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Regulation News

Digital Assets Platform Gets SEC License

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Digital Assets Platform Gets SEC License
Digital Assets Platform Gets SEC License

Harbor, the digital platform for alternative assets, has received a transfer agent license from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). On Oct. 31, Harbor CEO Joshua Stein told the Block that his blockchain-enabled platform is “now the first blockchain company to receive both a transfer agent license and a broker-dealer license.”

The transfer agent license will enable Harbor to maintain financial records of security token ownership, track account balances and payout dividends while attracting blockchain companies that are looking to conduct Reg A+ offerings. The SEC requires companies to engage with transfer agents for Reg A+ offerings. Regulation A+ is an initial public offering alternative geared towards startups in need of early funding. Regulation A+ funding was introduced in 2012 via the “Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act.” Stein added that both the transfer agent license and the broker-deal license will compliment each other, as they will enable the company to facilitate the full life cycle of security token issuance as well as regulated trading. Stein said:

“Think of the entire life cycle of this, there is… selling the investors into the investment, maintaining the investment while they are in, and controlling how they are traded. The broker-dealer is mostly involved in gaining the investors into the investment. The transfer agent maintains the records while they are in and pays out dividends, and the transfer agent controls when they payout.”

Stein recently said that securities regulations “do not work” in regard to utility tokens in decentralized apps, adding that current securities laws are only appropriate for traditional securities, and that “they are not a good fit” for the ICO industry.

Image result for digital assets

The blockchain-based startup Blockstack was the first-ever digital token offering to receive the go-ahead from the SEC to run a $23 million investment round under Regulation A+. Founders of Blockstack Muneeb Ali and Ryan Shea reportedly spent 10 months and approximately $2 million to get the green light from the SEC for a Reg A+ offering.

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Blockchain News

China’s Government Looks Into A Blockchain Development Fund

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China’s Government Looks Into A Blockchain Development Fund
China’s Government Looks Into A Blockchain Development Fund

National People’s Congress, China’s parliament, and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the most powerful political advisory body in the country, have recently begun their annual sessions. These are widely referred to as the “Two Sessions” or “lianghui” meetings. These meetings have been ongoing since May 22. The National People’s Congress, or NPC, is China’s top legislative body. Nearly 3,000 delegates from around the country meet once a year to submit proposals during the meetings.

According to a Beijing News report on May 23, Jieqing Tan, deputy to the NPC, suggested setting up a special fund for blockchain industry development. If accepted, this fund would be led by the government. The aim of the fund is to support the development and growth of a number of promising blockchain enterprises, encourage blockchain technology innovation, and cultivate a number of unicorn enterprises in the blockchain space, says Tan.

How Will Blockchain Change the Future of Finance and Accounting?

By supporting the development of the blockchain industry, Tan believes it will “modernize” the country’s governance system. Blockchain technology not only will be a great tool to push China towards smart governance and a high-trust society, but it can also help China to gain an upper hand globally in the future development of the technology, according to Tan. He thinks by taking this technology innovation lead, China will be able to better protect its sovereignty and national security. Tan suggested that a clear national blockchain industry development plan should be defined. He explained that:

“From the bottom technology standard, middle industry application development to the top-level system design, the national blockchain technology, industry, and supervision three-dimensional strategic planning system should be well coordinated.”

The new economic potential and new job opportunities derived from blockchain technology are huge. However Tan pointed out that currently the number of limited blockchain enterprises, its scalability, and lack of talent and information have been the main problems preventing the blockchain ecosystem from developing a well-established ecosystem.

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Regulation News

Plus Token Leaders Could Be Up For Criminal Prosecution in China

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Plus Token Leaders Could Be Up For Criminal Prosecution in China
Plus Token Leaders Could Be Up For Criminal Prosecution in China

One of the ringleaders of Plus Token is now facing criminal charges in China. Plus Token is one of the largest apparent scams in the cryptocurrency industry’s history. According to local media, Zhou will face public prosecutors in the Court of Jianhu County, Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province. 

As the local government only supplied Zhou’s family name, at press time we can’t confirm exactly which Zhou this refers to. Zhou reportedly publicized and promoted the PlusToken wallet App, a so-called cryptocurrency financial management application, through Wechat and other avenues over the internet. By registering four different accounts with SIM cards in the wallet, he allegedly lured more than 1.9 million people into the pyramid scam.

Multi-level marketing has been likened to a legal pyramid scheme ...

According to local authorities, the PlusToken wallet disguises itself as a cryptocurrency financial management app but allows criminals to recruit members by promising high returns based on the number of other investors they can pull in. Local police said that they received reports from the public regarding the scam as early as last year, explaining:

“In the name of providing a cryptocurrency appreciation service, the platform falsely claims that it has the function of mining cryptos, and requires members to pay certain value of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, etc., so as to obtain high static income.”

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Altcoin News

JP Morgan Feels That CBDC Will Have Long-Lasting Effects Of USD

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JP Morgan Feels That CBDC Will Have Long-Lasting Effects Of USD
JP Morgan Feels That CBDC Will Have Long-Lasting Effects Of USD

JPMorgan believes the central bank digital currencies, or CBDC, could pose a threat to the global hegemony of the US dollar. According to a report covered by Bloomberg, the bank’s chief U.S. economist asserted that “[t]here is no country with more to lose from the disruptive potential of digital currency than the United States.” “This revolves primarily around U.S. dollar hegemony. Issuing the global reserve currency and the medium of exchange for international trade in commodities, goods, and services conveys immense advantages,” the report added.

While JPMorgan doubts the dollar will be displaced as the global reserve currency soon, the report warns that “fragile” peripheral aspects of the currency’s dominance may be eroded, including trade finance and the SWIFT messaging system. During March, eight major banks including HSBC and Citi announced that a collaboratively developed blockchain trade finance will see a commercial launch in Singapore during the second half of 2020. Blockchain-based trade finance initiatives have also been launched in China, Oman, and Europe.

The report advocates that the U.S. launch a digital dollar project in order to migrate its monetary dominance into the rapidly growing digital sphere. JPMorgan warns that other countries could use digital currencies to circumvent the SWIFT system and the reach of economic sanctions, undermining the ability for the United States to exercise power on a global stage through control over the global reserve currency. “Offering a cross-border payment solution built on top of a digital dollar would, particularly if designed to be minimally disruptive to the structure of the domestic financial system, be a very modest investment to protect a key means to project power in the global economy,” the report said.

“For high-income countries and the U.S. in particular, digital currency is an exercise in geopolitical risk management.”

Economist John Vaz offered a critical appraisal of CBDCs, arguing that central bank digital currencies comprise “a kind of rearguard action being fought by the central banks because they don’t like cryptocurrency.” Vaz argued that cryptocurrencies take away the ability for central banks “to pull a lever in the economy because under things like Bitcoin, you can’t create money by the way of credit.” “Central bank digital currencies are probably more about tracking money than providing benefit,” he added.

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