Bitcoin Supporter Gary Gensler, Who Called XRP A ‘Security’ to Be Named SEC Chairman

Bitcoin Supporter Gary Gensler, Who Called XRP A ‘Security’ to Be Named SEC Chairman

Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chair Gary Gensler is expected to be named the Chairman of the US securities and exchange Commission by President-elect Joe Biden, reported Reuters.

Gensler has been leading Biden’s transition planning for financial industry oversight since November.

This is good news for the crypto market as Gensler, who was a blockchain professor at MIT, has shared crypto-friendly views.

“Gary Gensler deeply understands crypto & has strongly supported bitcoin for years. His selection as SEC chair signals a policy shift in favor of a bitcoin ETF,” said Jake Chervinsky, General Counsel at Compound Finance.

While bullish for the Bitcoin BTC 7.35% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 37,348.49
$2,745.117.35%
Volume 69.69 b Change $2,745.11 Open $37,348.49 Circulating 18.6 m Market Cap 694.67 b
2 h German Police Shut Down Dark Market that Facilitated $170 Million in Cryptocurrency Transactions 4 h Bitcoin Supporter Gary Gensler, Who Called XRP A ‘Security’ to Be Named SEC Chairman 4 h Big Uptick in 1k BTC Addresses Shows Institutions Bought the Dip; Goldman Sachs says Still Just 1% of Institutional Money
and board cryptocurrency market, this might not be that good for XRP XRP 2.50% XRP / USD XRPUSD $ 0.31
$0.012.50%
Volume 4.87 b Change $0.01 Open $0.31 Circulating 45.4 b Market Cap 13.9 b
4 h Bitcoin Supporter Gary Gensler, Who Called XRP A ‘Security’ to Be Named SEC Chairman 7 h Acting SEC Enforcer Leading Ripple Lawsuit to Step Down; XRP Fights to Stay on Exchanges 1 d Ripple Hires Former Amazon Executive As SVP Of Engineering to Strengthen Cross Border Payments
as he has publicly called it a security. Last month, the SEC sued Ripple and its two top executives for selling unregistered XRP security.

Gensler “went on record in 2018 saying there’s “a strong case” that XRP is a security, signaling no shift on that issue,” noted Chervinsky.

Gensler is a former Goldman Sachs banker and is prompting concerns among Wall Street firms of tougher regulation. In contrast, Jay Clayton, who left his SEC Chairman post on Dec. 23rd, a former Wall Street lawyer, was criticized by Democrats for his ties to many companies he was overseeing.

While the crypto market is looking to win some, it may lose some as well as it is speculated that the Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks, the former general counsel at crypto exchange Coinbase, might leave the top US banking regulators office this week.

During Brook’s term, OCC took a crypto-friendly approach, with the most notable one being allowing crypto companies to secure national banking charters. This Tuesday, Brooks also wrote about regulators needing to get ready for self-driving banks, aka decentralized finance (DeFi).

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Hardware Wallet Ledger: ‘Funds are Safe’ After ‘BigSpender’ Vulnerability Found

A vulnerability was recently discovered by ZenGo in popular cryptocurrency wallets Ledger, Edge, and BRD. Named BigSpender, the vulnerability could lead to a double-spend and an incorrect balance on the wallet.

Double-spending is spending the same money more than once and preventing it is one of the most critical tasks of any digital currency system.

The issue with BigSpender is that “vulnerable wallets are not prepared for the option that a transaction might be canceled and implicitly assume it will get confirmed eventually.”

This negligence results in increasing a user’s balance on an unconfirmed incoming transaction but doesn’t decrease if the transaction is double-spent.

Other implications included the state of canceled transactions not updated in the users’ transaction history, canceled transactions’ coins still being selected by the wallet’s software, and user interfaces not well distinguished from a confirmed state.

Easy with Minimal Risk

The vulnerability was found while investigating the handling of Bitcoin’s Replace-by-Fee (RBF) feature, a standard method that allows users to “undo” a yet to be confirmed transaction by sending another transaction, spending the same coins with a higher fee.

Due to RBF’s standard nature, attackers can easily and with minimal risk launch the basic double-spend, amplification attack, and Denial-of-Service (DoS) BigSpender exploits.

According to the ZenGo report, in some of the vulnerable wallets, this attack is hard or even impossible to recover from in which DoS attack becomes permanent.

Attackers don’t even need a big amount of money to launch the attack, they only pay for the small cancellation fees. And they do it by sending a small amount to many users of a vulnerable wallet as it doesn’t need the consent of victims which are then unable to use their funds.

Funds are Safe

BRD has related a fix while Edge and Ledger are working on it. Ledger and BRD have already handed bug bounty awards to ZenGo.

“There is no actual double-spend being performed. The user funds stay safe,” Ledger told Forbes.

In its official response, Ledger reassured that “it’s not a vulnerability, but instead a clever piece of social engineering where a malicious actor would try to trick you.” The vulnerability cannot be used to get the 24-word recovery phrase or access your crypto in any way. Your funds are safe, it said.

ZenGo has also released an open-source tool checking your BigSpender vulnerability in Bitcoin wallets.

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Author: AnTy

OKCoin Exchange Moves COO to CEO to Oversee Expansion In The US, Asia, and Europe

The OKCoin chairman Hong Fong has been named as the crypto exchange’s new CEO, seeing as a US, Europe and Asia expansion is in the cards.

The announcement was made on Friday. Fong is also the company’s chief operating officer. She will take CEO Tim Byun’s place starting March 31. Her main objective will be to develop the firm’s cryptocurrency-related products in the US states, Europe and Asia.

Byun to be a GGRO for the OK Group

Byun will become a global government relations officer (GGRO) for the OK Group, the parent company of OKCoin. He will be in charge of maintaining the communications open with governments and regulators from all over the world, and of global growth. Before starting to work for the OK Group, Byun was BitPay’s chief compliance officer. Prior to that, he was the head of credit settlement risk and an anti-money laundering officer of Visa. According to his profile on LinkedIn, he worked here for 5 years. Here’s what an OK Group spokesperson said about the changes that are being made:

“As a foremost regulatory expert in the crypto industry, Tim Byun will take on the new GGRO role. We will be able to better leverage his expertise across all units of business within the Group.”

Fong Joined the OK Group Only Recently

The OK Group was founded in China and includes many blockchain and crypto businesses related to enterprise blockchains, trading and mining. It has started shifting its focus towards blockchain technology ever since the government of China banned crypto trading, back in 2017.

Fong came at the OK Group in September 2019, after being the Chinese gaming company Giant Network’s leader of investment portfolios and strategic growth. Besides, she has also contributed to the Goldman Sachs’ mergers and acquisitions, restructuring and capital markets division.

Byun was of great help for the San Francisco-based OKCoin’s US office opening from 2017. He also supervised the exchange’s operations in the US. OKCoin has money transmitter licenses in many US states, offering its fiat-crypto trading services in the country since 2018.

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Author: Oana Ularu

ECB Pres: Facebook’s Social Media Data Dominance Mixed With Libra’s Stablecoin Could Create Issues

Christine Lagarde, the newly named European Central Bank’s (ECB) president, said she’s concerned Facebook is going to use its social media platform for promoting the Libra and eliminating any competition.

She expressed this in a letter she sent yesterday in a response to EU lawmakers, a letter in which she highlighted the fact that regulators in the stablecoin market may be worried about competition and that Facebook is unfairly advantaged because it can use its own social media platform in order to promote Libra. Lagarde wrote,

“If the entities that govern stablecoin arrangements control large digital platforms, they could impact the level playing field by promoting the use of their own solutions, with possible lock-in effects, and/or blocking other service providers or payment methods from their platforms.”

Lagarde Thinks Libra Shouldn’t Operate Until Risks Associated with It Have Been Assessed

In the same letter, Christine Lagarde said stablecoins like Libra shouldn’t operate if the regulators haven’t assessed the risks associated with them. She also pinpointed how the term “stablecoin” can be confusing and misleading, as while operators promise the store of their values to be stable, prices still depend on the underlying assets and governance.

Lagarde Was Named the ECB President in October

After being the managing director and chair of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Lagarde was made the president of ECB. It’s not the first time she has talked about the crypto space, as she previously had discussed how central bankers should issue digital currencies and has also suggested blockchain technology measures for regulators to identify the financial illegal activities happening and the criminals behind them.

According to a Reuters report from last week, she thinks ECB should be prepared for banks to release central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary, has earlier this month said he’s okay with Facebook launching a digital currency as long as their currency isn’t used to finance terrorist groups.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Knabu Crypto Project and Factom to Trial Blockchain Compliance Automation

A cryptocurrency startup named Knabu, has recently started a new banking pilot using Factom in the United Kingdom. According to reports, Factom is one of the earliest blockchains to be created for enterprises.

Knabu is focused on payments and “smart deposits”. The company has the goal of helping other financial companies to diminish the risks of their operations and to use the blockchain to improve the quality of the services. Right now, Knabu is trying to get a banking license with the local regulators, which would solidify its position as a local banking institution.

During a recent interview with Coindesk, the CEO of Knabu, Gabrielle Patrick, affirmed that the startup is launching its pilot today and that the project is set to last for 30 days. The purpose of the test, she explained, is to provide banks with the efficiencies that only the blockchain can bring to the table.

Right now, banking costs can be quite high when it comes to compliance. The company is trying to solve this problem by offering blockchain-based Know Your Customer (KYC) solutions and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) solutions. All the data would be encrypted using the system and stored on the Ethereum and Bitcoin blockchains, which are public immutable ledgers.

Patrick has affirmed that she is focused on solving the problems of small and medium banks, as they are likely to be underserved with the technology. It is not easy to create your own blockchain solution, so they believe that they can help.

The CEO of Knabu has finished by affirming that all of the work so far has been in line with what is expected by the U. S. Financial Conduct Authority and that the company is studying hard how to create a fully regulated service.

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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