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Telegram Asks Court to Dismiss SEC Allegations Against Gram Cryptocurrency

Telegram has asked the court to dismiss the US SEC Allegations Against Gram Cryptocurrency. After the trial, Telegram postponed the launch of its cryptocurrency Gram to April of the next year.

13 November 2019, AtoZMarketsThe messaging giant Telegram has asked the court to drop the lawsuit filed by the US SEC on its cryptocurrency Gram. In a recent filing in the Southern District of New York on Tuesday, Telegram refuted all allegations made by the US SEC in its trial last month. Previously, the US SEC had obtained a court emergency restraining order to stop the issuance of Gram cryptocurrency.

The SEC alleged that Telegram’s ICO was illegal

Just two weeks before Telegram was supposed to issue Gram cryptocurrency to its investors. The SEC obtained a court order to prevent Telegram from doing so. In its lawsuit, the SEC alleged that the messaging company had made an illegal distribution of unregistered securities. But in recent, the messaging app company has refuted all allegations made by the US SEC.

Telegram also challenges this position in the filing. It also claims that the SEC engaged in inappropriate regulation by enforcement in this emerging area of ​​law. It did not provide clear guidance and advice on the conduct that constitutes a violation of federal securities laws. And it has now adopted an ad hoc legal position. That is contrary to the judicial precedent and the opinions publicly expressed by its senior officials.

Telegram added that it had “voluntarily committed” to the SEC for advice on how to avoid violating federal securities laws. Yet, the SEC did not provide guidance before bringing this action into execution. The company reiterated that its gram tokens have not yet been created, stating that if they do, they will be a currency and/or commodity – not securities under federal securities laws.

Telegram admitted that it did not file a registration statement with the SEC because none was, is, or will be required under federal securities laws. As such, the firm has asked the District Court to dismiss the SEC’s application for relief and dismiss the claims with prejudice and order any other action that the court deems and appropriate.

Read More: Bakkt to Launch Cash-Settled Bitcoin Futures in Singapore

Telegram to issue its cryptocurrency next year

After facing the sudden pursuit, the company gave its investors two choices, either to take back about 77% of their investments or to wait until April 30, 2020, to get the tokens, the majority of investors chose the latter option. Telegram also plans to spend an additional $ 80 million before issuing cryptocurrency. The company had already raised $ 1.7 billion through the ICO.

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Bakkt to Launch Cash-Settled Bitcoin Futures in Singapore

Bakkt Bitcoin Futures intends to switch from its current physically settled futures to cash-settled futures by 2020 in Singapore.

13 November 2019, AtoZMarketsBakkt is a bitcoin futures and digital asset trading platform. That founded in 2018 by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). In early 2019, Bakkt declared that it had acquired the Digital Asset Custody Company (DACC) to enhance its crypto-asset custody and storage. At the time, the company was also working closely with BNY Mellon World Bank to develop private key storage solutions

Bakkt Cash-Settled Bitcoin Futures

Bakkt is now planning to offer a cash settlement version of the product due to customer demand. They also intend to provide a cash-settled contract, according to Adam White. He is a Bakkt’s chief operating officer, at the Invest. He said that at NYC Conference on Tuesday.

Bakkt may offer cash-settled bitcoin futures through ICE’s Singapore unit, ICE Clear Singapore. But the product will be accessible worldwide. It would be in talks with the Singapore Monetary Authority, the central bank and the country’s financial regulator, to offer the expected product.

Bakkt, unveiled for the first time in August 2018, has spent more than a year building and launching physical settlement bitcoin futures, in which customers receive the actual bitcoin at the end of a contract instead of the fiat equivalent.

Read More: Stellar (XLM) Price Drops Due to Controversial Token Burn

Bakkt Is Trying To Beat CME Group

Currently, the market giant CME Group is the only provider of bitcoin futures settled in cash. Bakkt is not only trying to beat CME on the cash-settled product, but also the bitcoin option contracts.

In recent weeks, Bakkt has announced plans to offer option contracts in addition to its existing term product, as well as a consumer application to allow customers to purchase bitcoin products from merchants during the next year. On Monday, Bakkt announced that it would extend its custody services to all of its institutional clients, from offering simple services to clients trading futures on ICE.

Speaking widely on Tuesday, White said retail customers had dominated the bitcoin market in recent years. Retail customers can trade their monthly futures, White said. CME is preparing to launch an options product related to its bitcoin futures on Jan. 13, while Bakkt expects to launch its options contracts on Dec. 9.

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CME to Launch Bitcoin Options Next Year

CME Group today confirmed the launch date of options on its Bitcoin futures contracts, January 13, 2020.

November 12, 2019, | AtoZ Markets – Popular derivatives exchange CME Group has revealed it’s looking to launch options on its Bitcoin futures products in January 2020, as long as it gets approval from regulators.

Options on futures contracts give the purchaser the right to buy or sell a specific futures contract at a predetermined price at the option’s expiration date.

CME to debut Bitcoin options on January 13

The CME had earlier this year noted that subject to regulatory approval, it will launch BTC options in 2020. Now, the group has announced that it’s looking to see options go live on January 13.

In a notice published on its website, Tm McCourt, the trading platform’s global head of equity index and alternative investments products, said that since the launch of bitcoin futures in late 2017 its clients have been expressing “growing interest in options as another way to hedge and trade in these markets.” He added:

We have worked closely with clients and the industry to establish a robust and increasingly liquid underlying futures market here at CME Group, and we believe Bitcoin options will now offer our customers greater precision and flexibility to manage their risk.

Specifications of BTC options revealed

Chicago-based CME has offered more insights about its upcoming crypto derivatives two weeks ago. They also revealed that each options contract will be based on one Bitcoin futures contract, which itself is comprised of five Bitcoin.

Furthermore, the BTC options will be priced off of the CME Bitcoin Reference Rate. This is an index that references pricing data from several cryptocurrency exchanges. The exchanges include Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit, Kraken, and Gemini. The BTC options will be quoted in U.S. dollars per Bitcoin with a tick size of $25.

The exchange has also doubled down on investors’ growing interest in Bitcoin futures. According to CME, its average daily volume so far this year was of 6,500 contracts. This means it traded on average the equivalent of 32,500 BTC ($282 million) a day. It has over 3,500 individual accounts registered to trade the product, with nearly half being outside the United States.

Moreover, International Continental Exchange-backed Bakkt announced in October that it was launching a competing options product on Dec. 9.

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Former Fed Chair Says No Need for Central Bank Digital Currency

Former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan said Tuesday that central banks do not need to issue digital currency. It’s useless for them to do it. He said that at Caijing’s annual economic prospects conference.

12 November 2019, AtoZMarketsGreenspan pointed out that national currencies are supported by sovereign credit. That no other organization can offer. The fundamental sovereign credit of the United States far exceeds anything that Facebook can imagine, he said.

Fed Against Central Bank Digital Currency

The social networking company made waves earlier this year in announcing plans for a cryptocurrency project called Libra. That had key partnerships with major global payment processors. However, last month, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Stripe, and eBay said they were abandoning the coalition behind Libra. Because the US government was watching them more closely.

Meanwhile, the People’s Bank of China has continued its work on its digital currency. But it is unclear when it will be published. Philadelphia Federal Reserve Chairman Patrick Harker said in early October that it is inevitable. That central banks, including the Fed, are issuing digital currency. He said his point of view was “minor” to the Fed. But his staff was researching the issue.

Digital currencies caught the eye of the world in 2017. At the time, the price of bitcoin rose from a few hundred US dollars to nearly $ 20,000. Many technology enthusiasts of the underlying bitcoin blockchain claim that its merits lie in its decentralized system. That contradicts the central control of an institution.

Read More: Netherlands Police Arrests Owner of Blockchain Company that Raised $80 Million

Other CBDC

In a time of increasing Sino-US tension, China’s central bank is possible to become the first major global economy to launch a central bank digital currency. Meanwhile, Tunisia has recently embarked on the process of digitizing the dinar. And it plans to issue a CBDC on paper on a clustered network jointly. That also managed with a Russian technology startup.

In October, members of the US House of Representatives Financial Services Committee sent a letter to outgoing Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. Also, it asked if it was possible to issue a USD CBDC. Legislators have argued that the Fed has both the ability and the mandate to establish a more reliable, more flexible, and stable monetary and financial system by developing a digital dollar.

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Netherlands Police Arrests Owner of Blockchain Company that Raised $80 Million

Netherlands Police arrests owner of Blockchain online gaming company after deceiving suppliers, investors, and employees. That led the company to bankruptcy.

12 November 2019, AtoZMarkets –Komodore64, the game’s startup, claimed to follow the sales of its in-game collectibles using the Komodo blockchain. It is launch in March. Since then it has claimed to have raised more than 78 million euros ($ 86 million) through private investment.

Other investments would also make in the associated cryptocurrency token, K64. In one case, an investor told that he had donated $ 600,000 ($ 662,000) to the gaming company. However, it fails to pay the suppliers and the salaries of the employees. Also, the company went bankrupt. What exactly happened to the money is not very clear.

Komodore64 Blockchain Company

The founder of Komodore64 is Sam Narain. He allegedly defrauded investors by saying that his company had obtained an investment from Goldman Sachs. That sounds wrong. Because Narain had a group that pretended to be investment bank representatives. And that had the means to fool other potential investors.

Also, Komodore64 would have organized a launch party. That would have cost thousands of euros. According to the report, the launch took place in one of the sites of its suppliers. It has not yet paid for the event. The company’s employees also claim they didn’t get payment “for months.” The UWV (Dutch Employee Insurance Agency) submits a claim for compensation to try to recover unpaid wages.

Narain was reportedly arrested during the past two weeks. At the time he was staying at the Hilton hotel in The Hague. Narain had stayed at the hotel to stay away from angry crypto investors. While it is inevitable that Narain was arrested because of his role in Komodore64 and his harmful activities.

Read More: EURUSD Fundamental Analysis Ahead Trump speech

Netherlands police arrests several suspects Before

This summer, Europol, together with the Netherlands police, the UK’s South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit, Eurojust, and the UK’s National Crime Agency coordinated the arrest of six people suspected of stealing more $ 27 million in cryptocurrency.

In May, Netherlands police arrested former businessman Barry van Mourik for fraud. Because he defrauded investors in a false Bitcoin mining operation (BTC) for 23 million euros ($ 25 million). Acting as the operator of a mining farm, Mr. van Mourik accumulated the client’s funds. During the failed to purchase equipment and instead spent the money on luxury goods. Hopefully, Dutch Central Bank will regulate crypto exchanges in 2020.

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Italian Regulator Blocks Six Financial Services Websites

Italian regulator CONSOB blocks six financial services websites. Since July, the number of unauthorized trading websites blocked under orders issued by CONSOB has risen to 77, the regulator said today.

11 November 2019, AtoZMarkets – The Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB), the Italian Financial regulator, has published on its website a statement ordering the closure of six sites. That illegally offers financial services.

Italian Regulator Block Financial Service Websites

The six entities are:

  • Lion Finance Ltd (https://cfd2fxpro.com),
  • Globalix Ltd (www.globalix.co),
  • UAB Elnira (https://alltrademarkets.com),
  • Grandtrade.exchange (https://grandtrade.exchange)
  • BTB Corporate LT (https://bcapitalprofit.com)
  • Selinusinvestment.com (www.selinusinvestment.com)

In July of this year, CONSOB acquired the power to order Internet connectivity service providers. The power is to prevent access from Italy to websites. For which financial services are offered without appropriate authorization.

The obscuring activities of the sites by internet connectivity providers operating on the Italian market are ongoing. For technical reasons, the real blackout may take a few days, according to the statement.

Read More: Former ECB Chief Claims Bitcoin is Not Real

Already blocked 77 sites

Since acquiring these powers earlier in the year, the Italian regulator has ordered the blocking of 77 sites in the country. In today’s warning entities, already three websites seem not to work, or it cannot be accessed. Those are Globalix Ltd, Selinusinvestment.com and BTB Corporate LT.

The other three entities are Lion Finance, UAB Elnira, and Grandtrade.exchange. All seem to be Forex companies and other assets to be traded. The first on the list, Lion Finance, offers currencies, commodities, indices, stocks, cryptocurrencies, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and futures. The company claims to provide technology for the trading industry.

UAB Elnira, on the other hand, claims through its website to offer customers the same services as brokers. But that is without the same level of fees. Besides, AllTradeMarkets is one of the few financial services providers in the industry. Also, its revenues come solely from the success of its customers.

The last entity, Grandtrade.exchange, declares that it is a dedicated forex trading platform. It also says that its headquartered is in Cyprus. But that has a global reach.

As AtoZMarkets pointed out earlier on 4 November, the Italian regulator was also ordering the blocking of six unauthorized Forex trading websites. These are TomCom Limited, Bonatech Ltd and Mitchell Group EOOD, Next Trade Ltd and TLC Consulting Ltd, Trader Platinum, London Capital Trade Ltd. However, online trading companies operate these websites. Furthermore, they don’t allow to offer their services to Italian investors.

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FBI Director Says Cryptocurrency is a Significant Problem

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the Senate Homeland Security Committee at a hearing on cryptocurrency problems facing the United States.

08 November 2019, AtoZMarkets At a recent US Senate Committee hearing on Government Affairs and Homeland Security, Senator Mitt Romney showed concern about cryptocurrency’s potential as a threat to national security. Christopher Wray responded that cryptocurrency is a concern and it will become bigger.

FBI Director Concern Cryptocurrency Problem 

As more and more countries begin experimenting or talking about the development of their own central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and the regulation of cryptography. In general, unlicensed cryptography like bitcoin is the subject of lively debate. Utah’s Republican senator was certainly unaware of the nature of cryptocurrencies. But he concerned about Tuesday’s hearing. Romney is the National Counter-Terrorism Center, and FBI leaders. Speaking to Homeland Security, he said that he is not part of the Banking Committee. He does not understand how cryptocurrency works. He thinks it’s harder to do a job when we cannot track the money. Because the money is hidden.

The FBI director noted that the agency considers cryptography from an investigative point of view. That is including the tools we have to try to track the money. Citing the increasing efficiency with which criminals can use new technologies and anonymization tools. Wray was nevertheless reluctant to commit to making statements about the proposed regulations. He said that for them, cryptocurrency is already a big problem. And they can easily predict that it will become more and more important. It doesn’t matter that it is regulated or not. Because it is harder for him to answer that question.

Read More: Ethereum Developer Confirms Istanbul Hard Fork Release Date

CBDC And Libra Are In The Spotlight

The digital currencies of the central bank and Libra are both in the spotlight. Yet, the real focus of much of the government unease seems to be around crypto and permissionless variations of digital money. Romney, like other legislators in the country, is concerned about compliance and crime. While the CBDCs would be easily monitored and controlled centrally. That would make money laundering and tax evasion difficult. Permissionless crypto allows easier disobedience to established laws. Romney said during the recent hearing that he wonders if they should not make efforts in their country to fight against the cryptocurrency problem.

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CFTC Approves Tassat to Issue Bitcoin Derivative

Tassat is now planning to issue Bitcoin derivative after acquiring a swap execution facility (SEF) registration from the CFTC.

November 8, 2019, | AtoZ Markets – New York-based financial technology firm Tassat — formerly known as trueDigital — has succeeded in overcoming the first hurdle in its bid to launch a fully-regulated crypto derivatives exchange.

Tassat Gets Green Light From CTFC To Offer Bitcoin Derivatives

Tassat has gained approval from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to offer a SEF. According to an announcement on November 7, the New York-based firm is now planning to launch physically-settled Bitcoin margin swaps.

Furthermore, Tassat had first reached the agreement in principle to acquire —  subject to CFTC approval — trueEx’s SEF registration back in July of this year.

The company is now waiting for news regarding its prospective acquisition of trueEx’s Designated Contract Market (DCM) registration. This would allow it to operate an exchange listing futures or options contracts with oversight from the CFTC.

TrueEX and Tassat met the requirement for transferring a SEF registration

In its press release, the CFTC stated that trueEX and Tassat fulfilled the requirement for transferring a SEF registration. In addition, the agency demonstrated that Tassat would comply with the provisions of the U.S. Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations.

Currently, there are 19 registered SEFs and this includes Tassat, as per CTFC. They also noted that they have registered TrueEX as a SEF on January 22, 2016.

The registration brings Tassat closer to launching a crypto derivatives exchange with full oversight from the CFTC. They hope to list physically-delivered Bitcoin derivatives for institutional investors. Back in July, Tassat CEO Thomas Kim said:

“Adding the exchange to our ecosystem delivers a complete end-to-end offering, currently unavailable today, that encompasses tokenization, payments, market data and settlement for the benefit of our clients and partners.”

About Tassat and TrueDigital

In March, Tassat partnered with crypto data firm Kaiko and digital assets analytics company Inca Digital Securities. The goal was to widen the distribution of its over-the-counter reference rates for Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Initially, TrueDigital was established as a subsidiary of TrueEx.  TrueDigital has long been active in the crypto space. The firm was the first in the industry to secure a DCM registration for Bitcoin swaps from the CFTC back in 2012.

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Ethereum Developer Confirms Istanbul Hard Fork Release Date

Péter Szilágyi, team leader for the Ethereum Foundation, confirmed the date of the upcoming release of the Ethereum Istanbul Hard Fork and the details of the new version of Geth.

08 November 2019, AtoZMarketsAfter being postponed at least three times, the date of the release of Istanbul Hard Fork was set for 4 December 2019. The last update of Constantinople was delayed 48 hours before announcing its deployment. As a result, the global Ethereum community is eagerly awaiting information on the next upgrade of the system.

Ethereum Istanbul Hard Fork

Péter Szilágyi, Ethereum core developer and fork identifier, recently shared information about Geth version 1.9.7. Written in GO, this will be the most widespread implementation on the Ethereum Mainnet network. It is the first version of Geth. Moreover, it will initialize Ethereum Mainnet’s Istanbul Fork Block 9069000. It is due to arrive on 4 December 2019.

Despite the announcement date, the release seems as proof that things certainly took a turn in Ethereum. It is, therefore, important for Ethereum network participants to update their Mainnet Geth nodes to v1.9.7 to avoid any surprises along the way.

In addition to the initialization of Hard Fork, the new version offers some significant fixes and updates. The release implements new fork orders to avoid the coexistence of partially initialized private networks. And it ends the unnecessary duplication of memory on the Ethereum virtual machine. Several minor bugs are also fixed in transaction execution.

Read More: Tether Rejects Paper Naming USDT Manipulation

Long-Awaited Update

The story of Ethereum Mainnet’s Istanbul Hard Fork began in May 2019. at the time, Felix Lange and Péter Szilágyi presented Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 2124. It offered a mechanism for users to identify. That node-based software of a computer server in the Ethereum network is running.

It eventually turned into a significant system-wide upgrade. That focused on storing data on the Ethereum network and mining algorithms. Such an update will increase the computational costs. But it will protect the system from potential Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks.

Jorge Izquierdo, CTO of Aragon One, said at the end of October that Istanbul would lead to the break-up of around 680 smart contracts on the Aragon platform. The question they are going to have, that don’t deem necessary enough for this hard fork not to happen. That, from their point of view, is unfortunate. But it is a hard balance that they understand.

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FTC Cites Libra in Support of FedNow Service

A senior FTC official in the US cites Libra in support of FedNow Service. And he has argued for urgent action and the launch of its real-time payment system.

08 November 2019, AtoZMarketsRohit Chopra is a commissioner of the US Federal Trade Commission. He expressed support for the central bank’s proposal to launch a new round-the-clock real-time payment system. That is called FedNow Service.

FTC Libra FedNow Service

In his letter, Commissioner Chopra argued that the central bank must act quickly to prevent new threats to its supervision. Whether that is under the umbrella of a potential monopoly of private megabanks or a competitor of the private sector like Facebook. He wrote as the large private companies on Wall Street and Silicon Valley seek to take advantage of their market power by controlling critical infrastructure. It is more important than ever for the board to implement this proposal quickly.

The FedNow service has been in preparation since at least 2018. if not earlier, it has been introduced as a new 24/7/365 real-time payment and settlement service in a public announcement made by the Fed in August. The service will, it seems, be made available to businesses and the general public. And it aims to allow consumers to manage their funds more flexibly. Also, it will make urgent payments outside traditional banking hours.

Commissioner Chopra’s letter is symptomatic of federal officials’ concerns over the prospect of private-sector competition. Fed is in the control of payments through its oversight of the check clearing system, electronic transfers, and automatic clearing houses (ACH).

Read More: Tether Rejects Paper Naming USDT Manipulation

Suppress Innovation and Distort Incentives

He writes that while the monopoly of a private megabank on our electronic payments system could suppress innovation. And it may distort incentives in markets. He shares the concerns of Fed President Jerome Powell and Governor Lael Brainard as to the nature of the risks explicitly presented by Facebook.

The list of uncertainties raised by the Libra project will take time to unpack and process. But regardless of the final fate of Libra, the emergence of the proposal underlines the appetite for real-time payments and the urgency of the intervention of the Federal Reserve.

FedNow Will Not Go Live Until 2024

Rohit Chopra sees a demand for prompt payments, noting the pent-up frustration of high bank charges. And he found that other real-time technologies have spread rapidly. People do not know what FedNow looks like or how it would work. The project will not be commissioned until 2024.

However, there is no indication that FedNow will use the blockchain at any time. Two US lawmakers have written to the Fed asking what it thinks of this technology. Last month, French representatives Hill (R-Ark.) And Bill Foster (D-Ill.) asked the Fed several questions, noting that the global supremacy of the dollar could be threatened if other countries develop a widely adopted digital fiat currency first.

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