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Why Brad Sherman’s Biased Opinion About Cryptocurrency Shouldn’t Matter

It seems that there are some individuals against Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies that have been paid by direct competitors from virtual currencies. The U.S. Representative Brad Sherman explained his position on… Continue reading “Why Brad Sherman’s Biased Opinion About Cryptocurrency Shouldn’t Matter”

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Switzerland to Ease Regulation for Cryptocurrency Ecosystem

Once called “Crypto Nation,” Switzerland has recently been driving away the ecosystem after setting up a more stringent regulatory framework.

Having dropped from second place last year to sixth in 2018, in a PwC country ranking of the sum of initial coin offering (ICO) funds raised, the government is attempting to make a U-turn in popularity by encouraging banks to accept the accounts of cryptocurrency companies.

Switzerland Struggles with New ICO Regulation, Plans to Facilitate Access to Banking System

Switzerland is bleeding cryptocurrency businesses to offshore rivals such as Liechtenstein, Gibraltar, the British Virgin Islands, and the Cayman Islands, following the publishing of ICO guidelines in February 2018.

The new regulation, which defines three types of tokens (payment, utility, and asset) and requires anti-money laundering compliance for payment tokens, was considered “pretty reasonable” by big names such as Erik Voorhees.

The reality is that a number of cryptocurrency entrepreneurs have lost their interest in establishing themselves in the country. Zug, one of the wealthiest Swiss cantons aka “Crypto Valley,” received up to 300 virtual currency entities in recent years. Its local government is concerned that they may leave if authorities don’t ease their way into the banking system, Zug’s finance director, Heinz Taennler, told Reuters.

“All their banking relationships are going to Liechtenstein. These are hundreds of jobs that have been created, and every job is important.”

The cryptocurrency ecosystem in Switzerland has even asked the central bank, Swiss National Bank (SNB), to relieve them from the hardships of opening bank accounts since the new legislation.

Zuercher Kantonalbank (ZKB) has closed over 20 accounts of virtual currency entities in 2017, according to Reuters, and only a handful of the country’s 250 banks have ever allowed cash deposits equivalent of cryptocurrency raised in ICOs.

Banca Zarattini banks ICO companies with know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) procedures and Hypothekarbank Lenzburg charges up to 2,500 Swiss francs for an initial assessment.

FINMA, the financial watchdog, is the one entity in charge of the issue. The challenge is to promote cryptocurrency innovation within the financial system while protecting the investors from fraud and lack of transparency. The current AML regulation on payment tokens could have banks liable for the mistakes made by the ICO issuers based in Switzerland.

Following a roundtable between the finance ministry, the central bank, the financial watchdog, and the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) in May 2018, the latter has prepared a set of checks and conditions so that banks would allow opening an account for cryptocurrency firms in order to overcome their concerns over ICO fraud or money laundering.

The aim of the meeting was to have new FINMA-approved guidelines for cryptocurrency companies by year-end 2018.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Wall Street Exec Mike Novogratz: Crypto, Blockchain Mass Adoption Is ‘5 to 6 Years Away’

Mike Novogratz makes the bet that a “herd of institutions” will embrace crypto and blockchain “in the next two to three years.”

Former Wall Street executive Mike Novogratz has recently predicted that mass adoption of crypto and blockchain is “still five to six years away,” Blokt blockchain and tech news outlet reports July 19.

Speaking at the Beyond Blocks conference in South Korea, Novogratz, CEO and founder of crypto investment firm Galaxy Digital, still expressed confidence that many institutions will come into the industry “in the next two to three years,” claiming that “without that, we will be running in circles.”

However, the mass adoption of crypto and blockchain technology will come not earlier than in a half a decade, Novogratz added

“You won’t see mass adoption until the user experience does not feel like something new and that is still five to six years away.”

Novogratz explained that one of the major obstacles on the way to widespread adoption is the increasing “cost of technical talent” as well as the doubts of conventional investors, which are aggravated by “no clear precedent for the financial industry”:

“Think about how institutional investors operate. It’s hard to tell your boss ‘I have money in places you have never heard of.’ You need a trusted, name custodian — a Japanese bank or HSBC or ICE or Goldman Sachs — to allow institutional investors to feel comfortable.”

The investment banker noted the importance of the due regulatory approach of the field by the government, as well as urged the mainstream public to get into blockchain and crypto, adding that it is not necessary for users to understand the tech in detail.

Novogratz claimed that while financial regulators are mainly concentrated on professional institutions, like JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, the industry is mostly based on retail investors. He further suggested that regulators should be more focused on the retail sector instead of large professional institutions.

Ranked one of the richest people this year, Novogratz worked at Goldman Sachs and Fortress Investment Group before launching the Galaxy Digital crypto merchant bank in January 2018.

The investment banker is famous for predicting that Bitcoin (BTC) would skyrocket to as high as $10,000 by the end of 2017, while Ethereum (ETH) would close at $500. Instead, the top cryptocurrencies have gone twice as further, with BTC hitting as high as $20,000 in December of last year, and ETH above $1,300.

In May, Galaxy Digital partnered with Bloomberg in order to launch the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index (BGCI).

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Bitcoin’s Exceptional Spike Flushes Out $180 Million Dollars in Short Positions

Back on July the 17th, Bitcoin experienced an impressive rise in just a few minutes. The virtual currency moved from $6,700 dollars to $7,400 in just an hour. This strong… Continue reading “Bitcoin’s Exceptional Spike Flushes Out $180 Million Dollars in Short Positions”

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John McAfee Says Bitcoin Bull Market is Coming – Get Prepared for a ‘Volcanic Eruption’

John McAfee, the important cryptocurrency figure, thinks that the next bull run will be as strong as the ‘eruption of Krakatoa.’ On July the 17th, Bitcoin registered one of the… Continue reading “John McAfee Says Bitcoin Bull Market is Coming – Get Prepared for a ‘Volcanic Eruption’”

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