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SEC Lists Cryptocurrency as a Top ‘Examination’ Priority for 2019

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Cryptocurrencies will be one of the examination priorities of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2019.

According to the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), this will be done with a view of protecting retail investors in the nascent asset class. Among the market activities that the OCIE will monitor include the ‘offer and sale, trading, and management of digital assets’. In cases where the digital asset is classified as a security, the goal of the SEC’s compliance wing will be to ensure regulatory compliance. Going forward, market participants in the digital asset space can expect a high level of scrutiny from the OCIE:

OCIE will take steps to identify market participants offering, selling, trading, and managing these products or considering or actively seeking to offer these products and then assess the extent of their activities. For firms actively engaged in the digital asset market, OCIE will conduct examinations focused on, among other things, portfolio management of digital assets, trading, safety of client funds and assets, pricing of client portfolios, compliance, and internal controls.

Per the OCIE, the areas being accorded examination priority have been chosen based on policy and an assessment of risks and various sector issues.

Last Year Too

The inclusion of cryptocurrencies as an examination priority was also on the agenda of the OCIE in 2018. Then, the focus was more on ensuring the security of digital assets and enlightening investors on the risks of making such investments:

Areas of focus will include, among other things, whether financial professionals maintain adequate controls and safeguards to protect these assets from theft or misappropriation, and whether financial professionals are providing investors with disclosure about the risks associated with these investments, including the risk of investment losses, liquidity risks, price volatility, and potential fraud.

This comes at a time when there is a growing sentiment that the actions of the SEC have had a negative impact on the cryptocurrency sector. As CCN reported last month, the chairman of the SEC, Jay Clayton, came under fire from Republican lawmakers over the harsh approach taken to enforce regulations. https://twitter.com/KPesaBit/status/1079094008528412672 Some of his critics argued that the massive crackdown on ICOs was detrimental to innovation.

Bitcoin ETF Rejection

Besides carrying out crackdowns, the SEC also rejected several bitcoin ETF applications in 2018. This was contrary to the expectations when Clayton became chair of the SEC in 2017. Appointed by a pro-business administration, the expectation then was that he would be a boon for the crypto sector. A University of Arkansas School of Law professor, Carol Goforth, has also stated that regulatory overreach by bodies such as the SEC is crippling the crypto sector. According to Goforth, achieving regulatory compliance has become an expensive and time-consuming exercise for industry players.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin-Related Stocks Soar In Stock Market; Is Bitcoin Responsible?

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The United States stock market on Monday saw a different dimension related to price movements of stocks. Analysis and price charts on the 24th June 2019 showed that virtual currencies Bitcoin-related stocks soared immeasurably higher than their fiat counterparts. This is coming after Bitcoin was seen to have temporarily broken the $12,500 resistance level and settled above it. This remarkable price surge seen in Bitcoin was the first recorded in about 15 months, and this made it a fast buying material.

Blockchain Relatives Stocks

Grayscale Bitcoin Investment (GBTC) is a virtual currency which is linked to the price of Bitcoin. The stock must have caught the bullish fever and followed every of Bitcoin’s upward waves. The stock was seen to rise temporarily by 13%. Grayscale Bitcoin Investment appeared to have few other supporters with similar blockchain relationships. Riot Blockchain, DPW Holdings, as well as Marathon Patent Group also made rapid uptrends as they all shined in bright green. All these stocks doubled their prices before the closing hour.

On the other hand, Peter Schiff an American stockbroker and financial commentator says

Both gold and Bitcoin prices have risen recently, causing many to erroneously conclude that the two are rising for the same reason. But stock and bond prices are also rising. Bitcoin and stocks are rising as speculative assets, while gold and bonds are rising as safe havens.

Bitcoin’s aggressive turnaround

Bitcoin has particularly moved up in a very aggressive bullish rally which saw it recording a new all-time high within the past 15 months. At the moment, no one can exactly predict Bitcoin’s next line of movement but many are very hopeful and the optimism is very much present. Bitcoin is expected to make more radical price surge, eventually surpassing its 2018 all-time high of $20,000.

Alts Waiting To Join The Rally

However, as bitcoin excelled in all ramifications, taking into consideration its market price and capitalization, this is not to be said of alt coins which seem to have been left behind in this series of radical movements. Popular alts like Litecoin is still trying to nurture the common touch.

At the time of writing this article, Bitcoin had doubled its price in about 5 weeks period and had also doubled its market cap in just a few days. This new development also steered arguments and criticism from Bitcoin’s antagonists who seem to be more interested in Gold.

Bitcoin Versus Gold

Gold, just like Bitcoin also rose up the charts and saw significant improvements. However, this was immeasurably smaller in capacity and totally incomparable to Bitcoin’s prowess over the past few weeks.

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Present-day Bitcoin market has matured, improved on the protocol side, claims Blockstack PBC CEO

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The cryptocurrency industry today has everyone’s attention, with the present bull run pumping Bitcoin’s price and driving the market capitalization through the roof. A series of investors and analysts have predicted that the bullish momentum experienced by the market is currently more mature than the one in 2017. This was backed by a recent SFOX report as well.

In a recent segment on Bloomberg, Muneeb Ali, CEO and Founder of Blockstack PBC, highlighted that the crypto-market was basically very repetitive, as it basically does the same thing time and time again, but on a different scale.

He said,

“The market goes up to its all-time-high, crashes down, takes a longer time to bounce back and if you have been in crypto long enough, you are pretty much expecting it.”

Ali suggested that Bitcoin had made significant progress on the development and protocol side as presently, a lot of highly skilled developers and engineers are involved in the technological aspect. The remark can be backed by the fact that Bitcoin recently released its Erlay protocol which was supposed to reduce bandwidth usage in the network and improve system efficiency.

The involvement of institutional investors has made Ali skeptical about the market since the technology is fairly new and “no one really knows” what is going on or where it is going in the future. He believes that the present bull run has less to do with institutional investors and more with the fact that the overall market was maturing.

Further, it was recently suggested that Bitcoin played a role in driving up the prices of Asian crypto-related stocks in Tokyo and Seoul, with certain companies witnessing hikes of more than 10 percent over the past week. The surging Bitcoin price and its corresponding market cap affords a lot of opportunity for these stocks to rise even higher.

Source :ambcrypto


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Bitcoin [BTC] Forges Another Assault On $15,000 Reviving Investor Interest

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  • Double-digit gains on Wednesday revive investor interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
  • Bitcoin surge is supported by key technical indicators including the RSI and the MACD.

It is evident that Bitcoin is not going to rest until it achieves the milestone by breaking above $15,000 in the coming few weeks. Following the break above $12,000, BTC/USD pushed for further correction higher inching closer to $13,000. A new 2019 high was from at $12,946, however, this will not hold as the high for long owing to the increasing bullish pressure at press time.

BTC/USD 4-h chart

Bitcoin price chart
Chart source: Tradingview 

BTC/USD trading pair is correction higher 10% on Wednesday with a relative change of +1115. In fact, a break above $12,900 is the kick that Bitcoin is waiting for the much-anticipated movement above $13,000.

As discussed by Coingape earlier today, the technical levels remain positively intact. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) continues to form a higher low pattern. The up trending indicator signal points towards a stronger bullish momentum. At 88.22, the RSI is back to the levels seen on May 12 following the break past $7,000 and later $8,000.

As long as the RSI stays in the overbought and respects the trendline observed on the chart, correct past $13,000 will be a walk in the park. The strong bullish momentum is also supported by the trends seen with the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD). The indicators divergence increase is an indication of building bullish momentum and the tight grip from the buyers.

Bitcoin Key Technical Indicators

Key Resistance: $13,500

Key Support: $11,000 – $10,500

MACD 4-h: Increasing divergence suggest stronger bull grip.

RSI 4-h: The upward trend continues to cement the bull’s presence on the market.

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