HyperLinq : Weekly Digital Asset Digest 14

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Rohan Raman
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The HyperLinq Weekly Digest is the one-stop source for the HyperLinq community to access relevant news involving digital assets, where we essentially outline key industry updates that our members may have missed. We are always open to suggestions and feedback so please do not hesitate to let us know what you think!


Institutions Could Push Crypto Past A ‘Point Of No Return’ : Paddy Baker | CryptoBriefing

On May 27, 2019, Financial Times reported that Bitcoin (BTC) is a better store of value than the Argentine Peso over the past 12 months. Victim to populist rule and economic mismanagement, the Argentine Peso hardly holds up to global reserve currencies (as a fiat currency). It is remarkable that Financial Times, a long time critic of cryptocurrencies, has admitted that BTC can perform better than a government-backed currency. During the past couple of months, the value of BTC has increased by 110% to over $8,700. According to report published by Fidelity Investments, nearly half of all financial institutions surveyed believed that crypto could become part of their portfolios. That suggests that good times could be here to linger, or even to stay.

US, Japan Top Sources of Traffic to Crypto Exchanges Globally : Adrian Zmudzinski | CoinTelegraph

The United States is the top source of traffic to cryptocurrency exchanges globally, Cointelegraph Japan reported on June 1. The research was released by crypto news outlet The Block on May 31. The study shows that 24.5% of the total traffic directed to crypto exchanges originates in the U.S. Japan came in second, with 10% of the total traffic, while South Korea got about 6.5% and Indonesia about 4.5%. Still, as The Block points out, some countries — for instance China — block access to cryptocurrency exchanges and users from those places usually access them through Virtual Private Networks . VPNs mask users’ IP addresses, making them appear as if they were from another country, decreasing the accuracy of this study. As Cointelegraph reported earlier this week, American crypto investment manager Bitwise Asset Management released a paper claiming that fake trading volumes by crypto exchanges do not impact bitcoin’s price.

Japan Officially Approves Bill to Amend National Legislation Governing Crypto Regulation : Marie Huillet | CoinTelegraph

The Japanese House of Representatives has officially approved a new bill to amend national laws that govern crypto regulation, Cointelegraph Japan reported on May 31. The bill — which had been prepared by Japan’s Financial Services Agency and accepted by the House in mid-March of this year — has been passed by a majority in the House of Councilors plenary session, according to an update today on the FSA’s website. Now that the bill has been passed, the revised acts are expected to come into force in April 2020, Cointelegraph Japan reports. The proposed amendments to Japan’s financial instruments and payment services laws will ostensibly tighten cryptocurrency regulation in a bid to promote user protection, more robustly regulate crypto derivatives trading, mitigate industry risks such as exchange hacks, and broadly establish a more transparent regulatory framework for the new asset class. Cointelegraph Japan today notes that, while there is reportedly a view within the industry that regulation has thereby been tightened, some consider that Japan's virtual currency regulation will set a global benchmark for regulating the sector. In April, Japan’s minister of finance and deputy prime minister, Taro Aso, urged reporters to stop using the term "virtual currencies" and to shift to the newly introduced legal name. The new definition ostensibly aims to prevent investors from confusing cryptocurrencies with legal tender.

Global Securities Regulator Seeks Public Feedback on Regulating Crypto Trading Platforms : Marie Huillet | CoinTelegraph

Global securities regulation standard setter, the International Organization of Securities Commissions , has published a consultation paper on regulating crypto asset trading platforms . IOSCO publicized the paper in an official news release on May 28. According to the news release, IOSCO’s membership regulates over 95% of the world's securities markets in more than 115 jurisdictions. The new consultation paper — entitled "Issues, Risks, and Regulatory Considerations Relating to Crypto-Asset Trading Platforms" — solicits feedback from the public on a set of issues, risks and other central considerations that have been identified by IOSCO in regard to CTPs. All such comments must be submitted by July 29 2019, the paper notes. These central considerations outlined in the report are the following: access to CTPs, safeguarding assets, conflicts of interest, CTP operations, market integrity, price integrity and technology. Within the report, IOSCO nonetheless recognizes that the regulation of CTPs may present potentially novel and unique issues for regulators to tackle. It thus proposes that its detailed analysis of considerations may serve relevant regulatory agencies as a baseline as they endeavor to construct their approach to the new sector.

Yahoo-Backed Exchange, Tatao Enters Japan Market Amid Renewed Interest in Crypto : Stephen O'Neal | CoinTelegraph

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Taotao is expected to go live at noon on May 30, as per the company’s official Twitter page. Notably, the new trading platform is heavily backed by Yahoo Japan, marking the local internet giant’s arrival into the field of crypto. The timing seems to be on point, now that the market has finally shaken off the bear. CoinTelegraph reached out to Taotao for further comment, but the company has not produced a statement as of press time. Notably, BitARG had been cleared to serve in the Japanese market at the time it was purchased by YJFX. The exchange secured its license with the Financial Services Agency — the national financial regulator — back in December 2017, meaning that Taotao automatically obtained the permission to trade cryptocurrencies.

"It’s not so much entering the market but re-entering it, using the marketing expertise and financial muscle of Yahoo Japan"

as Maurizio Raffone, founder and CEO of Finetiq Limited, a Tokyo-based management consulting company, explained to Cointelegraph. Similarly, local social messaging app Line has also decided to exclude the domestic market prior to the launch of its cryptocurrency exchange, citing local regulatory difficulties. As of now, the majority stake in Taotao still belongs to CMD Lab, BitARG’s parent company, which had wholly owned the exchange prior to the deal with YJFX. Neither company has responded to Cointelegraph’s requests for comment. According to Taotao’s website, the new exchange will initially trade bitcoin and ether , with margin positions available in three additional cryptocurrencies: litecoin , bitcoin cash and XRP. Additionally, Taotao is a member of Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association , a self-regulatory body comprised of domestic industry participants.

Hong Kong’s Securities Regulator Calls for Crypto Regulation to Confront Fraud : Helen Partz | CoinTelegraph

The Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong has expressed concern over the lack of regulation for dealing with fraud in the crypto space, local news agency The Standard reports May 30. SFC enforcement chief Thomas Atkinson has recently pointed out problems associated with the existing regulatory uncertainty over initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency trading. Atkinson, who resigned from Canada’s largest securities enforcement authority, the Ontario Securities Commission , back in 2016, emphasized that the structure of certain crypto exchanges is "beyond the scope of the SFC", the report notes. The official urged local lawmakers and authorities to develop an approach to monitor crypto-related entities, stressing that the current crypto market is still vulnerable to major risks such as fraudulent activity. The new statement has followed the SFC’s recent guidance on security token offerings issued in March. In the official document, the Hong Kong’s securities regulator stated that STOs are likely to be securities, and thus should fall under the existing securities laws. The regulator has also previously issued a statement suggesting guidelines for funds dealing with crypto assets, stating that it could begin to formally regulate crypto exchanges in the future.

SEC’s harsh crypto regulations would drive innovation away from the US to Asia, says Fred Wilson : Chayanika Deva |AMBCrypto

Circle-acquired Poloniex, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, announced the geofencing of nine assets on its platform recently. The reason revealed by them was the uncertain regulatory climate in the US, leading them to take a cautionary step fearing the Securities and Exchange Commission’s retribution. He believed that hostile policies would eventually drive away innovation from Silicon Valley, which is the "global epicenter of tech" to Asian countries. Citing Coinbase as an example, Wilson stated that the "most trusted/compliant/secure/safe" exchanges were based in the US. Preston Byrne attorney at Byrne & Storm, PC responded to the above tweet stating that "alleged misconduct» in Asia would be harmful to the entire crypto-space. He emphasized that the major threat to Bitcoin adoption was the "bad actors" who need to be identified and eliminated. Byrne also said that $3 billion of Tether was what kept Binance and Finex "afloat" and contributed significant volumes and were currently under the heavy check by State of New York.

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Rohan Raman

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