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‘Crypto Dad’ Pens Heartfelt Open Letter Ahead of CFTC Exit

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By CCN: J. Christopher Giancarlo, Chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), is preparing to step aside after five years on the job. The regulator, lovingly nicknamed “Crypto Dad,” penned a heartfelt open letter to the blockchain world ahead of his exit from the agency.

The CFTC Has Always Been More Crypto-Friendly Than The SEC

The CFTC, which regulates commodities and futures, has adopted a more accommodative stance towards crypto than the more guarded SEC. Having approved the launch of bitcoin futures contracts at the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and the CME Group in December 2017, it opened the doors for institutional exposure to digital currencies.

Although the CBOE decided to cease listing bitcoin futures beyond currently open contracts that run through to June, some pundits have claimed the lack of futures interest signaled the end of the bear market.

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Meanwhile… Over at the SEC

The SEC has continually denied bitcoin ETF applications. Its signature stamp of disapproval came last July, when it ditched nine proposals in one fell swoop. Despite the dissenting voice of Crypto Mom, Hester M. Peirce, the Jay Clayton-led Securities and Exchange Commission has proven a bigger hurdle for crypto’s mainstreamification.

At the heart of the SEC’s concern is the size of the market (too small) and the level of manipulation (too much). Though many suggest ETFs are a matter of if, and not when, the SEC’s approach to the community has been anything but reassuring.

Then There Was Crypto Dad

Christopher Giancarlo is affectionately known as Crypto Dad. In his farewell letter to the crypto community, he outlined some of his views about crypto and the role the CFTC should play in it. He argues that a regulator cannot be effective without keeping abreast of technological change:

“It has been a core belief during my tenure as Chairman that in order for the CFTC to remain an effective regulator, it must keep pace with these changes, or our regulations will become outdated and ineffective. I am pleased to say that over the last two years, the CFTC has been no bystander to the digitization of modern markets.”

That position is in stark contrast to the SEC’s application of the Howey Test – of 1946 – to ICO tokens. Giancarlo’s approach is no less considered. But his agency has been incredibly accommodative of new technologies, because, in his words:

“Just as our lives are being transformed, so the world’s trading markets are going through the same digital revolution from analog to digital, from human to algorithmic trading and from stand-alone centers to interconnected trading webs. Emerging digital technologies are impacting trading markets and the entire financial landscape with far-ranging implications for capital formation and risk transfer.”

Giancarlo Set to Remain a Fondly Remembered Figure

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Giancarlo will be fondly remembered by the community that endowed him the nickname Crypto Dad. If his parting words are anything to go by, crypto has a bright future ahead of it, and authorities less to fear from it than they may think:

“I feel fortunate to have been at the helm during this time to be a voice in government to quiet some of the fears and calls to dismiss or squash this new technology.”

Giancarlo sees similarities between the disruption cryptocurrency and DLT are bringing to finance and markets today and that which the Renaissance period brought to European culture, arts, and life.

Let’s hope that sentiment echoes through the corridors of power.

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EOS Price Prediction Today: Daily (EOS) Value Forecast – May 20

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34-Million-EOS-Officially-Burned

34-Million-EOS-Officially-Burned

  • On the upside, if the price is sustained above the EMAs, the bulls are likely to retest or break the $6.60 and $6.80 resistance levels.
  • However, if the bulls fail to break the resistance levels, the crypto’s price is likely to fall back to the range bound zone.

EOS/USD Medium-term Trend: Ranging

  • Resistance levels: $ 6.80, $7.0, $7.20.
  • Support levels: $6.20, $6, $5.80.

Last week the price of EOS was in a bullish trend. On May 16, the crypto’s price tested a high of $6.80 and was resisted. The market fell and was in a downward correction to the support level at $5.80 price level. On May 19, the crypto’s price was in a bullish move but was resisted at the $6.60 price level. The crypto’s price is above the 12-day EMA and the 26-day EMA which indicates that price is likely to rise.

On the upside, if the price is sustained above the EMAs, the bulls are likely to retest or break the $6.50 and $6.80 resistance levels. However, if the bulls fail to break the resistance levels, the crypto’s price is likely to fall back to the range bound zone. Meanwhile, the market is at the overbought region of the daily stochastic but below the 80% which indicates that price is in a bearish momentum and a sell signal.

EOS/USD Short-term Trend: Ranging

On the 1-hour chart, the price of EOS is in a bearish trend zone. On May 19, the crypto’s price reached a high of $6.52 but was resisted. The crypto’s price fell and was in a downward correction. The bears have broken the 0.236, 0382 and the 0.50 Fib. retracement levels.

The price is in a downtrend zone but the 0.618 retracement level is likely to hold. In other words, the price may fall to the $6.19 price level. Meanwhile, the market has reached the oversold region of the daily stochastic but below the 40% range. This indicates that the price of EOS is in a bearish momentum and sell signal.

The views and opinions expressed here do not reflect that of BitcoinExchangeGuide.com and do not constitute financial advice. Always do your own research.

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Bitcoin Has Soared Above Intrinsic Value During Latest Rally, JPM Strategists Claim

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Strategists from United States banking giant JPMorgan Chase (JPM) have argued that bitcoin (BTC)’s recent rally has ostensibly soared past what they calculate to be its intrinsic value. Their analysis was reported by Bloomberg on May 20.

The strategists — who reportedly include JPMorgan global market strategist Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou —  judge that the top coin has recently been trading in a way that mirrors its late 2017 rally, which preceded a protracted price slump.

To ascertain the coin’s intrinsic value, the strategists reportedly analyzed bitcoin as a commodity and calculated its cost of production based on parameters such as estimated computational power, electricity costs and hardware energy efficiency, Bloomberg notes. They reportedly stated:

“Over the past few days, the actual price has moved sharply over marginal cost. This divergence between actual and intrinsic values carries some echoes of the spike higher in late 2017, and at the time this divergence was resolved mostly by a reduction in actual prices.”

Bitcoin — which has seen a renewed lease of life since April — has traded as high as almost $8,300 within the last week — having traded sideways below $5,000 throughout February and March. In mid-December 2018, the top coin had traded below the $3,300 mark — with its current price point thus representing a roughly 150% gain over its bear market lows.

Bitcoin’s 3-month chart, Feb. 20 — May 20 2019

Bitcoin’s 3-month chart, Feb. 20 — May 20 2019. Source: CoinMarketCap

In an apparent qualification of their analysis, JPMorgan’s strategist are cited by Bloomberg as having noted that:

“Defining an intrinsic or fair value for any cryptocurrency is clearly challenging. Indeed, views range from some researchers arguing that it has no fundamental value, to others estimating fair values well in excess of current prices.”

As reported, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has long adopted a sceptical stance toward decentralized cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, even as he steers the megabank toward launching its own blockchain-powered native settlement digital asset, JPM Coin.

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Ethereum-Based Stock Exchange Plans First Company Listing in June

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SprinkleXchange, a stock exchange built on ethereum, is reportedly listing its first company next month.

Sprinkle Group CEO Alexander Wallin told Bloomberg in an interview published Friday, “We have the luxury of being first with this, but we’re aware that it will become a crowded market.”

The Bahrain-based platform, operating within a regulatory sandbox created by the country’s central bank, uses a decentralized clearing and settlement system that uses automation in order to reduce time and cost. Prices will be set using the Dutch auction method, with SprinkleXchange taking a 1 percent fee.

Wallin told the news source that the cost of listing would be similar to on a Swedish stock exchange, but “you get global access and we can show that you also get better liquidity.”

SprinkleXchange is aiming to attract companies with a market capitalization of $20-$200 million. It expects to list 35 companies over the next 12 months and as many as 1,000 over the next few years. As well as listed stocks, the firm will offer trading in cryptocurrencies and also plans to add exchange-traded funds in the future.

A number of traditional stock exchanges are currently moving to integrate blockchain tech in their platforms. Switzerland’s top stock exchange, SIX, for instance, is expected to roll out a blockchain platform to speed up trading later this year. While the Gibraltar Stock Exchange recently started allowing the listing of tokenized securities.

The Australian Securities Exchange is notably rebuilding its ageing CHESS settlement platform using blockchain tech provided by Digital Asset. And other stock exchanges, including in Jamaica, Thailand and Spain, have also announced initiatives around blockchain and crypto assets.

Bahrain image via Shutterstock 

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Terrified Central Bank Attempts to Arrest Myanmar’s Bitcoin Binge

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By CCN: An emerging economy which expects to attract $5.8 billion worth of Foreign Direct Investments is belittling its goals with an anti-technology stance.

Myanmar is the latest developing country that is hinting to shut doors in the face of bitcoin, a decade-old global cryptocurrency which proposes to replace banks with a decentralized network of transaction validators and bookkeepers. Anybody with a decent internet connection can participate in the bitcoin economy, which further makes it an attractive asset for people with limited gateways to participate in global economies.

But, to the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM), bitcoin is more a liability than an opportunity. The central bank earlier this month announced that it does not recognize bitcoin as money, stating that it would not allow Myanmarese financial institutions to accept or facilitate its transactions. The same ruling applied to cryptocurrencies having properties as that of bitcoin.

Bitcoin Adoption Booming in Myanmar

MMTimes.com reports that Myanmarese investors have been increasing their stakes in bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies lately. Local advertising for bitcoin exchanges on social media is at its peak, which is prompting more people to board the bitcoin bandwagon. CBM fears that the process might shift a considerable capital from Myanmar’s own markets to an industry that is not theirs, which is why the central bank is discouraging people from investing in or using bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies.

U Aung Aung, an IT professional working at a multination company in Yangon, told MMTimes that Myanmarese people like him face huge restriction on banking. He admitted purchasing some $20 worth of BTC back in 2017 after finding the cryptocurrency appealing for conducting flawless ‘global e-commerce and aid.”

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There are millions of people like Aung in the world that have entered the bitcoin economy for its underlying technological potential. The frenzy went to its peak during December 2017, when the bitcoin market valuation jumped to as high as $313.89 billion, almost five times the current GDP of Myanmar. A massive downside correction in 2018 brought the bitcoin rates almost 85-percent down. Nevertheless, the market now stands near $144 billion owing to an increase in institutional interest in first-tier countries like the US, Singapore, Japan, and Switzerland.

The Choice Between Doing an India or a Japan

CBM is now left with two options: either it can restrict people from investing in bitcoin like the Reserve Bank of India did, or it can take a proactive approach like Japan or Switzerland to make Myanmar a global hub for bitcoin-related developments.

U Nyein Chan Soe Win, the chief executive of digital commerce platform Get Myanmar, CBM does not have constitutional backing to announce an outright ban on cryptocurrencies. It is likely for the lawmakers to first define bitcoin in legal books before pursuing action against or in favor of the cryptocurrency.

“Before making crypto illegal, its impact on the local currency and compatibility with existing policies should first be analyzed and discussed,” he told MMTimes.com.

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Cryptocurrencies Pose No Threat to Financial Stability: EU Central Bank

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The European Central Bank (ECB) has said that cryptocurrencies are currently not a threat to financial stability in the euro zone.

In its latest paper on the subject, published Friday, the ECB said the combined value of crypto-assets is small relative to the financial system, and “linkages” to the financial sector are still limited. Further, there are banks in the EU do not appear to have “systemically relevant” holdings of crypto-assets.

The ECB also said cryptocurrencies do not perform the functions of money. A “very low” number of merchants currently allow buying of goods and services with bitcoin, and there is no “tangible impact on the real economy” or on monetary policy.

The central bank says:

“The high price volatility of crypto-assets, the absence of central bank backing and the limited acceptance among merchants prevent crypto-assets from being currently used as substitutes for cash and deposits, as well as making it very difficult for crypto-assets to fulfil the characteristics of a monetary asset in the near future.”

Regarding the stablecoin concept, the ECB says that cryptos could become less volatile if they were collateralized by central bank reserves. That could bring new issues to address, however: “Such collateralisation could result in additional demand for central bank reserves, which could have implications for monetary policy and its implementation.”

The ECB is also currently not in favor of issuing a central bank digital currency, but is open to exploration due to the evolving digital economy.

“In principle, a CBDC could be designed as a user-friendly risk-free asset that meets the public’s demand for an economy that is both digitalised and safe,” the central bank says.

Crypto-assets also come outside the scope of current EU payment services regulation, it continues. Further, under the current regulatory regime, crypto-assets “can hardly enter EU financial market infrastructures (FMIs).”

The paper states:

“Crypto-assets cannot be used to conduct money settlements in systemically important FMIs. To the extent that they do not qualify as securities, central securities depositories (CSDs) cannot undertake settlement of crypto-assets. Even if crypto-assets-based products were to be cleared by central counterparties (CCPs), these would need to be authorised and to satisfy existing regulatory requirements, albeit at additional costs and with no clear benefits to EU CCPs.”

However, it concludes that, the risks or potential implications of the technology are “limited and/or manageable on the basis of the existing
regulatory and oversight frameworks.”

The paper largely echoes sentiments already made public by the ECB. Back in September, the institution’s head, Mario Draghi, said that the ECB sees no “concrete need” to issue a digital version of the euro. He also previously said that financial institutions in the EU do not appear to be as enthusiastic about cryptocurrencies as the public.

ECB image via Shutterstock

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