Newsletter Recaps


Click here for access to Issue #47.


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Click here for access to Issue #32.

-Yesterday, Bitcoin’s price took a dip after a temporary rally once news hit that the SEC denied Winklevoss-backed trading platform Gemini’s application to run an exchange traded fund backed by Bitcoin (CCN)

-Citizenship can be bought with 12 Bitcoin, at least in Antigua and Barbuda (CCN)

-Nasdaq, the world’s second-largest stock exchange, held a closed-door meeting earlier this week with representatives from half a dozen cryptocompanies in efforts to encourage industry leaders to improve public image and validate their place in international markets (Bloomberg)

-Although the Gemini-backed ETF application was denied this week, there’s still hope for other exchange traded funds as other applications are still pending within the SEC (Coindesk)


Click here for access to Issue #31.

-Coinbase continues to dominate the news cycle this week. The exchange made headlines last night after a disclosure published by the U.S. Federal Election Commission uncovered the creation of a Political Action Committee (PAC) by the company. (Coindesk) Rumor also has it that an unnamed major hedge fund, valued at $20B, has begun to use the Coinbase Prime platform to become more comfortable with trading crypto-assets. (CCN)

-China’s crypto-millionaires are using their newfound wealth to purchase real estate in the United States as Chinese regulations become more and more restrictive. (Coindesk)

-JPMorgan is eager to implement blockchain technology, pursuing a patent for a distributed system to issue virtual depository receipts, which, to us at CrowdCrypto News, sound quite similar to Initial Coin Offerings. (CCN)

-The huge amount of developer activity on the Ethereum blockchain has led the CEOs of Circle, Coinbase and other crypto firms to sing its praises, claiming that this cryptocurrency will be the one to lead us out of the dark ages. (CCN)


Click here for access to Issue #30.

-The second-largest crypto exchange Binance has backed plans to create a blockchain-powered bank with tokenized ownership (CoinTelegraph)

-Coinbase is exploring adding Cardano (ADA), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Stellar Lumens (XLM), Zcash (ZEC), and 0x (ZRZ) to their sophisticated exchange (Coinbase Blog)

-Following the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for interfering in the 2016 election, details surfaced that indicated that cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, was used to fund their efforts (Coindesk)

-FINRA has requested that all member firms notify them if engaging or planning to engage in digital assets, in a continued effort to protect investors (NullTx)

-The Digital Assets Notice issued by FINRA is expansive, according to critics, and asks for information far beyond the buying and selling of securities as they are currently defined (Crowdfund Insider)


Click here for access to Issue #29.

Along with our regularly-scheduled news recap, this issue featured an in-depth look at the rapid expansion of the Coinbase exchange.

A week ago as of publication, Coinbase Custody accepted its first deposit in a push to entice institutional investors to join the crypto craze. The initial goal of Coinbase Custody is to make the path from digital currency to financial institutions free and clear of unnecessary roadblocks. The company’s CTO Balaji Srinivasan has categorized the exchange as a “mullet”, because they interface with banks and the government while still maintaining a space for crypto enthusiasts. This week, Coinbase Custody service went live and added 10 hedge funds and family offices with plans to attract 100 large institutional customers managing $5B in assets. However, all is not well in Coinbase land, as the broker-dealer the exchange partnered with (Electronic Transaction Clearing) is on the hook with the SEC for “repeatedly putting customer assets at risk”. Additionally, Mashable has keyed into complaints housed at the Better Business Bureau concerning Coinbase amidst the company’s quest to re-brand. Ultimately, here at CrowdCrypto, we are eager to see the entrance of institutional money in the crypto-space and hope that Coinbase’s bravery is the first step in a new future!


Click here for access to Issue #26.

🔥🔥🔥As you've probably heard, the biggest news this week  (and perhaps since we launched CrowdCrypto News in January) was that SEC Corporation Finance Director William Hinman said Ethereum will not be regulated as a security during his speech at Yahoo Finance's All Market Summit. The markets immediately rebounded after a long slump when the news hit, and crypto experts hit Twitter to both celebrate and temper expectations. Check out Fortune's analysis  and Market Insider's explanation of what Mr. Hinman's statement means for the future of cryptocurrency. 

“Putting aside the fundraising that accompanied the creation of Ether, based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions.”
— William Hinman, director of the SEC’s division of corporation finance. 6.14.18.


Click here for access to Issue #25.

🔥🔥🔥After a quiet couple of weeks on the SEC front, headlines came fast and furious this week, with SEC Chairman Jay Clayton appearing on MSNBC to draw a line between utility tokens and digital currencies. Clayton stated thatutility tokens are indeed securities, while digital currencies that replace fiat currency are not. 

The SEC continued to stay busy, appointing the first Senior Advisor for Digital Assets and Innovation that will helm the SEC's cryptocurrency task force. The cryptocurrency world remains hopeful about appointee Valerie Szczepanik, as she's represented the SEC in crypto-friendly forums such as Consensus and has spoken up about desire to limit the potential negative effects regulation may have on crypto markets.


Click here for access to Issue #24.

Still confused about that New York State BitLicense? Take a deep dive into its requirements and restrictions here, where you'll also find some hopeful news about its replacement.

Tons of news about the EOS blockchain launch happening today, with some more sordid than others. Here's a quick overview of the EOS blockchain launch that has been fundraising for over a year and has raised over $4B in a crowd sale. The blockchain is marketed as a smart contract platform using the Delegated Proof of Stake consensus mechanism for transaction hashing instead of Proof of Work. Not all news is good news, however, as EOS has been accused of manipulating this week's Ether crash ahead of its launch.


Click here for access to Issue #23.

This week, the House Financial Services subcommittee reviewed initial coin offerings with the leaders of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Enforcement Division. Representative Brad Sherman was quoted as saying "You are beginning to do something on initial coin offerings. I would have hoped you would have done more. I hope you shut it all down … It will be interesting to find out what barriers you face in doing that.” However, other representatives remained optimistic about cryptocurrency and the potential the new technology may bring.

In crowdfunding news, The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) was signed this week with most news outlets focusing on the rollback of strict Dodd-Frank restrictions; however, buried deep in the bill was a facelift for Regulation A+. Prior to this act, Reg A+ rules prohibited companies from using the exemption if it is subject to SEC reporting requirements under Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act. This means any company listed on a national exchange was prohibited from participating in an Reg A+ raise. However, with the passage of S. 2155, reporting companies can now utilize Reg A+, and the bill also reduces the reporting requirements for companies completing Reg A+ Tier 2 offerings. 


Click here for access to Issue #22.

Coinbase reached out to regulators about obtaining a federal banking charter earlier this year, as reported this week by the Wall Street Journal. Officials at the exchange spoke to the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency about receiving the federal banking license which would allow for Coinbase to offer its own custody and payment services, thereby attracting more institutional investment.

The SEC launched a fake ICO website to highlight the ease in which scam ICOs take advantage of investors. Found here, the SEC website advertises the "HoweyCoin" sale, and when "Buy Coins Now" is clicked, the site redirects to a list of ICO 🚩red flags🚩 on the SEC website.

My personal favorite quote on the sham ICO site is from the “celebrity promoter” stating: “I’m all about HoweyCoins – this thing is going to pop at the top!”


Click here for access to Issue #20.

This week at CrowdCrypto we were on the edge of our seats about the lawsuit against Ripple Labs. Was the XRP ICO an offering of securities? This Medium writer thinks so.  Ripple Labs is facing a lawsuit from a investor after he reportedly sustained a loss of 32% after trading XRP tokens. According to the complaint, the investor did not expect to lose money on the investment after Ripple Labs retweeted a positive article about XRP and the attendance of its CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, at various cryptocurrency conferences. The complaint (which can be found here) alleges that the sale of XRP violates U.S. securities laws. In international news, Blockchain and crypto organizations in Switzerland, Kazakhstan, and Armenia have joined a lawsuit filed by organizations in Russia, China, and South Korea against major Internet companies for banning crypto advertising. The suit will be filed in New York in late May 2018 with funds for attorneys being collected on a digital wallet registered in Estonia. 


Click here for access to Issue #19.

More grey area for crypto regulation this week, as SEC Chairman Jay Clayton met with the US House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations on Thursday and described regulation as a “complicated area”. He clarified that its believed bitcoin is not a security; however, he believes other tokens clearly fit the bill of a security, saying “there are none that I’ve seen that aren’t securities”. Clayton indicated that the ball was in the court of issuers, saying “securities regulations are disclosure-based”, and after being asked whether or not startups are being transparent, Clayton said “no”.


Click here for access to Issue #18.

After a few quiet weeks on the regulatory front, news broke that cryptocurrency investors Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures appealed to the SEC in a meeting in late March for a cryptocurrency safe harbor while assuring the regulators that ICO issuers would be held to strict anti-fraud measures. The group advocated for a safe harbor, which would allow for some tokens to be categorized as utility tokens instead of securities. This news follows reports that Joe Cammarata, president of tZero, was set to meet with 40 regulators at the SEC to discuss the regulation of ICOs. 


Click here for access to Issue #17.

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase approached SEC regulators with plans to register as a licensed brokerage this week, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal this week. Registration would permit the exchange of tokens deemed to be securities by regulators. This week also saw the beginning of crypto creators distinguishing themselves from securities. The chief market strategist of Ripple told CNBC that Ripple (XRP) is not a security, saying "we don't meet the standards for what a security is based on the history of court law". 


Click here for access to Issue #16.

This was a week of SEC action and clarity, with SEC Jay Clayton saying "Just because it's a security today doesn't mean it'll be a security tomorrow, and vice-versa." Clayton seemed to soften his stance on ICOs during a speech at Princeton University. Making clear the difference between what utility tokens claim they are versus what they actually are, Clayton conceded that the definitions can evolve over time and the only way to ensure consumer safety is to be informed about the developing world of cryptocurrency.

“Under this new policy, the advertisement of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and token sales will be prohibited globally”
— Twitter


Click here for access to Issue #14. 

In this issue, we check out the SEC's new website concerning ICOs to its website with guidance and suggestions for consumers, investors, and market professionals. It was also reported that Russia worked alongside the Venezuelan government to launch the cryptocurrency with Putin's personal approval. Two of the key Russian advisors had ties to major Russian banks and were thanked by President Maduro for "aiding his fight against American 'imperialism'". 


Click here for access to Issue #13. 

🔥🔥🔥"I believe this is hello, not goodbye" said Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) this week at the closing of the hearing that the US House Capital Markets, Securities, and Investment Subcommittee held to examine cryptocurrencies, ICOs and the lack of regulatory control. Some other notable/quotable soundbytes from the event: