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SEC Denies That Bitcoin Is a Security + 8 More Crypto News

SEC Denies That Bitcoin Is a Security + 8 More Crypto News 101
Source: iStock/skodonnell

Crypto Briefs is your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Regulation news

  • American regulatory body the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected an investment company registration application by the Cipher Technologies Bitcoin Fund, stating in its reasoning that Bitcoin is not a security. In the letter, the SEC explained,

“We do not believe that current purchasers of Bitcoin are relying on the essential managerial and entrepreneurial efforts of others to produce a profit.”

The regulator added that if Bitcoin were to be recognized as such, it would be deemed an “unregistered, publicly offered security.”

  • The Financial Conduct Authority, a financial regulatory body in the UK, has investigated a total of 87 cryptocurrency firms over the past 12 months, or almost 75% more than the previous year, the Telegraph reported.

Blockchain news

  • South Korea’s KB Bank says it will invest USD 1.7 billion in digital technology over the next 6 years – with much of the money to be invested in blockchain technology. Per Fn News, the bank says it wants to be “completely digital” by 2025, and spoke about the potential of securities tokens and blockchain-powered credit and loans services.
  • Samsung’s e-payment arm Samsung Pay has partnered with Finablr, a Ripple partner and a member of the latter’s RippleNet project. The two companies will develop a cross-border payments platform for Samsung smartphone users, per a Finablr statement. Samsung has been looking for a way to expand Samsung Pay adoption and is thought to be open to blockchain technology-powered solutions.

Cryptocurrency exchange news

  • Coinbase could step in to buy or aqui-hire troubled rentals and storage platform Omni. Per Tech Crunch, “two sources familiar with the situation” have told the media outlet that Coinbase interviewed a number of Omni staff members, with a view to “having them work on Coinbase Earn, which rewards users with cryptocurrency for completing online educational programs.” Omni last year received a USD 25 million investment boost from Ripple.
  • Bitfinex and the company’s affiliated stablecoin issuer Tether say they are braced for a “meritless and mercenary” lawsuit from unnamed parties. In separate statements (Tether’s is here, Bitfinex’s is here) the companies say that the lawsuit is based on research from a “bogus study” that is full of “cherry-picked and incomplete data” claiming Tether has been used to manipulate cryptocurrency markets. The companies say they will “vigorously defend” themselves against what they term a “shameless money grab.”

Libra news

  • PayPal has officially ended its Libra Association membership, confirming reports on the matter that circulated last week. According to Bloomberg, Libra initiator Facebook stated,

“We recognize that change is hard and that each organization that started this journey will have to make its own assessment of risks and rewards of being committed to seeing through the change that Libra promises.”

However, the social network claimed that 1,500 “entities” had shown “enthusiastic interest” about joining the Association – despite the fact that major partners appear to be caving to regulatory pressure.

  • Last week, the European Commission asked Facebook and the Libra Association to respond to a series of questions on financial stability, money laundering and data privacy risks that could be posed by the project, the Financial Times reported, claiming it saw the questionnaire.

Security news

  • Algo Capital, an investment firm focused on the Algorand blockchain, which recently raised USD 200 million, lost a yet-unknown exact amount of money – some reports claim between USD 1- USD 3 million – in USDT and ALGO tokens after the phone of its Chief Technology Officer, Pablo Yabo, was allegedly breached and hackers presumably managed to take control of a hot wallet, according to Coindesk. While the formal statement is expected soon, the company confirmed the breach, but claims that more than 99% of Algos are in Coinbase custody’s cold storage wallet and that the investors were not negatively impacted.
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