The week’s developments in the world of cryptocurrencies – 11 Nov 2019

Corners of Wall Street remain undeterred by crypto crash

Even as cryptocurrencies collapse, mainstream companies are continuing to experiment with digital currencies, tokens and blockchain technology. Fidelity now offers a business facilitate crypto trading and Nasdaq also plans to list bitcoin futures. Proponents of crypto believe that selling a fraction of the value of an asset that can be freely traded with an ownership recorded on a ledger, makes it more liquid and cheaper. The SEC has ruled that ICOs can constitute securities offerings and the FCA is also assessing the possible regulation of cryptocurrencies. Claire Cummings, a lawyer at Cummings in London, said the uncertainty over the regulation would deter some retail investors, for whom $10,000 was still a lot of money. Without it, they would be reliant on the technology not being corrupted or hacked, she said.

(Source: “Corners of Wall Street remain undeterred by crypto crash”, Financial Times, available at https://www.ft.com/content/03cd69ba-f22e-11e8-9623-d7f9881e729f).

After recent SEC actions, experts say ICO party is truly over

The SEC has recently compelled two crypto start-ups to register their token sales as security offerings. The SEC announced it had settled charges with CarrierEQ Inc., otherwise known as Airfox, and Paragon Coin Inc., wherein both start-ups would register their tokens as securities, refund investors, pay penalties of $250,000 and file periodic statements with the regulator for at least the next year. Further, the SEC issued a statement on digital asset securities issuance and trading as a “path to compliance” with federal securities laws.

(Source: “After recent SEC actions, experts say ICO party is truly over”, available at https://www.coindesk.com/after-fridays-sec-actions-experts-say-ico-party-is-truly-over).

Japanese shipping and logistics company set to launch a stablecoin

Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), a shipping and logistics company based in Japan will launch a digital currency soon, the purpose of which is to enable it to pay its crew members for their services. The cryptocurrency will be a stablecoin, pegged against the US dollar. NYK hopes that its cryptocurrency will be a benefit to its crew, who are based in different countries but are currently compensated in Japanese Yen, by making the currency transfer process faster and less expensive.

(Source: “Japanese Shipping and Logistics Company Set to Launch a Stablecoin”, available at https://www.theccpress.com/japanese-shipping-and-logistics-company-set-to-launch-a-stablecoin/).

Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google staffers that went full crypto

Some of the brightest minds continue move from the relatively safe secure bug tech Silicon Valley giants in to crypto-backed enterprises. As we see big corporate mindset and experience being implemented in these crypto firms we are likely to see more robust scalable offerings. Silicon Valley tech talent are leaving their jobs at notable tech companies to take a chance on blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Professionals have left Facebook, Apple, Netflix and Google in order to join crypto companies such as Ripple and Consensys Labs. The interviewees in the article all mentioned a desire to participate in the transformative power of blockchain and cryptocurrencies as their motivation.

(Source: “Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google staffers that went full crypto”, available at https://www.coindesk.com/7-facebook-amazon-apple-netflix-and-google-staffers-that-went-full-crypto).

Major Swiss Stock Exchange SIX Lists World’s First Multi-Crypto ETP Amidst Market Collapse

From Europe’s sixth biggest stock exchange we now have an exchange-traded product that offers indexed exposure to a basket of crypto assets. This new offering ought to allow traditional asset managers to gain exposure more easily to this new asset class. Switzerland’s principal stock exchange SIX Swiss Exchange will list the world’s first multi-crypto-based exchange-traded product (ETP). Backed by the Swiss start up Amun AG, the first global multi-crypto ETP will be listed under index HODL, and will track five major cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC). Amun’s co-founder and chief executive Hany Rashwan believes this will provide a well-regulated tool for trading cryptocurrencies for both institutional and retail investors that are limited in the field by crypto-unfriendly environments.

(Source: “Major Swiss Stock Exchange SIX Lists World’s First Multi-Crypto ETP Amidst Market Collapse”, available at https://cointelegraph.com/news/major-swiss-stock-exchange-six-lists-the-worlds-first-crypto-etp-amidst-market-collapse/).

 

Fieldfisher and TeamBlockchain launch Blockchain and Crypto Telephone Surgery to offer rapid bespoke legal advice to businesses in the cryptocurrency and digital payment platforms sector

International law firm Fieldfisher and consultancy TeamBlockchain have launched a Blockchain and Crypto Telephone Surgery for companies looking for expert professional guidance on cryptocurrency and digital payments. Focusing primarily on issues affecting tokenisation and distributed ledger financial technologies (fintech), the surgery will also offer advice and insights on the wider fintech universe. Fieldfisher partners and TeamBlockchain consultants will give advice on different regulatory and legal issues in the context of specific industries, supported by relevant, real life examples of how organisations are using blockchain and the increasing role of cryptocurrency in digital business. Surgery sessions will last between 40 minutes, in the form of one-on-one appointments or small group discussions, as clients prefer. Sessions will be interactive, enabling participants to get a better understanding of the subjects under discussion. Clients will be asked to provide some prior briefing on their sector of interest, objectives and concerns in order to maximise the benefits they receive from surgery appointments. This type of consultative support has proved helpful for professional advisors and their clients, who want to be more active in the cryptocurrency and blockchain sectors but lack the in-house skills to realise their ambitions.

Fieldfisher and TeamBlockchain’s experts are independent advisors who provide clients with honest, pragmatic advice on a range of fintech issues day-to-day. These surgeries are designed to provide, swift, tailored advice on an as-need, no obligation basis, with follow-up support available as required. The cost of each surgery is £500 +VAT and includes a pre-briefing, phone consultation and follow-up materials. For more information, please contact one of the Surgery Team: claire.cummings@cummingslaw.com; tim.bird@fieldfisher.com; and jonny.fry@teamblockchain.net.

Feedback and requests

If there are any topics you’d like to see covered in next week’s version of Crypto Bytes or if you have any feedback on this or past versions of Crypto Bytes, please contact Claire Cummings at Claire.Cummings@cummingslaw.com.

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