.

“We’ve talked about $5T of cash sitting in public company corporate treasuries. What hasn’t been talked about is the $8.5T sitting in sovereign wealth funds, i.e., ‘the wealth of nations’ Their exposure to bitcoin is zero, their optimal portfolio will require it,” said on-chain analyst Willy Woo adding to the hopium.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

As Digital Gold, Bitcoin is “Just Going to Keep Going Higher,” says Galaxy’s Mike Novogratz

Billionaire investor Mike Novogratz doesn’t see Bitcoin as a currency; rather, he doubles down on the digital currency as digital gold.

“I don’t think Bitcoin is going to be used as a transactional currency anytime in the next five years,” said Novogratz, founder, and CEO of Galaxy Investment, in an interview with Bloomberg. “Bitcoin is being used as a store of value.”

As a digital gold, he sees Bitcoin going a lot farther.

“And so Bitcoin as a gold, as digital gold is just going to keep going higher,” said Novogratz.

“More and more people are going to want it as some portion of their portfolio.”

This week, BTC price broke into a new 2020 high with a surge above $13,000 after PayPal announced support, a move heralded as game-changing.

According to him, other companies like Mastercard, Visa, and American Express will follow suit “within a year.”

“It’s no longer a debate if crypto is a thing if Bitcoin is an asset if the blockchain is going to be part of the financial infrastructure,” he said.

“It’s not if, it’s when, and so every single company has to have a plan now.”

All of this has been because of the coronavirus pandemic, which Novogratz said has “accelerated adoption of crypto.”

This acceleration happened in two ways: “the macro story with Bitcoin” and the digitalization of the financial services system, which is currently centered on the Ethereum network and, as per him, “going to mostly be built” on it only as well.

Already, the digital currencies are leading the rally, beating not just traditional assets but also the banking stocks, which are down 20 to 60%.

“The entire payment system of the financial system is going to change, and it’s going to change much faster than people thought.”

And this financial infrastructure is going to be built around blockchain, he added.

In a separate interview with CNBC, he talked about expecting the Democrats to win both the White House and Congress and the tax plan of Joe Biden will create buy the dip opportunities as the next stimulus will provide a ton of cash and people will continue to “pour into speculative assets.”

“We’re going to have some volatility around Joe Biden’s tax plan, and maybe it gets people a better chance to buy stocks, but people are going to be buyers on dips.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

“Better Fiat Gateways” Is The Reason Why Binance Jersey to Shut Down on Nov 30th: CZ

The news of Binance Jersey shutting down its operations before 2020 was uncovered on Monday.

The announcement came without reason, so Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao took to Twitter to share the why. He tweeted,

“The reason is: better fiat gateways already supported by http://binance.com. No loss of features to users.”

Early in 2019, Binance announced that its Jersey-based subsidiary would allow fiat-to-crypto trading for European markets. Right from the launch, less than two years back, the support was added for top cryptos Bitcoin and Ether against the British pound and euros.

With a trading volume of a mere $210,000 in the past 24 hours, this branch didn’t really accomplish what the leading spot exchange was aiming for – be a “major driving force” in the European markets.

Cointelegraph first reported that the new deposits would be suspended from Oct. 30, and the final shutdown will happen a month later on Nov. 30. While there is still time for user accounts to be inaccessible, trading and withdrawals will be halted much before on Nov. 9.

The primary platform Binance.com meanwhile will continue to offer its services to the citizens of Jersey via “compliant banking channels.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

New Zealand Tax Authority Tells Crypto Firms to Disclose Traders Info & Transaction History

  • New Zealand’s tax authorities dialing down on cryptocurrency users and transactions in the country.

In a statement obtained by the local radio news station, Radio New Zealand (RNZ), New Zealand-based crypto firms must submit their customer’s crypto transaction information to the country’s top taxation authority, Inland Revenue Department (IRD).

According to the report, all companies dealing with crypto assets must “pass on customers’ personal details as well as the type and value of their crypto assets.” This is in a bid for the tax authorities to keep up with the virtual asset industry and formulate a policy that will best help New Zealanders report their crypto tax obligations.

Global tax regulators are heavily hitting on the crypto asset world. Recently, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) introduced crypto laws on its 2020 tax laws, altering form 1040 to make it harder for crypto users and traders to escape their tax obligations.

However, Janine Grainger, chief executive of Easy Crypto, a New Zealand based crypto firm, said the latest effort by the IRD goes against the fundamentals of crypto – privacy. Terming the new rules as “heartbreaking,” Grainger said she would comply but questioned the law.

“Privacy is really important to us… one of the tenets [of] cryptocurrency in general is around having freedom and autonomy and privacy,” she said.

“[..]the point of privacy isn’t to aid people who have something to hide, it’s to ensure we have a fair, open and free society”.

Russia recently introduced an amendment that would see cryptocurrency miners forego their mining rewards and a law that forces crypto traders to disclose their crypto transactions or face criminal charges.

Related Global Crypto Tax News:

Read: Israeli Draft Bill Proposes Bitcoin be Defined as Currency to Cut Down the Hefty Capital Gain Tax

Also Read: Switzerland’s Canton to Allow its Citizens to Pay Taxes in Bitcoin & Ether Starting 2021

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

China Blacklists Crypto OTC Trading Desks With A Five-Year Banking Ban As Punishment

  • PBoC blacklists crypto OTC traders in its latest efforts to crack down on money laundering.
  • This has caused several OTC trading desks to shut down as the future turns bleak.
  • The central bank set a three to five-year banking ban in the country as punishment.

Bitcoin over-the-counter (OTC) traders could be facing up to a five-year ban on their banking accounts in China, local reports state. The central bank, People’s Bank of China (PBoC), is heavily cracking down on money laundering activities and is blacklisting several OTC trading desks dealing in cryptocurrencies.

Recently, the Chinese central bank had enhanced its efforts in cracking down money laundering activities hence the latest move. In a bid to stop the illicit and illegal trades, the PBoC is taking a step affront to combat cryptocurrencies being used to launder funds by setting some of the OTC traders under its “disciplinary list.”

The first step in PBoC’s crackdown in the crypto ecosystem will target large OTC traders who trade in millions. According to the report, exchanges that allow transactions away from the public and transact high volumes will be blacklisted. Some have already faced the brunt, having their bank accounts and bank-issued cards blacklisted for the next three years and their online accounts banned for the next five years.

Local banks and financial institutions are now in charge of monitoring money laundering, bidding to keep the vice away at the lowest levels and higher levels of government. The institutions quickly flag and restrict the transactions involved in money laundering, and subsequently, the information is transferred to the local branch of the PBoC.

Once registered, the “blacklist” is transferred to other banks and local financial institutions across the country. This prevents the OTC dealers on the disciplinary list from opening and transferring funds to new accounts.

Despite the crackdown, regulations on cryptocurrency transactions within China remain slim – leaving a grey area on the crypto transactions by investors. Because there are no corresponding rules and regulations, “various financial institutions have different judgment standards for cryptocurrency transactions” hence some crypto OTC desks could be flagged by some local financial institutions.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Bloodbath: Bitcoin Crashes & Altcoins In Free Fall, Stocks Plunging as USD Gains Strength

Volatility is back in full force. Today, in a violent move down, Bitcoin crashed hard, going as low as $10,500. On Tuesday, the leading digital asset made a failed attempt at $12,000, and today, it dumped hard.

For now, we have found support at $10,700 with ‘real’ trading volume, also jumping to $3 billion. According to analyst PlanB, this correction is “to shake out weak hands that entered May-Aug.”

Altcoins followed bitcoin with Ether breaking the psychological level of $420, briefly falling to $390 but for now, is around $400 level.

However, this is not the time to wallow in the losses but a good opportunity to buy the dips. And this is why “cash should always be a dedicated part of your crypto portfolio” so that one can use that dry powder to buy these dips.

“Larger bull trend still intact… just lots of descending triangles breaching support. Wouldn’t mind a more degenerate washout so I can load up for some bounce plays,” noted one trader.

While majority of the crypto market is suffering losses, with notable mentions including AMPL (37%), BAL (21%), BAND (20%), CRV (19%), KAVA (15%), MLN (14%), REN (13%), OMG (13%), TOMO (13%), KNC (12%), UMA (11%), Matic (10.36%), and VET (10.26%) Justin Sun’s Tron is up 30% and Just 13% among other assets.

Red Everywhere

Bitcoin hasn’t been alone in this, given that “BTC has been highly correlated with FX since late July.”

Today’s move in markets is due to a US dollar comeback to above 93 level, up from Tuesday’s fresh lows at 91.75. The US dollar might be strong today, but it isn’t showing any huge surge.

“Rather than dollar strength, we can probably say that this is a fiat rebound play,” noted analyst Mati Greenspan. As such, not just bitcoin but spot gold also fell but just 1.5% while spot silver dropped 4.4%.

But the stock market went down hard, especially Tesla, which has been dropping for three consecutive days, down 18% since Sept. 1st.

S&P 500 has taken a fall of 3%, tech-heavy Nasdaq, which rallied the most, fell 4.3%, and the Dow Jones Average slid 2.5%. Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist for LPL Financial said,

“Although there is no single driver for the weakness, it seems as if investors all of a sudden realized how overbought stocks are and sold. Someone yelled fire in a crowded theater and everyone left at once.”

But the eerie similarity of this drop with that of 1929, the markets could be in a lot of pain ahead. SentimenTrader tweeted,

“A near-record % of NASDAQ 100 stocks are overbought (RSI > 70). In the past, this ALWAYS led to a stock market pullback over the next 2 weeks. Looking at the past few years more closely, this occurred near the market’s top in January 2018 & January 2020.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Derivatives Gaining Record Traction from Institutional Investors

Not much has changed in the bitcoin market. Yes, we go up towards $12,000. Yes, we then go down to $11,000. But it is nothing new. August has been all about — BTC price surging and falling but remaining in the range.

The ‘real’ volume in the spot market meanwhile has increased to above $2 billion but it is still not strong. Also, the volume has been on a constant decline since last July when the price went from $9,000 to $12,000. However, in the futures market, activity is picking up.

On CME, the volume has been keeping above $500 million for the most part and this week it made two attempts to reach $1 billion, as per data source Skew. Meanwhile on the Bakkt, as we reported this week, the platform hit a new record and stayed above $110 million in daily volume.

However, open interest is not painting a good picture as on CME it dropped to $600 million, down from the peak of $948 million on August 17th. Open positions on Bakkt were at $27 million on August 3rd but have now declined to $9.8 million. But the drop gained traction in the second half of the month.

According to the latest post by the CME, the number of unique accounts on the platform that traded bitcoin futures since launch now exceeds 5,400. New participants are also entering the market that has the number of LOIH (Large Open Interest Holders) continuing to grow. For the week of August 18th, a record number of 94 holders was established.

The number of LOIH has been rising sharply since Q4 2019, and given that an LOIH is a holder for at least 25 contracts (in CME 1 contract equals 5 BTC), institutional interest has been growing, noted Denis Vinokourov of London-based prime broker Bequant.

Additionally, average daily open interest has been steadily increasing since March and has been actually exceeding average daily volume for the last four months.

On August 17th, OI reached a record at 77,030 BTC and averaged 13,672 contracts for the month, which is a 40% increase from July.

Meanwhile, in the options market, interest in CME’s bitcoin options which were launched in January, the interest sparked after the halving in May.

While pre-halving, average daily volume was less than 30 contracts, it jumped about 9 times to 256 contracts post-halving.

On July 28th, the daily options volume recorded was $60 million which remained below $10 million for the most part of this month, as per Skew. Unlike CME, Bakkt’s bitcoin options, which were launched in the month prior, have been seeing no traction whatsoever — zer0.

Open interest meanwhile, is spread out over a wide strike range, between $1,000 and $100,000 per bitcoin. Currently, the OI on CME bitcoin options is around $200 million.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Ethereum’s Gain is Also Its Loss Amidst the Continued Institutionalization

Yesterday, the largest digital asset took a hit and went down to about $11,110 level. Naturally, this then translated into losses for altcoins.

Altcoins went down hard with Cardano (ADA) being the biggest loser among the top cryptocurrencies while Aave (LEND) remaining the biggest gainer hitting yet another all-time rushing for $1 — up 67% in the past five days.

While bitcoin continues to record losses in the short-term, Ethereum continued to underperform and dropped by almost 10% below $400 to as low as almost $370.

At the time of writing, ETH/USD has been trading at $388.60, now in the green by over 2.2% but in the gains by 196% YTD.

Thanks to these gains, Ether now accounts for more than 30% of the total cryptocurrency market cap excluding Bitcoin, for the first time since September 2018.

However, while the exchange balance of BTC has gone down 9.6% in 2020 so far, Ether’s balance YTD change has been net positive of 10.4%.

It has been these profits that have the ETH balance on crypto exchanges growing as investors look to take off profits. Even the ETHUSD longs in Bitfinex have seen a slight drop but that could be temporary just like in early August that led to the longs hitting new highs.

The Institutionalization

While Ether is in losses with the market looking to finish off the monthly lower, ConsenSys is making acquisitions and gaining investment.

As we reported, the institutionalization trend is continuing with the NY-based Ethereum venture studio founded by Ether co-founder Joseph Lubin which acquired Quorum, the Ethereum-based enterprise blockchain platform developed by mega-bank JPMorgan.

“We’ll be working together with JP Morgan to merge the technical roadmaps of our own hyperledger basic client which is an Ethereum mainnet compatible client with the Quorum technical roadmap and under a commercial agreement we will be supporting JPMorgan’s Interbank Information Network, the IIM, and JPM Coin network,” explained Lubin in an interview with CNN.

JPMorgan has also made a strategic investment in the company but the size of the investment hasn’t been confirmed by either of the parties.

“So we will be bringing a much more comprehensive enterprise Ethereum solution to not just JP Morgan and the hundreds of financial institutions on their networks but the additional hundreds of institutions around the world that make use of enterprise Ethereum and that are increasingly starting to make use of public mainnet Ethereum,” Lubin added.

Vulnerable to Attack

Amidst all this came a research that says more than $1 billion worth of tokens on the Ethereum blockchain is suffering from a software vulnerability — a fake deposit exploit.

This missing software standard is found to be in 7,772 issuers of ETC20 tokens which can be manipulated to hack the funds at about no cost.

“If the fake deposit attack is carried out, it is for sure a great disaster for the token,” said one of the researchers, Haoyu Wang, an associate professor of computer science at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. “Worst case, the token has to be reissued.”

The possible fix is upon crypto exchanges which can blacklist malicious token contracts because smart contracts are permanent and can’t be reversed.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy