U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin voiced the Trump administration’s concerns with Facebook’s Libra and cryptocurrencies in a press conference. While Mnuchin did not make any new policy statements, he did reiterate statements made by various government entities in the past, describing the potential for cryptocurrencies to be used by criminals as one main issue.
Draft legislation that would allegedly impose a ban on the use of cryptocurrencies in India is being circulated by local blockchain legal experts on social media. An unverified document published by tech lawyer Varun Sethi appears to reveal a draft bill entitled “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currencies.” The proposed bill suggests that a “Digital Rupee” issued by the country’s Reserve Bank would be approved by the Central Government as legal tender, while all cryptocurrency would be comprehensively prohibited.
Cleveland Cavaliers, along with its associated esports club Cavs Legion GC, have partnered with cryptocurrency firm UnitedCoin. The partnership will reportedly be used to advertise UnitedCoin and provide the Cavs with an inroad to the fintech sector via cryptocurrency.
R3 allegedly to be considering going public. The company is speaking with advisers about an initial public offering, although no final decisions have been made.
NYDFS has granted virtual currency licenses to two subsidiaries of Seed CX. Seed Digital Commodities Market LLC and Zero Hash LLC, both of which operate under Seed CX, received BitLicenses, while Zero Hash has also been granted a money transmitter license. The crypto exchange launched spot trading services earlier this year, and hopes to receive regulatory approval to offer forwards trading in the coming months. SCXM is now legally able to serve as a matching engine for crypto buyers and sellers, as well as act as a platform for block trades.
Vitalik Buterin suggested that Ethereum use blockchain networks that have relatively lower transaction fees as a data layer, with Bitcoin Cash being mentioned as a candidate that “fit the bill perfectly” as it has a relatively high data throughput rate.
Samsung-backed consortium involving six other major South Korean firms is developing a blockchain-based mobile identification system. The firms include Woori Bank, KEB Hana Bank, SK Telecom, KT, LG UPlus and Koscom. A self-sovereign identity system, in which consumers are able to protect their own data, is being developed by the participants for faster services.
July 16 - U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing on Facebook's Libra
Jul 26 - CME Bitcoin Futures Jul 2019 contract (BTCN19) last trade date; settlement July 29
Aug 6 - Litecoin Block Reward Halving (Coin reward decreases from 25 to 12.5 coins)
Aug 14 - SEC decision on Bitwise ETF
Aug 20 - Blockchain Summit Singapore 2019 (forthcoming)
Aug 30 - CME Bitcoin Futures Aug 2019 contract (BTCQ19) last trade date; settlement Sept 3
There have been several fundamental changes to the incentives in Bitcoin since its launch.
1. We now know that selfish mining is a possibility against PoW coins. 51% honesty isn't sufficient -- depending on the coin, 66% to 100% need to be honest. Luckily, most miners have been honest so far, but the threat is ever present, esp for low hashrate coins.
2. Satoshi did not explicitly mention pools. That changes the game theory substantially, especially if the miners within a pool are not checking the work of the pool operator. A single bad actor can rope in honest-but-not-tech-savvy actors into a byzantine attack.Alex Krüger @krugermacro
Mnuchin issued a warning to those not complying with US AML laws. No talk of a ban. Said specifically that bitcoin speculation is OK. Based on the weekend's sell-off, seems key players knew in advance about this press conference, and sold into it. Seeing short covering now.
▷ Bullish for US regulated exchanges
▷ Bearish for international unregulated exchanges
▷ Bearish for DeFi
▷ Bullish for blockchain analytics companies focusing on monitoring, AML, etc.
▷ Bearish for privacy coins
In regards to $BTC, bullish short term due to short covering, slightly bearish otherwise IMO. - "Bitcoin is highly volatile and based on thin air" - "We are concerned about the speculative nature of bitcoin" Quite unfriendly comments.
On the positive side, a bitcoin ban seems out of the question. However, a US ban was unthinkable 5 days ago, before the Trump tweet. On the negative side, Libra (which is positive for $BTC) seems toast, while institutional interest in the asset class may diminish.
2/ Big takeaway--politicians that weaponize the US banking system (blocking access to disfavored industries/countries) are modern-day Herbert Hoovers bc these barriers block both unlawful & LAWFUL commerce, & these barriers caused the invention of #stablecoins in the first place.
3/ (OK, I didn't actually call them modern-day Herbert Hoovers the testimony, but I digress...) If Congress isn't happy about @facebook@libra, it can immediately make #stablecoins irrelevant by letting #banks bank the #crypto industry (& I give v specific recommendations here:
4/ a) remove reputation risk as factor in bank examinations (wld alleviate #derisking & #OperationChokePoint), b) ensure USABILITY of dollar to keep reserve currency status (stop threatening to block access, which causes users to search for insurance policy & like it or not...
8/ Next, a reality check: #cryptocurrencies can't be uninvented. Despite attempts to kill them, they haven't died. @facebook@libra setting up shop in #Switzerland instead of the US is a shot across the bow to the US--bad regulation sends innovators offshore rather than kills it.
12/ ...serious policy concerns w/ the project: privacy & interest payments. On privacy, the left fears big business, the right fears big govt, but freedom-loving people should fear when big biz & big govt collude (h/t @tkibbe). I propose Congress prohibit admission of #calibra...
13/ ...data as evidence in US criminal cases UNLESS govt first obtained a valid warrant before @facebook gave it the data (+ similar for non-US govts). That would remove a big #SurveillanceState concern--just make the data inadmissible as evidence unless obtained under a warrant.
14/ Other big concern is interest pymts. @Libra_ Assoc members are keeping the float & not paying interest to Libra holders. In UK, Bank of England just opened its interest-bearing deposit accts to tech cos (incl Libra), in addition to banks. Will the #Fed do the same in the US?
15/ This is a major policy question--shld @Libra_'s Assoc benefit from central bank largesse in this way (directly or indirectly), at the cost of diluting every holder of the dollar, sterling etc? Why do banks benefit in this way too? As that practice becomes better understood...
16/ ...by voters, calls of both "where's my #bailout?" on the one hand, & "end the ?#Fed" on the other, will inevitably become louder. The US must tread carefully tho, as other countries wld prob love to court @facebook if US regulation is too heavy-handed. US should recognize...
17/ ...there's huge demand for much more efficient pymt system relative to status quo + there are huge economic benefits to freeing up trapped "comfort deposits" on company balance sheets by speeding up payment latency. The #Fed should stop coddling the slumbering incumbent...
18/ ...payment system. Congress is already playing catch-up--our bad regulations already caused invention of #stablecoins in the first place & @facebook already went outside the US for the @Libra_ Association (which shld embarrass the US). Rather than fight the first real...
19 ...innovation in payment systems in nearly 50 yrs, the US should embrace it. #Wyoming's suite of innovative laws shows that such an embrace can be done largely w/in existing regulatory regime, in manner that provides legal certainty, protects consumers & promotes innovation
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