US Bank Regulators to Roll Out Uniform Rules for Crypto & FinTech Firms; Streamlining Licensing

  • In efforts to ease the regulatory process for payment services and crypto firms, the United States is set to introduce a unified set of regulations that will be used in about 48 states.

As per a press statement shared with Bitcoin Exchange Guide, money services businesses based in the United States, composed of crypto firms, will in the near future enjoy easy regulatory processes. The press statement explains that the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) is set to launch a group of state regulators which will oversee all the licensing work.

CSBS will bring together 48 state regulators who have agreed to come up with a unitary set of supervisory rules. Until today, crypto-based firms as well as payment service companies were forced to adhere to numerous individual state regulations.

About 78 firms will benefit from the fresh simplified format and according to an official at CSBS, these companies move more than $1 trillion per year combined. The enactment of the unified state regulations will help ease operations across many states.

John Ryan, CSBS’s CEO, stated that the new initiative will come with numerous opportunities which will help businesses operating in the country to expand their services. Ryan also quipped that the new model will work safely just like in the old regime.

He explained that the states will not be giving up their authority but will realize efficiencies through sharing of information. Ryan also explained that although states will be sharing information, every state has the right to conduct and independent examination when the regulators deem it necessary.

The new initiative comes after several complaints were filed by crypto and fintech firms as they try to get a solution on having a state-by-state supervisory regime that delayed the licensing process. CSBS embarked on testing various approaches to determine what could work well in efforts to come up with a lasting solution. The current unified approach led to promising results which culminated in the establishment of a pilot initiative last year.

Western Union’s Rosemary Gallagher whose firm participated in the pilot program praised the initiative saying it will lead to a faster licensing process.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Ripple (XRP) Price Analysis (May 1)

Key Highlights

  •  XRP/USD market still sees a continual process of price retracements.
  •  The US dollar is now a bit pressing harder against the crypto under a high value of $0.24.
  •  Traders should be cautious of keeping too long on shorting positions of this trade.

Ripple (XRP) Price Analysis

• Major distribution territories: $0.26, $0.28, $0.30
• Major accumulation territories: $0.20, $0.18, $0.16

There is still a continual process of price retracements in the valuation of XRP/USD market. The base-instrument had once prevailed over the worth-value of its counter currency during the yesterday’s day trading operations while a high mark at $0.24 was touched.

The buyers have to put all strength together from around a low price value at $0.22 territory. Meanwhile, a breakdown at a $0.20 accumulation territory may result in revisiting a lower point at $0.18.

Ripple Technical Indicators Reading

The 50-day SMA indicator with the Middle and Lower Bollinger Bands are bent pointing towards the north. The Upper Bollinger Band has a curved towards the south-east direction above the current market line. That suggests that the bears are slightly putting the crypto-trade under a small pressure. The Stochastic Oscillators are within ranges 0f 40 and 20. And, they now briefly point to the south-east direction. That signifies the possibility of seeing a line of choppy price movements in a near trading session.

Conclusion

$0.20 price territory, has now come to serve as the key point that its breaking down will cause serious sell-offs. Nevertheless, there’ll still be a need to be cautious of keeping long on short-trading positions at a downward break of the market line mentioned earlier.

Disclaimer: The presented information is subjected to market condition and may include the very own opinion of the author. Please do your ‘very own’ market research before making any investment in cryptocurrencies. Neither the writer nor the publication (bitcoinexchangeguide.com) holds any responsibility for your financial loss.

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Author: Ben Jordan

KY Gov. Approves Blockchain Working Group Bill to Explore Use In Security of Critical Infrastructure

Kentucky has successfully completed a legislative process to create a blockchain-oriented working group. This is after its governor, Andy Beshear, signed a bill on April 24 effecting the establishment of a proposed task force.

An official update has since been shared on Kentucky’s General Assembly website on the details of this new bill. According to the publication, the bill was introduced in January 2020 with the aim of advancing blockchain tech. It was, therefore, dubbed ‘AN ACT relating to blockchain technology’.

Kentucky’s Blockchain Bill

This new development is expected to change the approach towards blockchain tech within Kentucky’s government and existing industries. Part of the bill reads,

“The working group shall evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of using blockchain technology to enhance the security of and increase protection for the state’s critical infrastructure, including but not limited to the electric utility grid, natural gas pipelines, drinking water supply and delivery, wastewater, telecommunications, and emergency services.“

Given its fundamentals, the bill appears to have been popular as it was passed with a unanimous vote of 87 against 2 during its final reading on April 14. It was then approved ten days later by Kentucky’s governor and will now guide this state in blockchain-related issues. If successful, Kentucky, is set to join the likes of Wyoming and other states that have so far developed concrete structures for oversight on blockchain tech.

As for the blockchain working group, the bill outlines a total of nine members, three of whom are ex-officio. They will be tasked with different sectors which include, energy, local government, public utilities, Information technology, Communications, and Fiscal matters. Notably, the members will include stakeholders from various public entities in Kentucky such as the Public Service Commission, Homeland Security, and the Commonwealth Office of Technology.

The working group is hence expected to report to Kentucky’s governor and the LRC towards the end of every year,

“The workgroup shall report to the Governor and to the Legislative Research Commission by December 1 of each year. The report shall include the current priority list and a discussion of whether blockchain could be deployed, and any associated cost-benefit analysis,”

This initiative is set to cost the state of Kentucky $400,000 annually according to a fiscal noted attached to the bill. The state, therefore, plans to raise these funds from its multiple revenue sources and invest in blockchain oversight and implementation through the acquisition of expertise for its desired goals.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Facebook’s Calibra Releases ‘Twins’ A New Method For Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) Testing

Facebook’s Calibra team has recently released a new research paper with a different process for Byzantine fault tolerance (BFT) testing called “Twins.” The new methodology invented by the Calibra team is believed to be a lightweight method of BFT implementation. The research paper also highlighted that despite extensive study towards BFT systems for over two decades, there aren’t any principal strategies for testing BFT implementations.

The new methodology invented by Calibra runs two instances of the same node with the same identity to mimic Byzantine behavior. The research paper also noted that its Twins methodology allows the operator to create systematic Byzantine attack scenarios, scale them under control, and then look for desired protocol properties.

What is Byzantine Fault Tolerance?

Byzantine Fault Tolerance is a concept that was derived from an academic paper from 1982 published by Leslie Lamport, Robert Shostak, and Marshall Pease. It is a metaphor derived from a scenario where a group of Byzantine Generals have surrounded a castle and are ready to attack. In order to successfully execute the attack, each one of them must carry out simultaneously, however, there is a traitor amongst them which makes it difficult for them to execute the attack in a union.

In the case of a blockchain network, the Byzantine Fault refers to a situation where all the players in the network are trying to coordinate among themselves to nullify the risk of malevolent parties trying to pass wrong info as in inaccurate data to disrupt the network. Bitcoin overcomes this issue through its POW mining consensus, where numerous miners input their computational power simultaneously to mine the next block.

Calibra’s BFT implementation Twins emulate several attacks on the BFT protocols and the research paper also claimed that the BFT attacks which took the community almost two decades would be possible to detect in a matter of few minutes using Twins. David Marcus, the co-creator of Calibra noted,

While Twins methodology is capable of finding several Byzantine seniors, at the same time some Byzantine behavior is not detectable by the new methodology including those which do not include complete divulgence of an unusual past.

Facebook’s Libra Project Make Changes to their White Paper Again

Facebook’s nascent crypto project Libra has been in hot waters ever since its announcement last year. The whitepaper and working model of the digital currency did not impress regulators who believed Libra would disrupt the financial sovereignty of the government and the idea of a stablecoin backed by multiple fiat currencies really irked them.

Since the announcement, the Libra project has made several amendments to the whitepaper, the most recent one being a couple of weeks back where instead of launching one stablecoin backed by multiple fiats, now they are planning to launch multiple stablecoins for different markets. However, despite these changes, the regulators seemed unhappy and pointed out that these changes were not enough as they did not address the faults pointed out by them in the first place.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Oracle and IBM Team Up To Tackle Enterprise Blockchain Interoperability

IBM and Oracle are in the process of integrating blockchain networks built on Fabric according to an announcement during the Phoenix Hyperledger Global Forum. Oracle’s senior blockchain director, Mark Rakhmilevich, noted that this initiative began way back in 2018 with SAP onboard as well;

“We have done full testing with IBM and SAP. The three of us have basically done cross-network testing on Fabric.”

This basically means that clients operating on Oracle’s distributed ledgers can as well communicate with another client using IBM within the same network. Blockchain nodes launched on IBM’s and Oracle’s cloud will allow a consortium to join and leverage interoperability features. Mark further highlighted that the long-term goal is to create a simple user interface with all these functions.

Future of Enterprise Blockchains

Blockchain tech is still at its early stages of implementation with the most significant use case being crypto coins. This might however change over time given the adoption of permissioned networks by major players across existing industries. Companies are slowly realizing the value in forming a consortium to share and verify data through distributed ledgers.

Despite the innovations, the regulatory space has not been very supportive of this new technology. According to Mark, Oracle and its partners will still continue with the informal process as they await guidelines;

“Creating the consortium framework is going to take a lot of time, so let’s go and start building this while the lawyers are talking, something people can run without having this formal consortium.”

As it stands, Boeing has already jumped on the enterprise blockchain bandwagon. The airplane manufacturer recorded $1 billion worth of parts on Honeywell’s Hyperledger Fabric a week ago. This move will enable Boeing to track its resold parts for safety compliance as well as scale its online market for parts. Notably, the network will operate as a permissioned ledger so as to preserve the data integrity shared within this consortium.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Bitfinex To Delist 46 Crypto Trading Pairs Due to Low Liquidity On March 6th

Bitfinex crypto exchange has revealed that it will kickoff a delisting process starting from coming Friday to remove crypto trading pairs that have very low volumes.

In a blog post released on March 2, Bitfinex stated that it will delist 46 cryptocurrency trading pairs starting on March 6 as a result of low liquidity within the platform. The exchange platform also stated that the removal of the said trading pairs is a normal procedure that is meant to enhance the platform’s liquidity. The blog post also stated that the exercise will streamline as well as optimize the trading experience of the platform’s clients.

Most of the crypto trading pairs which are set to be delisted coming Friday comprise a big list of altcoins that trade against Ether (ETH) which is the second-largest crypto as per its market cap. The list comprises 30 trading pairs such as OKEx tokens (OKB), Nucleus Vision (NCASH) and Verge (XVG).

The rest of the trading pairs comprises of altcoins that trade against Bitcoin (BTC) such as Hydrol Protocol (HOT) as well as Medicalchain (MTN/BTC). The exchange also lists two altcoins that trade against Dai (DAI) which include OmiseGO (OMG/DAI) as well as 0x (ZRX) /DAI. The other trading pair facing the chop trades against Yen (XVG/JPY).

Bitfinex advises its clients to cancel all open orders with the targeted trading pairs by 10.00 AM UTC on March 6. The exchange stated that any remaining open orders by that time will instantly be canceled.

As per data retrieved from the crypto tracking platform, CoinGecko, as of now, Bitfinex supports approximately 350 trading pairs within its platform. By publication time, Bitfinex’s trading volume per day stands at $118 million, Coin360 data shows.

Liquidity within the crypto industry is the ease at which a certain crypto asset can become cash with no effect on its price. Delisting is a common activity to enhance liquidity for crypto exchanges. Bitfinex is not the only platform to delist trading pairs with low liquidity. In 2019, Binance conducted a delisting exercise where 30 crypto trading pairs were removed.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Ripple CTO Proposes ‘Deletable Accounts’ On The XRP Ledger (XRPL) Via An Amendment Process

A new feature was proposed by Ripple’s CTO David Schwartz in the amendment process of deletable accounts. This feature will allow XRPL accounts to be removed from the ledger and recovers most of the reserve locked in the account to prevent spam.

In the past deleting accounts was impossible as an account always existed, said software engineer Nik Bougalis who is leading the C++ team at Ripple and drafted the spec for deletable accounts. But now, someone that is able to sign a transaction on the account can now delete that.

Amendment Process to Introducing New Features

Schwartz in his latest article, “Amendments: Ensuring Sensible Evolution of the XRP Ledger,” talks about one of the key governance mechanisms that XRPL uses, the amendment process.

Purposely designed and built for broad participation, the amendment system provides a means of “introducing new features to the decentralized XRP Ledger network without causing disruptions.” The system utilizes the core consensus process of the network to approve any changes. Schwartz said,

“The activation of any changes to the XRP Ledger protocol are coordinated by the community through this process.”

The Power to Coordinate Activation of Amendments

Amendments are now assigned to a feature discussed by the community to be introduced to the XRP Ledger (XRPL) which needs 80% support to enable it. The community is then given two weeks to voice their opinion on the amendment and if enabled, those who did not agree to will become ‘amendment blocked‘ —

“a security feature designed to protect applications that depend on XRP Ledger data.”

XRPL, Shwartz explained, is to provide a robust feature for the foundation of the digital asset XRP, in addition, to exchange digital token ad settling payments. Schwartz explained,

“The purpose of this amendment process is to empower the community to coordinate activation of amendments that do have broad support with minimal disruption and to avoid an accidental fork if servers do not agree on network rules.”

Validators can’t activate amendments that don’t have broad support. Previously, support for multi-signing, ledger’s on-chain escrow and payments channel features were enabled by amendments.

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Author: AnTy

Saga Monetary Technologies Launches Onboarding Process for the SGA Token

Saga Monetary Technologies has already launched its onboarding process that allows people to buy ERC-20 tokens, the project being scheduled to launch on December 10, this year.

As crypto assets are strictly related to major currencies in the real world, stablecoins usually counterpose other cryptocurrencies. This is because they’re regulated and have a low volatility. The crypto community most of the time anticipates when it’s time to merge traditional cryptocurrencies’ benefits with the ones of stablecoins.

Saga’s New Coin Will be Called SGA

As said before, Saga is planning to launch its new coin called the SGA on December 19th. Those who want to own SGA can get involved in the onboarding process through the project’s official website. By doing this, they’ll be allowed to execute their purchase of SGA from the time at which the token generation event (TGE) will happen.

SGA to be Used Globally

According to Saga, the SGA will act as a stabilized currency that can be used globally. SGA’s tokenomics will regulate the token supply. Soon after the TGE, there will be a few national currencies that are replicating the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights backing the token. These currencies are USD, EUR, GPB, JPY and CNY.

Participants to the Onboarding Process Compliant to Regulations

Those who decide to participate in the onboarding process are subject to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and risk-based Know Your Customer (KYC) proceedings. At the same time, they will comply with the AML practices and regulations imposed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the UK law. In the interest of the SGA, the coin’s pegged nature of an asset is going to be replaced with the self-regulated token one. Relying on the reserve won’t last for too long either.

SGA Will Allow Holders to Run a Fair Governance

In spite of the fact that ERC-20 is SGA produced and based on the Ethereum PoW-based network, the new token will allow those who hold it to conduct numerous governance activities. For example, they will be able to elect an executive council to oversee the project, which means the consensus with the SGA network will be more like PoS or dPoS.

As its creators say, the SGA complies with the international regulations. The team behind the project is made of experts in economics, computer sciences and management. Saga managed to raise $30 million in seed from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mangrove Capital Partners and others.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Tron’s Justin Sun At the Center of Poloniex Exit from Circle; Just ‘Helping Out Some Friends’

Poloniex Cryptocurrency exchange is currently in the process of leaving its parent company, Circle. The firm recently announced that it would form Polo Digital Assets as a rebrand.

At the center of this major transaction is Tron Founder, Justin Sun. Anonymous sources from Circle confirmed to The Block that Justin is a major stakeholder in the ‘Asian Investment Group’. The firm is believed to be a major supporter of Poloniex in the exit process. The strategic exit comes less than two years since Circle acquired Poloniex.

Sources further revealed that Justin Sun had been to Circle’s HQ in Boston a few times. The Asian Investment Consortium under Justin is expected to play a major role in transitioning to Polo Digital Assets. As it stands, Poloniex internal employees have been offered the option to join the Crypto exchange as opposed to staying under Circle.

However, Justin recently tweeted that he is not buying anything, rather investing and to help his friends. He went on to further add that he bets on all exchanges that support TRX.

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Author: Lujan Odera

South Korean Firm to Fork Ripple and Develop a New ‘ChainZ’ Social Value Coin Donations Platform

  • Korean firm — SK C&C — is currently in the process of building its very own donations platform.
  • The holding company currently provides its services to a number of firms operating within domains such as IT, logistics, finance and media.

As per an all-new report released by S.Korean media outlet Cosun yesterday, local holding company SK C&C has announced its decision to create a new donations platform that will be built atop a Ripple blockchain fork.

In addition to this, it should also be pointed out that this new platform will support a stablecoin whose value is pegged to the Korean Won (using a 1:1 ratio).

As things stand, the platform in question is still in its planning phase and according to the head of SK C&C — Lee Sun-min — there are still a few regulatory/infrastructure related barriers that need to be ironed out before the service can go live. In regards to this entire development, Sun-min was quoted as saying:

“Since SK is a company, we cannot pursue profits in won stablecoins. Regulatory issues are not solved, too […] It’s hard to build a platform ecosystem […] Not just a single company can do it. We are currently looking for a company to build a platform ecosystem.”

The platform will reportedly be called ‘ChainZ’ and it will make use of a won-pegged stablecoin called Social Value Coin (SVC) to facilitate user donations.

ChainZ will also make use of a utility token called Social Value Power (SVP) to reward its benefactors. These SVP tokens can later be redeemed at a number of local merchant outlets.

As things stand, SK C&C draws in an annual revenue of $53.8 billion.

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Author: Shiraz J