Ripple Contributes $10M to Mercy Corps at Swell; US Giving Advantage to Chinese Tech

Ripple is wrapping up its annual event, Swell. The two-day event, held on Oct. 14-15, was virtual for the first time and is overall the fourth one.

Usually, a driver for a spike in XRP prices, this time not only was there not much hype around the event, but the price of XRP is also in the red by .34% at $0.247, down 93.73% from its all-time high.

Today, during the Swell event, Ripple announced a $10 million contribution to the NGO Mercy Corps to “expand financial inclusion and increase economic empowerment.”

With this contribution, Mercy Corps, which helped about 28 million people last year, will support solutions that use digital financial technologies such as cryptos and distributed ledgers.

In this three-year initiative, the idea is to bring large numbers of people in emerging markets into the global economy.

“The existing financial system is fragmented, antiquated, and exclusionary–leaving 1.7B people unbanked and disproportionately excluding women. Emerging fintech, crypto, and blockchain technologies have the potential to radically transform it,” which will be leveraged to ensure vulnerable populations are not left behind in the fintech revolution, said Scott Onder, Senior Managing Director at Mercy Corps Ventures.

US’s Regulatory Disadvantage

Amidst this, in an interview, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse talked about the lack of regulatory clarity in the US putting companies like Ripple at a disadvantage forcing them to consider “should we relocate the company to a country where it is clear?”

The regulatory landscape of the US, according to Garlinghouse, is so scattered that it is “actually advantaging Chinese technologies.”

Not just the US but the world is “in a race with China,” which is “leaving others in the dust,” he said.

“I think the Chinese communist party is being very strategic, and it’s very focused on dominating this technology,” Garlinghouse said. China’s President Xi Jinping cleared his stance on the technology last year when he said, the country must “take the leading position in the emerging field of blockchain.”

However, not just China, but the US is behind many other countries, G20 markets like the UK, Singapore, Japan, Switzerland, and the UAE where there’s a clear regulatory framework, said Garlinghouse.

“Part of the success of the United States around the internet was because there was clarity for companies to invest.”

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Community Bashes First-Ever STO IPO Advisors for Shilling INX

The first-ever Security Token Offering (STO) held its IPO for 130 million INX tokens on Tuesday following approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Ethereum-based token was for sale at a price of $0.9 per token.

The IPO came about a year after the project issued its preliminary prospectus, which could become the largest IPO to date in the crypto industry if it manages to raise its targeted $117 million (originally targeted $130M).

A startup with 14 employees has Israeli consulting firm A-Labs Finance and Advisory as its underwriting for public offering. A-Labs’ owner Doron Cohen is the founding partner of INX.

They were founded in 2017 by Shy Datika, the controlling shareholder (31%) and president of INX and Cohen, who, along with Triple-V, owns a 10% share of the company.

But the real event hasn’t been about the INX being the first STO, but the advisors of the project and in the middle of it is Casa’s Jameson Lopp, who received backlash from the crypto community for shilling a “shitcoin.”

“It enables non-accredited investors to get exposure to crypto exchange cash flows. It’s kind of like BNB except regulatory compliant,” is how Lopp explained the project.

Lopp is actually eligible to purchase 25,000 tokens at $0.01 per piece, which is 98.8% lower than the price it is currently available for the public.

“Don’t conflate permissionless altcoins that try to compete with bitcoin to this, a regulated security token for a specific company,” said Lopp who finds it “interesting because historically the most profitable businesses in the crypto ecosystem are exchanges,” and “this is a very different beast.”

200 million INX tokens have already been minted, out of which 35 million are reserved for the management, employees, early investors, and advisors. Another 35 million have been put into a reserve fund for acquisitions and other operational expenses.

Token holders are entitled to 40% of the adjusted operating cash flow, which is so far negative $4 million and advisors are set to make $225,000.

Bitcoin core developer and founder of Bloq argued that maximalists had made a U-turn as they advertise their Ethereum token sale after calling everything on Ethereum a scam.

Blockstream CSO, Samson Mow, who is also one of the advisors and eligible to buy up to 100k of INX’s at $0.01 per token said he first invested in 2018 and that “the plan is for the INX security token to be issued on Liquid via Liquid Securities, however that will take time and approval from regulators.”

The exchange is estimated to launch in Q1 2021 with listings and the token trading in Q2 of next year.

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Author: AnTy

Ripple Execs Meet With Central Bank Of Brazil Officials in ‘Closed to the Press’ Meeting

Ripple Inc.’s, Brad Garlinghouse held a ‘closed to the press’ meeting with Brazil’s Central Bank officials on May 30th to discuss “institutional matters” in the South American country. Top officials from both Ripple and the Central Bank of Brazil held the meeting at 1700 hrs to 1800 hrs. What could be the motive behind the closed-door meeting?

Ripple Executives meet with the Central Bank of Brazil Officials

According to the Agenda of Authorities of Banco Central do Brasil website, the schedule of Roberto Campos Neto, the central bank’s president, showed he met online with Ripple executives on Saturday evening last week. While major details on the meeting remain unrevealed to the media, the agenda only hinted at “institutional matters”.

Three Ripple executives and board members accompanied CEO at Ripple Inc., Garlinghouse – Ben Lawsky, Member of the Board of Directors of Ripple, Eric van Miltemburg, Senior Vice President, Global Operations, Ripple, Luiz Antonio Sacco, Vice President of Global Operations and General Director for Latin America at Ripple.

Brazil’s central bank was led by Roberto joined by João Manoel Pinho de Mello, the Financial System Organization and Resolution Director, and Otavio Ribeiro Damaso, Regulation Director.

Both, Ripple and the Central bank of Brazil officials have remained silent on the conference discussions. Could the bank be looking at a possible central bank digital currency (CBDC) or settlement platform?

Brazil’s QR based instantaneous payment system

The most sensible explanation for the meeting may be to discuss the QR-based payment system that the central bank is developing. PIX, the non-crypto payment platform will offer P2P ad B2B payment solutions within the country aiming to reduce the transaction costs and speed of transactions.

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Author: Lujan Odera

After Falling From The Third Spot During Black Thursday; Time to Start Accumulating XRP?

  • XRP/BTC showing monthly support and held up during the crash
  • Ripple leading C++ software engineer Nik Bougalis advises people to work from home
  • Its partner MoneyGram selling all the XRP “as soon as” it receives

XRP is currently recording gains of 3.90% in the past 24 hours while trading at $0.149 but still at fourth place, as per Messari.

The digital lost the third place to Tether (USDT) following the violent sell-off last week that saw XRP falling to $0.11, a level was last seen in May 2017. Meanwhile, the market cap of most of the stablecoin increased, potentially signaling investors piling into cash. But the pain for the digital asset might not be over.

According to a trader with pseudonym Calmly it is time to accumulate XRP as the BTC chart is showing strength. “Begrudgingly, I think it’s time to start accumulating Ripple. The XRP / BTC chart looks like an accumulation of monthly support. The bitcoin pair held up during the crash,” said the trader.

XRP Bull Accumulating

XRP enthusiast Rober Art who has 12.9k followers on Twitter believes $0.10 is coming which according to him is a buy the dip opportunity.

Robert Art is all about XRP and Bitcoin as per his bio reads, and he sees XRP at $200 XRP and BTC at 1 million.

The fourth-largest digital asset by market cap of $4.34 billion is down by 96% from its all-time high of $3.92. But according to the XRP bull, it isn’t a bear market rather the “start of the accumulation zone” which he has been waiting to buy some dips. His latest buying target has projected the XRP even lower at $0.05.

Work remotely amidst coronavirus scare

The losses in XRP along with the crypto market and stock market and other assets have been due to the rising concerns over the economic impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

As coronavirus spreads rapidly, cryptographer and leading C++ software engineer at Ripple, Nik Bougalis advised people to work from home.

In a tweet on Monday, Bougalis shared that he has been working remotely for 20 years and is currently leading the team at Ripple.

In another news, Ripple partner MoneyGram is selling all the XRP “as soon as” it receives from the San Francisco-based tech company, reported TheBlock. It was recently revealed that MoneyGram received $11.3 million worth of XRP from Ripple and its other major clients like NB Bank and goLance are also receiving incentives from the company.

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Author: AnTy

Supreme Court of India Holds Crypto Hearing Regarding the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Restrictions

According to a report by Bitcoin.com, a crypto hearing was held by the Supreme Court of India. The hearing was over writ petitions challenging restrictions on banking by the Reserve Bank of India.

Although the hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, it took place on Monday at the order of the senior counsel, which placed the hearing at the top of the board. This means that the case will be heard that day.

In any case, the hearing was over the Reserve Bank of India’s circular issued last April that prohibited financial institutions from providing cryptocurrency businesses with banking services. As a result, banks ceased providing services to crypto businesses and closed their accounts. Industry stakeholders then filed a petition to challenge the ban.

In addition to the court case, the legislature appears to be making headway concerning crypto. India’s legislature issued a draft crypto bill. The draft, included in a report issued by the Garg committee, is titled Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019. The bill is an updated version of another bill. It includes prohibitions concerning cryptocurrency and offenses.

Subhash Chandra Garg of the Garg Committee tweeted about the report, stating that the committee is very receptive of distributed ledger technologies and recommended widespread use in delivering financial services. Further, he added that private cryptocurrencies are of no real value and are rightly banned.

It appears that although there is support for a digital rupee, private cryptocurrencies do not have the same support and are thought to be valueless. According to a report by Bitcoin.com, the same position was taken by the report, which found that there is no fixed nominal value concerning private cryptocurrencies, they have no store of value, and they are not a medium of exchange.

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Author: Lillian Peter

Congress Was Recently Told Cryptocurrency is Becoming a “Significant Issue” for the FBI

In a meeting held on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, that involved the Senate Homeland Security Committee and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), talks regarding national security threats were expounded upon sharing more details on the matter.

Cryptocurrencies were addressed and the Director of the U.S. FBI, Christopher Wray, disclosed that the bureau views such digital assets are a threat. This is a response to Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT)’s comment.

In particular, the Senator, who admits isn’t very knowledgeable on cryptocurrencies said the following:

“I would think it is more difficult to carry out your work when we can’t follow the money because the money is hidden from us.”

In stating this, he urged that something be done nationwide regarding cryptocurrencies.

Wray explained the bureau’s viewpoint and noted that the overall adoption of the digital currency is surely to become “a bigger and bigger [issue].” It also seems like he is not convinced that regulation would rectify the situation.

Without disclosing too much, Wray did mention some crucial points. With the FBI being watchful of the exchange of money through the decentralized financial system, he stressed that the U.S might eventually become segregated if it did not make the effort to keep up with improving technologies.

He specifically noted that outside organizations within the U.S. are getting habituated with blockchain technology and could be putting in time to ensure that their financial involvements are covered from the government reports Decrypt.

Here’s what Wray has since voiced:

“Whether it’s cryptocurrency or default encryption on devices and messaging platforms, we are moving in a direction as a country and world where if we don’t get our act together, money, people, communications, evidence, facts […] will be essentially walled off from the men and women we represent.”

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai

Zuckerberg Links Up with Democratic Lawmakers Concerned About Libra Cryptocurrency

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a meeting on Wednesday with about six US lawmakers over a dinner in Washington, Washington Post reports. The dinner meeting primarily focused on Facebook’s Libra crypto project.

Intelligence Committee vice chair Senator Mark Warner was pivotal in organizing the dinner meeting with Zuckerberg at an undisclosed restaurant in Washington. According to Warner, the legislators explained their issues ranging from privacy, vile content and how the issues can be handled.

While the discussion was about various issues about Facebook, the lawmakers took a keen interest to ask specific questions about Facebook’s intended cryptocurrency, the Libra. The cryptocurrency has yielded lots of scrutiny from different quarters especially lawmakers and other policy makers in the world.

One of the key concerns from the lawmakers is the fact that Libra representatives had indicated that if the project failed to get approved in America, it will not be launched in another country. Warner raised concern that Facebook might have duped the lawmakers with such an assurance as there are indications that Libra may be launched in another country in the near future.

According to Warner, Zuckerberg must have understood the concerns of the lawmakers and as such, the lawmaker wonders whether Facebook would want to launch the Libra crypto before getting approved by the US authorities.

Another lawmaker present during the dinner, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, said that he was thrilled by the interest exhibited by Zuckerberg saying that the dinner meeting was constructive as the most pressing issues facing the larger tech space were canvassed and he was much interested in the measures taken by the company to safeguard privacy.

According to Cointelegraph, Zuckerberg is set to spend more days in Washington meeting with various policy makers to talk about internet regulatory on various issues like privacy, handling of rivalry as well as how to deal with election matters. These meetings comes just a few weeks after the intense grilling of the Libra cryptocurrency by the US Congress.

Libra has been facing increased challenges ahead of its official launch scheduled for next year. Earlier this month, French Finance Minister stated that his country will not allow the launching of Libra within the European Union. Additionally, German Finance Minister has claimed that Libra will create a parallel currency that might undermine sovereignty.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

SimplyVital Health and Its HLTH Blockchain Token ICO Worth Over $6.3 Million Settles with SEC

SimplyVital Health, a company that held an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in 2017 and was able to get $6.3 million USD worth of Ethereum (ETH), was recently charged by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

During the sale, the company was able to raise the money by selling Health Nexus (HLTH) tokens. These tokens were offered via a “simple agreement for future tokens”, also known as SAFT. The idea was to use this model in order to reduce risks associated with regulators intervening in the sale.

The problem was that the SEC determined that the company, which never actually delivered the tokens, was breaking the Securities Act by not being registered. This prompted the SEC to issuing a cease and desist order.

Since then, the health company has decided to refund most of the investors related to the sale. Because of this and the fact that the company decided to accept the cease and desist order, the SEC decided not to impose any other kind of penalties to the case.

Going after SAFT sales is a trend that the SEC has started to follow since last year. According to the institution, this new approach will make the operations smoother.

The entity will start to consider that some tokens can be utilities and securities at the same time, too. In this case, it is clear that because a token is used as a utility tool this does not mean that it is impossible to consider it a security.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

US SEC Commissioner Supports Creation of Non-Exclusive Safe Harbor For Crypto In Singapore

US-SEC-Commissioner-Supports-Creation-of-Non-Exclusive-Safe-Harbor-For-Crypto-In-Singapore

The Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) recently held a convention named as the Convergence Forum. The tech event had several panel discussions and officials from around the world. The most important presence there was possibly the U. S. Securities and Exchange Officer (SEC) Commissioner Hester Peirce.

Peirce affirmed that there is interest in creating a “non-exclusive safe harbor” in order to let people buy and sell tokens without all the requirements that people are generally asked.

The expert also talked about cross-border concerns and the fact that the international community is still not prepared for this at the moment, as more cooperation needs to be done before.

In order to address these issues, regulation between the countries need to be more international and, if there is no explicit decision on how to do it, international jurisdiction needs to be created.

Other panels included discussions about the future of blockchain technology, how Asia and the United States are related to the crypto market and other similar subjects. During one of the panels, the co-founder of Lonhash, Emily Parker, triggered a heated argument about the Chinese decision of banning cryptos from their markets.

The CEO of Jenga, Iris Xu, one of the sponsors of the event, affirmed that the essence of tokens created using the blockchain technology is the creation of network effects. Because of this, three aspects are important when creating a new cryptocurrency.

The first one is to find the right fundraising model, deciding how to deal with legal compliance and the community of real users as well.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Gabriel Machado