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Hong Kong landlords lease to crypto exchanges following regulatory clarity

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Hong Kong landlords lease to crypto exchanges following regulatory clarity

Crypto businesses in Hong Kong need to have a local license and are restricted to offer services only to professional investors.

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Hong Kong landlords lease to crypto exchanges following regulatory clarity

Hongkong Land, a property landlord in Hong Kong, has leased out commercial office space to a local crypto-asset firm named HashKey Group following clarity around cryptocurrency regulations. 

Neil Anderson, director of Hongkong Land, believes that the decision to lease commercial property to crypto businesses was heavily reliant on the recent crypto regulations set by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC):

“The SFC’s recent decision to regulate digital asset exchanges in Hong Kong gives us confidence that this new asset class has a regulatory framework, and therefore a future within the finance industry.”

Hong Kong regulators require crypto businesses to be licensed locally and offer their services only to professional investors.

Hong Kong’s regulatory decisions around cryptocurrency have brewed mixed feelings among local investors. However, Christopher Hui, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, has defended the recent proposal to ban retail crypto trading.

Hui said that a regulatory framework that bans retail crypto activity help against “market manipulation, money laundering and terrorist financing.”

According to Hongkong Land, HashKey Group has rented an entire floor in the Three Exchange Square building in central Hong Kong, which is partly owned by the Hong Kong government.

Related: Restricting crypto trading to millionaires good for Hong Kong, says official

On the flip side, the demand for commercial spaces from traditional banks is declining, primarily attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. HashKey, currently operating from a business park dedicated to startups, will be taking up space previously leased by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group.

Bloomberg reported that mainstream fintech giants, including Standard Chartered and BNP Paribas, have reduced their office space. This is supported by data from Jones Lang LaSalle, which shows a 9.6% vacancy in the central region, which has almost doubled from last year.

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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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