ICO Ratings Initial Coin Offering Ranking Service Receives Cease and Desist Letter From The SEC

The U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently decided to emit a cease and desist order against ICO Rating, which is a company focused on researching about the crypto market and rating the best investments.

According to the SEC, ICO Ratings has violated the Securities Act. The company is being accused of describing securities to get a certain direct or indirect compensation from the group that issues the investment.

This happened because the company charged fees in order to create the reports of the investments. As some of the tokens listed on the platform were considered securities, the company broke the law. The illegal reports were also widely published on social media, which is also against the norms.

The SEC affirms that ICO Rating was paid over $100,000 USD by companies and groups that issued ICOs to have them rated. These payments, however, were never disclosed to the readers of the site, meaning that they could end up investing in these security tokens without knowing that they were seeing something that the SEC considered to be a paid promotion.

ICO Ratings was ordered to cease all activities, give the money back (plus interest) and then pay a civil money penalty that would be over $160,000 USD.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Former Head Of SEC’s Cyber Unit Is Moving To Coinbase’s Law Branch

Robert A. Cohen, the former head of the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Cyber Unit, will be joining Coinbase’s law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP soon. According to the reports, he is the newest partner in the company.

The executive worked with the SEC for 15 years and quit last month. Every eye was on him ever since, as people were wondering where he would go. After his departure, the division of the SEC is without a leader temporarily, as no one was announced to take his place.

His former unit was, in fact, very focused on the crypto world. It was created back in 2017 by the SEC to check issues involving the blockchain technology.

During his work with the cyber unit, Cohen oversaw several lawsuits and legal activity. He also got famous as he pursued legal action against several Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). One of the most high-profile cases was the one against Kik Interactive, which happened recently.

Recently, Cohen affirmed that the SEC carefully choose who to go after. Their goal was to get some high-profile cases in order to get the word out. This way, more companies would understand the risks of illegal ICOs and would stop it without the SEC needing to go after every company out there.

Now, Robert A. Cohen has changed sides and will help Coinbase. He is, however, legally barred from speaking with any SEC official for around a year. There are regulations which prevent him from using too much of his influence now that he is out of the public service.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Rokkex Exchange To Enhance Crypto Asset Security By Using Ledger Vault

Rokkex, a crypto exchange based in Estonia, has recently started a new partnership with the French Ledger wallet, which is known for its popular hardware wallets. The company will now integrate its services with Ledger’s wallet for enterprises: Ledger Vault.

The vault will be used to secure the assets of the company with highly advanced security measures.

The Estonian company was created last year as a fully regulated platform, so it will have wealthy clients that will want to protect their assets. According to the founder and CEO of Rokkex, Lukas Krikstaponis, the first tests with the technology were very successful. The head of Ledger Vault, Demetrios Skalkotos, has affirmed that they can provide full transparency and protection from attacks.

By using this product, the clients will retain full access but they will have additional protections such as cold storage and other guarantees. This is important because several exchanges have been hacked recently, meaning that security is now more important than ever. Many exchanges try to secure the assets themselves and

Ledger Wallet was first launched in May 2018 to be used as a security tool that could target institutional investors.

The product has a structure that helps most companies because it works with multiple authorizations, meaning that its governance infrastructure can be used by institutions that share the assets with different investors.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Binance’s App Returns To Apple Store as CEO Documents Tough Process to Get Accepted

Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, has finally listed its trading app on Apple store again. This happened months after the app was taken off the service. The CEO of the exchange, Changpeng Zhao, commented about the victory on Twitter.

According to him, it was a very difficult process that allowed the company to list its iOS app there again. The app was listed after the company followed a long process of adhering to all the rules that Apple required

“without complaints”.

Zhao joked that it was actually harder to be listed on the Apple Store than having a token being listed on Binance. The joke was because Binance is said to be considerably hard to get in. Many altcoins providers want the fame that Binance can provide them, but have a tough time being listed.

Not only the app has returned to the store, but Binance also launched Venus this week. Venus is a stablecoin backed by the company. The idea was to use Venus in order to make the Binance DEX (decentralized exchange) even more decentralized than it is right now. Before Venus, Binance launched BTCB, which pegged to Bitcoin (BTC) and BGBP, pegged to the British pound (GBP).

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Coinbase Is Seeing Institutional Deposits of $200 To $400 Million Weekly, CEO Affirms

2019 is certainly a huge year for cryptos. Coinbase, the largest exchange of the U. S., is reaping the profits from that. The CEO of the company, Brian Armstrong, has recently tweeted about how institutional investors are entering the crypto market right now.

According to him, there is an obvious trend, which is that institutions are becoming a part of the crypto world. He affirmed that around a year ago, people were always asking whether we would see institutions really get into Bitcoin and crypto investing. According to him, Coinbase has the answer now.

The company is currently seeing institutional investors depositing from $200 to $400 million USD in assets on the company each week.

Coinbase Is The Largest Crypto Custodian of the World Now

If the crypto markets are changing, you can be sure that Coinbase is prepared for that change. The company has just acquired Xapo, a crypto provider that was one of the largest custodians in the market.

With the acquisition, Coinbase now sits at the top, being the largest crypto custodian in the whole world. At the moment, the company would have at least $7 billion USD worth of cryptos under its management.

Armstrong: The Future Is Bright

Despite the bull run that was started some months becoming calmer in the last few weeks, the future of the crypto market is pretty bright, according to Armstrong. Several institutional investors are finally ready to enter this world and companies such as Bakkt, which will offer BTC futures, will be important in this new phase.

He also hinted that Coinbase is exploring new products and looking at new ways to monetize assets and to improve its business model.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Major Crypto Exchange From South Korea, Coinone, Shares Official Checklist for New Coin Listings

The third-largest crypto exchange of South Korea, Coinone, has decided to create a set of criteria for the company that wants to let people trade their tokens on the platform.

This decision was announced soon after the exchange made a partnership with CertiK, a local company that will now be responsible for security validation in the network.

Now, all candidates for listing on the platform will have to ensure that they follow a total of nine criteria before they are allowed into Coinone.

Some of these criteria will take into account things such as a good business model, long-term strategy and vision, distribution plans, transparency, marketing plans and more. Basically, only great investments will be allowed in the platform moving forward.

All potential tokens will be reviewed and the team behind the protocol will be taken into account as well when determining if they are good enough.

Non-compliant Tokens Will Be Delisted

If a token is not compliant with the rules, it will end up being delisted. For instance, if the quality of the protocol goes down or if the companies lack transparency or engage in market manipulation, they will be delisted. Any involvement with criminal activity will be the reason for an instant ban. Blockchain failures and other technical problems will be also taken into account.

Whenever a token is failing at one of these instances, it will be warned once. If the company is not improving on the matter that caused the trouble in the first place, then the delisting will happen sometime after the company was first warned.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

Poloniex Will Delist Over 20 Individual Trading Pairs Due to Low Volume and Demand

The crypto exchange Poloniex, which is owned by Circle and based in San Francisco, is about to remove the total of 23 trading pairs from its list of assets. The reason for the change is that the crypto exchange has deemed that these trading pairs have a very low volume, so it is not worth to keep them around.

Curiously, none of the trading pairs is paired against Bitcoin. They are all traded against Monero (XMR), Ethereum (ETH), Tether (USDT) and only one with USD Coin (USDC). You can check the complete list of assets here.

Not The First Time Assets Are Delisted

This is not the first time that the Circle-owned exchange decides to delist assets. The last time this happened, on May 29, several assets have been completely removed from the platform, not only trading pairs. The assets were Bytecoin (BCN), GameCredits (GAME), Lisk (LSK), Augur (REP), Ardor (ARDR), Decred (DCR), Gas (GAS), Omni Layer (OMNI) and Nxt (NXT).

You may have heard of these assets. The main reason for delisting was not really low volume but regulatory uncertainty. The company is U. S.-based and most of the assets were created via Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), which are not fully legal in the country. This meant that even somewhat famous tokens such as Augur ended up being kicked from the platform.

In related news, Coinbase Pro has also started to limit some assets this month. XTZ/BTC and XTZ/USD are set to enter transfer-only mode soon, even in the supported regions of these assets. At the moment, however, no orders can be placed on the order books of the platform.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Bitfinex’s ‘Sister Exchange’, Ethfinex, Rebrands Independently as DeversiFi

The crypto exchange space is set for another major rebrand following the move by Ethfinex Trustless that evolved to DeversiFi as of August 13, 2019. This will see the former sister to Bitfinex position itself as the sole high-speed decentralized coin exchange with high liquidity for crypto traders. Furthermore, traders using the new DeversiFi platform can be able to carry out trades whilst their digital currencies remain held in private wallets.

Ethfinex began its operations in Q3 of 2018 when it pioneered as a P2P platform for ERC20 based tokens. The decision to rebrand its outlook is pivotal in making the exchange competitive as it shifts to focus on settling for institutions as opposed to its previous retail clientele. Before its rebrand, Ethfinex had acquired a customer base of close to 10,000 with its footprint mainly in Europe.

According to Will Harbone, DeversiFi CEO, the change in strategy is not only a rebrand but a move to scale opportunities for growth. The CEO while speaking to The Block mentioned that among the selling points were lower fees and products regulated as per the current laws. However, the rebrand seemed to have coincided with the pressure on Bitfinex’s $850 million alleged fraud currently under investigation by New York’s AG office.

DeversiFi is set to set itself apart and compete with large exchanges by reducing execution time, narrower spreads and liquidity within its ecosystem. The Ethfinex user interface will also be altered to reflect its new brand in addition to the software features.

Nectar (NEC), the ERC20 token created for Ethfinex’s ecosystem is also undergoing an overhaul to make it well compatible with DiversiFi’s design. This is in line with the growth in needs, both regulatory and technological since it was launched back in 2017.

Harbone noted that next on the roadmap for DeversiFi would be acquiring approval within the European zone while mobilizing for development funds. The biggest challenge so far appears to be establishing DeversiFi as a sole brand given it heavily relied on Bitfinex during its early growth stages.

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Author: Lujan Odera

SEC Delays The Decision Again For 3 Bitcoin ETFs (Bitwise, VanEck/SolidX and Wilshire Phoenix)

The U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has decided for the delay on the decision about three different Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). These were the most recent ETFs, the ones filed by VanEck and SolidX, Bitwise Asset Management and Willshire Phoenix. If approved, they would be launched at CBOE BZX and NYSE Arca.

As the official time for a decision, 240 days, was about to be reached, the decision of the SEC was very unsurprising: they simply decided not to make the decision right now.

According to the SEC rules, the entity will have until October 13 and 18 to decide for the Solid X and Bitwise ETFs and until September 29 for Wilshire’s ETF.

Bitcoin ETFs Are Very Hard To Approve

Unfortunately, it is simply extremely hard to approve an ETF right now. The SEC is very concerned about market manipulation in the crypto market, so it is very unlikely to approve any of it while the issues are not properly addressed.

As the SEC sees the crypto market as still very unregulated and prominent to manipulation, the entity has several concerns about what an ETF might mean. A lot of BTC trading is said to be wash trading and several whales (wealthy investors) have the means to move the market the way they want to.

Because of all these issues, it is considerably hard to believe that the ETF will be out anytime this year, as none of the three companies have provided any guarantee that the market will not suffer from manipulation.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

Binance US Evaluating 30 Cryptocurrencies for Listing, Not Including TRX, XMR

The leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance has made further progress with its Binance US exchange. Just about two months back on June 14, the exchange announced its partnership up BAM Trading Services Inc. to launch trading services for its users in the United States.

The idea was to launch a US extension of Binance with a focus on the trading of mainstream cryptocurrencies with liquidity. Following this news, Binance announced that it will no longer permit US citizens to sign for its global Binance.com service, effective from September 12.

Now, the exchange is giving a peek into the “exciting developments” coming soon for Binance US.

For this, the exchange is currently evaluating 30 cryptocurrencies for listing including ADA, ATOM, BAT, BCHABC, BNB, BTC, DASH, EOS, ETC, ETH, HOT, IOTA, LINK, LOOM, LTC, MANA, NANO, NEO, PAX, REP, RVN, TUSD, USDC, USDT, VET, WAVES, XLM, XRP, ZIL, and ZRX.

As part of the legal obligation, Binance US is adopting a,

“Digital Asset Risk Assessment Framework to help select bona fide blockchain projects with a real chance of making the world more efficient, to provide transparency in our listing standards, and to ensure Binance US’s compliance with applicable legal requirements.”

Under this framework, it will examine each digital asset for different factors including a clear strategy to solve a real problem, reasonability fair market supply, and demand, and if it is technologically secure to transact.

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Author: AnTy