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Binance Quits Stock Token Trading as Hong Kong Adds to Mounting Regulatory Pressure

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Binance Quits Stock Token Trading as Hong Kong Adds to Mounting Regulatory Pressure

Binance Quits Stock Tokens Trading as Hong Kong Adds to Mounting Regulatory Pressure

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has announced it will no longer support the trading of stock tokens. The decision comes against the backdrop of an ongoing regulatory crackdown, with Hong Kong becoming the latest to declare that the platform is not licensed to provide such services in its jurisdiction.

Stock Tokens No Longer Available for Purchase on Binance.com

Binance, the world’s leading digital asset exchange by daily volume, is ceasing support for stock tokens. The coin trading platform explained that the move is part of its continuous evaluation of products, but it also comes amid an increasing pressure on the exchange from regulators around the world. On Friday, the crypto company said:

Today, we are announcing that we will be winding down support for stock tokens on Binance.com to shift our commercial focus to other product offerings.

The exchange pointed out that the suspension is “effective immediately,” with stock tokens already unavailable for purchase on Binance.com. The platform will not support any stock tokens after Oct. 14, 2021 but investors will be able to hold and sell them over the next 90 days.

The announcement further details that “all stock token positions on Binance.com will be closed at 2021-10-15 13:30 (UTC).” Binance said the closing prices will be based on actual executed prices after the market opens for trading on Oct. 15. It warned these may be different from the rates registered a day earlier. A Binance spokesperson was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as stating:

We believe that shifting our commercial focus to other product offerings will better serve our users for the long term.

Residents of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland will have an option to transfer their stock tokens to a new portal to be launched by CM-Equity AG in early October. The transition will be subject to additional know-your-customer (KYC) procedures, Binance added, noting that all stock tokens listed on Binance.com are products issued and sold by the Germany-based CM-Equity.

Hong Kong Securities Commission Warns Against Stock Token Purchases on Binance

Binance’s decision coincides with a growing number of regulators expressing concerns over the exchange offering tokenized stocks among other products and services without authorization. The list includes regulatory bodies in Italy, Lithuania, the U.K., Japan, and Germany where the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, Bafin, said earlier this year that tokens linked to stocks of companies like Tesla represent securities, if they can be transferred and traded on a cryptocurrency exchange.

Binance Quits Stock Tokens Trading as Hong Kong Adds to Mounting Regulatory Pressure

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) became the latest agency to issue a warning against Binance. On Friday, the regulator said it’s “aware that Binance has offered trading services in stock tokens in a number of jurisdictions and is concerned that these services may also be offered to Hong Kong investors.” The SFC emphasized that “no entity in the Binance group is licensed or registered to conduct ‘regulated activity’ in Hong Kong.”

The commission elaborated that stock tokens are likely to be “securities” under the Securities and Futures Ordinance of the Chinese special administrative region. And if that’s the case, they should be subject to the regulatory remit of the SFC.

The regulator warned that the marketing and distribution of such tokens, “whether in Hong Kong or targeting Hong Kong investors,” constitute a “regulated activity” and require a license. Anyone offering stock tokens in the city without registration may face criminal charges, the securities commission stressed, urging potential investors to be “extremely careful” with stock token purchases on unregulated platforms.

What’s your opinion about the current regulatory pressure on crypto exchange Binance? Tell us in the comments section below.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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California named ‘most crypto ready’ US state

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California named ‘most crypto ready’ US state

Measures such as Google searches, Bitcoin ATM installations and the number of crypto-focused bills were used to tabulate the crypto-ready index.

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California named ‘most crypto ready’ US state

California has emerged as the most crypto-ready jurisdiction in the United States thanks to the proliferation of cryptocurrency ATMs and growing interest in digital assets among the state’s population, according to new industry research from review site Crypto Head. 

With a score of 5.72 out of 10, California edged out New Jersey (5.44), Texas (5.28), Florida (5.03) and New York (4.29) in the crypto-ready index. The state’s point total was also 2.54 points higher than the national average.

The results were tabulated using metrics such as crypto-related Google searches, the presence of Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrency ATMs and the number of blockchain-related bills passed in each state. California ranked first in crypto-related Google searches per 100,000 and in the number of crypto ATMs. These positive factors offset the lack of crypto-focused legislation in the state.

By comparison, New York has passed eight crypto-focused bills but was 33rd in terms of crypto ATM installations. New Jersey has the highest number of crypto ATM installations per 10,000 square miles and scored third-highest for searches per 100,000 people. Texas and Florida also scored well with respect to ATMs and overall searches.

Related: Mayoral candidate pledges to make NYC ‘most cryptocurrency-friendly city in the nation’

Despite regulatory uncertainty and a looming infrastructure bill that could affect key segments of the blockchain economy, the United States continues to be a global leader in cryptocurrency adoption. In 2020, BTC trade volumes in the U.S. exceeded those of Europe, Nigeria and China combined. For the same year, Americans booked $4.1 billion in realized profits on their crypto trades, far exceeding any other country. The U.S. also leads the globe in Bitcoin ATMs, accounting for a whopping 86.4% of total installations, according to industry sources.

Related: CFTC renewed: What Biden’s new agency picks hold for crypto regulation

Crypto’s success in the United States largely stems from its status as an investable asset class. As such, other adoption metrics don’t rank nearly as high. In August, financial comparison website Finder ranked the U.S. 26th out of 27 countries in terms of crypto ownership among residents. Emerging markets that depend more heavily on remittances — such as those in Southeast Asia and Latin America — ranked much higher.

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Bitcoin jumps toward $49K amid fears 5%-plus inflation is here to stay

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Bitcoin jumps toward $49K amid fears 5%-plus inflation is here to stay

Bitcoin (BTC) inched higher on Sept. 18 as the focus shifted to the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) policy meeting in the wake of lower inflation numbers last Tuesday.

The BTC/USD exchange rate approached $49,000 on the Coinbase exchange, hitting $48,825 before turning lower on interim profit-taking sentiment. Nonetheless, the move uphill raised expectations that the pair would hit $50,000, a psychological resistance target, in the coming sessions.

#bitcoin needs to get over $50,000 and just hold it.

— David Gokhshtein (@davidgokhshtein) September 18, 2021

Inflation fears boost Bitcoin demand

The Bitcoin markets received a boost from fears of persistently higher inflation, despite a softer consumer price index (CPI) report released on Sept. 13.

Data showed that the U.S. CPI rose 5.3% year-over-year in August, compared to 5.4% in the previous month. The market received mixed reactions to these numbers, with some cheering that core inflation came out lower than expectations while others pointing that inflation was still at ridiculously high levels —with 5.3% being one of the highest numbers in more than a decade for CPI.

“I like to look at inflation data in a median sense (so rather than having one crazy category drive it all, we look at the center of the distribution, across 82 categories, equally weighted),” said Jens Nordvig, the founder of data analytics firm Exante Data. He added:

“On [median] metric, [inflation] number was not low.”

JUST IN – NY Federal Reserve now sees inflation at 5.2% in one year, 4% in three years; a series high with “large expected price rises” in food, rent, and medical costs.

— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) September 13, 2021

More bullish cues for Bitcoin appeared as TD Securities analysts noted the Federal Reserve might delay the planned tapering of its $120 billion monthly asset purchase policy after the softer-than-expected inflation report.

Additionally, Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano, Partner at Pomp Investments, warned that a sustained 5% inflation would have Americans watch their savings evaporate.

“The only way to protect yourself in this environment is to make sure you are invested,” Pomp said in a note to clients.

“The more invested in markets, regardless of whether it is equities, real estate, crypto, etc., the better off you will be.”

Dollar goes up in tandem

As it happened, the BTC/USD exchange rate jumped 4.85% on the day of the inflation data release.

The pair moved up another 2.17% on Wednesday, with its prices closing above $48,000. Its prices started consolidating sideways in the next two sessions, only to move further towards $49,000 on Saturday.

Surprisingly, the US dollar index (DXY) also moved higher like Bitcoin, iterating that macro investors shifted the capital to assets they deemed as their safe-haven following the inflation report. The index, which measures the dollar against a basket of top foreign currencies, surged 0.41% on Friday to 93.246, its highest level in September.

Bitcoin and the US dollar index rise following mixed inflation outlook. Source: TradingView.com

More cues for Bitcoin and the dollar markets should be expected from next week’s FOMC meeting.

Related: Bitcoin struggles at $40K after ‘most confusing’ Jerome Powell press conference

The Fed officials agree that they would start unwinding their loose monetary policies by the end of this year. But the nonfarm payroll (NFP) report earlier this month showed that the U.S. labor market had not recovered fully.

That would prompt the Fed to hold its tapering plans, and any further delay could entail both Bitcoin strength and dollar-weakness.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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American CryptoFed DAO seeks US SEC consent for stable utility tokens

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American CryptoFed DAO seeks US SEC consent for stable utility tokens

The Wyoming-based digital asset company has filed Form 10 and Form S-1 for registering and trading Locke and Ducat tokens.

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American CryptoFed DAO seeks US SEC consent for stable utility tokens

American CryptoFed DAO, a Wyoming-based decentralized autonomous organization, has filed two forms with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, to launch two variants of inter-dependent stablecoins named Locke and Ducat.

According to CryptoFed’s Form 10 submission, the tokens are awaiting their registration as utility tokens hosted on the in-house CryptoFed blockchain. However, SEC’s Form 10 is used to register securities for potential trading on U.S. exchanges and is thus not intended for so-called utility listings. 

The form submission entitles CryptoFed to automatically be recognized as a DAO in the U.S. after 60 days from the initial filing date, regardless of any outstanding SEC comments.

CryptoFed’s filing suggests that Ducat is both an inflation- and deflation-protected stablecoin that can be used for daily transactions and as a store of value. Locke is a governance token that will be used for stabilizing Ducat and creating rules for the ecosystem.

According to CryptoFed CEO Marian Orr, Locke tokens will be distributed to municipalities, merchants, banks, crypto exchanges and other participants in the DAO. Drawing comparison to the existing financial system, Orr said:

“The CryptoFed uses the part and parcel of buying and selling between Locke and Ducat to stabilize Ducat through ongoing open market operations similar to those of the Fed.”

CryptoFed is also filing Form S-1 to register Locke and Ducat tokens to make them tradeable and transferable. Running parallel to this SEC review on the Form S-1 filing, CryptoFed will also file Form S-8, which will grant the company “restricted and untradeable Locke tokens to more than 500 persons.”

Until the approval of Form S-1, both Locke and Ducat tokens will remain restricted, untradeable and non-transferable.

Related: SEC chair doubles down, tells crypto firms ‘come in and talk to us’

On Sept. 13, SEC Chair Gary Gensler urged crypto projects with securities to ensure investor protection by registering their firms with the authorities.

Gensler envisioned a working policy framework for cryptocurrencies and believed that crypto can be a “catalyst for change” for the financial sector. “To the extent that there are securities on these trading platforms, under our laws they have to register with the Commission unless they qualify for an exemption,” he said. 

As Cointelegraph reported in August, Gensler has identified the need for more robust crypto regulations in the United States. At the time, he listed seven crypto-related policy changes currently being examined by the SEC, including matters concerning token offerings, stablecoins and decentralized finance more generally. 

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