A Belgium-based think tank is arguing that the EU should create a single standard for cryptocurrency rules in a report sent to finance ministers within the economic bloc. Bruegel, based in Brussels, the Belgian capitol, believes that the EU needs “common rules” on cryptocurrencies, as well as how tokens are distributed and traded, Reuters reported Wednesday. It’s report comes in advance of an “informal meeting of economic and financial affairs ministers” later this week. The report is not yet publicly available. The report says the EU should enforce common regulations on crypto exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs) as well, according to Reuters. That being said, the report notes that bitcoin’s decentralized nature makes regulating the cryptocurrency itself “impossible.” As such, it emphasized that any regulations would have to apply to exchanges or other related companies. It also referenced China’s crackdown on cryptominers, noting that mining farms can be banned as well. The news comes a day after lawmakers in the European Parliament met to discuss standardizing ICO rules under crowdfunding regulations. Ashley Fox, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), has submitted a draft proposal for creating a common standard for ICO regulations within the EU and select other nations. If adopted, the rules would allow for startups to raise funds and operate in each of the member nations, rather than just the specific country they are based out of. EU image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.
Payment provider TransferGo has announced it is launching a remittance corridor to India that uses Ripple technology for near real-time transactions. Available from “anywhere in Europe,” the firm said in a press release that using Ripple’s services allows it to replace the “multiple slow incumbent communications systems, most prominently Swift, where transfers can take up to 2–3 days.” The release did not clarify which of Ripple’s blockchain-based payments products TransferGo is using for the service. The payments company cited the “multi-billion dollar” Europe-to-India payments corridor for its initial focus on that market, adding that “high” Ripple adoption in India was a factor. TransferGo also hinted that this may just be the start of its blockchain-based remittances, saying the integration “opens up new horizons for TransferGo to develop additional products and services.” Daumantas Dvilinskas, founder and CEO of TransferGo, said in the release: “By using Ripple’s revolutionary blockchain technology, we’re able to establish real-time communication between us and our banking partners in India, allowing TransferGo customers to send money to family and friends or make international payments immediately.” The firm also announced a slower but free service along the same corridor, that also uses Ripple payment rails. Offering “zero fees and a mid-market rate,” payments will arrive in 2-3 business days, according to the release. Ripple’s SVP of customer success, Marcus Treacher, said “TransferGo is a great example of a forward-thinking payment provider that’s leaning in to new technology to facilitate real-time, cross-border money transfers for their customers. That’s a big step forward.” Counting rupees image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.
News Investment bank Goldman Sachs is ditching its plans to open a cryptocurrency trading desk, reports detail. It was only early last month when rumors circulated that the legacy financial institution was even doubling down on their digital asset fever. That appears not to be the case anymore, and markets are not taking the news well. Also read: Square’s Big Week: Crypto Patent, Shares Leap, and Lightning Plug Goldman Sachs Drops Crypto Trading Desk Plans Crypto markets are down sharply, with bitcoin core (BTC) falling by as much as 5.3 percent on news Wall Street is out of love with the idea of digital assets, at least for now. “In response to client interest in various digital products we are exploring how best to serve them in this space. At this point we have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering,” Goldman Sachs spokesperson explained. Etoro market analyst Mati Greenspan noted, “The expectation of adoption by Wall Street has been a major theme for the cryptocurrency market for the last year, so any kind of updates on that can certainly move the prices. Even if it’s not true, it should be enough to cause a minor selloff like this in cryptocurrencies.” Goldman Sachs has an interesting relationship with crypto in that it was among the first to actively clear bitcoin futures from Chicago’s CME and Cboe late last year. The legacy financial institution is reportedly dropping all plans to open a trading desk for cryptocurrencies, however. Having an investment bank with its pull and power was seen by observers as previously handing over its seal of approval, a very valuable imprimatur on cryptocurrency. Not Completely Done with Crypto, but Backing Away for Now Reporting from Business Insider claims Goldman has backed out of those plans. Citing too much ambiguity in the regulatory space surrounding crypto, executives pulled the plug on the desk, urging more needs to be done in terms of regulation before a regulated bank such as itself can confidently dabble. Speculation about Goldman and crypto goes all the way to last year, when most considered its entrance to be a matter of time. However, a lot can happen in a year, and a lot has. From skyrocketing valuations…
Following our announcement earlier this month that we would be introducing support for British pounds (GBP) to our UK-based customers, today we’re launching a number of new GBP trading pairs starting at 9am BST, Friday 7 September 2018. With support for UK domestic bank transfers in GBP via the Faster Payments Scheme, it is now significantly easier, faster and cheaper for UK customers to trade cryptocurrencies on the Coinbase platform. Coinbase Pro is the only major digital currency trading platform that supports UK Faster Payments and it’s our goal to be the trading platform of choice for UK crypto traders. In advance of the launch of the new trading pairs, all UK customers now have access to send GBP to their Coinbase accounts via domestic bank transfer. The new pairs that we are launching are: ETH–GBP, ETC–GBP, LTC–GBP and BCH–GBP. Coinbase Pro already supports BTC–GBP. The detailed launch process and timings are outlined below. The Stages of the GBP trading pairs launch As outlined below, there will be three stages to the launch. We will follow each of these stages independently for each new order book: ETH–GBP, ETC–GBP, LTC–GBP, BCH–GBP. Each phase will be announced in real time via Coinbase Pro’s Twitter. If at any point one of the new order books does not meet our assessment for a healthy and orderly market, we may keep the book in one stage (as identified below) for a longer period of time, or suspend trading as per our Trading Rules. Post-only. In the first stage, customers can post limit orders but there will be no matches (completed orders). Order books will be in post-only mode for a minimum of 10 minutes. Limit-only. In the second stage, limit orders will start matching but customers are unable to submit market orders. Order books will be in limit-only mode for a minimum of 10 minutes. Full trading. In the final stage, full trading services will be available, including limit, market, and stop orders.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is halting its plans to open a cryptocurrency trading desk, Business Insider reports September 5, citing sources familiar with the matter. The bank’s plans to create a crypto-focused unit by the end of June 2018 were originally reported by Bloomberg, with sources claiming that Goldman Sachs aims to become “the first large Wall Street firm to make markets in cryptocurrencies.” Now, Business Insider reports citing unnamed sources that the bank has lowered the priority of this project, as the regulatory environment in the crypto industry remains unclear. It might take many steps before a regulated bank could trade digital assets, most of them outside Goldman Sachs’ control, sources reportedly reveal. “At this point, we have not reached a conclusion on the scope of our digital asset offering,” Goldman Sachs spokesperson Michael DuVally told Reuters. However, the bank is not going to fully reject crypto trading. As Business Insider’s sources claimed, Goldman Sachs is about to focus on a custody product for crypto, which will allow it to hold cryptocurrency on behalf of large clients and track its price. Back in May, Goldman Sachs’ executive Rana Yared stated that the bank “had concluded [B]itcoin is not a fraud” as the company officially revealed its plans to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Nevertheless, the company’s top officials remained sceptical about digital assets. Goldman Sachs’ CEO Lloyd Blankfein once said Bitcoin trading was not for him, but clarified that it he’s open to considering it, if the cryptocurrency becomes “more established.”
Exchanges It has been about two months since the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) went into effect. News.Bitcoin.com talked to Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO and co-founder of Indian exchange Unocoin, to discuss the aftermath of the central bank’s ban. Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space All Eyes on Supreme Court The RBI issued a circular on April 6 banning all financial institutions under its control from providing services to crypto businesses. The central bank gave banks three months to exit any existing relationships with companies dealing with cryptocurrencies. A number of industry participants have filed petitions with the country’s supreme court against the ban. The court is set to hear them all on September 11. Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO and co-founder of Unocoin, one of India’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, told news.Bitcoin.com that after the RBI ban: The volumes have significantly come down as this is not only restricting the new users joining the platform but it is also hurting the sentiments of the present users. Now everyone in this space is waiting for the apex court comments on Sept 11th. His Bangalore-based exchange is still growing, albeit at a slower rate than previously. Currently, “We have about 20,000 users coming in on a monthly basis. In the good months, we have seen this kind of number every 3 days,” he shared. Regulation is the Biggest Challenge The Indian government has been drafting crypto regulation. According to Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, the draft was supposed to be ready in July. However, it has reportedly been delayed until the year’s end. The central bank has also reportedly set up a new unit for cryptocurrencies, blockchains and artificial intelligence. Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) sent officials to Japan, the UK, and Switzerland last fiscal year to study cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings from each of the three countries’ financial regulators. Vishwanath commented: Regulation has been the biggest challenge followed by sentiments of users. However, the price surge may positively influence the sentiments but the regulation can continue to be a challenge for the time being. The Popularity of P2P and Crypto-to-Crypto Trading Since the ban, some local crypto exchanges have come up with…
Calls to enforce clear and uniform guidelines for crypto across European Union (EU) member states are to be made before EU finance ministers this week, Reuters reports September 5. Brussels-based think tank Bruegel is said to have prepared a new report devoted to the crypto industry for EU finance ministers, who are due to meet this Friday and Saturday in Vienna, Austria. The report is said to reserve particular scrutiny for initial coin offerings (ICOs) as well as for crypto exchanges, the latter of whose presence in the EU is set to increase this year. As the Bruegel document reportedly itself highlights, Hong Kong-based Binance has recently been working on relocating its headquarters to Malta in the wake of industry crackdowns across Asia. Beijing-born crypto exchange Huobi, as Cointelegraph has reported, is also eyeing its entry into the EU market. The think tank has reportedly claimed that while new EU rules on money laundering will eventually tighten checks on crypto exchanges by 2020, regulatory oversight is in practical terms largely left to national authorities. This fact, as per Bruegel, “might suggest that there is scope for regulatory arbitrage,” which the think tank notes might be tolerated in order to temporarily foster opportunities for all parties “to experiment and learn about the best approaches to this fast-developing technology”. Bruegel reportedly notes that being “virtual,” assets such as Bitcoin (BTC) pose intrinsic challenges to regulators on spot markets. Nonetheless, entities that oversee their production, exchange, and trading via related speculative instruments could be subject “to stricter disclosure rules or even be banned,” according to Reuters’ reading of the document. Such entities also include mining farms, which as Bruegel’s document has reportedly stated, are forbidden in countries such as China. Bruegel has also reportedly proposed the need for more transparent rules for ICOs, especially given the prevalence of entities that use the fundraising model to launch utility tokens — which, as they are not securities, are largely “unregulated” under EU financial laws. As Cointelegraph has reported, details about EU authorities’ preparation for Friday’s meeting first emerged earlier this month, with member state representatives reportedly preparing to voice their concerns over the potential for cryptocurrencies’ use for illicit ends such as tax evasion, terrorist financing and money laundering. Nonetheless,…
Users of the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) can now claim .xyz domains to connect to their wallets, smart contracts or other services, ENS developer Nick Johnson announced Wednesday. Johnson wrote in a blog post that the new domain name option comes after some testing and development, and is “now supported by ENS on mainnet.” Users who are interested can purchase the domain through any Domain Name Service registrar and use it like any .eth domain, meaning users can associate it with their wallets, name smart contracts, create subdomains and more. While EasyDNS – one such DNS registrar – has created a simplified wizard for adding the domain, users can also manually add .xyz, he wrote. Johnson added: “We’re rolling out our ENS support initially on .xyz to give it a test-drive, but the best thing about this is that it doesn’t require any cooperation or permission from each DNS [top-level domain]. Once we’ve had a chance to see how it works, we plan to roll it out to all other DNS TLDs that support the necessary features — which is almost all of them.” ENS allows ethereum users to put “human readable names” in place of long wallet or service addresses, making it easier for individuals to transfer funds, use smart contracts or otherwise develop projects, as previously reported by CoinDesk. The new .xyz domain is the second top-level domain that ENS supports, following .eth earlier this year. TLDs are the highest set of domains on the internet, and are required when visiting any website on the internet or decentralized web. Ethereum image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.
Investment bank Goldman Sachs has reportedly dropped plans to launch a cryptocurrency trading desk, for now at least. A Business Insider report on Wednesday, citing “people familiar with the matter,” said the decision has been made as the regulatory situation in the U.S. is still a gray area when it comes to cryptocurrencies. However, per the sources, the banking giant hasn’t abandoned the idea completely, but is rather pushing the possibility lower down on its priorities list and could still move to open the desk at a later date. Further, Goldman Sachs’ plan to start offering a cryptocurrency custody service is apparently still on the table, with Business Insider citing the need for “reputable custody offerings” to bolster confidence around involvement in cryptocurrency at Wall Street firms. As reported by CoinDesk, the bank was first revealed to have an interest in a crypto trading venture back in October 2017, though it was said to be in the very early stages of exploring the idea. In May, however, it was also suggested, once more via anonymous sources, that it would use its own money to trade bitcoin futures products from Cboe and CME on behalf of its clients. Goldman was also preparing to launch “its own, more flexible version of a future, known as a non-deliverable forward, which it will offer to clients,” according to the New York Times at the time. The latest piece of Goldman’s crypto jigsaw came into place in early August, when it followed up the futures plan with the possibility of a crypto custody service aimed to protect institutions’ holdings from hacking and accidental loss. So far, though, little has been said publicly by the bank on these potential moves into the crypto space. In fact, the bank has previously been somewhat skeptical about cryptos, warning investors in January that they were “in a bubble.” Red traffc light image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.
The Securities Commission (SC) of Malaysia has ordered an immediate halt to all promotional activities for the recently-launched Lavidacoin (LVC) pending further review, according to a September 5 notice on the SC’s website. According to local news outlet The Star, Lavidacoin was created by Malaysian cosmetics mogul and beauty guru Datuk Seri Hasmiza Othman, aka Dato’ Vida. The beauty guru reportedly hoped to use an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to raise as much as $1.5 billion to create an “entrepreneur-focused” online entertainment channel, an LVC payment gateway, and even a “non-profit” mosque, as outlined in the project’s white paper. The Lavidacoin first drew scrutiny from Malaysia’s SC in August over concerns the sales of the altcoin were in breach of local securities laws. The watchdog’s public notice at the time gave a generic warning, writing that: “The SC advises investors to exercise due diligence and to be cautious of the risks of participating in any investment schemes, in particular schemes involving cryptocurrencies and digital tokens.” In a fresh statement issued Wednesday, the SC identified DSV Crypto Club, LUX Galaxies, and VI Profit Galaxy as among the business entities promoting Lavidacoin, saying it was adding all three to its investor alert list, as well as reiterating its prior warnings. As The Star notes, all three entities were blacklisted by Bank Negara Malaysia in August. As a Cointelegraph analysis piece has outlined, celebrities globally have capitalized on their fame to bolster crypto-related initiatives. While some, like Snoop Dogg, have backed already high-profile cryptos such as Ripple (XRP) through promotional events, others — including the renowned boxer Floyd Mayweather — have become mired in controversies surrounding their involvement in lesser known — and in Mayweather’s case — ultimately discredited crypto projects. Among those who have taken the plunge and launched their own branded coins are former Liverpool soccer star Michael Owen, who this spring issued his own name-backed crypto dubbed OWN.