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Chamber of Digital Commerce Proposes Guidelines for ‘Responsible’ Crypto Market Growth

The Chamber of Digital Commerce Token Alliance has released a report proposing guidelines and principles for “responsible” crypto market growth.

The Chamber of Digital Commerce Token Alliance has released a collaborative report of proposed guidelines for “responsible growth” of the cryptocurrency market, according to their July 30 press release.

The Chamber of Digital Commerce is a blockchain and cryptocurrency advocacy group, founded by Perianne Boring in 2014.

The document, entitled “Understanding Digital Tokens: Market Overviews & Guidelines for

Policymakers & Practitioners,” is broken up into three sections: a regulatory overview of digital token markets in five countries, principles for those distributing digital tokens that are not intended to be securities, and economic coverage of the “global token landscape.”

Paul Atkins, CEO of Patomak Global Partners and former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner, said in the press release that guidelines are needed for the smart regulation that “strikes the right balance between protecting investors while allowing for innovation in this new technological frontier,”

“We think it is important to explain the unique attributes of blockchain-based digital assets, which are not all strictly investment based, and provide guidance to consumers, regulators and the industry.”

The Token Alliance is made up of more than 350 international members from the blockchain and token industries, as well as experts in topics from economics to law. The press release notes that the alliance’s guidelines will “likely evolve” as the regulatory environment develops, and encourages readers to comment on the report through GitHub.

The report concludes by noting that this is the first installment of a series for “opening the doors to creative thinking and understanding in the token ecosystem,” and suggests future topics ranging from KYC/AML guidelines to “hybrid tokens” — those that changed form to no longer be considered a security.

Internationally, groups and governments have come up with their own sets of guidelines for governing the cryptocurrency market. In April, a Japanese research group established guidelines for initial coin offering (ICO) regulation, and the Lithuanian government also released their own ICO guidelines in June.

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Total Market Cap See Slight Decline, Bitcoin Keeps Holding Its Position

Total market cap is slightly down, while nine out of the top ten coins by market cap show slight green.

Sunday, July 29: crypto markets have seen diverging trends over a 24 hour period, with nine out of the ten top cryptocurrencies by market cap slightly in the green, according to Coinmarketcap.

Market visualization

Market visualization from Coin360

Bitcoin (BTC) is slightly up by less than one percent over the past 24 hours and is trading at around $8,206 at press time, with an intraday high of $8,285. The major cryptocurrency reached as high as $8,431 this week, following the crypto market rebound that started in mid-July. Holding the some of the biggest gains among the top ten coins over the past week, Bitcoin is now up almost 39 percent over the past month.

Bitcoin 1 month price chart

Bitcoin 1 month price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index

Bitcoin’s market dominance over altcoins also keeps growing, currently amounting to almost 47.5 percent.

Percentage of Total Market Cap (Dominance)

Percentage of Total Market Cap (Dominance). Source: Coinmarketcap

Ethereum (ETH) is down a negligible percentage over a 24 hour period, trading at around $466 at press time. The top altcoin keeps fluctuating around $460, having seen its intraday high of $470. Over the past week, ETH reached its peak of $483 on July 25.

Ethereum weekly price chart

Ethereum weekly price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index

Total market cap is hovering around $297 billion by press time, after touching $304 billion earlier this week.

Total market capitalization chart

Total market capitalization chart. Source: Coinmarketcap

TRON (TRX) has seen the biggest gains over the past 24 hours, gaining almost 8.5 percent by press time. This week, the altcoin has broken into the top ten coins by market cap, with its market cap having surpassed that of Tether (USDT). At press time, TRX’s market cap amounts to around $2.6 billion, while Tether’s market cap has fallen from its intraweek high of $2.7 billion to a current $2.5 billion, according to Coinmarketcap.

Earlier this week, on July 26, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officially rejected the Winklevoss twins’ petition looking to review the previous rejection of their Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in March 2017.

Subsequently, SEC Commissioner Hester M. Peirce published an official dissent of the second rejection of the Winklevoss’ application. Peirce argued that the financial regulator has overstepped “its limited role” since it focused on the features of the underlying BTC market, rather than the derivatives that the applicant intended to list.

On July 27, Nasdaq held a private meeting with representatives from both traditional finance and crypto industry firms to discuss a way to “get the [crypto] industry on the path to legitimacy.”

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Japan Self-Regulatory Crypto Exchange Association Considers Trading Cap for Some Clients

Japan’s self-regulatory exchange association may require members to set limits on maximum trading volumes for clients with “small assets.”

The Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) will obligate its member exchanges to place limits on the trading activity of some clients, Cointelegraph Japan reports today, July 28.

The self-regulatory body has reportedly established a policy of to require its member crypto exchanges to place maximum limits on the volumes traded by the exchanges’ customers.

The move reportedly aims to prevent investors with “small assets” from suffering heavy losses and facing problems with basic daily expenses. The report does not specifically define “small assets,” nor does it specify the exact limits to be placed.

According to the report, member crypto exchanges will be able to choose from two options for how they establish trading limits.

The first option proposes a universal ceiling that implies establishing one fixed maximum limit for all “small asset” traders. The second option suggests a more individual approach by setting different limits for different customers depending on various factors such as their investment experience, income, the value of their assets, and age.

The JVCEA has also reportedly suggested trading activity limitations for minors, requiring an adult’s confirmation as a measure against money laundering.

Earlier this week, the JVCEA  announced its intentions to put limits on its member exchanges’ margin trading, reportedly with the same intention of preventing customers from significant losses caused by highly volatile crypto markets.

The JVCEA was formed in early March, with 16 crypto exchanges teaming  up to develop and coordinate rules and policies for ensuring security standards for trading cryptocurrencies. The group’s formation came following the January hack of Japan-based crypto exchange Coincheck, with losses totalling more than $534 mln.

The association is reportedly set to regulate the market in conjunction with the local Financial Services Agency (FSA), which has been restructured recently in order improve its handling of fintech-related areas, including cryptocurrencies.

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Two Major Spanish Public Institutions to Research Blockchain for Copyright Management

Two major Spanish public institutions have announced a research partnership into using blockchain for copyright management in the digital era.

The Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE) and the Madrid School of Telecommunications Engineering (ETSIT-UPM) announced July 26 a research partnership into implementing blockchain for copyright management in the digital era.

The two institutions have reportedly signed a one-year agreement to carry out collaborative research into building a digital processing platform for copyright management that would use blockchain alongside BigData, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). SGAE president José Miguel Fernández Sastrón outlined the partnership:

"The main lines of research will focus on disruptive technologies that address the challenges posed by the volume, diversity and dynamics of change in the use of content in the contemporary digital environment."

The platform will reportedly harness these technologies to help protect authors’ musical and audiovisual content in the internet in particular.

The one-year agreement has been signed through the Rogelio Segovia Foundation for the development of telecommunications (Fundetel), and has resulted in the creation of a new SGAE-ETSIT-UPM chair to oversee the joint initiative.

As Cointelegraph reported earlier this week, the government of the autonomous Spanish community of Catalonia has just revealed its own plans for blockchain tech implementation in “all areas” of its public administrative activities by December 2018.

Spain-headquartered Banco Santander has also this month announced the creation of a blockchain research team to look into the technology’s potential to innovate securities trading.

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Swiss Crypto Mining Firm Faces Enforcement Action for Potentially Unauthorized ICO

Swiss regulator FINMA has launched enforcement proceedings against crypto mining firm Envion AG for its potentially unauthorized token sale in Dec. 2017-Jan. 2018.

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has launched enforcement proceedings against crypto mining firm Envion AG over its potentially unauthorized token sale, according to a FINMA press release today, July 26.

Swiss-based Envion AG is an off-grid mining company that claims to use decentralized, clean energy to power its mobile mining units, and completed its month-long Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for the EVN token in mid-January this year.

FINMA’s investigation into the case to date suggests that in the context of its ICO, Envion AG accepted approximately 100 million francs (around $100.01 million at the time) from over 30,000 investors in return for issuing EVN tokens “in a bond-like form.”

The regulator clarifies that the proceedings are focused on “possible breaches of banking law resulting from the potentially unauthorized acceptance of public deposits” during the token sale.

While FINMA declines to comment any further on the case until it concludes its proceedings, the Swiss context provides a robust and differentiated framework for ICOs, the most recent version of which was released by FINMA in mid-February of this year –– a month after the conclusion of Envion’s fundraising.

Earlier guidance for domestic ICOs had been published by the regulator in September 2017, which set the precedent that token sale conduct would be considered “case-by-case” –– but notably already indicated that an ICO “generally necessitates” a banking license for accepting public deposits.

Earlier this month, Switzerland was ranked second “most favorable” country worldwide for ICOs, with the U.S. sealing the top spot and Singapore third. The research was based on publicly available data for the number of ICO projects per country which made it onto the ‘Top 100 ICOs’ global list by funds raised.