Trump Forbade Americans to Buy Venezuelan Cryptocurrency

The administration of the US President Donald Trump banned Americans from buying Venezuelan digital currency Petro on Monday, the 19th of March. In a separate case, the administration also applied sanctions against four current and former high-ranking Venezuelan officials accused of corruption and mismanagement.

Trump issued a decree prohibiting US citizens from participating in transactions involving the use of it. He also authorized the US Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin to issue additional rules to enforce this order.
Diosdado Cabello, the influential vice-president of the ruling Socialist Party, accused “Emperor Trump” in an attempt to extend the financial “blockade” of Venezuela.

“It’s not going to be easy to execute” Cabello said in a press conference in Caracas. “But that’s what the imperialists do, they try to instill fear and scare the free people of the world.”

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro issued a statement saying that unilateral sanctions violate the UN Charter “and the most essential principles of international law.” He said that charges of a “crime against humanity” can be submitted to the World Court.

Maduro created the digital currency Petro in an attempt to save the economy of his country, where this year’s inflation is estimated at 13000%.

Trump’s ban will prevent the plans of the Maduro government to increase foreign exchange reserves by means of a digital token. The offer of Venezuela is designed to receive funds in US dollars and euros, and the ban on the United States will complicate the flow of foreign exchange funds to Venezuela.

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Circle: Even Though There Was A Bearish Market Last Year, The Business Is Growing

The crypto project backed by Goldman Sachs is opening about its current situation of the company. The CEO of Circle, Jeremy Allaire, gave a small interview to Fortune where he talked how bearish market influenced its profit last year.

Let us recall what happened with crypto market in 2018. The beginning of 2018 was quite pleasant, the Bitcoin price accounted for approx. $13,000. Later, the prices of cryptocurrencies began falling down. The fall in prices in the first half of 2018 was quite predictable, as nothing lasts forever. Some crypto experts, like Tom Lee and John McAfee,  even tried to predict the crypto price which would have been by the end of December, however, their predictions were not correct, which caused dissatisfaction investors who invest money in the crypto market.

In the second half of 2018, the price of all cryptocurrencies started to drop significantly. The crypto’s doomsday is considered to be November 15, when Bitcoin Cash had a hard fork, which caused crypto to go down. At the end of the year, the price of Bitcoin reached its lowest minimum of $3400 since 2014.

How did it influence the global crypto finance company? The chief executive of Circle assured everyone that business goes well.

“We had very significant growth year last year, even though there was a crypto bear market,” he said.

In addition, he mentioned that the total company’s revenue and customer base had grown last year.

Allaire also shared Circle’s plans for future. The company has recently acquired a crowdfunding site – SeedInvest, which helps company to issue securities. The CEO emphasized that tokenized securities would become a bigger part of Circle’s business in the near future.

“We’re going to look at ways that we can bring the benefits of digital assets, crypto technologies, and blockchains into this whole area of issuing securities over the internet.”

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Japan Released New Rules In Crypto Margin Trading

Japan is a progressive country in terms of economy, as well as cryptocurrency regulation. This time Japanese financial authorities have released a new set of rules regarding crypto margin trading.

Margin trading is a strategy that allows a trader to buy more stocks than you can afford on money borrowed from a broker (similar to loan).

The Cabinet of Japan approved draft amendments to Japanese financial instruments and payment services laws on Friday. In fact, they will limit leverage in virtual currency margin trading at two to four times initial deposits. Such restrictions are a common practice in foreign exchange trading.

All crypto exchanges throughout the country are bound to get governmental registration. This type of registration will differ from that adopted in 2017, which was mostly focus on preventing money laundering. However, these rules make exchange operators be monitored in a way similar to securities traders to protect investors.

These crypto exchange operators will be classified into categories to differentiate those who involved in margin trading from those who issued ICO tokens. This will help to distinguish unsavory offerings that are similar to frauds or Ponzi schemes and protect investors from losing their money. The new rules will come into force in April 2020. All margin cryptocurrency exchange operators have to be registered within 18 months of that date.

Such a time limit is set to take down unregistered “quasi-operators” which conduct operations without governmental approval. A senior FSA official said:

“We intend to motivate operators to do what they can to become registered.”

We remind you

Japan’s Biggest Bank Is Not Going To Create Its Own Cryptocurrency: Fake News Is Not Confirmed

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American Mining Company Riot Blockchain To Launch Crypto Exchange In The USA

According to a SEC filing, U.S.-based Bitcoin mining company Riot Blockchain plans to launch a crypto exchange by the end of July 2019.

Exchange Details and Current Situation

Riot Blockchain has partnered with SynapseFI, a major software company, and invested approx. $250,000 in the project. It has also form a special subsidiary to operate the exchange. The budget of the exchange is expected to be more than $2 million after its launch.

The software company will take care of banking services of the exchange, the provided API will connect Riot Blockchain’s accounts to other American banking institutions. Moreover, SynapseFI will track locations and identities of customers to “prevent fraud and improper use of its RiotX exchange.”

The SEC’s filing reads:

“SynapseFi’s API will enable to Company to know where the user is when accessing RiotX, thereby enabling the Company to prevent a user from Montana, a state where the exchange of digital currencies is permitted, from traveling to neighboring Wyoming, where the exchange of digital currencies is not permitted, and using RiotX in the prohibited jurisdiction.”

The exchange will be available in 48 states (without Hawaii and Wyoming) by December 2019. RiotX has already been provided a license in five states.

Rumours of Launching Before Official Statement

Back in March 2018, there were rumours based on facts that Riot Blockchain planned to launch crypto exchange since the company acquired Logical Brokerage Corp.. The public filing published at the same time stated that the company wanted to investigate futures brokerage operations and details of launching a digital currency exchange.

In November 2018, RiotX “entered into a Master Services Agreement with Shift Markets, Ltd. to provide RiotX with its crypto exchange platform. These services will enable RiotX to further execute its plans to launch a U.S. focused cryptocurrency exchange.

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Winklevoss’ Brothers Said “Crypto Doesn’t Need Rules”, What About Crypto Companies?

Winklevoss twins are one of the most influential crypto personalities in the modern world. They are multi-millionaires with their own exchange – Gemini – and own dollar-pegged Gemini coin. It is no secret that the brothers have supported crypto since the beginning of it, but now they promote crypto regulation which confronts with the idea of crypto as well as with their billboard slogans. What happened?

Crypto Needs Or Doesn’t Need Rules

The twins are known for deconstructing the stereotypes and the myths that surround crypto in the public. They want to change the image of crypto that has been plagued with scams, hacks, frauds. However, their billboard slogan “Crypto Needs Rules” was criticized by Bitcoin users as the main meaning of crypto is to transfer money or digital assets without having to trust anyone.

Source: Bitcoinist

Cameron Winklevoss said that some people wondered why Gemini believes that the crypto revolution needs rules. He responded:

“Crypto doesn’t need rules, but the companies built on top of it do.”

Cameron also cited a part of report regarding to the defunct QuadrigaCX exchange which lost millions of dollars.

In order to prevent cases like QuadrigaCX and Mt.Gox, the latter’s CEO was sentenced to 2 years and six months in prison, the companies that provide custodial services of customers assets should be regulated. Furthermore, Winklevoss pointed out that these cases as well as other incidents could have been preventable if there was a proper management of the company, in particular, “proper rules and thoughtful regulation”.

We remind you

The Gemini Dollar of Winklevoss Brothers Is Officially Approved

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It Was Offered to Ban Anonymous Cryptocurrencies in Texas

A bill was introduced in Texas which demands an identification of a person who sends or receives cryptocurrencies. However, the bill specifies that if a user has already been using a verified identity digital currency then there is no need to give any person’s verification to the government.

If approved, the bill will take effect September 1, 2019.

The community took the idea not very good.

Having mentioned the bill, Andrew Hinkes, the co-founder and general lawyer of Athena Blockchain, brought up some significant issues:

Texas is not the only example of cryptocurrencies confidentiality infringement. Recently in their report dedicated to usage of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology the French National Assembly’s Finance Committee offered total ban on cryptocurrencies oriented on confidentiality such as Monero and Zcash.

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Bahrain Issued Regulations Regarding To Crypto Assets Becoming The First Arab Country To Do So

Arab world is the last part of the world which joined the crypto community. Its first crypto exchange was established in 2018 while other worldwide exchange began operating back in 2014. However, the Arab countries, in compare to other nations, decided to approach this issue with the utmost responsibility.

The island country in Persian Gulf – Bahrain – has completed the final version of draft which regulates cryptocurrency in the country, thereby the nation has become the first Arab country to issue such a document. According to a statement made by the Central Bank, the Kingdom is now a safe place to run business crypto assets.

The director of Banking Supervision, Khalid Hamid, says:

“The CBB’s introduction of the rules relating to crypto-assets is in line with its goal to develop a comprehensive rules for the FinTech eco-system supporting Bahrain’s position as a leading financial hub in the MENA region.”

By now, the original text of regulations is not available yet. However, it is known that to conduct crypto operations, one should ensure the education.

We also want to remind you that Bahrain’s government is also interested in blockchain technology. The Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs, Dr. Abdulhussain Mirza, has claimed several times that blockchain technology is all about safety and progress. During the SmartSec Cyber Security and Blockchain Conference 2018, the Minister said:

“Technologies such as blockchain take us a huge step forward in finding a secure way to facilitate transactions. Blockchain’s ability to protect user’s data is a true mark of progress, because it can be applied in different companies from different industries including cybersecurity.”

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