EU Countries Commence Crypto Regulations as ... - Bitcoin News

US regulator: Bitcoin exchanges must comply with money-laundering laws

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US regulator: Bitcoin exchanges must comply with money-laundering laws

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US regulator: Bitcoin exchanges must comply with money-laundering laws

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US regulator: Bitcoin exchanges must comply with money-laundering laws

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US regulator: Bitcoin exchanges must comply with money-laundering laws

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US regulator: Bitcoin exchanges must comply with money-laundering laws

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Does CCP have to register as a money services business now?

So I was over on /bitcoin when I saw this article...
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/03/us-regulator-bitcoin-exchanges-must-comply-with-money-laundering-laws/
It got me wondering since we can buy plex, and get virtual currency does this mean that CCP and other games that offer virtual currencies have to register? The thing that makes me ask this is they talk about facebook's new currency.
Here is the exact text of the new guidance/regulation.
http://fincen.gov/statutes_regs/guidance/html/FIN-2013-G001.html
Edit: Thanks for the info everyone.
submitted by Ddraig to Eve [link] [comments]

Stablecoins Are Not as Safe as You Think. How Your USDT, PAX, BUSD Get Frozen in a Moment

Stablecoins Are Not as Safe as You Think. How Your USDT, PAX, BUSD Get Frozen in a Moment
Being created on the basis of blockchain, stablecoins were considered to be a safe haven for investors… until recently. Why is their immunity elusive and how does the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plan to control them?
Established in 1989 by the G7, the FATF inter-governmental organization develops policies to resist money laundering and financing of terrorism. It sets standards and implements legal and regulatory measures to combat illegal financial transactions.
They developed recommendations for the monitoring of money laundering and keep revising them regularly. In case of non-compliance, law enforcement is executed via regional financial organizations. As of 2019, there are 39 full members of FATF, including the USA, UK, Australia, most EU countries, Singapore, India and the Russian Federation.
Since 1st July, the FATF organization has been headed by Marcus Pleyer. During the last FATF meeting, the new president expressed his concerns about global stablecoins and organizations that issue them. Although the organization had already dealt with these cryptocurrencies, it highlighted that, “it is essential to continue closely monitoring the ML/TF risks of so-called stablecoins, including anonymous peer-to-peer transactions via unhosted wallets”.
Is it ever possible to control crypto wallets that are not hosted on online exchanges? – you’d ask. We’re used to the fact that cryptocurrencies are outside the reach of banks and governments. However, when it comes to stablecoins, things are different.

It’s in the code

What makes stablecoins special is that they are pegging to fiat currency, for example, 1 TUSD = $1 USD. This means that such assets should be backed up by real money stored in the bank accounts of the issuing organization. Consequently, stablecoin creators need to comply with the requirements of the SEC, FATF and other controlling agencies, if they are to operate in the cryptocurrency sphere and be authorised to sell stablecoins. Transparent reports are not the only requirement, stablecoins must also provide the possibility of account blocking.
Surprisingly, this feature is implemented in each stablecoin. The experts from QDAO DeFi are covering several stablecoin protocols that enable this function.

OMNI-based USDT

Issued by Tether Limited, USDT is a stablecoin that was originally created to be worth $1 with each token backed by a $1 real fiat reserve. The currency was successfully promoted and added to major cryptocurrency exchanges but stayed a controversial asset. Despite the claims of Tether Limited, they failed to provide any contractual right or other legal claims to guarantee that USDT can be swapped for dollars or be redeemed.
In April 2019, Tether’s lawyers explained that each USDT was backed by only $0.74 in cash or equivalent assets. No audit of dollar collateral was done. A month before that, it changed the backing to include loans to affiliate companies. The scandal also involved the Bitfinex exchange that was accused of using USDT funds to cover $850 million in funds lost since 2018. They were also accused of manipulating USDT to push the BTC price.
Tether is available on five blockchains: Omni, Ehereum, EOS, Tron and Liquid. Only the latter does not have a freezing feature. Omni was the first protocol for USDT. Blocking of users’ accounts is possible, thanks to the following piece of code:

https://preview.redd.it/uqho45l33om51.png?width=690&format=png&auto=webp&s=c0feebdae086b0deeccde05278eaf3cc760f9e2b
Apparently, it’s used to blacklist addresses and contracts.

PAX

The concerns about PAX were centered around the notorious MMM BSC Ponzi scheme. Before the widespread adoption of DeFi services, it was the second-largest gas consumer after Ethereum. Out of 25,000 daily transactions, 5,000 were performed by MMM BSC. It was reported to be a scam but none of the accounts were frozen. Does it mean PAX lacked the resources to regulate illicit activities?
Evidently, not. The protocol code has a LAW ENFORCEMENT FUNCTIONALITY function that allows for the freezing/unfreezing of contracts or burning assets on blacklisted accounts. It turns out, anyone risks having their PAX coins destroyed during an investigation process while their accounts stay blocked.

History of frozen accounts

In 2019, the ZCash Foundation and Eric Wall conducted research on the privacy of stablecoins and revealed several frozen addresses. It’s not clear why exactly they were blocked. Most probably, it happened shortly after the exchange withdrawal – users took this action after witnessing platforms being hacked.

https://preview.redd.it/pkbruqm83om51.png?width=838&format=png&auto=webp&s=b068c5b8c5e5439892eaf5feefa3fbc93c694c8c
USDT was implicated at least twice in scandals to do with freezing. In April 2019, about $850 million in Tether dollars sent by Crypto Capital Corp. were frozen by a New York court. Tether and Btfinex were accused of participating in a cover-up to hide about $850 million worth in clients’ funds. By July 2020, Tether had frozen 40 Ethereum addresses with millions of USDT (some of them are shown in the screenshot above).
The Centre Consortium was the next to follow their lead; about a month ago, it blacklisted an address with USDC worth $100,000. That was done in response to law enforcement.
Yet, it’s not only Europe and the USA imposing control over cryptocurrencies. Since June 2020, the Chinese government managed to block several thousands of users’ bank accounts. It was done to resist illicit activities, especially money laundering. On some of those accounts, no activity had been detected for several months. Meanwhile, prior to April 2020, Chinese residents moved over $50 billion worth of crypto outside the country borders – more than is officially allowed (a maximum of $50,000 per person).
The authorities claim that USDT and other stablecoins are often used in illegal activities. Together with the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), they are developing new ways of investigating digital crimes and money laundering operations involving exchanges and crypto wallets. Local financial bureaus and police are working tight-lipped about investigating startups and crypto exchanges. And they are succeeding at it.
In July 2020, Chinese authorities confiscated BTC, ETH and USDT worth $15 million from people who allegedly ran a fake cryptocurrency scheme.
By the way, not only corporate accounts are being closed. One investor claims his account had been frozen after using yuan to purchase crypto. Also, users who transfer illegally obtained money outside of the mainland in large amounts are under suspicion. Does it mean the Chinese government has started tightening the screws on cryptocurrency users?

DAI, USDT on Liquid and USDQ are the main options for stablecoin deposits

So, where can you store your crypto assets? USDT on Liquid and DAI are not the only solutions available. Consider making a deposit in USDQ, the stablecoin of the QDAO ecosystem. Like other stablecoins, it’s 1-to-1 pegged to USD. However, it cannot be frozen by a government, financial organization or anyone from the QDAO team. You can check it yourself by reading our Smart contract and USDQ Audit.
In QDAO, users’ accounts are never frozen by a single person – all account issues are solved by the entire QDAO community, with the help of a QDAO governance token.
In case of blocking (the chances of which are almost non-existent), you can address the QDAO community and get timely help.

Bottom Line

With FATF taking this new course of action, we might witness serious pressure on stablecoin providers. Some projects will resist it, but it’s still not safe to store your assets in popular stablecoins, especially USDT. Your account can be frozen by authorities for dozens of reasons without the possibility of retrieval.
Yet, there are a number of reliable alternatives and USDQ stablecoin is one of them. QDAO DeFi platform users feel free to manage their crypto reserves and make profitable deposits.
Want to be the first to hear QDAO DeFi news and updates? Visit our website and stay in touch with us on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Telegram and LINE (for the Japanese-speaking community).
submitted by QDAODeFi to u/QDAODeFi [link] [comments]

[FULL ANALYSIS] Bitcoin exchanges and payment processors in Canada are now regulated as Money Service Businesses

Hello Bitcoiners!
Many of you saw my tweet yesterday about the Bitcoin regulations in Canada. As usual, some journalists decided to write articles about my tweets without asking me for the full context :P Which means there has been a lot of misunderstanding. Particuarly, these regulations mean that we can lower the KYC requirements and no longer require ID documents or bank account connections! We can also increase the daily transaction limit from $3,000 per day to $10,000 per day for unverified accounts. The main difference is that we now have a $1,000 per-transaction limit (instead of per day) and we must report suspicious transactions. It's important to read about our reporting requirements, as it is the main difference since pretty much every exchange was doing KYC anyway.
Hopefully you appreciate the transparency, and I'm available for questions!
Cheers,
Francis
*********************************************
Text below is copied from: https://medium.com/bull-bitcoin/bitcoin-exchanges-and-payment-processors-in-canada-are-now-regulated-as-money-service-businesses-1ca820575511

Bitcoin is money, regulated like money

Notice to Canadian Bitcoin users

If you are the user of a Canadian Bitcoin company, be assured that:
You may notice that the exchange service you are using has change its transactions limits or is now requiring more information from you.
You can stop reading this email now without any consequence! Otherwise, keep regarding if you are interested in my unique insights into this important topic!

Background on regulation

Today marks an important chapter for Bitcoin’s history in Canada: Bitcoin is officially regulated as money (virtual currency) under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act of Canada (PCMLTFA), under the jurisdiction of the Financial Transaction and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).
This is the culmination of 5 years of effort by numerous Bitcoin Canadian advocates collaborating with the Ministry of Finance, Fintrac and other Canadian government agencies.
It is important to note that there is no new Bitcoin law in Canada. In June of 2014, the Governor General of Canada (representing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II) gave royal asset to Bill C-31, voted by parliament under Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, which included amendments to the PCMLTFA to included Bitcoin companies (named “dealers in virtual currency”) as a category of Money Service Businesses.
Thereafter, FINTRAC engaged in the process of defining what exactly is meant by “dealing in virtual currency” and what particular rules would apply to the businesses in this category. Much of our work was centred around excluding things like non-custodial wallets, nodes, mining and other activities that were not related exchange or payments processing.
To give an idea, the other categories that apply to traditional fiat currency businesses are:
When we say that Bitcoin is now regulated, what we mean is that these questions have been settled, officially published, and that they are now legally binding.
Businesses that are deemed to be “dealing in virtual currency” must register with FINTRAC as a money service business, just like they would if they were doing traditional currency exchange or payment processing.
There is no “license” required, which means that you do not need the government’s approval before you can operate a Bitcoin exchange business. However, when you operate a Money Service Business, you must register and comply with the laws… otherwise you risk jail time and large fines.

What activities are regulated as Money Service Business activity?

A virtual currency exchange transaction is defined as: “an exchange, at the request of another person or entity, of virtual currency for funds, funds for virtual currency or one virtual currency for another.” This includes, but is not limited to:

Notice to foreign Bitcoin companies with clients in Canada

Regardless of whether or not your business is based in Canada, you must register with FINTRAC as a Foreign Money Service Business, if:

How this affects BullBitcoin.com and Bylls.com

The regulation of Bitcoin exchange and payment services has always been inevitable. If we want Bitcoin to be considered as money, we must accept that it will be regulated like other monies. Our stance on the regulation issue has always been that Bitcoin exchanges and payment processors should be regulated like fiat currency exchanges and payment processors, no more, no less. This is the outcome we obtained.
To comply with these regulations, we are implementing a few changes to our Know-Your-Customer requirement and transaction limits which may paradoxically make your experience using Bull Bitcoin and Bylls even more private and convenient!

The bad news

The good news

To understand these regulations, we highly recommend reading this summary by our good friends and partners at Outlier Compliance.

Summary of our obligations

Our responsibilities:
The information required to perform a compliant know-your-customer validation:
Record keeping obligations:

Suspicious transaction reporting

Satoshi Portal is required to make suspicious transactions report to FINTRAC after we have detected a fact that amounts to reasonable grounds to suspect that one of your transactions is related to the commission or attempted commission of a money laundering offence or a terrorist activity financing offence.
Failure by Satoshi Portal Inc. to report a suspicious transaction could lead to up to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $2,000,000, or both, for its executives.
We are not allowed to share with anyone other than FINTRAC, including our clients, the contents of a suspicious transaction report as well as the fact that a suspicious transaction report has been filed.

What is suspicious activity?

Note for bitcoinca: this section applies ONLY to Bull Bitcoin. Most exchanges have much stricter interpretation of what is suspicious. You should operate under the assumption that using Coinjoin or TOR will get you flagged at some other exchanges even though it's okay for Bull Bitcoin. That is simply because we have a more sophisticated understanding of privacy best practices.
Identifying suspicious behavior is heavily dependent on the context of each transaction. We understand and take into account that for many of our customers, privacy and libertarian beliefs are of the utmost importance, and that some users may not know that the behavior they are engaging in is suspicious. When we are concerned or confused about the behaviors of our users, we endeavour to discuss it with them before jumping to conclusions.
In general, here are a few tips:
Here are some examples of behavior that we do not consider suspicious:
Here are some example indicators of behavior that would lead us to investigate whether or not a transaction is suspicious:

What does this mean for Bitcoin?

It was always standard practice for Bitcoin companies to operate under the assumption they would eventually be regulated and adopt policies and procedures as if they were already regulated. The same practices used for legal KYC were already commonplace to mitigate fraud (chargebacks).
In addition, law enforcement and other government agencies in Canada were already issuing subpoenas and information requests to Bitcoin companies to obtain the information of users that were under investigation.
We suspect that cash-based Bitcoin exchanges, whether Bitcoin ATMs, physical Bitcoin exchanges or Peer-to-Peer trading, will be the most affected since they will no longer be able to operate without KYC and the absence of KYC was the primary feature that allowed them to justify charging such high fees and exchange rate premiums.
One thing is certain, as of today, there is no ambiguity whatsoever that Bitcoin is 100% legal and regulated in Canada!
submitted by FrancisPouliot to BitcoinCA [link] [comments]

Is this really what you want?

I've been engaged with the cryptosphere since almost the very beginning: immediately seeing bitcoin for what it was, a way to securely store wealth outside of the banking system, freed from relying on a middleman who, it became clear over time, was more interested in policing my (and everyone else) actions to make sure their ass was covered with the increasingly noisy regulators, and due to their financial irresponsibility, always coming up with new and progressively more ridiculous fees.
I was fed up with the old system already, having explored the black magic of infinite inflationable monies, centralized, communist-style administration of entire economies, and all the suffering, surveillance, corruption, and centralization of power that such things necessarily entail.
Some Rothschild or Rockefeller said it best, "give me control of a nations money supply and I care not who makes the laws" - or something to that extent.
Anyway, the allure for the very early adopters was being able to sidestep the massive fiat scam, put personal financial destiny squarely in our own hands, and not rely on third parties as much as possible.
In the beginning Bitcoin was almost completely ignored. Only some ubernerds and a few drug dealers and drug users (who would like nothing more than peacefully transact between each other and mutually benefit from the exchange by the way, but are forced into dark corners of the internet because of arcane, politically-motivated, outdated drug laws that FINALLY appear to be crumbling to pieces after DECADES of propaganda and lies organized by major world governments and their lackeys) knew about it.
Unfortunately most people lack imagination and, the nerds being mostly quiet and the drug-related activity soon being used as a justification to slam bitcoin with the "only for crime" label, most people thought nothing else of it.
They could not see, and to this day still don't see, the immense potential that cryptocurrency can bring the world.
There are more of you out there now who can, this is self-evident. Although frankly too many of you are here for gains mostly/only, and fail to see what cryptocurrency is really all about.
Much like how so many people think the Internet is facebook and instagram and twitter. Which is so shockingly ignorant it almost makes my blood boil.
Look, gains are nice, and of course we all want to make some money. I won't even fault you for taking profits, to me this seems like a sensible hedge, even a full decade into the cryptocurrency experiment, nothing is guaranteed, nothing is certain. So it makes sense to diversify, even - gasp - into fiat money that we can - hopefully - put to good use, today, in the "real" world.
But to get back to the story - quickly then, from a very underground thing that almost nobody knew about, Bitcoin was attacked as being "only for criminals", and there was a palpable sense of apprehension and fear from international organizations and governments.
Here was this thing that entirely sidestepped the financial system that keeps their funny monies going, and people were using the technology to emancipate themselves from arbitrary limitations and appalling mass-surveillance.
And once a state gets used to mass-surveillance, it is very hard to get it to stop. The power is simply immense.
Can you imagine? A database with the social connections of every citizen, what they like reading, the sites they like visiting, their physical location logged nonstop, painting very detailed pictures of peoples' lives.
All of their posts online, neatly tucked away in some searchable massive database.
Almost no one protested. "Well, I have nothing to hide", they said. And thus the surveillance state grew and grew, almost entirely unchallenged.
In the name of "fighting terrorism", "catching pedos" and "removing drugs from society" (I could write volumes on this last one alone but this is not the time or the place) we saw our liberties and privacy being steadily eroded, particularly after the perfect excuse happened on September 11 2001.
Boy oh boy did we see a destruction of civil liberties since then.
Another part of this mass-surveillance was, and is, the banking system. Put simply, every transaction you make is under surveillance, recorded indefinitely. The reasoning? It could be related to financing terrorism.
That appears to be the great corrosive thought behind all of this.
You could be making a transaction to fund terrorism.
You could be spewing "hate speech" (who gets to define it? apparently these days it means expressing right-leaning opinions - tomorrow, who knows?) on social media, so better record everything you write.
You could be visiting "extremist" sites online, and because clearly this means you must be an extremist-in-training and not just some curious human trying to understand why on earth someone would have such wicked ideas, your internet activity is logged and analyzed.
You use Tor or a VPN? Oh dear, now it's really clear that you must be a potential criminal. Otherwise you would have nothing to hide.
Right ?
Do you see the pattern?
To bring it back to cryptocurrency, Bitcoin users, it is known, were also targeted for increased attention by certain intelligence agencies. Same logic - you were not happy with using the mass-surveilled financial system of yesterdecade? Probably a criminal in the making.
Eventually though, that air of fear and apprehension more or less vanished. Regulators actually begun to realize that bitcoin is entirely transparent!
All you have to do is require KYC at strategic points. People thought you were crazy for saying KYC would come to crypto. But it was so obvious.
And you know what else is obvious? Once exchanges are keeping KYC, global regulators will require that they exchange information with them. This, recent news tell us, is already set in motion and will soon be a reality.
Given the transparent nature of most blockchain projects, the implications are so obvious that the fact that almost no one sees what's coming next is almost enough for me to lose hope in humanity.
Once there is a centralized record of who owns which addresses, several things become possible.
You can now put people under surveillance in real time while they do their transparent chain business (.. shocking, right). You can tell who they transact with, and how often. You can censor their transactions, if not at the network level, at the merchant and exchange levels.
And you can do something else too, which is to automatically treat any and all bitcoin addresses not associated with a known real identity as potential money laundering (remember the pattern?).
All of this information being available will inevitably create a reality where you will be asked questions about what you do with your money. And this time it isn't the bank, it comes straight from higher up. Because every transaction is fucking PUBLIC!.
Who did you send 0.5 BTC to on day X ? This address is not known to us. Please explain (or else).
Why did you attempt to mix your coins? Have you got something to hide?
Do you enjoy swapping coins in accountless sites like morphtoken ? Well, enjoy while it lasts, because it is a certainty that they will soon be forced to force you to put your identity at risk of being stolen, or else - you guessed it - they are helping with laundering funds.
You think tools like wasabi wallet will help? On a transparent chain?
If by now you cannot tell that the only thing this will accomplish is an automated blacklist of your coins because you must be trying to hide something but not allowing the State to track your every financial transaction on the chain, there is not much hope left for you. That is simply a massive failure of the imagination, and I lack the words to make the consequences of your ignorance any more obvious.
I'm one of those "privacy nuts" you sometimes hear about. 15 years ago I was telling people that it was a really bad idea to be donating so much personal information to some company, but nobody would listen. Already too hooked on getting attention and feeling validated. What's sacrificing a little privacy to feel good - who cares if the tech company is making millions selling your every weakness, your private thoughts, your tastes and opinions, to third parties who somehow, for some reason, are very very keen in acquiring this data.
Baffling how people could not see how valuable this data would become. Today it seems they are beginning to wake up.
Meanwhile, the entire Internet has been boobytrapped, and in the unending fight to get rid of pedos, drugs and terrorists, we all live under mass-surveillance and almost everyone pretty much accepts it without questioning things too much.
After all, there don't seem to be many consequences.
But that's just a failure of the imagination.
By accepting, uncritically, that transparent chains are a good foundation with which to build the new financial system, you are all voting for more surveillance, the automatic criminalization of privacy, suspicion by default, and subjecting yourselves to 24/7, algorithmic mass-surveillance.
Physical cash is already on the way out in some parts of the world, and this is no accident. It is much harder to trace cash, and at this point the fourth excuse to do away with that pesky stuff - civil liberties - comes into play.
The digitization of everything financial, the accompanying mass-surveillance and mass-ingestion of the data is necessary, you see, to catch tax evaders.
After all (and you will remember the pattern for sure), if you desire some financial privacy, if you would prefer to keep your economic activity to yourself, you are a potential tax evader.
It should go without saying, and even including this paragraph I suspect there will be many comments by people with short attention spans who will accuse me of encouraging tax evasion. Ah, how deep the brainwash goes.
To that I would say, just think about the fact that up to until only a few decades ago (in thousands of years of history) it was not even possible to do financial mass-surveillance.
And somehow roads were built, civilizations thrived, and there's a direct ancestry right to us.
And yet we are told that only by stripping everyone of privacy could the state ever hope to collect tax.
Bullshit.
Look, you have to ask yourself, is this really what you want ? A world of mass-surveillance where all aspects of our life are neatly categorized and searchable in some state-controlled database (that will never be hacked, right ? hint: shadowbrokers)
Can't you see it? Have you been anesthetized?
Are you too numb to see?
This is totalitarianism. Pure and simple. It's happened so gradually that somehow it seems the world has failed to notice.
It is not right for things to be this way. If you would stop distracting yourself with social media, tv series and porn (and whatever else young people distract themselves with these days) you would come to develop this notion.
Cryptocurrency was all about personal freedom. I am sorry to say that the technology has been almost entirely successfully adapted to do the exact opposite.
Rather than offer us freedom, it serves as perfect, immutable evidence of all of our economic activity, whatever little privacy it offered crushed by off-chain measures like KYC and guilty-until-proven-innocent techniques that would have made the STASI proud.
But not all is lost, yet.
Fortunately we already have the technology to make on-chain privacy a reality. It's called Monero and it works today.
I'm not going to babysit you through this and I'm not going to tell you to just trust my word for it, but I am going to tell you that if you care about a future where financial privacy is a reality, a future where the state and powerful corporations don't keep tabs on every transaction you make, every cent you receive, from whom and how often, with perfect accuracy, where automatically they know where you spend your money.. if you care about a future where you are not a slave to some financial master who insists on its right to observe to the most minute detail every aspect of your financial life (and as we have seen, many other aspects of life too - financial mass-surveillance is after all a subset of mass-surveillance itself)..
Then you owe it to yourself to read about Monero.
Transactions cost less than a cent, and on-chain privacy is a reality. Today.
Will it be the ultimate financial privacy project? This I cannot know. I can tell you that it is the best chance we got today.
Ultimately it does not matter to me which project makes financial privacy a staple. All I care about is that we, the peoples of the world, are able to transact with each other freely, without the assumption of wrongdoing, without being asked questions about or dealings and who we decide to do business with, before there is any evidence of foul play.
That is what is happening today, and it is a very palpable thing that outside of certain niches like VPN providers, Monero adoption is very lackluster.
They are afraid. People hear "privacy-preserving money" and think "headaches from the state". This is a shame.
This cowardice will, unless reversed, soon enough plunge us into a world where our masters know everything about us, and can with the press of a button blacklist, deplatform, defund, and otherwise shut us up.
Applied knowledge is power, and so is information. If you know everything about everyone, you have tremendous power over everyone.
This reality must be stopped at all costs, if we want freedom and individual liberty to survive.
Surveillance coins (99.999% of them) are not the answer to this most concerning of trends.
Stand up for your rights. Use Tor, use VPNs, encrypt your email, encrypt your communications, and use privacy preserving cryptocurrency such as Monero.
Don't be afraid. There's strength in numbers.
Never forget who ultimately gives legitimacy to laws. If enough people come to think that weed ought to be legal, then in countries where the government is still somewhat under the control of the people, it will be so.
You are probably sitting at home reading this. In the privacy of your home. That should be sacred. And yet, if you decide to visit certain sites like torproject.org or getmonero.org after you read this, automated actions behind your back will be taken. Increased scrutiny will be placed on you - "who is this person, that wants to protect their privacy?
It is hard to convey in words just how evil, misguided and stifling this is. You may say I'm exaggerating, in which case only one word for you: SNOWDEN. And by the way, it was pretty damn obvious before his revelations that something of the sort was happening.
Like it is obvious now with surveillance coins (transparent blockchains).
Today it's KYC, tomorrow is automated chain analysis, the day after it's endless questions about who you're transacting with (updating the central registry based on the answers), and when your debt-ridden, socialist-leaning state finally pulls a Venezuela on you, it's open season.
Let's try to put a stop to this while we can, shall we? The beast will not grow tamer if we keep ceding ground.
The beast sometimes needs to be reminded of who's really in control.
Privacy is not a crime. It is our birthright. We have the right and the basic dignity to transact with one another, without the Eye of Staton gazing upon us.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/
It is on us, and future generations will hold us accountable, if privacy falls worldwide and the state controls every aspect of our life, and comes uninvited to ask questions under threat of force if we refuse on principle to comply.
Stop getting distracted. Educate yourself, never stop learning, and do what you can to make this world a better place.
More state control ain't the way.
submitted by xmr_karnal to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

The self appointed Crypto Police is nothing more than a front for dishonesty...

The self appointed Crypto Police is nothing more than a front for dishonesty...

The person behind Crypto Police is Paul Cliffe, aka Benj C a fake journalist profile...

The Crypto Police appears to be a self appointed group that apparently calls our bad behaviour and freely attacks people they do not like... But who are they really?
Crypto Police is actually someone called - Paul Cliffe, a serial failure and someone who jumped on the Blockchain bandwagon and missed it completely. And yes you know who?
You cannot make this stuff up...

https://preview.redd.it/j1pdxey2qcr41.png?width=891&format=png&auto=webp&s=5c90e05d33c5a16cefb2c1ed1f97c1cf5c30167a
Paul Cliffe is CEO of Block Venture Projects Ltd which is a dissolved company. He claims to be an Investor, have a BVP Digital Asset Fund and work with Family Offices. His profile suggests he fell in love with Bitcoin, but clearly struggled make money from it. As Block Ventures Project Ltd didn't last long.
Paul also masquerades on Linkedin as Benj C a journalist, with a degree in english from Cambridge and he wrote a series of pieces and articles that remain libellous and defamatory This is when I first came across him. I have never actually met Paul or done business with him but he claims to have intimate knowledge of my business affairs, finances and company activities. This is the first time I have bothered to reply in any form.
So what else does he get up too? His profiles across social media say he is CEO of Block Venture Project, worked for EFG Private bank? He is an Investment Advisor, runs a Fund, works with families, and leads compliance for EFG Bank! Well that is interesting.

https://preview.redd.it/ezb55hdltcr41.png?width=899&format=png&auto=webp&s=4aa0a5abc1ae5db49cd81ec2c79e1ccb9f76a918

Apparently Paul is a renowned speaker? An Investment and Financial Adviser who finds it necessary to operate anonymously, under fake names and accounts.. His latest post below as an Investment Adviser 22 Jan 2020...

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Block Venture Project Ltd is apparently a Fund?

According to Paul Cliffe he runs and manages a Crypto Venture Fund? But clearly you have to have real funds to deploy? A fund also has to be in a regulated jurisdiction. He claims to have investment holdings in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and BCH but his company filed no accounts, no fund accounts or valuation? So where are these investments held?
Surly someone working in compliance would know to operate a fund you must have a jurisdiction, staffed by people that are regulated as investment professional?
A Digital Asset Venture Capital fund is how Paul describes it? But the company was dissolved a few months after this post, the company remained dormant and filed no accounts?

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In a medium article Paul claims to have BVP-5 Fund? But there is no record of this. Where is this fund incorporated? Does Paul Cliffe have a record of running a fund? Which jurisdiction is the fund? Or is this more smoke and mirrors?

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An article published 10 December 2019 in BTC Peers shows Paul Cliffe still operating as Block Ventures Project Ltd, 6 months after the company was dissolved???
The article starts Don't fake it!!!

Paul Cliffe still operating as BVP although it is dissolved

Well Benj C, Crypto Police we know who you are?

Paul Cliffe's general profile explains he is an Adviser to Family Offices, and on Linkedin that he works in Compliance are indeed worth looking at closer. He worked for private banks, and apparently ran a Digital Asset Fund - BVP-5? Not mentioned?
Ask yourselves, would Family Offices deal with people who have no provenance, have no company, a last four dissolved? Family Office due diligence is extensive, and would he pass?
I know how tough and onerous this is, owning a regulated crypto exchange in Malta and having passed UBO's, numerous checks, and had to hired a full team, Compliance Officer, Money Laundering Risk Officer and sit before the MFSA for the VFAA licence. Setting up a fund is equally difficult and expensive. We also work with several families and sovereign funds and in each domain and jurisdiction one operates, your are required to present everything, included audited sources of wealth, make declarations and provide full disclosures.
Paul claims to work in Compliance, but he hides behind a fake account, uses fake names, claims to operate a fund, still presents himself at Block Venture Project Ltd although dissolved. he clearly has an odd view of what compliance really means.
Paul Cliffe is a close friend is On Yavin, that Paul uses as an attack dog, but at least Yavin although somewhat deluded, has the balls to put his names to things he accuses people of, although just like Paul doesn't present any facts. They scaremonger, make accusations, create the big headlines of Scammer, or Criminal, or Fraudster...but the dog doesn't actually follow through and bite!
Both have narcissistic tendencies, they want to draw attention to themselves. But Paul Cliffe thinks he can operate anonymously, lacking both balls and conviction to account for his accusations of peoples apparent fraudulent activities, skirting over details, offering not actual evidence at all. In efforts to damage the reputation and business activities of others.
Paul Cliffe's last business Block Venture Project Ltd ended is dissolution. It was apparently a successful digital asset fund. Along with his previous 4 companies, all dissolved. So where did the fund money go? Or is this a facade, no substance, it never existed. Are the companies dissolved because they make no money or is there a tax avoidance thing going on? Did Paul Cliffe disclose this activities to his employers, as he had to have a job, as his businesses never made any money? Does his employer know he uses fake accounts? Attacks people with baseless accusations using a fake name? In his compliance role does his employer know he claims to run an investment fund?

Paul Cliffe's latest company dissolved. His 4th.
Block Venture Project Wix website is taken down. The company incorporated Feb 2018 was under mandatory striking off 16th July 2019. I was astonished at the number of shares issued 1 billion? Odd for a start up with no business?
Here are the others dissolved businesses. When you analyse the details since 2011 non of Paul Cliffe's businesses have filed any actual accounts. In fact all business were dissolved, a mandatory strike off. What this means is the business didn't make money, was left dormant and was starting to cost Mr Cliffe money.
Paul Cliffe's business portfolio makes interesting reading.
All dissolved and no accounts filed.
Another dormant company

Funny how those involved in 'smoke and mirrors' deceit stick together...follow similar patterns, accuse others...

It's a well know strategy of reflection called 'mirroring' used by sociopaths, to accuse others of the things you are guilty of. You could say I am doing the same, however in this case I am merely replying to accusations made. And yes I had the pleasure of working with two sociopaths i ejected from my life who spend time attacking everything I do. But hey, that's life.
In a similar fashion to Cointelliegence Ltd owned by On Yavin, the various businesses remained dormant for a number of years. Cointelligence trades in the UK, but has no income it seems nor has it filed any accounts. When you search Paul Cliffe on Companies House these are the only businesses that come up, but there are no actual accounts filed? Why is that? How does Mr Cliffe make money and where does he pay his taxes? The same questions I ask of Mr Yavin? Why the secrecy? Why can we not find your accounts, given the rest of us have to comply with UK companies law?
People is glass houses and all that...
Questions remain. In the last decade how has Paul Cliffe made a living? As his fake name Benj C does he make money from being a journalist, or hiding behind Crypto Police. Hiding being the key word here. And what is his real relationship with Mr Yavin?

Facade, veneer, smoke and mirrors

So we have two people Paul Cliffe and On Yavin who present themselves as successful business people, clean as a whistle, as they take the morale high ground.
But when you poke it, you find it is a facade. Paper-thin veneer of smoke and mirrors. Of dormant companies, the optics of tax avoidance, business that make no money, no filed accounts and no taxes paid . yet they accuse others of far worse.
People are concerned if they speak up they too will be attacked. At CC Forum Max suffered the same threats and had no option but to let things get out of hand which hurt our industry and made us look bad.
Should you trust anything Paul Cliffe or come to that On Yavin write about, say or do?
I say only this.
Ask to see the evidence.
submitted by AytonNick to u/AytonNick [link] [comments]

Regulations Applied To Cryptocurrencies Around The World

Cryptocurrency Regulations
Since the launch of Bitcoin in 2009, the economic revolution of cryptocurrencies has generated a stir in its demand, causing an increase in its popularity, therefore, increasing the transactions within the blockchain and the movements of crypto in the market. Consequently, many countries have had to implement laws and regulations to control crypto transactions within their jurisdiction, note that the blockchain are decentralized and do not respond to any public financial and legal entity, causing a lack of control over the transactions within the network.
Telos Blockchain, having governance and a specific and defined arbitration system, is governed by laws and regulations that prevent many illicit actions from becoming effective, this collaborates with the cause of the countries that are implementing new regulations, becoming the ideal platform.
As the demand for crypto increases, governments apply greater regulations at a global level, taking into account that cryptocurrencies are not backed by central banks, which is why many countries believe that there should be regulations that control this type of currency since it affects its local currency directly and indirectly; despite being an asset that can bring economic benefits to its users, it also lends itself to criminal actions through the network and the crypto. Any decision or economic announcement made in each country determines negatively or positively the behavior of the price of digital currencies.
The regulators aim to prevent illicit actions in exchange houses, such as, for example, money laundering, terrorism financing, scams, payments to the dark web among others; According to the DEA, 10% of transactions with cryptocurrencies are used for illegal activities. During an interview with Lilita Infante of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), published in Bloomberg, five years ago the percentage of criminal activity in blockchain transactions was 90%, at present, this number represents 10%, which has become transactions for price speculation and not for other purposes.
In countries of the first world, governments have established regulations and laws that control the use of crypto assets. The regulations applied in China are not the same applied in the United States or Japan. Herein will be specified some regulations of countries where crypto have marked a trend.

Regulations In Japan

Asia, is one of the continents where more transactions of cryptocurrencies are made, not all countries that constitute the continent have been receptive, but this is not the case in Japan; where there are regulations in the commercial exchange of cryptocurrencies. The amendment that approved the use of cryptocurrencies in the country took effect as of 2017; under the Payment Services Act, only exchanges with representatives that reside in Japan and have offices in the country registered as part of the Japanese financial services agency may legally operate in the exchange of digital currencies.
The National Tax Agency (Dec 2017), established that all income in cryptocurrency are classified as “miscellaneous income” and are added to the total amount of other income that a citizen has; the taxes are calculated from the total amount of the incomes and then they are taxed. Investors must pay taxes at rates that range from 15% to 55%.
Japan under the Act on Prevention of Transfer of Criminal Proceeds, exchanges are required to verify the identities of customers who open accounts, keep records of transactions and notify the authorities when a suspicious transaction is recognized. Following the loss of 400 million dollars in NEM tokens in one of the most used exchanges in Japan, Coincheck, the government of Japan, according to the Library of Congress,
“The local Finance Bureau ordered Coincheck to submit a report on the same day, examined it, and issued an order of business improvement on January 29, 2018. The following day the FSA requested all cryptocurrency exchange businesses to review their system-risk management plans and report the results to the FSA. On March 2, 2018, the FSA conducted an on-site inspection of Coincheck. On March 8, 2018, the local Finance Bureaus issued business-improvement orders to seven exchange businesses, again including Coincheck. A group of cryptocurrency exchange businesses publicized their decision to form a new self-regulating body on March 2, 2018, that all registered exchange businesses will join. The body aims to obtain authorization from the FSA under the Payment Services Act.”

Regulations In China

Mainland China

In this country, both cryptocurrencies and exchange houses have been banned by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), were completely eliminated in 2017, where 173 platforms were closed by 2018. Financial institutions cannot make any transactions with Bitcoin or another digital currency. In addition, they also banned ICOs and national currency exchanges. Additionally, as of January 2018, most of the crypto miners closed operations.

Hong Kong

Unlike mainland China, there is a British ex-colony that in 1997 stopped being part of Britain and became part of the Chinese, but it was agreed that this region would be autonomous for half a century before Beijing takes full control over it. In other words, it is “one country, two systems”. This area called Hong Kong is governed by the same president of mainland China but does not comply with the same communist regulations. Unlike China, the cryptocurrencies are legal, currently, there is no legislation that regulates digital money, but they have an anti-crime organization which sanctions those who do not comply with requirements that stops cases of money laundering or fraud; Bitcoin is considered a virtual asset.
Crypto Legal Status 2019

Regulations In The USA

Currently, cryptocurrencies are not considered as legal tender, although their exchange is; the regulations will depend on the state and the federal authorities since each one has different concepts of cryptocurrencies.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) considers that tokens are another value that replaces the local currency (Dollar), unlike the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which establishes that cryptocurrencies are taxed as a property and not like a coin.
In 2015, 802 people declared and paid taxes on the cryptocurrencies profits, which means that users are evading these taxes; The IRS is apparently using a unique software that helps them locate those users who are evading taxes. This theory is promoted by Laura Walter, a certified public accountant and cryptocurrency tax specialist, who published on July 8, 2018, a document that apparently has been presented to IRS agents of the Criminal Investigation division. The document indicates that the IRS intends to serve the subpoenas to request from large technology companies (Apple, Google, Paypal among others) information on users’ download history and to confirm whether they have any application in their devices related to any cryptocurrency.
The United States is considered one of the countries with most transactions in LocalBitcoin, therefore, they have placed more regulations and laws when making this type of transactions. In 2018, the US Supreme Court debated the future of Bitcoin for the first time, and this and other cryptocurrencies are regulated under United States law.
The treasury of the United States classified in 2013, that Bitcoin is a “convertible decentralized virtual currency”. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, CFTC, classified bitcoin as a “good or asset” in September 2015.
The US government has required all monetary service companies, such as, for example, exchanges, which carry out considerable transactions in the region, to meet several requirements:
• Register in the FinCEN.
• Design an anti-money laundering (AML) program.
• Maintain record and make reports in case of suspicious activity (SAR). US FinCEN receives 1,500 SARs per month.
• Make and deliver reports of digital currency transactions (CTR).

Regulations In Canada

Currently, cryptocurrencies are not considered as legal tender, although their exchange is, depending on the province. Since 2013, the Canada Revenue Agency has taxed the cryptocurrency transactions depending on the type of activity. Canada was one of the first countries to draw up cryptocurrency legislation, which designated exchanges as “money service businesses,” where they have to follow with anti-money laundering and know-your-client requirements among others.

Regulations In The European Union

Cryptocurrencies are legal, depending on the country the regulations will change. Exchange houses are currently not regulated at the regional level. In some cases, the exchanges have to register with the regulators of each country, where they grant these companies authorizations to operate legally within the jurisdiction of each country. In addition, each jurisdiction has different tax systems, which charge citizen’s taxes from the profits of the purchase and sale of cryptocurrency that ranges from 0% -50%.

Regulations In Australia

In Australia cryptocurrencies (treated as property) and exchanges are considered legal; In 2017 the Australian Senate declared the legality of cryptocurrencies and are subject of Capital Gains Tax. The same year, they began debating statutes for anti-money laundering to the country’s cryptocurrency exchanges; by the end of the year, cryptocurrency exchanges have to register with the country’s financial intelligence agency Austrac where they have to verify the user identity and other requirements. Currently, there are no regulations for the use of digital money as a payment method.

Countries where cryptocurrency is banned or legal 2019

In conclusion…

Consequently to the economic collapses that many developing countries have been through, there is a need for a stable economic structure that is not easily influenced by its environment. The blockchain has provided solutions to this need and many users from all over the world have had to resort to this economic model, as, for example, Third World countries, which suffer inflation, exchange controls, economic regulations by their governments, among other problems. Telos Blockchain has come to give an economical alternative to the user for the best management of their assets and their patrimony with a reliable and safe model, unlike other blockchains that have fallen into fraud, scams, money laundering among others, many countries have taken action on the matter and have placed regulations and laws that control possible security flaws in this model, such as unlawful acts.
submitted by Telosfeed to Futurology [link] [comments]

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton: Statement on Cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings

https://www.sec.gov/news/public-statement/statement-clayton-2017-12-11
The world’s social media platforms and financial markets are abuzz about cryptocurrencies and “initial coin offerings” (ICOs). There are tales of fortunes made and dreamed to be made. We are hearing the familiar refrain, “this time is different.”
The cryptocurrency and ICO markets have grown rapidly. These markets are local, national and international and include an ever-broadening range of products and participants. They also present investors and other market participants with many questions, some new and some old (but in a new form), including, to list just a few:
The answers to these and other important questions often require an in-depth analysis, and the answers will differ depending on many factors. This statement provides my general views on the cryptocurrency and ICO markets[1] and is directed principally to two groups:

Considerations for Main Street Investors

A number of concerns have been raised regarding the cryptocurrency and ICO markets, including that, as they are currently operating, there is substantially less investor protection than in our traditional securities markets, with correspondingly greater opportunities for fraud and manipulation.
Investors should understand that to date no initial coin offerings have been registered with the SEC. The SEC also has not to date approved for listing and trading any exchange-traded products (such as ETFs) holding cryptocurrencies or other assets related to cryptocurrencies.[2] If any person today tells you otherwise, be especially wary.
We have issued investor alerts, bulletins and statements on initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency-related investments, including with respect to the marketing of certain offerings and investments by celebrities and others.[3] Please take a moment to read them. If you choose to invest in these products, please ask questions and demand clear answers. A list of sample questions that may be helpful is attached.
As with any other type of potential investment, if a promoter guarantees returns, if an opportunity sounds too good to be true, or if you are pressured to act quickly, please exercise extreme caution and be aware of the risk that your investment may be lost.
Please also recognize that these markets span national borders and that significant trading may occur on systems and platforms outside the United States. Your invested funds may quickly travel overseas without your knowledge. As a result, risks can be amplified, including the risk that market regulators, such as the SEC, may not be able to effectively pursue bad actors or recover funds.
To learn more about these markets and their regulation, please read the “Additional Discussion of Cryptocurrencies, ICOs and Securities Regulation” section below.

Considerations for Market Professionals

I believe that initial coin offerings – whether they represent offerings of securities or not – can be effective ways for entrepreneurs and others to raise funding, including for innovative projects. However, any such activity that involves an offering of securities must be accompanied by the important disclosures, processes and other investor protections that our securities laws require. A change in the structure of a securities offering does not change the fundamental point that when a security is being offered, our securities laws must be followed.[4] Said another way, replacing a traditional corporate interest recorded in a central ledger with an enterprise interest recorded through a blockchain entry on a distributed ledger may change the form of the transaction, but it does not change the substance.
I urge market professionals, including securities lawyers, accountants and consultants, to read closely the investigative report we released earlier this year (the “21(a) Report”)[5] and review our subsequent enforcement actions.[6] In the 21(a) Report, the Commission applied longstanding securities law principles to demonstrate that a particular token constituted an investment contract and therefore was a security under our federal securities laws. Specifically, we concluded that the token offering represented an investment of money in a common enterprise with a reasonable expectation of profits to be derived from the entrepreneurial or managerial efforts of others.
Following the issuance of the 21(a) Report, certain market professionals have attempted to highlight utility characteristics of their proposed initial coin offerings in an effort to claim that their proposed tokens or coins are not securities. Many of these assertions appear to elevate form over substance. Merely calling a token a “utility” token or structuring it to provide some utility does not prevent the token from being a security. Tokens and offerings that incorporate features and marketing efforts that emphasize the potential for profits based on the entrepreneurial or managerial efforts of others continue to contain the hallmarks of a security under U.S. law. On this and other points where the application of expertise and judgment is expected, I believe that gatekeepers and others, including securities lawyers, accountants and consultants, need to focus on their responsibilities. I urge you to be guided by the principal motivation for our registration, offering process and disclosure requirements: investor protection and, in particular, the protection of our Main Street investors.
I also caution market participants against promoting or touting the offer and sale of coins without first determining whether the securities laws apply to those actions. Selling securities generally requires a license, and experience shows that excessive touting in thinly traded and volatile markets can be an indicator of “scalping,” “pump and dump” and other manipulations and frauds. Similarly, I also caution those who operate systems and platforms that effect or facilitate transactions in these products that they may be operating unregistered exchanges or broker-dealers that are in violation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
On cryptocurrencies, I want to emphasize two points. First, while there are cryptocurrencies that do not appear to be securities, simply calling something a “currency” or a currency-based product does not mean that it is not a security. Before launching a cryptocurrency or a product with its value tied to one or more cryptocurrencies, its promoters must either (1) be able to demonstrate that the currency or product is not a security or (2) comply with applicable registration and other requirements under our securities laws. Second, brokers, dealers and other market participants that allow for payments in cryptocurrencies, allow customers to purchase cryptocurrencies on margin, or otherwise use cryptocurrencies to facilitate securities transactions should exercise particular caution, including ensuring that their cryptocurrency activities are not undermining their anti-money laundering and know-your-customer obligations.[7] As I have stated previously, these market participants should treat payments and other transactions made in cryptocurrency as if cash were being handed from one party to the other.

Additional Discussion of Cryptocurrencies, ICOs and Securities Regulation

Cryptocurrencies. Speaking broadly, cryptocurrencies purport to be items of inherent value (similar, for instance, to cash or gold) that are designed to enable purchases, sales and other financial transactions. They are intended to provide many of the same functions as long-established currencies such as the U.S. dollar, euro or Japanese yen but do not have the backing of a government or other body. Although the design and maintenance of cryptocurrencies differ, proponents of cryptocurrencies highlight various potential benefits and features of them, including (1) the ability to make transfers without an intermediary and without geographic limitation, (2) finality of settlement, (3) lower transaction costs compared to other forms of payment and (4) the ability to publicly verify transactions. Other often-touted features of cryptocurrencies include personal anonymity and the absence of government regulation or oversight. Critics of cryptocurrencies note that these features may facilitate illicit trading and financial transactions, and that some of the purported beneficial features may not prove to be available in practice.
It has been asserted that cryptocurrencies are not securities and that the offer and sale of cryptocurrencies are beyond the SEC’s jurisdiction. Whether that assertion proves correct with respect to any digital asset that is labeled as a cryptocurrency will depend on the characteristics and use of that particular asset. In any event, it is clear that, just as the SEC has a sharp focus on how U.S. dollar, euro and Japanese yen transactions affect our securities markets, we have the same interests and responsibilities with respect to cryptocurrencies. This extends, for example, to securities firms and other market participants that allow payments to be made in cryptocurrencies, set up structures to invest in or hold cryptocurrencies, or extend credit to customers to purchase or hold cryptocurrencies.
Initial Coin Offerings. Coinciding with the substantial growth in cryptocurrencies, companies and individuals increasingly have been using initial coin offerings to raise capital for their businesses and projects. Typically these offerings involve the opportunity for individual investors to exchange currency such as U.S. dollars or cryptocurrencies in return for a digital asset labeled as a coin or token.
These offerings can take many different forms, and the rights and interests a coin is purported to provide the holder can vary widely. A key question for all ICO market participants: “Is the coin or token a security?” As securities law practitioners know well, the answer depends on the facts. For example, a token that represents a participation interest in a book-of-the-month club may not implicate our securities laws, and may well be an efficient way for the club’s operators to fund the future acquisition of books and facilitate the distribution of those books to token holders. In contrast, many token offerings appear to have gone beyond this construct and are more analogous to interests in a yet-to-be-built publishing house with the authors, books and distribution networks all to come. It is especially troubling when the promoters of these offerings emphasize the secondary market trading potential of these tokens. Prospective purchasers are being sold on the potential for tokens to increase in value – with the ability to lock in those increases by reselling the tokens on a secondary market – or to otherwise profit from the tokens based on the efforts of others. These are key hallmarks of a security and a securities offering.
By and large, the structures of initial coin offerings that I have seen promoted involve the offer and sale of securities and directly implicate the securities registration requirements and other investor protection provisions of our federal securities laws. Generally speaking, these laws provide that investors deserve to know what they are investing in and the relevant risks involved.
I have asked the SEC’s Division of Enforcement to continue to police this area vigorously and recommend enforcement actions against those that conduct initial coin offerings in violation of the federal securities laws.

Conclusion

We at the SEC are committed to promoting capital formation. The technology on which cryptocurrencies and ICOs are based may prove to be disruptive, transformative and efficiency enhancing. I am confident that developments in fintech will help facilitate capital formation and provide promising investment opportunities for institutional and Main Street investors alike.
I encourage Main Street investors to be open to these opportunities, but to ask good questions, demand clear answers and apply good common sense when doing so. When advising clients, designing products and engaging in transactions, market participants and their advisers should thoughtfully consider our laws, regulations and guidance, as well as our principles-based securities law framework, which has served us well in the face of new developments for more than 80 years. I also encourage market participants and their advisers to engage with the SEC staff to aid in their analysis under the securities laws. Staff providing assistance on these matters remain available at [email protected] .

Sample Questions for Investors Considering a Cryptocurrency or ICO Investment Opportunity[8]

[1] This statement is my own and does not reflect the views of any other Commissioner or the Commission. This statement is not, and should not be taken as, a definitive discussion of applicable law, all the relevant risks with respect to these products, or a statement of my position on any particular product. Additionally, this statement is not a comment on any particular submission, in the form of a proposed rule change or otherwise, pending before the Commission.
[2] The CFTC has designated bitcoin as a commodity. Fraud and manipulation involving bitcoin traded in interstate commerce are appropriately within the purview of the CFTC, as is the regulation of commodity futures tied directly to bitcoin. That said, products linked to the value of underlying digital assets, including bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, may be structured as securities products subject to registration under the Securities Act of 1933 or the Investment Company Act of 1940.
[3] Statement on Potentially Unlawful Promotion of Initial Coin Offerings and Other Investments by Celebrities and Others (Nov. 1, 2017), available at https://www.sec.gov/news/public-statement/statement-potentially-unlawful-promotion-icos; Investor Alert: Public Companies Making ICO-Related Claims (Aug. 28, 2017), available at https://www.sec.gov/oiea/investor-alerts-and-bulletins/ia_icorelatedclaims; Investor Bulletin: Initial Coin Offerings (July 25, 2017), available at https://www.sec.gov/oiea/investor-alerts-and-bulletins/ib_coinofferings; Investor Alert: Bitcoin and Other Virtual Currency-Related Investments (May 7, 2014), available at https://www.investor.gov/additional-resources/news-alerts/alerts-bulletins/investor-alert-bitcoin-other-virtual-currency; Investor Alert: Ponzi Schemes Using Virtual Currencies (July 23, 2013), available at https://www.sec.gov/investoalerts/ia_virtualcurrencies.pdf.
[4] It is possible to conduct an ICO without triggering the SEC’s registration requirements. For example, just as with a Regulation D exempt offering to raise capital for the manufacturing of a physical product, an initial coin offering that is a security can be structured so that it qualifies for an applicable exemption from the registration requirements.
[5] Report of Investigation Pursuant to Section 21(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934: The DAO (July 25, 2017), available at https://www.sec.gov/litigation/investreport/34-81207.pdf.
[6] Press Release, Company Halts ICO After SEC Raises Registration Concerns (Dec. 11, 2017), available at https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2017-227; Press Release, SEC Emergency Action Halts ICO Scam (Dec. 4, 2017), available at https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2017-219; Press Release, SEC Exposes Two Initial Coin Offerings Purportedly Backed by Real Estate and Diamonds (Sept. 29, 2017), available at https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2017-185-0.
[7] I am particularly concerned about market participants who extend to customers credit in U.S. dollars – a relatively stable asset – to enable the purchase of cryptocurrencies, which, in recent experience, have proven to be a more volatile asset.
[8] This is not intended to represent an exhaustive list. Please also see the SEC investor bulletins, alerts and statements referenced in note 3 of this statement.
https://www.sec.gov/news/public-statement/statement-clayton-2017-12-11
submitted by modeless to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

Daily analysis of cryptocurrencies 20190911(Market index 38 — Fear state)

Daily analysis of cryptocurrencies 20190911(Market index 38 — Fear state)

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The Japan Financial Services Agency held the second round of the Encrypted Assets Roundtable, calling Libra the “alarm clock” According to the official website of the Japan Financial Services Agency on September 9, the Japanese Financial Agency revealed today that the agency had held the second round table on encrypted assets in Tokyo on September 6. The meeting brought together relevant financial regulators and international organizations to discuss and exchange experiences on the latest developments in cryptographic assets, including stable currency. The conference consisted of four main topics, namely: 1. The latest technological developments and challenges of cryptographic assets; 2. Supervision of crypto-equity trading platforms; 3. Investor protection and market integrity; 4. Participation of multiple stakeholders global cooperation. It is reported that the meeting is an invitation system and is not open to the public. At the meeting, the Japanese Finance Agency’s international deputy, Iwami, made an opening speech, saying: “Libra is like a ‘sounding alarm clock’ to all of us. The alarm bell has been ringing, which requires regulators and central bank officials to expand. Eyes, face up to the problem to face sooner or later. Many other clocks may be waiting for the next time.”
US Deputy Treasury Secretary: Libra will accept US anti-money laundering review On the 11th, Sigal Mandelker, deputy secretary of the US Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, warned on Tuesday that Libra, the proposed cryptocurrency of Facebook (FB.O), must comply with US anti-money laundering standards in order to survive, even if its headquarters is in Switzerland. Mandelker said: “What we have pointed out to them many times is that they must deploy appropriate anti-money laundering and sanctions programs to combat terrorist financing. I think they are still at a very early stage of thinking about how to meet these requirements.”
Indian parliamentarian: cryptocurrency is more complicated than the Internet in the early stages of development Indian Congressman Rajeev Chandrasekhar said in an interview that cryptocurrency is much more complicated in the early stages of its development than the Internet. The growth and innovation momentum of encryption technology is almost like a perfect storm. Speaking of India’s position on managing encryption for the public, he cautioned that the Supreme Court has ruled that privacy is a fundamental right for all Indians. In addition, he added, there is currently no legislative and legal framework for innovation to allow people to collect data from consumers and to allow consumers to agree. He deliberately confused encryption and privacy because it currently does not have a policy framework.

Encrypted project calendar(September 12, 2019)

BNB/Binance Coin: Coin Security will stop providing services to US users on Binance.com on September 12th BCN/Bytecoin: Bytecoin (BCN) will release Copper v3.6.0 on September 12t HBT/Hubii Network: Hubii Network (HBT) hubii’s “Blockchain in Practice” campaign with Microsoft will be held on September 12th at the Microsoft office in Oslo. ETC/Ethereum Classic: ETC or will perform Atlantis hard fork on September 12th

Encrypted project calendar(September 13, 2019)

VET/Vechain: VeChain (VET) VeChain CEO Sunny Lu will deliver a speech at the Public Blockchain Symposium on September 13th. WABI/Tael: The Tael (WABI) project team will release the new Tael website on September 13.

Encrypted project calendar(September 14, 2019)

BTC/Bitcoin: The European Union will launch its name, Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), which will take effect on September 14. The new law includes banks implementing “strong customer certification”. In addition, according to previous news, PSD2 can obtain some of the functions of the banking industry, providing new payment solutions for encryption products. BNB/Binance Coin: Binance Coin (BNB) Coin’s overseas team will hold its first community gathering in Jakarta, Indonesia on September 14. OKB/OKB: OKB (OKB) OKEx Africa will hold a party in Accra, Ghana, on September 14th, and the first African blockchain project supported by OKEx will be released.

Encrypted project calendar(September 15, 2019)

TRX/TRON: Wave field TRON launches side chain plan Sun Network network three-phase release WAN/Wanchain: Wanchain (WAN) will hold a 3Q community conference call in mid-September AE/Aeternity: Aeternity (AE) æternity is expected to carry out the Lima hard fork upgrade on September 15th, and the third Ethernet AE token migration hard fork will take effect. NANO/Nano: Nano (NANO) NANO founder Colin LeMahieu will attend an informal community gathering in Austin, Texas on September 15th.

Encrypted project calendar(September 16, 2019)

LINK/ChainLink: Chainlink (LINK) Oracle will host the Oracle Code One conference from September 16th to September 19th, at which it will announce the launch of 50 startups with Chainlink. MANA/Decentraland: The Decentraland (MANA) community will host the SDK hackathon on September 16. WABI/Tael: Tael (WABI) “Tael Insider” campaign will be held on the new project website on September 16.

Encrypted project calendar(September 17, 2019)

ZEN/Horizen: The official team of Horizen (ZEN) will hold a community gathering in Strasbourg, France on September 17th.

Encrypted project calendar(September 18, 2019)

OKB/OKB: OKB (OKB) On September 18th, OKEx will hold an institutional meeting in London to share the regulatory environment issues facing encryption organizations.

Encrypted project calendar(September 19, 2019)

NRG/Energi: Energi (NRG) Energi will launch a trading competition on the KuCoin platform on September 9th. By September 19th, 800 NRG will be presented to the top 470 participants. ADA/Cardano: The Cardano (ADA) project official will host the Wyoming hackathon from September 19th to 22nd. KIN/Kin: The Kin (KIN) project team will host a community gathering in Toronto on September 19. BTC/Bitcoin: The 2019 Open Core Summit will be held in San Francisco from September 19th to 20th.

Encrypted project calendar(September 20, 2019)

NULS / NULS: The NULS 2.0 Beta hackathon will be held from September 20th to September 21st, 2019. AE/Aeternity: Aeternity (AE) will hold “Cosmos One” conference in Prague, Czech Republic on September 20th

Encrypted project calendar(September 21, 2019)

BTC/Bitcoin: The 6th FINWISE Global Summit Macau will be held from September 21st to 22nd. Distributed Financial Technology (DeFi) is the main topic of this conference. OKB/OKB: OKB (OKB) OKEx The Africa Cryptour series of talks in Kenya will take place on September 21 in Nairobi.

Encrypted project calendar(September 23, 2019)

BTC/Bitcoin: Bakkt, the digital asset platform led by ICE, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange and the world’s second largest trading group, will launch a bitcoin physical delivery futures contract on September 23. EOS/EOS: EOS main network is expected to upgrade version 1.8 on September 23

Encrypted project calendar(September 24, 2019)

ENG/Enigma: Enigma (ENG) ENG main network token snapshot will end on September 24, the original start time is August 26.

Encrypted project calendar(September 26, 2019)

ADA/Cardano: The Cardano (ADA) Cardano community will host a party in Washington, DC on September 26.

Bitcoin price is slowly declining and recently broke the $10,000 support area against the US Dollar. The price is facing an uphill task and it might continue to struggle near $10,250 and $10,300. There is a major bearish trend line forming with resistance near $10,250 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken). The price could continue to slide as long as it is trading below the $10,400 pivot level in the near term. Bitcoin price is under pressure below $10,250 against the US Dollar. BTC may perhaps accelerate decline as long as there is no close above the $10,400 and $10,500 levels.
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Is Facebook Libra a Betrayal of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Vision?

The first thing that should be said about Facebook’s Libra proposal is it is thoughtful. In an industry characterized by initial coin offerings (ICO) seeking to raise funds for flimsy concepts on the basis of grossly inadequate disclosure, this is quite welcome. Whether you are enthusiastic or skeptical about the idea, at least Facebook has taken the time to think through a number of complex issues.
The white paper nevertheless raises many regulatory concerns, as well as fundamental questions about its utility and value, which are amplified by concerns about Facebook’s power and past record on privacy and security issues. The speed and intensity of the congressional reaction—with hearings scheduled for this week—illustrates that.
On the regulatory side, Facebook has designed Libra to address some of the basic problems with many previous crypto tokens. By separating the currency, Libra, from the investment token that will be used to raise capital for the project, Facebook is seeking to avoid having Libra classified as a security under U.S. (and other nations’) laws. If Libra were deemed a security, it is unlikely the project could get off the ground. While Libra is to be fully backed by a reserve of cash and cash equivalents, users of Libra will not receive any return from that reserve. Instead, any earnings will be used to pay for maintaining the system and issuing dividends to holders of the investment token.
But the security analysis may not end there. While the reserve means Libra is likely to be less volatile than other cryptocurrencies, it will still fluctuate in value as exchange rates fluctuate. The reserve may be invested in “low-volatility” assets and may be designed for “value preservation,” but so are money market funds. The fact that the association will encourage the listing of Libra on electronic exchanges and will have the power to change the composition of the reserve may raise eyebrows at the SEC. If it sees features of an investment product in the design, Libra may still have significant security law hurdles to overcome.
That potential exchange rate risk poses a tax challenge as well: Should Libra be considered property for tax purposes, like Bitcoin? Stablecoins tied to a single currency such as the U.S. dollar are not treated as property. But the tax treatment of a coin tied to a basket of fiat currencies is not clear. If Libra is deemed property under U.S. or other nations’ laws, then a user could face recognition of loss or gain on each transaction. That would severely diminish its utility as a payment mechanism.
Compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) requirements will also be a challenge. The possibility that Libra could be used for illegal payments is the surest path to uniting financial regulators around the world against it. The white paper acknowledges the importance of AML but does not provide any specific compliance plans. Will a user have the responsibility to satisfy KYC and AML standards before making any transfer? Will the Libra Association, Libra’s governing body, implement central KYC and AML clearance of any person sending or receiving Libra?
The governance of Libra raises a host of interesting questions. Some crypto enthusiasts have been quick to point out that the centralized control by the Libra Association is antithetical to the decentralized promise of blockchain technology. Others have taken the view that there is no other practical way to launch the currency. The white paper says Facebook is committed to decentralized governance in the long term, and touts the fact that Facebook will be just one of many members of the association, no doubt seeking to allay concerns about Facebook increasing its own power and influence through Libra. But I would not read too much into the announcement that many prominent companies have agreed to participate. At this stage, those commitments neither tell us when or to what degree Facebook will relinquish control, nor are they evidence of third-party verification of the project’s viability. For a company like Visa, which has $20 billion in annual revenue and spends $1 billion a year on marketing, it is presumably an easy decision to ante up $10 million to have a seat at the table as this unfolds.
Moreover, for those who hope that blockchain can reduce our reliance on large institutions, the composition of the association—which includes many financial and technological giants—is not necessarily comforting.
The reasons for organizing the association as a Swiss foundation may also be more mixed than the white paper suggests, which says it is because Switzerland has a “history of global neutrality and an openness to blockchain technology.” Crypto enthusiasts at _Fortune_’s recent Brainstorm Finance conference claimed this is evidence that the U.S. is losing the blockchain innovation race to jurisdictions like Switzerland. But the use of Swiss foundations for international nonprofit activities is not uncommon. There are tax and general corporate law advantages to using such foundations, particularly if the organization is not primarily dependent on receiving tax-deductible contributions from U.S. persons, as will be the case for Libra. In addition, the choice of Switzerland as the jurisdiction of organization does not exempt Facebook or the association from having to comply with U.S. law if the token is offered, sold, and used here.
Given the concerns about Facebook’s technological dominance and past record, it is not surprising that the Libra proposal provoked quick and strong reactions in Washington. Senate and House leaders on both sides of the aisle have scheduled hearings for mid-July, and some have called on Facebook to halt work on the proposal. Even Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell—who one year ago told Congress that the Fed did not have jurisdiction over cryptocurrencies—was quick to say the Fed will be examining the proposal closely. Regulators around the world have made similar statements.
The congressional hearings will surely examine Facebook’s objectives. Is it really to bring financial services to the unbanked people of the world, as the white paper claims? Or is it to create a new source of revenue as well as data collection? Even if that is not the primary objective, how will Facebook prevent itself from using the data generated by Libra for other purposes? Will the other financial giants who are members of the Libra Association have access to that data? And in light of its own poor privacy record, as well as the poor record of cybersecurity in the crypto industry generally, how will Facebook keep its users’ data protected and their accounts free from hacks?
Congress and financial regulators will also want to consider the long-term implications for financial stability and financial inclusion. If the goal of Libra really is financial inclusion—providing services to the unbanked, one must ask whether another mobile payments service is all that the targeted constituency needs. Don’t they also need credit and liquidity products, to tide them over between paychecks, or to help with unexpected cash needs? There are already several mobile payment services, such as WeChat and M-Pesa, some of which pay interest on deposits and provide loans. Will Facebook offer a broader range of financial services? At what point should Calibra or the Libra Association be subject to regulation as a bank or other financial intermediary?
While Facebook has said it does not intend to pay interest on Libra deposits, the financial stability consequences of significant deposits in Libra should be considered. The financial system is different than other industries because it is vulnerable to runs and panics. The federal government has provided deposit insurance on bank accounts since the 1930s to minimize the potential for bank runs. The white paper claims that the existence of the reserve “discourages ‘runs on the bank.’” But money market funds were thought to be stable because of their conservative investments also—until the fall of 2008. Now, we have taken some steps to reduce that vulnerability, though probably not enough.
Time and again, financial innovation has given rise to types of financial intermediation that operate outside the regulatory framework, often bringing lower costs, better services, or more choice. But sooner or later—as a result of a crisis or otherwise—we must reset the parameters of regulation to bring these new innovations into the fold. The challenge is whether regulators can strike a proper balance between allowing innovation and minimizing risks to financial stability at the outset.
Ten years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto proclaimed that Bitcoin could provide a peer-to-peer means to transfer value that could eliminate or at least reduce our reliance on large centralized financial intermediaries. It was an especially attractive idea in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, but one that has not been realized. Should we regard the Libra proposal as a new iteration of that vision or a perversion of it? It would be ironic, after all, if blockchain gives rise to a Frankenstein-like incarnation of the very thing it was advertised to cure—a digital currency centrally controlled and administered by one of the most powerful, domineering technology companies in the world.
Timothy Massad is a senior fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and an adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center. He was the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 2014 to 2017.### More opinion in Fortune:
Renewable energy is booming. Here’s how to keep it going
—Bernie Sanders: America is drowning in student debt. Here’s my plan to end it
—Business needs a better way to predict the next economic downturn
—Most states still enforce noncompete agreements—and it’s stifling innovation
Mike Gravel: Why the American people need their own legislature
Listen to our new audio briefing, Fortune 500 Daily
* More Details Here
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ILPT: Got tons of cash to launder and not sure how? Use cryptocurrencies this way.

Let's assume you've got a ton of cash that you don't want to report for whatever reason. In order to spend that cash on anything more than gas or groceries you're gonna need a way to launder it or give that cash a story. There are a ton of ways to do this but none that are untraceable...most money laundering schemes come with a ton of risk. But if I were properly motivated, this is how I'd do it.
First I'd create a private trust. No need to understand how private trusts work in this thread, just know that they exist in a jurisdiction foreign to the US or whatever statutory jurisdiction you exist in. Then have that trust create a public LLC in a state that allows for private member owned LLC such as New Mexico. Literally all that is recorded is the name of the trust on the articles of organization for the LLC. So ABC Trust is the member of the LLC. The members of the trust are private and unknown.
Now the LLC needs to be a legitimate cash business that wont draw any suspicion and impossible to audit. And ideally we want to convert all of our cash into cryptocurrencies. Unlike most money laundering schemes that hope to pay taxes and deposit cash into a bank. Cryptocurrencies are superior to cash in a bank for many reasons, but I'll only touch on a few here.
So the LLC creates an online peer to peer exchange. It's important that the LLC never actually touches the money because if it does then the exchange would be considered a money changing business and needs to comply with KYC and AML laws. We don't want that. So instead we set up an escrow wallet service that is nothing more than a smart self executing contract. Its computer code that executes when conditions are met. That's it. Peers come to the site to find other peers to trade with. These p2p exchanges already exist like localbitcoins.com for example.
Here's how they work. I have cash or gift cards or some other form of money and I want to buy bitcoin. You've got bitcoin and want cash. So you send your BTC to an escrow wallet on the p2p exchange. This escrow wallet wont release the funds until all parties sign. The buyer and the seller and the exchange must all sign with their private keys to send the money out of the wallet. So once your BTC is locked in the wallet, we meet up and exchange cash, or I send you the gift cards or whatever payment method we agree. Once you get the cash, you sign to verify you recieved the cash. Once I send the money, I sign to verify payment was sent. If there are no disputes between the parties then the exchange signs and the BTC is sent to my personal wallet. Easy peasy. And since the exchange never actually has control of the BTC or the cash, they don't require any knowledge of the trading parties. Just 2 anonymous characters. Now in order to not attract a lot of unwanted attention, its important to set buy limits. Even those we aren't regulated as a money changing business we don't want to allow million dollar transactions without any kind of KYC... so we comply with the $1,000 limit per day.
Now once the seller has cash they can spend it or deposit it into their bank or do whatever. Once I have BTC now I can do pretty much anything I want. First BTC is a transparent blockchain so I've got one more step to make this truly anonymous and untraceable. I'll send that BTC to an unverified crypto exchange account on Bitfinex or Binance or any number of other exchanges and I'll use that BTC to buy Monero. I wont explain how Monero (XMR) works here but trust me, it uses fancy cryptography to make it truly untraceable. There's no trail to follow. No XMR can be linked to any other party ever. So once I have XMR I can send it to any private wallet I want and no one will ever know I've got millions worth of XMR. It's as if the money disappears. If I ever want to spend it, I try to pay directly with XMR fir whatever. But if the vendor doesn't accept XMR then I simply send that XMR back to the exchange and trade it for BTC. Or I send it to my verified exchange account linked to my bank and I trade it directly for USD. I'll pay a capital gains tax on that single transaction vs paying gains on my millions.
So in order to do this at scale with our own p2p exchange LLC we need to create a dozen fake anonymous accounts all making small random trades to other legitimate sellers of BTC. Once we have gotten rid of all of our cash and now have BTC we funnel those BTC to dozens of unverified exchange accounts and wash them with XMR. Then send those XMR to our final destination wallet that no one knows about. When we want to spend it some amount, we simply funnel the XMR back into a verified and legitimate account and pay the tax on that individual transaction. Or we go back to our p2p exchange and get cash back.
That's it. That's how you hide millions of dollars without a trace. Of course I've left out a few details like how to spoof your IP address and use things like VPNs and Tor to truly access the exchange site anonymously, and you'll need to do this since you will be the one creating dozens of accounts on the exchange. Each account needs it's own IP address to appear legitimate to anyone who gets wise and wants to look closer. Other than that, you've now got millions of dollars in your pocket you can walk across any border anywhere in the world with.
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‘Initial Coin Offering: an Inaccurate Term with an Imperfect Regulator’ (some speech given at the first Computational Law & Blockchain Festival – Singapore Node on 17 March 2018 (#clbfest2018))

tl;dr – A speech given at #clbfest2018 on what initial coin offerings are, why governments all over the world eye them curiously, and how governments regulate them – if they regulate them. Also, on why brick and mortar governments regulate something so digital.
I practise cyberlaw, as I like to call it. Although this is derived from the term cyberspace, which seems to be a bit vintage. It shouldn’t be, if you ask me.
I’m here to talk about initial coin offerings, or ICOs. I shall try to do so, and then some.
To be honest, I’m not a fan of initial coin offering as a term. Neither is the MAS, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, which doesn’t call them that. The MAS calls them digital token offerings, which is so much better.
Here’s why.
Initial Public Offerings
Initial coin offering resembles the traditional term initial public offering. An initial public offering is the first time shares of a private company are offered to the public. Think of listings on the stock exchange.
Owning listed stock means you own a part of the company. You’re a bit of an entrepreneur.
But its modern-day meaning doesn’t lie so much in making us company co-owners. It lies in the monetary value of the stock which, after the listing, is tradable on the financial market.
The same applies to other funky things you can find on the financial market. Like debentures, units in business trusts or their derivatives, or to collective investment schemes. Whatever they are. Let’s not even go there. Suffice it to say they’re all rights of one party against another party or even against the general public.
But their modern-day value doesn’t lie so much in owning these rights. It lies in their tradeability as financial assets.
Stocks and debentures, business trust units or derivatives – they’re all investment objects. Also known as securities.
IPO Regulation
And because of that governments all over the world have said: wait a minute, this is an area with huge information imbalances where, at any given stage, one party – say, the company directors who issue the rights – may know so much more than the rest – say, the potential investors. If we let this happen, those who know more may exploit their information advantage. Hugely undesirable from an economic point of view.
We must make sure, the governments said, those who know more will disclose certain information beforehand so everyone can make an informed decision. Hugely desirable, economically speaking.
And so the governments regulated the initial offering of securities to the public. Among other things they made it a duty to disclose a variety of details to potential buyers. This regulation was done by way of law. Because rule of law.
Initial Coin Token Offerings
Enter Mastercoin which, arguably, held the first ICO in 2013. They offered cryptocurrency, or coin. Ethereum and others followed. They offered coin, too.
Later offerings in the young history of ICOs were not for cryptocurrency, but for other rights. For example, as part of a crowdsale, the right to participate with privileges in an online game to be developed with the money collected.
The right to be privileged in an online game isn’t coin. In the world of information technology, the right to perform an operation is represented by a token. So when someone offers a right, she offers a token. This means all cryptocurrency are tokens, but not all tokens are cryptocurrency.
That’s why it’s a bit of a misnomer to call any token offering a coin offering. That’s why I prefer the way the MAS calls it: digital token offering.
Needless to say tokens carry value, some more, some less.
Bitcoin: hodl!
But this obscure offering where they promise you the right to meet A-list sport stars face-to-face if only you buy many tokens: maybe less.
In any case, their inherent value makes tokens tradable assets. Negatively speaking, you can lose a lot of money with them.
ITO Regulation
And that’s, of course, why the MAS has got its teeth into tokens in the first place. The MAS and other regulators worldwide. Because all these new creatures, tokens, were offered unregulated. If there was any information imbalance at any stage – yeah, well, what to do.
But pretty much all regulators have found tokens have a value and are tradable. There are just different schools of thought on how to deal with it.
China has banned token trading entirely. South Korea has banned it, too, but on second thought has started reversing this ban. On the other end of the spectrum is Japan. Not only does Japan allow token trading. It has even enacted laws which accept virtual currency as payment. In Japan cryptocurrency is money. The European Union or Singapore are somewhere in the middle.
This means: if you want to offer tokens to the public, whether you call it ICO, ITO or even IPO, then you may want to check out where you offer them. If it’s in China, you won’t be allowed to do it. If you’re in Japan, you will be allowed to do it very much.
In Singapore
If you’re in Singapore, it depends on the tokens you want to offer. The MAS’ view on it is still pretty new, they’ve only published it last November. They don’t say it like that, but basically the MAS has taken a look at all the tokens out there. Then it has categorised them in three groups.
Cryptocurrency
First category. On tokens which are cryptocurrency the MAS has found: their value may rise or fall. This may attract those who treat them as an investment object. Just like some people invest in traditional currency for the same reason. But just like any traditional currency, the main purpose of cryptocurrency is to be a medium of exchange. A payment method.
The only currency we regulate as a payment method is the Singapore dollar. We do not regulate other currency as such.
Of course, if anyone uses cryptocurrency fraudulently, our general rules shall apply, including our criminal law. And let’s never forget our rules against money laundering and terrorism financing.
Utility Tokens
Second category. On this kind of token the MAS has found: their main purpose seems to be that of an entry ticket to something. They’re also called utility tokens. Yes, this may attract those who buy these tokens because they hope to sell them on with a profit. Like the guy who buys a ticket to the concert of a famous singer only to sell it on right before the show. But their main function is not to be a tradable asset.
Our rules against conning others or against money laundering and terrorism financing notwithstanding, but when a token represents the right to participate in an online game, this is nothing we regulate.
Capital Market Products
Third category, capital market products. On this third category of tokens the MAS has found: the main purpose of these tokens seems to be that of an investment. Granted, they may make their buyer a co-owner or creditor of a company. But ownership in a company or being in some other relationship with a company is really not why you buy these tokens. Rather, you buy them with a reasonable expectation of profit based significantly on the efforts of the entrepreneurs or managers who run the company.
This is just like traditional securities. Tokens in this category are securities.
We regulate securities.
Thus, if you’re in Singapore, you’re allowed to offer your tokens licence-free if your token offering is really an ICO. That is to say an offering for cryptocurrency. Or if your token is a utility token. But if the tokens you want to offer are a capital market product, then that’s regulated. Then you may have to comply with the highest standards of disclosure.
The Prospectus Requirement
This means your offer may have to be made in or be accompanied by a prospectus. This is a formal document which you will have to prepare and lodge and register with the MAS. It’s full of compulsory statements, and believe me, the average token whitepaper you see out there doesn’t cut it.
There are exemptions from the prospectus requirements. For example for small offers of securities worth less than five million Singapore dollars. Or for private placement offers made to no more than 50 persons. Or for offers made to institutional or accredited investors only.
Also, the MAS has the power to exempt a person from having to fulfil some or all prospectus requirements on a case-by-case basis. But this may happen only if the cost of compliance outweighs the need of the public for protection. And if dispensing isn’t prejudicial to the public interest.
In any case, all these exemptions come for a limited period of time or with other conditions, including advertising restrictions.
The Sandbox
For the sake of completeness I’d like to mention the sandbox. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it. The MAS offers a so-called regulatory sandbox for financial services. In the sandbox, legal and regulatory requirements are relaxed for a while. Companies admitted can experiment there.
But the MAS will only admit you to the sandbox to experiment with new or emerging technology, or with existing technology in a new way, or with a new financial service which addresses a problem or brings benefit.
At the moment there’s no one in the sandbox experimenting with token offerings. But the MAS seems to be keen. It has stated it would consider admitting token offerings, if such fundraising efforts were by companies focused on new technology that will improve the efficiency of capital markets. For example, something that can build a ‘smarter’ initial public offering. Whatever this is.
However, you don’t enter the sandbox easily. You have to apply and you have to be accepted. To be accepted you must demonstrate you’re willing and able to deploy your financial service in Singapore when play time is over. You will have to define test scenarios and expected outcomes and report on them to the MAS. Among other things.
Hence, no one should expect to be admitted to the sandbox just because they do something with token in it.
Questions
Put another way, offering securities, digital or not, is a stiff job, in Singapore or elsewhere. Because of regulatory compliance.
But we know now what kind of token is regulated in the first place and what kind of token isn’t. That’s settled then.
But, you see, I’ve highlighted the situation in Singapore. What about other places?
Yeah, about that. I have a few questions there.
Why Regulate?
First, a quick repeater. Why regulate the offering of securities again?
Okay, trivial. Any textbook on economics has it. Regulation of behaviour exists, mainly, to protect the interests of certain market participants. The offering of securities is regulated to protect worthy potential investors from getting fleeced. The information imbalance thing I’ve mentioned at the beginning. It’s economically undesirable.
Why the State?
Another question. Why regulation of security tokens by the state?
You don’t hear this one so often. That’s probably because, normally, there doesn’t seem to be a reason to ask. I mean, who else, right?
Traditionally, regulation is a service provided by the state to the citizenry. This makes perfect sense in a setting where the state is the first-choice regulator of things in our lives.
But where is there such a setting? And where is there not?
We are many in the confined space on this planet. We live in societies. Due to certain benefits that we see in it many of these societies are constituted as states. As part of our social contracts, we as individuals surrender some of our freedoms to the state. In exchange the state is to protect us. For example by way of regulation.
Where There’s a Limit, There’s a State
But regulation by the state has limits. The state is our provider of regulatory services only within its territory. As soon as we reach the borders, the state meets its limits to regulate.
In the era of globalisation, this happens really often. This is why states have come up with supranational and intergovernmental organisations and policies. Cue Irene, who’s going to speak about the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records later. UNCITRAL is the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. It’s one of these intergovernmental organisations.
However, globalisation still refers to borders in physical space or how to overcome them.
The regulation of security tokens though.
Where There’s No Limit…
Tokens are inherently cyber. Not only that, their main area of application is that limitless, incorporeal space which we’ve created and started to inhabit a while ago: cyberspace.
State territory is physical whereas cyberspace is not. We have started to inhabit cyberspace with the software part of what makes us up. But we have not stopped inhabiting physical space with our physical bodies. We just do both.
There is a fairly distinct border between these two spaces, yet many of us do not realise it well. Perhaps because it runs right through us and we cross it all the time. As a consequence, we tend to obliterate the differences between both physical space and cyberspace.
I daresay states obliterate these differences a lot. For example, they tend to forget where the social contract grants them power and authority and where it doesn’t.
Regulating Remote Areas
Although traditionally they regulate what happens in their territory, states have sought to regulate behaviour in cyberspace, too. But come to think of it what they really do is regulate behaviour in their territory. Because they can’t go beyond that.
In forbidding token trading, China regulates behaviour in China space. In allowing token trading, Japan regulates behaviour in Japan space. And in applying certain brick-and-mortar rules made for traditional securities on security tokens, Singapore regulates behaviour in Singapore space.
Supranational bodies like the European Union may go beyond that and regulate behaviour in European Union space. But that’s because its members are states which allow that.
As of today, there is no cyber state. There’s also no cyber United Nations or cyber European Union. This is why any effect of state regulation on cyberspace is but indirect.
Of course many (perhaps all) laws have, wanted or unwanted, indirect effects. But indirect effects are usually side effects. I daresay the direct effects of law are usually its main effects. But when it comes to regulating behaviour in cyberspace by states, there’s nothing but indirect effect.
As a result, to me the indirect regulation of behaviour in cyberspace by physical-space states smells like a compromise. Like a workaround, until there’s something better. Like a colonial master who insists his home laws shall apply to his colonies far away, as outlandish as the results may be.
Then Who? or What? Why Law?
As we continue to develop tokens, the blockchain technology to register them, or the smart contracts to trade them, maybe we should reflect on who – or what – could be a direct regulator of token offerings in cyberspace?
Who said regulation must be done by way of law anyway, especially by public law? Yes, it’s a great way of regulating in physical space. But in the cyberspace of today, isn’t code the more appropriate way of doing it? If so, we may want to make sure our coders are good regulators. Like we want our lawmakers to be good regulators.
Of course this leads to the greater question of who could be a better regulator of life in cyberspace in general.
Is it anyone’s own business to protect himself? Or as we spend more and more time there, is it better to delegate regulation to some entity in exchange for protection? Some form of cyber social contract?
Perhaps, due to the infinity of cyberspace, there will be no cyber states with limited territory and all that. If so, who else might be our social contract partner? Facebook or Google?
Really?
Or will there be some novel form of cyber state? With some kind of cyber government?
Call me coo-coo, but I don’t think it’s too early to ask. Because, look, with cryptocurrency and digital securities we have money and investment for cyberspace now. And the emergence of money and investment is a token of civilisation.
(First published here.)
[EDIT: grammar mistake]
submitted by Greentica to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Top trends for blockchain technology in 2018

Here are a few predictions for 2018 and beyond
  1. Higher Priced Bitcoin and Other Top Alts: Towards the end of 2018, the entire cryptocurrency space may pass $1 Trillion in total market capitalization. A larger bearish scenario would require the market a couple of years to amalgamate, recover and regain its previous momentum.
2. Higher Quality Entrepreneurs and Developers turn to Blockchain: Still many are not entirely convinced about the real uses of the blockchain, but the scenario is changing. Higher token prices will lead to more blockchain startups making highly competitive offers to developers jostling for talent, in synchronization with likes of Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook. Working on tokens and protocols will ultimately reshape the startup landscape in Silicon Valley and the rest of the world.
3.
The IRS has launched a John-Doe summons of Coinbase so now every transaction of $20,000 or more has to be reported.
FinCEN recently said that companies selling tokens are money transmitters and must comply with relevant KYC/AML laws. FinCEN had fined Ripple years ago for operating an unlicensed money services business. Several recent token projects have failed to hit their sales or fundraising goals. This year paves the for great diligence in the space – from both community self-governance and regulators. The market will continue to shift to altcoins. The trends will continue to grow when the SEC, IRS, FinCEN, and FTC come with a strict handle. The market will continue to shift to altcoins
submitted by Funnhuttc to CryptoMarkets [link] [comments]

Poloniex updated terms

Poloniex has suddenly updated their terms. There are a lot of small changes in wording that don't seam to be of much relevance, which I have not put here. Here are the paragraphs containing the bigger changes.
Under "1. ELIGIBILITY" some text has been rewritten and added.
You represent and warrant that you are not: (a) located in, under the control of, or a national or resident of any country to which the United States has embargoed goods or services, (b) identified as a "Specially Designated National,” or (c) placed on the Commerce Department's Denied Persons List. You further represent and warrant that you will not use the Site if the laws of your country prohibit you from doing so in accordance with these Terms.
Finally, you represent and warrant that you will not be using this site for any illegal activity, including but not limited to illegal gambling, money laundering, fraud, blackmail, extortion, ransoming data or the financing of terrorism, or other violent activities.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, Poloniex may not make the Services, in whole or in part, available in every market, either in its sole discretion or due to legal or regulatory requirements, depending on the User’s location.
"2. REGISTRATION AND ACCOUNT" became "2. ACCOUNT AND INITIAL FUNDING; THIRD PARTY TRANSFERS" and these paragraphs were added.
You must provide Poloniex with a valid email address to create an Account. You agree to keep your email address on file with us updated. You may withdraw your consent to receive emails by sending a withdrawal notice to Poloniex, understanding that Poloniex may suspend or terminate your ability to use the Services. You understand and agree that if Poloniex sends you an electronic communication but you do not receive it because your email address on file is incorrect or out of date, or because our email is blocked by your service provider or intercepted by your spam filter, or you are otherwise unable to receive electronic communications, Poloniex will be deemed to have provided the communication to you regardless.
Poloniex does not allow Users to exchange Tokens for money; Users can only exchange Tokens for other Tokens. In order to fund your Account and begin trading, you will need to first procure Tokens. Once procured, you must send Tokens to the address provided by Poloniex and wait for the balance to appear in your Account. It is your responsibility to ensure you send Tokens to the correct address provided for that particular Token, else your funds may never be recovered. Poloniex makes no representations or warranties regarding the amount of time that may be required to complete transfer of your Tokens from a third party wallet or other source and have such Tokens become available in your Account.
When you elect to transfer Tokens from your Account to a third party wallet or other location, it is always possible the party administering the new location may reject your transfer or that the transfer may fail due to technical or other issues affecting our platform. You agree that you shall not hold Poloniex liable for any damages arising from a rejected transfer. Poloniex reserves the right to limit the number of Accounts that any User or such User’s affiliates can open or hold.
Under "4. CONFIDENTIALITY OF THE TRANSMISSION OF INFORMATION OVER THE INTERNET" there are these new paragraphs.
Trading Tokens can be extremely risky. Each particular Token has a unique feature set that makes it more or less likely to fluctuate in value. In addition, factors beyond Poloniex’s control may affect market liquidity for a particular Token, such as regulatory activity, market manipulation, or unexplainable price volatility. Blockchain networks may go offline as a result of bugs, hard forks, or a number of other unforeseeable reasons. Poloniex does not assume the risk of losses due to trading or due to factors beyond its control regarding the viability of specific blockchain networks. As a general matter, we advise Users with limited trading experience and low risk tolerance not to engage in active trading. Speculating on the value of Tokens is high risk and Users should never trade more than they can afford to lose.
Understanding Tokens requires advanced technical knowledge. Tokens are often described in exceedingly technical language that requires a comprehensive understanding of applied cryptography and computer science in order to appreciate inherent risks. Listing of a Token on Poloniex does not indicate approval or disapproval of the underlying technology regarding any Token, and should not be used as a substitute for your own understanding of the risks specific to each Token. We give you no warranty as to the suitability of the Tokens traded under these Terms and assume no fiduciary duty in our relations with you.
You accept the risk of trading Tokens. In entering into any transaction on the Platform, you represent that you have been, are, and will be solely responsible for making your own independent appraisal and investigations into the risks of the transaction and the underlying Tokens. You represent that you have sufficient knowledge, market sophistication, professional advice and experience to make your own evaluation of the merits and risks of any transaction or any underlying Token.
You are responsible for complying with applicable law. You agree that Poloniex is not responsible for determining whether or which laws may apply to your transactions, including tax law. You are solely responsible for reporting and paying any taxes arising from your use of the Services.
You are aware of and accept the risk of operational challenges. Poloniex may experience sophisticated cyber attacks, unexpected surges in activity, or other operational or technical difficulties that may cause interruptions in the Service. You understand that the Service may experience operational issues that lead to delays on our platform. You agree to accept the risk of transaction failure resulting from unanticipated or heightened technical difficulties, including those resulting from sophisticated attacks. You agree not to hold Poloniex accountable for any related losses.
(...)
Poloniex is a regulated entity and must comply with applicable law. Applicable law, regulation, and executive orders may require Poloniex to, upon request by government agencies, freeze withdrawals or trading (or both), or provide information regarding your account. Further, our recordkeeping and customer verification procedures are subject to change at any time as required by law or industry practices. We must comply with the law and you accept any inconveniences to you or other consequences resulting from our compliance.
Users accept all consequences of sending Tokens to an address off our platform. Token transactions may not be reversible. Once you send Tokens to an address, you accept the risk that you may lose access to your Tokens indefinitely. For example, an address may have been entered incorrectly and the true owner of the address may never be discovered, or an address may belong to an entity that will not return your Tokens, or an address belongs to an entity that may return your Tokens but first requires action on your part, such as verification of your identity.
Under "6. MARGIN TRADING" we now have this.
Under certain market conditions, you may find it difficult or impossible to liquidate a position. This can occur, for example, if there is insufficient liquidity in the market or due to technical issues on our platform. Placing contingent orders, such as "stop-loss" or "stop-limit" orders, will not necessarily limit your losses to the intended amounts, since market conditions may make it impossible to execute such orders. The use of leverage can work against you as well as for you and can lead to large losses as well as gains.
All Users understand that the technology underlying Tokens is subject to change at any time, and such changes may affect your assets stored on our platform. You claim full responsibility for monitoring such technological changes and understanding their consequences for your Tokens. Users conduct all trading, margin trading, lending, and/or borrowing on their own account and Poloniex does not take any responsibility for any loss or damage incurred as a result of your use of any Services or your failure to understand the risks involved in Token use generally or your use of our Services.
"7. LIMITED LICENSE" became "7. LIMITED LICENSE; FEES" and has this new text.
In consideration for the use of the Services, you agree to pay to Poloniex the fees for completed trades, as set forth in our fee schedule, which Poloniex may revise or update in its sole discretion from time to time. You authorize Poloniex to deduct any applicable fees from your Account at the time you make a given transaction. Changes to the fee schedule are effective as of the date set forth in any revision and will apply prospectively from that date forward.
Poloniex does not, as a general rule, participate in promotions without an official pronouncement, either on our Site or elsewhere. You promise to obtain prior written approval prior to releasing any statements, written media releases, public announcements and public disclosures, including promotional or marketing materials, relating to Poloniex.
The biggest change appears to be in "16. ELECTRONIC TRADING TERMS".
This seams to be the relevant part for today's fork.
Poloniex does not own or control any of the underlying software through which blockchain networks are formed and Tokens are created and transacted. In general, the underlying software for blockchain networks tends to be open source such that anyone can use, copy, modify, and distribute it. By using the Services, you acknowledge and agree (i) that Poloniex is not responsible for operation of the underlying software and networks that support Tokens and that Poloniex makes no guarantee of functionality, security, or availability of such software and networks; and (ii) that the underlying protocols are subject to sudden changes in operating rules (a/k/a “Forks”), and that such Forks may materially affect the value, function, and/or even the name of the Tokens you store in your Account. In the event of a Fork, you agree that Poloniex may temporarily suspend the Services (with or without advance notice to you) and that Poloniex may, in its sole discretion, (a) configure or reconfigure its systems or (b) decide not to support (or cease supporting) the Forked network entirely, provided, however, that you will have an opportunity to withdraw Tokens on at least one of still existant underlying networks. You acknowledge and agree that Poloniex assumes absolutely no responsibility whatsoever in respect of any underlying software protocols, whether Forked or not.
Poloniex may delist a Token at any time in its sole discretion based on a number of factors, one of which may include changes in a given Token’s characteristics after Poloniex has listed the Token.
A transaction on the Platform may fail for several reasons, including but not limited to change in seller prices, insufficient margin, or unanticipated technical difficulties. We make no representation or warrant that any transaction will be executed properly. Poloniex is under no circumstances liable for any loss or injury suffered by a failure of a transaction to complete properly or in a timely manner. Further, Poloniex is in no way responsible for notifying you of a transaction failure. The User has full responsibility to determine and inquire into the failure of any transaction the User initiates.
In the event that you receive any data, information, or software through our Services other than that which you are entitled to receive pursuant to these Terms, you will immediately notify us and will not use, in any way whatsoever, such data, information, or software. If you request a withdrawal of Tokens and we cannot comply with it without closing some part of your open positions, we will not comply with the request until you have closed sufficient positions to allow you to make the withdrawal.
Poloniex may refuse to execute a trade, impose trade amount limits or restrictions at any time in its sole discretion without notice. Specifically, Poloniex reserves the right to refuse to process, or the right to cancel or reverse, any transaction or disable a User’s deposit address on the Platform where Poloniex suspects the transaction involves money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud, or any other type of crime or if Poloniex suspects the transaction relates to a prohibited use as stated in our Terms, including transactions involving the opening of an Account and subsequent closure without any actual trading occurring. Poloniex provides deposit Accounts to enable trading using the Services and does not allow Users to use such Accounts as a web wallet or address changing service. We reserve the right to halt deposit activity at our sole discretion. While Poloniex may in its discretion reverse a trade, a User may not change, withdraw, or cancel its authorization to make a transaction, except with respect to partially filled orders.
Poloniex may correct, reverse, or cancel any trade impacted by an error in processing your purchase or otherwise. Your remedy in the event of an error will be limited. You may seek to cancel your order or obtain a refund of any amounts charged to you, although we cannot guarantee such cancellations or refunds will always be possible.
Poloniex provides its Users with a platform that allows their orders to be matched with the orders of other Users. Orders may be partially filled or may be filled by a number of orders, depending on the trading activity at the time an order is placed.
The Tokens that are available for purchase through the Services may be subject to high or low transaction volume, liquidity, and volatility at any time for potentially extended periods. You acknowledge that while we are using commercially reasonable methods to provide exchange rate information to you through our Services, the exchange rate information we provide may differ from prevailing exchange rates made available by third parties. Similarly, the actual market rate at the time of your trade may be different from the indicated prevailing rate depending on the velocity of trading in the Tokens involved in your trade. You agree that Poloniex is not liable for price fluctuations or differences in actual versus indicated rates.
And finally, under "23. ARBITRATION" they added.
This is the part that may cause concern to those who are afraid Poloniex is insolvent.
PLEASE READ THIS SECTION CAREFULLY – IT MAY SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECT YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS, INCLUDING YOUR RIGHT TO FILE A LAWSUIT IN COURT AND TO HAVE A JURY HEAR YOUR CLAIMS.
To expedite and control the cost of disputes, you and we agree that any legal or equitable claim arising out of or relating to your use of the Services or these Terms, including the formation, validity, enforceability, scope, or applicability of these Terms, including this Section 23 (referred to as a “Claim”) will be resolved as follows
(...)
ADDITIONALLY, YOU HEREBY WAIVE YOUR RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT OR CLASS-WIDE ARBITRATION. We each agree that any dispute resolution proceedings will be conducted only on an individual basis and not in a class, consolidated or representative action. If for any reason a claim proceeds in court rather than in arbitration, we each waive any right to a jury trial. If a court or federal regulator with oversight over Poloniex decides that applicable law precludes enforcement of any of this section’s limitations as to a particular claim for relief, then that claim (and only that claim) must be severed from the arbitration and may be brought in court, subject to your and Poloniex's right to appeal the court's decision. All other claims will be arbitrated.
You can read the current terms here and the old terms in the web archive
TL;DR: https://www.reddit.com/BitcoinMarkets/comments/6que0poloniex_just_suddenly_changed_their_terms_and/dl041j0/
submitted by daniel-sousa-me to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

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